Sometimes in this age of smartphones, televisions, world news, and the internet we feel we are seeing more of the world than ever before. And we are. We are more internationally aware and culturally aware than at any other time in history. We have seen photographs and read stories of people and places halfway across the world.
With all of this information streaming in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week it is easy to feel like we have seen it all, heard it all, read it all. But how often do we stop for a moment, disconnect, and really actually see the world through our own two eyes? When is the last time you stopped and smelled the roses or dug in the earth with your own two hands to plant some? When is the last time you spoke to an unknown person face-to-face that didn't include the guy bagging your new books or taking your food order? What about paying attention to the inflection in someone's voice or noticed their facial expressions? When is the last time you just looked up into the vastness of the universe and counted the stars or looked for constellations? Have you watched a train pass by a railroad crossing and really looked at the cars that it is carrying or did you just want it to hurry up so you could go on your merry way or used that time to text or check your Facebook? I know I can't remember these times myself.
I am challenging myself this week to be more mindful in my daily life - to notice the temperature of the water and the feel of the plate as I wash my dishes, to memorize the feel of my boyfriend's hand when he touches my face, to feel the wind on my face and listen to the birds and squirrels in the woods and the feel of my feet as they hit the ground when I take my walk down the nearby walking trail. I want to be aware of everything in the world, but I also want to be aware of what is going on around me in this moment.