The sun sets every day* but few people would describe going to see the sunset as an everyday event. In fact, it’s quite often a very special moment. Tourists go to great lengths to visit spots where they can catch the sunset setting below a breathtaking horizon. Photographers (professional and amateurs alike) crave the warmth generated at the ‘golden hour’ and many an inspirational quote is overlaid against the hues of the setting sun.
As such, when deciding to call my work for the day done and cycle home, I had in mind catching the sunset from the beach. My expectation was for a romantic moment, satisfied from some excellent work, a moderate (mid-week) sized glass of red wine and to lay back into my chair for one of those moments when life feels rich with joy.
We hadn’t set off early enough to make dinner, so after arriving back at our camper, we grabbed our chairs and headed down to the beach as planned. However, on arriving at the beach some 50m away, everything was grey. The pebbles on the beach appeared grey. The normally azure blue of the Adriatic — grey. The mountain silhouette — grey. The sky — a complete blanket of overcast, cold, grey.
What had happened to my special moment? Where was my golden hour? Where was my rewarding feeling of deep satisfaction? Where were the rays that warmed my skin with the blush of the wine? They were all absent. My initial reaction: utter disappointment.
Yes seriously! I was so impacted by the external expectation of the sunset that I was actually disappointed, let down, upset, maybe even teetering towards it making me miserable. But luckily I caught myself.
The sun does set every day and this was a very everyday, very ordinary sunset. This was my moment to make a decision, to take responsibility, to own my life. It had dawned on me that I had to decide whether to be let down by this everyday sunset or to appreciate that every day I have an opportunity to see the sunset.
Big moment but a no-brainer of a decision! I mean really, was my situation so bad as to be upset? Did the position of this huge lump of rock called earth orbiting a giant ball of gas called the sun really owe me, a tiny spec, anything?
I had achieved everything I’d planned for the day (and in fact a little more), cycled home in the warm, dry air and had some tasty food ready to cook in my fridge. I was sat in a comfy chair with the woman I love by my side, a freshly opened bottle of the local red (which is both fairly priced and not too dry) on a beach in Croatia. I was winning.
So why was a decision even needed?
Because 90% of the decisions we make are decided by our subconscious mind. My subconscious had been programmed by me setting an expectation influenced by society, social media, how things are ‘supposed’ to be and my ‘wants’.
Appreciation is habitual and it’s something we are taught consciously as we grow up. Except, once we become adults (or even teenagers or maybe even younger) other factors start to come into play which influence our subconscious expectations making the practice harder and harder to maintain. This is why I have been working with my subconscious mind through theta healing to stop the rot and set myself up for a life of fulfillment.
Having let go of my expectations and thoroughly appreciated the everyday sunset, the universe gave me the thumbs up. “I gave you an opportunity to learn and you embraced it” the Universe said, “and so as a well done, here is a sunset you weren’t expecting”.
The following day I returned to the pre-opened wine, chairs pitched on the beach to enjoy this moment in time. It just so happened to be accompanied by an awe inspiring sunset.
*For the purpose of this piece, the sun sets every day. I understand that at certain times of the year at the extreme ends of the globe it doesn’t. Another reason to appreciate the sunset every day you can?