This Life is Pretty Amazing
This Life is Pretty Amazing
This life IS pretty amazing! It really is but it’s so easy to lose sight of all the ‘amazingness‘ whilst we are existing in this tangible reality that is life.
We are so busy existing, says Oscar Wilde, that we forget to live. What will it take for us to slow down and appreciate what we have? Who wants to be a hamster on a wheel for the rest of their days mindlessly chasing things that have no real value? Money and material things are not where it’s at at the end of the day. We ought to be pursuing the things that fill us with delicate signs of humanity like kindness, helpfulness, politeness.
Have good intentions, be a well-wisher…it’s not just the things around us that make life amazing, looking inwards can often reveal things about ourselves that we have refused to see or acknowledge, amazing things! As we spend our lives chasing the elusive, we become slaves to base values and weak morals, afraid to stand up above the parapet lest we get struck down. It is only when we take the time to look beyond what is right in front of us and reconnect with the basics that we can appreciate ourselves more which, by extension, will expand to our immediate circle of influence and then beyond.
The beauty and wonderment of life is all around us like a vine, wrapped around seemingly mundane, everyday things. This is perhaps the very reason we fail to see or even appreciate these things. But, if we stop, just for a second, be totally present in the moment instead of thinking/worrying about what may or may not be in 5 minutes, 5 hours or even 5 days from now, we will begin to see all the things we’re missing: a cuddle, a kiss, a sunset. These are not the things that will pay the bills at the end of the month but they are definitely things that will feed the soul. No matter how dark the night or how bleak a situation, you will always be able to see pinpricks of light…this is hope!
I was merely existing for a long time. It was a diagnosis, a label that branded me ‘damaged goods‘, that forced me to slow down (Read about the day I got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in ‘You are Strong Enough‘). For various reasons I am no longer able to do many of the things or even cope with many of the things that I would have had to deal with a couple of years ago. This isn’t a bad thing; I was harming my body to the point of no return and being forced to slow down made me realise just how much damage I had already done to myself. My health was poor, my priorities had gotten very skewed and my existence was robbing me of a fulfilling (and long!) life.
But, I’ve gotten back up, dusted myself off and I’ve begun to appreciate things. I’ve started writing again, I’ve taken up photography* and I’m in a much better place. How amazing to be alive, how amazing is this life!
5 Things that can help you to “stop and look around”
- Deal with the controllables and let go of the uncontrollables
This was probably the most difficult one for me and one I would still struggle with on a daily basis. As a perfectionist, I find it hard to relinquish control of anything. There would be lists and schedules and lists for schedules in an attempt to control every minute of the day. Deep down you know it’s not possible but you do it anyway. So, deal with the things that can be controlled and trust the universe with the things that can’t (qué será será).
- Notice the small things and find the joy
There is a lot to be thankful for and you don’t really need to look that far. A bird perched on the windowsill, a smile from a stranger, a child’s giggle, the raindrop gliding down the window, the sunset, the sunrise, the delicious smell of a fresh cup of coffee. Anything that tantalises and enlivens the senses can make us feel good. Life’s little pleasures are all around us; we just have to make the decision to enjoy them.
- Don’t compare
We are bombarded every day, through the likes of advertisements and social media, with so-called ideals. All this marketing, in a way, is what drives us to want more, overextend ourselves, loathe our bodies, our hair, our lives.
We need to get a grip and realise that it’s all just marketing. We have to trust that we are exactly where we ought to be (whether we like it or not) and find our own paths. We need to know where our journey is leading us so that we are not side-tracked by things that, at the end of the day, add no real value to our own lives.
- Make a date with your family
This is a nifty one. I’m sure my grandparents would scoff at this idea as it is not something they would have had to do a couple of decades ago. But times have changed, life is so much busier, much more hectic that it’s important that we schedule some time in with the family.
Go ice-skating, bowling, go play some crazy golf. Something that will remind you not to take life so seriously. It’s great for the family unit and it’s great for you too.
- Go and get a massage or soak in a bubble bath or both
If you don’t have time for a massage take some time on a Friday evening and go and languish in a bubbly bath with a good book. It’s such a simple thing but you’ll feel like a new person afterwards.
This life is pretty amazing – it’s time you started to enjoy it!
*Photography is a great way to teach yourself to appreciate the detail of life…and it takes patience?