Yesterday didn’t start as I’d planned.  I had to forgo my birthday run with friends to take one of the boys to the orthopedic after a brief scare (he’s fine).  Then, after getting home, I realized I needed to finish up a work project and eventually, at 10:30, I was able to go for a short run – alone.

But, I decided this was not going to be an ordinary run.  I wasn’t going to spend my run looking at the ground, as I usually do, just trying to get through.  I wasn’t going to check my phone.  I wasn’t going to try to solve the world’s problems or any of my own.

No.  I decided to see my run.  To pretend like it was my last.  I decided to be my mom.  See, when my mom was diagnosed in July she asked me if she would be able to see the leaves change color and fall to the ground.  I told her yes.  She didn’t.  And I realized at the moment she died, that some day I won’t get another birthday. I won’t get the chance to experience nature in the same way.  It’s the only thing that’s a certainty.

So I ran.  I ran fast and I ran slow and then I stopped.  And I laid under a tree and felt the world.

Why don’t I do that more often?  Why don’t we slow it down a bit and just open our eyes.  Not just after some big tragedy (although I’m not saying my birthday was a tragedy!).  But just more often.  Even for a minute?  Why do we get so caught up in moving?  Why do we spend so much of our time focusing our attention on things that don’t really serve us, looking out but not looking in at the same time?

In those short moments under the tree I realized that we can only experience true connection with ourselves and the world when we’re focused both inward and outward at the same time.

We forget that thinking isn’t just an activity—it manifests as a state of being.  As Buddha said, “What we think, we become.”

Which gets me to my wish for you: My hope is that you get one minute a day where you can stop and just feel what’s around you.  Whether it’s hugging someone you love, on your porch with a cup of coffee, with your family playing a game … anywhere.   Try it with your partner, your kids or your best friend.  My goal is to do that one minute each day this coming year.  How hard could that be?  Maybe we can try it together. 🙂

Thanks to all of you for loving me yesterday.  It was truly amazing!