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What if we looked up more often in life? The Art Of Paying Attention

Mindset

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AUTHORED BY

Bella Rose Pope

Life moves at such an interesting pace. So quickly nowadays. Information moves faster, we move faster, sometimes not even peeking up from under the visor of our everyday routine, shrouding us in more of the same.

And we wonder why we aren’t happy.

I went to get groceries today. I went down the same aisles, dropping the same foods in my cart, without even looking up to meet another eye of a human other than the cashier.

Head down, keep moving.

Zipping from one end of the store to the other, having forgotten certain items that never made it to my actual list but popped up in the moment.

Head down, keep moving.

Dragging plastic bag after plastic bag from the cart to my car and running to drop the cart in the right place where they’re collected, thank you very much.

Head down, keep moving.

Loading as many bags as I can onto my arms when I get home—sometimes 8 at a time—from my car into the house, winding around an overly eager pup’s squeals.

Head down, keep moving.

And then I started putting the food into the fridge, which had to be put on pause because I hadn’t emptied the fridge of leftovers and such for over two weeks, and there was no waiting for that.

I grabbed a new garbage bag from under the sink. I knew the garbage was already a bit too full for what I’d need.

Head down, keep moving.

I started grabbing plastic fruit bins and tossing them into the bag. Some leftovers were too far gone to even care about the completely reusable plastic tupperware containers they were stored in.

So I just tossed those into the garbage bag too—I have plenty more.

Head down, keep moving.

I found some spoiled yogurt, grabbed it, and looked down at the bag’s bulging sides, tossing it in and turning back to the fridge.

Head down, — wait.

I looked back at the bag.

Wait.

I not only threw away a ridiculous amount of plastic without even really…noticing, but I also wasted a lot of food. There was a large container of meat that I made and just…didn’t want to eat for several days, a bowl of at least 3 more serving sizes (maybe 2) of mixed salad.

A bowl of rice with beef and onion from two weeks ago when I ordered chinese food.

Several pieces of fruit from the bin on my counter.

And I didn’t even realize I was wasting so much.

Because the truth is that I do care about the environment. I care about wasting food, and I had in fact told someone close to me that I was making an effort to waste less food not two weeks before today.

But I was throwing away a big bag full of it.

I hadn’t even been paying attention.

I move move move, so quickly, all the time, that I don’t even realize that I am not living up to who I really want to be—to who I truly am.

And I can’t help but think a lot of the rest of the world is probably doing the same thing.

Who would we be if we just…paid attention?

If we caught ourselves in the moment of awareness and stopped ourselves from doing something that was against our morals or values or even just our goals?

If we instead chose what we wanted, intentionally, and lived up to that?

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Who could we be?

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