As the coffee was brewing this morning, I was standing by the back door of my kitchen staring at my phone, checking Facebook and Twitter and email as I do probably six hundred times a day.And when I looked up, I saw the view pictured above.

And I was amazed at the beauty.

The roses, the grass, the sun rising in the background and sending a blanket of soft light over my backyard.

And I thought: I almost missed this.

I was reminded of what zombies we’ve become.

I was reminded of that we spend our hours preoccupied with the things that we think are important or urgent or necessary – and many are –but that many of these things also come in the guise of the necessary.

In Tim Ferriss’ recent book Tribe of Mentors, renowned design expert and graphic artist Debbie Millman said, “Busy is a decision. We do the things we want to do, period.”

That quote took my breath away.

Because I couldn’t argue with her.

This morning’s epiphany reminded me how easy it is to be numbed to the life going on around us, oblivious to the beauty right before our eyes, that we would notice if only we would look up. . .

. . .from our screens

. . .from our Netflix binges

. . .from our “obligations” and “responsibilities”

. . .from our jobs

. . .from our worry

. . .from our fears

. . .from our insecurities

and see how wrapped up we are in our culture’s idea of “important” and how very little we are pursuing our own idea of important.

And that maybe sometimes our own idea of important involves stillness or silence or slowing down.

Put another way, I often have to remind myself that if I’m too busy to look up and enjoy a moment like this, I’m. Just. Too. Busy.

And then I admit that it’s time to think about simplifying, reducing, subtracting.

It isn’t easy.

But it’s critical.

The key, then, is to remind ourselves to look up—from screens, worries, etc.—and see what we can see, notice what we can notice. And contemplate if we’re spending our time the way we want.

ON the things we want.

What would happen if you took a mindful moment today?

Where would you be missing the beauty in your day?

How will you decide if you’re spending your time the way you wish?

And how will thinking about that change your life?  TZT

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