I’m a very ordinary person, middle-of-the-road, always middle of the class.
And yet, my life has been far from ordinary.
Some time ago I asked myself why?
And I also wondered what makes some people’s lives extraordinary.
Was it more about them and how special they were, or was it more about the situations that befell them or in which they found themselves?
There were certainly periods in my life when I didn’t feel special and the situations in which I found myself seemed anything but extraordinary.
One day was more or less like the preceding one and the weeks and even the months and years past unnoticed and maybe unlived.
I heard myself and others ask: “Where did the year go to?”
But then I recalled just one minute – 56 seconds in fact – during which I was very clear where the time went and what was happening during it.
It was an earthquake in Chile and, in those 56 seconds, so much happened.
I was working in NASA and in those 56 seconds, like others, I abandoned, got out of the building where we were, joined others some 20 yards away, watched how enormous satellites dishes danced and the ground underneath our feet felt like jelly and wondered with 100 others when it would end and where it would end.
I remember, I’m proud to say, deciding not to pray and I also remember how all of my life got held up to the light.
All in 56 seconds.
After it, life went back to normal but the experience remained with me and I wondered if it was possible to make, if not every minute, then, at least, every day as full and exciting as those 56 seconds were.
Eckhart Tolle and his The Power of Now had a big effect on me and I read his books, watched his DVDs and attended talks he gave, all in an effort to make the most of every day and work to ensure that none of them were ordinary.
It was then I began the practice of seeing every day as special and as an adventure to be lived which is what is at the heart of Your Beautiful Life – A Gift.
I gave every day in the month a theme, of my own making, of course, and then I watched and enjoyed how that theme worked itself out in the course of and through the events of the day.
What happened was quite remarkable!
It wasn’t that suddenly the situations in my life changed and became filled with drama.
It was more that I began to see that every day actually was full of drama, or at least that’s how I saw it.
I could give so many examples of this.
Take Day 21, for example.
For me, Day 21 is about keys and unlocking or opening things.
On one Day 21, I smiled when I was unable to gain access to a company I was visiting because the girl on reception didn’t have the password to open her laptop to create the electronic key I needed to get through the barrier. And, on that same day, I arrived home to hear that our handyman had come to change the locks on the doors which needed fixing.
That’s a small example. A much greater one happened on another Day 21 when, in the course of a conversation, a friend of mine got a breakthrough – or maybe a break out –of a painful situation in which they had been stuck or locked in for years.
And I could tell you of other wonderful things that happened on Day 5, Day 29 et cetera.
Were, or are, all these about me or are they about the situations in which I found myself?
I believe it is a bit of both.
It’s like the story of Michelangelo who sculpted beautiful figures of Moses, David and Angels but described what he did as: “Releasing the Angels from the stone.”
In other words, there are always angels there to be discovered, to be released, every day in our lives but it’s up to us to believe they are there, be alert to them and release them.
This is what Your Beautiful Life – A Gift is about and why I wrote it.
It is an invitation to see every day as an adventure and to see oneself as an adventurer.
And, when we do this, the most remarkable things happen.
Back to my earlier question: “What makes some people’s lives extraordinary?”
I think it is because the so-called ‘ordinary’ in life is full of extraordinary challenges, excitement, beauty, mystery and meaning.
And when these people see the world like this, they too become extraordinary, full of beauty, mystery meaning etc.
We ALL have that wonderful invitation open to us.
All my days are not happy.
Nor do I handle every day perfectly.
But I do believe it is possible to make every day special, a gift to be lived, and, whatever the circumstances, to make the very most of whatever happens in the course of our day and see it all as part of a beautiful world.