Cultivating a life of small things
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Ebb And Flow Counselling, CBT and Mindfulness - Ann Rapstoff MBACP (Accred)
26th August, 20140 Comments
It was one of those days where I was sitting staring into my laptop, caught up in the demands of work. I was engrossed, but at the same time there was a nagging resentment at what seemed like the never ending demands I was facing, my inner voice was saying just finish this and you can really get on with life.
Every now and then I would look up from my jumble of thoughts, from my window I have a good view of the sky and the tree tops, I could see flies on the wall basking in the warmth of the sun. On this particular day I noticed something rather large flying overhead, I thought it was probably a Red Kite, so common now in this area of Oxfordshire I hardly noticed them. But no this was a Heron, standing tall and proud and it had landed on my roof.
I was touched to see such a graceful bird; it felt like a little slice of magic coming into my day. The site of such a majestic bird woke me up from my narrow and blinkered vision of my life at that moment. A life in which I was running at such a speed I was failing to see the small wonders of life. I was too busy planning my next goal, which always seemed that little bit better than what I was doing now.
So why do the small things of life matter?
They matter because they wake us from our dream like habitual state and help us notice the beauty around us and under our noses. The small things help us when we feel low and shift us away from the “me-ness focus” of life. The small things matter because most of life is made up of small and insignificant occurrences. If we are always waiting or striving for the big things to happen, we miss the little gems which make up life from day to day.
Cultivating a life of small things
We are often striving and fighting for goals in the future which are beyond out grasp. Noticing the small things in life and working on our awareness of the present moment can help bring us back to the magic of this very moment. For example, when you walk to work or to the supermarket, noticing your breathing, looking at the gardens, listening to the birds, looking at the cloud formations, observing peoples faces, or even smiling and acknowledging them. Find your own way of seeing the small things; it could be through meditation, mindfulness or spending time just looking, rather than fighting to hurry onto the next task in your life.
Noticing the rainbow that appeared in the water from the hosepipe.
Noticing the shadows pulsating on the ceiling.
Noticing the dog walkers on your run.
Noticing the lavender dancing in the breeze.
Noticing the smell of coffee.
Noticing the Sparrows chattering at dawn.
Noticing the wild flowers growing through the cracks in the pavement as you walk.
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