Stop for a moment and visualize a day in your life. Just pick an ordinary day. Try to see everything down to the smallest detail. For the most part, it’s pretty basic, non-descript episodes in your storybook of the day. High drama doesn’t have to be the feature attraction. And that’s the beauty and grace of an ordinary life. Sometimes the most mundane is a window to those moments of magic. There are many times during each day that I say to myself “Is this all there is?” A depressing point of view to say the least. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. It is a matter of choosing to look at the grace of daily rituals and be open to the miracles of the universe. As I write this, I’m sitting on my back deck with the sun shining and warm temperatures, watching my horses munch on hay. 36 hours ago, it was pelting rain, a bit of an ice storm and cold. The serenity of solitude while sitting in the quiet glow of nature is a small but treasured gift.
Most of us have a great deal of our daily lives already mapped. Waking, getting to work, heading back to the homestead, interacting with others, exercise, yoga, meditation and writing are a few of mine. To me, it is like having a daily guidebook to point me in the right direction and keep me for the grips of indecision. Rituals keep us grounded, make us feel safe, point us to our true north and feel we are a part of the universe. Things done daily become imbedded habits.
What makes us incorporate things into our routines. Most are by necessity, and some are by choice. Many are done to enhance my quality of life. For me it is yoga. Done daily, it helps keep me on track with a better world view. It helps me expand mentally. There are numerous other benefits. Things happen in any day that can upset the flow of a serene life. Some are petty inconveniences, other major life disruptions. When our flow of serenity becomes held hostage and our internal balance is thrown off, things go haywire. The smallest event can become like a volcano erupting. Simple things become difficult. The key is not letting things go into the weeds. Just because our daily routines get derailed, doesn’t mean we come crashing to a halt. Our life each day moves on. We, again, have that simple choice of remembering that all we have is this moment. In the end, it’s simply not that big a deal. It is all in how we choose to view situations and how we choose to react. I try to remember daily that all I have is this given day and I should do my utmost best to make the most out it. Yesterday, last year are gone and the future is just that.
The most important thing I do on a daily basis is the practice of gratitude. I list three things each day that I am grateful for and I try not to repeat it. I started to do this about three years ago. My purpose was to get me out of a continual negative thought pattern and turn them into a positive pattern. It is about rewiring my brain. It has taken work, thought, resolve and reflection. Negativity is the easy way out. With everything out in the world being portrayed so negatively, it’s easy to see how one can fall in this trap. I always called this type of thought patterns as “toilet bowl” thinking – one flush and down the rabbit hole never to return. Every moment and situation is a chance to learn and expand our world view. Often I try to remember when I get whiney and think the world is conspiring against me, that there are those much less fortunate out there. It helps bring me back to reality. I have a place to sleep, food to eat, a job to go to and a loving family. I try to remember not to take these fundamental things for granted. Life is too precious and fleeting to waste mental energy picturing the “might happens” of life.
Things I do daily: eat sleep, work, read, play, do yoga, meditate, smile, laugh and of course, strive to be the most authentic self I can be. To do less than that would not be honoring who I truly am meant to be. Kind of amazing daily grace…. Namaste to all!