What do you experience when you see a sunset?
Where we live in the South East of England, we have just experienced the coldest winter since 1963! One very chilly afternoon, on my way to pick up my children from school, I came across the most exquisite sunset; the kind you see on the Gulf of Mexico, sipping cocktails on a white sandy beach, staring over the vast green ocean. Yet this sunset was right on my doorstep, along the same route I have been driving day-in, day-out for years now! It was there the following afternoon, and the one after that! On the fourth day I wrapped up warmly and took this magnificent photograph! Walking back to my car, a friend rang. Excitedly, I told her about this amazing sunset I had just photographed, which by the way, is on her doorstep too! Can you guess what her reaction was? Ring me when it’s passed! “What? You should see it!” I said. I was completely taken aback by her reaction! I prodded her to explain why she didn’t want to hear about, let alone experience such a magical moment.
You see, to her, it flagged up how unfulfilled she felt in her life. It actually made her feel quite depressed for a while. She thought of how she didn’t feel she had anyone meaningful to share this magical view with, which made her feel lonely, which made her feel bad, which made her feel despondent about her life! On top of that, she bemoaned having to do the school run. I guess she would fit into the category of those people who see their glass as half empty instead of half full! The sunset was there, if only for a moment in time. Yet we have the freedom to choose how we see this sunset: as a magical moment, a sad moment or take no notice of it at all! The school run means we actually have been blessed with children! And if it weren’t for the routine school run, I would have missed this spectacular view! What is lacking or missing in our lives is always available to us. Yet the magical moments are there too, if we look out for them.
Happiness is made up not so much by the one off big events in our lives as by the many small or unique magical moments we experience. It is about focusing on the positive around us, and in others, instead of focusing on what we feel is missing from our lives. Even though my friend had a somewhat surprisingly negative outlook on my gorgeous sunset, she still makes me laugh and for that, she forms part of my own magical moments list! So, what do you experience when you see this photograph? Sadness? Does it make you smile? Nothing? The choice is, after all, yours! As Groucho Marx put it: Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
So, in a nutshell:
Choosing a positive outlook on our lives combined with Life Coaching techniques can maximize our chances of finding happiness.
1. Practice the habit of consciously appreciating the small magical moments in your life.
2. Notice the positive qualities in those around you (and tell them how much you value them)!
3. Be thankful for the elements you value in your environment: a beautiful view, kind neighbours, being close to shops….. anything!
Here are some ideas:
1. I challenge you to write down at the end of each day 3 magical moments you are grateful for: A pretty sunset, laughing with a friend, the sun coming out! Review your list at the end of the week, month, even year! You will be amazed at the outlook you will have on your life!
Remember, as my husband often says, perfection doesn’t exist. We are all work in progress! Be kind to yourself!
Odds and Ends:
This is where I have either come across or thought of something I find interesting or amusing and would like to share it with you! Quotes, books and the like!
I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it's only a choice of attitude. ~Judith M. Knowlton
I came across an old book belonging to one of my children. It is one the first Life-Wisdom books I ever read and fondly remember. If you ever come across it, it is well worth a read, I promise! Its title is The Pig of Happiness by Edward Monkton. Sometimes wisdom can be found in the simplest of things!
Until next time, have a wonderful month of February!
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