One of my favorite ways to center myself during the day is to go outside and do a “cloud check.” I simply walk outside, or look out a window if that isn’t plausible, and look up at the sky. Then, one by one, I access each of my senses to tune into the vastness of sky through inquiry. An inquiry may go like this:
*What do I see? Clouds. What type are they? Is the moon visible in the day sky?
*What do I hear? A plane. Dogs barking. Birds. Where are they?
*What do I smell? Fragrant flowers. Smog.
*What do I feel on my skin? A breeze. Sun of my face.
*What do I taste? Cinnamon gum. Saltwater.
As with all mindful exercises, there is no judgment about my inquiry. Even typically “annoying” sounds or smells, I notice without judgment. This can take all of a minute, to five minutes, but it rejuvenates for a long time. Try it!