I really love winter, it’s February already and I feel cheated out of my winter.
Yes, I know there have been a few storms that now have names yet those frosty mornings when the car needs scraping, there is a crunch under your feet as you walk and your cheeks glow red have been rare.
One crisp morning I do remember was when I went to the ‘pop up’ Museum of Happiness in Spitalfields Market in London. It was bitterly cold, my breath hung like clouds in the air and wrapping my hands around a mug of hot chocolate felt like a hug for braving the cold.
There were loads of activities to boost your happiness and I gave mindful origami and creative drawing a go. It’s surprising the outcomes you get when you let go of old stories of your talents – or lack of them! It was my first ever ‘silent’ disco as well and the photo shows my friend, James, and I enjoying it.
Despite the low temperatures, I was struck by the enthusiasm and commitment of the organisers and presenters. They really believed in what they were doing and were passionate about what they were offering. Their energy bathed and touched everything and it lifted me despite my numb feet – a note to myself to wear two pairs of socks next time – and hands that ceased to work even with gloves on.
The reality though was the organisers and presenters didn’t lift me. I did! They weren’t responsible for my feelings just as your partner isn’t responsible, or indeed able, to make you happy or your friends stop you being bored or that person who cuts you up in your car makes you angry.
The way we feel is up to us. It’s the way we are deciding to feel about a situation or person that is based on our filters, experiences and conditioning.
It’s easy to blame others for our feelings yet they aren’t responsible for them. The way we ‘feel’ the world is up to us. It is our responsibility and no one else’s.
Before you think this sounds too tough there are huge benefits from taking ownership for your feelings. You get to decide how you feel not that idiot who cut you up or pushed in front of you to get on the train. You get to keep your own power rather than give it away to strangers.
Life gets easier and simpler and you feel in control of your circumstances rather than controlled by them. That’s real empowerment.
If you want to know how you are feeling take a look at the people in your life now, at this moment. Just as the presenters were reflecting my feelings to me, those around you reflect your feelings.
Have you ever noticed that once you start moaning others join in? Or that when you smile and are carefree you get the same back? Gossip breeds gossip, laughter gets more laughter and there’s that lovely saying that misery loves a companion!
Its a two way street as well. It’s even claimed that we become like the six people we spend the most time with. If they are worriers or sceptics our view of the world shifts to one of fear and uncertainty; hanging around with optimists and problem solvers results in endless doors opening and possibilities.
Those in our lives are mirrors reflecting ourselves to us.
It took me quite a few years to know that I could even take responsibility for my feelings yet when I did the difference in my life was incredible.
Give it a go. You’ll need to be compassionate to yourself and others and that may take some getting used to. Believe me the benefits are worth it and life will feel so much easier.
Enjoy the day you create.