I missed the perfect view of a miraculous sunrise yesterday morning. Or at least I thought I had when I snapped the photo to the right.
The plan was to be at the top of the first peak of my hike by 6:19am, just in time for the civil sunrise and the colors that come between it and the actual sunrise. I had no idea the clouds would be so perfect. I only knew that I hadn’t hiked in several days and that a good long hike with a sunset view would be a refreshing end to travel-filled week.
Up at 5:15am without an alarm. 30 minutes of Yoga. If I had stayed in the moment, I’d have hit that first peak at just the right time. But I didn’t. I let myself get distracted by the future, and then I allowed myself to break my own self-imposed ban on opening my computer on a Sunday.
During yoga a thought popped into my head related to a “Listening As Strategy” presentation I’m giving in a few days at CRS Sell-A-Bration in Orlanda. I wondered how much had been written about listening impacting SEO strategy, so I decided to check. “I’ll just do a quick search. It will only take a second.” Famous last words.
The computer is shut on Sundays so I can focus on my family. But since everyone was asleep, I justified opeing it because I wouldn’t be taking any time away from them. One search led to another and before I realized, it was 6:15am. If I could have slapped myself, I would have.
When I poked my head out the front door, the colors I saw in the sky let me know that I should have stayed in the moment and simply written down my interrupting thought. Then I beat myself up as I walked toward the trail, my view obscured, watching the colors fade as the sun made it’s way toward rising.
By the time I reached the peak, the sun was just popping out over the mountains, and I snapped the second photo without the usual joy. I said to myself, “Wow, this would have been great, if I had been here 30 minutes earlier.” And then it hit me. I still wasn’t in the moment. I traded the future for the past and wasn’t enjoying how beautiful this version of the sunrise truly was. What a gift it was. So I stopped and just breathed for a few moments to pull myself back into the moment.
I was given the gift of a miraculous sunrise yesterday, but it had nothing to do with the quality of the colors. Yesterday’s sunrise was miraculous, because it was a lesson. It’s not often you get such a clear example of what you miss when you allow yourself to step out of the moment. I have a lot to learn about recognizing when a distraction is keeping me from experiencing the now fully. I need to remember to simply breath, acknowledge the distraction and move it out of the way.
I’ve got a lot to learn.