We all get so caught up in our day-to-day routines, actions and mindsets that we often forget to appreciate all the beauty in life around us. I fall victim to it all the time, we all do – we are human after all. We hit snooze 4 times to then rush out of bed, rush through our morning routine, rush to get our coffee and wait not so patiently for that jolt of caffeine to finally take over the brain. Then we rush through traffic and through the door of the workplace to then dedicate the next 8 hours to the needs of a hundred other people. Topping it off with rushing back home to repeat it again the next day and the day after that one too. That can’t be the purpose of living life is it?
Letting your most “peaceful” time of day be the extra 30 minutes that you hit snooze every 5 minutes until you finally pull yourself out of bed? Whatever happened to the gratitude for yourself and the life around you? The appreciation that you are an able bodied person who is able to rise freely from your bed for a job that allows you to meet the basic necessities? That’s right, in the midst of the all the pain and energy that it takes to rise from bed, did you ever consider that you are already more fortunate than some people on our planet? That the fact that you are already so fortunate because you are able to wake up, get out of bed on your own, with a purpose? When you look at it that way maybe getting up out of bed isn’t so bad after all. Do you really want to set the intention that you would rather be a sleeping body than someone capable of celebrating life?
Instead of wallowing in the small pitfalls of life or the times of “struggle,” instead try to remember how fortunate you truly are. You have to wake up because you have a job. Some people will never experience that in their entire lifetime. We can’t always justify our lives and sometimes we are dealt a hand of cards that we may not agree with. However, if you embrace what you have and find gratitude for the smallest amount that you have been given; you will not only begin to live a life of happiness (in whatever form that may be) but you will begin to slowly radiate that joy out into the world. If we were all able to use our time and gifts in positive ways, we have the power to make the world a better place. As Rumi once said, “what you seek is seeking you.”
So here is a challenge for each and every one of you today, do something good for someone else as a token of gratitude for the life that you have been given. Not only will you transform someone else’s day (even if it is just for 1 minute, that is still 1 minute of love that may not have existed otherwise), but you will transform your own day because nothing feels better than knowing that you made someone else smile. It’s fun! And after a while it can actually be addicting and the unexpected gifts and positive moments that follow are the most unexpected and beautiful times of all. The power of positivity works, I promise.
For those of you who don’t believe or feel lost or don’t know how to introduce the sense of “fluid moment” into life, take a moment to follow my Tuesday morning (after all you’ve already read this far).
I woke up to a “freezing cold” bedroom because believe it or not the temperatures in Florida have actually dropped into the 40s. However, upon laying in bed snuggled under the covers, debating on getting out, I realized this time last year I was training to run a half-marathon in the dead of the New York winter. I was out running in the early morning darkness in temperatures far colder than a minor 40 degrees. And on top of that I have my adorable dog laying curled up beside me and my best friend getting ready to start her day in the room next to mine. I’m actually pretty lucky right? So we get up to go for a morning walk, and lucky for us we were some of the only folks on the street and were able to catch the last glimpses of the beautiful starry sky above us. There is something about staring up at the vast, dark, twinkling sky that gives off that endless sense of hope. We continue on through our morning routine and head into the car for our 45 minute commute into work.
The commute consisted of a beautiful sunrise, paired with the wise words of Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, Magic Lessons. Nothing energizes my spirit more than watching the sun break through the clouds and slowly engulf the darkness above. I was feeling inspired and my mind began to turn with new ideas, the excitement of tackling my to-do list and the energy for life and how fortunate I am to be back working in an industry that speaks so closely to my heart. Not too mention an organization that has already changed my life in the most unexpected and beautiful ways. (Stay tuned for my 2015 recap, life is absolutely amazing).
I pulled off the road to go to my drive-thru Starbucks and grab my morning cup of coffee. Please note this is a habit I have been trying to break for the past 2 months, something I realistically should not be spending the extra $3 a day on, yet it also makes me happy. And you have to ask yourself, if it makes you happy and it is my choice to partake in the activity is it really all that bad? You have to feed your soul somehow right?
Today was a different day for me at Starbucks because I decided to buy the person’s coffee who was behind me in line. Keep in mind this is a drive-thru so I had no idea what they ordered, who they were, etc. Before I told the woman at the window that I wanted to pick up the tab for the person behind me, I suddenly got so tickled at the thought of how that person would react upon knowing that a stranger bought their coffee. It would change their morning! I could almost feel that level of surprise, a bubbling of the heart, and the smile that would take over them internally and externally. However, what happened next was something I could not have predicted. Upon telling the Starbucks barista that I wanted to pick up the tab for the car behind me, I watched a euphoric grin take over her face. A genuine smile came out, the 20 empty cups behind her disappeared, the beeping oven went silent, the hustle and bustle of the morning was completely gone. You would have thought I had given her a gift. And in exchange, I unknowingly gave her the gift of hope, happiness and good in the world.
That my friends is the magic of life.
The way one event leads to the next, the beauty of the unexpected and the force of cause and effect.
I took it upon myself to cheer up the morning of one person, in return for my current state of life. Instead my one act ended up changing the morning of two completely different people, and I can only hope that the ripple effect continued on after that. Maybe the barista went on to do something for someone that day, maybe the car behind me ended up picking up the tab for the car behind them and so forth. Who knows how many people might have received an unexpected gift of love this morning.
And it doesn’t matter for the number of souls touched is insignificant. What is significant is that if we will take a moment to pause, enjoy our current state of being and use our time (that we are so fortunate to have) productively, we can all make this world a better place.
So I challenge you today to place happiness and love into someone else’s life. It can be someone near to your heart, a stranger, an enemy, it doesn’t matter who it is. Whether you do something like giving them a monetary gift, a smile, a “have a great day,” or the squeeze of a hand; you have impacted someone else’s life. The magic behind it all is that sometimes we don’t know how much the smallest gesture can impact one’s current life or state of being. And we aren’t meant to know, for it is performing an act of greatness from the bottom of our hearts, expecting the unexpected that creates the fluid moment of our lives.
Never forget to say “Thank You” and may something wonderful happen to you today.