A Year of Mindfulness – 10 – Seeing

Photo by Nicolas Solerieu on Unsplash

This week’s challenge was all about paying attention to what I looked at and what I was seeing. The idea behind it is that we all get so caught up in our own tasks and concerns, that we forget there’s a whole world outside if we just take the time to look. I had to spend 5 minutes each day looking out of a window, and channelling all my awareness into whatever it was that I was looking at outside the window, and try to imagine viewing it from the eyes of somebody who’s never seen such sights.

I decided to conduct this one each day during my commute to and from work. I spend enough time on the bus at the moment due to roadworks taking place on the main road from my house into the city centre, so I figured this would be a good time to incorporate this into my daily routine.


Today I noticed that there are still some trees that are bare from Winter, whilst others are blossoming and growing leaves. I always love the contrast of a blue sky backdrop against trees and branches and hills in the distance. I made a conscious effort to pay attention to all things, not just those that I find pleasant like nature and flowers. I looked at the traffic crawling along and thought about where people may be going. People fascinate me and I often look at people and think I wonder how your day is going to go. I wish there was a way of just for one day, following the daily journey of somebody you see on your way to work. It’s so light of a morning now, the first thing that struck me was that it was pretty much light for my entire dog walk this morning, which is amazing! I love that we’re entering into Spring. As I was looking out of the window for my 5 minutes, I saw a little toddler who was probably only recently walking, running toward what was presumably her Nan, with arms wide open and a huge smile on her face. That was lovely to watch, I think I’m going to like this week’s challenge.


I looked out of the window of the bus today at the exact same point as I did yesterday. What struck me today was the weather, it is back to being grim and rainy. I looked at the trees and the plants and thought even though we see it as grim, they’re probably loving all the rain and drinking so frequently, especially when you think of the heatwave a few years back. I don’t really feel like we had a Summer last year, but we definitely did the year before and I remember how my garden began to die and the grass became yellow and brown due to the excess heat. I think if I remember rightly, there was even talk of a hosepipe ban because we had to preserve water! I LOVED the heatwave, but our garden suffered and our doggy definitely didn’t love it. It’s hard to imagine that now during this weather, as it feels like all we’ve had is rain for recent weeks. Still, it was nice to look out of the window and see all the plants and flowers.


I missed the usual looking out the window opportunity today as I was reading on my phone about how to boost immune systems and whether vitamins actually work. I’m still none the wiser so if anybody has any insight, please do get in touch!


Today what struck me was how a park that I drive past each day in Gorton, which is currently being regenerated, is making so much progress. The entire thing seems to have had a large amount of funding pumped into it, and there have been builders for a little while now building a children’s play area, a general sitting and walking area and another general green space. It amazes me how quickly it’s come together, and how well the people working on it are doing at their jobs! it was a real wreck of a place before, with what looked like wasteland and a really run down play area. It actually looks lovely now and a place where people would choose to go and sit. I am looking forward to seeing people using it and I suspect it will create a real sense of community. I really enjoyed paying attention to this today as usually I just look at it being built, but don’t take any real notice.


I was thinking about the park and community gardens today and how lovely it is to see again. Today I also noticed a tree that I often observe in Spring and Summer (and always think how lovely it looks – I really need to get its name or at least a photo to insert here) and how different it looks in Winter with no leaves. When it has leaves it looks so idyllic and like it should be placed on a lake somewhere, but in Winter it looks very bare. I realised I can’t wait to see it again in all its glory and how happy I am that Spring is coming!

Confession time. I only did this week’s task from Monday to Friday in line with my commute to work. I did, obviously, look out of windows on Saturday and Sunday, but I didn’t devote the right amount of time to it that I did for the rest of the week.

One thing I’ve learned this week is just how much time I waste on my phone during my morning commute. I use my commute to catch up on things like messages, to do lists, tasks etc. but this often makes me feel harrassed even before I get to work. It’s like I’m setting myself up for chaos before I even get to the chaos. Really, I could use this time to definitely be present and take in my surroundings to start the day off in a more calm, energised and more mindful way. From now on, that’s exactly what I’m going to try and do.

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