We take photos, create art, and tell stories to capture and share experiences, but what about being
in experience while it’s unfolding? The most powerful moments in my life have been ones which don’t always translate in words or images, but by jiminy, I am so glad for whatever made me stop to breathe those moments in deeply.
I carry them in my heart:
The shared cheese plate and wine flights with my dear zia while local musicians try to class-ify (but butcher) hits of the 90’s in the background.
Feeling of my keister on a cold stone fence, crickets chirping in the fields surrounding me, undisturbed by my presence and my heart bursting with wonder and fear.
A favourite, but relatively unknown, album coming over the speakers in a dirty little bar in Ottawa, bringing with it a flood of sweet and dirty memories from years ago.
I am hungry for more of these treasured moments, and i think: you probably are too.
The summer after teacher’s college, I worked at an outdoor centre and was the “Nature Specialist”. The lesson that I remember most was called “Tree Friends” and was one that was taught to every age range: from wee children to my colleagues. The lesson was pure, experiential fun. The stage was set for an elaborate reunion montage between the nature specialist and her best “tree friend”, Henry. [Imagine: bounding through the forest with a dozen kids and adults in tow, towards a giant tree to hug.]
After explaining why Henry was so important to me and all of the great things that Henry does, each participant was encouraged to find their own tree friend, get to know them, share some time with them and take away a special memento: a bark rubbing, a fallen leaf, etc. I was astounded that, throughout the summer, participants came back again and again to visit not only their tree friends, but Henry as well.
This taught me about the wide-eyed wonder of seeing and revelling in the present moment and how it transcends powerfully beyond just that moment.
How might you create sacred space in your experience right now?
Just stop. Whether you are in a hurricane of misadventure, stuck in traffic, or under the gun on a deadline: breathe. Take thirty seconds to check in with your heart and body and look around your space. What do you see or experience that deserves a second of eye-crinkling love sent it’s way? For example: during a crisis in the office, notice how your trusted colleagues tuck their heads down and get ‘er done for their clients. And, maybe, how the burger-fairy magically appeared to fuel that effort.
What’s important? You know what is important to you, so shuffle those things up the list for a minute or two. Like in the panic of getting dinner for ten guests ready, and the door bell rings to announce their arrival, shout “come on in” and use those three minutes to pour glasses of that wine that you want to roll around in. While they shuffle in, take a sip and hand them theirs with a smile.
Gratitude, baby. Under the swell of things-that-must-be-done, and on the achievement trail, it is easy to see what you aren’t, don’t have, and are lacking. Peek out from under that pressure trap and check in on a couple of things that you have to be grateful for. Even in the wildest storm, this moment of gratefulness creates a strong ray of light when you let it into your heart. For example, right this second, I am grateful for my bunny-suit (stop laughing). My bunny suit was made by my gorgeous cousin, is pink and made of the cuddliest fleece. It’s like wearing a hug, and it makes me feel cute and safe.
Finally, don’t step over the small stuff. It is often the smallest things that sparkle the most. If you are feeling drawn to step more fully into being in the sparkling experience of your life, I recommend that you read Christine Mason Miller’s beautiful work “Ordinary Sparkling Moments” and check out the magical moments that Jamie Ridler and pals are creating through her Sparkles ecourse.
Wishing you a day of fulling breathing in your powerful life.