Stop looking so you can SEE

Stop looking so you can SEE what's around you. It sounds a bit silly really doesn't it?

It was a dark and stormy night... no, actually it was a light and sparkly wintry morning and I was having my coffee and reading Danny Gregory's, Everyday Matters.

One chapter stood out to me, he had written about really 'seeing'...

When you look at something you are filing it into a category, "I'm in the park", "Here's Soho", "Light's green." It's easy it's fast it's the way to cope with NY. But when you just let yourself SEE, it's like opening a window on the first day of spring. Things flow in, sharp, differentiated. Instead of whipping past, you study things you didn't really know existed."

Danny Gregory started drawing after his wife was involved in an accident, and with many hours in the hospital, sitting and waiting, started to draw.

"I spent most of my life not believing I had the right to consider myself an artist in any way.

But then I started drawing about fifteen years ago and it changed my life.

It led me to travel, to meet people, to get books published,

but most of all it transformed the way I see the world around me and how I experience every day."

Danny's art journal books (and videos - hope you enjoy these) are very inspiring, and I've revisited them many times. Over the years of studying, teaching and practicing mindfulness, I've found that it is fascinating, if you start to slow down... and take your time when looking, what you do see.

I'd never seen rainbow surf till a couple of years ago, but now if the light is right, just on dusk, when the sun is low in the sky, you will see rainbows on wave crests.

It still amazes me that it's taken me till my late 50's to see that, given that the beach is my happy place, my walking place and general go to place.

Split Rock at Crowdy Head National Park pictured above.

I've been hosting a creative cluster for Walking In This World the second book in The Artist's Way series, and part of our weekly exercises is to go for a walk for about 20 minutes. Not a hard task given all the natural beauty around this area.

I'd been wanting to head down to Diamond Head for a bush walk, and today seemed like a good day to do that.

So we packed up a picnic and headed off, and with Danny Gregory's words in my mind, I slowed down, and attempted to move past looking and into seeing.

The stones in this area are so interesting, there seems to be a range of basalt, granite and I don't know what else... of all sizes and shapes. They are ideal for stacking, and it was a delight to see all the stone stacks that people had left behind.

We both joined in and created one as well.

Dannys' words stayed with me this morning as I balanced on stones, steadying myself against the wind that was buffeting me, in order to take photos.

On the way back I kept looking up at this stone formation, and as I slowed down stopped and looked, my eyes focused in on a giant stone heart.

What a delight to discover, and a reminder what can happen when you stop and how much more you can see.

If you're ever in the vicinity, and like camping, there are spots for your van or tent, with lots of kangaroos and wallabies grazing, it would be a lovely place to spend a night or two. Maybe take the sketchbook and do some drawing, or just have some time out to do nothing (another task from Walking In This World).

We did the shorter of the walks, from Diamond Head Campground to Mermaid Lookout, as the afternoon was closing in and the temperatures dropping. Next visit we will allow more time, and do the longer walk that takes in Natural Arch.

Who knows we may even spot a mermaid on Mermaid Reef.