Well I had a bit of a shock this morning when I checked my email and found no Blog Challenge topic on this, day 22 of my 30 day Blog Challenge! I have come to look forward to these inspirational suggestions and so I was quite let down when there wasn't one in my in-box.
Then, I decided it must be a test of some sort. But no, it was just some kind of glitch, apparently.
Carina says she will check what happened when she gets home. Carina is my Mindful Living coach/challenger. She lives in Copenhagen and so with the time difference, usually she has long since posted the daily challenge when I finally get out of bed and check my email.
But what if it WAS a test? What if I was supposed to just review and put into practice today all of the 21 concepts outlined in the challenges this far? That got me to thinking and what I realized is that I actually have been working on all of these concepts since they have been introduced.
I have been taking the time to appreciate the moment I am in - even when it is a challenging moment, one that I would prefer not to be experiencing. Like, for example on Tuesday night, when I left early for choir, with the intention of getting my 50 length swim in before choir started. Only to discover that my car would not start. Rather than getting mad or frustrated, I opted to look at it as an adventure - a change of plans that I didn't count on, but could to lead to who knows where? So I went back inside and got Chuckles to come and help me. The time delay meant that I couldn't swim, so I just used the sauna and hot tub, and spent time in each with my eyes closed, being aware of my breath and the feelings in my body. It was very relaxing and rejuvenating. Then I arrived early enough at choir to connect with some friends who I haven't chatted with for awhile. So, what could have been a situation leading to anger and frustration, became an opportunity to do something pleasurable.
I have also paid much more attention to my surroundings, what I see and hear. I have spent less time with my headphones, so that I could take in more of...life! Last night, we went out for dinner and there was a bus shelter right outside the restaurant. Scrawled across the advertisement in purple felt pen were the words "Everyday is a blessing". Normally I probably wouldn't even have noticed that, or if I had, I would have focussed on my negative feelings around graffiti. (Which I still don't think is right, don't misunderstand me!) But the sentiment was right on. It made me smile.
Savouring my cups of tea, making time for family and friends, really listening to people, being kind and gentle to myself - these are some of the positive things that I am doing as a direct result of this challenge.
Suddenly I am seeing the good before me just by choosing to open my eyes to it.