It was a gorgeous day in Chicago. Sunny, warm but not hot, birds singing as I headed to the lake for one of the final sails of the season. I had my windows down and my tunes up loud. My ‘happy’ playlist was blaring out Andy Grammar’s “It’s Good to be Alive” and I was seat dancing and singing along with him as I approached the lake. I was in the zone! A big smile on my face as I was excited to be heading to the lake with my music simply adding to my excitement of the day!
As I was getting closer and closer I noticed a garbage truck in front of me, permeating odors that were rancid and for a brief moment it almost took me out of joy. How could it smell that bad was my thought and why was it in front of me? It didn’t take moments before I was laughing at the irony of singing “It’s Good to be Alive” loud and proud and a smell invading my space that I didn’t find good. I thought for a moment about the saying “stop and smell the roses” as I laughed thinking I was smelling garbage. But the experience truly did remind me of how grateful I was in that very moment and in life. In that very moment, life was truly GOOD and smelly at the same time!
It was a great reminder that contrast indeed is there to serve as growth opportunities and provide the ability to reach for better feeling thoughts. I could have chosen to let the smell detract from my beautiful day singing to a song I love and heading to one of my favorite places on earth. Or, I could use the experience as a reminder that even when things are going great, something could easily occur that can take my focus away from love. It was a reminder that it’s still a choice, even when it’s a difficult choice from time to time, that we get to choose how to see our challenging experiences in life.
Moving forward, I invite you to face your moments of unpleasantness by:
Seeing it simply as an experience and not as a fact. Observe the unpleasantness rather than react to it.
Finding things to appreciate about the unpleasantness. My example is these great people were helping keep the city I love clean and they seemed to be having a good time doing it.
Knowing all is truly well as the unpleasant experiences we have, yes some far more difficult than others, allow us to appreciate the good times, the easy times, the sing-a-long to favorite song times at an even deeper level.
Mostly, my wish for you is to remember that whether you are smelling roses or garbage that you know you are worthy of living your life to the fullest with deeper love, laughter and happiness.
Until next time, challenges and all, it’s GOOD TO BE ALIVE!
I focus on seeing the good in all situations.
Words to live by:
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” – Carl Rogers
“Life is good when we think it’s good. Life is bad when we don’t think.” – Douglas Horton
“The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.” – Chanakya
Sounds for Your Soul: