This past month has been filled with contrast here in New England. Scorching hot, bright, sunny days followed by chilly, dim, and rainy stretches. Pollen-filled air so thick that breathing felt hazardous, interspersed with clear, dry air sweet with the scents of summer.
Maybe you long for predictability in all things- including the weather, and not knowing what’s coming has you feeling unsettled, frustrated, or even afraid. Perhaps you are easily agitated when things don’t go your way, and spend time worrying about what could go wrong. How can we embrace the seemingly uncontrollable variety of life and instead see it as something to be noticed and dare I say-enjoyed? Let me reframe contrast for you as something to be relished, appreciated, and even celebrated.
Contrast is most observable in the extremes. Consider the blissful peace that comes after a crying baby has been soothed; or the cozy sensation of putting on warm, dry clothes after hours of being in a wet bathing suit. Once you’re looking for it, you will also see it in more subtle differences like satiated hunger, a smooth road after a construction zone, or the quiet after a jampacked day. When you think about it, we really do like variety. Consider the texture combination of smooth and crunchy, or sweet and salty. It’s the contrast that’s so appealing, isn’t it?
How we interpret change and not knowing what will happen is a choice. We can stew in not knowing what to expect, or get excited to discover what will unfold. For me variety, nuance, and contrast are what excite me about life. It is certainly what inspires me to paint, and it also fuels my days. Having an array of activities planned for the day makes me more willing to leave my comfy bed.
Abraham Hicks speaks often about contrast being the primary way to become clear on what we want. Simply put, once we’ve experienced something we don’t enjoy, we have a greater understanding of what we do want and can therefore steer ourselves in that direction. The key to navigating towards a desire is to begin talking about the new experience we’d like versus dwelling on undesired past experience. Thinking about our preferred experience aligns us with its vibration and moves it into our reality.
If you struggle to deal with all the unknowns in life or are often aggravated by unwanted circumstances, try a change in your habitual self-talk. This is simple, but not necessarily easy. It takes time to deprogram years of worrying and complaining about what is, so that you may shift into a positive expectation of what could be. Try intentionally and consistently substituting phrases like “what if everything works out great?”, “now, I know what I want”, “it will be fine”, or even “I can handle whatever happens”. These are simple phrases that can shift you away from your negative narrative.
Choose a positive-outcome phrase to tell yourself when your inner dialogue starts spiraling towards potential disaster. Remember to take a breath and choose again when you feel yourself starting to rant. The simple act of taking a breath and changing your language will surely bring you towards greater peace. Be curious as you try on different soothing, affirmative things to say to tame your inner drama. Notice how each makes you feel and what it takes to shift your automatic response ever closer to appreciating and embracing the contrast of life!