Every morning I take our dog for a hike and 98 percent of the time we are roaming in the nearby park. I had more than one person asking if I ever get bored or blasé with taking the same trails and seeing the same things every day (which would ultimately make my morning rather boring.)

The short answer is no.

Here’s why: Everything in nature changes every day and so do we, thoughts and all, because life is unstoppable and that means constantly changing.

There is that magical moment when you open your eyes to yet another day and then comes the part where you choose how you take yourself through it. Being mindful of your surroundings, of the people you meet, of the thoughts that go through your mind as you do so, that can change a so-and-so day (which, remember is but a perception) into a good day The ‘good’ part means different things for everyone, but the path there is through awareness: Of things, people, of yourself in the world you wake up to every day.

Look and don’t stop looking until you see. Take a good look at the things you see, be it a flower, blade of grass, a tree or a rock. Think of what it takes for them to exist and think of the world from their perspective. What do they need to exist and how do they add to life as you know it?

Think of the temporary nature of everything you see, but appreciate the resilience. Temporary is what defines life and yet our strive for permanence is what makes us forget the gifts handed to us by the moment, day, times we’re in.

Know of your place and the part you play, because you do. Whether you are aware of it or not, your existence creates something in its wake. No matter how small or insignificant something may seem, everything has a place in the world. Belonging through connecting. Being aware of it makes every step you take and every day you wake up to magical.

See the meaning in the ‘random’ events nature offers. A couple of days ago I noticed a hawk flying in low, tight circle above me. A small bird was flying towards the hawk with force and determination. Her small body slammed into the hawk’s, which was at least 10 times her size, repeatedly. She persisted until the hawk finally gave up on whatever he was after (newly hatched chicks perhaps.)

That story keeps repeating itself many times a day and all around the world. Random is a word we may see fit to apply to the natural world, but that’s because we look from a narrow human perspective (which can be broadened through awareness, never forget that.)

Small does not mean powerless; size is but one thing you bring to the game. Determination, motivation sprouting from whatever powers your thoughts and keeps your will to succeed alive; that helps you find the courage and the means to keep on going and sometimes do what looks like the craziest endeavour (again, perspective matters.)

It’s what you make of it, so smile. It costs nothing, it can mean a lot. Smile. Whether it is friends or strangers you lock eyes with for a second. Attach a smile. (That being said, walking around town with the sole purpose of smiling at everyone might be interpreted as a bit odd. You make a judgment on how to do it and when.)

When you smile, people will smile back. Most people will, that is.

That is because of mirror neurons. See, these cells we all carry inside our brains activate when we see a certain action performed by someone and we end up performing the same action (more about them in a future post.)

A powerful tool in the hands of moody creatures like us, you may think. Without a doubt. And yet, think of the good things that come of realizing we possess this ‘power’ (a built-in feature really, but empowering to learn about) to influence things for the better when we use it right:

  • Instead of losing it when frustrated, which causes others to react negatively, you use words to express the frustration you feel.  
  • Instead of walking past someone with a dead face (which will likely have them do the same and you’ll think ‘what a weirdo and an unfriendly world’,) you smile and they smile back and the world seems fine.

Really, it’s what you make of it. The things you see, the people you meet, the day you wake up to. So you see, it’s your choice: make it good.