“Everything was changed.
Even the air. Instead of the harsh dry winds that used
to attack me, a gentle breeze was now blowing, laden
Jean Giono, The Man Who Planted Trees
I had been focusing for too long and for much of each day on things in my life that were not what I had imagined or desired, nothing seemed good enough in the lens through which I was observing. I needed an upgrade.
The exposure to this set me on a course of curiosity and exploration.
One suggestion was for me to spend a few minutes each evening jotting down in my journal something good or positive that had happened. The invitation was to begin to practice recalling, focussing and remembering something that was good about each day, from very simple things to more meaningful things, such as…
Noticing someone smiling at you
A great conversation with a friend
your child gave you a drawing
You gave a gift to someone
A positive emotion or feeling you had about something
Being grateful for provision
Having done this for over 3 years now, I have a number of journals full of evidenced goodness that I can look back on and remember. Evidence that no matter how I feel in any given moment on any given day, there is more good going on than I'm sometimes led to believe.
The fascinating thing is, I haven't needed to look back at those journals yet. I believe this is because the repetition of remembering good has been rewiring my brain pattern of behaviour to focus, notice and pay more attention to that which is good, it's becoming normal.
Observation: The practice of noticing and being aware is more important than the thing you notice and write down.
During the 3 years of practising remembering good things, I was recommended a book called “The Man Who Planted Trees” by author Jean Giono. The story centres around an imaginary yet believable shepherd named Elzeard Bouffier, who has a stunning relationship with the natural world around him. He set about planting acorn trees all over his surrounding environment in order to bring restoration and make the world a better place as his legacy. It’s a powerful and heart-provoking story and I highly recommend it, it's one I come back to time again.