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Notice what you Notice

Extraordinary in the Everyday

I have been connected to fitness and sport since grade school. I became a personal trainer out of high school and taught fitness classes through college and beyond. I have rigorously pursued most forms of fitness for the past 20 years save one. Yoga. Yoga never appealed to my sense of drive, sweat and strength. I thought it was new age(y), hippie-dippy and I wanted no part of it...until about 5 years ago.

I went through an intense yoga phase of my life. I went on a cruise and I'm not sure if it was the fresh ocean air but I decided when I got home I would try the 2 weeks pass my local yoga studio offered.

I fell head first in love with it

Two weeks turned into 6 months and 6 months turned into a 100hr teacher training. I only wanted to deepen my understanding of the fascinating practice. I didn't think I would actually want to lead a yoga class. It wasn't my style but it was a nice departure from my loud drill sergeant demeanor as a personal trainer.

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I am soo not a real yogi because I didn't really care for the Sanskrit but I did enjoy what I learned by studying

These teachings lead me to dig a little deeper and not only translate but also understand and apply the principles.

One of our homework assignments was to find beauty or peace in everyday life and share it. The lesson was that we sometimes overlook the most precious moments because we are always looking for the next big thing or that we are sometimes so self-absorbed that we can't see beyond our problems. The assignment was to take time to pause and "notice what you notice" for the next week and report back at our next session.

This assignment threw me a loop. I struggled to find the perfect thing to share with the group I was looking for profound awesomeness and was walking around eyes open looking and watching and waiting for the "perfect, best" thing to appear and share.'re doing it wrong Tammy​

While it's a great exercise to notice everything it is also not the point of the assignment. The purpose of the assignment was to go about your life and really take a moment to notice the life happening right around you. Taking a normal not extraordinary moment and let it surprise you. I liken it to finding $10 in a winter coat pocket that had been stored away all season. You weren't looking for the $10 you found it accidentally. You didn't even know you were missing $10 the entire summer but you feel lucky after you find it.

One day as I was backing out of my driveway and moment before putting the car in drive I looked back at my house and "noticed" how pretty the tree in the front yard looked. I smiled and almost pulled away and it hit me.

The tree in my front yard was the answer to my assignment

Part of the assignment was to share it with someone or post it publicly with a few words about finding the extraordinary in ordinary life. I snapped a picture and posted it on Facebook and my Instagram with the hashtag #thetree #liveinspired.

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Assignment complete...CHECK.

I honestly didn't think much about it until I met again with my yoga class and everyone loved it! I was like...

It's a tree...I mean it's pretty but...​

Fast forward 5 years to today. I still post pictures of #thetree. It is by far the picture I get the most likes on and it is so strange that people will ask me about #thetree or when they come to my house for the first time they inevitable ask "where is #thetree?" I always laugh because it is literally the only tree in the front yard and everyone looks right past it.

I wonder if they are expecting it to be bigger.​..

I have had people tell me that #thetree brings them peace. Or that they "look forward" to #thetree posts. We are in one of the two seasons people love to #thetree watch because it changes weekly with spring arriving and then when it has all its leaves for the summer. The fall is another favorite time to watch how long #thetree will retain its leaves. If there is a snow storm people will instant message me and ask what #thetree looks like with the snow.

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For me, #thetree reminds me to take pause and notice. It reminds me to keep it simple. It also reminds me that steady is the course. #thetree doesn't rush and doesn't stress over the weather. #thetree just is.

What in your life do you take for granted or maybe overlook that could be a beautiful inspiration?​