Mindfulness in nature

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present, which includes observing thoughts and feelings from a distance without passing judgment.

In our first world, corporate-driven culture, it’s something that is perhaps easy to talk and think about and harder to put into practice – after all, who has time to be mindful on a regular basis in the midst of to do lists, meetings, chores, and the myriad of other items that punctuate our days? Isn’t multitasking the only way to get everything done? We need to make a profit! Meet the bottom line! Make that person happy! And that one! And it all has to be efficient and productive!

But wait…when’s the last time you saw a wild animal trying to do five things at once? Probably never. Wild creatures tend to focus on one thing at a time and move on when it’s time to move on. An ant moves one crumb at a time.

Today find a downed tree, an old log or another natural item that’s really close to the ground. Lay on your belly with your head close to the log and start to notice the world that is so vibrantly alive down near the forest floor. Observe this community of life for 30 minutes: if you feel like bugs are crawling all over you, observe that too (unless you are being bitten or on an ant hill…use your judgment on when the best idea is to move somewhere else!) and let that feeling of being uncomfortable and out of your element exist in you. Don’t give it any power and it won’t have any power over you. Chances are it’ll move on and you’ll still be laying on your belly watching the life under the log. As you go about your days in the months to come, remember to allow yourself to stay present in what’s happening right now.

What did you notice when you really made a point to look? What amazing things did you notice when you changed your perspective and allowed yourself to observe through the lens of mindfulness? Share your photos and thoughts in the facebook group.

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