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Being Present

Are You Tired of Living in Shades of Gray?

By October 22, 2014December 7th, 2020One Comment

Art intrigues me.

Probably because I was exposed to many forms of art during my childhood. From paintings to delicate handwork, to hand-knit garments, to incredible music, to beautifully crafted furniture, to delectable food, my life has been surrounded by art.

My art teacher, Mr. Borich, used to say, “Look at that cloud. How many colors do you see?” At first, I could only see shades of gray and white. I mean, come on, clouds are white, gray, and sometimes black, right? But, he’d push my classmates and me, “Look closer. What do you really see?”

As I studied and watched the clouds moving outside our classroom window, colors exploded into my vision. There were blues, greens, yellows, grays, reds, purples in all shades, intensities, and depths. The clouds had color! Extraordinary subtle shades in beautiful simplicity.

Mr. Borich taught us to train our eyes to look beyond the surface.

Being fully alive, fully present in each day, requires the same training. We learn to see beyond the obvious; to identify the colors in our world. Look at the nuances. Explore the depths. Feel the intensity. Describe them. Embrace them.

Some days will be more colorful than others. But, if we train our eyes to see beyond the first or second layer, everyday life becomes simply extraordinary. We recapture the wonder that may have slipped just a bit.

“Life can be great, but not when you can’t see it. So, open your eyes to life: to see it in the vivid colors that God gave us as a precious gift to His children, to enjoy life to the fullest, and to make it count. Say yes to your life.”  Nancy Reagan

Let’s try an experiment today. Stop your normal activity for 15 minutes. Look at something you see everyday. Study it. Probe beyond the obvious. Then, on a piece of paper, write down all the colors you see. If you’re really brave, attempt to draw it blending the colors together. What did you discover? Tell me about it in the comments below.