Scenario 1:

We’re stand-up paddling to tea tree bay. The wind is strong and the current is against us. Our arms are aching and we’re puffed out. We can see the waves crashing against the rocks so it’s dangerous to get too close to shore, but if we drift too far out, the wind is even stronger and it’s harder. Isn’t this meant to be fun? Shouldn’t we just go back? Why did we decide to do this?

Pause.

We have two choices. Option a) We can succumb to those unhelpful thoughts and wallow in misery. Option b) we can acknowledge the thoughts, accept this moment for what it is, and tune into our senses. Feel the sun absorbing into our skin. Smell the salty sea breeze drifting into our nostrils. Observe the clear blue water beneath us. Hear the soothing sound of the waves washing up against the rocks.

Scenario 2:

We’re stand-up paddling back to shore. The air is still and the ocean is flat. We’re effortlessly gliding through the water. The national park is on one side and the sun is setting on the other. We see movement up ahead. There’s dolphins coming our way! They swim right past us, and we see water spraying out their blowholes as they pop out and dive back in. Why didn’t we bring our camera? Can we come back tomorrow? There better be more dolphins.

Pause.

We have two choices. Option a) let our thoughts take away from this moment. Option b) acknowledge the thoughts, accept the moment for what it is, and bask in our senses right here and right now.

Option b is always available.

Even though it doesn’t often feel that way. It’s because we’ve been conditioned to over-think. Our society and culture places such a high value on analysing, criticising, and judging. We’re taught in school to think critically and examined on our ability to do so. We’re instructed never to settle, and that we only deserve the best at all times. No wonder it’s hard to choose option b, especially in the scenario 1’s of our world.

On top of this, we’re encouraged to combat our stressful lives by taking time out for ourselves to rest. So we attempt to do so. We get a massage, have a bath, take a holiday. But our mind is still caught up in thinking overdrive. We can’t help but continue to worry, wallow, and whinge. To incessantly replay past events, and rehearse future ones.

As a society, we’re not good at option b. We were never taught or examined on how to do it in school. It’s not valued very highly. So we’re not practiced at it. It doesn’t come easily. For most of us, we don’t even know the option is there. But it is. At any moment, we can choose to experience life right here and right now through our senses. To see, smell, hear, taste, and feel what our in-built sensory devices are consuming in this very moment.

Want to know a little secret?

It’s the key to living our best lives! So cultivate your awareness and start tuning into your senses as often as you remember 🙂