My garden is showing signs of spring. In addition to the jungle of weeds that seems to have appeared over night, I have daffodils, tulips, and peach blossoms. I love it. But I’m sad to say that I almost missed my crocuses altogether. They’re so small that it’s easy to walk right on by and not notice them – especially when I’m rushing out the door or preoccupied with other thoughts.
Does this ever happen to you? You’re so busy thinking about what you need to do that you become unaware of your surroundings? I’m betting that it does happen to you. In fact, if you are like most people, you probably spend more time in a state of preoccupation than in a state of present awareness.
Not only are we preoccupied with our thoughts, most of us are unaware of what those thoughts are. We go about our day with minds that are worrying and fretting and thinking outside of our control. This is normal. It is part of the human condition. But religious teachers, psychology professionals, and wise old grandmothers all agree that we will be happier if we “stop to smell the flowers.” That is to say, making a conscious effort to be aware of the present moment is essential to our well-being.
Worry accomplishes nothing. But one conscious breath will give you a moment of timeless peace. So make sure to savor moments of spring. Take a breath. Look at a bug. Smell a flower. Listen to a giggle. And let everything else melt away for the second it takes to do this. Then you can return to business as usual. You will be happier for it.
First Published 2010