Dear one and all,
Sometimes all it takes is stepping outside your routine to re-energize the body and re-boot the mind. If you’re like me, your average workday is spent at your desk staring at an annoyingly bright computer screen that constantly seems to be yelling at you: do this, do that!, sometimes all you can do is squint your eyes, turn away, and cower in the corner; your day is dictated by email which also happens to comprise most of your human interaction for the day and has the potential to completely flip your afternoon, maybe even the rest of the week, upside down at the click of a button; your sanity is found in your continuously filled-to-the-rim cup of coffee accompanied by your favorite Pandora station (for me, that means Florence and the Machine or Sia), and perhaps if we are freakishly alike, your sanity is also found in the yoga kitty calendar hanging above your desk (Hattie??!! Check out her blog. She’s a self-proclaimed crazy cat-lady and one of my favorite storytellers who can turn any event into an outrageously hilarious adventure.)
Inspired by a recent conversation with a coworker, I have literally decided to step outside my daily routine simply by stepping outside of my office and away from my computer each day. For those who don’t know, I work at a small graduate school near Summerland which has the most incredible grounds, click here for a virtual tour. And if you’re a friend of mine who lives in town and still hasn’t come to visit for a picnic lunch then hopefully this will entice you.
To ensure that I actually get out of the office I have put a 15-minute appointment entitled “Seize the Day!” on my Outlook calendar set for 10am and 3pm each and every weekday. Simply seeing “Seize the Day!” on my calendar twice a day, ten times a week, makes me smile and jump out of my chair and into my walking shoes, curious to see what the day, the walk, the grounds have in store for me.
What I’ve realized this past week is that there is magic occurring around us all the time, and oftentimes I’ve missed it simply because I haven’t been paying attention. While I am working away in my office on my computer, there are bunnies hopping about, hawks soaring above, lizards sunbathing, and monarch butterflies migrating, all just feet from my office. Beauty is constantly occurring around me, around you, around us, and sometimes all it takes is the intention to step outside our daily routines to then be able to experience life with a new sense of wonder and awe.
These are photos of campus from this past week all captured on my iPhone 3 (if you know me, you know the iPhone 3 is my arch nemesis as far as cameras go). From top left to bottom right.
- Water fountain. This fountain is just steps outside my office in a courtyard. After my morning walk I returned to enjoy lunch here. I sat alone and listened to the water.
- Gargoyle. These are said to ward of unwanted and evil spirits.
- Succulent. The campus is full of succulents and this one caught my attention because of its size. It stood as tall as me and opened out wide, as if opening for the sun and asking for a hug.
- Reflections. From the library window exposing vibrant bougainville and bright blue skies.
- Ganesha. My favorite place on campus to decompress. Ganesha is a popular Hindu deity that is commonly worshipped as the remover of obstacles. However, I most appreciate Ganesha because he is also associated with the concept of Buddhi, a feminine noun that is loosely translated as wisdom and intellect and is also considered the Lord of letters and learning.
- Entryway. It is said that many years ago a student dropped an apricot seed and this seed planted and became an apricot tree. Each year it blooms and yields delicious fruit.
- Prayer pole. I am a believer of prayer, of setting good intentions, and of healing energy.
- Persistence. It’s amazing how nature is so persistent, adaptable, and forgiving.
- Playlist. Sometimes I listened to my Pandora on these walks and Lana del Rey seemed to come on most. Check her out if you haven’t already.