Every morning I call my daughter’s name. With this bellow, I say, “Hurry, we are going to be late for school.” She usually responds by saying, “Ok, Momma. I am hurrying.” As she eats her breakfast, she lingers. She needles her eggs or pancakes and takes a few sips of her milk. Then she may grab her rainbow loom bands and attempt to make a ladder bracelet. My marriage with time interferes and once again, I say, “Chop-chop. Eat your breakfast, we will be late.” She refocuses her gaze on her food and then resumes eating again.
When we drive to school, I watch as one minute ticks to the next, while my daughter, asks questions and makes observations that span from the particular to the silly: “Why is that tractor carrying all that dirt? The sun looks so pretty, Momma. Look at all the hot air-balloons in the sky.” She will slow down and pay attention to the details of the landscape, sky, or her general surroundings, while I tend to focus my gaze on practicalities. It takes a conscious effort to live slow enough to really observe these moments as they are happening.
What does it meant to live slow enough? I’ve pondered this question. It means not multitasking, but focusing on what is in front of you. That may mean putting down your cellphone while watching your kids play in the park. Looking up at the sky. Gazing down at the ground. Hearing the sound of different voices around you. In another context it might mean not talking, but listening. Whether it is to your own breath or to spending time really listening to someone else. How often do we really live slow enough to see and listen?
To my surprise, the moment I decided to redirect my focus on just one thing, this view caught my attention. We were dining at a restaurant, I looked up and caught the pinkish-blue tint in the sky. The tree branches extended their reach to embrace the sky. Living slow enough in that particular moment provided a tangible lesson: paying attention can offer immeasurable beauty.
Love the photo. Sunrise/sunsets always are a favorite of mine. I just bought a book on ‘Mindfullness’, living in the moment. I agree with you that we get caught up in everything around us that we don’t see anything at all. Have a great week, Shaunna
I am not a photographer, but am grateful that in this moment I took time to look up and catch this shot. Mindfulness is a characteristic that I am trying to develop, but the practice is so difficult that it requires such a conscious effort to integrate it in my day-to-day. I just have to remind myself to keep trying.
Children have a lot to teach us.. Your mornings sound just like ours, but you have reminded me to take time to enjoy it more.
I keep learning lessons from my daughter – how to embrace the present, express love unconditionally and the practice of forgiveness. She has a way of clarifying what I tend to confuse.
What a gorgeous picture! I’ve found it does take some reminding to be living in the moment and paying attention- even if it is hard sometimes! I’ve started trying to leave my cell phone at home at least one day a week, just to prevent that distraction from continuously popping up.
I like the idea of leaving your cell phone behind. My dependence on technology often interferes with living. We’ve elected to do a cell phone free zone after a certain time of the day in the evenings. It really helps with embracing the present.
It’s beautiful! And a great reminder to slow down and take it in.
Thanks, Tiffany. The picture came as a surprise when I flipped through my camera. I love when I am able to capture these moments.
Oh I love this post! There is nothing better than slowing down and enjoying life around us and it usually does take a child’s view of the world to remind us of this.
Children carry the wisdom of living in the present and really feeling the energy of whatever moment they are in. I certainly learn that lesson over and over again with my daughter.
Amazing what we capture with our senses and our hearts when we slow down! Lovely photo.
Thanks, Susan. Your compliment on my photograph means so much. I am always floored by your amazing captures of nature and landscape. It is quite inspiring to look up and pay attention.
great blog! glad i found you!
Thank you. I appreciate it.
A lovely reminder to take the time to soak in the beauty around us.
Thanks, Ayala. I think there is so much beauty in our own surroundings, but we just need to readjust our lens to see it.
Nice post. We are always so fast-paced with life. Normally, all it takes most of the time is to look at kids and be reminded that we need to slow down. Life is more than just rushing from one event to the next. It’s about enjoying the journey of life. I am so learning that as I get older. Enjoying moments. Not rushing through them.
I believe society conditions us to multitask and jump from one task to the next. With this “busyness” we lose sight of the moments of beauty in front of us. I do agree that as you get older, you appreciate sinking into your experiences rather than rushing through them.
I’ve tried so hard to live slower. I’m much better about telling the kids 10 minutes before I want them to do something that we’re going to have to do it in 10 minutes, no questions asked. It doesn’t always work, but it’s starting. Sigh…deadlines, schedules, and time makes life so hard sometimes!
Deadlines make it harder to slow down, especially when you are juggling kids, work, and a home. I think you start somewhere. I’ve found that taking just a few minutes and looking at the sky or a tree or my surroundings and paying attention to my breath helps to slow me down. It is a conscious effort and a process to get there. I definitely struggle with it.
Beautiful! We should all take cues from our children to stop and enjoy the small things in life. We live too fast, too consumed by deadlines and itineraries.
Your comment reminds me of a quote by Socrates, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” I think we all benefit by slowing down and really asking ourselves whether this is the kind of busy that we want in our lives,
If only we could always see life thru the eyes of a child.
Perfectly said. The eyes of child encourages us to live in the present.
It was Gretchen Rubin who said, “They days are long, but the years are short.” Living in the moment is something I am trying to do more of in 2014. Thanks for the reminder.
I love Rubin’s philosophy and am an avid fan of books/blog. I think we all need periodic reminders to seize the moment and pay attention to what is happening as it it unfolding.
This is so true. I live in New York where everything is quick, quick, quick. When I go to and from work I don’t observe much around me, I just go! I think today on my way back home I’ll stop to look around and see what I notice that I haven’t noticed before. Thanks for the inspiration.
When you live in a city as busy as New York, it is probably very difficult to stop and pay attention. I think it requires practice and a presence to put the moment in front of you. There are of course numerous roadblocks to this philosophy, but even if you take just a single minute and look up, stay silent, and sink into the moment, you will be so surprised at what you learn.
Great post 🙂 If we are always hurrying, trying to get to the place in time where we will have the time to sit back and look around – we will never get there. We need to make the time now – it will bring more inner peace 🙂 Rhondda
Living in the present is a difficult feat, but it makes the moments sweeter and more memorable. Rushing from one task to the next seems to limit the overall experience.
what a great way to describe the mornings that many of us and yes, we do need to sometimes just take a moment. great blog.
Thank you. I am glad my words resonated with you.
My youngest son is like this too. I keep trying to remind myself that he just moves at a different pace but most days that’s hard.
I agree that it takes practice to appreciate the slower rhythm of a child, but I know there is so much that we can learn from them by adopting their outlook. They look at everything with a slowness and wonder that adults tend to push aside.
Thank you for the reminder! It is so easy to get caught up in everyday life of chores and work and social media that you forget sometime to take a good look at your children. Thank you!!!
The busy life always preoccupies us, but everyday I am learning that this is not always the most fulfilled existence. My daughter always reminds me to adjust my pace.
You have a natural gift for writing. This was a lovely reminder to enjoy life. 🙂
Thanks so much for your generous compliment. I am glad my writing spoke to you.
I absolutely love this post! I need to take this advice to the grave. Can’t wait to read more from you 🙂
I think our lives would be richer if we enjoyed the process instead of the completion of a task. It is a difficult practice, but one that I am trying to implement into my life.
I love that our children can open our eyes like this. 🙂
Everyday I learn something from my daughter. She always open my eyes to my surroundings.
I am/we are the same way. My son will dawdle at times, but he’ll stop to look at and savor things that I will never in a million years bother to, like how the colors of a wastebasket full of shredded paper look like a sunset. I am definitely taking cues from him though, and trying to notice and appreciate these “smaller” moments in life. At what point did we stop caring?
That is an interesting question, Cecilia. I am not certain when we stop approaching our lives with wonder.
I hope my daughter keeps this sense of awe as long as possible.
I’ve been pondering this so much lately, too. What does it really mean to live slowly? What am I missing with all of this technology and commitments draped around me? I’ve simplified a ton over the past few years, but it’s definitely a journey! Thanks for the great reminder to just slow down and enjoy beauty.
I like the question you posed, Stacie. What does it mean to live slowly? I believe we all should define what “slow” means to us. I’ve realized for me it means to pay attention, disconnect from technology, and really listen to those I love. Thanks for your insightful comment.
So important and yet so hard sometimes. I try not to be too rushed in the mornings, but when you really have to be somewhere it’s hard. But my daughter is always observing and I really try to do the same, especially in the car. It’s a practice, but a worthwhile one.
Practice is key. Paying attention may not come naturally to us because we are geared toward accomplishing and not observing. I am learning from daughter everyday to sink into the present.
Hi blog-tribe friend! We meet again in the comment love challenge! I love this post… Slowing down and enjoying the beauty and details of the world that our children seem to see so easily is a very calming and centering activity for me. I just wish that I could do it more often, and didn’t have the demands of the outside world pressing in, expectations of being on time to work, appointments, etc. It’s a balance, I suppose.
Nice to “see” you again. I agree that balance is necessary to meet the demands of our daily life and taking time to appreciate the beauty that exists around us. I understand how its a struggle and it takes daily practice for me to remember what is important. Thanks for your insight.
Beautiful story! Isn’t it amazing what our kids can teach us!
Thank you. I learn so much from my daughter.
Life is so much better when I take the time to notice the sunrise on my way to work or pay attention to the sound of the birds chirping. It makes life worth living and it makes me smile.
With purposeful attention to the ordinary, I believe our days do sparkle a little more.
I love to try to remember to slow down and enjoy life! The kids grow way to fast and I’m sure it will be over before we know it! Such a great reminder!
I think we all struggle to slow down. With daily practice, I think it becomes a little easier to appreciate the small pleasures in life.
Beautiful words. While it is important to respect schedules and get everyone where they need to be on time, it’s also important to take advantage of the moments of peace in between. I love talking to my kids while I’m driving, and I often do my own best thinking when I’m driving by myself. Thanks for this reminder!
Conversations in the car are the best. I find my daughter reveals tiny bits and pieces of her interests, fears, and happy moments as we drive. Carving time out to do one thing at a time has helped me pay more attention to the present moment.
To be able to balance just being with living, isn’t that an age old question. Maybe it just becomes the ability to enjoy whatever it is that we must be doing in order to live. It would be wonderful to live life as simply as a child but unfortunately life brings too many complications. Great post. Thanks for sharing.
I like what you say about being and living. I think we’ve lost sight of the being part of our lives and I’d like to reclaim it. Is it easy? I agree that it’s a struggle, but I believe the benefits of pushing through the fight is worth it.
We are always so busy that it is hard to take a second and look around. I love when things like this happen. We need to look through our children’s’ eyes more often. Thanks for this #SITSBlogging
Children definitely make us stop and think about the simple beauty that exists in the ordinary. I certainly look at many facets of my life differently since becoming a mother.
Thank you so much for this post! It opened up my eyes because I know that I am constantly rushing around – whether it’s taking the kids to school and picking them up, publishing blog posts, paying bills. I am always on the run. It’s nice to make sure I take a moment to appreciate the things around me. Nice to meet you! 🙂 #SITSBlogging
Your day-to-day sounds like what most of us face. How do you balance busy with paying attention? The task is difficult, but I believe if we incorporate this awareness into tiny moments in our life it will encourage us to slow down.
Beautiful photo! I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Robin. I am glad the picture and words resonated with you.
My oldest son observed when he was 3 years old, looking out my bedroom window while standing on my bed, “color clouds” in the sky. He didn’t see the junk in the neighbor’s backyard or the hedge that needed trimming – he saw the color clouds. I’ve always remembered that. It’s not so much what we look at that matters, it’s what we see. Loved your “color clouds” in this photo.