In his book, The Four Purposes of Life, Dan Millman says “True spiritual practice is not separate from our daily life but rather its very substance.” When we realize that life happens in ordinary moments, then we are not searching for the extraordinary. Instead we are enjoying each moment like it is a scared gift from God. And isn’t that what life is? A sacred gift? We are not guaranteed another day or for that matter, another breath.
When we become present in the moment, any moment, then we are in our spiritual practice because being in this moment is sacred. And when we are living in the now, gratitude appears because we realize the tremendous gift we have been given – the gift of life. If you are reading this, thankfully you are still living and breathing. That is our gift from God. Not everyone had been given that gift today. As I am writing this, about 151,600 people died today.
And even through tragedy you can still see this moment as a gift. Because through tragedies, some of our greatest gifts happen. You have heard people who get cancer and say it was a gift because they realize just how precious life is and they live more fully because of the cancer. Michael J. Fox said that Parkinson’s was “a gift” because it made him appreciate his amazing life. When we become present in the moment, and as Eckhart Tolle, the writer of his infamous book, The Power of Now, says “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” I believe through gratitude, appreciation and love is when we truly connect to God. Just being grateful for this moment is enough.
How about the past or the future? When you wish your life was the same as it was in the past, then you are not in the now. Or when you think thoughts like, “When I get that house, that job, that partner, etc, then I will be happy.” Eckhart says “People look to time in expectation that it will eventually make them happy, but you cannot find true happiness by looking toward the future.” And I would add, “or in the past.”
“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.” – Eckhart Tolle
So no matter what your day holds, be present. Take pride in washing the clothes, taking the kids to school, finishing the project at work or walking the dog. Dan goes on to quote Adair Kara who said “And some, like me, are just beginning to guess the powerful religion of ordinary life, a spirituality of mopped floors and stacked dishes, and clothing blowing on the line.”
Ordinary moments are what is important because it is our life, not just something to hurry over to get to another place. All we have control over is right now, not the last second or the next one. The past cannot be changed and the future is just a wish. Enjoy the journey of your life. When you do, you just might find out how that these everyday moments are truly extraordinary. Honor your ordinary moments because they are a sacred gift!
“True happiness is only found right here, right now. The past is just an old movie and the future is but a wish.” – Lynn Lok-Payne