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As others have mentioned, it might feel weird and exhausting attempting to look through this lens every moment. My plan is to use this mindset if I’m feeling a bit flat in everyday routines and also if I become aware that I’m less present than I could be with others. Life is extraordinary. It is also unpredictable and finite. Our connections with other living beings are precious.
This works for me if I can see it as habitual/non-habitual. When I walk through the day in an habitual way (autopilot) I don’t see the extraordinary nature of the ordinary experience. Even doing something as simple as opening a window with the other hand gets me to sense and appreciate the beauty of movement. Autopilot is useful, though. Our brains would be fried if we looked for the extraordinary 24/7.
I believe that treating something ordinary as extraordinary is an attitude of our spirit, because everything is just as it is in the now. I think of some landscapes I look at when I am driving for work. I am used to see them, yet when I feel grateful, they appear new to me. I exclaim my love for them, some mountains, a valley, the light.
Once my son asked me: you always see this landscape, you are in your fifties and you exclaim your enjoyment and amazement for something you know…
Yes, I replied, it is wonderful, how can I stay silent?
I think my relationship with challenging aspects of my health would change- rather that fighting against it, there might be more spaciousness and a sense of acceptance of the dis-ease as I experience awe that I am having a bodily experience at all.
My whole attitude! Lots of hormonal changes and good endorphins would flow in and through me.
Well… while seeing into my Voidness, seeing that I am Him/Her now, noticing whether I submit to, concur in, authorise, actually will whatever is. If I now have no separate will from His/Hers, aren’t I (for the moment, anyhow) being Who I truly am? I think that is extraordinary.
Just sitting and watching the waves on the ocean — it’s all so…monotonous and the same…and yet…it isn’t. It’s hard to take your eyes off of it. It’s simply a natural phenomenon that is so extraordinary.
I would embrace change happily and not with trepidation. I would welcome the now — the new phase of life!
I have been resting in the “now.” Many ordinary things, from the now perspective, become extraordinary!
Indeed one thing I appreciate about photography is that when done right, a well conceived photograph accentuates what is extraordinary within the ordinary. I believe the difference between the two comes down to focus – with focus and attention, we see the extraordinary within the ordinary.
Ah, yes! I know just what you mean, Chester. Many photographs coming to mind now (stimulated by your reflection), some from journalism, that took me into someone else’s ordinary world, somewhere that perhaps I had never been, but a photo that communicated much, and revealed the extraordinary. I think also of the famous photo “Migrant Mother” by Dorothea Lange. Though the photo is not a happy one, you can feel the love in it as the children cling to their mother. You can feel the character of the mother. I have to look at that photo again. Thank you, Chester!
I choose to embrace “what is” and not label it or myself as ordinary or extra ordinary.
Thank you, Carol – I like that. No answer came to me.
All of the senses wake up and timeless wonder is evoked like a child at play. So something simple as doing the dishes becomes enjoyable as you hear the sound of the water, sense its temperature and what it feels like on your fingers and skin, the fragrance of the detergent is pleasant and you may even find yourself singing.
I just want to notice and be mindful of some of the “ordinary” and not pass through life in a fog. Those ordinary things are beautiful in themselves because of their ordinariness. That one fiddlehead fern which is breaking through the soil and dead leaves on the forest floor is like thousands and thousands of others around me, but it is the one I notice and I greet it and its being with gratitude.
Have you ever read ‘The Little Prince’,
Years ago… but I will read it again! Thank you for the reminder about this book.
Netflix has a good piece on it.
Your post reminded me
of the little prince’s rose . . . ♥
In the Christian calendar the season between Pentecost and Advent is referred to as “Ordinary Time”. It is the season of the Christian year to focus on the stories of the ordinary lives of people in the Bible who may have encountered and extraordinary experience with the the Holy One. Or the foci may draw us to stories of the every day growth of our lives of discipleship – the fishing and agricultural parables. Sometimes miracles are sprinkled in, but the context of these stories is our ‘ordinary times’, because that’s where life is. I don’t know that it is a matter of treating the ordinary as extraordinary, as much as it is being open to seeing, finding or experiencing the extraordinary in the ordinary. It’s all holy time.
Thank you for the reminder of Ordinary Time, Katrina –
Everything. I am called back to Br. Lawrence- and how every routine and daily activity becomes Holy when we contemplate the richness of our ordinary lives. truly, these acts of doing dishes, sweeping, cooking, taking a shower, being diligent with the care of our bodies, eating a piece of fruit- it is all extraordinary. nothing is a little thing. everything is a grand experience if we but let it.
I am combing my long hair now, getting ready to go to the farm. Mustn’t have the blackbirds laughing at me if I look like a scarecrow.
Combing lightly massages my scalp. I get the faint smell of shampoo when I comb. I’m faced towards the window, where many birds are singing their morning song. The rhythm of combing is very soothing if I pay attention to it and remain present.
Long hair – me, too, Holly in Ohio – longest ever.
It’s a very cool life I have. There is certainly great beauty in the ordinary & I sometimes fail to see that because I’m human. There is wisdom that comes with age & I find myself smiling more often when making the bed, folding the laundry & cleaning the counter.
I think life in general is a true gift. I’ve had extraordinary struggles my whole life. Born drug addicted, foster care by three months old, foster care for 17 yrs, abused, neglected, etc. Then as an adult I’ve struggled with mental health issues, the death of my 14 yr old son and the estrangment of my adult daughter. These have been my challenges, true, but they are also my triumphs, because I have overcome them and am joyful, blessed, enjoying my life.
It is a mystery, deep and profound, how the trials are also my victories.
It makes me happy that you have found blessings in your life. I will wish that the rest of your life is ever increasing rich in blessings and good luck.
Thank you dearly, dear DeVonna for sharing. You are giving hope to all of us who might feel stuck in dark corners of life. Blessings be with you always.
This is interesting because after another summer of staying put and not being able to plan trips this summer maybe it’s a good idea to let go of expectations?
I mean the ordinary is what make up most of our lives isn’t it? So the ordinary is the extraordinary. They live in the same place . We can’t have one without the other. Knowing this helps me let go of the momentum of always looking for something to be different than what it is. We are here. We are the universe. We are living no mater how we decide to label the moment. I’m grateful for existence. I let go of everything else.
The question makes it seem like ordinary is not so great, but I like ordinary. Ordinary stuff like staring at the sky, sitting in the grass or on the beach, watching the dog bark at things in the sky, getting a head nudge from the cat, that first sip of coffee in the morning, a new rose bud on the plant… all of these things are extraordinary to me. And I think treating them as such, or rather knowing them as such, makes life that much sweeter.
Yes! I like ordinary, too, sunnypatti, now that you mention it. I’ve had surprisingly little regret about missing the conference in Ecuador, the trip to the Galapagos last summer. Ordinary is just fine, tho this ‘ordinary’ is somewhat different from normal ‘ordinary’, if that makes sense.
Wife would feel second if I experienced the ordinary as extra ordinary.
I like that answer. 😀
Life is made up of a mixture of ordinary and extra ordinary things or experiences. When you experience extraordinary you appreciate more that aspect you are experiencing.
When we begin to notice that we are treating the ordinary aspects of Our Lives as extraordinary it’s a good indication that we are living in the present moment. For me, that alone would be extraordinary and the sense of gratitude would be all the more present and bring more joy into my life.
This question implies something is wrong with ‘ordinary’. I’m fine with ordinary. Some things in life have that ‘extra’ which makes it special.
I lived in Haiti for a while. It taught me a lot. One of the things I learned was that each and every event in the day was a potential channel. Openings through which Spirit worked. Whether I noticed it or not. I could begin to see the magic of mere existence and awareness. Potential was everywhere. The people of Haiti walk around like this and in some ways lead very rich lives. The poverty of my own world was palpable, limited and limiting in my need to impose order and control on my experience of the moment. It is a bit like visiting the Amish. I can admire and in many ways envy their world. But entrance is denied. You have to be born into it. I was born into this life. Not to say the other worlds can’t begin to break away the iron clad grasp I have.
To be honest, that’s not a change that I am interested in making. What’s so wrong with the ordinary aspects and moments of life? I am quite at peace with the ordinary and predictable. Such moments serve as anchors and guideposts that allow me to make sense of whatever part of the day I am in. Besides, just thinking about everything in my day as extraordinary is exhausting!
I think I have a language problem again. I am not sure what is ment by ordinary aspects. Something like brushing your teeth or filling the fridge? Or something like health, education, work, income…..?
Now, I do’nt like what I am going to answer, but I do want to be honest.
“Whatever it is, it will keep me from the flow”. But maybe it is something else. I am curious.😊
Sometimes, I think the Daily Questions are deliberately obscure or convoluted to get us out of our usual ways of thinking. It isn’t so much an issue of differences in languages, Christine. Even in English, we scratch our heads and are puzzled!
In my view, Christine, your language and response is just fine, actually! Truly.
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