I’ve walked my dogs religiously every morning for the last 13 years. This practice helps create wellness in my life. Some of my most creative ideas have emerged when walking. Ideas about how to have some fun with my family, serve clients creatively, book chapters, blogs, innovative plans for my business. And, there are the obvious health benefits of walking a couple of miles every day.

My current route is about two miles across open countryside. Roughly halfway round there’s a boundary fence to a beautiful ornate garden and manicured pond.

On the corner of the ramshackle fence line, there’s a wild rose that comes year after year. Its scent reminds me of my Greek Nana’s roses she used to take great pride in cultivating in her garden. This one has an amazing smell and gentle colouring of light pink and orange.

When I walk by it the strong floral scent hits me at a range of about five meters as if someone’s blowing me a perfumed kiss. It gives me a fleeting moment of pure presence as I wander by.

On three consecutive days last week, I found myself wandering past the rose saying to myself, “I must stop and make time to smell that”, before walking by and becoming lost in another thought whilst the dog strained on the lead.

On the fourth day, the thought-created habit of saying the same thing started to kick in. This time, I caught it and stopped myself.

Why was I putting off the potential joy of sniffing this wonderful creation for yet another day?

I paused and Monty, my dog, strained on the lead. It was as if he was a mirror image of what I’d been doing for the last three mornings. He had an urge to get round the walk and leap into his own future. The same way I was just about to rush by the rose with a vague promise to myself that tomorrowI’d slow down and smell it.

I was straining at my own lead, trying to get into my own future, and in the process of doing so missing out on one of life’s small, yet simple, joys.

The rose was even better than I imagined. The scent lifted my spirits and connected me with a wonderful moment that was there all along … right under my nose.

And, all I had to do was slow myself down to take advantage of it.

This is happening all the time.

So many people, myself included, are straining at their own lead trying to hop, skip, and jump into a fantasy-filled future they imagine will be better than where they are right now.

It’s simply not true. There is no better future.

The now that you’re in was once you’re future … and will soon be your past.

There it is, it’s gone, that moment is now the past. You missed the beauty of it because you were straining to see what life will be like when you ‘get there’.

There is no ‘there’.

The ‘there’ you are looking for is now, right under your nose, behind the lead you’re straining at.

In other words  ‘there’ is now … if you slow down.

Don’t be led by your need to strain at your lead … choose to lead your life rather than let it lead you.

You can practice this in any context, moment to moment.

Your next conversation with another person is now …

So is your next interaction with a member of your team …

The next time your child asks you a question and wants real connection with you …

The email from your customer with a request …

The next meeting with a supplier …

The text message from your partner …

All now, now, now!

If you come from a place of slowed down’ness and make the most of the now you’ll soon start to discover that everything you desire, crave, want and ‘think’ you need to ‘be happy’ is already there, in the now. Nothing is missing.

I encourage you to practice being in the now as much as you can. It makes for a much richer and fulfilled life. Meditation combined with a commitment to slow down in every interaction you have with others, and yourself, can be a useful way to do this.

Examples could also look like …

Putting the phone down and interacting with your loved ones with real presence, truly listening to them … rather than listening to your own judging thoughts about what they’re saying.

Listening deeply to the next question that comes to you from a member of your team who wants your guidance but is too scared to ask for help … see if you can serve them with presence and love.

Thanking your partner with authentic gratitude for the small things they do for you that they think you never notice.

The small things you notice add up to creating the BIG things you desire.

It’s that simple. This way of ‘being’ can be built with practice.

Make time to allow yourself to be kissed by your roses.

Do this, and your life has the possibility to develop in more ways than you can imagine … because everything you desire is closer than you think.

Love and wellness,

David.

“At this moment you aren’t on a journey, but wandering about, being driven from place to place, even though what you seek—to live well—is found in all places.”
— Seneca, Moral Letters 28.5b-6a

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