This morning I was doing my usual walk alongside the natural bushland that borders my street and down to the beach with Bowie, my golden retriever, border collie cross. I could smell the eucalypts and was aware of the sea, louder than usual due to the breeze. The sky was pale blue above the Fleurieu Peninsula headland.
Ahead of me I noticed the car approaching suddenly brake. On the side of the road – there are no footpaths here – an older woman, with a small white dog Bowie sometimes sniffs, had tripped. She got back to her feet. The car drove on, I caught up and asked if she was okay. ‘Oh, yes, just a couple of grazes,’ she said, showing me her scraped palms. We exchanged pleasantries and continued on our different directions.
It reminded me how good things are going on everywhere, everyday. A stranger who brakes at the sight of a woman falling, for example. Me, taking the time to chat to and check on a fellow dog walker. And in your life, too. It’s easy for us to focus on the all the things we don’t like, big and small, and let these become our focus. It’s lazy too. There’s a time for problem-solving and planning, of course, yet life is much bigger, and beautiful too, if we want to notice.
It’s shown to be good for our mental health and resilience as well. To tune into your world and savour more, add informal mindfulness to something you do regularly in your day: for example, when you walk, just walk and focus on your senses. You can give your mind a task, like noticing all the different textures or shades of green, if this helps. Every time you catch yourself thinking, just gently bring your thoughts back to the task at hand. Be where you are, doing what you are doing.
Or when you eat, just eat, l and really notice the smell, the taste and the texture of what is on your plate. Better still, share a meal with someone close and ask what went well that day. And put away your smart phone while you do. Really!
What small change will you try today?