I Choose Silver
Autumn is certainly here, it is by far my favourite season and I missed its distinct beginning and end when I lived in Africa.
In Southern Africa it sometimes felt as though you went to bed in summer temperatures only to wake up the following morning in winter. The sun was still shining, of course, but the temperature seemed to plummet without warning by 15 degrees or so. There was no mellow easing into winter. No gentle colour changes over a protracted period of time, inviting you to consider getting out your winter woollies before the leaves eventually fell off the trees signalling the arrival of the cold, crisp winter months.
Suffice to say I missed the sights, sounds and smells of a proper UK autumn.
It did, however, take me a while to get back to this space of appreciation. When I first returned I believe I suffered from a year long case of "climate shock" - it certainly was not a seasonal low, it lasted all year. I was cold. It was dark. Constant drizzly, grey, heavy, draining weather.
All. Year. Round.
I couldn't even see, let alone appreciate the sunny days on the odd occasion that they fought their way through the grey, i am sure there were some, but I was stuck in a comparison trap and from that worldview nothing was ever going to be good enough, me included.
Exactly 12 months ago, as Facebook has just reminded me, things began to change. I met a free-spirited soul, a wild country woman, who helped me see beyond my own worldview simply by sharing her worldview with me. Time in her company was uplifting and inspiring. Her authentic positivity shifted my perspective, prompting me to break my pattern of labeling difference as wrong or bad; nudging me to look beyond my lens of different at what was actually around me, to genuinely appreciate the detail and embrace nature. Instead of looking for what was missing, lacking and absent I began to notice what was present and be grateful for it. No words were needed to create this shift, the behaviour she modeled, the colour of her cheeks, the broadness of her smile and her buoyant enjoyment of life radiated from the very essence of her being, it was mesmerizing, pure health and happiness - and I wanted some!
Sometimes we need to be reconnected with the knowledge we have. We all have so much knowledge that it is impossible to be consciously aware of everything we know in any one moment, and the knowledge that is deemed least relevant (according to our brain) to our current circumstance gets disregarded and buried deep in the memory. We may have the knowledge but if we are not using it to inform and enhance our lives what is the point of having it? Knowledge is not one of those things that you 'save for a rainy day', 'save for later' or 'hold onto just in case' - use it or lose it! Live it or let it go!
Once reminded that there is beauty everywhere, if, noticing becomes your point of focus; having chosen to start seeing through the eyes of appreciation what was before me - life started to change.
I no longer see grey. Now I choose to see silver skies. I notice how the foreground colours are enhanced when contrasted against the solid, pale backdrop - almost intensified in opposition to the background. The grey and silver hues do not detract from the beauty unless you let them, your environment mirrors your mood - change your state and your perceptions shift too - your interpretations give life meaning. Nature never disappoints, it only ever enchants as long as you give it permission.
Life is simple. It boils down to awareness, understanding and choice.
Twelve months on, quite a bit of intentional focus, practice and commitment, I have expanded this life enhancing practice of recognising and nurturing my personal power over choice. We have so many choices. We can choose how we experience every moment of every day. We can choose how we experience every person we meet. We can choose how we treat ourselves and others. We choose to lean toward the negative or towards the positive, to be miserable or motivated, we choose action or apathy.
We can choose.
I can choose.
You can choose.
This is our awakening. This is what gives us the power to take control of our experience in this lifetime. We all have power over our lives. We all have choice. We may lose sight of it sometimes but it is there if you are willing to err on the side of optimism and look for it- optimism is the trait that most happy people share. You have power over your choices, each and every single day.
Special thanks to Lesley Waldron - the mindset recalibration combined with personal training was absolute gold! For your own Wild Country Woman experience - www.wildcountrywoman.com