If you’re not familiar with the climate in the northeastern United States, here it is:
In summer, it’s hot. In winter, it’s cold. Now you know…
Since it’s the middle of summer, step outside on this day and it will feel like the gods have adorned you with a damp, heavy wool blanket.
Some people like this feeling. Others do not.
In either case, the current weather reflects what is.
I’m reporting on the weather to make the point that it’s easy to focus on what is.
After all, it’s right there in front of your nose. It’s “true.” It’s real. All that stuff…
When our lives intersect with something that we don’t like (like extreme weather), the knee-jerk reaction for many people is to focus their attention on WHAT THEY DO NOT like.
In other words, they complain, hoping to connect with someone at the level of commiseration. They post how uncomfortable or unhappy they are on Facebook and attract support from other complainers.
There’s no mystery as to WHY people behave this way…
Complaining and choosing to focus on what is, is easy. (It takes about as much thought as saying, “Hot enough for ya?” on a 100 degree day.)
While I’m using the example of weather, I’ll wager that there’s some aspect(s) of your life where you’d like to see an upgrade. It could be your weight. Or your money situation. Or your love life. Or career… There’s some aspect of your current reality where you would like to see an improvement, yes?
Then know that while it’s easy and tempting to focus on what you don’t like about what is, it’s never in your best interests.
Talking about what you do not like attracts more things (situations, people, problems, etc.) into your life that you do not want. This is just a metaphysical law of our universe.
If focusing on your current reality does not elicit a good feeling within you, this is your internal guidance system telling you that you’ve gotten off the track that will lead you to the outcomes you really want.
The good news is that it’s just a habit. And with one simple decision, you can change any aspect of your life…
You must decide to keep your awareness, attention, and focus on what you wish to create, despite your current reality.
Yes, this will take practice, but if you’re game, it’s not as difficult as you might think. And yes, practice takes effort (this is what scares most people away).
But if you’re willing to sweat a little, a life of fantastic experiences lays before you; a life where things get better and better all the time. A life where things always go your way…
I don’t know how else to put it, but it’s a life where the restrictive rules that most people choose to live by no longer apply to you. The dominant feelings in your life become freedom, ease, and connection – what I call a Very Cool Life.
To bring home my point, let me return to the inspiration for this post – the current heat wave in my neck of the woods.
Okay, so it’s hot outside and yesterday I went hiking with friends.
Before we embarked, my new friend John explained how he thought there might still be snow in the area we would be exploring. Upon hearing him, I felt the wave of expectation roll through me. We were going to find snow. Though we were sitting in 90 degree heat and any visible snow had evaporated from the states’ highest peaks months earlier, finding snow in July seemed perfectly reasonable to me.
In fact, the thought thrilled me, tapping into that “anything is possible” vibe. And so we went, holding a loose expectation for snow, and a powerful expectation for a great experience.
Fast forward a few hours, and we were several miles into the woods, sweating on the hiking trail, immersed in the full force of summer.
In the very next moment, 100 feet away from the 80+ degree trail, we entered a world with air so cool we could see our breath.
We looked around, and there it was….
Snow. In the middle of July.
I share this because the experience felt otherworldly. With a few small steps we literally crossed into a hidden world; a world wanting to be discovered and appreciated.
Mind you, this snow wasn’t easy to access. We invested a significant amount of energy to get there. But most important, in order to gain access to this hidden reality, we had to make the decisions to leave the beaten path, to explore, and to look for what we wanted to find.
Finding snow on the hottest day of the year was a thrilling experience for me. No word really describes it, so magical will have to do. (Or very, very cool!).
Of course, not everyone reading this will be able to connect to the feeling I’m trying to convey here. But a few of you will.
So for those who can feel the thrill of finding snow in July, allow me to remind you of a few things.
Anything is possible for you – that’s not just a cheesy cliché. If you can conceive it, you can experience it.
In order to experience what you most want, you have to hold up your end of the bargain. This means that your job is to believe. To expect good things. To have fun. To look for and talk about what you want to find (not what you don’t). And to sweat a little.
Whatever your current reality and whatever you’d like to upgrade in your life, there’s another world right next to you, waiting for you to come in.
Here’s the thing…
What I am writing here is just words. I am doing my best to convey this feeling that I love so much – the feeling of being a deliberate creator in my very cool life – but words do not teach. Direct experience is the only thing that really teaches. (I wish you could have been there to find this hidden oasis of snow and to feel the light cool air on your skin).
If you know about the magic feeling I’m writing about here and you want to cultivate more and more of it in your life, then I invite you to join me in Burlington, Vermont to experience what it feels like to find snow in July.
Of course, while this experience is yours for the taking, it requires you to be deliberate. To get here, you’ll need to decide. You’ll need to invest some dollars and time. But if you’re one of the people willing to break a sweat for what you really want, I can promise that the view will be worth it.
In any case, no matter what’s in front of your nose, remember to always keep looking in the direction of what you wish to see.
You just might surprise yourself.
If you want to see more photos from the trip, they are here.