Sunday, July 29, 2012

Take My Breath Away

Photo by A6U571N

Contemplate, if you will,  the lyrics of the popular George Strait song "The Breath You Take".
"But life's not the breath you take, the breathing in and out
That gets you through the day, ain't what it's all about
You just might miss the point trying to win the race
Life's not the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away"

 (If you're interested you can listen to the song here.)

When was the last time you experienced something that actually took your breath away?

I'd say, with a degree of confidence, that it's been a long time for most of you - maybe even months or years. Right now, you're probably thinking of things like being proposed to, your child doing some brilliantly beautiful random good deed, or perhaps a striking sunset on the beach. The events tend to be spectacular, rare, and surprising.

What if you could have breathtaking moments every day?

I know, with our lives as busy, and hectic, as they are, you're probably wondering what kind of kool-aid I'm drinking. But bear with me here. Not only is this entirely possible for anyone, but it's also super simple.

Pay attention. 

That's right. All you have to do is pay attention. It doesn't require taking any extra time out of your day (and honestly, who really has any to spare?). All you need is a commitment to yourself to pay attention to the world surrounding you - even at work.

Adopting this mindset has really changed the way I look at things - the way I look at life. It has made me happier, much less stressed, and much more in tune to my surroundings (meaning I miss less of what's going on!).

How It's Done:

  • The next time you're caught in rain, instead of grumbling about how miserable you are, marvel at how beautiful rain really is. It sparkles. It cools us down. It's in cahoots with the sun to form rainbows (and who doesn't like a rainbow?).
  • Really inhale the smells that you enjoy, be it fresh cut grass, the air before a storm, laundry just out of the dryer, a cake baking, coffee brewing... it doesn't matter. Just stop for a second and take as deep of a breath as you can, inhaling every scent particle that can possibly fit into your lungs. Then let it out and do it again.
  • Watch your kids. Not just to keep them in line or keep them out of danger. Watch them for the sheer pleasure of it. Watch how their face lights up when they are doing something fun and how care free they are (most of the time). Absorb that happy energy, remember what it was like to feel like that, and go play on the jungle gym with them. If any of the other parents are watching you, I promise they're secretly wishing they had the energy or guts to do it too.
This list could go on and on. Just remember to take this mindset with you everywhere. Even to work. When you laugh at your co-workers joke, really laugh. I mean a belly laugh. Get into it. When you see a friend, give them a hug and cherish the moment, because we aren't guaranteed another.

The more you do it, the more it will become second nature. You'll start finding things to marvel at everywhere you go.

Your Turn

What has taken your breath away today?


  1. You might find this odd, but: the last time was when I was stir-frying chicken recently. All of a sudden I looked down at what I was stirring and noticed the chicken pieces slowly turning solid beige on the outside, while the inside stayed a glowing pink. It reminded me of Turkish Delight, of all things! I just watched, entranced, as the pink faded and the beige spread over the surfaces. Really cool :)

  2. That's so cool! I love when it's the little things like that. The things that really take you by surprise. For me, one thing that really makes me stop is the smell of cut grass. Always makes me think of my grandparents. :)