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When you look, do you see?

When you look, do you see? When you hear, do you listen? When you taste, do you savor? Do you touch without feeling; breathe without noticing smells?

We so often rush through life on auto-pilot. It's helpful, of course, to know your way to the coffee shop or to be able to have a quick conversation when you're crunched for time. You don't always have time to stop and smell the roses. Do you? Wait! Do you?

Actually, you do. It doesn't take a special occasion to be present, although special occasions are always a good time to be extra alert. Attending a high school reunion after 51 years is such an opportunity. Rather than see each other through the eyes of 18-year-olds jockeying for position (in-crowd/out-crowd, jock, hippie, intellectual, gear-head, AV club, teacher's pet, social butterfly, geek -- the list of high school stereotypes seems endless!), it's a chance to slow down, be grateful, listen deeply and see truly that we are all just doing our best to live.

When you look into the small basin of a bird bath, do you see the inch of water and the dirty concrete that needs cleaning? Or do you see the reflection of dappled willow branches two feet away and a sky that goes on for miles and miles beyond human sight? It's all there -- the one inch of water and the infinity deeper within. It just depends on what you choose to notice. Just the same, all of life is there for you to see, smell, taste, feel and hear. It just depends on what you choose to attend to. So, the next time you meet an old friend that you had one kind of relationship with 50 years ago, listen mindfully. Be present. You may note the depth and breadth of a whole life that has taken years to get to this point. And if you lean over and in, you may catch your own reflection in their story.

So, the next time you have your morning cup of coffee or tea, or glass of juice or water, don't gulp it down. That coffee is good, Take a few moments to really taste it. Smell it. Feel the temperature of it in your throat and follow it down to your stomach. Feel how you respond in your whole body. Your life is like that coffee; it's good to be alive but it's so easy to overlook the moment of it -- each moment -- and take it completely for granted. Your life is a precious gift. Savor the moments that make it up. The moments become the days which become the years which becomes the life -- your life. See it. Listen to it. Savor it.

Peace and love to you this week ahead.


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