So these are the last group of wise words that came to me as we were doing our retirement ride. I know there will be many more words of wisdom to share with you, there are so many wise people past and present! But these particular words just seemed to jump out of the woodwork wherever I found myself in those twenty days traveling this continent.
“Life is a mirror – if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile at it, it returns the greeting.” (Chinese proverb)
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” (Jim Rohn)
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)
Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, in as much as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.” (John Keats)
“Take time every day to do something ridiculous.” (Philipa Walker)
“Insist on yourself. Never imitate.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” (Thomas Merton)
“You’re the strongest person I ever met, she said, I said, you too and we decided we’d know each other a long time.” (Brian Andreas)
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” (Helen Keller)
“Most people don’t know there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don’t get too comfortable and fall asleep and miss your life.” (Anonymous)
“Your outer world reflects your inner world; peaceful thoughts produce peace.” (Joan Gattuso)
“Every artist was first an amateur.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I have already accumulated more quotations to share with you, so it won’t be long before another “Shared Wisdom” posting reaches you. I think my secondary mission in life may be to spread these words to as many people as possible.
Maybe the stars are aligned at the moment. Perhaps God is nudging me to place some real importance on this subject right now, in this moment! A few weeks ago I wrote a posting about living in the present moment (Musings- The Present Moment). Just yesterday I wrote a posting about meditation and labyrinths (Labyrinth Meditation At The Beach) in which I referred again to being in the present moment.
There is a wonderful internet posting that I receive every day called Daily OM. I am going to paste and cut their entry for today 7 September because it is such a re-enforcement of everything that I have said in my two postings and I firmly believe in “sharing the wisdom”, especially when it is about something that I have been able to put into practice in my own life with a certain degree of success. (I work on the premise that if I can do it, anyone else can do it!!)
September 7, 2009
Summon Your Aliveness
Being Fully Present
When we are fully present, we offer our whole selves to whatever it is that we are doing. Our attention, our integrity, and our energy are all focused in the moment and on the task at hand. This is a powerful experience, and when we are in this state, we feel completely alive and invigorated. This kind of aliveness comes easily when we are absorbed in work or play that we love, but it is available to us in every moment, and we can learn to summon it regardless of what we are doing. Even tasks or jobs we don’t enjoy can become infused with the light of being present. The more present we are, the more meaningful our entire lives become.
Next time you find yourself fully engaged in the moment, whether you are making art, trying to solve an interesting puzzle, or talking to your best friend, you may want to take a moment to notice how you feel. You may observe that you are not thinking about what you need to do next, your body feels like it’s pleasantly humming, or your brain feels tingly. As you enjoy the feeling of being located entirely in the present moment, you can inform yourself that you may try to recall this feeling later. You might try this while driving home or getting ready for bed, allowing yourself to be just as engaged in that experience as you were in the earlier one.
The more we draw ourselves into the present moment, the more we honor the gift of our lives, and the more we honor the people around us. When we are fully present, we give and receive aliveness in equal measure. For today, try to be fully present in your daily activities and watch a new reality open for you.
This kind of practice is also referred to as “mindfulness”. I learned much about mindfulness from two books that I have read. The first is titled Wherever You Go, There You Are by John Kabat-Zinn. The other was written by Eckhart Tolle and is titled The Power of Now. If you are trying to be more focused and more centered in your day to day living I highly recommend both of these books.
There is one other facet of living in the present moment that I may not have already mentioned but it is coming to mind now (it’s that God-nudging thing!). When I practice being truly present in the moment, when I focus on being mindful of where I am, what I am doing, and with whom I am engaged with, I tend to be more honest and more compassionate with myself and others. This can only bring more positivity and joy into my life, and I’ll live with that!