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.

Zion at Midpoint

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.

Zion - Colors

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.

Small Beauty

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.