This week I went for a walk in a local park somewhere I’ve been going for many years. Actually the university I studied had it’s campus there and so I had plenty of opportunities to walk in the park over the years.

What struck me about this particular day was that although I had walked in this park many times, I had never really seen it. I had never really appreciated the natural beauty right on my door step. I’d walked through it,  run through it and I passed through it on the way to a lecture but I had never really taken the time to appreciate the beautiful nature right on my doorstep.

That’s what happens when we are not really present in our daily lives, we fail to see the beauty in the things and people that are right in front of us. Then we go searching for beauty and happiness far away because we didn’t realise it was always within our reach.

We rarely listen deeply, we just listen and a lot of the time we barely do that. Our minds are racing onto the next part of the conversation or just waiting to jump in with what we want to say.

But when we slow down, stop and just be right where we are, then we see what’s there. This is what I saw in the park this time. This is how I smelt the leaves. How I heard my favourite birds, they made me realise how mild it still is because they haven’t flown off yet.

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Remember to look up at the stars

Take the time to be really present

Take the time to smell the leaves, smell the air and the dampness in the leaves

Take the time to step in the mud and get dirty

Take the time to just be, that’s it.

Take the time to hear the birds, in time you will recognise their individual sounds

Take the time to be there with the people in your life, connecting and listening

After all what else is there if we can not appreciate the beauty right in front of our eyes?

Remember to look up at the stars