From a young age I have been fascinated with birds. This may sound quite nerd-ish, but it is true. My Mum and Dad bought me my very first pair of binoculars and a garden bird book when I was the age of 10. Whilst other kids were playing on the latest Nintendo Game Boy (Okay, I had one of these too) I would be sat at my bedroom window with a little note book marking down the types of birds I could see. I found everything about them fascinating.
I find one way to remain in the present, is to watch and to listen to birds. Paying attention to the sounds and the movement of these creatures, or any living animal for that matter, really focuses your attention to the present moment. You naturally become aware of what is happening right before you.
I will walk to work and purposely not carry my phone in my hand, and I will leave my iPod at home. Instead, I listen to the birds chirping away, talking to one and other and it just makes me smile. I will look up to the sky randomly and catch a group of birds shooting around chimneys and diving into trees. This whole process has an instant calming effect on me. I realise how lucky I am in that moment, to be able to see the goings on in nature around me, to even have the gift of sight at all. I feel priviliged that I can hear the rustling of the leaves and the fluttering of wings.
How often do we take our in built sensory system for granted, on a daily basis?
Practicing Mindfulness enables you to form an entire new sense of gratitude for life itself. We really have no control over our futures, or our destiny. I believe it is already written for us, somewhere in those sparkling stars. We can obviously choose our own paths and have fun along the way, but speaking from personal experience here, your life can change in an instant, moulded and manipulated by someone else’s hands. In my case, sadly, a personal tragedy changed my life forever, and it was then I knew, we truly do have to appreciate every last second we have in this unfolding universe.
As I am finishing this post off, I am trying my best to not only type these words out in a way so that they read clearly, but I am also noticing the touch of my finger tips on the keyboard, the sound of the washing machine behind me, and the slow, steady beat of my heart.