I did a search on how to write post titles that grab people’s attention. The site had a list of fill in the blank templates like — How To Seriously ____ That Drives ____, How To ____ in [#] easy steps, How To ____ in, etc. It was a long list. Now that I have your attention, lets talk about paying attention (to me, or in your case, to you).
Pretty much everyone bemoans the lack of time they have to do whatever it is they truly wish to be doing. We are either too busy with work, family, school, church or other social groups, that we rarely take time to think about why we are doing all this busy work. There are so many things clamoring for our attention, making it truly difficult to slow down and enjoy our lives for a few minutes, let alone take an actual break from daily life and just be.
The photographs on this post were all taken within a few miles of my house, but I had never been to any of these locations until someone was paying me to go to them. On the one hand I am very fortunate that a client thought my work was worth paying for to get these images, on the other hand it is quite depressing that I never thought to take a few hours of my life to enjoy some of the amazing scenery, that people travel from around the world to see, right in my back yard.
In our busy days we do take the time to appreciate the beauty that is all around us. One of the joys of working as a professional photographer is being able to wander and celebrate the joy of life. Things may not always turn out how we wish, people get fired from work, lovers fight, parents can be terrible to their children and let’s not get me started on politics, or the catastrophic changes to our environment we are causing every day.
The only way one can begin to make positive change in the world is to first make positive change in their own lives. The only way to begin any external change is to first appreciate what it is we are fighting for, why the beauty of the world and the joy of others is worth saving, and change the ONLY thing we truly can control, ourselves.
This all sounds so simple, just pay more attention to what is happening where you are, right now, stop thinking about the past or the future, for at least this one moment. Notice how your feet feel, what is going on with your hands, is your face bunched up into a snarl, is your back hurting, are you slouching, or sitting up tall with a huge smile. My advice for what it is worth is just try a simple controlled breathing exercise. No matter what is going on in your life at the moment, no matter how bleak things may appear at the moment, just close your eyes (I will wait)……….. take a deep breath in, hold it for as long as it is comfortable, then push your breath out, noticing how it feels.