"We live life so fast that we don't realize how important the subtle things are. How much we need them // How a tiny incident can restructure and reshape our thinking to our advantage // How little was actually needed for us to feel fulfilled and alive." — I scribbled this into my diary in Andalusia. What made me write this down was a conversation I had at a hospital.
You know those conversations where you forget where you are because you're so enthralled by what you say and what comes back? Yes, it was this kind.
The reason we went to the hospital was because my friend Roselinde had ruptured her ear drum. Since her and I only had bicycles to get around and the hospital was a 20 minutes ride away, we called my friend Isabelle and asked for help. Although she just a friend from Germany over, she didn't hesitate to help us. She took her friend, drove to our place, picked us up and all together we headed to the hospital. Even her boyfriend came to translate in case Roselinde's injury was something severe and uncommon. What angels!
Having made it to the hospital with 5 people, Roselinde and Isabelle's boyfriend David went upstairs to see the doctor. Isabelle, her friend and I remained seated in the waiting area. We started chatting. I only just met Isabelle's friend so the conversation started with the typical questions.
To be honest, these questions always scare me. Whenever I'm meeting someone new, I hope that they somehow won't ask me the typical and unavoidable question of — "What do you do for a living?"
I guess find it unnerving to answer because it took me such a long time, or better said, I gave myself such a long time, to figure out what it was that I wanted to do. A long time in which I had learned so much about myself that the course I picked to study is more than just a way to earn money. It's part of who I am and how I choose to present myself in this world, which somehow is a big deal for me.
Psychological astrology is not your typical course to study yet I wouldn't want to study anything else. It challenges and changes my perspective which makes me feel excited to learn. It makes me feel great because with every new lecture my horizon widens and my personality evolves as a result. I don't want to and I'm not able to anymore to separate my profession and what I do outside of it. Whatever I do I put my heart into it. It's not always reasonable but I just can't help it. Personally I can't draw a line. Therefore it's hard to tell people what I'm doing because when they criticize that, they also criticize me. Saying what I study goes along with being really nervous about it.
Back to the hospital — So we sat there, started chatting, and my favorite question came up. I smiled nervously and explained that I am studying psychological astrology. What came back was not what I expected. It wasn't just a normal response, on top of that it was encouraging. I had never expected that and I had never experienced that before.
Not only did she react absolutely casually to my not so ordinary study course she even encouraged me out of the blue saying that I was doing exactly the right thing. Without me asking, she opened up about her struggles not knowing if she had picked the right profession but has been doing it for most of her life. She was now visiting to dive again fully into her longtime passion for Flamenco with three months of intense courses all over Andalusia.
Call me super sensitive or spiritual, which I am, but this conversation fed me confidence, reassurance and peace. I was so thrilled to be reassured that I was on the right path I gave myself a nod in the bathroom mirror. And wrote this into my diary a few days later:
“We live life so fast that we don't realize how important the subtle things are. How much we need them // How a tiny incident can restructure and reshape our thinking to our advantage // How little was actually needed for us to feel fulfilled and alive.”
It made me think about how often we run around and look for answers or at least waste energy just for the sake of it, and how little time we spend stopping and looking around to see what is actually happening.
I think a lot of this is a result of not accepting life the way it is at a given moment and trying to fix it. Sure, trying fix situations that are wrong is right but the moment we try and try and try we generate too much energy on and for the problem that we might disable ourselves to see the solution.
We try to look for answers and run around and what that does is only emphasize that we have a problem and don't know the answer. It brings us more people who don't know the answer, more situations in which we feel clueless and lost, more hits by the life — simply because we generate that energy.
We produce fuel for our problems by running around for them. If you think about it, it's insanity. But when we're doing it, it's hard to see it because obviously we're not running around like crazy all the time so it's not as obvious that we do generate the growth of our own problems. Most problems slowly become part of our lives, which of course doesn't make it any better.
I can luckily say that I am quite an emotional and dramatic person so whenever I have a problem, I have a problem. I get so into a problem that it gets to a point where I realize quickly that what I'm doing and thinking is not right. I realize this because of the intensity I get into it. It becomes obvious to me because of how terrible I feel and then comparing it to how happy I usually am when I'm not thinking about this specific problem and not letting it disturb my flow. A few days later I usually get to a more balanced perspective and then I am able to handle the problem more calmly and with a joyous outlook on life which invites solutions.
What I'm trying to say is that make sure what you think about, dwell on, try to fix, is something positive, something that makes you feel good. If the overthinking makes you feel terrible, do yourself a favor and try to stop right there because you will never find the answer, you will only generate more energy to fuel the problem. And the problem becomes bigger, as big as it doesn't even deserve to be. Eventually it can go so far that it takes root in your mind and then it's really hard to get rid of it because in most cases you are not able to identify anymore what it is that's causing you to not feel so good.
I think what works positively against problems and making sure they don't take up too much space in our minds and lives, is choosing to see the subtle things.
What do I mean by subtle things?
Subtleties for me are things that happen in your life that feel so for you that you can't deny that they aren't somehow exactly meant for you. Like the conversation at the hospital. This conversation was exactly what I needed to hear at the most random place due to the most random reason. I just met Isabelle's friend yet here I am being reassured by a stranger in a hospital about my life path. I don't know about you but it really affected me and it most definitely felt like more than just an average Tuesday morning.
When you sharpen your eye for the subtle things, anything in your life can become valuable. Any situation, any activity can hit you with an insight and therefore affect your life positively.
Usually this happens when you're completely in the moment, like I was in the hospital. I didn't think of the food we might get soon, I didn't think of Roselinde (bad friend), I didn't think of how much I hated waiting, I didn't think of anything but let myself be in the situation fully. That's why I was open to receive its value. In my opinion any situation can become valuable when you're willing to accept it and be in it. Letting go of thoughts that are not needed in specific situations can open your mind for the value that is subtly revealed to you.
When this happens I think it's also important to acknowledge this subtle incident just as important as concrete achievements. Although the world around us moves so fast and only celebrates the big things we see with our eyes, aren't subtleties equally as important? We don't see them but don't they hold everything together? Aren't they the force of life? Either way I think they deserve more attention. Not only because they are an underrated part of life but also because they have the ability to make us feel better.
The moment we acknowledge subtle incidents as something as major as concrete achievements, we not only acknowledge that life is an experience we don't fully understand but most importantly that we are a part of this mysterious situation. And by doing so, life becomes easier and more enjoyable.
Once you see yourself as part of a mysterious situation, you live a more peaceful, purposeful and joyful life. You walk through life knowing that any moment you can be supported, hit by an insight, an inspiration that enriches your life. The pressure falls away of you yourself having to know everything all the time and based on that form good decisions for your life. You can let go and trust and look forward to what happens, what comes your way, what wisdom is revealed to you, what solution enters your brain. When you realize that you're part of something that is not fully understood yet, you realize that it's probably even a smart choice to not use your mind as much and do as much with it because when you do, you run into the risk of creating a life that ends up having more problems than necessary.
Let solutions come to you because you are a mysterious miracle, so is this existence. Not acknowledging this is like pretending pizza is just dough with ingredients on it when we all know deep down that pizza is so much more than that.