Don't hurry, don't worry.
And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
To celebrate the first day of Spring, I biked the Bronx River Path from Scarsdale down to Bronxville. All along the way, there was no mistaking the season change—spring is here. Buds and blooms everywhere! Forsythia, magnolia, daffodils, hyacinth—all in glorious color.
But I noticed Spring’s arrival in other ways too. Parents out biking with their kids. Babies in strollers grinning. Teenagers wearing smiles along with their ear buds. Older folks relaxing on benches, talking with friends. The folks stuck in bridge traffic hardly honking their horns.
Pretty well everyone seemed to be in a good mood.
There was a lot of delight going around.
Delight in the warm temps. Delight in the buds and blooms. Delight in friendship and conversation. Delight in physical activity. Delight in being outside in the beauty of nature.
It almost seemed contagious. Or maybe it was floating in the air, like pollen. With all this delight, here’s another thing I noticed-- fewer cell phones out.
The curious part of me wondered, might there be a connection? Is delight in life, beauty, and relationships more available to us when we spend less time on our screens? Hmmm….kinda analytical, but something to think more about, that’s for sure.
Part of the delight was from doing something different--taking the time to get outside and look around. Taking the time to “stop and smell the roses” so to speak. Over and over people tell me they are too busy. They want more time. They know it would be better for them if they weren’t so busy. They worry about what the stress is doing to them. They think about how it impacts the spouse and the kids negatively. They get scared when they hear of someone they know having serious health issues, stuff like heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, auto immune disorders, etc. They wonder if being over-stressed contributes to any of those things developing.
You might say we have a lot of people stressed out about being stressed out. How about you?
Some stress can help keep us on our toes. But, too much, and most of us go in this direction in our fast paced world, well, too much creates problems. And, too much stress takes a big bite out of delight.
So, what to do? Well, something!
Why not start by having more first days of Spring? Of course, there’s only one real first day of Spring, but you can use it as an inspiration for bringing delight to other days too. Why not try a few of these manageable things?
· Stop and look around, when you are inside and when you are outside.
· Pay attention, on purpose, to small things, like a flower bud, or the way light shines on a building.
· Get outside some every day, if only for a short while.
· Notice beauty. It’s all around, even in the city.
· Try being more present, fully present, where you are.
· Try to be more fully present to those you are with, whether they are friends, family, or co-workers.
· Check your phone less often and spend less time using your phone. Seriously. It matters.
· Walk more.
· Breathe in the moment at the moment. Consider each moment of life a gift to be embraced rather than judged.
· Cultivate gratitude for all you have.