As spring is springing and birds are chirping, things can get a little busy and hectic. My to-do list grows like the grass and the budding trees. However, I am finding it more and more important to take a minute or 10 to stop and pay attention to the world around me. I recall a conversation I had about a year or so ago with a friend of mine who now has grandchildren of her own. We were talking about all this rat race business and she stated to me “I hope you don’t get so busy that you forget to notice the sparkle in your child’s eyes.” That statement has really stuck with me.
I have taught many of the individuals I serve about the idea of being mindful in the moment. The idea of mindfulness is a buzzword in the mental health world, and I am not usually a fan of these buzz words. However, this idea of being present and aware of your current state, your emotions, your physical sensations and your thoughts is a simple one but one that we frequently ignore. Recently I have made an effort to practice this after I made some big changes in my own life. One change was joining LSS in December. Since joining LSS, one of the first things I noticed is the high level of professionalism and the richness of conversations we have daily. My co-workers probably thought I didn’t know how to talk the first month or so because I was so struck by the way everyone works as a team to develop ways to improve the services provided.
I have found that taking the time to stop and notice little things every day has created a drastic change in my mood. At home I have begun to notice my child quietly playing and solving a problem. I have taken the time to notice the sunrise on my drive to work in the morning. In these moments I can be overcome by all the beauty I have in my life. It can help to make all the daily challenges I face seem more manageable. When was the last time you noticed the sunrise? When was the last time you noticed the sparkle in your child’s eyes?
Noticing those things has made a world of difference for me and for those I have served. I challenge you to give it a try to see how it will affect you. Take a moment to put down the phone, turn off the TV, stop adding to your to do list, and listen to the noises around you.
April Bolton, MA, NCC, LPC-MH, QMHP