Week 5: Take time, notice what is around you

The theme of the next four weeks is all about AWARENESS. How many times do you find yourself walking along the sidewalk, thinking about the issues in your life, walking by each person without so much of a glance, a smile, or a hello? I’m going to make a big leap and guess the majority of the time we walk this way. This happens when we’re out at a bar, walking on the street, driving in a car, and even while you’re home watching TV. If we all continue to be so absorbed and comfortable in our own lives, it will be very difficult for communities to grow and positively change because we aren’t aware of what surrounds us. We just float around as one unit communities, bouncing off one another every so often. It’s time to shrink your personal space and start to become more aware.

For week 5 of the 52 Weeks of Good campaign, we will be looking at taking the time to notice what is around us. Here are 5 easy ways to start altering your focus off of yourself and your bubble, and start paying attention to what surrounds you everyday.

  1. Walk around your neighborhood. What better place to start creating more awareness of your surroundings than in your own back yard? How often do you find yourself taking a walk to notice what is around your home? What is going on three blocks down and two block right? Have you ever tried to get lost by winding around your streets? Potentially ridiculous, I know, but I have! Didn’t work too well because I was able to find my way back pretty easily, however I discovered quite a few streets I had never walked on, saw some happy pups out for a walk, smelled beautiful flowers, and received some inspiration from the architecture of other houses. Now, even on my normal walks, I am able to find something new every where I go!
  2. Take a different route. It is easy for all of us to fall into a routine when we are trying to go from point A to point B. Home to work or school, dropping the kids off, route to the gym. The main goal is to get to your destination in the safest and most time efficient route. This aids us to stay in our comfort zones and not step outside of what we are used to. Once a week, try taking a different route to work, school or the gym. It might take you a couple more minutes, but can turn into a little bit of an adventure! This helps you to take in what else is around you, can be a little fun, and could change your outlook on the whole day. Try it!
  3. Look different directions. If you do find yourself on a walk, standing at the bus corner, or sitting at a street light, the most common way we look is down or straight forward. Not wanting to make eye contact with someone or trip on the possible crack in the sidewalk, we focus our attention in a tunneled vision to what is in front of us. Next time you are out, try looking a different direction. Look up into the sky, look at the progress of the new construction, look what’s down the other street, find a flower in a window, or watch the cars passing by. Pay attention to the little details that you might otherwise not have found. You may surprise yourself in what you see.
  4. Have one night a week without the TV on. Whether you live by yourself, with roommates or your family, it is easy to get in the routine of turning the tv on and sitting in front of it; especially after a long day. One day a week, try to not turning the TV on and see what happens. Have deeper conversations, play games, read, build something, or paint. While the TV is entertaining, it is also a huge time sucker and even though you may all be sitting in the same room watching the TV, you aren’t really interacting with each other. Expand your awareness of those close to you and spend higher quality time with them.
  5. Find what is new (or new to you) in your communities. Have you tried that new restaurant down the street or the new small comedy club next to it? So often with our routines, we forget to go out and explore new places. I grew up in Seattle, went out Chicago for a few years and have come back. Often I feel antsy to move to New York, San Fransico or maybe even Portland because I want to live in a new city, one I am not so familiar with. I want to be able to go out and explore new streets, find new routes to a coffee shop, a new park to play fetch with my dog, and try new resurants I’ve never been to. How easy it would be to experience a new places by actually being in a new city. However on a return trip home from NYC, my boyfriend polightly reminded me that I haven’t been every where in Seattle and there are so many places to still discover. So, we made a pact to start exploring more of the city, find new restaurants to go to and new adventures to have, and really experience what this city has to offer while we are still here. Take it all in, get out of our comfort zone of our favorite places and discover a whole new side of the city I never knew existed.

Recap: Get out there! Start to pay attention to the little things and become more aware of what surrounds you. Have fun discovering!

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About Kelly

Working at changing the world, with the little things we do, every day. I am the Doer Team Manager and the Do Good Doer at Brown Paper Tickets. My hope with this blog is to help spark a change. To look at the little things we do everyday and see how we can be a positive impact on everyone around us. The more each of us do, however small it may seem, the better world we will all have.

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