More to life


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“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” — Henry David Thoreau

There’s more to life than this.

Most people miss it.

It has nothing to do with one’s age, one’s career, or the status of one’s bank account.

It has nothing to do with one’s extracurricular activities, how extensively one has traveled, or how much one has accomplished in life.

It has to do with where we focus our attention. It has to do with our level of awareness and the myriad of moments of we let pass us by simply because we don’t tune in.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” — Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life)

We pay attention to the clock. We pay attention to the TV. We pay attention to our phones.

All the while time passes.

Few people ever actively take the time to just stop. To listen. To feel. To breathe. To use the full extent of their senses. And be aware of and fully immersed in the experience of life.

Because it’s a beautiful thing. And powerful.

“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.” — Amit Ray

Just taking a moment to connect with the world around you in an intimate way is enough to help provide new insights, a new perspective, and to actively experience the interconnectedness of all things.

It’s enough to realize that we are all playing background characters in each other’s lives — and if we wish, we can not only choose to play a larger role in those lives, we can choose what kind of impact we have.

That we can have a positive impact on someone’s day. That we can make a difference.

That there’s more to life than what most choose to see.

Remind yourself every now and then to take a moment — it doesn’t take long — to just stop and truly immerse yourself in life experience. Breathe slowly. Use all of your senses. And try to see the things that have escaped you because you weren’t paying attention.

Because there’s more to life — and it can be amazing to experience — but it isn’t coming to a TV, phone or computer screen near you.

But you’ll miss it if you’re not paying attention and fully immersed in it.

So stop. Listen. Feel. Breathe.

And be mindful.

“To go beyond ordinary thought is to truly understand. If you just stay with your usual understanding of things, you will be like the frog that only swims in his small pond. Staying just within your little territory, you will never know anything about the larger world in which you live. You have to jump into the ocean. Then you can understand your small world for what it is.” — Dainin Katagiri (You Have to Say Something: Manifesting Zen Insight)

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