I recently participated in a yoga event sponsored by a yoga clothing company that sells really expensive yoga wear (who shall remain nameless). It was supposed to be a global event, building solidarity around the whole yoga movement. The local event took place in a park close to where I live and the best part was it was free.
My wife and I decided it would be fun to attend. It was a Saturday morning in early September and we were blessed with absolutely perfect weather. The sky was brilliant blue and there was a very gentle breeze; not too hot (tons of wasps, though!).
Normally, I practice yoga indoors (usually at the yoga studio near my house). This was a new thing for me…especially practicing in nature and with about 150 other people.
There were a number of poses during my yoga practice that required me to look upwards. What an unbelievable joy to be able to take my gaze upwards to see blue sky with gorgeous wisps of light clouds floating by. Way up I was able to see the vapor trail of jet plane. The breeze was gently blowing the tree tops as I performed my “peaceful warrior pose”.
How many times do you we take the time to pause, stop what we are doing and look up?
I know, I know…who has time? We are always racing somewhere requiring us to look straight ahead. But why not occasionally take a moment to “look up”?
I got into the habit of looking up on a more regular basis when we had our first child. One of the benefits of having kids is they force you to re-discover things.
I remember when Molly was 2 or 3 years old, we used to play “I Spy”…a great game for kids because it helps them identify objects around them using colors or shapes as clues (“I Spy with my little eye, something that is green”). It was a great way to appreciate and remind myself of the beauty in nature.
But she allowed me to see beauty in nature through her eyes as she was discovering things for the first time (now, she takes these things for granted. I gotta work on her!). I remember being in Florida on vacations with her enjoying brilliant sunsets or lying on the beach and looking up to the sky watching the clouds floating past. Her amazement and sense of wonder was infectious.
Sometimes, we would watch snow flakes fall landing on trees. I remember how mesmerized we all were in the beauty of freshly fallen snow on evergreens and pine trees.
More recently, I find myself looking up at the old majestic oak trees that line the streets of our neighborhood as I walk to my house from my car that I sometimes have to park on an adjacent street. It can be a royal pain to not be able to park outside my own house…but I am actually kind of glad that I have to walk a bit of a distance because it gives me a chance to appreciate all of this amazing stuff which I don’t pay enough attention to.
Looking up reminds me of the surroundings in which I live. Seeing the vastness of the sky or the tops of gently swaying trees in the breeze reminds me of just how small and insignificant I am in comparison to the hugeness of nature and of earth. Looking up also gives me comfort in reminding me that everyday is a new day filled with opportunity and possibility and that despite what happens down here on the ground, the sky is constant and seeing clouds moving past reminds me that life is always in motion.
So, take time out to look up. Take time to appreciate all that is around us.
But, as you are looking up, remember to watch where you are going!