Happy in the City of London, England - regardless of the weather!

Happy in the City of London, England – regardless of the weather!

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.

~ Charlotte Whitton

If you’re like many, you probably need a regular dose of sunshine. It keeps your spirits high and your thoughts optimistic and happy.

But what happens when the sunshine is obscured behind clouds? 

I well remember the days of growing up in New Jersey and facing more than my fair share of overcast weather. The same could be said of my college days in Boston. Winters would bring weeks of gray that cast a shadow over my vibrancy and sense of well-being.

It was a childhood dream for me to move to a brighter and kinder climate. For the past several decades, I’ve been fortunate to call the “sunshine state” of Florida my home. We enjoy far more sunshine than most of the country and serve as a go-to destination for many a weary, weather-starved traveler.   

Recently, I was reminded of my first trip to England. Despite the many trips I’d taken overseas, England was never on my bucket list – precisely because of the drizzly, dreary weather I’d associated with this rainy island nation.

My daughter and I, however, happily accepted an offer to visit a college friend who was living and working in London. It was a great opportunity for us to enjoy a free stay at his Kensington flat. 

Page Break Diamond Pendants

As our plane began its descent into London’s Gatwick Airport, I encountered the familiar heaviness I’d dreaded as a child. It was a feeling that would creep into my body, my thoughts and my soul when too much grayness served as a backdrop to our northern New Jersey skies.

Only moments earlier, I was relishing the bright sunshine of early morning. Like a shimmering light, the sun’s beaming rays encapsulated our jet as if in pleasant welcome.

Now, this generally optimistic woman who felt buoyant, happy and free was suddenly wondering anew. How I could make the most of the coming stay when I was already feeling overcome by the London fog and damp?

Before the sparkling rays of sunshine turned to foreboding clouds of near black, an enlightening thought struck me: The Sun is Always Shining!

The sun might become temporarily obscured by dark clouds – and, by analogy, life circumstances – but I could remind myself that it is always present. My thoughts just needed to be mindful of what was above the clouds rather than below them. 

I spent the rest of my stay in London concentrating not on the inconsistent weather, but on the many opportunities the city offered. History, culture, museums and so much more awaited us. Whether the sun appeared was no longer my focus: I knew that it was present whether I could see it shine or not.

Much of our lives fall into similar patterns of thought. We can focus on what we fear, resist or dislike. We can alternately remind ourselves of the many pleasant things we are attracted to and enjoy. And that was how I spent my stay in London, drinking in much of what I’d read, heard and learned about but never previously experienced.

The next time I traveled to London was a decade later. This time, I was visiting our daughter who was living and working there.

Did I fret this time about gray days and overcast skies I’d fought off as a child? Hardly. I was too busy taking in the joys all around me. I’d changed my mind to reflect reality. The sun was always shining – even in London – and I captured the moment by having our daughter take the photo of me at the top of this post.   

If you are looking for a new way to remember that the sun is always shining in your life, too, listen in to the following podcast.

Press the icon below and discover the sunshine of happiness that is ever-present in your heart! 

Maura Sweeney Podcast Cover

Maura Sweeney is a Podcaster, Author and Speaker

Her mantra is “Living Happy – Inside Out!”

Find her podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher

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Comments (4)

  1. Reply

    Another great one! While I also prefer sunny days, sometimes it’s a great reminder to see past the clouds because sometimes the best opportunities await. Doesn’t it always seem the best experiences and life lessons happen during the darkest times when we least expect it?

    • Reply

      Thanks for the comment and I agree. It might be unfortunate to admit, but we often do find our greatest life lessons follow times of darkness. I think I’m going to place myself on a path to find a “living happy” story where a wonderful life lesson followed a beautiful and bright day! Why not? 🙂

  2. MIke Mike

    Reply

    I’m so glad I found your blog Maura! Truly enjoyed this. I too live in Florida and tend to get “down” when the sun isn’t out. Your piece reminded me that whether at work or home or anywhere else – despite life’s pressures – it is indeed “sunny” still. Thank you!

    • Reply

      Mike, not sure how you came upon my blog but I’m thrilled you did! I write from the heart and it always makes me happy to learn that my posts resonate with others, too. Yes, the sun is always shining for us all 🙂

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