Begin by picturing the image of a drinking glass with liquid filled halfway up. This has frequently triggered the age-old philosophical question, “Is the glass half empty, or half full?” For some people, it’s perceived one way whereas for others looking at the exact same glass, it can represent and be viewed entirely differently. But what’s the reason that the same proverbial glass (or actual experience) can evoke such opposite responses? With July 1st being the exact halfway point of the year, now seems to be an opportune time to take stock, reflect and evaluate our own drinking glass… and possibly even shift our perceptions at the same time.
HOW WE VIEW THE GLASS IMPACTS THE TASTE
As you are reading and thinking of that glass filled up to the midway point, your perception and interpretation of it (or life) is more likely to be based on how your day, situation or mood seems to be going. For example, a pleasant day, an enjoyable vacation to look forward to, or smooth relationships with others are more likely to correlate to the perception that everything is going well and that the drinking glass is appealing. On the other hand, having a bad day or unpleasant circumstance often leads us to see the glass half empty. We tend to take our present day situations and experiences and somehow intertwine them into our general view and outlook.
Coincidentally, while our moods impact our view of the world, our thoughts and perceptions about what’s going on in our lives also affect our emotions and our attitude. It’s a cycle that sometimes goes around and around. Looking at the many components and variables of our life in a critical way or with many expectations and pressures often leads to feeling anxious, disappointed and upset because we are focusing on the minuscule details. However, by stepping back from it all and looking at our lives with a wider and more curious lens, the positives and not so positives help to balance each other out. We can then look at that glass not as half full or even half empty, but rather, just... half. Watching for and noticing the good and enjoyable parts of life while also being aware of the unpleasant moments help to bring us back to the moment and allow us to appreciate the entire glass regardless of to where the liquid is poured.
BRINGING THE FOCUS TO THE GLASS’S HALFWAY POINT
July 1st is exactly the halfway point of the year. It’s amazing (and a little shocking) to think that 6 months has passed since New Year’s Day and those cold and long (very long) wintery snowed-in days and nights. Still, the time passed and here we are! The halfway point, much like the drinking glass encourages us to also take a look at how we are viewing our life, and how we are looking both forward and back on it. ENODIA was launched exactly 6 months ago and so it’s a great coincidence for us to also reflect on how far we've come and to appreciate all the milestones. So often many of us may get hung up on the to-do lists and tasks ahead of us that we forget to stop and notice not only what is happening in the present moment but also how far we've come to get to where we are today. Gratitude for the challenges, accomplishments, trials and even the stress thus far in all of our lives allows us to acknowledge and appreciate our hard work and all that we've endured.
SIMPLY ENJOYING THE GLASS
Changes are constantly happening within all of us but if we stop in the midst of our stressful day to think about 3 things that are actually going right in our present lives or in the recent months, we will likely be amazed at how much we have ignored. The halfway mark, much like in running a 5K race can be daunting, exhausting, and yet exhilarating too. It all depends on our viewpoints and where we hold the focus.
Bring your awareness to how far you've come or changed over the past 6 months, and then to what changes and opportunities may be coming before the new year. Now try to bring your attention to the current moment and all that is happening around and within you. Take a deep breath, and spend some time right now noticing and bringing awareness to all that is going well in this moment.
After all, a mindful life is not just about examining how much water is (or is not) left in the proverbial water glass. Especially on this hot summer day, remember to be in the moment; allowing yourself to enjoy the experience of each nourishing, refreshing sip.