One of the simplest things to do to become more mindful is to notice nature. You can be mindful of:
- Your own breath
- The tasks you are doing before you
- The story-telling that your mind is getting caught up in
Yet all the time, nature is happening outside your window. It’s there on your way to work, whenever you leave your house, wherever you go, whatever you do.
There is always sky above you and air around you – warm, breezy, cold, calm. Nearby there is always a tree or a plant somewhere.
Small moments to notice nature
You might discover spring is gathering pace or autumn is making its presence known.
The sad thing is that we’re often too busy to notice the seasons. We overlook so much and we take so much for granted.
The magnolia, in full glory, doesn’t last for long. Where is that noisy blue tit who was singing in the tree just a moment a go? He’s gone, busy with his nest-building.
Look closely at some of the buds that might be bursting forth from the plants and flowers. Within days their intricate, sometimes vibrant colours, have evolved and changed into something else – from buds to flowers and leaves.
Or have you noticed the shapes of the bare branches of winter trees?
– if you’re out and about really early – your nose may have a real treat – the aroma of daffodils or euphorbia, that get too overwhelmed later in the day for you to notice.
– the blackbird singing its lullaby at dusk
– the sun set casting different colours every time
John O’Donohue wrote:
‘Light is the greatest unnoticed force of transfiguration in the world: it literally alters everything it touches and through colour dresses nature to delight, befriend, inspire and shelter us.’
Absorb the moment
- You might notice sunbeams through a tree canopy, and then in a split second they’re gone.
- Sometimes the sun glistens on the sea, almost blinding you with its dazzling light.
- Clusters of white flowers look luminous in the darkening evening.
- Light, shade, colour and movement change from moment to moment. Each second you notice is a new second of nature.
Being mindful means stopping to look, experience and absorb the moment.
And when you notice nature, it has an almost immediate calming effect. It reminds you that there is beauty in the world.
It replenishes you if you’ve been feeling busy and overwhelmed, and can soothe a tired and lonely heart. Allow it to teach you patience, resilience and appreciation.
The sound of nature:
Keep it simple – notice nature!
And I’d love to hear in the comments below what tiny moments of nature you’ve noticed today.
To catch some of the things that don’t last forever:
The sound of the Cuckoo: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/cuckoo/
Nature reserves in the UK: http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/reserves/
Updated May 2018