I was heading out for a day of play with my daughter this morning, and we wanted to go to the playground that's directly on the beach. As we were driving past the beach on the way there, I looked out at the turquoise water, the idyllic holiday view of islands in the distance and said to my daughter "wow the ocean is amazing today! We're so lucky to be here now when it's looking so beautiful!"
Then we got to the playground and found our place on the swings beside a young boy on another swing who was being pushed by his grandmother. I said hello and she commented on the nice breeze. "Yes" I said "it's lovely... and the beach is just stunning today". To my surprise the lady replied in a grumble "Oh it's dirty though, horrible, stinking. What a shame it's like this when so many people want to come to the beach." She then turned her attention away from me and grumbled at her grandson for something or other.
I was completely taken aback and looked at the beach again. It was a gorgeous clear turquoise colour. It's true there was a smell of a certain algae that we sometimes get, but the smell was no where near disturbing. I sized it up again, now taking her point of view into consideration... and it was still pure beauty to me.
It struck me that here we were, two people looking at exactly the same thing, experiencing pretty well the same moment... on the swings with children we loved beside a beach. For me the moment was filled with love, joy and beauty, and for her? It's hard to say, but I would guess it was more like hard work and irritation. I loved this moment, and she couldn't wait for it to be over.
It's true what they say... beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
So what about you? Do you see beauty in the moments that you have or are you more like the lady, always finding something to grumble about? I truly believe that every single moment has beauty (some more than others of course) and it's up to us if we want to see it or not. And here's the thing... seeing the beauty makes us feel good, and fixating on the grumbles makes us feel bad. How would you rather feel?
So how do we turn things around if it turns out we're actually the grumbler? I would always suggest gratitude. Take a moment each day to look around you and find the beauty, name it and thank it. To begin with you might find it hard, but keep going! Soon it will be easier and easier to find the beauty and before you know it you won't need to try. You will just BE the person who says "wow this is beautiful!"
There is so much beauty everywhere... So go out and see it, love it, and feel happy!