How Life Becomes More Beautiful When We Stop Anticipating The Worst

Written by on April 29, 2016 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living with 4 Comments
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By Matt Richards | Tiny Buddha

“Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.” ~Louis L’Amour

These days I live in the city, but I spent my childhood in a rural English village. It was quaint and quiet and rather lovely—the sort of place you’re desperate to leave when you’re young and full of fire, but begin to hanker for when you get a little older.


Back then, to get to the local school, I had to walk down a long, winding country lane, which had rolling fields on both sides. For half an hour each morning and the same coming home, I had beautiful scenery as far as the eye could see—streams, woodlands, horses frolicking in the fields.

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But I never really saw any of this.

You see, this being the countryside, it was common for residents to walk their dogs down lanes such as this one. And this also being the eighties, before people began cleaning up after their dogs, there were quite a few areas on my journey where dogs had relieved themselves.

Now, because of this you had to keep your eyes on the ground pretty much constantly—that’s if you didn’t want to be that kid who walked dog poop into school, (or worse into a friend’s parent’s house, which I did once, but that’s another, much less allegorical, story).

So there I was each morning, eyes on the path, making sure I didn’t step on anything unpleasant, ignoring everything else. Closed off from all the beauty around me.


I’m glad to say that one day I had an epiphany. I realized that by being so cautious, I was actually missing out on experiencing the amazing backdrop to my journey.

On that day I realized that I wanted to walk to school present and mindful of the wonderful world around me.

I wanted to look around more and experience life in all its glory, not just worry about whether I stepped in poop.

So I did.

And yes, perhaps on occasion my shoe may have met with something nasty, but it made that walk so much more enjoyable. I remember the feelings of oneness and freedom it instilled in me to this day.

And really, that’s what being mindful and present is. It’s saying yes to life and noticing your surroundings. Fully.

It’s saying yes, I might step in something unpleasant, I might get hurt, I might feel silly, I might expose my vulnerabilities, but at least I get to experience every remarkable nuance and opportunity life has to offer too.

I’m also glad to say that this has been a lesson that I’ve carried through to my adult life.

Sure, there have been many times in the past when I’ve stepped in something nasty; jobs haven’t worked out, relationships have ended, people close to me have gone away in various different ways.

But throughout any downtime I’ve always tried to keep looking around me, to see the scenery, the bigger picture. Even if this is just catching myself in a negative tailspin, taking a deep breath, centring myself, and realizing that there’s lots to appreciate out there.

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So what if you step in something? So what if you expose the real you and then get hurt? It’s all part of the rich tapestry of life, and you’ll deal with it, because you’re living your life completely.

Mindfully.

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4 Reader Comments

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  1. 458973754312842@facebook.com' Taniya Thakur Banik says:

    Beautiful is always full of beauty!

  2. 1091881964205021@facebook.com' Ricardo Patricio Espinoza Cucalón says:

    I feel sad ;because this world system of madness is going in the wrong direction;that´s why don´t believe getting better at future,.-

  3. 234528410220135@facebook.com' Mikołaj Kraszewski says:

    But there’s nothing good on this planet…

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