January 20

Today's quotation:

It's all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff.  The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.

Charles de Lint

Today's Meditation:

We've been taught so long that the big things are what bring us satisfaction that in many ways, we've lost the ability to feel and appreciate the wonderful part of our life that the small kindnesses bring.  The huge payoff is very rare, and, to be honest, completely unnecessary when all is said and done.  If we attune ourselves to our worlds, if we learn how to see the magic in the little things that happen every day all around us, we'll start to see just how fortunate we are to have the magic as part of our lives.

I've learned that a child's kiss on my cheek makes me feel much better than attending a concert or a sporting event.  That kiss tells me that someone cares, that someone special loves me.  I've learned that a good book on a quiet afternoon is just as special--if not more special--than dinner out at a fancy restaurant.

The important part is to be in tune with what's going on here and now, and not wishing we were somewhere else, keeping our minds on where we're not.  When we're able to do this, we come to find that there are wonderful, magical things in all of our experiences.  Right now, as I write, I'm listening to very good music, I'm working on a computer that couldn't have existed twenty years ago, there's light coming out of a couple of bulbs that allow me to be up past dark.  These things all are magic to me.

All we need to do is recognize that person's "thank you" as an expression of special gratitude.  That smile that little kid shared with you means something special, but only if you let it.  The flowers that you see today are here for a short time only, so please enjoy them!  And the taste of the ice cream or the cherries or the chocolate--well, that's a very special gift, indeed, is it not?

Questions to consider:

How often are we disappointed because something doesn't turn out as spectacular as we thought it would, instead of loving it for what it is?

From where do we get our tendency to overlook the magic that surrounds us all the time?

Can you list ten things that are within sight right now that someone from 200 years ago would consider to be miracles?  Why don't we consider them as such any more?
For further thought:

The trouble with us is that we expect too much from the great happenings, the unusual things, and we overlook the common flowers on the path of life, from which we might abstract sweets, comforts, delights.


Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living

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