How many times a day do you smile and recognise how grateful you are for life and the opportunity to make it richer? When you wake up in the morning what is your first thought, what’s the first thing you do? I bet you grab your phone. The first thing your fragile morning eyes see is the damaging light of your phone screen and information that is irrelevant to you at that current moment. You start comparing yourself to others on Instagram, clouding your mind with the drama of other people’s lives and setting the tone for the day all within the first five minutes of waking up. The first part of the day is so sacred, so new and fresh; a clean slate, a blank canvas that is yours to design however you want too. What a blessing, to be given a new start every 24 hours, a new chance to learn something, to teach something, to make a friend or do something for someone else. An opportunity to better yourself, to grow your mind and really maximise your time, time that seems to be limitless but without even realising will slip away like sand through your fingers.
I am proud to say that every single one of my days contains something that makes me smile and appreciate living. I have stumbled across a rare slither of contentment that before I wouldn’t have dared mention out of fear of scaring it away, of it disappearing before I got the chance to fully enjoy it. But after almost a year of consecutive fulfilling days I have realised that I have become rather skilled at living my life to the fullest. I had a rocky start and have had to climb many mountains and carry some pretty heavy burdens that at times have crushed me so hard that I was unsure whether I would be able to get back up again, but with the help of my loved ones I was able to not only find my feet again but gain more strength and stability that an I have ever had before.
Sometimes I feel like Alec Baldwin in friends, the guy that Pheobe dates who’s irritatingly enthusiastic about everything- but to finally strike a balance where you are able to thoroughly enjoy such a large percentage of life for such a long amount of time is definitely something to be smug about. One of my biggest anxieties in life is wishing away time, I hate wishing time would go faster, I hate HAVING to wish that because I’m stuck at some shit job that I absolutely hate and I’m actively staring at my watch and praying that minutes of MY life would melt away quicker. How sad is that? We only get a tiny portion of time on this earth and we waste half our lives wishing it away or wasting it on stuff that doesn’t matter, I can’t stress to you enough that your time absolutely NEEDS to matter.
My Dad and I decided that if we won a large amount of money we wouldn’t actually change a great deal about our lives, how great is that? Both of us have worked to create a lifestyle that suits us so much that given the opportunity only a few tweaks would be made in order to make it more comfortable. I have no desire for excess money, I want just enough so I can travel and buy delicious healthy food and have somewhere safe and comfortable to rest and that’s enough for me. I know a lot of people judge and frown upon my lifestyle because it seems that I don’t work very much- and you’d be absolutely correct. I work enough to earn the money I need to then spend the majority of my time enjoying myself because what good is working your entire life and then finally when you’re old and your body is tired THEN giving yourself a break? What good is it then? I received a card on my last birthday from my Grandma’s sister and brother in law that at the bottom said ‘I hope you enjoyed your trip to Peru, how amazing- we had always wanted to do that.’ And it made me so sad. My worst fear in life is one day waking up and realising that there is still so much I want to do and not enough time to do it all, it brings tears to my eyes and a deep panic in my chest.
I remember thinking when I was younger that I needed to start early if I wanted to cram as much in as I could. I knew there was so much to see, learn and experience that if I wanted to have it all I couldn’t waste any time and for me the definition of wasting time would have been staying in education so I left and created my own schooling. Teachings of the world around me, lessons from different cultures and people with amazing experiences and stories to tell. Teachings of love and balance from people who have discovered the true meaning of life- Yogi’s, monks, the old man selling fruit on the corner of the road with a smile so genuine it gives you butterflies. To consciously breathe in the nutritious air given freely by the trees and plants around you, to devour the words of books that are precious portholes into the souls of others. To listen to beautiful music and to admire incredible architecture, to eat delicious food and laugh until your stomach hurts; is this not enough?
To be so in love with life that it’s almost overwhelming and to be persistent in the practise of mindfulness because after all life is absolutely what you make of it. If we all deleted social media, if we stopped watching shit TV and working in offices with artificial lighting, if we stopped dismissing the loud and obvious needs of our bodies and minds and stopped telling ourselves that we’re failures if all we truly want is to just be happy. If we stopped all of this then maybe the clouds would clear and we’d see life for what it really is. A gift given to us that we can utilise however we like, and if you truly want it you can make yours beautiful and you can feel emotions you’ve never felt before- believe me, I’ve felt them. I have never read or watched the news in my life, I haven’t watched reality TV in years, I eat healthy nutritious foods and I try to take care of body- I read books that make my heart hurt and I try to consciously look people in the eye when I am talking to them, feel their body against mine when I hug them. I travel to places that are so unlike my original surroundings; I immerse myself in things that bring light and warmth to my soul. All these things lead to happiness. Not money, not possession, not status, not promotion, not physical beauty- the simple act of expanding your mind and filling your heart with everything that is pure and good in the world will bring you a happiness so huge it’ll make your chest swell.
I look forward to a time where when asked ‘What do you want from life?’ the reply ‘To be happy’ is a satisfying and accepted answer. If you’re waiting for a reason to be happy then try closing your eyes and envisioning what it is that you ACTUALLY want the most. Not what your parents want, not what society wants, what YOU want. Focus on it and nurture it- because I’ve found something wonderful here and I’d like you all to experience it if you can. If you’re struggling with appreciation start by writing down five things that happen in the day that gave you pleasure, it could even be a cup of tea in your work break, and go from there. It takes practise to let go and let your spirit be free, but when you do you’ll never ever look back, that’s a promise. And remember, happiness is ALWAYS the end goal.
Hugs and Kisses