It's funny sometimes where inspiration comes from...this week's blog was inspired by a tree! Let me tell you about it...
While those of you in the northern hemisphere are currently welcoming the new life and vitality of spring, down here in the southern hemisphere we're watching the leaves turn and fall and gathering the harvest as we prepare for the onset of winter. One day earlier this week I was walking up a street near my home (and yes, literally up - it's a bit of a hill!) that is lined with a row of essentially identical trees. As I was walking past them I was intrigued by how varied the colourings of their leaves were (I'm always quite happy to have something distract my attention as I plod up this little hill rather than thinking about the slight burn in my thighs and the increasing struggle for breath!). Some had barely a yellowed leaf on them, still covered in the rich dark green of summer, while others had a reasonable smattering of yellowing leaves throughout and one was a bright golden mass, almost completely turned.
It struck me as I looked at those trees that none of them was looking at the others contemplating why they were all at a different point on their autumn journey. None of those trees was worrying about whether it was doing 'better' or 'worse' than the other trees. Yet imagine if that had been a row of people standing along the side of the road...
Now I know there's a kinda obvious reason that the trees aren't comparing themselves to each other...but it fills me with sadness that nature has blessed us humans with this fantastic brain full of all kinds of wonderful potential and we spend so much time using it for the most ridiculous things. And in this age of social media it just seems to get worse and worse, because now we don't just have a few friends and colleagues in our community to compare ourselves to, but a whole world of complete strangers added in to the mix.
I've talked about this topic before in relation to health and body image, but today I wanted to remind everyone at a much more general level to just stop with the comparisons! It doesn't matter if your relationship is different to other people's. It's irrelevant that your career has progressed differently to someone you studied with. You are unique. Your life journey is unique.
If you are feeling unsettled or unhappy with your life don't look at what other people are doing as a guide to solve your problems - look within yourself for the keys to finding your bliss. You won't find deep and meaningful happiness by copying someone else's life; you will find it by tuning into your heart and understanding yourself on the deepest possible level. Joseph Campbell sums it up perfectly - 'If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's'.
Take time every day to acknowledge the little things that make you you. Really embrace your uniqueness because it truly is the most valuable asset you will ever have. Celebrate your youness and live your life your way.