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A Little Happier: I Am Traffic, I Am Nature

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On the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, my sister Elizabeth and I had a conversation about traffic. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles, so traffic is a big part of her life.

After that episode, a listener emailed us to say that when she’s sitting in traffic, and feeling frustrated, she reminds herself, “I am traffic.” She’s feeling annoyed by other people, but she’s just as much a part of the traffic as they are!

I was very struck by this reframing of the situation.

Recently, as I was walking in Central Park, I was admiring the nature that was all around me, the trees, the grass, the birds, the water…and I realized that I was also surrounded by people who were walking, biking, running, and talking.

I realized, not only was I standing in nature, I was nature. What I was doing was also nature.

When I complain about the traffic, I remember that I am traffic. When I admire nature, I remember that I am nature.

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