I hesitated posting this because I know of no one who hasn’t read this before. And yet it’s so perfectly accurate, that to ignore the message is to deny the peculiar juxtapositions in our lives today. It is no less astonishing when one pauses to consider that we have constructed this catch-22.
Perhaps we would be well-served to step away from our lives every once in a while and define our perception of success. Certainly for me, my kids have always been at the top of the list. There have also been times when my well-being was at the very bottom, while I rode the wave of wanting more – more money, more responsibility, more stuff, more of everything that would furnish my life with the accoutrements of success. I have never surfed in my life, but I was really quite good at riding that wave to the shore, and going out again. I’ll take it further – I almost drowned once (my uncle fished me out of the ocean) and quickly developed a healthy love of the ocean – from its shallows. Yet, any phobic reservations were ignored as I pursued the next big wave.
No one tells you that the ride is hardly exhilarating when you flop onto the sand, remembering little of the thrill, your board damaged from the multiple rides. No one suggests to you that you need far better balance to love the waves. No one reminds you that a happy life begins with your approach – not to things – but to everyone else (including your own sweet self). Take a few seconds and give it a thought or two. When was the last time you made eye contact with a stranger and said “Good morning”? Did you get outside on one of these magical, clear, gorgeous days and notice that the air is gently circling your skin with a really loving touch? Instead of a break from sitting in your desk chair, when was the last time you took a break just to get to know the person who sits in the office down the hall? The cashier at the supermarket? How often did you dance this week? And if you found the time (and we all have the time) to do any of these, did you integrate that moment into your daily post mortem?
See? Even the occasional monkey takes a minute to think about this sort of stuff.
I think there is a better way. And it’s not particularly difficult, just a little more embracing of that which is around us. Smile – fake it til you make it. Donate five minutes of your day to grace – the silent thank you, the conversation with a stranger who is really not a stranger, because you see him/her all the time. Laugh hard – make your tummy sore. Remember to say ‘I love you” – and look that person in the eye when you say it. Don’t wrap yourself so tight that you can’t move outside your head. There’s more out there than your thoughts, your list of have to’s, your aggravations. Find something you have never noticed before and marvel at how little we see when our eyes are wide open. Learn that this day is yours to turn into something for which you can feel awesome. And then do it. Happy Thursday everyone…