Three days ago I walked a trail in t-shirt and shorts. I looked at blue sky and fluffy clouds, stepped on pale boulders and grassy paths, smelt pine trees and listened to the birds singing. Today I walked the same trail but this time in several layers. I saw heavy clouds shedding snow, I stepped on snowy boulders, snow covered grass and icy paths, looked at pine tree branches weighed down with snow and listened to the sound of silence. Same path, same me, very different experiences, both amazing.
Life is always changing, like it or not. There is a saying that you never step in the same river twice, you step in once then step back to the bank and when you step in again it is a different river. Well that saying applies equally to the (literal and figurative) paths in life – even if we think we are doing the same old things, something is different each time. It could be the weather, the clothes we are wearing, who we are walking with, our mindset or even the number of steps we take. How often do we actually look at the familiar path we tread? Do we notice different things or just see the same old stuff. By keeping this restricted view of familiar surroundings we may be missing out on something new, something wonderful or even life-changing.
So today, when you walk your familiar path or follow your familiar routine, STOP. Look up, round or sideways and notice something new – this could be physical like a chimney or doorway you have never noticed before, something new like a flower blooming or a signpost – or even someone smiling at you. It may also be a feeling, a sense of contentment when preparing a meal for family or friends, happiness at being in your own home, the feeling of sun or a breeze on your face. Anything, just really tune into your feelings and notice your environment, inside and out. Then smile, at this moment it is all good!