“And if Spring arrives and it’s cloudy and drizzly?”
“‘If you can’t find spring, you make it’, as the great Greek poet Elytis said.”
“One little step, one colourful thought, one bright action at a time.”
We often tend to make things more difficult than they are. We allow our imagination to override our rationale and we make mountains out of molehills, fearing the worst, instead of envisioning the best case scenarios.
If we control our mindsets, we may be able to spring up our daily lives too, one sunny day at a time.
We convince ourselves from infants that we can do anything; that we can dream big and achieve it all. But growing up we place so many constraints on ourselves. We keep waiting for the right time, the right place, the right circumstance, the right company, and we keep delaying the happiness of realising our imagined lives.
How different would everything be if we often acted on a whim, hoping for the best, instead of calculating everything that could go wrong?
How much lighter would our minds be if we cancelled all the thoughts and just ‘went for it’ once in a while?
How better could life be if instead of simply dreaming, we could live every moment, too?
Why do we act like we do? It is a question that has troubled people throughout the ages – from philosophers, writers, sociologists, and psychologists, to modern therapists of all sorts. Why do we behave in certain ways? What triggers us to give resonance to certain thoughts and thinking motives over others? Why do we allow our minds to take so much control of our emotional reactions? What leaves us powerless before our own selves?
Taking charge of oneself is not an easy task. It requires you to understand yourself first. To come to terms with who you are, what affects you and why, and what you can do about it. It necessitates a process of observation above all. To realise first what is happening, to then accept it, and to often forgive yourself for it. We need to be kinder to ourselves, to talk ourselves up instead of down, to treat ourselves like the royalty that we are and to lift ourselves higher than we very often do.
Once we offer ourselves the value we deserve, and acknowledge it too, everything will change – both inside and outside. Because once you can deal with your internal turbulence, the exterior circumstances will seem a breeze. Things will affect you less and certainly not with the same force or attracting the same demeanour on your part. You will be able to allow things to slide and just accept that some things just are as such and there is not much you can do to control them. But even that is OK.
It’s all good if you first and foremost feel good inside.
There is a reason why they say that ignorance is bliss. Because if you are unaware of something, you won’t fret over it.
Often it is our own thoughts and the scenarios we draw up in our head that cause the greatest anxiety.
It is not by chance that the happiest people are those who concern themselves least of others, and of unpleasant situations. If we choose what we focus our energy on, we can filter out all the events that drain it too. This, also, is essentially a matter of choice and training your mind to be calm at all times. We can deal with a lot more than we think. And very often, we are strongest just when we think we are at our weakest point.
It’s not about ignoring everything around us. It’s rather about selecting what (and who) to engage with.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to retain your peace of mind is to just let things be, and let some go.
Do you know why you stumble so much? Because you’re not looking to the road ahead; instead, you’re eyeing all the obstacles you’re trying to avoid.
It’s simple: Look where you’re going because you will inevitably go where you are looking.
Choose your perspective carefully.
This goes for everything in life: from the job you’re trying to do without mistakes, to the words you want to write, to the goals you set for your future.
We evolve by focusing on what we want and where we want to be, not on what we don’t want. You can’t stop your mind from not thinking about something. It doesn’t work that way. But we can turn that negative into something positive. Instead consider what you do want to focus your energy, time, and motivation on.
When you start becoming a better version of yourself, you’ll see that the world will also appear to become better, brighter, and more beautiful.
“Well, that’s better than if you’ve never tried at all.” She laughed and her smile spread wide across her face.
“The only way you’ll change something is if you take the risk and do something you’ve never done before.
Keep in mind that sometimes, to go from a bad place to a better place we need to go through a worse place. It’s a paradox, but see it as a necessary evil. If you don’t fall flat on your face, you won’t know what it feels like if you fail. Once you learn that, you’ll be more determined to succeed and…well, fly! Make sense?”
He was timid. But perhaps that was the problem to begin with. He hadn’t developed enough confidence to cope with this world. Often, we need to suffer, to crash and fall, in order to get up stronger, wiser and more stubborn to make things work.
It sounded ominous, but it wasn’t. It was a pure request, almost like a plead. She loved walking by the sea and in the mountains; it helped clear her mind. And it was a chance to bond with him. He would ramble on about his ongoing projects, his thoughts, aims, and future plans, and she would listen, offer some ideas, and often her perceptions too. It was relaxing because, in those couple of hours of just placing one foot before the other and moving forward, they would simultaneously escape reality and engage in their own one.
But for days now, even this habit was forlorn.
He “didn’t have time for it”, he said. But she knew that was nonsense. We always have time to do what we truly want. It’s not time he didn’t have, it was the desire. And that is what saddened her the most.
We all have our own perspectives on even the simplest of things. Going for a walk, for some, is a way of coming closer together. For others, it is a mere form of exercise.
She would walk regardless of the company, however. She would listen to music or podcasts and allow her mind to wander away in the clean air, among the trees, high up in the sky; to drift away, get lost in a myriad of thoughts, give birth to new ideas, renew optimism, and return stronger and more prepared to face everyday life.
Walking was a remedy for the challenges that perplex us.
Try it: take in some fresh air, breathe deeply, and just…walk.
It was a beautiful sunny day. A refreshing break from the winter mornings that had preceded it. It was as if nature had awakened in full glory with all its senses. It was a great day for a mountain trek.
They were alone, but that didn’t matter at all apart from a few safety risks.
As the best way to discover new places – and a new part of yourself – is to go on paths you’ve never gone before, they decided to take a turn they’d never seen. They were bound to discover something new; an unforgettable trekking experience.
The path was at times narrow and covered with bushes, at others steep and rocky, uphill and slippery, or straight and smooth. Like life itself, it was not a straight line ahead nor was it easy.
But the best views are indeed found at the top, and despite the difficult trajectory and the tiredness that ensued, they were compensated by the most beautiful panoramic views of a city that had much to offer if only you allowed it to.
We’ll only move forward in every way if we finally take that first step. And just keep going. It will all be worth it. Eventually.
Teo was adamant. “Take one hour a day and do nothing. Because even when you’re doing nothing, you’re actually doing something for yourself.”
“Relax. At least try. Turn off all screens. Put on some music. Go for a walk. Breathe. Clear your mind. Let all those thoughts out. Tell them to someone, and if you can’t speak them, write them down. Just get them out of your system. It will alleviate the burden you carry.”
“Just live every moment as it comes. We don’t need to worry about what may or may not happen all the time. Enjoy now. It’s all we have. ‘The future is composed of nows’, remember?”.
“Accept things for what they are. It is what it is. The less resistance you pose against reality, the less pain you’ll experience, and the lighter and more carefree you’ll feel.”
“So, what did we say: How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time.”
“Just breathe. It’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to. The universe knows where it’s directing you. It’ll be better than you expected. And it will help you evolve. You’ll become better too. It’s certain.”