Art in Action is a weekly post: a short, practical guide to applying the ideas and principles in the Focus Pocus posts to your body and life. As always, I love to hear from you about how you use them and how you translate the ideas into action.
“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” ― Abraham Joshua Heschel
Now that the rush and tumble and delightful distraction of the holidays is over, we can really dig into the magic of everyday wonders. Whether you are relieved or disappointed that the string of special occasions is behind us, here are four simple ways to tap into the magic of the mundane. These are great to do any time but perhaps particularly when you are feeling bored or disappointed or frustrated. It’s really about noticing the good that is all around that we usually take for granted.
Pause and notice what your five senses are letting you experience: the sweet sour taste of grapefruit, your sweater against your skin, the smell of coffee, sight of colors and shapes and light and dark, the sounds of traffic and kids playing and a basketball slipping through a net. For the moment, set aside your preferences and just notice (and even wonder at) what your senses allow into your awareness.
2. Body Functions
It’s easy to focus on what’s not working well in our bodies whether it’s a persistent cold, a nagging injury or a chronic illness or disease. And yet, even when our physical health is poor, as long as we are alive, there are things in our bodies that are working. Identify as many things you can that feel good and that *are* functioning before diving into address what’s not working.
3. Everything That Works
And it’s not just in the body: it’s also easy to put all our attention on the transmission that’s gone south or the pipe that’s leaking or the political system that’s broken down. Balance your view of your house, your life, your country by looking at what *is* working. After traveling in our camper all summer, hot water coming out of a faucet struck me as an incredible miracle. It’s not about ignoring what needs to be fixed, but rather about seeing the whole picture that includes clean air, maintained roads, the World Wide Interwebs and showers.
Look at your hand. Take in all the details of color and texture and shape. Then move your hand: stretch your fingers, make a fist, touch your thumb and each finger. Suddenly, this appendage that we use all day can become an extraordinary work of art and engineering. Any time you’re feeling annoyed or disillusioned, look at the details of something simple that you don’t think about much: your tea cup, a leaf that the kids tracked in, your own eyes in the mirror. All at once, you’re looking at a miracle.
Share what you notice and how you find the magic in the mundane in the comments below or at the Focus Pocus Facebook page. We can inspire each other with what we find! And if you leave a comment, I will be happy to send you some art that you can make miraculous in your own way!
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