Pay attention!

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Creativity, Joy, Kaizen-Muse, Ultimate Blog Challenge | 8 comments

Pay attention!

I had a really tight schedule last night and I was home for about ten minutes before I had to run out the door again. I put some things in the kitchen, grabbed something quick to eat, and ran back out the door.

And when I did, I stopped, and took a breath, and another. And another. Because suddenly, the air was perfumed with the most delightful scent of blossoms I’ve ever noticed.

The question is, was it never there before, or was I just not paying attention? Despite the fact that I was in a rush, I noticed the scent and even took a few extra seconds to enjoy it as I headed out. How many times might I have noticed the same thing if I’d bothered to pay attention? If you’d asked me just ten minutes before, I’d have told you there was no scent in the air at all, so what changed?

I don’t know what made this evening different. It’s been suggested that perhaps the night-blooming trees and flowers had just done their thing, but I have a little trouble believing that it happens that suddenly. (Nature is not known for her tendency to flip the proverbial switch, after all.) It’s also possible that I hadn’t noticed because I’d been immersed in the scent earlier, and ten minutes inside was enough to reset my sense of smell so I couldn’t miss the perfumed air when I went back out.

Paying attention

Whatever the cause, it was a delightful gift from Mother Nature, and one that made me smile as I walked to my car. It made me wonder what else I miss on a daily basis because I’m just too busy thinking about other things to notice what’s literally right under my nose. Have I missed a lovely tree in bloom, or a flower as it sticks its head up from the earth? Do I hear the child practicing her violin as I get my mail and wander back to my front door? When was the last time a sunset got my attention?

I ask these questions not only because we can miss out on everyday beauty so easily, but also because paying attention drives our creativity. A lot of times, answers come because our attention lands on the right thing and it sparks the idea we’ve been looking for. If we hadn’t paid attention, we wouldn’t have had the idea.

If you have a mindfulness practice, attention may come easily to you, but regardless, pay attention to the little things this week and see what happens. What strikes you, what sparks you, what you had never even known about before. I bet you’ll find some interesting things as you look around, and I bet they’ll make you smile. I wouldn’t be surprised if you gain some inspiration, too!


  1. Paying attention – so simple and yet so difficult sometimes, Nancy! Thanks for reminding me – :o)
    Carrie recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Re-potted some of the plants!My Profile

    • So true, Carrie–it’s ridiculously difficult for as simple as it should be. Our senses give us so much information all the time, and stopping to pay attention to it makes really clear just how much we routinely tune out. I think some of that’s necessary or we’d be overloaded, but still…we also miss so much!

  2. Paying attention to the little details around us makes us love life more. So this is really important. Thanks for posting it. :)
    Linda Ursin recently posted..From Separation to UnityMy Profile

    • You’re welcome, Linda! I’m all for any reason I can find to love life more. :)

  3. Yes noticing the small thinks can be so special and does make us become more aware and wake us up to the abundance we are surrounded by.
    Suzie Cheel recently posted..BEach Inspirations: Be EnoughMy Profile

    • It really does. We forget that we have such wonderful things all around us all the time. Of course, the bright side of forgetting is that it’s such a delight to rediscover them!

  4. Thanks for this post. Yes, we should pay attention to the little things…or we miss out on a lot!

    • You’re welcome, Michelle. I hope you’ve discovered something wonderful and unexpected today among those little things!

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