I have been up since about 1:30 a.m. as I write this. Not sure why I woke up, but as soon as I did it was clear I was not going back to sleep. So if this does not make sense, chalk it up to sleep deprivation.
Normally I do yoga at the Y on Saturdays. Today, since my brain thought I did not need any sleep, I got the chance to go downtown early. Really, really early. To walk around, looking at buildings, architecture, and watching the light change everything around me. I am so thankful for the experience because I was able to look at things completely differently. Buildings I have driven past dozens of times took on character I could not see in the light.
It slowly occurred to me this is what mindfulness is truly about. Taking time to slow down, to look at something I have done dozens of times. Look at it differently. “See” it, pay attention, try and determine if what I knew was true. And finding out it wasn’t.
I’m not saying you should get up at 1:30 a.m. and go for a walk. But maybe well before sunrise. Really look at what is around you. Take a deep breath and see what you see. Maybe it will be the same building, tree or sign. Maybe nothing will come of it. But for me, in the still of the morning and the muted light, I saw more clearly than I have for some time.