“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”
— Marcel Proust
When I saw this quote posted with today’s meditation, I paused and smiled.
My father, who passed away almost 14 years ago, always emphasized that it’s not what happens to you in the world that’s important but rather how you perceive it and even more importantly what you do with that. What do you see? What do you learn? How do you change and grow?
With day 4’s focus for the Oprah and (Deepak) Chopra meditation series entitled “Conscious Me” the journey continued forward into this interesting exploration of desire and destiny – specifically around the role that we play in manifesting the experiences we have.
It begins with this premise – there is abundance in the world. Now I will confess I’ve lived a fairly privileged life. My family wasn’t particularly wealthy but I certainly never lacked for anything. We had a beautiful home, took nice vacations, they were able to send me to a very good school. There always was food on the table, a roof over my head, a safe and comfortable place to sleep and a family that cared for me. There are many for whom that is not the case. Since moving to Las Vegas and living in the Downtown neighborhood, I’ve had a bit more up close and personal exposure to people whose lives are decidedly the antithesis of that which my experience has been.
The world in which we live is one fraught with messages of scarcity – driven by insecurity (especially in the workplace), greed and the media produced view that more is better. It also creates an environment of competition, one in which rather than believing that in my being successful others can succeed too, that I must fight, claw and compete to the top of the pile crushing all others in my wake.
To realize, as the cliche goes, that rising tides do raise all ships and to embrace the idea that by giving things away, by sharing of what I have and doing so – here’s the kicker – from a place of true humility and gratitude … everyone wins.
Every night before bed I put pen to paper and jot down some things for which I’m grateful. I’ll be honest, on some days it’s really hard. On others, the list just seems to pour from the pen. As I’ve embraced this practice I’ve found that often it’s really the simple things (fresh sheets on the bed, a warm cup of tea before sleep, the sound of one of my dogs dreaming) that warm and fill my heart.
All of these things, however, require awareness, consciousness and the ability (if not just willingness) to pay attention. The world surrounds us with opportunity every day – myriad doors everywhere one turns. First you must see it is there. Then you must make a choice to open it. Then it is your responsibility to walk through.