I went out for a lovely, 2-hour walk this afternoon, getting back home just after sunset. I walked along one of the many rivers here in Shizuoka City and then cut southeast to head back toward home. As I crossed a bridge, I was struck by the beauty of the sunset. I took a photo.

Just another sunset from a bridge ...

If  you click on the photo, you can see a bigger version of it. Even if you do, however, it won’t even hope to capture the essence of what I experienced as I looked across to the mountains and beyond.

This really brought home an interesting point for me: What we choose to see – what we choose to appreciate – has a significant place in our experience.

There are things that we see that we process automatically. Unless something surprising is in the content, we tend to move on and discard the image. Such processing tends to be a very automated aspect of our existence.

Today, I realized that even though certain things jump out at us to grab our attention, we still have a choice as to how we perceive it. Is it an annoyance? Insignificant? A bother? Worthwhile? Only you can decide.

This last thought is what really caught my attention. It seems to me that if we’re to create beauty and abundance in our lives, we need to be able to recognize that beauty. We need to choose to see things beyond being ordinary. We need to attune ourselves to touch the very soul of existence.

As I stood on that bridge and watched the sun set behind the mountains, I was so utterly touched by the stillness in the air and the almost palpable presence of the event itself. I was struck by the counterpoint of traffic behind me as I stood in absolute stillness to bring the experience as close to me as possible.

In that moment, I realized that what we choose to see is a big part of our experience. We can look at a scene and see … pedestrian and boring nothingness or we can see something remarkable and refreshing. Whether we see one or the other is all about choice.

I encourage you all to make the choice of seeing something as remarkable. Don’t take even a second of your life as being anything other than a magnificent gift. The life we live as a corporeal being is unimaginably short. It’s my opinion that we should make the most of it while we’re here.

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