On this date in 1840, the French impressionist painter Claude Monet was born. Monet’s paintings are characterized by his signature bold brushstrokes and the way he was able to express the play of light on the canvas; but what truly made his work revolutionary was his perspective. By his own words, Monet didn’t paint sunrises or water lilies; he painted his impressions of those things at the time that he observed them. With his work, Monet’s primary interest was in capturing the feeling – the energy – of a particular moment. His concern was in expressing how the conditions of the light and the air affect the landscape, and, of course, these vary continuously.
So much of the time we get caught up in “the big picture” – schedules and commitments, obstacles and detours. Running late, cursing the traffic, getting through the workday… The world rushes by, and with it the years of our lifetime. What if we were to adopt Monet’s attitude and make a conscious effort to notice the moments in our days? Not to recreate them visually as Monet did, but to be fully present in our lives, intimately aware of our selves and our surroundings. To awaken all of our senses to capture a single instant of our world in constant motion. Could we appreciate Now for the beauty that it offers us?
Give this a try: allow all concerns for the future and regrets of the past to fall away for just a moment, and focus your thoughts and the entirety of your awareness on Now. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Feel? The present moment holds enough beauty and grace within it to fill your storehouse. Are you able to allow it to do so?
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