By Patricia G Omoqui
This afternoon I returned home from a walk in my neighborhood nourished by beauty and marveling at the endlesslyÂ shifting scenes and movements we call Life.
Moments from this simple walk left me with a full heart:Â the comforting rhythm of my feet on the road; playingÂ audience for two dancing yellow butterflies; the clash and color of local traffic; the welcoming trees each noddingÂ and showing off its strength and stature. Â
Gentle breezes took the edge off the heat.Â I heard â€œnote after noteâ€ of a marvelous symphonyâ€“ birds chirping, windÂ whispering, people yelling, cars honking, and children laughingâ€”all woven together into the melody and harmony ofÂ Life.
I sit down at my computer feeling invigorated and still soaking in the sights and sounds.Â How wonderful to have thisÂ miraculous technological tool to write with.Â Â I enjoy the flash of light from the window against the metallic lid asÂ I open my laptop.Â Â Always and everywhere there is richness to see and appreciate.
I am grateful for the increasing presence I am learning to maintain by harnessing the power of my thoughts!Â HowÂ different from my old way of being and doing is my current state, my experience of the walk and of my work.Â MentalÂ chatter and emotional toxicity no longer blind me, keeping me from participating in life Now.
Take my walk for instance.Â I have walked this same route many times without noticing even one of the exquisite giftsÂ the world was offering me.Â My sole purpose used to be getting in my hour of exercise.Â Â The walk was merely a meansÂ to an end.Â I moved fast, my thoughts rushing even faster.Â My mind churned, cycling relentlessly through all theÂ problems and issues I believed I needed to resolve on my own.
What a relief to discover that I can calm my mind and open to experiencing life moment-by-moment with dramatic,Â positive results.Â Solutions, far more powerful than my intellect could design, emerge effortlessly when my focus isÂ totally in the present.Â Â By opting out of my own endless mental labor, I can actually enjoy life and allow inspiredÂ answers to come at the perfect time.
Life works best when we keep our minds free to experience wonder.Â Â Unfortunately, weâ€™ve lost awareness of this.Â WeÂ get lost in the microcosm of our thinking and miss out on the grand mystery of the world around us.
I hold to the truth that I am being continuously supported and guided by our Creator.Â Life is a gift of God.Â NowÂ when I walk or work, I am present, attentive to the amazing textures of my surroundings.
The frenzy of anxiety is subsiding.Â I can relax and breathe and even stop along the way when something arouses myÂ curiosity or calls for my admiration.Â I may even find a spot to sit and simply savor life.Â I am learning the wisdomÂ of Lao Tzuâ€™s statement, â€œNature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.â€
Life does feel easier.Â Of course, challenges are still presenting themselvesâ€”even impressively daunting ones.Â Now,Â however, I no longer put my peace and happiness on hold until those problems are solved.Â Instead, I am learning toÂ walk through them awake to Lifeâ€™s gifts.
How did this shift occur?
The greatest change Iâ€™ve made is in my mind.Â Â As I take more and more responsibility for the thoughts and beliefs IÂ choose, my life continues to transform.Â By healing my thoughts, Iâ€™m healing my life.
Years ago I passed my days in low level misery which erupted periodically into intense suffering.Â Â I never dreamedÂ there would be a time when I could say, â€œI am in awe of life!â€ I enjoy each day.Â Rather than tolerating myÂ existence, I am continually finding some small wonder to celebrate.
This doesnâ€™t mean I avoid problems.Â I am approaching them in a totally different way.Â Rather than tensing up, IÂ relax myself.Â I have found that if I center myself and ask for guidance, situations change in surprisingly positiveÂ ways.Â I choose to see each happening as perfect for my growth.Â Iâ€™ve learned to ask, â€œWhat is the gift in this forÂ me?â€ I choose to trust that I am being guided moment by moment.
For me, as I changed my thinking, I experienced immediate relief and a taste of what is possible.Â Seeing theÂ possibilities motivated me to persevere on my new path.Â Iâ€™ve learned I must trust in the face of apparently fearfulÂ situations.Â I set a clear intention to be present.Â I clarify my desires.Â I leave my desires with the Universe as IÂ listen for one-step-at-a-time guidance (the only kind that is available) and take daily baby steps forward on myÂ path.
How do you feel as you read this?Â Are you smiling and nodding your head because youâ€™ve found this peaceful approachÂ too?Â Or, are you sighing and saying , â€œOh, I wish this could be true for me!â€ It can be.Â But you have to be willingÂ to stop and take a look at limiting beliefs youâ€™ve bought into such as, â€œLife can never change.Â I should grin andÂ bear this.â€
If you are open to experiencing life Now, rather than reliving the pain of the past or imagining fearful possibleÂ futures, here is a simple place to start.Â Open to a positive approach.Â Begin to look at life with curiosity andÂ appreciation.Â Here are some ways to do it.
1. Start where you are.Â Stop and notice.Â For at least 10 minutes today, take a new look at your environment.Â WhatÂ have you been taking for granted?Â Is there a heart-warming picture in a nearby picture frame?Â Do you see theÂ sparkle in the eye of a child in your life?
What about the big, brilliant moon above that brightens your night asÂ you sit and chat with family and friends?
What is tapping at the door of each of your senses?Â Tune into oneâ€”taste, smell, sound, touch or sight.Â Take a deepÂ breath and give it full attention for a few seconds.Â Allow the richness of life to inspire and encourage you.
2.Â Â Â Listen to what Nature is trying to tell you.Â Shhh.Â Be patient enough to hear the message.Â Here are a fewÂ Iâ€™ve received. . . You are being supported by the ground you walk on. . . The trees are reminding you to stand tallÂ in confidence and stretch yourself to the sky. . .Growth and renewal come in the proper season. . . Accept cycles ofÂ life. . . Be patient. . . Trust. . . We are being nurtured and developed.Â (Please feel free to email me withÂ messages you get!)
3. See people in a new light.Â Look at â€œordinaryâ€ faces as if you are viewing famous portraits.Â Appreciate theÂ details.Â You may begin to see what before were flaws appear now as witnesses of character and strength.Â Each faceÂ tells a story.Â Celebrate the complexity and uniqueness of the being before you.
4. Take a meditative walk.Â Donâ€™t judge anything.Â Instead, give each person and object permission to be exactly whatÂ it is.Â Find fascination in the chaos and confusion.Â Can you sense the order in the seeming disorder?Â Open to aÂ deeper awareness of what is going on.Â Â Accept everything as part of the set in the play of your Life.
If you would like more ideas on how to experience more beauty and wonder in life, please check out my inspirationalÂ video clips, shown each Friday morning at 7:35 a.m. on Today on STV (on both Silverbird TV and DSTV.) If you canâ€™tÂ catch them on TV, you can see them on www.youtube.com .Â Just search by my name.Â Also, please join me on FacebookÂ and Twitter for additional inspiration.