Having a baby has made me much more conscious of how important it is to be present, so you may notice this theme in my recent posts.
Here’s a really simple way to bring yourself into the present moment, ease stressful or anxious thoughts, and enjoy the beauty that can always be found around you.
Next time you’re walking somewhere, see how many different colours you can see in nature (or even in the built environment). You can do this anywhere, whether walking to the train station or walking in the countryside.
The quality and detail of what you notice may shift as you go. When I do this, to begin with I see broad colours like blue, red, and green. But as I continue I start to notice all the different subtle shades…lilac, dark green, bright green, grey, silver, pale yellow, indigo…you get the idea. The longer you go on the more subtle the things you see, and it can become wonderfully absorbing. Saying the colours out loud can help focus your mind even more, although that depends on how self-conscious you feel doing so!
It’s a lovely way to notice beauty around you, calm your racing thoughts and come into the present moment. If you’re a hayfever sufferer like me it also helps take your mind off your itchy eyes and nose! And if you’ve got little ones you can turn it into a game to see how many colours you can spot – both helping them with their vocabulary and reinforcing their natural curiosity, wonder and presence.
I hope you enjoy trying this. Of course you can do so at any time of year, not just the Summer, but there’s something about this season that lends itself to time outdoors and vibrant colours so it’s a good time to start this mindful habit.
You can also think about using other senses too. Try noticing what sounds you can hear as you walk along. What can you hear close by? In the distance? Where do the sounds come from – animals, people, plants, or machines? Once you’re in the habit of mindful walking there’s no end to what you can choose to focus on.