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A Tiny Huge Life Changing Practice for those who want more.

tiny huge life changing practice unexpectedly lovely things Jun 09, 2024
Always Expect The Unexpectedly Lovely

A Tiny-Huge Life-Changing Practice for those who want more.


I was having a splendid weekend.  I woke up early Saturday morning feeling good and was in the garden shifting barrows of soil and rubble long before breakfast.


(I’m going to pause and celebrate that last sentence: This wasn’t always the case. A few years ago, whilst secretly (definitely to myself) surfing the verge of burnout, I used to wake up feeling like concrete, excited to have made it to the weekend with its change in pace (even, if it was crammed with the attempt to catch up with my life outside of work) only to be disappointed to find myself in that state of unwellness that saps even the most enthusiastic of us from thoroughly enjoying our weekends.)


Anyways, back to my life nowadays, which as I continue to Gently Rebel against overwhelm and exhaustion being the price I pay for having the successful life I desire, becomes more and more about joy. And last weekend was packed full of joy.


I kicked ass on spring cleaning - shampooing carpets, washing settee covers. Might not sound joyful to you but man it made me feel good. And I still had energy afterwards! Sunday included a surprise gathering of my most loved people as I met my sons for brunch and got to hang out with my granddaughter, who is at a deliciously giggly squishable stage and seems to like me as much as I like her.


Sunday afternoon, back in my garden, relaxing on the swing seat, surveying our garden together, Rosie, Nutmeg and Rooby Roo snuggled up on the swing seat with us - pure joy…when I turned around and saw a plant growing out of the bathroom downpipe.




I tried ignoring it. But my mind was off on stories of doom about how this was an emergency that needed to interrupt my happiness with the need for urgent action to prevent future possible disasters. 


Fortunately, having been forced to learn some ninja skills to get my life back after the explosion caused by not having said skills…I was able to, eventually, choose to refocus on the comfort of my garden swing seat, partner, dogs, those amazing white irises that flower not just once but apparently continuously producing more flowers down their stems, the blackbird parents taking it in turns to whizz past us with worms to feed their newly hatched offspring on our shed roof, Nutmeg and Rooby practising some sort of dog kung foo on the lawn, the sound of silence, peace, the warmth of the sunshine…


A few hours later when I decided it would be fun to tackle the drainpipe, I was amazed to discover that the plant was growing out of the disgusting mass of gunk that had accumulated - somehow managing to impressively straddle a bridge of nourishment for the plant to grow from - right at the top of the downpipe. Nature is so much tougher and clever than we notice.


So tough that it took several attempts to dislodge the gunky, but apparently nourishing, lump without falling out of the window. 

Now it was blocking the drain. 


I'm not entirely sure how these things happen in relationships, but it would appear that one of the roles I have taken on is Designated Drain Unblocker. Not fun. Pretty disgusting actually.


And then something Unexpectedly Lovely happened. A frog jumped out of the flooded drain! A happy, or maybe not so happy now, little frog sprang out of the disgusting flooded drain. It had obviously been blocked for a while providing a little pond for him to set up home in. Brilliant. A delight actually.


It's so easy to live in the constant ‘emergencies’, on high alert, ready to react to semi-disasters to prevent apparent possible future semi-disasters. It's how we’re wired - you are descended from the highly reactive, easily stressed, who were able to adapt and survive. Your brain is supposed to be hijacked by doom and gloom. It's how you got this far.


Now, for the promised Tiny Huge Life Changing practice for those who want more.


Unexpectedly Lovely Things


If you want more than constant emergency reactive mode. If you want to be able to switch off and relax easily. Sleep well. Focus on what matters most to you, then this practice is brilliant for learning to control your attention, resist the hijacking and choose what you focus on…


Plus it's fun. 


Don't be fooled by its fluffy-sounding name. This is serious work.


But obviously, because this is how we roll over here in The Gentle Rebellion, it doesn't take long and you can't do it wrong (dump that pressure right now).


Unexpectedly Lovely Things:


On the hour, every hour, for a day (you won't manage that but it's a good thing to aim for to give it a good go, see if it's for you and then embed it as a habit if you decide you want to), pause for a moment (between meetings? Each time you make a drink? ) and deliberately look around for something Unexpectedly Lovely. 


NOT lovely, that's not going to get you more. To rewire your brain you’re going to need to make this a bit more effortful. Something Unexpectedly Lovely. 


So it could be something you already appreciate but each time you look at or listen to it you find a new unexpectedly lovely thing about it. This takes moments. (So no excuses!)


Wishing you a week of having fun finding those frogs in the sticky gunk.




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