This is my first blog sharing some of my experiences on my recent trip. The first topic I want to talk about is “taking a moment”. I, as many others I know, can be the type of person that rushes from one thing to the next, accomplishing one task and moving forward … trying to squeeze it all in and do it all. As much as this can serve me, it can also take away from the simple pleasures in life.
On the fourth day of my trip, I travelled to Rome. While in Rome, I walked around this remarkable city by myself. My first stop was to see the Sistine Chapel and the only way to get there was through the Vatican Museum. The crowds of people were crazy insane! Seriously, I felt like I was amongst cattle being herded through the museum. I didn’t think I had a problem with crowds, but I was getting very irritated and frustrated with people being in my personal space, pushing me around and bumping into me. I actually thought, “They are so rude. Is it worth this to see to the Sistine Chapel?!?!”. After about an hour of walking through the intense crowds, becoming more and more like Oscar the Grouch as time went on, I walked into this amazing and incredible structure. I grew up Roman Catholic and although I am not a structured religious person, I do have a strong spiritual side and being in this building and being present for the sheer beauty of this place made my entire perception change. The feelings of anxiousness and frustration very quickly disappeared. In that instant, I didn’t seem to notice the people pushing me around or being in my personal space. I sat down and took that beautiful moment in. Nothing seemed to bother me. I took that moment to enjoy the beauty and I thought about my life and how grateful I was for having the opportunity to see one of the most amazing structures in the world that I may never see again in my life.
After I left, still in awe, I thought how interesting it was that my mood could change so quickly. I know I can do this type of perception change in my everyday life and it doesn’t mean having the Sistine Chapel in my home at the end of a bad day. I can choose to change my perceptions. It is a mental shift. It could be a partner or child that creates a smile and the ability to forget all of the negative events that happened that day. Or maybe it is a breathe of clean fresh air, the sight of a lake or talking to a good friend or family member that erases those bad feelings. What I “see” depends on what filters I have operating in my life. The power of the human mind is beyond comprehension and is incredibly fascinating to me. We have the ability to choose how we react to our environment. Even in external circumstances that seem out of our control, we can always control our internal response. It really is the only thing that we have absolute control over.
What was reinforced to me this day was that, sometimes, we rush through life too quickly to get to an end result and we forget to take a moment to enjoy where we are then and there. We let the frustrations cloud the beautiful moments. I was extremely frustrated by the crowds of people, but I am so grateful that something clicked in me and I took the moment to enjoy that experience.
I wish for all of you the ability to slow down for just a moment. Take the time to appreciate even the ordinary events. Life becomes instantly more enjoyable.