Monday, August 8, 2011

Common miracles, week #13: Keeping an eye out

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.” 
–Pema Chodron

Somewhere in the past decade, I have become a staunch believer in the concept that what makes itself evident deserves attention. I know, that sounds pretty basic. Kind of a "doh" moment, for some people, I suppose. For me, more like an "a-ha" moment... In past years, I wouldn't have given it a lot of thought, but now I think about it almost daily. Maybe that's a product of growing up, maybe of personality... perhaps a bit of both.

At times, the universe has had to shout quite loudly to get my attention over the noise of the day. Other occasions, I have a more finely attuned radar, and I pick up the "signals." As time marks its swift passage, I have worked harder on the finely tuned so as to avoid the shouting... (I know I'll regret writing this, as something is going to smack me upside the head tomorrow. Mark my words. Happens every time.)

Getting into signal mode means paying attention to people, circumstances or information that comes across my path. Being "present," in the current hip vernacular; what I think of as "keeping an eye out." (Or an ear...)

I can't count the number of times I've ruminated "that was exactly what I needed, and I didn't even know I needed it" about something I read, listened to or saw. Be it a sermon podcast, a song, a poem, an image, a rainbow, an animal, a passage in a book, an email... every day I feel like the world opens itself to me in so many ways. It's no small task, but my job is to pay attention.

Most of the time I see these signals through the lens of God revealing Himself to me, and if I just slow down long enough to learn the lesson I know is there for me, I can trust that all will be well. And then other days, well, I just seem to barge on ahead, not paying any attention to signals left and right. Yep, too true. It's not exactly a straight shot to growth and awareness, is it? Sigh.

But, the clueless days are a great counterbalance to the aware days, even though the clueless ones annoy me. And make me appreciate the "keeping an eye out" days all the more... and feel the miracle in each moment of awareness, as it comes.

The Common Miracle project began in May of 2011, and you can learn about it here. It's been a pleasure to take part in the project, and I feel the benefits of contemplating Pema's words above, often. Thanks, Chel.

1 comment:

  1. You know, this is a fantastic way of looking at "staying present". Even though I have done all this reading and researching on "staying present", it still sounds (and feels) very wishy-washy to me. The idea of being "tuned in" and open to the moment feels much more approachable. Thank you for clarifying something I have been struggling with- I love when that happens!


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