You spend your life rushing from A to B,
Glued to your phone, never looking up.
Stop, listen to the sounds that surround you,
Pick out the voice of a happy child in a crowd,
The engine of a car that brings pride to its owner,
The leaves that rustle by on the wind,
A stream's gentle babbling in the background.
For one moment, stop sending those texts,
Stop flinging birds at pigs and look up
At the actual birds in the trees, hear them,
Watch the way a flower dances in the wind
And appreciate this planet that you're on.
The way that light casts shadows as your bus plods along,
Isn't that more interesting than cursing the traffic jam?
The feel of fresh grass between your fingers
Will heal your soul more than whining about the dirt.
Remove your eyes from that TV screen and actually taste your food -
Experience every flavour bursting in your mouth, the textures
And the smells, savour them all, feel gratitude for being alive.
Instead of trying to plan your next meeting, or arguing over text,
Or watching shows about real life, go and HAVE a real life.
I spent a lot of time in North Wales last week, my hometown. It's a beautiful place, where I spent the first 19 years of my life and always dream about. I left because I wanted to do more, but something about those snow-capped mountains overlooking shy, crescent bays and the rolling green fields always gets me. I walked around places I had been a thousand times before, but for some reason I found myself noticing it all as if for the first time. My friends walked on, eyes down or on their Smartphones, never looking, never appreciating all this beauty around them.
It made me realise how little we do appreciate the things we have, because we get used to them and take them for granted. Take away those hills or the scent of the grass and they would notice that something was wrong, but when I told them to just stand and take in the view, they seemed nonplussed. It's a shame - we have been given this stunning planet and the gift of life, but we spend the majority of our time staring at screens, involved only in the man-made world around us. People become happier when they take time out of dwelling on the past and obsessing over the future, and focus only on NOW.
What that means for you stress-beasts out there is - leave everything behind for a few hours and sit in a park, on a beach or even in your own window just looking, listening and experiencing the hidden beauty in everything around you. Sometimes you have to leave home and come back to appreciate it, sometimes a completely new place might inspire that awe in your soul. So get out there, focus on the tiniest things - the sound of a twig crunching under your feet, the feeling of a breeze on your face, the appearance of your city from a certain angle - and you'll realise that making your life magic isn't just about changing the structure of it, but about changing the way you perceive it.