Branch silhouettes scratch against faded sky,
Swaying in silence as if carried by the breeze.
Blue light breaks, bringing back distant memories,
Of stargazing nights under summer green trees.
The clock strikes seven,
Evening sweeping into view.
The day's almost over,
With still so much to do.
So often in life, we find ourselves simply "going through the motions." Day in and day out, we are carrying on in a routine that is draining and lifeless. This seems to occur during periods in which our attention is demanded more than usual, or when our hearts and minds are not able to process the amount of change going on around us at the pace it accumulates. In a culture with overly-anxious symptoms, there is little time to ponder and be still.
The other day, I was sitting outside working on my homework. I had a deadline approaching, but my mind was wandering (as usual). I could not focus anymore, and instead of trying to refocus on my studies, I decided to be present and practice mindfulness.
What exactly is mindfulness, you ask?
According to Psychology Today Magazine, Mindfulness is "A state of active, open attention on the present. . . . Mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience."
As a Psychology major, I find this concept quite intriguing and applicable to everyday life. As I sat outside, I took note of what was going on around me, simply creating awareness and thanking God for the present moment. Even though it was only for about ten minutes, I felt so much lighter and at peace afterwards. The result of this small bit of mindfulness is the poem written above.
I highly encourage anyone reading this to take just 10-15 minutes from the day to practice mindfulness. Whether or not you consider yourself a creative person determines what you will do with a time of mindfulness. In my opinion, everyone can be creative. But if you'd rather just be aware and think about the present moment, be aware and think. Otherwise, maybe write it down or take a picture or sit outside or do whatever else helps you be in touch with the moment.
We were not created simply to survive and "get by."
We were created to thrive and engage with the life we've been given.
The beauty around us is not something to be missed.
And if you ask me, we cannot do this alone. The more we become aware of ourselves and our own experiences, the more we recognize the human complexity. A complexity only possible by both grand and intricate design, which infers the need for a Great Designer.
"But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand." - Isaiah 64:8