When Things Happen, We Have a Choice

Things happen to each of us moment to moment and if we are going to maintain or reclaim our health, our choice of what to do when things happen is paramount.

 This point was brought home to me on Sunday’s  hike. We had a perfect hiking day: cool for the hike up, and wind and sun at the summit of Mt.Mooselauke. We enjoyed a liesurely lunch in the lee of the wind with a crystal clear view of the SE mountains.

 My friend and I were over a mile into our descent when I discovered I’d left my hiking poles at the top. As I turned to hike back up and retrieve them, I started ruminating on how much time this would add to the hike, what my body would likely be complaining about after I slogged up and back with an added 2 miles, when I suddenly realized that I had a choice to either keep enjoying the day, the cool clear mountain air, and buoyant energy of fellow hikers; or I could cast a pall on an otherwise jubilant hike.

 In moments like this, I suddenly remember the way the folks in Suriname’s interior related to obstacles constantly before them. Alcoa had displaced them by burying their homes in a lake made to dam up the Suriname Riverand empower Alcoa’s plant. These people had lost everything and lived with all the health conditions that accompany poverty, yet they rarely complained about their lot and kept a lightness in their attitude toward life that strengthened them.

 Suddenly, retracing a mile seemed more like an opportunity to savor the mountain. Joy certainly brings a greater momentum to recovery and I was amazed at the power of choice available when things happen. That split second, Aha moment, kept the day in perspective.

When we think about keeping well, we often think about certain foods, supplements, and routine exercise as the main areas that energize us. However, without maintaining a positive attitude toward whatever happens, whatever else we do won’t have the full impact on our lives that we hope for. Here’s to seizing each moment!

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