This morning I went for a gorgeous walk in the beautiful autumn sunshine.  Not that it was sunny when I set out – rather it was cloudy and grey. Yet halfway round, the clouds disappeared and the sun started shining brightly.  The sky became a stunning shade of blue – different shades in fact, light blue from one angle, vibrant blue from another.

Underfoot it was very wet and muddy – we’d had almost constant rain for what felt like weeks, and many paths and roads were flooded.

As there are various routes I can take, I decided to take one which would avoid a particular stretch of road that’s always flooded when it’s rained a lot.

Ha! We’d had so much rain other roads were flooded and I came across not one flood – but two in my attempt to avoid it. I laughed, I’d consciously made a decision to avoid the flood and instead came across two more.

And I saw how this applies to life – how we can do our best to avoid certain circumstances only to have them appear anyway.

We cannot control life – and the more we try to do so the more thwarted we are.

Life’s unpredictable – anything can happen at any moment. We never know what’s around the
corner.

I’ve discovered that the more we adapt to life and what comes our way, the happier and more fulfilled we are. And I don’t mean we become a martyr or a victim – feeling that we have no choice and we’re doomed to our fate. I see it more as dancing with life.

  • Letting life take the lead, and we follow.
  • Following our desires, our curiosity, our wisdom.
  • Following wherever the music takes us and delighting in the unexpected.

One of the reasons we get so frustrated with our lot in life is because we believe it should be different to how it is.

We wish we were thinner, had more money, had more time.

We resent the fact that we’re running around like a headless chicken, with so much on our plate.

We get frustrated that our kids are messy and leave all the lights on.

If only things were different then our lives would be better.

Yet it’s not our circumstances that we have to change – it’s our perception of them.

In any situation there are going to be things we love – and there are going to be things we hate. When we start anything new – it’s exciting, we’re in the honeymoon phase. We love everything about it. 5 years in that newness has worn off – we start noticing all the cracks, we see everything that’s wrong. More often than not it’s not our circumstances that have changed – we have.

However because we’re unhappy we immediately look to change our circumstances – get a new job, start a new business, find a different life partner.

Then the same cycle repeats.

Whenever I’m unhappy with a particular experience or there’s something going on I don’t like – the first place I look is within.

What is this situation triggering in me? I can’t change those around me (as much as I might want to) but I can change me – I can change how I respond – I can make different choices.

I used to think my house was too small – that the reason it was messy & cluttered was because I didn’t have enough space. So we moved from a tiny 3 bedroom cottage to a 5 bedroom mansion (ok not quite a mansion). Guess what? It’s still messy and full of clutter. Indeed it’s even more cluttered because we’ve got a lot more room to hide everything away.

To be tidy and clutter free a shift has to come from within me. It’s something I’m exploring.

It wasn’t my tiny house that was causing the clutter – it was my behaviour and actions.

These days I never fight against what is. I accept that this is the way things are and it’s likely to be like this for the foreseeable future. By doing that I make different choices, so instead of going into complaint or blame I ask myself the following questions:

  • What is it within me that’s being triggered here?
    What’s underneath the frustration?
    Given that this is the way it is, how do I deal with it right now?

I can honestly say this practice has transformed my life.

If you practice something similar I’d love to her about it.  Please do share in the comments.