What Are You Focusing On?
Last week, we got another 14 or so inches of snow here in Massachusetts and the onslaught of Facebook posts came:
“I’m so over this snow. Spring can’t come fast enough!”
“Damn groundhog and his 6 more weeks of winter.”
“Not another storm!”
And so on and so on. Sometimes I think people complain just out of habit or because everyone else is doing it. In no time, all the posts will be complaining about how hot it is. When I post something about being excited for another snowstorm, the comments are usually along the lines of “What are you nuts?”
No, I’m not nuts (ok, maybe a little, but that has nothing to do with the snow). I just do my best to not resist what is. I live in New England. Chances are it’s gonna snow in the winter. Is it sometimes inconvenient? Sure. But it’s also beautiful and quiet, and it makes me feel like a kid again. Get out and play in it, and it’s not so bad. Check out the heart I drew in the snow on my snowshoe hike yesterday. See? Fun!
Why cause myself unnecessary suffering by focusing on the negative aspects of the weather — or anything for that matter? What you focus on expands, so I pick, as often as possible, joy and gratitude.
Yes, I am fortunate enough to work from home so don’t have to worry about a commute, and that absolutely makes it easier to not hate the snow as much. I can remember when I lived in Boston in an apartment with on-street parking. After a big storm, I’d spend an hour or more shoveling out my car and parking spot only to have a plow come by and bury me again, or have someone take my spot if I left (completely disregarding the chair I put it in which clearly marked it as ‘saved’. The nerve!).
Back then, although it was harder to embrace the joy of the white stuff, it wasn’t impossible. I just had to make more of a conscious effort. In hindsight and with more spiritual growth under my belt, I see that I would’ve saved myself a lot of grief by trusting more in the universe’s abundance about parking, and appreciating the fortune of having a body healthy enough to shovel. When you know better, you do better, so I think I’m doing better now. 🙂
Think about a situation in your life that feels challenging. Are you focusing on the frustration? How could you look at it differently? If you put on a pair of rose-colored glasses, what would be the silver lining or bright side? Now see if you can consciously pay more attention to that aspect of it. Remember, what we resist, persists and what we focus on, expands. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my frustration and challenges to grow!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Join the conversation in the comments below.
Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.
Thank you for posting this. It is as if it was written for me.
I was diagnosed with autism about 5 years ago and I have been resisting that diagnoses ever since. I pushed myself to be everything I am not and constantly burning out as a result.
In the last few weeks I have come to realize that I’m okay just the way I am. This has freed up so much joy and mental energy. I can be awesome and peaceful at the same time.
I love that, Jess! YES, you can be awesome and peaceful at the same time! And any diagnosis needn’t define us. Autism is one beautiful aspect of the uniqueness that is YOU. <3
I laughed to myself when I read how you attempt with a full heart to embrace the challenges which the winter months can bring…the snow reminds me of many women I do so adore….. so beautiful to look at and simultaneously, at times… so hard to live with…including myself..Lol..keep up the great work and let your inner child play in delight on snowdays!!!
We’ve got another big storm coming on Thursday and my inner child is dancing with glee!
I appreciate your perspective. It’s been a brutal winter and hard to appreciate. In fact I seriously considered moving South or West last month, but doing a pro/con assesment helped me realize I’d be giving up too much by moving away. Winter is hard, sometimes very hard (like this year), but no place is perfect (according to my criteria).
I should add that after deciding to remain where I am (where overall I like it, winter being the only big negative) I’ve actually been tolerating the cold better in the last 2-3 weeks. (It’s been 20s and below with few exceptions for the past 6 weeks, and I get cold easily when it’s below freezing). I think accepting it has made a significant difference to my perception and tolerance of the cold. Not saying I like it, just it’s now a burden that’s less burdensome than it was a month ago.
Ooh, yes, Joe, it’s all about perspective, isn’t it? I love how you said, “accepting it has made a significant difference to my perception and tolerance of the cold.” We cause ourselves unnecessary suffering by resisting what is. Unless we move to a warmer climate, complaining doesn’t make the cold or snow go away. It just makes us more miserable!
I think it’s beautiful and know spring is right around the corner.
I have lived in the Midwest all my life and there is always spring, summer, fall and winter it’s just the way it is. I used to dread winter but as I get older I welcome winter to rest and reflect, it is my quiet time of year. No, I don’t have the luxury of working from home, but, if I were to look at each day no matter what the season in a negative way I would probably miss something really wonderful. So if it’s rainy in the spring, hot in the summer, cool in the fall or freezing in the winter, love this word, “Whatever”! Make the best of it and enjoy the day!