I’m sitting in the sunny spot that pours through our back door. It’s toasty warm inside, but the breeze outside is a little chilly.
My partner just walked in and said “it smells like poo in here”. I thought he was trying to make some joke (the kind that he thinks is really funny and I get offended by). But then he stepped out on to the balcony and I smelled it too.
A seweragey smell coming from outside. Could be a neighbour fertilising their new balcony gardens (are you noticing any extra green thumbs where you live right now?).
So I’m sitting here feeling equally filled up by the streams of sunshine and warmth touching my body—and screwing my nose up at the same time.
I think that’s kind of what life can be sometimes. There’s the stuff you want to push away and screw your nose up to (and wish would just go away) and there’s also the stuff that you welcome in and lap up.
Except it’s not how we live. A lot of the time we live noticing the poo smell. And only the poo smell. We let it permeate our entire beings and get cross and cranky. How dare they put that fertiliser out now, don’t they know I’m sitting right here?!
Instead of also taking in the warmth. The sun. The joy that it brings you.
I get it. When the hard stuff rolls in it can be so overwhelming you might even forget what that sunshine feels like. But it’s still there.
And, when the hard stuff rolls in, we can also be quick to wish it away. To get cranky and irritable and hold our breaths until it goes.
But there’s something in the smell that is a gift of sorts. (Stay with me here). That when we allow ourselves to relax even a little bit into it, there’s a message. A softening. A realisation.
For me, right now, that realisation was a) the heat of the sun streaming in is totally worth staying put and b) the smell’s not really that bad once you get used to it.
On a grander scale I do my best to practice this in my life too. I’ve had to put the book down I’m reading right now to cry—deep aching chest cry—when a truth has hit home for me. I haven’t barrelled on to the next chapter, I’ve paused, taken it in. Asked what it means for me.
When I didn’t know what I wanted to “do next” and how to “shake” off the unsettled feeling I had in my life—I really did try to feel it. I tried to ask my body what it wanted (walk? nap?). I cried, for no apparent reason. And if my partner tried to “fix it” I’d gently tell him I need these tears. And slowly but slowly things would unfold. I’d feel a little different and then a little more.
A lot of that type of questioning also landed me in my dream city, doing my dream work, with this stream of sunshine pouring through my backdoor kissing my feet right now.
I wonder where it could land you.