As we grow older, we are reminded each day as we look and observe the pure beauty of life, the beauty of living, but we also realise that we can only see the beauty, and feel the beauty if we pay attention.

As we travel through the time of our life, we see and feel that days stretch into weeks and weeks into months and months into years. Time can lose its meaning. As we busy ourselves through our life we can drift along with life, not really paying attention, just drifting along like the log on an ocean wave.

Life can be busy with worrying, working, raising the family, and surviving, so we spend very little time paying attention. I mean paying attention to the real things that matter. 

We pay attention to worrying - but worrying is as useful as trying to fly with paper wings taped to our arms. We pay attention to working - but working has a function, it brings an income to bring stability to living. We we become too obsessed with working, we miss out on the wonders of life, our childs growth and development, our spouses friendship and intimacy, our parents growing old and then they are gone. We pay attention to raising the family - and we miss out on our friends and acquaintances, we miss our siblings and we lose the magical connection we had with our spouse. We pay attention to surviving - But this is not living at all. 

How can we ever become wise, if we cannot pay attention to living. We have heard the saying, "You cannot put an old head on young shoulders". This is true. That saying was developed when people growing old slowed down and paid attention. That is no longer happening. We have lost the ability to sit with oneself and be. We seemed to be always looking "out there" for something, even as we grow older.  

What should we pay attention to?

We can start by paying attention to ourselves. The Man/Woman in the Mirror. The smell of our own body. Have we gained or lost weight in the past. Has our hair changed colour in the past year. Do we do the same things as we did a year ago.

We can pay attention to nature. The sound of the birds. The smell of the air. How the air feels in our nostrials. The sound of the Ocean. The sight of the clouds, their shapes and composition. The colour of the sky. The feelings we have when in a forest or on a mountainside. But paying attention is far more than that. I asked my client one day, while we were working on mindfulness, what was your wife wearing this morning, he could not tell me, I asked, what were you two sons wearing when you dropped them to school, he could not tell me. A busy, wealthy man, busy making more money than he can ever spend, could not tell me about his wife or children only a few hours previous. 

Paying attention to our wife or husband, what they are wearing, saying or not saying, how do they look, how do they smell. Paying attention to our children or our siblings. Watching how they look, behave, perform, watching out for the tell tale signs of how they are life coping. Paying attention to our friends and collogues. Paying attention to our elderly. Are they happy or are they sad and how can we help.

So no matter how long we live. Even thou that may prove a very long time. We need to remind ourselves to love every moment of every hour of every day as if it could be our last.

Life is too beautiful and too short to miss even a moment. Begin to pay attention to everything and feel how fulfilling that can be in our own lives - David Ellis