When I travel, I am constantly people watching, smelling the food, trying new drinks, looking at architecture, exploring history, analyzing color… my brain moves a thousand miles a minute willing my memory to never forever everything I am putting into it. It’s funny, you know, coming off of almost two weeks of pure travel and adventure to look around Wisconsin and think there’s not much to offer. The way I look around when I travel, every nook and corner explored, every alley holding potential, why don’t I do that in the beautiful place I live? The older I get, the more I wish for childlike eyes, the kind that are in awe of every piece of creation, the kind of eyes that see beyond the surface. While in Europe I tried so hard to be present, to soak in the moments, to see the culture, to watch the locals, I pleaded with myself to let go of work thoughts, to forget about the growing inbox, to just be present and there. I only tell you this because if we are being honest, I am a planner to the core, I am always looking at what’s next, I’m always thinking ahead. (This is probably a good trait for a business owner, but lordy, it’s good to just be still.)
At the end of a few of our long days of walking, I did a bedtime yoga routine to stretch and shut this wild mind of mind off and in the practice (ahem, youtube video) I was watching the teacher would remind to let your thoughts go, just focus on your breath, the feeling of your bed under your body. What a beautiful reminder to be fully there, fully where you are and enjoy it. Yes, Europe was exceptionally amazing but the truth is, so are my mundane days of working from home. This year I am really focusing on the gift of presence, on forcing myself to slowdown, to look around with childlike wonder, to appreciate the here and now. As I’m about to enter the thick of wedding season for me, I wish I could truly hug my self from last year and thank her. With a less daunting schedule, I feel fully free to be the best photographer, wife, blogger, puppy mom, and friend. I feel like I can truly pour myself into my clients leading up to and on their wedding days, while still being present as a human being beyond my passion for my work. It’s a lesson that isn’t easy to approach, it’s a task that can feel impossible, but I am willing myself to be all here (wherever here happens to be!)
As you go throughout today, my challenge for you is this: look around you with new eyes. Look at the details, check out a new local spot, become a tourist where you live, take pictures of the little things that inspire you, and put down you dang phone and be present. Wherever you happen to be, be all there. Soak it in, get excited, know that this moment is something special, and celebrate it in fully taking it in: the views, the smells, the sounds. Our culture has become too passive, we’ve convinced ourselves that we don’t need to be present, that it’s better to see what we are missing out on than to be where we are. Treat your home like Italy and just be happy to be alive and all there. That’s what I’ll be doing today and willing myself to continue until the end of my days…
Wherever you are, be all there.