A colleague gave me a gift the other day without even realising it. As she rushed out the door, she asked if I would turn her computer off. Of course I would. And as I moved over to her desk to flick the switch, the photo on her desktop caused me to just stop and enjoy the moment. I was transfixed by the beauty of a pagoda, perhaps five stories high on the edge of a lake, surrounded by blossom trees. And the scene just oozed peace and calm. And as I connected to these feelings that arose within me simply by gazing at the photo, it struck me again the importance of where we choose to put our focus. Isn’t it incredible that a simple photo can generate such healing feelings within us.

For many years now I have been practising mindfulness. Observing my thoughts, watching my reactions and how I respond to different people, places and things. And I am very careful about what I let into my world because I recognise the impact that seemingly insignificant things can have. To the best of my ability, I choose people, places and things that make me feel good about myself. Because if we have the choice, it doesn’t make sense to choose anything else, does it? I’m selective about my television and the books I read. And I don’t listen to the news, it’s usually all bad anyway, isn’t it. Instead I listen to music I find uplifting, or watch shows that make me laugh or in those few precious moments I sometimes find, I just enjoy the stillness.

I wonder, have you ever noticed how the things around you make you feel?