A Perfect Day
Elsa Joy Bailey


Have you ever had a day that was all grunge and growl and no ice cream cones?  Sure you have; so have I.  Let me tell you about one of mine.

What I remember most about this particular day is that nothing seemed to fit.  The morning arrived too early.  I overcame that, but when I arrived at work I was given a new assignment:  a knotty one, which was impossibly uneasy and awkward.  It was a task for which I had no inspiration, something I plain didn't want to do.  And everyone in the office seemed sour, as though they had overdosed on lemonade.

I did close my eyes briefly in an attempt to remember they were holy creatures, but it was a cursory overture.  When I opened my eyes people were still futzing around in an unhappy way and the harmony was, well, absent.

I began doing the unfortunate assignment, sighing heavily the way people do when they are certain that happiness is an entirely alien concept.

By lunch I was ready for help.  I took my cafeteria tray outside, found a bench under a tree, and sat there alone, watching a troop of high-energy ants march meaningfully along a cement curb.  I noticed that to an ant, nearly everything is an obstacle.  After all, they're miniscule.

My spot under the tree was very peaceful, rich with inspiration and hope, and eventually I began to wonder why I had spent all morning looking at life with such small eyes.  I thought, look at this:  when the ego is in play, our vision is as small as ant eyes staring at pebbles and seeing boulders.  That's exactly what I had been doing:  staring at pebbles and seeing boulders.

So I closed my eyes and remembered that the bench, the tree, the ants, the day, the office, the work were not outside of me, instead -- they were elements contained in my infinite self.  And then I felt a flood of peace chase through my arteries.

As soon as the peace struck home, I decided to accept the ants as innocent.

When I went back upstairs to my desk, I was wearing different eyes:  no judging, no blaming, no searching for molehills to make into mountains.  No peering at events through a frown.  No squinting.

It is a far, far easier way to look at things. As I removed the strictures from my seeing, everything around me seemed to sigh and relax and settle into a cool, easy pace.

Later that afternoon, someone in our group decided on a whim to go get ice cream for everyone.  So towards the end of the day, there we all were, scooping out heaping platefuls of ice cold inspiration, joshing and kidding around as though we were all 12 and it was recess.

I thanked the ants for the lesson.

* * * * *

Visit Elsa at her tremendous "Spiritual Growth" website:  "This is a chapel without walls.  Our purpose is to offer daily spiritual inspiration and healing to all who stop by.  This teaching is non-sectarian and interfaith.  We believe that you are a holy and loving being, and that your greatest task in life is to discover your own sacred self, and your own sacred purpose."  elsajoy.com

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It is the mind which creates the world around us, and even though
we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see
what is beheld by yours, my heart will never stir to the
emotions with which yours is touched.

George Gissing


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Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of
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Earl Nightingale



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I went to see my father in the hospital about a week before he died.  He had
suffered for years with emphysema, hooked up to an oxygen tank, barely able
to move around, and was failing fast.  Bedridden, he was on constant oxygen
and medication; his six-foot-two frame weighed only 130 pounds because
eating anything but ice cream was too difficult.  Every breath was a labored
struggle.  I asked him whether the quality of his life was worth all the effort.
"I still enjoy being alive," he responded.  "Sometimes it's easier to breathe and
then I really enjoy just quietly taking a breath.  I still enjoy reading the comics
in the newspaper and watching the ball games on TV.  My life is good."  He
said not a word about all that he had lost, all that he would never do again.

M.J. Ryan
Attitudes of Gratitude


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