I’m not exactly sure when or why I started the bedtime tradition of “best part of the day” with my children. It became a great way to connect with them, and help end their day on a positive note. I didn’t realize it then, but what I was fostering in them, was quiet observation and positive thinking.

I heard recently that most people choose to avoid quiet time by themselves to think their thoughts. They’re afraid of what might surface, so instead fill their time up with noise or activity. It’s hard for me not to think of all they are missing.

The habit of observation, of taking a moment and filing it as a “best part of the day” has a positive effect. It happens in the moment I’m noticing it, but lingers and colours future moments when I think about it again.

This past weekend was filled with many best parts. Laughter when playing croquet and executing truly terrible shots. Dinner beside a bonfire. A conversation with my love about the deeper aspects of creativity and where that comes from. His music while I write.

And today, the opportunity to fully open to the beauty of a late summer morning.

Ordinary moments are anything but ordinary

Some of my drive to work each day is on country roads. I may see, at any given moment, corn fields, pastures dotted with cattle, red barns or soaring birds. The roads cross through, dipping and climbing as I make my way to a more major road way. Today, an extra gift. Ribbons of fog, laying over parts of the fields. The sun was coming up and the morning was warm and full of promise. My windows were down and the only sound was that of the wind and the occasional vehicle I met on the road. It was, beautiful. I don’t need a camera, the beauty captured and available at any time within memory’s eye.

I can only be moved by how all these ordinary moments are anything but ordinary. They require attention to see beyond what’s there, and notice how they become a “best part of”.

The practice of noticing, of seeing, feeling and hearing is what keeps me grounded and able to accept all the goodness that exists around me. It’s not that there aren’t moments of frustration, points of time or people who are challenging. Of course there are, but this method of observation and savoring is the counter weight that pulls me back. A ritual  free for me to draw on at any time. It balances the scale and helps remind me of what aspects of life I want to focus on and where to place my attention.It also reduces my stress and can shake me out of a mood if I need it to. It’s the magic elixir which costs nothing and has a positive daily impact.

Do you have something similar that you draw on to keep the balance on the positive side of the scale? If so, feel free to share and by all means please, leave a comment.

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