When Mother Nature offers a gift

When Mother Nature offers a gift

A Moment to Pause

Last year, a highlight was restoring the wabi-sabi bird feeder from our garage, complemented by purchasing a four-by-four post, quick-drying cement, and evergreen paint. This transformation has made our backyard a vibrant gathering spot for birds, squirrels, and bunnies, dancing among the trees and feasting on nuts and seeds.

This week, following our first substantial snowfall in two years, stepping outside unveiled a serene soundscape of birdsong punctuated by the distant hum of a snowplow. Fresh snow rested on the fir trees, providing a picturesque backdrop for cardinals, blue jays, and white-throated sparrows. We even had a few doves and a black crow and could hear the red-bellied woodpecker rat-a-tat-tating on a nearby tree. On the ground, the opportunistic squirrels gathered anything that dropped from the feeder. 

As I slowly sipped my morning latte, appreciating its aroma and warmth, I watched the feeder’s busyness in an otherwise moment of stillness. Of course, this all changed when I let our springer puppy, Story, outside. 

A fresh snowstorm provides a moment for mindfulness and connecting with nature. Reflecting on the snow days of my childhood, I feel for kids today who, due to Zoom, miss the eager anticipation of a school closure announcement and the subsequent sledding and hot cocoa. 

It would be nice if we could embrace the idea of a few snow days throughout the year to remind us to slow down. They would be spontaneous gifts to help jostle us off our hamster wheels and step outside our cages. 

In contemplating today’s challenges, and many were on display last week, the underlying issue often appears to be mindlessness. Buddha identified three poisons—Greed, Hatred, and Delusion—that lead to suffering. Addressing many challenges through mindful action is possible, yet its value remains underappreciated. 

As a friend shared with me this week, Mindfulness is everywhere but nowhere.” He said, “It seems like everyone is talking about it, but few are actually practicing it.”

I agree. It can feel like everyone is a mindfulness or breathwork guru after reading a book or listening to a podcast. Too many corporations only see it, if they see it at all, as a mental health tool – which it can be, but that view is limiting. 

Mindfulness helps us widen our aperture to see things we didn’t notice in the past and notice everyday things through a different lens. It can also sharpen our focus and ease our reactivity. All things we need more of today. 

Mindfulness makes life interesting and invites us to momentarily slow down, Pause, Breathe, and Reflect on how we are living. 

Mother Nature gave us a gift this week. It’s one I hope we can remember when the snow melts and we welcome warmer temperatures and the season of rebirth. 

If you don’t have a routine mindfulness practice yet, take this moment to begin one. Let us show you how interesting life can be, how you can change your relationship with stress, and improve your health. You make mindfulness a way of living instead of just another thing on your to-do list. 

Click the button below to download our Pause Breathe Reflect app today. 

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Until next week, have fun storming the castle! 


p.s., If you want to receive my supportive text messages, send a text to 503-487-5957 and I’ll set you up. 

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