5 Benefits From Taking Time to Observe

It is early morning.  My favorite time of the day.  It is when I can just sit on my deck with a steaming cup of coffee and listen to the birds, watch the bunny rabbits eat my garden, and see an occasional deer eating leaves from a tree nearby.  It is also a great time to observe.

In a go-go world, where success is measured on how many practices you make, your work deadlines, your sales, family schedules, your grades, friends and likes.  It can be hard to separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of this world, to take a little time to ground yourself again.  But, here are a few things that I have learned by taking time out to observe. By the way, I like to observe nature, but you may enjoy sitting in a cafe and observing the bustle around you.

5 Benefits of Observing

1. Time – When I sit for a minute and observe other things, people, or my coffee cup, I can take time for myself.  We need that as human beings.  We are not machines, but sometimes we act that way.  We have this innate desire to be strong and keep going.  Sometimes, we just need time to stop and observe.

2. Work – Whether your work is school, job, or making dinner, you have work.  Sometimes, your work is overwhelming.  It is a great time to sit down and observe the things around you.  There are times, that we just need to stop the work.

It is amazing.  When I take time in the morning to sit and observe the nature in my backyard, I am able to think about the tasks of the day.  I usually walk through my schedule in my head and think is there a better way to do that task. For instance, I am working on a customer quilt.  I need to finish it today and yet there are many steps in front of me.  By walking through the needed tasks, I am able to get a clear plan and not feel so overwhelmed, while watching a bunny eat my broccoli in the garden.

3. Perspective – When I am busy and running around, sometimes it is easy to lose perspective on what is actually important.  The other day, I rushing to get dinner on the table, only to find that no one was eating together.  I mean no one was eating dinner.  My daughter had to rush to swim practice and my husband was not home yet.  Here I was standing in the kitchen with a pan in my hand, thinking…why exactly did I take the time to plan the dinner, make the dinner, and serve it?  Eventually they ate my dinner, just not together and not when it was hot.

The real problem was not with them.  It was with me.  I had lost perspective of the expectations on a family dinner.  In my need to create a healthy dinner for consumption, I forgot that they were not going to be there.  When I take the time in the morning to sit and observe God’s creation, I tend to think of the forthcoming day and be able to plan a little better.  So, instead of getting frustrated with making dinner for no one, I got a good laugh at it.

4. Reality – I have noticed an uptick in the stress of people.  I don’t know if it is supported by scientific evidence.  The people around me are always talking about the next thing that they have to do or what is not working for them.

While those things are important, it is important to have a reality check.  When my daughter was young, she would have moments that she was frustrated and upset.  I would always ask her; is a puppy dog hurt? is a baby hurt? Is there a major infraction against another human being?(she didn’t understand that one…but that was okay.).  If the answer was no, then we moved on and dealt with the source of her frustration.  While these questions are for a little girl, the same thing applies to us, adults.  Our questions may look different, but they help us get some reality.

When I sit an observe in the morning, I have time to have a reality check.  I am a worrier.  There I said it.  I can worry about everything.  Yet, when I take the time to watch the deer munch on the trees, I find that I can relax enough to see the reality of my situation. I can ask myself some questions.  Is what I am worried about, really a worry?  Is it in my control? If not in my control, can I influence it?  If I can not influence it, can I pray about it?  Can I release it, because there is nothing that I can do?  If it is in my control, can I change the outcome to a more positive one?  What are my next steps?  I go through a whole series of questions trying to frame a reality of my situation.  I do this from my deck while listening to the birds sing a beautiful song.

5. Peace – I have to be careful on this one…I do not always have peace.  But, I am more likely to have peace, if I take time to observe and drink my coffee, than if I do not.  By the way, during this observation period, if you are a person who likes to read the Bible…this is an excellent time to read.

There is a certain calmness and peace that I have from sitting watching the deer munching on the trees, the bunnies destroying, I mean eating my broccoli the garden(peace, just think peace…), and the birds singing their morning song.  It helps me throughout the day.  I can start the day with reflection of my worries, plans to combat my worries, and a schedule that is realistic and doable.

Here is a side benefit of my observation time…I tend to be a little more thankful.  Because while I am conquering my worries and problems, I can see the beauty of God’s creation and the incredible people in my life.  For that, I am very, very thankful!

I do not know if sitting and observing nature in the morning helps you.  I only know that I find that there are 5 Benefits for me.

Have a wonderful day!