Don't Forget to Look Up

being present

You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” - Pema Chödrön

My husband and I were watching Nova the other day – yes, we live quite exciting lives. Actually, we have the exact opposite taste in viewing material, so the same public broadcasting station that is occasionally on during the day with a mischievous curious monkey is the same channel gracing our television when we first turn it on at night. And this evening was no different. Except this time, neither of us wanted to change the channel.

The Bigger Picture

There was some sort of documentary about the bigger picture in life, bringing in religions all over the world and even mentioning how we are but a speck in the huge galaxy of the Universe. Something happened. My husband and I were both mesmerized. It’s not like this was new information. However, it was becoming more relevant to us.

When you are young, you don’t always think about time passing and getting older. Then, one day, you do. And I’m not simply talking about the wrinkles and hair loss that changes our outer appearance. I’m talking about how truly life keeps on going, whether we like it or not.

Life is Always Changing

Children grow, jobs change, people move away, and yet, we can get so immersed in our screens, our busy lives – be it work or play – that we forget to look up.

And while we are focused on the flashing screens in front of us, we are missing the days passing before our eyes. The eyes that are so caught up on the latest breaking news that they miss the smile exchanged by the children. The eyes that are busy working late night that miss the goodnight kiss from our loved one before bed. The eyes that are drawn to the most current app preoccupying our attention while we miss the last leaf falling, signifying the changing seasons.

We Can Just Be

We forget to put down the gadgets and talk to our kids, to our family, to our neighbors. We forget that instead of looking at photos of nature, we can step outside our door and touch it for ourselves. We forget that while taking so many pictures, we are seeing life behind a screen instead of actually living in front of it.

And, we forget that we can sit in silence, not needing our attention to be constantly held by something outside of ourselves.

We Are Part of Something Much Bigger

It is hard to keep perspective to how insignificant we are in this vast Universe. If we do not check our newsfeed or email, life will go on. The challenge is, there is the expectation that everyone will look, so the information keeps coming. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements, photos, updates, breaking news. And sometimes, these intrusions are for good reason. We have made so many life-saving advancements in technology, that I am not advocating an all or nothing stance.

What I am saying is that once in a while, we need to remember to check in with ourselves – not our email. We need to close our eyes, take a breath, and gain grounding as to what is a priority in our lives. Looking around us, who do we want to know that we think they are special? Do they know this today?

And paradoxically, despite our insignificance on one hand, we are equally and individually important to the world. Reconnecting with ourselves, our spirit, we can focus on our purpose, our unique journey here on Earth. We all have something to give, and sometimes we just need a reminder from the beautiful sky above. Enjoy all of the benefits technology has brought us, but just remember once in a while, don’t forget to look up.

#reflections #beingpresent #society #stress #gratitude

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