The Beauty of Being
Nov 17, 2019
When I think back to my childhood, my first memory is of seeing myself sitting at the kitchen table looking out at the view with our family dog on the chair next to me on one side and the cat on the window sill on the other. I could sit there for hours drinking tea, eating biscuits and watching the world go by. Never once did I worry about whether I was ‘wasting time’. After all, I was having the best time just sitting there.
My next memories are of picking field flowers in Spring and trying to find precious gems at the local stone factory or making crafty things with my mother and sister or singing with my father. Then there were the trips with my brother or sister on our pony or playing in, on or around the canal that we lived by, as well the memory of all the animals we had at our little hobby farm. Some wonderful, some sad and some funny.
And, of course, there was school, friends, choir, paper rounds, parties, good times, bad times and so many other things. But my first memories are of the things I loved. The things I valued above everything else. Simple things. Special things.
Those memories are the memory of connectedness. Of playing. Of creativity. Of adventure. Of life and living and having time to observe and experience the beauty of it. That is the beauty of life to me. I think of it as the beauty of being and that is what I missed most when I got to adulthood and forgot about it for a while.
How we experience life, however, is mostly formed by how we choose to look at it. The above paints a very idyllic picture, but I could just as easily have painted a very different one. This is what thoughts and memories do. They paint of picture of what we are focussed on.
When we are focussed on what we love we see one picture. When we are focussed on hardship, we see another. When we are focussed on fear, we see yet another. You get the picture!
It is rather magical, how our focus determines our experience of life - hence the title ‘hocus focus’. So how do you change your focus if your current one isn’t a helpful one to you?
I have given this some thought and, as always, there is never one way, but here are three simple tips on how we can support ourselves to change our focus and life for the better through the power of being:
1) Create space to contemplate on what is important to you in life. We fill our days with things that are urgent but rarely truly important (or important to others!) and understanding the difference is helpful if not essential. Learning to say no and creating healthy boundaries around what you agree to give your time to is part of this.
2) Become aware of where your attention is drawn when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed and gently bringing your awareness to where it serves you. This is a challenging process for many as we notice how often our attention is on the things we don’t like about life. Loving kindness and compassion are key to helping us let go and move on with more purpose and grace.
3) Practice the art of being by spending more time where you love it. This is probably the best advice I have for you. When you do what you love, your overthinking brain gets a much needed holiday as you connect to your heart and effortlessly drop into ‘being’ mode. 1 and 2 will help you to gift yourself the time to do so.
I also appreciate that it is hard to change ourselves cognitively, ie through the power of thought, particularly if we are run by a subconscious fear that we aren’t even aware of. First, therefore, we need to feel safe. I appreciate I was lucky in childhood as I was safe and loved at home. I didn’t always feel safe elsewhere, however. Not in the general sense of the word, but in the sense of knowing that I was good enough just as I was.
It may be that you need to reach out for help in this regard. Find someone you trust who will give you the space to come home to yourself, whether a good friend or professional help. I know that I needed someone, or a number of someones, to show me the way back home to myself before I could .
I wonder, as I sit here and write this, what the above has triggered for you. What memories came up for you? What have you decided, consciously or subconsciously, to focus on and how has this helped to shape your memories? What helps you to practice the art of being exactly who you are to help you create and remember the beauty in life?
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