Our true home is in the present moment. To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment. - Thich Nhat Hanh
I've come to enjoy looking through my books in the morning and finding a quote that jumps out at me. Today I have Love Letters to the Universe open. Unlike Think Positive Thoughts Every Day, this book is filled with many amazing quotes, some so abstract I have difficulty understanding them. Whereas Think Positive is more smarmy-sweet, this book contains thought provoking quotations that reflect on the miracle of life and the creation of the universe. I have a million little sticky notes marking pages that have interesting thoughts on them. Contained in its pages are the likes of Rilke, Einstein, Rumi, Nabokov, Deepak Chopra, Camus and a smattering of quotes from the Tao Te Ching, Bagavad Gita and other sacred texts to name just a few. Clearly, this book belongs nowhere near the bathroom!
Thich Nhat Hanh's quote jumped out at me today because it reminds me of how often we expect the extraordinary from ourselves, when actually it is the simplest things that are miraculous. Imagine being able to stay in the present moment for an entire day! Even five minutes is a challenge, never mind an hour. Being able to live in the present continually is just about as likely for me as being able to walk on water. Yet, when I'm able to do it for few moments, or during a yoga class it is an amazing thing. The past and future, things our minds tend to dwell on much of the time, fall away and we are left with the here, the now, the present moment. All that wasted energy that we spend worrying, planning, ruminating can be spent on paying attention to what is going on at the time- whether it be a conversation, observing the beauty of a flower or appreciating the way the sunlight falls at this time of year. How many details we miss because our minds are so busy elsewhere!!
Mindfulness is helpful also for dealing with crisis. When a situation seems completely overwhelming and you have no idea where to begin or think you can't handle something returning to your breathing and focusing on the now is a great way to maintain control. Many things that are thrown at us in life are so difficult, but taking them one step or breath at a time can whittle them down into something we can manage. Isn't that one of the tenets of the 12-step program? One Day at a Time. How about making that an even smaller piece to bite off and chew on? One Breath at a Time.
A week or so ago I said I didn't intend to start each blog out with a quote. When I created this blog I had no idea where I was going with it but it seems to me for the time being that this is the direction I'm going to take. I enjoy starting the day off with a quote and trying to set an intention for the day. Remembering the words of Thich Nhat Hanh will be my goal for today. Rather than expecting a miracle from myself, I need to realize that the biggest miracle is to live in the present, something that is within my grasp, within every one's grasp.
This one's for you Tina!