Life is remarkable when goals are met, achievements are recognized and dreams are being fulfilled. But these aspirations don't happen overnight and can take months or sometimes years to accomplish.
One saying comes to mind when working towards an end result: "You can't see the forest for the trees," meaning you can be so focused on one goal, problem or situation (tree), that you fail to see the bigger picture (forest). You are so close to one issue that you don't take a step back, take in the whole view and enjoy life. Living a more balanced life ideally should involve stepping back and taking in the wonderful but ordinary day-to-day happenings.
Make it a goal to be more aware of the ordinary, yet awe-inspiring, little things that make up moments of each day. Here are 10 ways to be more in tune with the present, and how to appreciate the little things in life that can lead to enhanced gratitude.
Here's my list of 10 ordinary things:
- Having that first perfect cup of coffee (or other favorite beverage): Take this time in the morning to reflect, meditate and center yourself for the start of your day. Coffee for many is their number one way to jumpstart their body and mind. Really focus on those first sips, and how they bring you enjoyment, clarity and creativity to start your work day.
- Sharing your life and laughter with family and friends: Getting together for a meal or social gathering gives the opportunity to share important events, funny stories and reconfirm the people that enrich our lives.
- Working in the zone: Appreciate the moments when you are in tune with your work and your creative juices are flowing and your ideas are starting to come to life.
- Arrange a vase of flowers: Little elements like this add a pop of color and beauty into your home and according to research at Rutgers, flowers improve our emotional health. http://aboutflowers.com/health-benefits-a-research/emotional-impact-of-flowers-study.html
- Spending the time to clean, organize and enjoy your living space: When your home is decluttered you're opening up both physical and mental space. Having this well-organized environment enhances our day-to-day living helping us to be more mindful.
- Tasting the fruits of the season: Eating seasonally is not only healthy for you, but it can also stir up fond memories of the family table filled with fresh veggies and fruit.
- Taking a walk, enjoying nature and looking to the sky in all its glory: Taking a moment to simply step outside and take in the crisp, fresh air and warmth of the sun is a simple yet effective way to be in the moment.
- The sound of music: Music can take you on a spiritual journey, calm you after a long day, inspire you to start a new project and has surprising health benefits. http://balancedbabe.com/loving-the-sound-of-music/
- Prepping and cooking a new recipe: Experimenting in the kitchen is a wonderful way to take your mind off daily stressors and bring you a feeling of accomplishment when you nail a new recipe.
- Having a conversation with a young child: This is the epitome of awe in the ordinary and living in the moment. Children can get so excited about the most ordinary day-to-day events.
The days pass quickly and trivial, mundane moments really do have meaning. Slow down, step back and cherish these moments.
"The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust