Jotting down tiny scenes

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #128

In the spirit of trying to channel inspiration for my writing, I have been making a conscious effort to be more observant of what goes on around me.  I am easily overwhelmed when there are too many stimuli and living in a busy city means that there are constantly a million things vying for my attention, as well as the need to be careful of traffic, so most of the time I feel like I am blocking out a lot of my surroundings.

However, I do find opportunities to practice noticing things, like sitting in cafés and people-watching, going for walks in my neighbourhood which is rather quiet or just staring out of the window of the tram. Lately I’ve started jotting down what I see. Nothing fancy, just the date and a few words to remember the details of the scene which can maybe serve as inspiration for my next poem or story.

Here are some recent examples that caught my attention:

  • a little boy on a bike wearing a t-shirt, blue shorts and a ski mask, pedalling wildly on the sidewalk
  • a gaggle of geese patiently crossing a busy street, head held high and unphased as cars stop to let them pass, and people on the terrasses of cafes watching the spectacle in amusement
  • delightful blossoms fallen off a tree onto the pavement, forming a pink carpet in different stages of decomposition

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Has any particular scene caught your eye lately? I’d love to hear about it!

Committed to slowing down

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Things I’ve noticed since the start of my mindfulness course:

  • It’s much easier to watch Narcos for 45 minutes than to carve out those same 45 minutes for a daily body scan meditation (and at the end of the body scan I never think to myself ‘just one more’!)
  • Pausing instead of reacting like I normally do has positive effects on me and my communication with others.
  • I spend a huge amount of my days on autopilot, just going through the motions without stopping to think about what I am doing.  When I do stop and breathe, it seems increasingly absurd.
  • Being more mindful has made me more aware of how I race from one thing to the next and how fast others around me are rushing. I deeply believe we could all benefit from slowing down and I’m committed to starting with myself. I’ve reduced my working hours to 80% and am consciously trying to BE more and DO less. Let’s see how it goes!