Recently, we’ve been chatting here at TGSG about silence, wait time, and the things that can happen in those periods when we stop — take a breath — and let children and ourselves simply think or be. What happens when we slow down long enough to not only notice what is around us, but how something can make us feel?
Sunday, I challenged myself to hours of this. Setting out with only a goal of letting what was around me have time to sink-in. To really stop and smell the roses — or in this case, cherry blossoms and tulips. To notice how I felt, and to not rush to tell anybody about it. (TGSG Note: Now, I had the luxury of being on my own, which I know can be difficult to find. But I encourage you to try and find a few minutes each day to do this. And, if you have kids, try and give them a few minutes of alone time, too.)
As I walked the streets of DC, quietly smiling to myself at my little secret mission, I noticed a change in me. I forgot about everything that had been on my mind lately. Good things, bad things — every thing. I felt the breeze on my face, and noticed it made me feel giddy. The crunch of the stones on the path of the National Mall made me want to kick up my heels. The colors of nature made me feel humble. The bird songs made me feel hopeful. Sitting in a shady spot of the sculpture garden of the Hirshhorn Museum made me feel content. Watching children climb trees and statues in the garden made me feel happy. I could go on and on.
Walking home, I stopped to watch the sunset over the Washington Monument, as the die-hard kite enthusiasts worked their magic — tiny dancers in the sky. It was here I realized I had had the most remarkable day I have had in years. And what made it so remarkable was that — if you really look at it — it was really nothing special. A walk. Some time on my own. Being unplugged. But the fact that it was such an ordinary day, or what COULD BE an ordinary day, made it quite remarkable.
So, my challenge to you for the week is to find your remarkable in an ordinary day. Try 15 minutes. Get outside. Unplug, and let yourself be. Try and make sure the kids in your world get this time to. I think you will be very glad you did.
See you outside! – The Grass Stain Guru