Woman walking in shopping mall

Seeing things afresh: ‘walking on red’

In All articles, Mindful living by Norman Lamont

Woman walking in shopping mallSometimes we have to remind ourselves that this mindfulness enterprise isn’t all about meditation. It’s about waking up to everyday life.

One exercise I came across years ago might appeal to you next time you’re walking to work or the shops: ‘Walking on red’ ( or ‘blue’ or ‘green’ …)

Simply choose a colour before you go out and decide to notice everything of that colour. That’s it!

What you’ll find is that you notice so much more of what’s around you, particularly if it’s a route you do regularly. You notice not just things of the colour you’ve chosen but all sorts of things. It’s probably because you’ve primed yourself to look so you’ve come out of your inner shell into the world. You’ll notice all sorts of variations of your colours – natural hues, gaudy commercial designs, materials faded in the sun, how some people wear matching clothes (and some don’t).

And it’s not just what you see but you’ll notice thoughts and emotions triggered by the colours.

Give it a try – it’s easy and free!

(I first came across this in a description of a writing class run by William Burroughs. I found this article with a similar exercise also referencing Burroughs.)

Update: this is one of the exercises to try in Mindfulness Without Meditation, the free email course available on this site.