March 10

If you go into a typical grocery store, you’ll see people milling about, searching for a certain kind of cheese or produce, and checking items off their lists. You’ll also see many of them wearing earbuds, listening to music or the news, oblivious to the sounds around them.

I used to be one of these people. I saw a trip to the market as an opportunity to catch up on my podcasts or to listen to an audiobook. However, one day, I forgot them and found myself immersed in the sounds and stimuli of the shopping experience. I overheard snippets of conversation. I listened to the music the store chose to play over the in-house speaker system and considered who in the world decided to play that song here. For the first time in a while, I was in that place, at that time.

We so rarely allow ourselves to be fully immersed in the place we’re standing. We’re always “out there” somewhere or filling our senses with other times and other places. However, there’s a deep beauty and inspiration to be gained from allowing your environment to happen to you instead of trying to micromanage it.

I fully understand that it sounds cliché, but strive to be present today. Take a walk and remove the earbuds. Be in the place you are, and pay attention to the nuance all around you.

Intentionally take in the environment around you. Try not to fall into the trap of perpetual distraction.

How will you attempt to pay better attention to your environment today?

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