You can turn almost anything into an exercise for practicing mindfulness - doing the dishes, weeding the garden, sweeping the path, or looking at something (a candle, a flower, a seashell).
I have taken to practicing this meditation - a seashell meditation - as a way to reconnect with nature. Despite the fact that I live on an island, I have become separated from it's natural beauty as my mind has become more focused on the fixing of things. This month I have been making more of an effort to reconnect to the simple beauty of my surroundings.
If you are not on a beach, you can practice this meditation with a leaf or a flower.
First, walk for a few minutes, focusing on the breath.
Stop walking and pick up a shell. Look at it as if you were seeing a shell for the first time.
Notice its shape, its colour, its texture. See how it has become worn or broken by its journey from the sea to the beach. Notice how beautiful it is, even where it is broken from tumbling over the reef or where its shine has been dulled by the salt and the sun. Ponder its connection to the ocean and its greater connectedness to all things.
Spend some time with the shell in this way. Then start to think about yourself in this way. Think about your own beauty - even the broken bits. Think about your own journey and your own connectedness.
Finally bring your awareness back to your breath and to your body. Notice if you feel more present. Notice if you have become more attuned to the beauty around you.