In our daily lives, we can often find ourselves rushing from A to B, rarely stopping for a break, and only resting when we eventually get to bed. In some ways this has become so common that it can seem normal, but this potentially comes at a cost. Not only may we experience exhaustion or burnout, we may also begin to lose our connection with the world around us. For example, we may stop noticing the small things, such as a smile from another person, the smell of fresh coffee, a beautiful flower, or the sound of the birds. We may also experience a frustration when the world does not fit with our schedule or pace of life. For example, we may feel that the people walking in front of us are too slow, or a traffic jam an obstacle to meeting our goals.
Bringing mindful attention to this tendency to rush through our lives can help us to slow down and smell the coffee so to speak. It can help us to find a renewed connection with the world around us.
Try this exercise when you are out walking. Slow down your pace a few notches, and switch on all of the senses. For instance, listen more closely to sounds, starting with sounds near you and then expanding out to sounds un the distance. Look at things more closely than you usually would, such as looking up at the sky, noticing the colours and textures of the trees. You might find that these small but simple acts help you to re-engage more fully with the world, allowing us to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.