Monday, February 29, 2016

Dr. Faulkner: Heads Up

As a botanist and wildflower enthusiast, I spend a lot of my walking around time looking down.  I’m looking for flowers and lichens and fungi and mosses.  Like today (Feb. 23), I noticed that crocuses are blooming in the grass in front of Warf.  Even when I’m walking on the sidewalks in my neighborhood, I tend to look down even though there aren’t many wildflowers to see.

I recently became aware of this tendency and have made a conscious decision to look up more.  As a result I’m noticing things that previously escaped my attention.  I’m observing trees and buildings and perhaps most importantly the people around me.  Vistas and landscape that I previously ignored are now obvious.  It is still a struggle and even on a short walk, I have to remind myself to look up.

Sometimes this happens in my mental state as well.  I become fixated on my immediate surroundings and on what is currently close to my feet.  I have to make an effort to look up – to do an environmental scan. And I have to look further down the road to what opportunities lay ahead.

So my challenge to myself and to you is to purposefully take some time today to look up.  Heads up!

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