The other day, I noticed a bunch of tree branches strewn around my backyard. They were fresh and green, rather than dead branches, so I wondered where they came from.
When I (finally) looked up, I saw this amazing squirrel’s nest in one of our holly trees. I love so much about this nest: the way it’s made of holly branches (not exactly the cushiest nest material), the location between the two diverging trunks from a single tree. I see how this nest is lower than the previous one (look higher up in the tree). I see awesome artistry and architecture in this home.
What if I keep looking? I try to resist the temptation to think about what I see or judge myself for what comes up. What's here for me to see? What does it mean to me that this squirrel chose sharp holly leaves? Why do I feel the way I do about it? What does the nest symbolize to me?
The thing is, there is Meditation with a capital M. And there is everyday mindfulness. The kind that can be practiced any moment, anywhere. Stilling the current activity of my mind and body for a little while and letting whatever comes up to be with me in that moment to guide me to deeper reflection and understanding. Seeing what I see, getting what I get.
Some days, I can slip right into everyday mindfulness. And some days, it's much more difficult and I need help quieting my mind. That's why I keep practicing, all kinds of different ways. With people and without. Scheduled and spontaneous.
So that on any given day, in any given moment, I can see what I get.