This is the post that wasn’t…until late this morning, that is. I had another post all ready, but then something magical happened. I decided I would write a bit of a mishmash of thoughts and musings on this fine Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada.
My day started with a run along a beautiful wooded trail, around a little lake. My running buddy and I (we both trained for our first 5K race in September) now run together at least two or three times a week. Our last run was 7K, and we were pretty darn proud of ourselves!
The water on the lake was smooth as glass this morning. The sun was shining. I had a smile on my face. But my thighs felt like lead weights. What would I focus on?
It’s easy to focus on pain or difficulty when you’re going through it. And often, it’s not the obstacles in your path but the pebbles in your shoes that will give you the most challenge and aggravation. How do you not think of a pink elephant?…or the pebbles in your shoes?
You remove your focus from what you “don’t” want or “don’t” like. You remove your focus from the pain. How? By consciously looking at, thinking about, or sensing the positive and the constructive: the journey, the results, the surroundings, the moment.
When I got home, I knew my adult boys would be sleeping in, so I’d have a chance to make my “famous” Finnish pancakes and Canadian bacon. (See Shonali and Brian? – I worked bacon into this post, just like you asked me to:)
This is truly a labour of love, because it takes a l – o – n – g time to make. As the butter sizzled in the pan for each dollop of batter, and as the bacon crinkled to crispy perfection, I was reminded how important it is to take pleasure in things that can, at times, seem like a chore. By slowing down, moving fluidly and seeing perfection in the imperfect, our activities and actions can become a dance: languid, smooth and almost effortless. It’s when we rush through things mindlessly, shoulders hunched to our earlobes, mind distracted and thinking about everything BUT the task at hand that we create a chore-charged life. Me? I’m going for the dance.
With boys tucked into stacks of pancakes, maple syrup and bacon, I wandered out to our yard to take photos: one of my favourite activities. But I also made sure that all my senses were engaged. The sound of dry leaves dropping from their branches sounded like crisp, crackling raindrops…if raindrops were ever crisp:) The smell of wet leaves and grass mingled with the peppermint and lemon balm leaves I pressed between my fingers. I touched a milkweed pod gossamer seed and sent it into flight, making a wish. I slowed down. I watched a monarch butterfly sunbathe on the dewy grass, waiting for the sun to permit its wings to fully open and allow flight.
Do you slow down? Do you truly take in your surroundings? Do you really see? It’s important not only to the quality of our daily lives, but to business as well. A wise person once said to me, when you think about “success”, what do you see…what do you hear? Create sensory space and awareness today. Take flight by allowing your wings to warm up first.
People sometimes tell me I’m “lucky”: lucky that I take pleasure in the little things…lucky that I can take time to do the things that give me pleasure, and bring benefit and smiles to those around me.
It has nothing to do with luck. It has everything to do with priorities.
I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why someone is “too busy” to stop and smell the roses. An over-used phrase perhaps: but an under-used activity definitely.
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I’m thankful for my family; for you, my dear friends and for the myriad of experiences that make life a beautiful bouquet of roses.
Wishing you bliss, blessings…and bacon!