I recently wrote this article for Kind Over Matter on Practicing Presence by People Watching… one of my all-time favorite things to do!
I hope you enjoy…
I sit here on this barstool and watch the world move around me.
People. Other human beings created from love and made of eternity. Just like me. Roaming the earth, filling this space with their bodies, trajectory, voices, and needs.
I hear a young woman at the table behind me talking in another language. She’s laughing as she Skypes with someone on her computer.
The couple sitting to my left talk in low voices, faces blank.
College students work at their computers. Business-types talk on cell phones, scheduling meetings. Couples snuggle close and browse their electronic devices.
The bar staff moves with purpose and ease, born from familiarity with the space around them.
Skateboarders glide by on the sidewalk outside. Bicyclists rush past. Cars speed by them both. All on their way somewhere.
The girl behind me is laughing harder now. I’m in love with her lack of self-consciousness – the joy she projects into the room.
Mellow electric beats circulate the in air above me. Filling the high ceilings with enough atmosphere to encourage the room’s inhabitants to talk at a normal volume. Trusting their conversations won’t be overheard.
The cooks in the open kitchen have their own music going while they bop around their work stations preparing bar-friendly gourmet appetizers.
One of the bartenders just set three big boxes of lemons, oranges and limes on the counter next to me. He’s stocking the bar in preparation for the busy night ahead.
It’s Saturday, 4:00pm. I’m drinking a Glenlivet on the rocks.
Since arriving an hour ago, the crowd has grown and the atmosphere is more festive.
Another female human joins me at the bar, four bar stools away. She’s reading a thick book, split open at the beginning.
A large cluster of humans gather around the bar. Some sort of work soirée or networking mixer is getting underway.
I need to move seats. Things are getting crowded.
The girl with the book moves too.
People-watching is one of my all-time favorite things to do.
There’s nothing to achieve, nowhere to go. Sitting. Watching. BEing.
I feel a sense of connection and acceptance.
Acceptance for myself, for others, for everything, just as it is.
This is enough. To sit on a barstool and just BE. To sit with myself and be okay.
To notice and observe without attachment to outcome. I feel at peace. I feel grounded in my body. I feel whispers of my young self, always curious and self-contained.
I am home, always.
Wherever I go, whatever I’m doing, I am by my own side. I am my greatest friend and ally. I see, hear, understand, accept myself, as I am, in this moment.
I am valuable and worthy of love. I am enough.
Whether sitting on a barstool or preparing dinner or running errands or feeling overwhelmed, I am always at home. Always enough.
There’s nowhere to be when I am present. The past is a memory that exists in the present moment. The future is an idea that exists in the present moment.
This moment is all that’s real.
Feel it now, wherever you are. Feel your body, solid and present. Feel your breath, moving in and out. You are home.