Every Day Another Opportunity

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.

Pericles (via Angie at Pick My Brains Art)

Wandering through my inbox, I found this quote from my good friend Angie. It was followed by a Google Reader feed that also addressed the question of what our purpose is here.  Things that keep popping up in my days I call my “theme” of the week/month/year. So my theme, it would seem, is what I’ve come to believe is what’s important to me and how I honor that principle.

Every moment in my day is an opportunity to try a different way of thinking. To truly SEE with the eyes of gratitude. Each moment offers me a choice – in how I  respond and act, words I choose, etc.  But also and just as important to this soul is choosing the myriad of little, seemingly trivial choices: which thoughts to listen to, choosing to make eye contact with a stranger and smile, choosing what’s more important in a situation, or choosing my motives.

Consciousness is a requirement. I find that when I’m not practicing gratitude, my actions all become rote. I sleepwalk through so many things, so many opportunities that would be lost without making a decision to pay attention to each of the individual moments I’m given.  And at the end of the day I take stock of what would be left behind in that day, should it have been my last.

  • Where was I Love?
  • When did I choose forgiveness?
  • When did I offer charity, even if I wasn’t really feeling like it?
  • Did I offer hope?
  • Did I uplift people in my world that day?

“Everybody knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently…

‘So we kid ourselves about death’

‘Yes, but there’s a better approach. To know you’re going to die and be prepared for it at any time. That’s better. That way you can be actually be more involved in your life while you’re living.

Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, ‘Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?‘ … The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live…

Most of us walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully because we’re half asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do…

Learn how to die, and you learn how to live.'” – Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

If we really had that little bird on our shoulder asking us throughout our day if we are ready to die today, we would find gratitude and so much opportunity in every moment. We would appreciate every sunset, every drive or walk,  every phone call from our parents or siblings, every chat with our friends, every taste we experienced through all of our senses, and so on. Urgency, significance, and passion would electrify every moment.

We would remember how significant each human experience is and pinch ourselves regularly as a reminder to appreciate these moments. Every day and every situation and every event would be meaningful and memorable down to the most routine of things.

I choose to imagine that little bird on my shoulder, though some days I’d just as soon he fly away and find some other shoulder to perch upon! But when I’m honest with myself, in my heart of hearts, I like to keep it there as a reminder to stay conscious and present. For its in learning how to die, that I learn how to live.

Namaste,
~me

Perseverance IS a Lesson

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to discuss the topic of navigating when life throws you a curve ball. Perseverance was brought up. Hindsight offering a better perspective than the current reality could was also mentioned. For me, that’s what I call my learning “curve” in life.

Life's PathIf I look back on the moments in my life, I can see those curves in the road. Blind curves that I couldn’t see until I was swinging wide to the right or left. You know. The moments when I think, “This changes everything” or “I can’t see my way out”. Its that free-fall feeling; an anxiety and fear driven uncertainty of what the outcome will be, because I can’t even imagine how it could possibly EVER work out! But it ends up working out in a way that wasn’t even a blip on my imaginary horizon and infinitely better than anything that I could come up with in my catastrophizing “what if“s! Besides, what am I guaranteed besides THIS moment, really?!

If I’m not experiencing highs and lows in life, then I’m a flat line – and everybody knows a flat line means I’m dead! There are those things that can make me lose all perspective – things that I cannot possibly wrap my finite brain around. I just have to have faith that something good will come of it all. More times than not I’m left with faith being the only alternative, with the understanding that when I’ve moved out of and past “IT”, that I can look back with those high definition hindsight goggles and SEE what lesson there was in it all. I mean, if I’m not learning something from all these mistakes then what’s it all for?

My quote of the day comes today from Angie. Throwing her two cents in, she said,

Sometimes there isn’t any lesson … sometimes the only lesson is perseverance.

That has been pinging around my mind all day! Because there are those events in life that I look back on – look for the lesson – and have to acknowledge that while I believe there are no mistakes in life, I may just have to wait until I’m done here to understand why some things happen. And maybe the only gain is a little bit more faith. 🙂

I’m still here, which means that the next time I get thrown a curve, I remember that while I may not see the solution, I DO remember this feeling from that last curve and hey! I survived that, didn’t I? Each night is followed by day…each down by an up…and as long as I’m breathing in and out, my life will continue to ebb and flow. 

Reminds me of a post I wrote almost 7 years ago on my first blog entitled “Snow Globe Effect Perspective

I am one of those people,
when someone begins to speak
mentally “see” my own version of the subject matter.
(I hope other people do that too)
So what?” you may wonder.
Recently, I was privileged to be in the company of others
who were discussing the topic of perspectives.
Snow Globe PerspectiveMy internal theater screen flickered to life
filling my head with a image of myself,
in the center of a snowglobe.
“Snow” was swirling and circling my head.
I could not see beyond it to the world that lies through the glass.
My perspective and vantage point were snowblind
Now the bitch of it is
I’M the one who shook the freakin globe!
I could hear a faint familiar voice,
“…our troubles, we think, are of our own making…”
Yeah,yeah,yeah.
Creating blizzards of emotional chaos
Seems to be a natural gift I have been bestowed with.
Getting out of the way of The Source,
Trusting that It knows the way
out of the blinding storms I create in my little world,
Allowing myself to be led
Despite the fear of the unknown
Confidence that all is as it should be
and will be
And capitulating to this certainty
That is SO hard!
The thematic lesson that keeps thrusting itself into my path?
FAITH
Should be simple, right?
Experience has taught me time and time again
No matter how much “snow” blinds me…
No matter how much I want to manipulate my way into it…
No matter how much I fight…
or conversely want to give in-just give up…
If I just wait-
If I just be still and have FAITH
It always turns out better than I could fathom
Life comes back to me higher
than the limits of my imagination
Only, being in the middle of that snowglobe,
I can’t SEE that
until the I can look back in hindsight.
To sum it up in one neat lil package:
“…cause I gotta have Faith, Faith, Faith…”
::SIGH::
~Me

Namaste,

~me

View Life

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional
glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful
scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.

- Harold B. Melchart

Seeing the Big Picture

Seeing the Big Picture

Peace, ~me

Just for Today

From Angie’s quote of the day:

There exists only the present instant… a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.

~Meister Eckhart

Matt Nathanson is an amazing artist. I found some music of his a few years ago and fell in love 😉 ! This song goes with staying in the moment and with experiencing life as it comes at me!

I love reminders to enjoy the moments as they come up. Even when its not that happy or joyous, its still miraculous in the colors of LIFE.

Peace,

~me

Quote of the Day

I don’t think I like having Angie‘s Quote of the Day on a different page…there’s nothing that tells you when it’s been updated with a wonderful, NEW & SHINY thought to carry with you through your day. Boo on that!

Here. On this page. In the mixmash of all the other stuff that fills these pages somehow. It certainly seems to fit into my patchworked pages.

Peace,

~me

What you do with now

It is not your fault. But it is your responsibility. The choices you have made have brought you to where you are now. And so have other factors that are completely beyond your control.There’s nothing to be gained by blaming yourself for the way your life has unfolded. There’s everything to be gained by actively taking full responsibility for the way your life proceeds.

The route you traveled to this point no longer matters, for nothing can be done to change it. What truly matters is what you do with now.

Life is always unpredictable, yet there’s something you can count on. The more sincerely and diligently you give yourself to the living of it, the more life will go your way.

In this moment is every possibility. Take responsibility for it all, and bring the best of those possibilities to life.

— Ralph Marston