Recognizing the Magic of Your Surroundings
Okay readers, it is time to get a bit introspective on Excuse My Midwest. New York City is one of, if not the most, magical places I have ever experienced. Naturally, the holiday season breathes twinkling, crisp life in to an already breathtaking city. The holiday season offers a time to come close to those around you, build upon important relationships, and reflect on the year that has passed. As some of you may know, by day, I am a full time licensed therapist. I help people overcome some of the darkest moments of their lives. I guide people through their own reflections and desires. But one thing I consistently need to give attention to is my own introspection and the recognition of my magical surroundings. Part of self discovery and growth is being able to recognize the magic that surrounds us on a day to day basis. Consider this blog post my holiday gift to you all; how to recognize the magic of your own surroundings.
1. All About Perspective
I will admit, it has been a bit easier to truly appreciate all that I have in my life since moving half across the country away from it all. Step one is putting into perspective the luxuries you carry each and every day. Somewhere out there is someone praying for a fraction of the life you have. Times may be trying. There are days you may want to give up. Recognize that your life is what you make it and by dwelling on the negative, you only perpetuate hiding in the common darkness. Fuel your magical surrounding. Be introspective of what you have around you. For those who are closest to me, they knew of my desire to live anywhere but the Midwest. While I have a strong love of the middle of the country, I knew I would not be happy knowing I wrote my entire life story in Wisconsin. Since moving to New York City, it has put in to perspective for me just how much love and ease I had surrounding me in Wisconsin. Wisconsin may have seemed hum drum in the moment, but now it is a calming, familiar beacon I look forward to escaping to when the city that never sleeps becomes a bit too much. Appreciate where you are, what you have, and things you have done.
2. Take it Down a Notch
In the city that never sleeps, taking a moment to slow down and appreciate what surrounds you seems next to impossible. One of my career goals as a therapist was to experience a different pace of life than the Midwest, so that I could provide my clients with a multitude of therapeutic approaches. All too often did I rush past a street performer, a subway musician, or a gentleman and his dog asking for donations on the sidewalk. New York City is bursting at the seams with art, color, sound, and smells to stop and appreciate. Being able to slow down and recognize what surrounds us connects back to the first step of being mindful and present of the beauty that we may take for granted. Slow down, take the extra stop on the subway to walk down a new street. Take a new way home from work. Spend those 30 minutes in the morning to recognize how the light shines through the curtains or how the coffee smells and feels in your mouth. Slowing down and incorporating mindfulness grounds us and can decrease anxiety that comes with constantly being on the go.
3. In a New York Minute
Life is fragile, unpredictable, and quick. We are not guaranteed any amount of time on this Earth. My mother passed away when I was 5 months old, she was only 19 years old. Life has no measure, no consistency, and no expectations. Life happens on life's terms. Being able to understand this and internalize it is so important. It makes it real and helps us see just how important recognizing the magic of our surroundings can be. This is not some fluffy, feel good blog post. This is a true life slap in the face reality for some of you struggling through each day of your seemingly mundane lives; your life is not promised. Take appreciation for what surrounds you, the home you live in, your morning commute, the fact that you have a job to go to each morning. Understand that all you have worked for could be gone tomorrow; would you be proud of what you leave behind?
4. Everything Happens for a Reason
How to recognize the magic in your surroundings ends with understanding that each and every part of your day, week, month, and year has happened for a reason. Each moment, every terrible job, all of the events you were late for, each heart wrenching break up lead you to where you are as you are reading this post. On the other side is every moment that will follow after you close this post out; they will lead you to where you hope your life will end up. Accepting this reality makes it easier to be grateful of the awful, heart breaking moments you endure. Life is hard, sharp, and quick. Recognizing that everything happens for a reason makes a person that much more thankful for the hardest moments. I know that what I have overcame in the past two years has placed me right where I am today and without those experiences, I am not sure I would be writing this blog post. Everything happens for a reason....
xoxo Miranda from the Midwest