Perception

An event happened this week which reminded me of some advice I’d read many years ago. How you label the event depends on how you experience it.

It can be simple stuff like being stuck in traffic.. . You can decide to get impatient or you can sing along to your favourite tune. Or the person your meeting is late. You can be cross or you can enjoy a few rare moments alone with your thoughts. Or when things don’t turn out as you’d want. You can mull over what should have been or you can label it as a new unexpected opportunity.

So…

I got home from work and I was feeling so positive. I’d got a lot done and things seem to be turning a corner from fire fighting to an element of control. I got home and my gorgeous dogs as usual pounce on me and smile at me (yes!!) And LOVE me so much no matter what mood I’m in I’m utterly in love with them too and the first thing I do is get on my boots and we go for a walk.

I’m wearing my new tartan dress this day. I’ve decided winter is setting in so I’ve got my new “thermal’ tights on too!! You know you get those days where you just feel good. I was feeling good.

We went on our walk down past the river. It was a beautiful night and there were a few tourists around. I smiled as I passed them and the dogs barked as they were excited waiting for the ball. I played ball with them and youngest pooch ran back and forth for 20 minutes. A guy at the park with his son looked over and smiled a few times. I could see he must be impressed at my dog with her recall skills. Me too!

I then walked back around the green damp grounds and passed a woman who said hello and smiled. I took a left and sat by the river for a few minutes and enjoyed the sound of the swell. I decided on this occasion to walk back through town which I don’t do often. I pass the guys I’ve got to know at a restaurant. They all said hi and smile and I walked through town . I passed two couples in their 60s all in leather bike gear carrying helmets. I smiled. They smiled too. I stopped at some shop windows and peered in at jewellery that I’d had my eye on and waved at the woman at the till. I passed the deli that sells my favourite artisan bread and crossed over passing the ice cream parlour that hosts the most divine vegan ice cream. The dogs greeted two Dalmatians and I chatted pleasantries with their owners.

As I got back I saw my neighbour and shouted hello. She seemed to avert her eyes a little and wasn’t so enthusiastic but she said hello back.

We got back in. The dogs were tired and I was ready to make dinner. I bent down to open the fridge and somehow my hand caught up in my new tartan dress. But it didn’t just catch, it was stuck. In my dress. In my dress that was also firmly totally tucked in to my thermal rights. At the front. My dress was totally tucked in to my tights.

So as I’d walked happily around and felt warm at the smiles of strangers it dawned very quickly on me that these were less smiles of politeness but more likely smiles of embarrassment. Smiles of cringe. Smiles of poor thing.

For a few seconds I felt a bit sick. I’d made a total fool of myself. I’d walked around my home town with my skirt tucked in my pants!!! Then I looked and I thought. You know what. My legs aren’t bad. My legs are ok. So what

People saw my legs. In tights. When I hadn’t intended. So what. I’m proud of those legs. I laughed at myself and with that I untucked myself. Poured a glass of wine. And got on with dinner.

What’s the saying.. .. life is what you make it!

Happy Sunday xxx

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Sleeping with the trees

I love trees. Aren’t they amazing? They’ve been around for hundreds of years, they look so intelligent and worldly wide. Trusting. They’re particularly beautiful at the moment. Leaves of tangerine orange and tanned brown, some a sunshine yellow. I stood under this pictured tree on Saturday and watched the leaves occasionally fall delicately, dancing to their soft landing.

I take so much more notice of things than I used to. I couldn’t imagine saying I loved trees as a ‘cool’ silk cut smoking teenager!  It’s crazy how long it takes sometimes to appreciate those things that are out there. For free! 

I use my love of the outdoors in perhaps an unusual way when I feel anxious, particularly if it happens during the night. Since Tes I’ve struggled to sleep much more than five hours, usually no more than about 3 without waking fully. Fortunately I’ve never needed a lot of sleep (Tes was the same actually), so I’ve spent many a night annoyed that I can’t sleep. Many a night berating myself that I’ve eaten too late or drank too much wine. I’ve spent many an hour wondering did I send that email at work or have I got enough staff in? Sometimes I just notice my heart rate and that’s it. The more I notice the louder it gets. Once I’ve been through all that, it’s ages before my mind can become quiet enough to consider sleep.

So. This is where nature comes in. I’ve started my own little meditation mind map. It takes some of the principles of mindfulness but instead of concentrating on what’s going on now (that heart rate!) I picture myself going on my favourite walk with Lolly. I break it down to the tiniest of detail. To putting on her collar and noticing her coarse chocolate brown fur and her mismatched paws, her dark inquisitive eyes. Then I focus on my steps along the track taking notice of all the familiar spots like the heron normally standing proud down the side of the bank and the broken branches crushed into the moist grass under my feet. I hear the river swell and there’s always a breeze sweeping through my hair. I rarely get half way around my imaginary walk. Why? I fall asleep! 

I thought I’d share this because lots of people suffer from sleepless nights and it’s worked for me so who knows imagining your favourite place might work for you. Or it could be used as a simple self guided meditation. If you can’t get to the beach why not imagine it instead! It’s good for our overactive minds to have a break!

Thanks for reading, have a lovely Sunday and hopefully a peaceful night too 

Dwys X X