Green 2.0: Nature Expectations

5 10 2010

In her book Eat Mangoes Naked, SARK remarks on our tendency to sabotage pleasure by setting ourselves up for disappointment. When we expect to have a good time doing something, she says, we can become frustrated that the experience is not what we anticipated. She offers, “Instead of going to have ‘a good time’ (which can cause pressure or struggle), we might just have ‘a time.’ This allows our actual experience to occur.”

I was a recent victim of great nature expectations – my own, that is. I went to a park with my husband to explore on a perfect autumn afternoon and soon felt irritable that the sun grew too warm for the perfect fall outfit I was wearing. My mind then found other things to pick at, and soon I was fully annoyed at my disappointment. Luckily I realized what I was doing to myself and tried to appreciate the day from a more open perspective. Then the sun started to cool and the evening was truly perfect!

We can all re-condition our responses to nature. Most of the time there will be things that can stop us from enjoying it if we let them. There will be dirt, and bugs, and hot sun, and cold rain. There will be itchy bits and cloudy skies. The scenery may have changed since we visited as a child; the trail may be eroded and more difficult than we remember. All of these things are opportunities to breath, smile, and have “a time.”

We may just find there are treasures in the muck. I remember a few days that could have been dismal but turned out to be lasting, adventurous memories; a blustery October day turned into running through the rain, laughing. We can redeem nature moments, as we can people moments, work moments, doing-the-laundry moments.

I wish you many moments transformed!

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