The World Waits: Stop and Notice the Gift of Vision – The Good Men Project

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The moon, a brilliant yellow crescent hung in the sky, occasionally muted by misty clouds, paralleled a bright star. Both illuminated the darkened backdrop to the setting sun. The simple scenes like the one described are gifts we see every day, and sometimes, take for granted.
Each time I slow down and notice the world around me, I add value to my life.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~John Muir
The time I spend in mindful presence, I allow my brain to absorb the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic potential of each experience. While I do this, my brain stores the memory and then helps me create a story. The story then becomes part of the meaning I have for my life. Every event, every experience, and everything I interact with, even by observation helps me develop keen skills in attention to detail.
We spend much of our days overlooking the simple pleasures.
Flowers fade and the autumn leaves begin to take their place as the colorful brilliancy catches our eye if we are aware. Soon, the leaves start to fall in rapid succession: People go about raking and they complain about the piles of leaves, and extra work to do, rather than taking the time to relish the last few moments of Fall.
No sooner did we finish the Autumn clean-up, winter’s grip arrives and we no longer get the chance to sit back and dream of balmy days. We snuggle up in coats, hurry from car to door, and refrain from outdoorsy stuff. If you live where snow abounds, then you know once the snows hit, you have more work to do, and we begin complaining about the cold, the snow-blower or the shoveling.
Even then, if we stopped and observed the wintry landscape, we’d see a whole world painted in hues of grey, white, and shadows of black dotting the scenes. Each of the moments we glimpse return us to the present moment.
. . .
I suggest one carry a camera to capture the moments. We often use our phones, and while I am an advocate for sharing photos, I also believe we need to have a time where we use the phone solely for pictures and not to become stuck on any social media, or in text conversations.
When we cannot leave our phone down (besides taking photos) without conversing with another person, reading the news, or checking emails, we rob ourselves of the gift of time. Time to see the world with a better lens, an open soul, and a willing mind.
We trade the beauty of the moment for a ‘Internet’ connection via text, DM, or email. I’m encouraging you to set the phone aside and use a real camera at times. Look at the view from the camera and become closer to the world.
The value of observation without a smartphone can increase your attention span, create awareness in the here and now, while also relaxing your nervous system (once you get past the weirdness of not having a phone in hand). Give it a try!
Photo by Rana Sawalha on Unsplash
. . .
A notebook is another essential item to bring along. Once again, you might use your computer, iPad, or phone to capture notes on the go. I suggest you still carry the good-almost old-fashioned pen and paper. They make some fantastic journals and the TUL gel pens are smooth to write with so if you have arthritis you’ll not injure your hands/fingers when you use them. They have been the best lifesaver for my handwriting.
Also, to note, writing with pen and paper helps your brain connect to the source. You’ll build neurons in your mind when you go about writing the words and making the eye-hand coordination as you jot notes, ideas, and thoughts through the experience of observation.
If you are a writer, I cannot express enough the value of the pen and paper. Take it with you, keep a notebook in your car, a small one in your computer bag, and have them ever ready to write down the ideas when they present themselves. Soon, your pad will be full of ideas, thoughts, and dreams.
As a bonus your writing will flourish.
. . .
Photo by Manuel Barroso Parejo on Unsplash
Finally, find a place where you can sit and observe the world. Make sure you are not in a crowded place that is full of distractions, unless that is what you wanted. Select a place where you can observe nature (lakes, oceans, mountains, valleys, parks, rivers, etc. While you are there, find a location where you can feel comfortable sitting, (bring your own foldable chair or blanket for the ground), and get comfortable.
Take a few deep breaths, and hold, then release the air slowly. Feel the air from nature enter your body. At the same time, release the negative energy that was bottling up inside of you. Let it flow out of you.
Enjoy the sensations of freedom. Look around you, and notice the birds singing, or the leaves as they float to the ground. Notice the different colors and patterns of each of the leaves decent. Notice how you feel about them. Write these thoughts and ideas down in your notebook. Simple statements, which open a potential story later. Right now, your job is to connect.
. . .
The simple tips above lend themselves to a free and creative mind. You’ll reap benefits and find a curious openness to the world if you apply them to your life. The rush of society, the pull of the smartphone, and how the drain of negativity in the world all add to the stress of our body. The prolonged stressors increase ill health and wear us out.
Focus on reducing input into your brain from technology. You might find yourself freer, and less stressed.
Start with once a week, and then work your way up to twice a week. Then, add moments through your day where you unplug, observe, and write without technology for a half hour a day, and then an hour a day. After all, we take lunch breaks, and most of them are one hour in length. Instead of reaching for your phone, reach for a book, sit outside, and observe the world, or sit with some stillness while you eat.
Your brain and your body will thank you!
~Just a thought by Pamela

This post was previously published on Blue Insights.
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Filed Under: Advice & Confessions, Featured Content
Pamela Nikodem, M.S.Ed., CAMS-I, works with men and women, mandated to domestic violence education. Her platform is to draw minds to change, rather than demand minds to change. Pamela completed her Internship for her LPC at Roger’s Behavioral Health specializing in Addiction/Mental Health Recovery. She writes with a dedication to improve lives on Medium, and on the Good Men’s Project, and is currently writing a book. She currently teaches violin on the side. Her passion was to be a music teacher, however after a serious injury, she gave it up until recently, when we had a final of six surgeries. Pamela raised 6 children, two who serve in the Military, and all of them played stringed instruments as children, she homeschooled them, and has 6 grandchildren. She is a survivor of domestic violence with a passion for the purpose of change by modeling respect, kindness, empathy, and dedication to the call to help men and women be the best dads, mothers, and partners they can be in whatever capacity they land. Her motto, Catch the Spark for a Brighter Future is part of her book.
Follow me on Medium:
medium.com/@PamelaWriter87.
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