Last week driving in to my office I was struck by the beauty of the maple trees lining the blocks on my route. I paused to watch the leaves, nearly neon red, as they floated down in the breeze and the best way I could describe them is confetti or a ticker tape parade. It was breathtaking. In that moment I was mindful of the beauty in nature and grateful to experience it. That mindful moment was incredibly bucket-filling and I found myself thinking about it later in the day with a sense of peace.
So often my life is the opposite of peaceful. I’m running around on auto-pilot, rushing from one task to the next, never caught up. Many of my clients report the same level of frantic living. Sometimes I assign therapy homework to hit pause and savor one thing each day – a gorgeous sunset or the smell of a fresh brewed cup of coffee in the morning. Mindfulness doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s basically hitting pause, noticing thoughts/feelings/sensations, and paying attention just to this moment.
Halloween is a few days away so the ‘holiday season’ officially is here. There are so many opportunities for mindfulness during the holidays – the smell of turkey baking on Thanksgiving, the crisp morning air when it snows, twinkling Christmas lights, and more. I’m taking a mental note to deliberately pause, to drink in the beauty of these moments and feel gratitude for my life.