Stop and see the beauty

tulipHow often do you get so wrapped up with the chatter in your head that you don’t see the beauty that is all around you? This used to happen to me all the time – some thought would take hold of me and make me a prisoner, making me blind to the beauty of life, putting a hazy outline on even the sunniest of days. Thoughts can become pretty scary – something as simple as someone you love saying the “wrong” thing can snowball into our minds making assumptions that are not real, and one thought turns into another, worse thought, and so on. Before we know it, we are having an internal argument with someone who had the misfortune to not say what it is we wanted to hear.

The only difference between myself a few years ago and myself today is that now I am aware when this is happening to me. I know when my runaway thoughts are becoming runaway trains, and I know that the haze that surrounds me can turn pretty dark if I don’t stop it. Mark Twain once said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” And it’s true – most of what we worry about will never happen, and if it does, we deal with it.

Sometimes just the awareness that we are stuck in this loop is enough to make it stop. Now when I feel myself getting upset over a runaway thought, I say to myself (sometimes out-loud), “STOP it, it’s not real,” and I clear that energy away from my body and feel myself go back to normal. I have found that taking pictures will help me to see the beauty around me, because in putting the camera in focus, I put myself in focus as well.

Take a moment and look around you. If you are inside go outside or look out a window – there is beauty everywhere. A spring flower, a child laughing, the smile of a stranger. One of the first steps I had to make when I realized I had some pretty big life changes to make was learning not just how to see the beauty around me, but to notice it for long enough to change my thinking. It’s more than smelling the flowers, it’s touching the petals, seeing the miracle in one tiny flower growing through a patch of concrete, and letting your mind relax.

Change is coming. The way we see the world and our place in it will bring nothing but clarity. But before we can do that, before we can get down to truly feeling peace inside our hearts, we have to relax our minds. We have to let go of the distracting thoughts we cling to. And we have to do it every day, until we begin to see more beauty, and less darkness.

I’d love to hear where you find beauty. Namaste. -Amy

© 2015 Amy Sampson

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