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The journey of life itself, from start to finish, can be likened to that of a train ride. You have an estimated time of arrival, which is your delivery date. However, unlike a typical trip, you commence your journey with no baggage, as it is accumulated along the way.

While you are not given a timetable of your journey, and there are many theories as to who your travel agent is, you are given a basic guide or outline of your trip, and the stations you will pass. Your timetable looks a little like this - Newborn, Toddler, Adolescent, Twenties, Thirties, Forties, Fifties, Sixties, and so on.

While you cannot see the driver, you trust that you are travelling in the right direction. Some of your journey will be travelled in light, and some of it will be in darkness. Sometimes it will feel as though you crawl from station to station, and other times as if you are on the express. Sometimes you will get a comfy seat, and other times you will be forced to stand. Your fellow passengers will be varied. Some will become friends, and some will not. Some will shrink your patience, and some will expand your heart.

As you look out the window at life around you, you have the opportunity to take in and see the most spectacular views; but you must travel with your eyes open in order to do so. And like any trip, you will take snapshots, only they will not exist in a device, they will exist in your mind, in the form of memories. You will also find that others will depart the train sooner than you; and their departure will be hard to bear. But like any train ride, once passengers depart, their journey does not end there. And when your train finally reaches its final destination, it will terminate. However, just as this is not the end for the train, it merely means a change in direction, life is the same.

With regard to the stations you pass during a train journey, you pass by each in perfect sequence. You do not ask your driver to stop in an attempt to revisit any stations previously passed, as you know this is pointless to your journey's progress. But unfortunately in your life journey, this is not the case. You will be urged by others or society to revisit your past stations in an attempt to look as you did in your twenties or thirties, long after you have passed them. However, it is not natural to journey backwards. This is not how a journey is travelled. Your train has to keep moving forward, and as it does, the journey only gets better.

But the most magnificent part of this journey is: if you are unhappy in your present carriage, you are always free to change to another. This is simple, and it is easy to do. All it requires is that you change your outlook on life. Rather than complain about the journey and all of its discomforts and delays, look for the things to be grateful for, and be grateful for everything and everyone you have encountered to date. And if you view yourself and all of the passengers you travel with, with a respect and admiration for their uniqueness, you will have the most magnificent journey, as you will travel in first class.
And when you travel this way, you will become more understanding of, and compassionate toward others, and your kindness will be remembered with admiration by your fellow passengers, long after your departure from the train.

Leigh-Ann Comarmond is the creator of Mindful Beauty Therapy™ - a unique and specialised area of psychosomatic therapy that focuses exclusively on the mind-skin/mind-beauty connection. www.enthrallingbeauty.com.au