An ordinary day

February 26, 2012

Humor, Peace / peace of mind

If you want to fly, simplify. — Zannah

by Scott Kalechstein Grace — 

I have harbored a fear and distrust of ordinary kinds of days for a very long time. I have created an epic life for myself, filled with dazzling highs and dramatic lows. With the work/play that I do in the world, peak experiences are quite commonplace.

Often, though, a view from the peak is followed by a descent into the valley, and such extremes can weigh heavily in my heart. Like a tree trying to reach the sky without growing its roots, I aimed for the highs of life, only to begin toppling in mid-air and come crashing down, like felled timber.

I justified this turbulent flight pattern by fancying myself to be one of those creative, artistic people who must live close to the edge to get fresh material. Lately, I’ve been wondering: Does my creativity come from my willingness to court drama or in spite of it? Could there be a sweeter, more lasting romance available through the consciousness of peace and balance? After all, in this world, “rest in peace” is considered a blessing for the departed.

Is a lasting peace possible while here in classroom Earth? Would I continue to learn, grow and be creative if I gave up my fascination with high-intensity living? Such soul-searching questions have led me to some soul-satisfying experiences and answers.

One day I felt unusually calm and balanced. I took a walk in a quiet neighborhood, enjoying my uneventful afternoon. As I peacefully strolled, my contentment was interrupted by the presence of a slippery serpent of suggestion. The tempting thought went something like this: This peace is a drag. If we don’t create some exciting drama soon, surely we will die of boredom!

I saw this as a test — an opportunity to resist eating another apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Pain and Drama. I decided not to take the bite.

“Universe,” I prayed with conviction, “I know you are a place of infinite beauty and harmony. I want to live my life aligned with the ways of peace. I know that the birds and dolphins aren’t bored singing and swimming your praises each day. They do not need pain and drama to glorify you or to learn lessons, and neither do I. Teach me to see the miracles in ordinary life.”

I released my request and continued to sink into a gentle peace. Suddenly, I heard the sounds of a small, agitated cat and a large, angry dog. The dog had chased the cat up a fence. The dog was barking, the cat was trembling and I remained at peace.

Within that peace, my inner voice guided me into action. I approached carefully, made eye contact with the cat and started beaming love to this precious creature. Slowly, I climbed the fence, pausing at times to connect to the cat with my eyes and my breathing. When I got close, it leapt into my arms as if we were old buddies. I inched back down the safe (dog-less) side of the fence and placed my new friend on the sidewalk. In gratitude, the cat then rubbed up against me before darting across the street and out of sight.

Walking away, I realized that my prayer had just been answered, and I was being shown how the consciousness of peace can never be boring. We are literally on call for God, attuned and open to the numerous opportunities that become available to share our peace. Peaceful vibrations are highly contagious, and being a vehicle for spreading them is one of the greatest joys of living.

It occurred to me that if I had not already been in a place of peace while that incident unfolded, I might not have thought of helping. Or I might have tried to act without genuine sensitivity to the cat’s needs (who I intuited was open to my help due to my peaceful state of mind).

Then I remembered how often I had tried to get close to an attractive member of the opposite sex when my mind and body were broadcasting anything but balance and peace. The adrenal glands, useful and appropriate at times of possible physical danger, were almost always activated in my romantic life. Fight or flight, however, is not very helpful for building a foundation of trust and love in a relationship.

Fear can be exciting and thus confused with passion, but it has nothing to do with the energy currents of real love. In fact, I had gotten so used to that heart-thumping energy, I thought it was love I was feeling.

In romance, I had played out the roles of both the aggressive dog on the prowl and the trembling cat staying just out of reach. It’s no wonder so many of my relationships ended up on the fence.

So here I am now, going through an ordinary day in my life — the kind of day I once perceived as boring — which I now savor and cherish. I saved no cats, nor did I lose the soft strum of my heartbeat to the adrenaline rush of a dramatic high or painful low.

What I did do was stay attuned to the peaceful center inside me. Within that center is a sweetness, a feeling of wholeness that does not crave recognition or search hungrily for its completion. Within that center is a sense of contentment that is far more soul-satisfying than any and all mystical, peak experiences.

Yes, it is just another day here on the ground. And for that I am extraordinarily grateful!

 

Scott Kalechstein Grace is a coach, speaker, minister, recording artist, troubadour, lighthearted miracle mischief maker, and a friend and guide to those making the transition from fear to love. (He thought about not mentioning all of those things and trying to come across more humble, but decided against it.) He travels the world, speaking and singing at conferences, churches and wherever people are open to humor and playfulness as a delivery system for truth and wisdom. www.scottsongs.com and scott@scottsongs.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2010.

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