I appreciate that this might sound like an odd post, however I think it’s pretty pertinent to how we live our lives. The reason for the subheading of “Cracks and Magpies”, is that there are certain customs that I’m alluding to, that encourage us to look for “problems” in life rather than the good stuff that’s going on.
The customs could be seen as a “game”; however it still draws focus to problems in life rather than the positives in our daily lives. One custom is not to step on the cracks in the pavement for fear of injuring a nominated relative, the other is if one spots a lone magpie to acknowledge it in someway by a salute, a wave or perhaps a phrase. In both cases, by performing a pretty basic ritual, you then “ward” off the bad luck. Now this probably just seems like harmless fun, and what am I getting worked up over?
But if we think a little deeper and pay a little more attention, it’s possible to see that whilst your attention is on mitigating these “fun” dilemma’s, it’s not on all the other interesting stuff that’s happening around you. You’re in effect training yourself to not only be prepared for issues to arise, but to actively look for them. Again, this could be seen as a sensible approach, but only if you believe that life constantly throws issues and problems in your way. If your viewpoint is that life is at worst pretty benign if not pretty enjoyable and engaging then you don’t need to be prepared for the worst. As the worst probably never actually happens, these people will just see a slight problem to be solved and move on.
This to me seems a healthier way to conduct one’s life. If you can be present in your life, and enjoying seeing and engaging with what’s around you then you needed spend time looking for negative influences. You needn’t look for the cracks and the magpies, they’re still there, but their value in your life has changed. Now they’re just interesting features of the landscape around you, along with many other interesting features. You could actually spend time just being in constant awe at how amazing both the natural and man-made world is. I also suspect that as you begin to do this, you might start to notice more features that are positive in your life, favourite places to walk and things to see. The commute to work could become a treasured part of your day.
If we can learn to celebrate the little stuff, that stuff that most of us take for granted, then life becomes far richer and enriching. It’s possible to alter your perception and make things that used to be a grind become enjoyable in their own right. You have to do lots of stuff that seems a chore, so why not enhance it and make it as fun as possible. You need to hang washing out, why not do it to music? You have to get to work, why not choose the prettiest route to work. Whilst doing that, try to relax into it, so that rather than stressing and rushing, just accept it’ll take the time it does and give yourself space to think and observe.
Life is full of wonder and joy, if you’re able to relax and see it. Have fun out there and see how it feels to you…