Gratitude · Love · Nature · Optimism · Outdoors · Patience · Peace · Serenity · Summer

Challenge 10 – to catch a sunrise or a sunset

Your challenge this week:  Set your alarm clock or stay up late and catch a sunrise or a sunset with your family or a friend.

This challenge encourages the following values:
Gratitude, Resourcefulness, Optimism, Patience, Commitment, Serenity.

What you need to complete your challenge this week:

  • Keep a close eye on the weather forecast.
  • Plan where you are going to go, a beach, a hilltop, your back garden, the balcony, basically anywhere you can get a good view.
  • Pack some snacks, a flask of hot chocolate and a blanket – get ready to get cosy!

If all else fails… and you are unable to do this in the next week or so due to unfavourable weather conditions, keep this challenge in the bank, watching a sunrise or a sunset really can be magical so this one is not to be missed.

“The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care whether we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful even is no one bothers to look at it.”

~Gene Amole

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My Mum in Whitstable last year

Food for thought for the grown-ups:

Did you know that watching a sunrise, or ‘sun gazing’, is an age-old method of healing? Watching a sunrise is like watching a new beginning full of possibility, it brings joy to another otherwise mundane day. The sun’s energy can’t fail to bring with it optimism about life, optimism for the day, optimism for oneself. It feels as though you’re being handed an opportunity to start afresh, to start again, like the failings of yesterday are forgiven and forgotten and that there is hope and opportunity in this new day.

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Taken whilst out running early in the morning with my eldest son in Portugal

Through this challenge, whether you are doing it on your own or with company try to really experience the serenity that comes from watching a sunrise or a sunset, allow that feeling to get inside you, feel the calm.  Noticing the beauty brings you into the present and with it, comes that flood of happiness as the influences and concerns of your past and future are suddenly obliterated in the moment.

“May every sunrise bring you more promise, and every sunset hold more peace.”

~A blessing

 

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A Scottish sunrise last April

 

A sunset elicits feelings of gratitude. Our lives may not be perfect, life may feel like a struggle and we may be battling demons that no-one else knows but a sunset helps us to realise how lucky are we to have family and friends who love us unconditionally.

Watching a sunrise or a sunset also provides us with a recharging energy, it stimulates your metabolism and it’s also a natural source of vitamin D.  Sometimes known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D helps to produce endorphins and endorphins = feel good! In fact, research now suggests that sunlight has a positive effect on the nervous system too thus reducing anxiety, depression and other related mental heath problems. The health benefits don’t stop there. Don’t get me wrong, make sure you’re protected with suncream but sensible levels of exposure to sunlight are said to help prevent against breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, psoriasis, rickets and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). All this by just sitting in the garden, no pills, no expensive treatment just a free dose of sunshine!

And for the children:

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My Son and I watching the sunset on holiday

Children are by nature inquisitive and watching a sunrise or a sunset can teach more than any lesson in class in school. Through no fault of their own children come to accept and take for granted the sun in the daytime and the dark at night but this challenge gives them an opportunity to explore what is actually happening moment by moment. They are able to gain understanding whilst experiencing the magic.  Children cannot help but slow down and take in the present moment as the sun rises or falls out of view in front of them… we don’t generally see the sun move except in the first or last few moments of the day so to catch them and watch them together is really really special.  Watching a sunrise or a sunset with a child can elicit all sorts of questions and gives you time to answer them without distractions.  Moments like this are priceless. It will influence their day, their decision-making ability, their sleep, purely due to it’s calming and serene effect.  Don’t assume by the way, that you need to be sitting still for this.  Children don’t like sitting still so if you need to walk, jog, throw stones in the sea or anything else then do so but do stop often to enjoy the view. It is magical, for everybody.

So go for it, it’s free, it’s easy, it takes mere minutes and it makes memories that will last forever.

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day and they’re free, don’t miss so many of them.”

~Unknown

 

Thank you to my friend Nina for feature picture she took this week in Whitstable in Kent.

 

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Whitstable, Kent at Sunset

 

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