The Art of Everyday Living
So often our attention is drawn to the big events in our lives, those that have happened and those we anticipate. Yet, it is the little everyday moments—such as eating, getting dressed, working, caring for children, running errands, walking the dog—that make up the majority of our lives. It’s easy to get caught up thinking ahead, planning for the future or fantasizing about what may happen. It is just as common to focus on looking back, dwelling on the past, reminiscing, or imagining how we would have done something differently. But in fact, life happens in the present moment. Life is in the pauses, and the in-betweens on the path to somewhere, and in the process of getting things done. Life is now.
In each moment we have the opportunity to be fully present and engaged. We may embrace whatever we are experiencing right now—whether it be joy, sadness, or boredom—with gratitude and mindfulness that this is “it.” This is life. It is a gift to be alive, to be feeling, to be aware. How we are in each moment of life, is our art.
Sometimes we sacrifice our current happiness and presence in the now for a perceived future gain. How many times have we said, “when I finish this, I can relax,” or “when this changes in my life, I will be happy?” Yet, if we are not enjoying, or at least aware and grateful, for where we are now then really what is the point? Does the end goal justify not enjoying the process, or at the very least, not experiencing it consciously? Is there anything or anyone more meaningful than what or who is in front of us right now?
We may find ourselves postponing living fully or delaying our personal happiness by thinking it comes after we attain whatever it is we have decided we need to attain, or once we have achieved whatever we think we need to achieve, or when we get somewhere other than here, or we become someone other than who we are now. What if we don’t need to change, or do, or be anything other than who we are in this moment? What if all we need to do is to be fully connected, engaged, and conscious right now? What if the “answer” and all that we seek is simply being conscious of whatever is right here and now?
Life is a canvas and everyday living is the process of painting the canvas. Within each of our daily rituals, throughout our mundane tasks, and in our everyday interactions there exists the potential to express and create and to make a difference in our life and in other’s lives. When we connect to the moment—we have the potential to be in service to whatever or whoever is in front of us—to be a gift. Each moment is elevated by simply bringing our presence to the now. This is conscious living everyday. With consciousness and gratitude, life is good, even when it is not. When we celebrate everyday living, ordinary moments may be transformed into the extraordinary—which they are. There is nowhere else to get to and nothing we need to change. There is nothing more divine than what is here and now.
“The most visible creators I know of are those artists whose medium is life itself. The ones who express the inexpressible- without brush, hammer, clay or guitar. They neither paint nor sculpt- their medium is being. Whatever their presence touches has increased life. They see and don’t have to draw. They are the artists of being alive…” Quote by J. Stone at www.jstonecards.com
Photo Credit: Robin Berman