Today is a regular day. One of the days where nothing special happens. Just me working, writing, doing the ordinary things. I don’t feel a strong sense of either excitement or sadness. I just feel calm, relaxed.
It’s an ordinary day for me. Normally I would try to change that. I hated ordinary days. For some reason, I always felt that to truly feel alive your days should always feel special, exciting, lively.
When in truth there are more ordinary days, than special days, in our lives. Today is one of those days, yet at the same time different than all the others.
The Resistance Towards Ordinary
I used to resist ordinary days. Trying to change them and make them feel extraordinary. Which didn’t take much, it didn’t mean I had to jump off a bridge with a bungee cord attached to my feet. It just meant that I was trying to feel excited about the day.
Instead of embracing the ordinary, I was trying to make it special by forcing myself to feel extraordinary, special, or amazing.
Instead of embracing the ordinary, I was trying to make it special by forcing myself to feel extraordinary, special, or amazing. I would watch movies, eat some snacks, watch YouTube videos, and all the rest of it. I just tried to spice up my day in any way possible.
Of course, none of it worked, it only numbed the feeling of being alive. This is often what happens when we resist a perfectly fine ordinary day.
We numb ourselves to the feeling of being alive, in order to feel different, most of the time feel more excited. But all we are doing is saying that an ordinary day isn’t something to feel alive for.
Which is insane right? There are so many ordinary days. Are all of those a waste of your life? Should you always feel something extreme? Like excitement, or love, or joy? Or even sadness, anger, anxiety? Something that will make you feel particularly alive or not alive.
Both the exciting feelings, as well as the negative feelings are both on the far end of the spectrum of emotions. Both in some form of way makes them exciting. Of course, we’d rather not feel sad, or anxious, but still, it’s better than not having anything to focus on.
We don’t want to experience ordinary days because we want something to happen, something to turn our attention towards.
That’s really what’s happening, we don’t want to experience ordinary days because we want something to happen, something to turn our attention towards. Which could be something exciting, but also something rather sad or stressful. Both serve the purpose of grabbing your attention perfectly.
This shows again that it’s a waste of time if we have an ordinary day in which we don’t achieve something extraordinary, or feel something special. It’s just what it is, an ordinary day, filled with normal things, like breakfast, work, diner, coffee, tea, watching Netflix, and all the rest of it.
Or isn’t it?
The Miracle of Enlightenment
Well, it might feel like an ordinary day isn’t really worth living. After all, there are so many amazing things to experience on this earth, why waste a day on ordinary things right?
Maybe yes, but if life is filled with so many things to do, can’t an ordinary day, filled with ordinary things, be extraordinary as well?
I think that I have been wasting more time of my life trying to live extraordinary days, instead of embracing the ordinary once.
And even if we’d just live a life filled with extraordinary and exciting things, that life would become ordinary, because that’s all you do, right?
I think that I have been wasting more time of my life trying to live extraordinary days, instead of embracing the ordinary once. I now even realize the immense beauty of an ordinary day.
You see, nothing much changes. I still live an ordinary life. I still work, I still write every day, I still like my cup of coffee in the morning, I still have dinner with family, walk with the dogs, drink water, and all the rest of what an ordinary day holds. Yet the ordinary day doesn’t feel ordinary anymore.
It’s all because I realized that enlightenment is in the ordinary day as well as in the exciting day. I have been so worried about making the most of my life, in the sense that I had to do a lot, that I forgot to make the most of whatever it is that is life at this moment.
This means that I also make the most of ordinary days. Seeing how beautiful they are, how whatever I feel is extraordinary and a miracle in itself.
If you can realize that the ordinary days are just as much filled with wonder as the extraordinary days it might just be that we are experiencing what it means to be alive. We might just be enlightened, for as far as this can be captured into words.
The ordinary day isn’t anything special, yet enlightenment isn’t anything special either. What makes me say that?
Well, enlightenment isn’t a special feeling, it’s not as if you can attain enlightenment, and all of a sudden your entire life will be changed and become extraordinary. No, it will just be life. There is an old zen quote I remember that captures this beautifully.
“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”
This is the essence of enlightenment. It’s not something special. Enlightenment and the excitement to be alive that happens in everything. In both the extraordinary days as well as the ordinary ones.
I think I missed this all this time, I was trying to create or find a feeling of constant excitement for life. Whereas I now realize that this exciting feeling for life is very subtle. It’s a sense of peace with life, that everything as it is, is wonderful. I don’t need to create it or find it. It just is.
Getting up each day again is enlightenment. Making breakfast is beautiful. Writing is exciting. Stress is okay. I am alive.
Very Much Alive
That’s really it. I am. Life is as it is. When it’s extraordinary I experience it fully. When it is ordinary I experience it fully. Does it matter which one of the two it is? Both are beautiful. Both are joyous and exciting to experience.
I looked at my screen and listened to the piano music playing, and felt an extraordinary sense of being alive, cause this ordinary day has many beauties and miracles in store. For all of us. You are just as near as I am to living and experiencing this ordinary day.
We are both very much alive, and just that is what we should lightly focus on.
You are just as close to realizing this as I am. We are both very much alive, and just that is what we should lightly focus on. We just gently place our awareness on life as it is. Instead of trying to grip everything very tightly. Just go with the stream.
Now I want to make you aware of the fact that you can’t force yourself into experiencing an ordinary day. What’s most important is that you feel what it is you are feeling right now. Experience what it is you are experiencing right now.
That’s what you should do, that’s really all you can do. All the rest of it is a waste of time, and energy. And if you tell yourself internally that you should just live, you aren’t living. You are thinking about living. But the moment you become aware of the thought, of the thought that tells you, you should live, you are alive.
You are feeling what life is like right now. In this case a thought. That’s an extraordinary rush of energy going through you.
You are feeling what life is like right now. In this case a thought. That’s an extraordinary rush of energy going through you. Very gentle, but also extraordinary. It’s feeling alive. Not making an extraordinary day out of an ordinary one, but living an ordinary day to see how extraordinary all of it is.
It is seeing the steam rise from your coffee. It is hearing the music you listen to. It is hugging your loved ones. Hearing your dog sleep. Seeing your kids play. Doing your work.
It’s is chopping wood, carrying water. It is living. Being. That will have you say Today I Lived! I experience all of it.