Moments pass, or rather moments fly by without us even noticing. Should we consciously collect moments to find calmness and fulfillment?
In a recent blog post, Controlling Distractions, we explored our relationships with phones and how we can use them in a more meaningful way. Phones are often used to pass time and perhaps lead us to ignoring the world around us. Hannah recently shared a Mary Oliver quote on a post it note and stuck it to reception where it still lives now. The quote is as follows:
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
Mary Oliver’s work can teach us how to find comfort in the quiet occurrences of the everyday. In a world where we are surrounded by white noise it’s all too easy to stop paying attention. Days blur by as we fall into the rhythms of life. As a result of this, we forget how to appreciate the small delicate intricacies of living. I can’t help but feel that we have lost our awe in the everyday. It often feels as though that in a busy world, we try to keep busy and amongst the hustle and that we are tricked into thinking this is how to feel accomplished or satisfied.
Our obsessions with doing and comparing our productivity and accomplishments to others bares us with a neverending weight of dissatisfaction, eventually we burn ourselves out. We forget to notice the pleasure in the everyday. The pursuit of productivity leaves us feeling unfulfilled, like we’ve never quite done enough with our days, but what’s wrong with enjoying a day for exactly what it is? Start to allow your days to unfold as they are and try to stop with our tendency to constantly optimise our time. Allow our free time to be exactly that, free time and time to rest. I think that collecting moments it’s a nice way to nurture this growth.
“Our days don’t need to be optimised, but simply occupied-that is, lived in, tended to, renewed.”- Madeleine Dore, I Didn’t do the thing today.
Slowing down, paying attention, collecting moments.
On our podcast, Working For Progress, we ask our guests for five simple pleasures. We have noticed over time that these simple pleasures are simply that, a collection of small moments. A morning coffee, the falling of cherry blossoms, a bike ride to work. They are never overly complex, nor do they tell an astonishing story. Most of these pleasures may not have been shared with others or spoken aloud. But what they do reflect is the fundamental beauty in the everyday. Free passings of time that we should consciously indulge in more often.
Let’s practice collecting moments that bring a feeling of joy and focus on them. It’s one thing to keep a log of these small moments privately on your phone but to tell others about it spreads the joy, broadens your attention and ultimately makes us more connected to the world around us. When we look without noticing, we lose our sense of belonging.
It’s time to start to enjoy those moments of nothing… Spend your time noticing the free sounds, sights, tastes of life. I shared this thought with Hannah and Dani, I asked them to collect moments in their days so that we could reflect on them. We invite you to do the same.
“A mind narrows when it has too much to bear. Art is not born of unwanted constriction. Art wants formless and spacious quiet, anti-social daydreaming, time away from the consumptive volume of everyday life.”-Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation
We wanted to share some moments our team collected over the past week.
Moments Hannah Collected:
- Absolute silence and the realisation that opposites co-exists, war and peace, calm and storm, excitement and dread, hope and doubt.
- A smooth shell that fits to the body.
- New questions from my daughter showing her view of the world and her place in it is changing.
- The rhythm of the train on old tracks, clackety-clack.
- Waiting and watching for a porpoise to break the surface – it could happen in an instant or never or always out of view. The infinity of possibility, unable to look away, always searching.
- The warmth of the first hug with new friends.
Moments Alice Collected:
- How fresh and cold the air felt this morning, it felt refreshing in my lungs.
- A chunky Robin.
- Sun hitting the dew on the grass.
- The sun setting earlier and finding calmness in this rather than dread.
- During my walk to work, I spent several minutes in the trees looking at clusters of mushrooms.
- I passed four people on my way home, with each there was an exchange of a hello or good afternoon. I thought that was wholesome. We should make more effort to do so.
- The feeling of missing bike rides.
Moments Dani Collected:
- Trees. So many trees to examine, get to know, look up and find out more about them. To sit with, absorb their calm, inhale their smells, charged by their strength.
- The colours changing with the new season. Not just the leaves but the sky and light too.
- The feeling that no one is really a stranger. We all share so much.
- Hugs from friends and family who are still happy to see me (even when it has only been a few hours).
- Long, slow morning chats with pals over coffee (and oracle cards).
- Random whatsapp messages reading I love you from friends for no reason.
- Watching dumping waves with equal parts trepidation and awe.
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