When we travel we are hit with a myriad of new things. New foods, new places, new styles, new personalities, new culture, new ways of doing things… All this new can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially if you wish a specific ‘new’ thing was more like the ‘old’ thing you used to love.
It’s easy to reject the new things. There’s been more than a few times I’ve wandered into a Chinese convenience store in search of a snack only to find packs of disgusting looking mystery meet, processed chicken feet, packages of weird plant-looking things, and a whole lot of strange foods which I can’t even begin to identify but don’t look the least bit appetizing. I try to appreciate the differences but it’s easy to focus on what you don’t like and wish things were different…
(I mean who actually enjoys eating chicken feet? There rubbery and gross and there’s no meet and you gotta chew through bone and…. Sorry)
It’s not just when we travel though, it’s not just the new things… the things we come to dislike throughout our lives tend to play strongly in our minds. They can create reactions in us that are hard to ignore. Sometimes the things we don’t like seem so much more prominent and powerful in our awareness than the things we do like. It can sometimes be much easier to make a list of the things we don’t like about a person, place or situation than the things we do like.
There’s no denying there are a lot of things wrong with the world. There’s a lot of pain and suffering out there. There’s a lot of negativity and anger and hatred and stupidity. It can be easy to get wrapped up in these things and to feel from time to time that the world is an undesirable place to be. The more we focus on all the things wrong with the world and the things we dislike the easier it is to become negative people who only add to the problem.
That’s why I think instead of getting caught up in the new or old things we don’t like, we should focus on what we love, and to do this I think it would be an awesome practice to make a list of things you totally love about life and the world!
This was inspired by a forum post from my favorite music group – Lemon Jelly. When I made a list of the things I loved it powerfully shifted my thinking about things. It made me feel the things we love are actually far more powerful than the things we hate. With each addition to the list I felt a growing awesomeness about the world and a deep happiness in simply being alive. Some of the items on the list are important, some are simple little pleasures, but they all make me feel good and make me grateful for the beautiful life I’ve been blessed with.
Anyway here is my list. The items are in no particular order!
The smell of a campfire
A beautiful song
A hot-chocolate on a cold night
A comedy that makes me laugh uncontrollably
Making strangers smile
Going on random adventures
A really hot shower before sleeping
Listening to live guitar
Going to hockey games
Cuddling with a beautiful woman
Big Chinese/Japanese drumming shows
Watching heavy rain while warm inside
Dancing in the pouring rain to an amazing song on a warm night
Vanilla ice-cream with loads of chocolate sauce
Baskin Robbins world class chocolate ice-cream
A mind blowing / awareness expanding movie
A kickass kung fu movie
The feeling after a good martial arts workout
Meeting conscious people
Not being able to stop laughing
Stupid funny movies like anchorman and kungpow
Looking at the stars with an amazing melody in the background
Discovering new favorite music
Watching a really amazing anime
A nice pair of boobs
The Planet Earth series
A really good RPG video game
All you can eat crab legs at the mandarin
Really happy people
Making a funny skit with my cousin
The smell at a gas station
My Grandmas spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread and Caesar salad
Listening to the perfect song for whatever I’m doing
Singing really loud while driving a car
Drinking with friends on a nice patio on a warm night
Whenever life is getting your down, whatever you’re going through, try making a list like this of the simple pleasures life has to offer. Get back in touch with what makes you feel good and remember how many things in life there are to love. Store this list on your computer or print it out and hang it up somewhere you’ll see it once in a while. It will help you feel good about life and the world and keep your spirits positive.
What do you love?