Let’s begin to address all that is wrong in our human world.
Play with this idea for a few minutes — a step-by-step guide.
Think about the 5 senses of Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch.
Pick one to be your favorite, for now at least.
I’m going with Sight. (No surprise, although I do dearly love the other four too.)
What if I indulged in that one Sense every single day, for at least an hour, with deep focus.
For a full hour, really look at my surroundings, notice the colors, the levels of light and dark, the textures, the solids, and the shadows. The interplay, including the movement caused by winds or shifting clouds. Just wallow in the full experience of Eyesight for an hour a day, for a week.
I might want to draw too. Or paint. But for now, for the first week, wait. Just look.
Imagine the shift I would have in my soul.
My default tempo would effortlessly downshift.
I would be reluctant to leave that delicious, yes sacred, space at the end of each hour.
I would have more capacity for kindness because I’d spent time revelling in the wonder of looking and seeing and awakening.
If your joy is Sound, you might want to meditate and just listen. Refrain from playing an instrument, and avoid the spoken word if possible. For now at least, simply listen to your world. We’re taking in the full “wow” experience of the Sense Itself, not rushing to create more data to process in those amazing ears and brains of ours.
Imagine your surprise, to meet your amazing Senses for the first time.
The world needs us all to come to our senses, literally and figuratively.
There are many famous people who have used what I call Sense Focus to replenish their souls as well as their enthusiasm for their life’s work. World leaders, social justice advocates, medical professionals, high-powered CEOs, many of them have hobbies that allow them quick access to what’s called “The Zone”: that place of guaranteed focus and fascination.
Perhaps it’s hiking, or playing piano, or flower gardening, or wood carving, or baking, or painting. For each of us, it’s The Bottomless Well of Delight. One of my favorite art hobbyists is Winston Churchill who was a brilliant writer as well as painter and statesman. Here are two of my favorites quotes from him:
“Armed with a paint-box, one cannot be bored, one cannot be left at a loose end, one cannot have several days on one’s hands.”
“I have always had a curious nature; I enjoy learning, but I dislike being taught.”
Yes, yes, yes. I love to explore, I don’t mind being led, I hate being lectured. But when my Senses are the professors, I’m a spellbound student.
The world needs more painters, more musicians, more bakers, more floral designers. Not because the world needs more paintings, songs, cookies, or bouquets, but because the world needs more people who have recently experienced peace and ample pleasure in their hearts.
The world desperately needs the side-effect of art, not the art itself.
John Lennon hinted at it in his song “Imagine.”
You’ll hear the same spirit in The New Seekers’ 1971 tune, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” (leaving out the later Coke commercial add-on, of course!)
Both songs suggest what an idyllic world would look like. I’m suggesting the first baby step to get there.
After enough looking and listening, environmental activism would be instinctive.
After enough deep breathing and delicious food, self-care would become automatic.
After enough joy, there would be too much to not share.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
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