Ordinary Moments

“There are no ordinary moments”

Those words were written by Dam Millman, one of my favorite authors. He actually wrote a book by that name. It was part of his Peaceful Warrior series.

How many times do we simply allow life to pass us by? How often do we get so caught up in what we have to do, where we have to be, what bill we have to pay, that we simply let the moments pass us by? We rush around from here to there bound and determined to get the latest mission in our life accomplished. We eat what we can when we can. We sleep or rest when it’s convenient for us to do so. The stresses of life are like a thief who is constantly attempting to breach our defenses. Most of the time that thief succeeds and steals our life moments away from us.

Of course we have to work. We have to pay our bills. We have to “make a living”.  But why must we obsess on all of these things every single moment of our life? How many young people (and I mean in their twenties or early thirties) are suffering from high blood pressure, ulcers, heart conditions, or a combination of these? Just pull through the local fast-food drive through on your way to that next important appointment and scarf down that double cheeseburger, fries, and soda as you drive as fast as you can to get there on time and make a great impression.

In the book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Socrates tells Dan to sit on the hood of an old car out back of the garage and meditate until he has something useful he can tell him. Dan goes out and in the heat of the summer sun begins to try to think of something to tell his mentor. He runs back into the garage several times with “wise” sayings to which Socrates responds by sending him right back out into the heat. Finally Dan stops trying to come up with something and lets his mind relax. At this point he sees something which flips the switch in his mind. He rushes back in and tells Socrates, “There are no ordinary moments!”

Some time later Socrates asks Dan, “Where are you?”

“Here”, responds Dan.

“What time is it?” the old man asks.

“Now”, is the much wiser Dan’s answer.

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves those kinds of questions. More importantly we have to have those answers. It only takes five seconds to breathe deeply and do this little exercise. Try it. You may be surprised at how much your heart rate will go down. It is a very simple form of centering that can and will do wonders for you when those stresses in life are beating at your door.

I encourage all of you to read the book(s). If you’re not a reader, rent the Peaceful Warrior movie. Like most movies based on a book, you won’t get as much out of it as you would reading it but still worth the time. I also encourage you to stop every so often during the day and center yourself. Who knows, that “important” appointment may suddenly not seem so important at all. You might find yourself wanting to go pick up your kids or your significant other and spend the afternoon in the park making ordinary moments extraordinary life events.

  1. June 9, 2012 at 7:45 am

    There truly ARE no oridnary moments! And here I was, thinking I was a nutcase for finding so much wonder and so many tiny miracles in most very moment of my life!

    • June 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      I have found that sometimes on my worst day I can look down at a plant growing or see a young bird in flight and the wonder of such a small thing is as awesome as the vastness of the universe. Suddenly, the day isn’t so bad because of such a small miracle.

  2. June 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Where are you > Here

    What time is it ? Now.

    That got me.

    • June 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      That part of the book will always stay with me and it is but one of the many many small lessons in it.

  3. June 10, 2012 at 12:53 am

    added to my list…thanks

    • June 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Very much worth adding, Mira. You will be hooked. One of the things that Dan is up front and very honest about is that all of the books were based on his actual life. The charecter, Socrates, is actually the embodiment of several wise people in his life that helped him find enlightenment.

  4. June 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    a great read (~_~)

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