In my life, one of the busiest seasons is the first quarter. New projects kick-off at work and one of our industry’s largest trade shows occurs (HIMSS). All in all, there are many parts that begin to move all at once, or so it seems.
In my pastime of writing on Thin Difference, I have been lucky in receiving some good guest posts to help out. Even these can be overwhelming in sorting through them. Mixed in this is what seems to be an unending project of trying to finish a longer writing project. No different than anyone else. Juggling life and work is what happens.
I am not complaining at all. Everyone’s life is busy and this just sets the backdrop to my recent break with my younger son as we took off for Zion National Park. We had an opportunity to enjoy several good hikes. While some were strenuous, others were easier. Getting out into the silence of nature, the beauty and fresh air has a way of cleansing my mind and soul.
In one particular hike, over four miles we ascended 2,000 feet along a well-developed trail. The trail narrowed as we hiked up, seemingly making it hard for two people to pass each other without getting too close to the steep edge. I may exaggerate a little because heights are not my friend. I have learned to deal with them and, in this particular hike, I spent the time focusing on my thoughts as we moved up and forward.
Paths Embrace All Generations
We passed many people along the way. Hiking paths don’t discriminate. Along the way, we met 70+ year olds, teens, and every age in between. Even one couple had a toddler each in their child-equipped backpack. Brave souls.
The call of nature and activity embraces all ages and all ages embrace a challenge. We passed each other in respect and in good spirits. In fact, the longer our hikes, the nicer the people seemed to be.
Our paths will encounter many, and we need to be grateful in their smiles, their youth, their age, and our shared experiences.
Mindfulness – Focus on the Present Step
Being height challenged, I focused on each step. My sight was set on each step, not looking too far ahead or off to the side. I am a novice at mindfulness yet this seemed to be exactly what it is all about — focusing on the present moment and not getting distracted too much by the future or uncertainty. Placing each foot in front of the other delivers progress. Discarding unwarranted thoughts creates clarity.
When all seems impossible or daunting, we just need to ensure we are headed in the best direction and then be present in each step we take forward.
See Small Moments of Beauty in the Large
In Zion National Park, beauty is large. There are mountains and colors as bold as anything you have seen. The beauty is hard to ignore. Yet as I was on this path, I began to notice the small beauty. Flowers blooming in the middle of rock-hard paths. A chipmunk scurrying about. Small moments of beauty can easily get lost in larger schemes of things.
The obvious can obscure important smaller moments of beauty. We need to notice all, being open to acknowledge both.
As the year continues to unfold, the memories of the hikes will begin to fade. My hope is I will remember not only the moments with my son but the lessons embedded in the days being in the great landscape of Zion National Park.
Join the Conversation
Paths: Generations, Mindfulness, Small Beauty
Loved your photos, Jon. You’ve captured wonderful visuals with both camera and words.
My favorite: See Small Moments of Beauty in the Large. Maybe it’s because of where I’m at right now, but I’m really enjoying “small things” as opposed to bigger is better. I think seeing small things in a big way helps to simplify the life process.
Thanks for sharing your amazing hike!
Thank you, LaRae. Many times the small moments of beauty deliver big realizations in our lives. We just need to notice. Thanks so much. Appreciate your thoughts and support! Jon
As I read your beautiful post, Jon I am transported to Zion! Your photographs and language are perfectly aligned to bring serenity and escape.
To stay in the moment and truly indulge our senses is the best. Imagine if we could follow your path into our professional worlds and give each person and challenge the focus you gave to your hike. As I try to disconnect from your journey, I thank you for sharing this special time with your son with us.
Thank you, Terri. Really appreciate that! Being present in our moments is essential and can create a lot of value, if we choose to notice and engage. Thanks again! Jon
Fantastic post Jon. Zion is one of my favorite parks, although I didn’t do the explorations of the park that you did. Terrific post on mindfulness.
Thank you, Joy. Zion is beautiful and look forward to returning sometime. Appreciate your support! Jon
Lovely, Jon. Your words and photographs are wonderful. I like your thought about the small moments of beauty. When we are tourists, we tend to look at the “big beauty,” the big spots, and somehow they never seem quite enough. We go peer over the edge of the Grand Canyon and ten minutes later, too hot or too cold, are looking for a drink at the lodge. But, as you say, when you notice the little beauty a few miles in, the flowers at your feet, that can be very different kind of moment. You must look where you step — not only to guard your safety but also to see with amazement what is right in front of you. How simple and profound.
It sounds like you and your son had a trip you will remember.
Thank you, Dan. Appreciate your words and thoughts here and on your blog. You are always thoughtful and an inspiration. Those small moments of beauty are so important and challenge us to be more aware, as we shouldn’t miss them. Appreciate your comments and support. Jon
Sounds like not only did you have a special time with your son but also got to sink into being and leave what sounds like a lot of doing behind. Like you, I’m a novice at mindfulness but when we slow down enough to catch up with ourselves, beauty truly does unfold. Brings a smile to my face as I think about moments like that in my own life that are too far in between.
Welcome to Q2!
Those smiles are what make it all worthwhile, Alli! Appreciate your comments…. All the best to you, too, in the quarter ahead! Thanks. Jon