I’ve recently spent a fabulous week in Edinburgh. I’ve met up with old friends and made new ones. I’ve experienced four seasons in one day and spent time laughing out loud at the Edinburgh Fringe. I’ve sampled whisky and stood in awe at the foot of enormous trees in the Botanic Gardens. My life is richer for everything I’ve experienced.
I was walking with my friend through the Chinese Hillside within the Botanic Gardens. We stood on the bridge looking into a vast pond filled with water lily leaves. We’d been talking about life and more specifically where of our experience of life comes from. Some of the leaves were vivid green and some were faded and yellowing. I asked him whether there were ever any water lilies or was it just leaves that filled the pond. And then suddenly I saw the lilies….they were yellow and the pond was filled with them, all bursting into bloom. And now when I looked all I could see were the flowers sitting on the leaves, I could no longer not see them!
How was it we wondered that just moments before neither of us could see the flowers. They were clearly there we just couldn’t see them.
This led us into a beautiful conversation about our own blind spots in life. We don’t see something we can’t see until we see it!
Until a year ago I believed that my experience of life came from my circumstances, the things happening around me, outside of me.
I believed that someone really could make me feel a certain way, whether that was angry or happy.
I believed that the weather could affect my mood.
I believed my boyfriend had to be a certain way for our relationship to work.
I believed myself to be successful if I had a full diary of clients
I thought my happiness came from receiving texts from my children regularly
I thought I had to be a certain way to be loved
These were some of my blindspots. And as I suddenly saw the waterlilies on the pond, in an instant I saw that my wellbeing, my experience of life only ever came from inside me. My experience was being created via my thinking moment by moment. What a relief.
Nobody can actually make me feel anything even though it really feels like that at times. I’m only ever reacting to my thinking about that person, in the moment.
The weather can never affect my mood, even though when it’s pouring with rain again, it really does looks that way! I just have to remember the times when it’s been really sunny and I’ve felt miserable or when it’s a wild storm and I’ve felt on top of the world. It’s never the weather it’s always my thinking.
I didn’t see that feelings were my barometer, simply telling me what my thinking was up to. A low feeling inside was simply telling me that my thinking was unreliable. A good feeling inside was telling me that my thinking was worth listening to. I loved watching my dad gently tap the barometer to see what was happening to the weather, was low pressure on its way in or was it high pressure. It was a guide to what to expect.
I now know to be careful when my barometer is falling, I know not to make any rash decisions. I know to carry on with care. The less I fiddle about with my internal barometer the quicker it rises once more.
It’s an odd question to ask I realise but what are your blind spots? What aren’t you seeing? Sometimes it takes us to get quiet to see or hear something new. Sometimes we hear or see it in the hustle and bustle of life. The key I believe is being open to it.