Saturday, September 22, 2012

How We See LIfe

I hope you have missed me...I am trying to live the life I write about these days and it leaves a little less time for my blog.

I am fortunate enough to be able to take a “sanity retreat”, as my close friend calls it, every year.   I go overseas for a week or two and travel alone.  It always allows me to understand myself better, grow as a person, and to remember the many things I have for which to be grateful.

I always take a book to make me think.  This time it was “Something More:  Excavating Your Authentic Self” by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  She wrote “Simple Abundance” and if you enjoyed that book, I know you will find this book very helpful and thoughtful.

I had an experience on my trip this time that reminded me of how important it is to look at life with an open mind and heart.

I had been traveling for about two weeks and I was very tired (though exhilarated) when I landed in my last stop which was Paris.  I am not a shopper for and perfumes are my weak spot.  Being 4’11 makes shopping a real pain, so it’s never been my first love.  But, I was in Paris and I wanted to buy just one or two things to bring home.  I mean, it was Paris for goodness’ sakes.

So, I headed out to an amazing specialty department store and I wandered.  I was tired and more eager to find gifts to bring home for friends and family than find something for myself.  I found nothing which is ridiculous if you have ever shopped in Paris.  The clothes are art work.  I saw no colors, no shapes, nothing.  I just sat down and decided to skip it.

Two days later after wandering Paris and just enjoying the sheer beauty of that city, I decided to go back to the same place and try again...same store, same clothes, different day and attitude.  

It was the most bizarre thing.  I saw beautiful clothes and lingerie everywhere I looked.  It was the exact same store with the exact same clothes, but everything was different.  Of course, I could still only afford to buy one or two things, but I was so taken aback by how the experience was like night and day.  I was rested, I was not in a hurry and I was open to everything around me.  

It reminded me that life really is like my little shopping experience.  It sounds like a cliche and it is because it’s true.  Every experience in life changes depending on how we go into it and what we expect.  I think that is such a hopeful sign because it means we have much more control over life than we think.  It is our attitude that is the game changer.  We all know that, but for me, it was good to be reminded of it.  That’s why I love travel so much.  It’s like each day, I get a lesson on how to live my life better and make the most of each minute.