Look Up

When is the last time you stopped to look up? I mean really look up?

Two years ago, I started a morning practice where my meditation and journaling time started on the floor on a yoga mat. I begin by sitting up crisscross applesauce but then move to a place where I am lying on my back. When we were building our home 6 years ago, I insisted on having double doors leading to our patio outside. While laying down my view is the open sky. Many mornings it is grey (thank you Ohio!), but there are mornings when it’s bright blue and the clouds remind you of an intricate masterpiece. The occasional bird flies along with the jetting plane leaving a white trail behind. It’s lovely.

This practice of being present and looking up places me in a state of calm, curiosity, and wonder. Being hardwired for efficiency and productivity is a part of who I am, but I also want to create habits that promote openness in my soul. To see what I would otherwise miss if my head is buried in the world of doing all the things.

One of my favorite writers of the year so far is Joanna Gaines. I am drawn to other humans who are making the practice of being present a real thing in their lives while still having a strong drive to leave their mark on the world.

She writes, “There’s a time for elbow grease — for planning, strategizing, and taking bold new steps toward a strong year. But let’s not forget the simple revolutionary act of laying back to look way, way up. To the dreams that return when we let our minds drift, the wonder we can nearly taste when we imagine new possibilities, and deep-in-the-soul contentment when we recognize that this whole thing called life is way bigger than one day, one year. What if we really considered what it could mean to be present? To pause and really hear. To see something beautiful and go toward it.”

Since we cannot lay back on yoga mats all day looking at the sky, I created a list of ways that help me discover whatever is in front of me and be present. Consider what a few of yours might be…

Snuggling up with my daughter watching Indiana Jones
Taking long walks with my husband
Sitting on the floor playing with our puppy
Journaling family moments *This new journal has helped me consistently keep track of 2–3 memories a day
Savoring spontaneous conversations with my almost eighteen year old
Dropping everything to walk to my back windows to watch the sunset

Looking up will be different for all of us, but the end result helps us move toward new ideas, big dreams, creativity, and wonder. Let’s take a moment today, and find that sky view, make eye contact with someone you love, and live each day with the disposition to be inspired.