The extraordinary everyday- what gifts are you taking for granted?

The extraordinary everyday- what gifts are you taking for granted? Alternatively, “A lesson from hummingbirds-Part II”.

The hummingbirds are migrating through our part of the country right now and therefore, extraordinarily, we have had 15-20 hummingbirds at any given moment partaking in our backyard offerings. It has been incredible to witness, but deep into the second week of experiencing this phenomenon a burning question has come to my mind. How long will it take for the novelty to wear off? How long until they simply become background noise? Next week will they still be here, and will I remain glued to my chair on the porch watching them intently, my heart filled with gratitude? Or, will they begin to become routine? Will I start to scroll through my phone, oblivious to the spectacle in front of me?

Think about it. We are surrounded by awe-inspiring things everyday. But we’ve become acclimated to them. Accustomed, habituated, comfortable…and we take all of these daily miracles for granted. We lose sight of the amazing occurrences, blessings…PEOPLE in our daily lives. They’re there, right in front of us. They’ve always been there, but we’ve forgotten how to see, how to listen. We’ve forgotten to be thankful for these gifts.

Undivided attention

As much as we try we aren’t able to divide our attention in a moment. There is only that one moment, so our brain has to choose where to place its focus, out attention cannot actually be in two (or more) places at a time within one moment. These days we are all masters of multitasking. Our attention shifts from this moment to the next, one is given to the hummingbirds, the next is given to what’s for dinner. And just like that we bounce back and fourth, on and on all day. Our thoughts are hardly ever tuned in to the present moment. Most of the time our focus is either in the past or on the future. We think about things we need to get done or things that have already happened. When was the last time you were TRULY IMMERSED in a moment?

The meaning of mindfulness

A mindfulness practice is all about getting to a state where we are aware of and in tune with the present moment as it is unfolding around us. It’s about quieting the chatter of our minds so that we become receptive and able to truly listen. It’s about honoring the moments we are in. In this busy world people are so busy living that they forget to EXIST. And there’s something to be said for simply existing.

An exercise in existing

Take some time today to slow down and pay attention. What have you been missing that’s right in front of your face? If you find your mind wandering bring it back into the present by simply noticing what’s around you. Really noticing it. Think about how each and every thing you encounter is incredible in its own way. Start with the coffee in your cup and the journey it took to get there. It embarked one day as the beginnings of a seed and ending up as the steaming liquid of life that nourishes your body and soul. Look deep into the eyes of a loved one and contemplate the depth there. Try to take notice of the extraordinary things we encounter in our daily lives that you might be taking for granted. Every single thing has its own journey, its own story. In each moment lies a gift.

This practice is the first step we need to take toward achieving the ultimate goal, a mindset shift which allows us to experience life through a lens of gratitude and appreciation. It’s learning to live this way that changes everything.

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    Documenting authenticity in Southern Louisiana and beyond.

    Jess Lagrange



    (913) 579-8005

    Madisonville, LA