Summer is my favourite time of year. I love nothing more than being out of doors, feet to the earth, the warmth of the sun kissing my skin and a hint of breeze running gently through my hair.
Somehow, this sensory experience of dancing with the elements, dancing with creation itself appears magnified throughout this season.
Recently, we met up with friends and visited the beach. It was one of those magical days, as described above. We paddled in the ocean and drew in the sand before the waves rolled in, swiftly erasing our art. It reminded me that nothing is permanent in this world. How nothing really matters apart from this present moment.
Back at home that evening I received some stark news.
Two pieces actually.
Suddenly my thoughts began to spiral out of control, into what I fondly describe as a ‘thought storm’. My emotional need for security felt threatened and I defaulted into a place of fear.
You see, both items of news hold the potential to significantly impact the foreseeable future. Note my intentional use of the word ‘potential’.
We live in a world of the unknown. The truth is my life, your life anyone’s life could change at any moment. None of us knows what life holds, situations can suddenly change, accidents happen, none of us know what is around the corner.
Thankfully, we do not allow our daily lives to be impeded by the unknown. To live in the fear of what might happen isn’t an option, for we would surely not get very far.
When some unexpected news comes into our consciousness, we tend to attach a meaning to it. Often times that meaning is pure illusion. Our cognition becomes distorted, we filter, catastrophise, personalise, generalise, imagining all sort of crazy scenarios and then we believe them!
And I scared myself with nothing but my frenzied thinking. My mind spiralling, trying to outguess the outcome, attaching meanings and creating a myriad of worst case scenarios that seemingly made the potential future appear real. It’s the effort we pursue to control the unknown, to keep ourselves safe that leads us into the sensation of fear.
The truth is, that it is only our thinking that creates a problem, not the thing, situation or scenario itself.
When I feel a thought storm brewing, I pull myself back into the now and any fear dissipates. Being able to live in the present moment (an art I continue to cultivate) keeps things simple. It prevents over thinking and feeds your soul.
And…… amidst living in the unknown, there are always certainties to be found. The sun will rise tomorrow, the world continues to turn. Life persists in providing opportunities to foster gratitude even when it throws a couple of lemons your way.