by Dan Bennett
Dan is a great writer, father, and friend. I follow his blog every day, because it’s so hopeful and encouraging. This post (which I freaked out about) originally appeared on his blog, EverydayGrateful. You can follow his blog here and follow him on twitter here.
I have an idea for you.
Pretend as if you are experiencing everything in life for the first time. Pretend, if only for a few hours, that life is happening on purpose and drink deep.
Look at the members of your family with surprise and amazement. Be glad that they are by your side and enjoy the dance of love that is shared between you. Notice it. Enjoy it.
Consider the simple and mundane things you take for granted. Look at them as if you are conscious of them for the first time.
Explore the ceiling above your bed when you wake up.
Feel the sheets that cover you. Notice their warmth and the way they feel against your skin.
Watch your spouse while they sleep, or sneak into your child’s room and try to imagine what they are dreaming.
As you put on your favorite hoodie, or yoga pants, or jeans, take a moment to discern how it was made. Feel the material. Admire the stitching and its imperfections.
Feel the bathroom floor under bare feet. Observe its solidness. Wonder at its beginning and where it came from.
Take a different road on your way home. Explore your neighborhood and look for anything that grabs your attention. Enjoy the uniqueness of each building and its landscaping. Even if the building and landscaping are unattractive, try to imagine the potential.
Smile at people for no reason. Share the secret of joy through the look in your eyes and the language of your body.
Encounter the sun and sky and how different it is each and every day. Look at the clouds. Watch which way they are moving. Try to see the wind. Pay attention to the shadows and which way they fall. Play games with your own shadow. Experience and enjoy the way light works.
The soul thrives on mystery. Pursue it. Hunt for it. Seek mystery in nature. Seek it out in your home. Look for it wherever you are. Hidden beauty is everywhere waiting for someone to discover it.
Say your good mornings, good afternoons and good evenings a little different. Don’t let them dive into simple polite formula. Instead, let them be a form of blessing that shares hope and carries the joy of being alive.
Talk with others with the anticipation of learning something new. Ask a lot of questions and turn off the commentator in your mind so you can listen with quiet expectation. Be amazed by the simple gestures and ordinary emotions as if you’re visiting with a stranger.
Take a few minutes and get quiet. Allow your mind to wander, and after it tires itself out, allow it to empty and enjoy the silence.
Pay attention to the words and chords of a song on the radio. Enjoy the movement of feelings it provokes. Play, sing, whistle, drum along with the melody. Let it move you.
All of this is what Thoreau was talking about when he wrote about wanting to live deep and suck all the marrow out of life (Walden). Take the time today to live. Take the time to notice and take the time to drink in all this world has for you. If you do, you’ll find adventure. You’ll find rest. You’ll find life. You’ll find that the things you can be grateful for are infinite.
And best of all, you’ll discover that you’re not alone… Ever.
How do you drink deep from the what the world has to offer?