WHEN LIFE BECOMES HELPFUL

How about taking a moment to cultivate your love for life? You see, the more you spend time being in love with life and appreciating life, the more helpful life becomes. This is my experience.

It all starts by bringing awareness to what is going on within in terms of thoughts, emotions and sensations in the body. The only way I know to do this is by meditating. I sit and close my eyes, and tune in to what is going through my mind and how I feel. It is really important to become aware of thoughts you keep having. If you don’t, how would you know what you are telling yourself day in day out? (We are all good at being unkind to ourselves in the way we think..) The more I increase awareness of my thoughts the more often I can spot an unhelpful thought and choose a better one. That is, turn to the present moment and think about something I am grateful for instead. This is something that will probably go on in my head for the rest of my life. Practice makes progress and it feels right to keep going. Especially when noticing how life responds to better thoughts and becomes helpful!

Here are a few examples from everyday life:

  • I am standing in my kitchen one morning thinking about some small plates I lent to my daughter several weeks ago. I am thinking that she might have forgotten about them and that it is okay she keeps them. That same afternoon my daughter turns up at my door with the plates, and with a newly baked piece of cake on one of them.
  • I am walking my dog in Wimbledon Common and wonder how to get rid of a few bigger items in my home. As I arrive home there is a man standing on the opposite side of the road. Next to him are several big items. It looks as if he is waiting for someone to come pick them up. I ask him and it turns out I guessed right. He gives me the number he called.
  • I am coming home from my morning yoga classes. I open my front door and see that the postman has left a note regarding a delivery. On the note it says the package is being returned to the local post office and that I can collect it the next day. My first thought is that I wish I had been home for the delivery, but never mind. My dog needs a walk. As I am on the walk and arrive in one of the side roads close to my home I see the postman. I ask him about the package. Luckily it is still in his van. He knows who I am and where I live and hands me the package there and then.
  • I am going through my wardrobe to sort out clothes I am not wearing anymore and that I can give to one of the charity shops in Wimbledon Village. I end up filling two big black bin bags. The bags are really heavy. As I walk towards the village I think that it would be nice if someone offers to help me carry the bags. I walk a bit further. Coming in the opposite direction I see a lady who used to attend my mindfulness classes. I am not thinking about needing help anymore. I tell her I am happy to see her and that meeting her gives me an opportunity to mini rest before continuing walking to the charity shop. She immediately offers to help. She is super kind, she actually insists.
  • I am driving up towards the parking by Wimbledon windmill to walk my dog on a Saturday morning. I suddenly realise this is the exact time where hundreds of people are participating in the park run and the car park is usually at its fullest. In my head I decide where I want to park (I always do this), however this time without really believing it will work. I can’t believe it when I see an available parking space right in front of me. It is at the place I always prefer to park!

These you might think are small and unimportant coincidental moments but they are not. They were my life when they happened. They count! In every example it starts with a thought and ends with something better than I imagined.

In summary: The more you appreciate life and all that you experience, the more you choose to trust that whatever happens is okay to happen, the more helpful life becomes. It is really incredible how it works. Ps. There is no magic here – this is about presence power and being aware of your thoughts. It is available to all.

As I write this I realise that I generally expect good things to happen. I mean, why not?

I wish you well! Annette X

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children and live in Wimbledon.