Those of you who visit the Just Stop Eating So Much! Facebook page know that on occasion I post pictures of flowers that I pass by when walking to or from the gym (when traveling on foot, first thing in the morning). I love being able to share the gorgeous plant life that's often greeted me during my brief journey every morning. These flowers have been good reminders to quite literally "Stop and smell the roses."
Although an old addage, this saying really is sage advice for those of us rushing around from sunup to sundown -- trying to accomplish all of the tasks on our massive to-do lists. The fact is, no matter how busy we are, stopping to take in life's beauty that is happening all around us isn't just a luxury; it's a necessity.
On occasion, while I am stopping, smelling and/or taking a picture of roses (or other rewarding sights for overtaxed brains), I'll see a dog walker staring at me in disbelief. Perhaps they're wondering who that guy is that's pulled out his cell phone to take a picture of a flower -- or wondering why he's sniffing someone else's roses. Well, the answer is simple: I'm taking in all the gifts around me, because that's how I choose to live my days (no matter how hurried, no matter how busy).
Even when the roses aren't in bloom, I'm able to gleen something from them. When the roses are dormant or just in bud stage, I'm reminded that goals aren't always accomplished overnight. I can liken these stages to my health and fitness goals, my career goals or even my goals having to do with personal relationships. Nothing this beautiful necessarily happens in an instant. The roses I pass when walking to and from the gym take their time to grow and to bloom. And then, when they're ready (really ready), they burst forward with all the beauty, positivity and life affirmation that one flower can offer. I'm reminded when seeing them (in all stages) that I can accomplish anything in time and with hard (and joyful) work.
One recent morning when returning from the gym, I found some bonus beauty waiting to be discovered. As I passed a sidewalk near my home, I noticed some rose petals strewn about. At first glance, they just seemed to be in random order. But when I stopped to take a better look, I realized that someone had taken the time to spell out "I Love You" (in a manner of speaking). I couldn't believe this beautiful message was waiting there just for me. Sure, someone had written it out for someone else. But rather than gather it up, they left it for others to discover. And not even early morning breezes had scattered the petals or erased the message. There it was for me to see -- a big, beautiful sign from the universe that life can always be good (no matter what else is going on at the time).
Even as I marveled at this rose petal message (and took a picture of it to share with you), others passed by, not noticing and not giving it a second glance. I almost felt sorry for them, knowing that they were missing out on some everyday beauty that was available for anyone and everyone to discover, enjoy and be inspired by.
So no matter what's going on with you, I invite you to borrow this tried and true "Stop and smell the roses" philosophy for yourself. And remember that in order to actually stop and smell the roses, you first need to notice them. Even though you've "got to" send that text, check that email or make that call, take some time to just be in your own head whenever you're walking to or from your next destination. You just might be surprised what wonderful, beautiful and (sometimes) top secret message the universe has in store for you.
For more by Gregg McBride, click here.
For more on mindfulness, click here.