Life imparts many lessons. Some are loud and urgent while others are soft and more gradual in their unfolding. All are important. How can we learn to tune into the messages they carry?
One way is by bringing our best selves to whatever we’re doing. This is especially important when we’re faced with a task we don’t like. Whether it’s walking the dog in the rain, washing a sink full of dishes, making a difficult phone call, or showing up to a job that saps us of our energy, we can do it with the same spirit we reserve for more enjoyable pursuits.
Of course this is easier said than done, but there’s much to be gained from recognizing that while the conditions of our life aren’t always favorable, we can condition ourselves to approach them with openness and curiosity.
It’s not unusual to be hard on ourselves when things aren’t going our way. We might blame ourselves, second-guess our actions, or wonder what we did wrong to make things turn out the way they did. Unfortunately, doing so not only raises our stress level, but limits our ability to see the big picture.
When we’re so bogged down by why and how, we forget to consider “what next?” and “why not?”. Instead of getting distracted by variables we can’t control, we can focus on being who we desire and know ourselves to be.
While the conditions of our lives aren’t always favorable, we can condition ourselves to approach them with openness and curiosity.
We can remember what motivates us and inspires us. We can recall our loyalty, extroversion, and sense of humor. We can think about how our friends might describe us and the way we want to be remembered.
These qualities are always present, but they can be easily concealed when we’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or on edge. Rather than waiting for the storm to subside, we can use each setback as an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with our true nature.
The more we can be our whole, authentic selves no matter what our outer circumstances present, the better prepared we are to absorb the gifts life has to offer.
They may not be monumental or appear how we imagined. They may put us on a drastically different path than we intended. But if we ignore them or refuse to accept them, they likely won’t stick around long enough for us to grasp the next time we’re in need.
Don’t lose sight of who you are. When things are looking up, don’t take for granted the simple traits that define how you move through the world. When things take a turn for the worse, call on your strength to remind you of their impermanence. Only then can you be fully open to the teachings your life has in store.