We live in a time that is very one-track minded, fast-paced, and all about the highs. We live in a time that encourages self-centeredness where we’ve become so focused on ourselves that we are blind to the world around us. This self-centeredness shows its face in simple ways. In how we maneuver through traffic, the impatience we emanate when things move slower than we’d like or need. It’s what and how we post on social media. It’s the conversations we have and how we respond to others.
But, what if we changed that? What if we paid attention to our world---found her rhythm? What would that look like? How would life flow differently?
Discovering our world is all about being in the moment and paying attention. It’s sitting in front of someone and not reaching for your phone. It’s actively choosing to not take a picture of that sunset and edit it for the gram, but sit and take it in, watching the colors fade and meld into each other. It is feeling the feels from the moment at hand, not conjuring up old ones or pressing into ones yet to unfold. Discovering our world is the adventure to living present. Discovering your world is taking a new route to the coffee shop, paying attention to the details you find along the way. This intentionality to be aware of what surrounds us, being mindful of where we are invite us into an intimate space of experiencing the world around us.
Now, much of our life journey is in the mundane. Don’t get me wrong, there are highs---mountaintop moments, but no one lives there. We come down from that epic opportunity or dream come true and walk through the valley. The valley that seems long and monotonous, but it’s where character and life is built and sustained. Let’s be real, it is easy to be in the valley and long for the next “big thing”, the next exciting, riveting adventure. My issue with that is one will never be content or satisfied. I don’t mean that in the sense of a dissatisfication that pushes you to go after more. I’m talking a discontentment and dissatisfication that blinds you from seeing the wealth before you. Whenever I’ve gotten wrapped up in what isn’t happening, what I wish would happen, what I anticipate coming next, I miss the adventure, the joy, the dream in front of me. And, I don’t want to live my life aching for the next “big thing” and completely miss the moment right here, right now.
When we take time to discover our world, we are invited into a process that uncovers the gold right where we are. When we take time to discover our world, we free ourselves of the pressure that our lives must look a specific way to be meaningful or exciting. So, because we are finding the moments and experiences that are meaningful for us, we get to see just how full and abundant our lives truly are.
Learning to discover my world and lean into the present is a journey I’ve been on for almost 3 years. Some days, are more intentional than others. But, if there is anything I’ve uncovered in pursuing this journey is that it matters. It matters deeply to be connected to the world around us. Knowing our rhythm and routine is a way to ground us especially when things get tumultuous and a way to invest in ourselves. That rhythm and routine helps us find and create the space for our dreams to come to life. Knowing our dreams and going after them is such a treasure, and having a life built to sustain a dream is even better. So how does discovering our world fit into this? How does being present, discovering and relishing the little details in our daily lives add to anything?
I believe it helps make life fuller. It carries us through the slow spaces of life. Because, they are there. Most of life isn’t this big, adrenaline rush. Most of life is fashioned and curated in the slow, steadiness of everyday life. In the career, home, community. Being present for it----discovering its nuances---that’s the color that splashes across the mundanity we often feel in day to day living. It’s the spark that invites us to find the beauty---the creativity---the joy. That’s why it matters. Because, we constantly live in this tension of our daily lives and discovering/pursuing dreams. We live in the valley. Often, the valley is begrudged, but when we take time to discover our world---when we take time to look at the details of the valley, while we still anticipate what’s to come, we find joy and contentment where we are, and I think that makes life so much more abundant than a series of adrenaline rushing moments.
Danae Carson is the Founder and Editor of This Wondrous Life. With a passion for creativity, dreams, community, and simple living, you will find in the content she creates an eagerness for others to be awaken to their dreams, creativity, and beauty of living a simpler, full life. When she isn't busy running This Wondrous Life, Danae can be found working a 9-5 in Washington, D.C. and when she's not there, she can be found making areopress or pour-over coffee at home, brainstorming and dreaming up how to best live simply and present with those around her. Danae resides in the suburbs of Maryland. To learn more about her and This Wondrous Life, you can follow the journey on Facebook and Instagram!