Alister Benn • The Way It Is

It is freeing to rid oneself of expectations – that others have of us, that we have of ourselves. Alister Benn has learned some lessons about how the answers lie inside you

It is the first day of 2019, and here on the Isle of Skye at 57.60 °N the sun rose at 09:08 and will set again at 15:50, a remarkably short day, but with the sun barely rising more than 19 degrees above the horizon, the light can be sublime. Or, the wind may scream up our glen at nearly 100 mph, beating the house and garden with torrential downpours of rain, sleet or snow, accompanied by the constant roar of a jumbo jet taking off. As we say in Scotland, weather with a touch of personality!

Where each of us lives on the planet results in a fresh and unique perspective of what winter means: some hate it, some embrace it, the rest endure and pray for an early spring. One thing for sure is this – it is what it is, and what we think or feel about it makes not a blind bit of difference to anyone or anything, except ourselves. This year I have no plans, expectations, hopes or fears; it is what it is and I will be with it regardless. I have no interest in the words good or bad, joyful or misery; it is what it is, and I will be with it. In the absence of that duality, I can find equanimity regardless of the weather.

For the last two years I have been working on eradicating expectations from my life. Expectations of others, of weather, of locations, of myself; it is the way, for me, and almost certainly for most people who are looking for a more holistic, peaceful and happy life. By surrendering to the way it is, I have allowed myself to ...

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About Author

Alister Benn

Alister Benn is a full-time landscape photographer, author and guide. Having lived for over a decade in the Himalaya of Tibet and SW China, he now lives and works on the Isle of Skye with his wife Juanli Sun.

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