With the effects of global pandemic and resulting tragedies of loss of life and economic devastation being felt everywhere, my heart goes out to everyone struggling around the world. The novel coronavirus has struck my friends and family as well, taking the life of one of my good friends in Europe, and sickening my mother as well as other friends we hold dear.
At the same time that we witness so many sad stories, we also witness enormous kindness, bravery, and goodness springing from folks’ spirits everywhere. There seems to be a reality check going on in hearts of many, remembering what is really important versus what we’ve been told was important, or what we may have considered important before. Perhaps we can all see now that the shiny veneer of throw-away consumer culture has always been as superficial and unsustainable as the ad campaigns that sold us on it, and what really matters can never be bought.
A universal and time-honored truth is that when we are challenged by hardships, we appreciate anew the simple and best things in life, those intangible riches that bring us tangible happiness. The “best things” in life are different for everyone – yet as the old saying goes, they are free.
These days for me, the best things in life are many – the pure joy in my dog’s face after we play a long game of catch… the impossibly deep blue of the water and sky from my hilltop view in Sayulita… that look from a friend with whom I need not exchange a word to know exactly what we’re both thinking… the shining double rainbow that lit up the sky the other day… the buzz of a diligent wild bee through the tiny blue flowers in the fields near my home.
To remind ourselves of the divine in this life, sometimes it takes facing difficulty, an emotional jolt, or a shift in our collective cultural consciousness. Adversity has the magical ability to snap us out of a living sleep, helping us live more widely awake in the here and now, purely aware of what this moment is and has to offer – what this moment needs of us. Such an awakened state of life is a gift beyond measure.
So maybe the hard times our country and world are going through are a blessing in disguise. “There is always a piece of fortune in misfortune,” goes one of my favorite sayings. I hope we all find pieces of good fortune in any misfortunes we may endure now and in the future, always appreciating the present moment and seeking to find joy within it. After all, if we can be happy here and now, we will forever be happy, for there is only the here and now.
As I wrote in my book Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life: Appreciate this and every moment, no matter how imperfect, for this moment is your life. When you reject this moment, you reject your life. You don’t have to settle for this moment, you are free to steer a different course, but for now, this moment is yours, so be mindful to make the most of it.”
May you make the most of every moment now and forever. May you appreciate the best things in your life, the simpler the better. ♥