zen habits : breathe

The Place Where You Are

By Leo Babauta

We rush through our days with so much to do, so much we should be doing, so much we’re missing out on … but how often do we stop to appreciate the place where we are right now?

I don’t mean to focus on the journey, because that’s many different places … but instead to focus on where you are at this particular time. The physical place you’re in, the emotional state you’re in, the phase you are in life.

Pause for a moment, right now, to notice where you are.

What is it like? What is the light like? What about the sounds, the smells, the feelings your body is feeling, the people around you? What is your state of mind? What are you worried about, joyful about? What is stopping you from appreciating this moment?

Find something to be grateful about where you are: if you’re around someone you love, enjoy that. If you’re doing something that makes the world a better place, be happy about that. If you’re in someplace beautiful, be thankful for that.

What if you don’t like where you are? This is something to appreciate as well. Stop and feel your emotions about where you are. See that you are hurting. See that you wish things to be different. How does that feel in your body? Allow it to happen, and realize that it is temporary but a part of life. Not good or bad, just happening.

Then think about all the things you aren’t suffering from: If you aren’t in a war-torn area of the world, give thanks to the stars. If you aren’t suffering from health problems, aren’t sleeping on the streets, aren’t about to die … that’s a minor miracle. You are alive, and life is a wondrous thing to participate in.


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