Have you ever taken a moment to stop and contemplate—really contemplate—our miraculous existence on this beautiful, life-giving planet of ours? From the smallest grain of sand to the tallest mountain, everything on earth contributes to the wonders of the world and the beauty that surrounds us moment to moment.
When I think about this, I feel deeply in my heart that all of existence is extraordinary; every moment is filled with meaning and purpose. I also know that each of us is a magnificent being and that we are meant to do incredible things with our lives—even if they seem what we might call “ordinary.”
Helen Keller said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” I love this. While her physical challenges were considerable, she overcame and even exceeded her limitations by approaching life one small, but grand, step at a time.
Seeing the miraculous in the minutia of our lives is just a matter of looking at things differently, shifting our perspective to a higher vantage point. It is about embracing what we cannot perceive by using only our five senses. In other words, it is not about the world of outward accomplishments and praise (“the great and noble tasks”), but rather it is about the vast world within us that only we can know intimately: our spiritual life, our life’s path.
Many people look at spirituality as something they go and do, as something separate from the rest of their lives or as something “they will have time for tomorrow.” But I’m here to affirm that the spiritual life is not separate from our real world; it is our real world. Spirituality isn’t about going from retreat to retreat or practicing hour by hour. It is about every single day recognizing that the “ordinary” moments are actually extraordinary gifts given to us to live life as we choose.
To lead a spiritual life—an extraordinary life—we don’t have to be a mystic, master, priest, or nun and go live in a cave. There is no massive undertaking, move, or separation that we need to embark upon. Like Helen Keller, we do one little thing at a time in the moment—we just step on the path. In doing this, we take heart in knowing how deeply profound that simple step toward our highest ideal can be.
When we stop daily to check in with ourselves to see what’s going on inside and connect with our inner source of love, strength, and security—even if it’s just for a minute—we have come that much closer to touching the magnificence within us. When we are fully aware of our extraordinary existence—the extraordinariness of this whole planet, really—we will accomplish what we came to this earth to do: to love, grow, and live courageously and peacefully.
In what ways have you felt that your life truly is extraordinary? I would love to hear your stories.