Two years ago, I opened my first ‘hate’ e-mail.
It was a message insisting that my positive view on life was fake, contrived and the mark of someone who obviously had an easy life, and privileged upbringing.
The sender also graciously wished me an untimely death.
Since then, I have received numerous angry and spiteful comments or messages. I have become somewhat desensitised to the vitriol and thankfully, more adept at handling it.
But the haters have definitely encouraged me to reflect more deeply on my ‘why’.
This one is for the haters
Why choose optimism and celebrating the ordinary, when the world is seemingly filled with violence and despair?
Why insist on observing the world with childlike wonder when our planet is being poisoned and there are millions dying from starvation and apathy?
Why focus on the power of love and self-worth or make a big deal about living an ordinary life, extraordinarily well?
The short and simple answer:
The discipline of celebration has changed my life
Consistently practicing gratitude has shifted me from a mindset of scarcity and lack to one of deep appreciation and unfathomable bounty.
It has proved itself a masterful ally when battling depression.
When a cup of rich, steaming coffee was the only bright spot in my day; I trained myself to faithfully record such moments.
A habit that slowly marked the path from documenting small miracles, to experiencing them in blown-up colour!
Focusing on the simple pleasures reminds me, that in this moment – I always have enough and I always am enough.
I choose optimism and celebration as a modality of life because…..the alternative is a dead end.
Despair, scarcity and pessimism are a dead end and we already know that no one is getting out of here alive!
It’s not always easy.
I’m not saying that YOU should live your life this way. I’m not saying that I live this way every day either.
Some days it takes real effort. Some days, I prefer to hang out with my shadow.
That’s the freedom of choice.
And if you find yourself consistently bored, annoyed, or frustrated with the day in and out of your life – that’s freedom of choice too.
Life is not all rainbows, unicorns and pooping glitter, but it is always a gift.
This moment, right now, will never be here again.
We can nonchantly walk on by, or we can stop and listen to the sounds of a world that continues to spill over with beauty and treasures.
A world that quietly whispers ‘Pay Attention’.
It’s in the sound of the ocean and the heavy linger of concrete pavements
It’s in the refusal to be too busy to marvel at the chartreuse colour of the grass and the unique cloud formations overhead.
It’s in our heightened self-awareness, every time we choose to see the best in others, and in ourselves.
The question is – Will you join me?
This post was inspired by the critics who encouraged me to increase my self-awareness and by one of my favourite TED talks – by Louie Schwatzberg, called Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.
Click on the video to play.
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