While you are upon earth, enjoy the good things that are here.
Be clear: it is not your fault if your soul has felt depleted as of late. The twenty-first-century world can often feel demanding, stressful, or busy. Living in this world is not always easy. You can become so downtrodden by your challenges, pain or discomfort that life can feel downright difficult. Joy can seem like a distant memory. You can start to live in a hazy bubble—or at the other extreme, become so focused on going places and achieving things that you can inadvertently miss out on the richness and beauty that is all around you.
Whilst you are here on this earth, however, you owe it to yourself to be here fully.
And if you want to richly experience life, you must live it with awakened senses.
Let me share with you a couple of true stories. The first story is about a busker at a Metro station and the second is a personal story of my trip to Bristol. Both stories highlight the importance of living with your senses alive and open.
The Busker at the Metro: The True Story of Joshua Bell
In 2007, as part of an experiment initiated by Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten, premier violinist and Grammy-winning musician Joshua Bell went busking for a full forty-five minutes in a Washington D.C. Metro station. It was at one of their busiest times of day on a cold January morning—commuter rush hour. Only one person recognised Joshua out of the thousands who passed him that morning, and only seven people stopped to listen to him playing for more than a minute. In total, he earned somewhere in the region of thirty-two dollars.
Joshua is one of the world’s greatest musicians and normally performs on great concert stages. Only two days earlier, he had played the exact same repertoire to a sell-out audience at a theatre in Boston with tickets for his performance costing one hundred dollars each on average.
Interestingly, the person who paid most attention to his performance in the Metro was a three-year-old girl who kept trying to look back to see and hear more. Her mother, focused on her destination, hurried ahead, dragging the little girl along.
The Story of What a Young French Couple Missed
In June 2017, I travelled from Scotland to Bristol for a specialised hospital appointment. I arrived a few hours early and had some time to explore the city, so I took the opportunity to visit Bristol’s stunning cathedral. After looking around, I wandered towards the cathedral gardens to enjoy a seat in the summer sun.
The beautiful gardens felt peaceful. I could not help but want to capture the moment and took out a pen and notebook from my handbag. I wrote the following words that morning. When I connect with the feeling these words bring me, I can still imagine I am there now.
“Warmth and light of the golden sun radiating down upon me, pointing straight at me as if it only exists for me—flushing my cheeks, radiating through my chest wall, and warming my soul.
Traffic noise in the distance, yet not breaking the perfect calm and stillness. Cherry blossom tree standing in all its splendour, protective arms outstretched—a mix of masculine strength and resilience, weaving effortlessly with feminine softness and beauty, bending, flexing, swaying in the gentle breeze with delicate pink fairy-like petals bowing their heads, dancing, and curtsying, with seamless ease and grace.
Vibrant shades of green, a myriad of hues and colours, gently swaying soldier stalks with button moon faces flowing, faces stretched upwards towards the sun.
Peace of tombstones, feeling sacred, savouring an overwhelming sense of deep inner peace.
Birds singing, high-pitched chattering insects hovering and playfully dancing around the verdant bushes.
A weeping willow silhouetted against the clear blue sky, branches bowing as if in prayer, marrying the most beautiful and perfect union of heaven and earth.”
About twenty minutes earlier, I had spent a few moments chatting to a young French couple who told me they were on honeymoon and having the trip of a lifetime—a month-long tour of Europe. They told me they were greatly impressed by the cathedral’s stunning architecture. When I mentioned I was about to head out to the gardens, however, they told me, ‘It’s just a graveyard out there. I wouldn’t bother. It was quite disappointing. There is nothing much there to see.’
Keeping Things Simple:
Your personal experience of each moment is your personal experience.
Your world can only ever be as rich and rewarding as you allow it to be.
So take a moment now to look around you and notice what you notice.
Jot down in your journal or notebook what you see, hear, taste, touch, savour, and feel all around.
Now expand your awareness and consciously see, hear, taste, touch, savour, feel, and notice more.
And jot down what you are now aware of that you had not noticed before…
This Blog is based on an extract from my #1 Internationally bestselling Book Unhackable Soul . If you would like to find out more about my book and how to reignite the light within you, click here.