The importance of stopping – End of the Day for May 9, 2014

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We had to drop Joseph off at a school performance this evening, so this left us some time to ourselves before returning home to settle in. We would have to go pick him up later, but had a good 3 hours or so to ourselves. We stopped by the shopping district in nearby Studio City where I had spotted some new bowls I wanted for the kitchen. I know, I know, boring married people stuff, right? This is really just a long way to set up my point, though.

As we walking down Ventura Blvd, I spotted a flower practically glowing in the evening sun — the “golden hour”  that is often described by television and filmmakers as one of the most beautiful times of day. I could have walked right by the flower, but I stopped, handed my coffee to Rosanne and took several photos and even a short video.

Coreopsis at sunset

I think you’ll agree that this is a very pretty flower and not a bad photograph considering it was taken with my iPhone. That’s not the important part, though. What is more important is that I took the time to stop and take this picture, capture this moment, when something caught my eye. I know from experience that this is not something that most people do. Most people walk right by the flowers in their life (or anything else beautiful that might attract their attention) and speed on to the next lunch, the next meeting, the next show. I know this because even I do it sometimes. Even though I try to remember to stop and notice something that catches my eye, I can still be pulled along by the currents of life.

Stopping is so important, though, in all aspects of our lives. If we don’t stop to take in all the beauty that is around us, in all its forms, whenever it strikes us, we are losing those moments forever. You don’t have to photograph, take video, or sketch them (one of the best ways of observing the world), but you should stop — even for just a moment — and enjoy them. Let them seep into your mind, body and spirit. There is obviously a reason you noticed the scene, why not deepen your experience, even for just a moment. Your life will be made better in small, and sometimes large, ways, if you give it a chance. The next time something catches your eye — STOP — and notice and enjoy and smell and touch and whatever you want, even for just a minute or so. Not only will find joy in this practice, but the more you do it, the more you will want to do it. The more beauty you see — and notice — the more you are bound to notice. Give it a try!

Previously on End of the Day:

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