I’m wondering how often most people actually take time out to just sit and be. To not be using your phone, your computer, listening to music, tidying, planning, anything. Just sitting. Watching the world around you.
I’ve been making an effort to get more Vitamin D into me. The human body can make Vitamin D from cholesterol with adequate exposure to the sun (thank you Wikipedia). I take a supplement because my levels have been low but it’s become a bit of a goal to take some time to sit in the sun on a regular basis. It will stop me appearing so pale as well! Not that I advocate tanning because of skin cancer risks, but to take the edge off my pale British skin is a nice thing. All in moderation.
Anyhow, I try to spend ten minutes sitting outside on our verandah with my arms and face exposed. It gets the afternoon sun and it’s lovely to bask in the warmth of it. The warmth of the sun feels relaxing, calming, soothing. Add the quietness of my neighbourhood and it’s bliss. I can hear birds, sometimes the buzzing of different insects and the occasional car, maybe a lawnmower. I can see bees and butterflies moving between flowers, ants and spiders crawling across the path.
I’ve also spent sometime sitting on the concrete of our driveway, also in the sun, watching, petting and laughing at the neighbour’s cat. I don’t know the cat’s name but have met the lady who owns him/her. Playing with a cat outside makes me notice what is happening outside – the insects and birds the cat notices, the sounds. It draws me attention from all that is in the head to something external from me. It’s also much more low key that interacting with another person and doesn’t require anywhere near as much effort.
The whole experience got me thinking though – how often do most people do this? How often do people notice what’s around them? So often we’re (people in general, not just my system) busy with life. Going somewhere, having to do something, meet someone, plan something. Busy, busy, busy.
It’s actually really lovely to take just ten minutes from your day and notice what’s happening around you. No technology, no planing in your head. Just sitting and noticing what’s around you. Those nagging thoughts about things you have to do – push them away for now. They can wait just ten minutes.
I suppose this is really about mindfulness. Sitting. Being. Observing. Letting thoughts come and go but not holding onto anything. Being in the moment. I actually find it quite refreshing and relaxing.