The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

Here it is, Saturday morning, and as per my usual I am but an arm’s stretch away from my strategically placed ginormous mug of coffee!

You know, I had the nicest day this past week.  I decided to take myself for a ‘wander’!  With phone in hand, I literally walked around downtown Chicago with absolutely no specific destination in mind.  The only things I wanted to accomplish were to take a few photos, get some exercise, and well, okay stop by my favorite chocolate shop (after the exercising, of course)!

At first it seemed a bit ‘strange’ to simply walk around without a place to go or a time to be there.  Usually when I find myself in downtown Chicago it is for a specific reason.  I am downtown all the time, but always hurrying (like everyone else in this busy city) from one place to another.

And so, I began to stroll.  I strolled past all kinds of amazing architecture; however, this time guess what I did? I looked at it!  I looked up, I looked across, and down and over, and well, you get the picture! Speaking of picture, the above picture was taken on my merry little journey-less journey.  It is taken on the Michigan Avenue Bridge, and below is the Chicago River (you know, the one they dye green for St. Patrick’s Day that I recently posted about).  The two funny-shaped buildings are the, “Marina Towers”, a.k.a. the, “CornCob Buildings”.

But here is my take-away of my adventure (besides some photos and dark chocolate covered somethings).  I was in the moment.  I was actually present in the here and now.  How often do we think about yesterday, last week, ten years ago, and miss that which is literally smack-dab in front of us.  I do this constantly.  I also think about tomorrow, next week, ten years from now; you get the picture.

Being in the moment, as the brilliant author Eckhart Tolle tells us in his book, “The Power of Now”:

“Nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.”

It is so difficult to do but yet so incredibly freeing and rewarding.  I think that is what I was experiencing when I took the photo in this post.  I was standing on the bridge, taking a mental note of the wind, the sun, the tour boat that was just about to float by, when I realized that being in that moment was precisely what I was doing! I laughed a quiet laugh at being aware of being aware! Hehehehehe

It might sound silly, but for me it was delightful.  We have enough in our lives that we deal with, worry about, have obligations, situations, and the proverbial list goes on and on.  But I think I am going to try the ‘now thing’ a lot more often.  Observing and being mindful of the experience is so much better than looking at something incredibly amazing, only to find yourself wondering if you have butter in the fridge for tonight’s baked potatoes.

I’d like to send a wee challenge out to you.  Give the ‘now thing’ (as I am calling it) a try.  Even for a few minutes; please let me know how it goes.  As for me, why, I’ll be doing the ‘now thing’ noticing how incredibly delicious these chocolates are tasting!

Traci York, Writer

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