The best things in life are nearest:
Breath in your nostrils, light in your
eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at
your hand, the path of right just before
you. Then do not grasp at the stars,
but do life's plain, common work as it
comes, certain that daily duties and
daily bread are the sweetest things in
- Robert Louis Stevenson
I hesitate to expound on the quote above. It stands on its own. No explication needed.
I can tell you that this quote touches me more deeply than I would imagine.
I recall moments of ironing my father's shirts during my adolescence, and the quiet sense of accomplishment with each finished shirt hanging startched in a row with the others. Sometimes it's the ordinary things, captured in a moment of awareness, that brings a sense that everything really IS okay.
This morning as I drive home from church I take a moment to look up at the blue sky laced with white wisps of clouds and smile. The white puffs look like they are dancing in the sky, reminding me to chill and relax on this day of Sabbath. Reminding me of the freedom and joy that are always available to me.
Yesterday, on 9/11, I call my brother up on the phone to wish him a "Happy Birthday!" How wonderful to remember that something positive happened on 9/11 besides tragedy.
Hearing my younger daughter's voice on the phone, as she talks about her new job of 1 month, and realizing that she can thrive in spite of challenges. Soon to turn 25, she is in charge of her life and doing just fine without Mom being involved day to day. I bask from afar on the woman she has become.
Happiness has been on my mind of late. I learn that there is a distinction between choosing to be happy and deciding to be happy.
I am deciding to be happy - a decision I intend to renew each day. Here's a meditation that I am using to help me, taken from the book, Wokini, A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding, by Billy Mills, with Nicholas Sparks:
Do this meditation three times a day.
1. Find a comfortable place to relax.
2. Close your eyes, and count from one to ten, exhaling with each number.
3. Relax further as the count progresses.
4. Once you reach ten, feel the relaxation spread through your body.
5. Think of anything that makes you happy. Make it as real as possible.
6. Say aloud ten times, "I am happy."
7. Count from ten back to one and open your eyes.
The best things in life can be found in the moments. If we are paying attention.
What "best things" have you noticed lately?
[Photo Credit: Morten Hoeye]