The end of the year is quickly approaching. As I look back over the last year concerning commitments I made to myself the one that stands out most is creating balance in my life.
An activity I committed to doing was to exercise more and be outdoors. Hiking was the perfect choice. I live near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, so I can drive to my favorite trails within 30 minutes. I can hike and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. I love the solitude of being on a trail alone. Peaceful.
One time, during the middle of a week I arrived at one of my favorite trails and there were a lot of people already on the trail. When I started my hike I was busy looking forward at the people ahead of me and backward at the people behind me. I focused on wishing they would either go faster or slower so I could “feel” alone. I forgot to look at my immediately surroundings. I stopped. I realized this is a metaphor of life.
We often focus on the future and the past to such a degree we forget to enjoy the moment. I made an active choice to slow down and take in the beauty. In that moment I created a sense of balance. However, before slowing down the experience was like standing in the middle of paradise and living in hell because I gave my attention to what was ahead and to what was behind. However, once I made the choice and commitment to be in the moment of where I stood I had a different experience. I enjoyed my hike.
Hiking mindfully, I noticed:
- Sounds of the leaves under my shoe
- Coolness of the air in the shadows
- Warmth on my skin in the sun
- Vibrant colors of the blooming flowers
- Birds chirping
- Trees in the wind
- Water rolling over the rocks.
- My lungs breathing hard in the uphill climb
- My heart beating faster or slower depending on my exertion
What in you life can you do that will allow you to find the beauty of the moment.