Take Time to Smell the Roses

Take Time to Smell the Roses

I was going to write about partying, but in light of all the misunderstanding, sadness and hurt I see on social media, I just didn’t feel it in my spirit. I always tell my clients to stop and smell the roses. Well today, I did.

I decided to step back and take a walk. Not my usual racewalk where I get into a zone zooming down the road and through the streets with blinders on trying to increase my speed and decrease my time. I walked slowly and casually down one of my usual routes and was amazed with my discoveries. Ordinarily, I walk with as little weight as possible but since my intention was introspective, I took my camera and here’s what I realized.

We Can Change Perceptions With a Simple Hello
Every time I walk, it is customary for me to speak to everyone I encounter. Just a simple “hi” or “good morning” and I keep it moving. One day, as my daughter jogged next to me while I walked, she asked me why I spoke to everyone. I shared with her that I acknowledge people. We both share a common goal, which is to be healthy. Most often, people return the salutation, however, there have been times when I’d greet a person and they wouldn’t respond. Maybe they’re sad, afraid, angry or just didn’t hear me. I never get offended because my intention is to be kind and I know that a kind word initiated from a stranger can mean the world to someone. Most of the perceptions of Black people are created by images seen in the media. My act of kindness creates a reset in the person’s mind that says, “Hey, this person is not like the images I see on television.” They realize I’m not there to harm them, I’m only acknowledging their presence. So whenever that person sees me again, he or she will always speak! It never fails!

Beauty is Everywhere
As I ventured out to find some roses, I discovered so much more. I happened upon rosemary leaves I’d never seen before flourishing through a bed of leaves. I saw a lavender bush still emanating its sweet, calming aroma even though it’s no longer in season. The fresh scent of pine trees that I gave no regard before, lined the streets tall and strong. I never noticed a citrus tree growing in the front yard of a home I passed on numerous occasions. Oh, how much more had I taken for granted?

I spied Daphne berries, that like some people, are beautiful on the outside but poisonous inside. I’d always recognized the earthy fragrance of the Eucalyptus trees as I whizzed by, but upon close investigation, I observed a shape of the leaf that was unfamiliar to me. It appears that not even nature is as it seems upon first sight.

I came upon the geese that are usually in the water, bathing near the fountain or relaxing on the gazebo, but here they were on the sidewalk. I’m usually afraid of them because some are as tall as me, and I’d heard their tough beaks could be dangerous, but I realized that they are also God’s creation just like me and we can both live peacefully together. I know that the natural reaction of animals and humans is to attack when provoked. On my walks, I’ve seen deer, cats, turkeys, quails and squirrels and they’ve all run away upon sight because they’re as afraid of me as I am of them.

Everyone Has a Purpose
As in nature, from the ant to the elephant, we have all been placed on this earth for a reason or we wouldn’t be here. There are those who discover very early what their purpose is, some are born into their purpose and others are “late bloomers” or search their lifetime never being fulfilled. My purpose is changing the paradigm of thinking toward health and wellness and I’ve come to the conclusion that the world is in need of a cleansing. We are living in a toxic society where dissention, jealousy, malice, contempt and hatred abound. Sometimes things are black and white. There’s no grey area between what’s right and what’s wrong. There are those who rationalize this reality, but deep down on a moral level, we all know and we can do better. We can be better. Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” I believe that. I believe in happy endings. That good always wins over evil. If each person were to live his or her purpose, a positive change would occur. Gandhi said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

Everything on my route wasn’t beautiful. There were old cars in driveways and homes that were in need of repair. Going through life with blinders on, you’ll never enjoy the journey. There’s beauty in everything and everyone, but one has to choose to see it. Just like the roses.