Lately, I have had a lot of things to get done. I have been juggling a part-time job, launching a new magazine, spending time with my husband, parenting three children and running their busy lives, (or rather, running them around for their busy lives!) There have been snow days and dental appointments, drama productions and upcoming exams, there are broken drainpipes and peeling paint on bathroom ceilings. Not to mention all the other daily and weekly chores that have to get done. We also have the normal and abnormal financial pressures and family commitments and it all gets a bit overwhelming. I’m sure you have your own kind of busy days and weeks too. There is always something to think on, plan for or worry about. Making a breathing space for my mind and soul has to be intentional, it doesn’t just happen without my choice to turn the whirring thoughts off. I have to practice the absence of worry and planning to be present, fully present to the real, good and true things of life.
Being present means making space to notice the small things, the beautiful things, the real things. Those moments that bring delight and joy and make life seem worthwhile. The moments that make us exhale with contentment and a sense that ‘it is well with my soul’. The beauty around that requires nothing from us. I have to ignore, for a time, the hard things and notice the good things, in order for those hard things to feel a little more surmountable and smaller.
One way I try to be intentional about noticing these moments is to intentionally seek them out by taking photos of beautiful flowers or nature and that which helps me to exhale. When it feels like I haven’t had time to be creative, I know that this is creativity; to stop and notice and capture.
I’ve made some Spring phone screens to remind us that creativity can be as complicated as stopping, noticing and capturing. Capturing a photo on a phone. Click on the photo to get the downloads.
I also know that noticing the small gifts, those small moments and then being grateful for them helps me to be present to the moment. Gratitude directed to someone is full of purpose. Gratitude for someone has a direction, an energy, an intent, it is not merely a feeling that makes me feel good. Gratitude directed and expressed becomes an act of love. Have you noticed that showing thanks to someone is a reciprocal act? I honour and bless the recipient of my thanks, it is not only I that feels better. I’m not naturally inclined to feel grateful so anything that helps me to be more intentionally thankful helps. I want to be present for others too. So I’ve made some printable thanks cards for us.
Click on the photos to get the downloads.