Three Magical Words
"I Don't Know"
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." Helen Keller
The word "grateful" is at the forefront of my summer 2020 feature film. After a tumultuous several months that graced the planet, the sun is finally shining, and the world and its people are beginning to become alive again. You can feel the shift and the excitement with a breeze of caution drafted in the wind of change.
Along with this twirl in the wind, the words, "I Don't Know" are on the tip of everyone's tongue. How many conversations have you participated over the months and heard the phrase, "I Don't Know?" Interesting right. Because we really do not have concrete, factual, testable, drilled down answers to absolutely anything of relevance swirling around in our world. We think we know. We think we are right. We spread the latest and yet are we correct? I love this quote from author Mark Twain, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." So, true. At least I think it is true. "I Don't Know".
Yet we persist marching forward with our beliefs, perceptions and keep on thriving. We have too. After all, this is what we do. With our feet briskly walking onward, I have noticed a tremendous amount of anger percolating, which can't be healthy especially when there is so much to be thankful for in this life. I sometimes wonder if we need Samantha Stevens, from the television series (1962-1974) and movie, "Bewitched" (movie 2005) to wrinkle her nose and make everyone content or filled with moments of awe. Or to remind us of the charmed life we all lead. Or perchance to sprinkle fairy dust liberally emphasizing the blessing of being alive.
Of course in 2020, there will be heartache, discontent, injustice, virus continuation, an upcoming election and pain. We are alive. Instead, seek out being grateful. Chose to be grateful for the small joys in life and follow your passions. Contemplate this question, "If things don't go your way will you be angry, depressed and upset?" Can you change the wind of thought to seek out the positive? The wind always knows.
It's a Small World After all
"All the worlds a stage,
And all men and women are mere bit players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man and woman in his or her time plays many parts."
What am I grateful for? Well, the small delights that happen every day. For instance, this morning, while getting coffee, a coyote was spotted running across a field. Several of us stopped and watched with wonderment. The coyote living its life without any thought except survival. How about as I type out his post, the sun is shining, the sky is very blue and the leaves of the oak trees out my window are waving "hello" in the wind. The scene is magnificent and filled with hope.
I know you are thinking "Well, you can't live in a candy ice cream world when life is upside down and filled with chaos?" I answer back, "Why can't you?" Can I personally control outcomes? Do my words really matter? "I Don't Know."
Yesterday, I sat with a friend on her deck watching the sun play on the plants as her dogs chased each other in the yard. We had walked for a coffee drink where her daughter was working for the summer. The easy back and forth conversation is contentment. Last week, I walked with a friend in the pouring rain (seriously raining) discovering beauty in the trees, the surroundings, on the lake, with the flowers and then having tea in her house afterwards relaxing and chatting. I also finally got my nails done with another dear friend. More importantly, everyday my husband and I go on long walks noting all the animals, plants, flowers surrounding us. Sometimes walking with our neighbors doing the same thing. Isn't this what life is treasuring moments with friends and families? Memories that last a lifetime.
We each chose to paint our worlds in glorious hues or succumb to the ugliness of life. We cannot predict the future. Nor should we. How dull life would be if every step were written in stone. As declared in previous posts, "control is an infantile illusion." Live your life and do not sweat the angry wind whipping up the land into a furry of hate and despair. There is only one person we can control - ourselves. For me, the small things in life are the ones that matter.
The Sands of Change
"I figure life is a gift. I don't intend to waste it. " Jack Dawson, Leo DiCaprio's character in film Titanic (1997)
The wind and the sand are always changing. Yet, each day the sun comes up and goes down in the same pattern creating consistency in our world. If you look at the sand in the picture above, this is a moment in time, and the next morning the sand will be completely different. Our lives are like that too. In 2020, one day we are playing tennis, working, going to school, planning our calendars, running around like chickens and the next day we stopped. The world gave a full throttle halt. This year more than any other time, we all know what it is like to sit still. We are now waking up. This is the summer of being grateful. Do not waste a moment of energy focusing on the negative.
How Can I Remind Myself to Be Grateful?
Sea Turtles have been around for 120M years. Imagine that!
When a baby Loggerhead turtle swims fifty miles and makes it to the Gulf of Mexico to safety there is indeed gratefulness. How do we keep track of our own daily swimming journey towards gratefulness?
On May 1, 2020, my husband ordered a book, "The Five-Minute Journal", for tracking and recording what you are grateful for on a daily basis. The book is used by successful leaders around the world. The task takes 5 minutes a day. In the morning when you wake up, you write down three things you are grateful for, three things that would make your day terrific and write out an affirmation about yourself. At the end of the day, you state what you did that was great and what you could have done better. I have been doing this every day and am reminded ten-fold on the blessings in my life.
What does this do? It elevates the mind and shifts thoughts on being positive. The focus helps maintain the ability to focus and seek out happiness. The book is a godsend. Also, you can write other notes on the pages. For instance, tracking how many miles you are walking daily or the weather or the latest development that intrigues you. 5 minutes of your life. You will be like the turtle swimming eagerly to the road of success, optimism, and contentment. Your passions will be foremost and life peaceful.
"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn." Anne Frank
Summer of Gratitude
"The more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That's because - for sure - what you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it." Oprah Winfrey
Let this be the pivotal summer in your life. Understand that "I Don't Know" is indeed a magical phrase. Embrace those words. We do not know how the summer will end. Nor how the pandemic will be mollified, extinguished or how injustices will be rectified. We can imagine. We can think. Though it is entirely impossible to know. There will be more to come as the circle of life keeps revolving.
Every day is a blessing and every road has another turn for us to follow, examine and find answers. The wind keeps kicking up new patterns for us to explore. Let us designate this summer as a period of gratitude. Gratitude for your friends and family. For the moments and memories in your life that are deemed special. To stay put. Stay home and enjoy your backyard, crazy weather while you sip a cocktail. It is a period of reflection to look deep in your soul and to stop for a moment and see the world. See the birds, flowers, rain dripping on leaves, sunshine, beach, sand, water, lakes, tall trees, and everything surrounding. Every day is a gift. Rejoice in its abundance. As the cities wake up, take in the beauty from roasting hot dogs, honking cars, people scrambling back to work and everything that makes your world ideal. Wake up and live your life. Time is ticking.
We really do need "Samantha" from the film and television series "Bewitched." She can wrinkle her nose bringing back merriment, happiness, and goodwill to share with everyone. Hate and discontent will be left on the shelf where it belongs. Maybe Samantha can turn this summer and every year into thanksgiving. Enjoy your summer of gratitude. Make the summer of 2020 a movie that you will never forget and instead cherish the restart. I know I am.