I was walking down the streets of LA when some dirty balloons on the ground caught my eye. What may appear as trash to one person appeared to me as art. Although my mother did teach me not to pick things up off the ground, it occurred to me that these balloons would make wonderful “props” for a street art photo-shoot. Little things like this fill ordinary days with excitement. I am always observing the scenery to catch the blossoming flower or heart-shaped crack in the cement. We don’t necessarily get to choose what sparks passion in our hearts, but with open eyes and an open mind, there is something out there for everyone. It might not be filthy, wilted balloons that tickle your fancy, but if you truly tune into seeing beauty you will attain much joy in your life. If you can create the habit of shining your imagination and optimism on things that are easily looked past, you will light your world with color.
Similarly, we can choose to view frustrating distractions as scenery instead of letting them get the better of us. We hear “be in the moment” and “accept what you cannot control” all the time, but to feel the transformation from this practice is extremely refreshing. The loud neighbor upstairs doesn’t need to be an annoyance, he can be scenery. Think of the world as a puzzle. Every person, every street, each tree and grain of sand has a role. By turning those not-so-pleasant factors into just a piece of the surrounding puzzle, you give it less power to interact in your space.
Throughout my experiences living in apartment communities, I have had a lot of frustrations with inconsiderate neighbors. I always make sure I’m courteous to not wear heavy shoes on the uncarpeted parts of my floor, and to keep my music down during quiet hours, etc., so I expected the same in return. The more irritated I let the noise make me, the more I noticed it and the heavier the frustration weighed. I just moved to a new apartment a couple weeks ago and unfortunately, I have upstairs neighbors. Although it would be better if they could put some felt stickies under the furniture they seem to screech across the floor at odd hours, I made it my goal to accept any noise as background noise. This way I could get used to the sounds and not get mad at them. I am already at the point where I barely notice, and not only does it not bother me when I do, but it just reminds me that once again I found a way to defeat something that challenged me.
There is so much to be said for finding the beauty in little things. Take what is accessible and let it inspire you. Add color to the black and white. Bloom what is bland. This world has so much to offer, take advantage of the puzzle you belong to.