I am not sure whether I have told you before but I belong to this amazing network of mums, created by the wonderful Priya. We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every month. We are currently on Zoom for a chat and support but hoping we will meet in person again soon. It is so good to have this support network. We share our challenges and you feel free to open up and be yourself. It’s great! In January we set ourselves a goal to do something mindful for ourselves. Some of us said they will read a book or take some time to exercise. I said I would like to have a little 5 minutes or so ‘TO BE PRESENT’.
We all live in a very fast environment and ofter wearing a lot of hats at the same time. I do feel however sometimes I forget to appreciate NOW and be still for a moment. I was ready for a challenge and decided to take 5 minutes of self-care during my daily walk. I chose a place with a little bench where I look over the fields. I have recorded some of my thoughts below as to what I was noticing or observing during those few minutes of stillness and silence.
Today is very cold. As I sat down on the bench I felt the cold wind and little snowflakes were gently touching my face. I saw the blackbirds whizzing in the sky above. I saw cows on the fields moving slowly and finding the best grass they could get. At that moment I thought to myself “gosh they must be cold!”. I heard trees that were squeaking caused by the blast of wind. I also heard the gentle bird singing and I felt calm for the first time in a long time. I took a deep breath and felt present.
It was another cold day and once again after I sat on the bench I felt that cold wind on my cheeks. The wind was even stronger than the other day but there was a change. The sun was out and I felt that tiny bit brighter despite the bitter cold. The beautiful sun was hitting the rooftops making them warm and shining. I turned my face to the sun and closed my eyes. I took a few deep breaths and relaxed without thinking about anything but how that warm sun is touching my face and warming it up from the cold wind. Once I have opened my eyes I saw cows on the field again and this time I thought how do they feel. Do they close their eyes and enjoy the sun?
Today Mike was working from home so we went for a walk together. We took a little longer route to my spot but I enjoyed it. As I sat on the bench I first looked in front of me, as I did the last previous times but then I tilted my head back and looked up to the sky. This was not planned or thought about it. It was just the motion I did and then I just stopped there. I saw thin layers of clouds moving very fast with the wind and branches of a tree hurryingly swaying from left to right. It was sunny today but still bitterly cold. I was amazed by how still I become looking up and observing nothing but nature. It was simply beautiful.
One minute. This is the time I had to take a deep breath and enjoy this silent minute. It is Friday and the day I spend with the girls. We went to a park first and then headed over to my bench. I asked the girls to sit down and gave them a little chocolate treat. We all just sat in silence and enjoyed that little moment of quietness. I think if I was not practising me being present, the moment of us three sitting on the bench wouldn’t feel special. It’s a thing we do every day. We sit together, we watch, we talk when we are at home but often don’t appreciate the beauty of presence.
One minute was enough for me to feel happy (and for them to eat their chocolate).
Spring is nearly here and I can slowly see the changes in nature. Days are warmer and the sun stays up for that little bit longer. Today however as I sat on the bench and looked at what’s around me, I saw this little leaf. Dry, crinkled and old but at the same time beautiful and strong. Other leaves are long gone but this one is just hanging on. When Spring comes this leaf will probably give space to the new growth but I thought at the time it’s amazing how a little leaf has so much strength to hold on.
We are enough.
Today when I looked around my spot I saw this beautiful grass with small droplets of water from the morning dew. I immediately felt Spring and it made me so happy. Previously I wouldn’t necessarily notice such a simple beauty in nature. I thought of a warmer day where I could just run barefoot in summer touching ground and grass and feeling the earth.
Today I was distracted. I felt that my mind is running in each direction and I couldn’t stop thinking about the various tasks I have to complete. I got to my location and I didn’t sit down. I was just standing and trying to stop my thoughts for the moment. I have looked around and saw those tall trees and their branches. I felt like the branches are representing my mind, tangled and going in different directions. At that moment I felt a little calmer.
A couple of days ago I was looking at the old leaf and today I saw the opposite. I saw new growth. Nature doesn’t stay still. It changes every day. It’s like us. We don’t see the changes every day but we do get wiser, we learn new things. If we just stop for a moment to notice nature, we can see in ourselves our change and how much we have already achieved in life.
Today was the last day I was in my spot before my next networking meeting. Every single walk to this place and every single deep breath were calming me down and making me connected to nature and feeling present. I enjoyed this new experience and I am going to continue practising to be present and appreciate the moment I am in.
Till next time