Good morning everyone, I hope you are well. It is another beautiful Sunday morning here in the midwest. The sun is shining through the dew-drops hanging on the grass, slowly working to dispel the dense predawn fog and laying out the welcome mat for another good day.
I was watching the sun peek over the horizon when I noticed one of the many red-squirrels we live with, gracefully climbing through the higher branches of an elm tree, seeming to enjoy his morning climb as much as I enjoyed observing it. He darted branch to branch, stopping only once to check his surroundings before rushing forward once more, agile as could be. He leaped across empty space in a heartbeat, masterfully landing on a thin branch and hanging on as it dipped under his weight before skillfully scurrying up to a new perch out of sight in a large maple.
What a marvelous little creature. How is it they move so fluidly through the trees? As they run it often seems nothing can truly halt their movements. Broken branches are taken in stride and even a bad jump seldom appears to alarm them. They are truly impressive animals, perfect examples of living with presence.
Over the past few weeks, this is the lesson I’ve been trying to take from these little creatures: to live my life and perform not just a few, but all of my actions with presence. To be more aware of myself and surroundings everywhere I can and go through more than just ‘the motions’ of whatever it is I happen to be doing. Whether it is making coffee or opening a door, writing in my journal or driving a nail, I’ve been doing my best to make every action conscious, deliberate, patient, and perfect.
It has been an interesting experience. Every action takes on new meaning. Things done are done better. Life has a more colorful tint to it. Most importantly, time slows down and appreciation goes up for everything and everyone around you; both good and bad.
So this week, starting right now, try to apply this Practice of Presence to everything in your life. You won’t be perfect and that is fine, but whenever you catch yourself speeding up, missing out, or just going through the motions, try to bring back a bit of that child-like curiosity and look a little closer.
Be present. Happy Sunday folks.
(P.S.> I know I talk about things like this a lot, but I do so because I think it important. I am utterly convinced if everybody diligently practiced living with the same sort of presence the squirrels, birds, raccoons, etc. live with, depression wouldn’t exist. There’d be no need for it. We would cease to search for meaning to live. We would just live.)