I go bird watching. Sometimes I go out on my own, binoculars in hand, ears open. There are occasions I go out with Greg or my friend and avid birder Kathy. There are also trips with the local birding group. What I realized when out watching our feathered friends is that I’m completely present. I have no distractions or thoughts of schedules, “to-do” lists, work, nagging problems… I’m right there with the birds, which are always living in the now. This spring while out bird watching with friends, I’ve been fortunate to have seen many baby birds and juveniles out of the nest, with parents close by sometimes flying into to the nest, taking turns feeding their brood.
I also have several bird feeders around our home. I love the sounds of the many birds and stopping what I’m doing to just watch them interact and eat. It closes out everything else and I’m just present.
I feel completely focused while out gardening as well or when involving myself in any of my hobbies. Cooking together with Greg is also another great joy that puts us both in the moment. Experiences like these take me out of the trappings of the day and put me centered and focused on just what I’m doing. It’s so restful, calming and fun. We gotta have fun! I’ve also found that being purposeful and engaging in these types of activities makes it so much easier to return to my “to-do” list, work, pesky issues or whatever else is circling around in my brain. I feel much more balanced and at peace. Taking this time may feel like an indulgence in our busy world, but it’s what keeps us effectively functioning in that world. So often we come back to our tasks refreshed and with new energy and ideas.
Think for a moment about what you do in your life that puts you in the present, in the “now”, and takes your mind completely off everything else. Do you have those hobbies to immerse yourself in? Are you taking time for watching a bird take flight? Or is time taking you away? Are you enjoying the sights and smells of how your garden has blossomed?
I encourage you to make sure you have these experiences and have them often. It can be so transforming.