Thursday, 25 August 2016

Open Your Eyes

So, how was your day today?  Chances are that you have had quite a hectic day.  You have most probably been rushing around from point A to point B to get everything done, to meet everybody's demands and somehow juggle your own family's needs as well.  I am pretty sure that you are feeling exhausted.  It is nothing new.  We all suffer from the pressure everyday life puts on us.

Now that you have a spare moment (after all, you are reading this), even though it's a stolen moment, I would like to ask you what is it that you remember most about today?  What event that happened today will stick in your mind for days or maybe weeks to come?  What is the one thing you will take away from this day?  Is it maybe the fact that you finished all the correspondence in your inbox?  Maybe your books balanced perfectly at the end of the day?  Or maybe you signed a major new client or got the bonus you were hoping for.  How long will the joy of it last?  Until you spend the bonus or till the inbox overflows again?

In the frenzied, success-driven world we are living in, these are quite important milestones, and we have every right to feel proud of them, yet when all is said and done how much do they really weigh?  What was the price we paid for them?  Now I ask you again: What will you remember about today?
Did you notice the new woman from the technical department dab at her eyes during the morning meeting?  Do you remember the woman standing in the queue with the worried expression on her face?  The one who double checked the money in her purse?  Did you notice the old man looking at the confectionery table, almost licking his lips, but then turning away to buy half a loaf of brown bread instead?

Don't worry if you didn't, most of us would not have noticed either.  In our busy world we have little time to look around us.  We avoid making eye contact in the queue or at the shop, lest we have to strike up a conversation and waste valuable time.  We walk with our eyes straight ahead, looking down and notice only those things we need to avoid in order not to trip and fall.  We rarely notice the little purple flower blooming against all odds in the cracks of the pavement.  We are oblivious to the sliver of bright blue sky sticking out above the skyscrapers and we are unaware of the toddler staring up with wide-eyed wonder at the world around him while we are waiting for the traffic light to turn green.

In the evenings we get home and between making dinner and bath time rituals we do a quick recap of the day with our spouse and children, just touching on the basics and running through the next day's itinerary.  Yet, did you notice your teenager is more sullen than usual, or how your tweeny is suddenly more conscious of what her hair looks like? Maybe you noticed that your husband or wife seems extra tired, but being so weary yourself you put it down to something that will pass.

Life passes us by day by day, and at the end of it we are so grateful to slip into our comfortable beds, not realizing that even though we were so busy busy, we were never actually alive.
You see, life is made up out of so much more than the huge important pieces.  The big blocks of achievements and goals.  In fact the big, important things would be useless without the in between bits holding it all together.  The little bits are the stitches keeping our life's quilt together.  It is when we start opening our eyes and all our senses to the world around us that we start waking up, and we start living life instead of merely passing through it.  It is the smile we share with the other person across the room, a kind word to somebody we meet at the supermarket, the extra ten minutes of cuddling with my nine year old or the late night conversation with my husband that make not only my life, but also the other person's life more memorable.

These little insignificant things are the ones that colour our lives in, it sets the tone and it makes all the rushing around worthwhile.  These are the things to jot down in our Gratitude Journals and not the huge things.  The huge things in life get trophies, certificates or a new car, but the little things need to be recorded in order to remember them and celebrate them when we get to that point in our lives when we wonder what was the point of it all.

So wake up, and start paying attention, life truly is beautiful.  Start seeing, really noticing and connecting with life.

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