If I look back at my teenage years and my twenties I see that I was very much motivated by fast paced, high stimulus activities. Things which excited me and left me feeling exhilarated.
This was fine in moments, but one symptom of this was that I ignored the simple things. I not only ignored them, I actively sought ways to avoid them.
I would outsource things, whether by ordering food instead of lovingly preparing it myself, hiring a cleaner instead of finding joy in maintaining my own environment or hiring a gardener instead of taking the time to nurture the life in my own back yard.
At the time I would tell myself that these were unimportant aspects of life and that my time was best served out there hunting, relentlessly pursuing more excitement, more money, more, more, more, more, more.
The thing I found with this everlasting pursuit for more of anything is that it never stops, as Bob Marley said, “Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.”
So I found myself trying to run faster and faster to catch a rabbit I could never catch, the game is not set up that way, to quote a mentor of mine Peter Sage, “The greyhound never catches the rabbit because it is never meant to.”
The moment I realised this, the moment the penny dropped, every ounce on meaning and purpose that I had derived from playing that game dissolved away. I found myself standing in the abyss, utterly disconnected from joy, from colour, from passion, from love.
In that moment my ability to go fast seemed to totally disappear, which was quite terrifying as I had always told myself that it was essential for me to ever achieve anything in life. I was fortunate enough to have some amazing friends and mentors then who gave me perfect advice.
Slow down, appreciate the now, it is all there is.
I realised that I had been forever living outside of the current moment, always getting stuck in the memories of the past or the imagined reality of the future.
Alan Watts said it beautifully, “Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal, for the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet is exists forever.”
So I started to take stock of the only place life truly exists, right now. I became adept at completely immersing myself in whatever activity or action I was currently engaged in. No more outsourcing, no more negating, no more avoiding.
I fell in love with ordinariness, playfully enjoying the chance to embrace truly Being.
To say this is therapeutic and soul nourishing is an understatement, I found deep purpose and meaning in everything, I found beauty in every step and fell head over heels in love with life and all it’s wonderful intricacies.
To this day one of my greatest joys is to observe ordinariness, completing simple tasks with absolute presence. There is nothing I have found which makes me feel more alive than this.
For me absolute presence is the greatest high there is, and Ordinariness is my gateway to get there.