Thursday, March 28, 2013

Practice Presence - Part I

How many times have you come to the end of a day and thought, "Whew, I've been so busy!" only to realize that you can't remember a single thing you did? 

LIVE CLARITIN by marc falardeau
LIVE CLARITIN, a photo by marc falardeau on Flickr.

That day planner staring you in the face with all its unchecked boxes, those unwashed dishes in the sink, that unfinished paper, the unpracticed piano, the unwalked dog, the unpainted masterpiece, the unlaughing voice—they all haunt us at the end of the day. Depending on your expectations, you could have many of these grim reminders, or just a few. If you're human, and especially if you're a goal-oriented kind of human like me,  you probably have more than a few lingering in the undusted corners of your world.

Those "uns" can drain the zest out of life as quick as anything. I know that they have a habit of sucking away my joy and making me feel like the day was wasted.

So here's the big question—how do we infuse every day, even the meaningless ones, with zest?

First of all, I don't believe that there is such a thing as a meaningless day. If we want to, we can make any day beautiful, every day a chance to grow more like the person we want to be.

Is it easy?
Is it worth it? 
I think so.

The only way I have been able to really soak in a day, sucking it through my skin like warm bathwater and surging the bubbles all the way to my toes, is to stop whatever I'm doing, or do it very slowly, and pay attention to what is going around me. If I'm cleaning a desk, sifting through emails, eating breakfast with Mom, or walking down the road, I can choose either to be inside my shell, or outside seeing the world. It's like those cheesy Claritin commercials, where the world starts out fuzzy, and then the haze is peeled back to reveal a bright vibrant world.

Stay tuned for the next bit, when we'll talk about opening the window.

Question: What makes a day meaningful to you?


  1. Can't wait for the next bit. :-) A meaningful day, for me, is being productive, feeling as if I had gotten something done or accomplished something worth remembering.

  2. I agree! Love the sense of accomplishment.


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