My favourite moment from my last trip to Ibiza was watching the sunrise you see in the photo here. I was finishing a workout when I realised the sun was about to make an appearance. I wasn’t wearing enough clothes for an outdoor excursion (and it was freezing) but I didn’t care. I sat for a while, contented, cold and quiet, greedily taking in the beautiful scenery around me. When the sun came up I felt truly joyful and started to laugh that giddy, uncontrollable laughter, the kind that spills out of you (okay plus a few tears – whatever man – no big deal). I don’t know why, I just did.
Sometimes Mother Nature just knocks you sideways with a jolt, and you remember how small you are and how lucky you are to be a part of this wonderful life of ours. This was one of those moments. How often do we really stop and stand perfectly still? How often do we allow ourselves to silently sit with ourselves, and absorb and admire all that is around us?
One of the biggest things I have prioritised in my 30’s, is to try to make time to do exactly that. I forget sometimes, and get swallowed up in my day to day life, only to mentally prod myself, and remind myself to stand still. Just because most of us do the same journey every day, doesn’t mean we can’t find new beauty in it. It’s hiding everywhere, around every corner.
In my 20’s, I allowed myself to be consumed by an existence that I wasn’t fulfilled by, determined to have something that truly wasn’t mine and I didn’t really want. This consumption meant that my universe was taken over by trying to make this relationship successful, and I completely failed to notice the world around me, and certainly not any of the beauty in it.
I used to feel different emotions about different types of weather and different times of year during this time. Extremes of weather made me cross, and I would see it as yet another hurdle to get past to get through the day, attempting to preserve myself in some untouched, immaculate and immensely false version of myself, in order to keep a lid on the false life I was living. The heat (when in the UK) made me hot and bothered, the rain made me feel devastated or furious, and don’t get me started on the snow!
By stripping out the stresses of my day to day life, and choosing to reconnect fully to me and what I truly want in this world, I have managed to reconnect myself to the earth. I watch the seasons with increasing awe each year and discover something new with every season that comes.
When I am at my best, I smile when it rains because rain is truly beautiful, not just for all the different kinds of rain there is, but also for the incredible ‘cloud porn’ that comes with it. When it snows, I see the beauty in those first few flakes and feel excitement as I wonder whether it will settle. When the wind howls and blows my hair around, it reminds me down to the very last hair follicle that I am alive. And when the sun shines, I blossom and bloom and skip around the park, quite literally.
I use my feelings towards the weather as a barometer for checking in on my feelings about the way I am living. I conduct regular life audits, and check in with myself often, so that I am hyper aware of whenever my view of the world changes. It’s a good gauge for me and one that works. If the seasons, or the minutiae of my day to day life start to challenge me, I know it’s because there is something else that needs my attention, something that’s unbalanced in my world. And when I find those things, I remove them, little by little. You will hear me use the phrase little by little many times. You simply can’t ‘swallow the watermelon whole’, you have to cut it into slices.
If we all sit still for a moment, we can probably write a list of the things that cause us stress in our lives. The things that cause us to lose our focus on the beauty of being alive. For me right now, I know I spend too many hours at work, and I know I can only do that for so long. That’s a side effect of finding a job I love and find truly challenging, so it’s something I want to do my absolute best at.
It’s important for me to keep track of those things on my list, and how I am feeling about the various components of my day to day existence, and the impact they are having on my ‘greater good’. If I feel uncertain about what the thing that’s off balance is, I make sure I find the space to reconnect to me fully and take the time to unravel my thoughts. I do this by finding the space in my day to walk, doing yoga or just sit still and see what thoughts/feelings materialise.
Unearthing my internal weather gauge has been an incredibly useful tool for me and one that has enabled me to chart/track whether I am existing in a complementary way. Doing so has made me wonder how many other people see the world differently according to how their are feeling, and more importantly, how many other people might be able to find their own internal barometer, and start to keep a check in the same way? Perhaps some of you already do…