It was unseasonably cold and rainy on Memorial Day weekend in Boston. Facebook lit up with comments about turning on the heat after having just had the air conditioning running days earlier. There was even a photo of a roaring fire.
Why did one person experience the cold rainy weekend as a miserable, chilly experience which ruined the holiday barbecue while another experienced the same weekend as a precious chance to cozy up with a hot tea and a favorite book? What about the one who experienced the rain as a solemn tribute to the meaning of Memorial Day? And of course there's always that free spirit who danced joyfully in the rain, splashing in puddles and catching raindrops on their tongue. The free spirit was, of course, too busy frolicking to post on social media...
There were as many ways to experience that same rainy weekend as there are humans to experience it.
Do you live in the Boston area? How did you experience the cold, rainy weekend?
More importantly, how did that experience affect your happiness?
It has been said that the secret to true happiness is awareness. Did you choose how you experienced this weekend or did the experience choose you? If you're like most of us, the experience chose you. I mean, it's not like we can make it rain. The weekend happened to us, the weather happened to us, and we had no control.
Except that, clearly, that can't be true.
If it were true, we all would have experienced the same thing. But while it rained for all of us in Boston, our experiences were as individual as we are.
And this is why awareness is key.
If you are unaware of the filters through which you experience the world, then life chooses you. But once you are aware of your filters, you have the power to choose life. I used to have typical dark gray lenses in my prescription sunglasses. Despite the fact that my coolness factor went up exponentially when wearing them, I rarely did. Turns out, I'd rather squint in the blinding sun then have all the colors in my world grayed out on what should have been a vibrant summer day. Then one day I realized that if I swapped out the gray lenses for the amber variety, the whole world looked warmer and richer when tinted with that particular hue.
I chose to experience this wet, chilly weekend as a chance to relax and restore. The sound of the rain became a gentle lullaby; the gray skies a blanket of comfort and calm. I slowed down. I felt rested.
Next time I think I might try experiencing the rain as a free spirit, dancing and splashing, soaked through and through. Why not? Could be fun.
It WILL be fun.
Because, if I am truly at choice, why choose possible fun when I can choose definite fun?
Are you aware of what you are experiencing right now? It's a trick question, of course. You can't answer it without becoming aware through the act of answering.
So the more important question becomes:
Now that you are aware, what will you choose?