Contrast on my mind today. Contrast provides a lot for us in life. 

This past week we got an early, sweet dose of warm, summer weather here in Olympia. The first days of hot sunshine feel absolutely amazing to me! I soaked them in. I swam. I spent time in the hammock. I had lunch in the sun. I gardened, and I loved every minute of it. If I lived somewhere that was warm year-round, would I enjoy it nearly as much? Likely not. The contrast of winter is what provides that extra appreciation for the warm sunshiney weather. 

This past season seemed to be full of nasty colds & flu for so many people I know. While it feels terrible to be sick, once you break through that sickness and feel good again, it feels SO SO good to feel good! Would you ever have that deep of an appreciation for feeling good, if you never felt awful? Likely not. 

In romantic relationships or partnerships, when you spend time apart, you have a chance to miss each other. Sometimes that feels uncomfortable. When you reunite it feels glorious right? Would connecting feel that great if you spent every moment together? Nope. 

I'd like to invite you to think about whatever contrast you have going on in your life right now.
What hurts right now? What feels uncomfortable? What feels extreme? 

Understanding that contrast, however uncomfortable it can be sometimes, provides us with a great gift is important to remember.

If you can remember when you are sick, that once you get through it, you are gonna feel SO SO good....it makes it easier to emotionally handle feeling crappy. 

If you can remember when you miss someone, how good it will feel to see them after you've had a chance to miss them, it makes the missing part feel a bit more easeful. 

If you can remember when you are having a shitty day, how much better tomorrow can feel, you can allow yourself to flow through it more easily. 

If you can remember in the dead of winter, how amazing the sunshine will feel on your skin once summer arrives again, maybe you can have more fun in the snow while you are waiting. 

We tend to complain, whine, and generally feel bad when things aren't just how we want them to be, but if life felt peachy all of the time, we would not have the level of appreciation that we do when life does feel like easy street. 

Finding blessings in every part of life, especially the tough stuff is a practice. It's something that I have continually worked on, and that I feel like I've made a lot of progress through. I can honestly say that being with the contrast that presents itself in my life and finding some gratitude in it has made all the difference in how I feel when things in life aren't how I want them to be. I'm so much more able to feel emotionally grounded when things feel tough, and I'm much more able to really rejoice when things feel better. For this, I'm very grateful. 

Everything in life is a practice. Practice finding gratitude in the contrast in your life, and you'll be rewarded with feeling better in more of the moments of your life....and that's really what we are all wanting right? 

Wishing you a beautiful rest of your week. 

Shelly