“Don’t Just…”

Recently, I enjoyed a perfectly ordinary but rather wonderful morning.

It was a regular old Friday involving gym and work and the usual ‘to do’ list. There was nothing at all significant or lucky or special about that morning other than an intention set at 5.40 a.m to be mindful; to notice everything around me; to hear, see, smell, touch, taste and feel in the present moment.

I noticed my hair conditioner; plump, silky and smooth as it oozed out onto my palm in the shower. I noticed the feeling of my feet in my shoes as I walked; tuning into sensations, noting their duration, inner-complexities and specific locations. I noticed the wind outside, humming gently at times and then building up into a glorious crescendo.

I was working on 5 hours sleep that day, which usually puts me into a bit of a slump, and as ever, I had a lot of things to do. But today, thanks to this simple choice to listen to the kettle boil rather than the TV, I felt a deep sense of inner peace and contentment.

This day was nothing and everything; bland and vibrant; silence and symphony.

It was the difference between hearing and listening; between life and experience.

And it was no effort at all.

As I write now, I think of the words of Rob T. Bennett and this seems like a good place to leave:

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.

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