The Art of Noticing Things. Person on bench looking out to the ocean and mountains.

Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.  Echkhart Tolle

Have you ever played Boggle and found every word there was possibly to find, only to suffer the shock that your opponent found fifteen words you didn’t see at all?  In life I think we are probably each viewing the world differently and missing many details as well.  And it gets worse.  As we age our brains gloss over more and more stuff and we think “I already know what that is” or “that was bad, I will avoid that from now on”.  We are wired to do this, it is an effort NOT to do this!

I’ve often thought that humans’ purpose in life is to be aware of our surroundings and to appreciate things.  I think one of the best ways to do this is by drawing.  The more you draw, the more you notice, which makes you want to draw more.  This awareness makes me feel happier because I get beyond my usual repeating thoughts and more in reality.  The more I am in the moment, the more I notice and the more I feel creative and free.

When life gets busy or difficult (or too hot) we may not have the time or room to appreciate things.  The harder things get the more we focus inwards trying to solve problems and deal with emotions or discomforts.  If life starts to overtake, just stopping to really look at the clouds or a flower for a few seconds or using other senses to feel a breeze, listen to a bird sing or taste a berry may be the string that will take you back to yourself, to some groundedness and a feeling that everything is ok.

I think this is partly why we love vacations. Our minds and awareness become more awakened in a new place because we don’t already “know what this is” or “to avoid this”.  However, we don’t need to travel to achieve this, it just takes a moment and some consciousness to really notice and open up to what is right in front of you.  Once we start looking more, we may find it mind boggling to realize the things we have missed and also that maybe we don’t need to go anywhere to feel happy and free.