NDA Colorado March 0105 2019 2

Breaking Rhythm

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Humans are creatures of habit. We often go to the same places, around the same time, and do the same things. There is a comfort in the predictable way of familiar places and routines.

If you’ve ever seen a carriage horse, you may have seen the dark leather patches that come up near their eyes, known as blinders. The blinders block out things around the horse, making its vision stay forward and focused on the routine things it sees around it every day. The horse stays calm and gets the job done; but never really takes in fresh things about the area it works in. When we get into our habits and routines it is sometimes easy to put on our own blinders. We stop looking around the way we once did, because some part of us believes that each space we have been to will always stay the same.

Personal blinders might help us stay in our life rhythm, but sometimes this same eyes-forward look can lead us to miss the moments of opportunity and wonder right around us even in places we’ve been 100 times.

This photo was taken in Summit County, Colorado where I often go to visit family. I’ve been to this particular place enough times that I pretty much know what to expect in terms of landscape, weather, and even my own routines when I’m there. In short, it’s very easy to forget to take time to truly look around this location both with my eyes and my lens.

On this particular day though, I managed to take a second and shift my gaze upwards. What I would have expected was a simple clear sky, maybe dotted by a cloud here or there the way it usually is. Instead I had to catch my breath. The clouds were moving as if in a race I didn’t know about, and the tiny sliver of the moon in the photo kept peeking in and then out of view. This photo was taken on a regular day, in a regular place, but it is not just a routine photo.

This photo serves as a reminder of the power of simply stopping and looking at the places we find ourselves in. Not just the new places we go to after planning extensive vacations or accepting new job offers. Instead, it’s about reminding ourselves to take down our blinders. It tells us to let our focus wander off its usual forward path. To look up and take in the spaces, things, and people around us even when we think we have already experienced all a place has to offer. Don’t miss out on the unexpected things right along your path because you didn’t look up from your work, your phone, or your every day commute. Instead, look up and let yourself be surprised by the beautiful moments you didn’t see coming.

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Photo by Nathan Anderson

NDA Colorado March 0105 2019 2
Entry 02

Contributing To Bettering Mental Health

15% of profit from each photo proudly supports mental health research at the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. They use 100% of their donations to fund grants for mental health research.

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