This morning, like most, I got up, stretched, got the coffee going, let the dog out, looked out across the mountain valley, poured my “not hipster” coffee and then checked my email. It’s a routine, a ritual, an ordinary morning. I’m an early riser. I love my morning rituals. I honor them. They ground me each day. I can shake off the night and enjoy some moments of peace before I rush out into the maelstrom of my usual day of commute, clients, law and OPL (Other People’s Lawyers). Usually I throw a few minutes of mindfulness meditation into the mix.
Your morning probably has a routine and ritual as well. Rituals are not boring but empowering. Through ritual we create a space for ourselves where we can truly relax without having to think of anything - thinking being wildly overrated in my book. My morning ritual is ordinary, banal even. No doubt yours is as well, even if, unlike mine, it involves hipster coffee.
Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says: “People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize.”
What is an ordinary life? What is extraordinary life? Our ordinary lives are extraordinary even miraculous if we pay attention. That looking out over the mountains I mentioned at the outset? It’s different every morning: fog, rain, blue sky, snow, black crows circling, wind, and darkness before sunrise. Every one of those views is extraordinary – because I am paying attention and paying attention is part of the grounding ritual. Because paying attention turns the ordinary into extraordinary.
Vacations, promotions, perfect romances, big houses, new suits or dresses or diamonds! People seem to think an extraordinary life means all kinds of things except the moment in which they are actually living. But there is no other place to find your extraordinary life than right here, right now.
So sip that hipster coffee, whether at home or take-away, smile at the foolishness of chasing the after the extraordinary when the extraordinary is already yours.
Recognize the miracle.
Thanks for reading.