The holidays are wonderful, but all too often our society is so caught up by decorations and gift-giving that we forget to slow down and appreciate the beauty of quiet mindfulness.
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy giving and receiving gifts. But here are 20 priceless experiences that cause me to pause – and take notice – of things that money can’t buy.
1. My daughter’s smile and laughter. How we came from opposite ends of the world to form a family is a mystery to me, but I am humbled by the universe’s randomness that somehow got it right.
2. Snow-play such as snowball fights, snow angels, and sledding. As I write this, it is sunny with beautiful snow flurries. I’m not a winter person by nature, but Ari has taught me to be.
3. The crunch of snow under one’s feet.
4. My inner child sparked by my daughter’s sense of fun, wonder, imagination, and her belief that anything is possible.
5. Changing seasons. Here in Illinois, we have the privilege of seasons that range from blazing autumn colors to downy-white snow.
6. Sunsets and sunrises with their explosive colors. Looking skyward is a great comfort to me.
7. The planet Venus. My favorite celestial body is remarkable to behold in the early morning and evening. If I’ve had a bad day, Venus’ presence reminds me that I’m really having a good day.
8. Animals. Ari and I recently met an owl at a local nature center, which rescues and houses injured animals. And there we stood, transfixed by the bird’s beautiful eyes and feathers. Those precious few moments gazing at the owl gave me peace.
9. My cats. These domestic creatures enjoy cuddling with their human pets. I especially love cuddling with them over coffee and a good book.
10. A good cup of coffee, to be savored.
11. And a good book.
12. Hot chocolate with my daughter after playing in the snow.
13. Music. I’m so grateful for all the composers and artists who create music. My taste ranges from classical to rock, and I am able to savor each song in the moment.
14. Oil painting and sketching and the phenomenon known as flow. More on flow in a future post.
15. The scent of flowering trees in spring.
16. The scent of a freshly mowed lawn.
17. Good friends and family.
18. Nice brisk walks on a crisp autumn morning.
20. Each moment, which is a milestone in its own right.
To you and your loved ones, have a wonderful holiday season!
Do you practice mindfulness?
What experiences do you treasure?
Tags: fun, gratitude, holiday season, mindfulness, winter fun