My meditation practice has gifted me with the ability to notice. Now, I notice so much more than I ever did before. It could be noticing simple things, like how certain fabrics feel on my skin or the way different casts of light affect my mood, or big things, like noticing the way my husband, children and friends make me feel loved and valued, and the calm I feel when an alarming event happens that would normally turn my world around. Meditation has awakened me to my life.
I remember in the beginning stages of my practice, when I was only sitting for three minutes, changes rapidly happened that could not be overlooked. One morning in late spring, I stepped outside to witness nature vibrating in a way that caught my attention so completely. The leaves on the trees had never looked so green; the red, yellow and orange of bursting bulbs, were alive with energy. Birds seemed to be doing a choreographed dance that was something out of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
As an amateur meditator, I had all sorts of questions. Had my life always looked this vibrant? What had changed? Did meditation enhance this experience? Had this experience always been there for me to witness? After all these years as a meditator, I have answered these questions for myself: YES, YES, YES, and YES!
Taking even the smallest amount of time to look inward allows us the chance to clear the fog from our perceptions. There is nothing quite as wonderful as giving time to what lights your heart on fire. I believe that meditation can create this connection for everyone, but there are many different paths to this kind of reflective practice. Seek out what makes the world feel brighter for you, such as participating in a sport, creative activities that make you feel alive, or spending time in nature reflecting on its perfect order.
Whatever form it may take, seize the chance to feel life. Don’t box yourself into someone else’s way of doing it, experience it in whatever way feels best to you. Get creative. Spend a few more moments standing by the ocean to witness the waves moving in and out. Let your attention be captured by a gorgeous sunset, or wake up early to the orange hues of a sunrise. Notice how that moment lights your heart on fire and know that each time you notice like this you make room for more of what makes you feel deeply happy inside.