You can't accept the gifts you don't see - PinterestImagine someone has a gift to give you. Something they’re super-excited to give you because they just know you’re going to love it. They even go out of their way to leave it out somewhere where it’ll surprise you at just the right time, because that’s just the kind of person they are.

Now imagine you just walked right by that gift and didn’t even notice it was there. What a letdown for the gift-giver, and what a loss for you.

What if I told you that you’re doing this every single day of your life? That someone out there has been leaving beautiful gifts for you, hoping you’ll notice them, but you’ve just been blindly walking by them? Every. Single. Day.

Gifts from the Universe

Here’s the thing: The Universe goes out of its way to surprise and delight us, daily, but we’re usually too caught up in ourselves to even notice the gifts it lays out for us. You can’t accept the gifts you don’t see. So, more often than not, the Universe has to deal with the disappointment of us just walking by all these wonderful surprises it has created for us.

What if someone gave you a beautiful gift & you didn’t even see it? Click To Tweet

I think that so many of us – and I am absolutely guilty of this as much as anyone else – we get tangled up in what’s going in our lives, we get stuck in our heads and we don’t stop to really take a look at what’s happening around us.

We don’t see the beauty and the miracles that are handed to us on a silver platter, all the time.

So today’s mantra is: LOOK. And I’m inviting you to take a moment this week to step out of your head for a little bit and open yourself up to the gifts the Universe is trying to give you.

When you’re stuck in your head

We’ve had a freakishly warm week for this time of year here in Ottawa, and I’ve started walking outside again. It’s been gray and overcast for all of those walks so far, except Sunday. I wasn’t going to go out because it was windy and not as warm as it had been – but the glorious sunshine finally overcame by aversion to sub-zero temperatures and off I went.

Look to find the hidden gifts in life

When I walk, I’m usually deep in thought and not overly aware of what’s going on around me. I register obstacles and other people and such, but I’m caught up in what’s going on my head.

Sometimes I’m pondering deep metaphysical questions or puzzling out an upcoming blog article or book chapter, but more often than not I’m just mired in the minutiae of daily life. I’m thinking about my “to do” lists or what’s on the calendar for the week or I’m worrying about something. I do some of my best worrying when I’m walking.

Out of your head and into the world

About half-way through my walk, though, I started to get distracted from my worrying. Something unusual caught my eye. Something was sparkling. I swear I have magpie blood in me or something because I am oddly attracted to shiny things – if it glitters, I’m automatically drawn to it. I have to check it out, no matter what it is.

Like the time my friend and I went shopping with her mother, who needed a dress for some business thing, and I kept finding shimmery lamé numbers in every store we walked into. (For some unknown reason, I have never been invited to shop with her mom since then…)

You can’t accept the gifts you don’t see. #Look #MantraMinded Click To Tweet

A beautiful gift

Anyhow.

Something that day was sparkling. And I realized it was the bike path I was walking on. All the tiny bits of silica in the asphalt were glittering in the sun like tiny little diamonds embedded in the ground. Against the dark pavement they looked like stars.

I was walking on a path of stars.

Something so simple and so easily overlooked. But an extraordinarily beautiful gift, nonetheless. And I almost missed it because I was so caught up in my all-important worrying.

A history of gifts received

I started thinking about other little moments just like it.

Those times when I’ve appreciated the shape of a cloud, or been entranced by the colour of an autumn leaf, or been mesmerized the coordinated dance of a school of minnows in the shallows of a river.

Times when a friend has made me laugh, or one of my kids has painstakingly printed out “I love you” on a picture they’ve drawn.

Times when I’ve enjoyed a particularly good conversation or connected with another human being over something that most would consider completely trivial and weird.

It’s moments like these that we tend to overlook because we’re absorbed in other things.

Learning to accept your gifts

But these are the moments that are the real gifts in life. The ones that, if we just allow ourselves to really experience and appreciate them, make us realize how truly blessed we really are.

It doesn’t take riches or fame or unprecedented success. The Universe is showering us with extraordinary blessings and beautiful gifts in every moment of our lives. But these gifts aren’t delivered with fanfare and marching bands.

They’re the quiet gifts. The little things.

But they’re the things that matter most.

And all we have to do to receive them is just look around and see them.

 

Photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)
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