The Life Changing Magic of…

Last night, I watched the sunset. if you don’t know yet, I have a thing for sunsets. Walking to the beach at 6, sitting and watching is one of my favorite parts of my day. It’s fairly routine.

Or is it a ritual?

Last night, Nyoman who owns the beach warung that I go to asked, Why do all the tourists come to the beach to take pictures at sunset?

Oh, Nyoman, I said, because it’s so beautiful. He was surprised. Don’t you have this in your country, he asked.

I did my best to explain. Of course, we have sunsets. But they’re not like this. A lot of us live in cities where the sunset might be hard to see; or we are busy at sunset, commuting home from work or making dinner. And few of us are lucky enough to live at the beach, where we can listen to the sound of the waves and watch the changing light dancing on the waves. And, every day, the sun rises and the sun sets, but each one is different.

Oh. For me, it’s normal, he said.

*Sigh.

But, it got me to thinking. How often do we all take for granted what is right in front of us and that someone else would see as special and unique? The answer? Pretty often.

But there is life changing magic in seeing the beauty in our every day, and shifting to a mindset of positivity and gratitude. Ugh, you’re thinking, that’s all hippie woo-woo stuff, and I take the Tube to work and go past the dump every day. There’s no beauty in that!

Are you sure?

Tomorrow, I want you to do a simple exercise. Yes, tomorrow. I don’t want you to do it now. So, plan for this:

  • Wake up with enough time to set your intention for the day. Today’s intention for the purpose of our exercise: I see beauty and have appreciation. Write this in your diary or at the top of your to-do list. Make it present-tense and visible. There’s no escaping this intention.

  • If you want brownie points, think of what you are grateful for, or will be grateful for and write this in your diary, too. I once struggled with this because I felt silly saying things like, I am grateful I can see, which for many of us is a given, which means that we take it for granted. I have, however, built up my gratitude muscle, and finding things to be thankful for is super easy. I’ll give you some hints… I’m grateful for:

    • Hearing - so I can hear the wind rustle in the trees

    • Seeing - so I can see the pink flowers in my neighbor’s garden

    • My family - they’re miles away, but I know they are there and they’ve got my back

    • Love

    • Kites

    • Sunsets and sunrises

    • For my strength…

Now, go out and see all the beauty. That is all. Go out. See it. Put on your lens for seeing the beautiful things. And I bet while you are on your commute to work, you will notice the beautiful print on the skirt the girl in the next carriage is wearing. You will notice the birds soaring on the wind current - OK, yeah, maybe they are pigeons. But they are flying and soaring and it is beautiful. You will notice those flowers in your neighbor’s garden, and how the sunlight catches your hair just so as you walk past a window.

You will smile, you will see beauty, and just like that, you will start the shift toward a life unlimited.