Last month, I visited my family in Los Angeles. I love going to Los Angeles after long stints in the countryside, because there are so many interesting things to see. Architecture, cultural influences, the ocean, and of course my family are a few of my favorite sights to see in LA.

The art of noticing is something that requires awareness, but not awkwardness. When I am aware, interesting things appear. I’m not looking for them, so it’s not awkward. This curious image above appeared before my eyes, though I’d probably walked by it a hundred times. And never noticed it. Finally when I did notice it, I found it to be a unique and telling sight. Outside of my brother’s office are these two sculptural pieces. These iconic items are storytellers. My brother is a chef and these speak to the heart of his passion for food, cooking, and people.

Buddha artwork is a favorite of mine, and I notice them quite often. Not for their philosophical relation, but rather for their spiritual suggestion. When I see a Buddha, I’m reminded of my deeper essence. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s quote, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience” comes alive when I see a meditating Buddha figure.

My infatuation with silver continues. Silver was a part of my youth, and on my trip to Mexico last Fall, I couldn’t help buying a few rings. When I wear these, I notice how light reflects off of every hammered plane. I notice the shapes that required effort and concentration to form. Mostly, I notice how much I enjoy noticing these details!

I can look at this photo and draw from memory the earthy, one-of-a-kind, holy scent of sage. This image is not staged. I found this bundle as is, and noticed how it had already started to fulfill its smudging destiny, but had many more smokey hours ahead of it. The delicate ashes could disappear instantly with a soft blow or the rubbing of two fingers. This image was naturally, perfectly composed.

Walking on sand is such a unique sensation. It’s soft, but firm. The ground is solid, yet constantly transforming with every step. It can be warm or hot on top, and cool as your feet reach deeper layers. My favorite sensation was walking close to the water, and allowing the water to cover my feet. I closed my eyes and noticed how the sand felt under my feet and between my toes. It was like clay. My feet could shape and mold the sand. It felt refreshing, grainy, and playful.

It’s fun and meaningful to stop and notice the world around us, and the world within us. When we do, we discover so many subtle and fascinating things. May we be so blessed today as to be present to the art of noticing.

What does noticing mean to you? When does noticing become inspiring and fun for you? Is there anything that you especially enjoy noticing? Please share your experiences with the art of noticing by commenting below.

From my inspiration to yours.