I’m used to walking fast like most Chicagoans and other people living in big cities. However, since I started practicing yoga, it encouraged me to slow down and try to connect to my inner self while on my yoga mat. 30 minutes of yoga a day is mostly the only time of the day I pay attention to my breaths, parts of my body, and my restless mind. Since the program began I’ve tried to bring that intention off the mat with me to every of my day in Spain. I started observing landscapes and small plants around me as if I were the size of an ant.

1.The world of giant jade plants

These succulent plants were watching us as we were passing by. Maybe they were curious who I am as I was curious what it’s like to look at the trail from their spot

Views from high mountains are often so breathtaking that I normally neglect my surroundings such as types of plants. It wasn’t the case during my Montserrat hiking. Although I liked the beautiful views Montserrat offered, I enjoyed the hiking more by looking on both sides of my hiking trail. I got down to the small plants’ level. I observed it and the epic landscape through its angle. It was like a different world that lets my imagination grow.

It’s a world of massive rocks and giant jade plants whose leaves are puffy. Could a falling leaf of jade plants crush an ant?

2. The spotlight

The white houses are standout more in this raindrop-like-shape frame. It draws attention of whoever is looking at the picture. Without the frame, the white houses seem to have no chance to shine against the coast and the sea. I wanted to give it a chance to be in the spotlight.

Everything along the coast of Costa Brava looked small when I was out in the Mediterranean sea. The view was beautiful. But the small white houses on the land caught my eye. It seemed peaceful over there. I wanted to capture its charm against the light blue sky and the deep blue sea. It was easy to make those house look insignificant in photos. I looked around the boat and found a raindrop-shape-like subject. Through it, the scene was like a framed drawing. The spotlight was on the houses.





3. Thriving in the wild

Cactus rarely blooms. And yet, I saw many of them while hiking on the legendary Coastal Footpath of the Costa Brava. For some unknown reasons, I often get excited seeing cactus’s flowers. It’s probably because cacti don’t bloom until it’s mature. Sometimes the wait can be 30 years long. Those flowers reminded me of a couple I know that had made a promise of taking care of their cactus for it to bloom. But they didn’t get that far. So, for me, seeing cactus’s flowers is like witnessing a result of care and patience although I know no one waters and loves cacti in the wild.

Some of my peers didn’t seem to notice the flowers until I pointed it out to them. If I had been so focused on my steps, I might have missed these flowers on the sides of the trail. The fact that cactus takes years to be mature in order to bloom makes me excited seeing its flowers. So, I wanted to take pictures of them, but a normal shot of a whole cactus couldn’t capture the appeal of these colorful flowers. This is because most of the cacti I saw seemed to be as tall as me, 5ft, if not taller and had many flowers. So, I had to take a close-up shot.


4. The cat’s lesson

Other peers of mine probably saw the cats, and just 2 of them and I stopped for a couple minutes to pet the cats. This shows me that it’s true everyone values different things. I wouldn’t stop if it was a dog. I felt the cat was making eye contact with me and starring straight at me fearlessly!

I had a cat as a little kid. No matter how many of people I have met don’t like cats for many reasons, I can only respond with a smile.  It’s normal that people don’t understand what I have experienced growing up with my cat. Cats are particular about who they like and I don’t like just any cats. However, when they like someone, they are really sweet, caring, and loyal. So, a lot of times I’m ok with some cats not being friendly to me because I know they may have someone to focus their limited energy on. That is like how I give more time and energy to my loved and important ones.

I have become

I’ve become more aware of my mood and what my body wants by practicing paying more attention to small subjects around me. By doing so, I slow down when there is no need to hurry. I see things that I normally neglect or take for granted. I notice what bothers me. I let go of what no longer serves me as I move forward.

I’m like bees that are attracted to bright colorful flowers even if it’s partly hidden.