In my design life the idiom was that God was in the details. And truly in most good design it is the nuances of the tiny details in the hem of a dress, or the wood trim, or special finish of a surface that truly makes the difference. When these details are ignored you can feel the lack of attention in not only the pieces but also in the whole.
Details are important. It can backfire, however, when paying attention to details, really obsessing over the details of our lives is just a way to avoid seeing the reality of the bigger picture. When we become lost in the details of our lives, often we get caught up in the doing of life instead of actually being in our lives.
The daily tasks of life pull us into a secure headspace. Checking off the boxes and getting things done feels safe and productive. Taking care of the trees without any sense of the perspective of the forest. Doing things is immediate. It’s like seeing the trees up close, the task fill up our view. It’s easy to grasp what is in front of us. We feel in control.
But when we hike up a little further, and get above the treetops, take a longer view and look out, WOW! It can take your breath away to see the expanse of where you are and the many choices truly available to you. What was working when we were deep in the trees can seem silly and limiting when we see the panoramic view of the forest and feel the courage that view offers.
When you connect to the breath through mindfulness or a yoga practice the breath can take you to the place of perspective, of the many possibilities, of a place of abundant courage to fuel exploration. When I stop being obsessed with the details of the trees, I can see the beautiful magic of the forest. It opens up before me like the vastness of a deep blue night sky above me or the expansiveness of a lush green valley below. My think head (finally) surrenders to my much wiser heart.
Seeing the forest is not one of the benefits that you’ll find on the typical list of yoga and mindfulness benefits. It is one of the beautiful, simple, unexpected miracles of the practice. You don’t have to be an advanced yogi standing on your head or doing back bends to access it. You just have to be able to stop all the doing, focus on the breath, and let go. Give it a try. It’s a beautiful view.
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