Last post, I shared the idea of the sacred mundane. These ideas that I write about are ideas that I firmly believe in and ones I work on implementing in my daily life. But, if you had shown me these ideas a few years ago, I may have thought they sounded nice, but I would have no idea where to start with implementing them.
I know some of you may be in the same place I was a few years ago. So, I want to give you a tool that can help you become aware and get you on the road to enjoying the sacred mundane around you. This term is noticing.
Noticing: present tense, the act of becoming aware, giving attention, observing, making known
In a culture that encourages a constant grind and immense productivity, noticing is not exactly of abundance. Before my engagement with mindfulness, it certainly wasn’t of abundance for me. My mind was only partially in the present moment. The rest of it was constantly figuring out what was next on my to-do list, analyzing what I had already done on my to-do list and deciding if it was all done well enough or if I needed to go back and make it better, and trying to figure out when my next moment of rest was because I was desperate for it.
Mindfulness is now a consistent part of my routine, and slowing down is much more common. And while noticing wasn’t a term I was familiar with until recently, I appreciate everything it means.
There is never a moment where there aren’t multiple things going on around us, but how often do we stop and notice what those are?
As a person who used to be fully engulfed in the constant grind and productivity culture and is now being much more intentional with my time and slowing down, I have found there to be much that I had been missing out on in the present moment. And now noticing is helping me be aware of those things.
And what we notice does not have to be extravagant or obscure. To give you some grounding in this idea, here are some things I noticed this past month.
1) Airplanes don’t necessarily look like they are going super fast when you watch them flying overhead.
2) Forests still have a rustling when the wind blows even when there aren’t any leaves around.
3) I think geese feel a strong sense of anger at times. At least the ones at the park by my house sure do.
4) The vibrancy of a flower’s petals in the spring is captivating. I joyfully welcome the pops of color after a long winter.
5) We tend to do really well naming the bitter aspects of growing up, but we often don’t do nearly as good of a job of naming the sweetness of it. And I think there’s much to be named.
6) Staring up at the night sky provides a similar sense of awe and sacredness for me as looking at mountains and the ocean.
7) Birds seem to be having conversations all throughout the day (and don’t seem to be nearly as angry as the geese).
8) It gets worse and worse hearing about another school shooting.
9) Nothing beats a fresh fruit snack after time adventuring outside.
10) There are an endless number of adventures to be had in backyards when you look at them through the eyes of a toddler.
So, may you find time to stop amidst the constant grind, and may you notice. And the more you notice, the more likely the sacred mundane will be found within your days.
Kylie Larson, MA, LPC