“Your daily life is your temple. When you enter into it, take with you your all.” – Khalil Gibran
When we think back to the times when tribal culture was still dominant, we can’t help but notice that the pace of life was significantly different back then. It was slower, serene and simpler. This barebones lifestyle removed any potential barriers between the natives and their natural surroundings.
The rituals, ceremonies and beliefs were all centered on the celestial activities, the seasons and cyclical nature of life. Natives felt more connected to the rhythm of trees, plants and animals. What they lacked in modern conveniences, they made up for in their incredible sense of depth, reverence and faith.
I witnessed this in the eyes of my own grandmother, who lived in a village all her life. When she had to temporarily move to the city, due to a medical condition, she had a tough time fitting in. She could not understand how we “city folk” could cope with living in such a hyperactive and hectic environment. Neither did she care much for the striking skylines, fast transportation and manicured streets.
After fully recovering, she promptly moved back to her rural haven. She was happy to return to a home where she could pluck fresh vegetables, cook food on a log stovetop, and gather milk from her cows. Her soul craved for a modest and balanced way of living that brought her a sense of peace and tranquility.
I believe that my grandmother was in tune with a universal need that goes beyond the basic and superficial, and that is the need for meaning and simplicity. Today, most people are either unaware of this need or just don’t acknowledge it. This negligence almost always results in dire consequences.
In our modern age, we have become increasingly desensitized to that which is real and meaningful. Just walk down a busy street in a big city such as New York, London or Tokyo and you’ll see tense individuals, speed walking to their destination, while frantically checking their smartphones and sipping on a latte.
Demanding work schedules and overstimulation from our environment makes it difficult for us to slow down and give our minds and bodies the rest and stillness it requires. It’s no wonder that stress-related problems and mental health issues have steadily been on the rise. This global epidemic clearly indicates that our present way of living is not working for us and that change is needed.
Finding the sacred in everyday life will not only restore our sense of wellbeing but give us direct access to a state of bliss. Bliss is a lasting and special pleasure that comes from living from the center of your life and being in tune with your mind and heart and the source of life. In a blissful state, you live in accordance with the deep laws of nature and experience a sense of joy and lasting pleasure.
Bliss cannot be found in shallow and fleeting sources of happiness. A new car, a job promotion or a pair of shoes will only delight you temporarily. It can only be found in the sacred, which, according to Abraham Maslow, is found in the ordinary daily life – in one’s neighbors, friends and family, and even one’s back yard. He inferred this from the wisdom of mystics, Zen Monks and Humanistic psychologists.
Witnessing the sacred is an internal experience that we can nurture over time. It’s an attitude that came to us easily when we were kids, but have lost over time. Fortunately, we don’t have to retreat into a cave or give in to pangs of nostalgia – as adults in the modern world, it is still possible to imbue our day-to-day personal moments with sacred qualities by taking time-outs from our daily busyness.
We can access the sacred every single day of our life by adopting a regular and dedicated practice that keeps us in a mellow state of being and helps us stay conscious of the way we’re processing our surroundings. Here are some more ideas on how to find the sacred in everyday life:
- Access the sacred through a hobby or practice: Accessing the sacred is deeply personal and feels different for each and every person. Some people access it through traditional methods of meditation, prayer, breathwork, yoga and several other esoteric practices. There’s a myriad of other ways you can reach this peaceful state of being, such as engaging in a creative hobby, spending time in nature, witnessing art, or engaging in play and fun. Whatever it is you choose to do, ensure that it reduces your inner chatter and invokes feelings of awe, gratitude, mystery, timelessness and love within you.
- Let go of what no longer serves you: You can’t experience the sacred when you’re holding onto old energies and thought patterns that no longer serve you. Doing so will energetically block you and blind you from recognizing the special essence all around you. For this reason, it is essential that you de-clutter your mind, detox your body and let go of the things and people that are draining your life force.
- Engage all your senses: The busyness and distractions in our environment causes most of us to live inside our heads and miss out on all the subtleties and nuances of life. We can overcome this tendency by noticing when our minds goes into a tailspin, and then re-orienting our focus on the sensory input we receive from our five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. By doing this, we avoid missing out on simple pleasures like the smell of a baby’s fragrance, the taste of an exquisite piece of chocolate, the touch of a cashmere sweater, the incredible views of a sunset, and the sound of birds chirping. Processing your world through your five senses is one of the most effective ways to live in the present moment. It prevents our thoughts from being swayed towards concerns about the future or the past and allows us to live in the here and now, where we can access all the gifts that our present has to offer.
- Cultivate gratitude and simplicity: Sometimes we may not like what’s going on in our present life and we’ll be tempted to give in to unhealthy forms of escapism. We can steer ourselves from any kind of pathology or neurosis by simply cultivating an attitude of gratitude and simplicity. There’s been so much written about the power of gratitude and how it can instantly raise our personal vibration. The unassuming act of appreciating the simple things that we normally take for granted can instantly shift our perspective on our life and uplift us in the process. A warm cup of hot cocoa on a winter’s day or your loyal pooch who’s always by your side, especially after rough days, or your healthy body and mind that allows you to stay active are all simple yet profoundly blessed realities that we can appreciate.
Writer Paulo Coelho once said that it’s the simple things that are the most extraordinary and only the wise can see them. I firmly believe that you can gain this wisdom once you align your heart, mind and spirit with an elevated and sacred realm of consciousness that goes beyond the obvious and the superficial. When you see life through the lens of love and grace, you’ll see a whole new world.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What do you consider to be sacred in your life? What steps can you take to appreciate it more?
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