Mindfulness Along the Garden Path

IMG_0349They were just the right distance apart, or so I thought. When I laid the stepping stones through the new garden I carefully measured the distance between them. While I wanted the path to look nice it also needed to be effective since it is traversed frequently.

However, when I began using the new path I became frustrated. The placement of the stones was not as optimal as I had planned. The stones were closer together than my normal stride but yet they were too far apart for me to cover two in one step. The new path was forcing me to slow down in my quest to get from point A to point B.

Then one day as I was stutter-stepping through the new garden it dawned on me that the steps were exactly where they needed to be. Why was I always in such a hurry to get through this garden? Why not enjoy it? If the path was forcing me to slow down that was actually perfect. It served as a reminder to accept the moment and see the beauty around me.

Reflecting back I see that I learned a lesson in mindfulness that day in the garden. I could have continued to grumble every time I walked that path or I could have dug up the stones and moved them further apart. But by becoming more aware of the full situation at hand, and my attitude towards it, I came to realize that I had turned the stepping stones into obstacles. Seeing things for what they are however enables one to find the beauty in the present moment. And, wonder of wonders, suddenly obstacles become stepping stones.

“The first step toward change is awareness.
The second step is acceptance.”
Nathaniel Branden