“In magic – and in life – there is only the present moment, the now. You can’t measure time the way you measure the distance between two points. ‘Time’ doesn’t pass. We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we’re always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have. Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we have always dreamed of.”
― Paulo Coelho,
Being present, truly present, is so difficult. Necessary for a completely fulfilling life, but elusive. Feeling the wind on your face, watching a butterfly, looking your friend in the eyes when they speak, savoring the food you’re eating, feeling the joy coming from your grandchildren as they laugh all help us to taste life. Experience it in the now. The trick is in trying to shut down those inner voices that haunt and distract us from the moment we’re in. And it is a trick. Being able to focus completely on whatever is happening for us right now enriches our lives, allows us to relish the experience. It’s tough to do, but so worth a try for those moments you can really make it happen.
“All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.”
― Kenneth Grahame,
Awe, fostering a general feeling of amazement and wonder, is the spice. It makes us feel like a kid again, that feeling of being so overwhelmed with something you are rapt and riveted. A sense of awe opens and widens our world to wondrous things. It begs us to look outside of ourselves and feel the beauty of life. This life is a miracle. Knowing that, seeing it, brings awe. Awe leads to a richer life.
“I can never bring you to realise the importance of sleeves, the suggestiveness of thumb-nails, or the great issues that may hang from a boot-lace.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle,
It’s in the Details… sparkles in the water, the wind moving in the trees, motes of dust floating in the sunlight, a breath, a speck, the flapping of a birds wings, the light in someone’s eyes when they look at you with love. Noticing the details of life brings a depth and an understanding otherwise missed.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
― Henry David Thoreau,
Out in Nature, spending time there, opens us up. Refreshes our senses and our souls. It can lift us out of whatever muddles our mind, bringing a fresh perspective. There is magnificence all around us, which should tell us that there is also magnificence in ourselves. Putting your toes in the sand, walking a trail, sitting by a river and listening to water over stone, lounging in a park feeling the sun on your face. It’s a big wondrous place we live, and we are small in it.
“Never laugh at live dragons.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Wisdom isn’t found in knowing a lot. Wisdom lies in the ability to discern what should and shouldn’t be said. It’s being able to look at things with the total and utter knowledge that you don’t know everything, and that’s OK. It’s having learned to listen, instead of talk, see instead of just look, reach for deeper meaning instead of skimming along the surface of things. Wisdom comes, we just have to pay attention to it, listen to our inner voices, appreciate the opinions of other people who may have things to teach us. Learning never stops, this is wisdom.
“I sometimes give myself excellent advice. Occasionally, I even listen to it.”
― Jim Butcher,
Listening to yourself is the best way forward. If we can clear out all the detritus and quiet ourselves we usually know the right way to turn, the best choice to make. Doubt can be a constant companion, but learning to trust ourselves, lean on what we know to be our own truth, that’s where our right is. Making choices based on what we think other people would approve of or do themselves doesn’t get us anywhere. Asking for help, that’s necessary, listening to that advice above and beyond what we think for ourselves can be dangerous and incredibly unhelpful.
“I will not play at tug o’ war.
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.”
― Shel Silverstein,
Winning is not important, sharing is. I don’t know where we got the idea that we had to win all the time. In debates and conversations and at life. What does that mean anyway, to win at life? I’d rather share something meaningful with someone than beat them. Life isn’t a game, it’s a beautiful and tragic and lovely and horrible and joyous dance. Better with partners than foes. Better shared than conquered.
― Theodore Roethke,
And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door” – Put One Foot In Front of the Other, Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Creativity, wherever you find it, however you can express it, enlivens and enriches and brings a level of satisfaction that doesn’t seem to be found in any other way. Whether its writing, or painting, or taking pictures, or singing, or plucking the strings of a banjo, or gathering leaves you think are beautiful, or solving a terribly hard math equation, it’s all creative. There are billions of people on the planet, which means there are billions of ways creativity can be thought of and expressed. It all matters. It connects us to the world, and to each other. Adding beauty and a depth to everything around it.