We are entering the beginning of Australian winter.
I know, I know. Some of you may laugh and say, Australian winter, give me a break. But its surprisingly cold here at night. I still find it unusual to associate the month of June as the start of winter. To me, June is a symbol of summer, the word is written in my mind in a thick font laced in images of sunny afternoons, freshly cut grass and summer vacations.
But the cooler weather brings its own set of virtues. It allows me to see this part of the world differently and less stereotypically, like I’ve passed the honeymoon stage and I’m seeing it for what it really is. The tourists have dwindled, the streets and beaches have become quieter and I notice more and more familiar faces. The air feels fresh and clean, a welcomed change from my life in Beijing. The hurried bike rides home in the pitch dark spike my adrenaline and heighten my senses, they make me forget for a minute that my fingers have gone frozen. Especially when the stars illuminate the entire sky, revealing the most potent milky way I’ve ever seen. It’s so distracting that I need to park my bike on the side of the road to give my full attention to the sky, taking a moment to develop a clear mental picture in my mind. And best of all, it’s the beginning of whale season. Thousands of Humpback whales begin their migration from their antarctic summer feeding grounds to their breeding and birthing grounds. The estimated number of whales migrating up the east coast of Australia is up to 17,000!
Although I am not a fan of cold weather, it is a beautiful time of year. I may sleep with seven blankets and every item of clothing I own but I am so grateful that I get to experience it. I spend nearly every night watching the sun set over the mountains, listening to the drum circle or sit in the grass watching talented buskers like Izzy Alberts and Garrick Kato strum their guitars in perfect acoustic tunes.
So without further due, here are four quotes that danced in my head throughout the month; either because they were an encouraging reminder or comforted me in the beauty of their words. I hope they do the same for you.
“It’s not just other people we need to forgive. We also need to forgive ourselves. For all the things we didn’t do. All the things we should have done.” Mitch Albom
I’m currently reading Tuesday’s with Morrie and although I can’t say it’s my favorite book, it certainly is filled with many inspiring quotes and positive reminders about life. I love this one, it falls on a previous post of mine about showing compassion to ourselves. So often we beat ourselves up for not doing this, or not being enough of that. Sometimes we need to learn to let go, to forgive ourselves for being human.
“It is okay to be at a place of struggle. Struggle is just another word for growth. Even the most evolved beings find themselves in a place of struggle now and then. In fact, struggle is a sure sign to them that they are expanding; it is their indication of real and important progress. The only one who doesn’t struggle is the one who doesn’t grow. So if you are struggling right now, see it as a terrific sign — and celebrate your struggle.” Neale Donald Walsch
A reminder to change the way we view struggle and instead look it as a chance for growth. Life is a struggle for each and every one of us. Whatever it is you are struggling with know that you are becoming stronger by it, see this is progress, see this as a challenge and know that you are strong enough to overcome it. Take it day by day.
“Nothing in the world can bother you as much as your own mind, I tell you. In fact, others seem to be bothering you, but it is not others, it is your own mind.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
This quote is a powerful reminder that we have control over our thoughts. We can choose to feed the thoughts that smother us or feed the ones that lift us. We have the power to tame the wild dragon that is our minds, it all starts with awareness. Begin by surveying your thoughts as if you started a new job as a security guard in a bank. Sharpen your observational skills and take precise notice of what is happening, where are your thoughts pulling you?
“You know how when you’re driving and its pouring down rain, everything goes silent and its almost peaceful. Then you finally get out from under the bridge and everything hits you a little harder than before.
You were my bridge.”
This is just beautiful.