The Well

Tag: Happiness

Seize The Day

by Andrew Shaw on Jan.18, 2010, under Archives

Carpe diem.  Seize the day.  Live life to the fullest…  Phrases of life advice you’ve no doubt heard before.  The only problem is, we tend to forget these important words and become distracted by all our other plans and problems.  Until, something snaps back our attention.  Turn on the news right now and we’re witness to the devastation in Haiti.  We see the tragic loss of life and people struggling to survive.  There is no more powerful reminder of the preciousness of life than an event such as this.  We see how very fragile we all are.  We see how life can end in an instant.  This may be difficult to think about, but keeping this truth in mind, awakens you, changes your priorities, and motivates you to not waste time or opportunity. 

About a year ago, a plane landed on the Hudson River.  You know the story.  Interviews with passengers from this flight have shared a resounding theme.  All of the survivors have described a dramatic change in the way they live.  They say they’re grateful for every day they have now.  They say they’ve been given a second chance and they’re not going to waste that opportunity.  Some have changed careers, many have done some of the things they always wanted to but put off before, most spend more time loving than in anger, and all have an enormous appreciation for being alive.

The point of this week’s post, and this blog in general, is to provide small reminders for what’s important in life, and of ways of living that bring about greater happiness and well-being.  I love this picture of a sign in Santa Ynez, CA.  We all need signposts in our lives, to point us in the direction of what truly matters, in the direction of love, in the direction of gratitude, in the direction of living fully in the present moment.  I hope you can use this picture, this blog, the people of Haiti, the passengers of flight 1549, as a signpost, a reminder that life is short and precious.  Life is a gift and we know not what may happen tomorrow.  Carpe diem.  Seize the day.

Leave a Comment :, , , more...

Beginner’s Mind

by Andrew Shaw on Jan.11, 2010, under Archives

Over the Holidays, my wife and I visited her family in San Francisco.  We had a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute as we don’t get to see them nearly as often as we’d like.  We were also able to be with our nephew, William, who at 15 months, is completely fascinated by the world around him.  It is such a joy to watch him explore, so full of curiosity and enthusiasm.  Even something as simple as a light bulb going on and off is a profound event.  If you have children or have been around little kids at all, then you know what I’m talking about.  They are seeing everything for the first time.  For these young eyes, everything is full of wonder.  Everything is new and interesting.  Theirs is a whole-hearted eagerness. 

Unfortunately, I think we lose this sight as we grow older.  We lose this special ability to be amazed by, and to see the wonder in, the everyday.  We forget, or we take for granted, the mini-miracles happening all around us.  And we are quick to judge or presume we know everything there is to know about something.  There is a concept in Zen Buddhism called Beginner’s Mind.  It refers to having a mind like a beginner; an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions.  If we are able to practice letting go of all that we think we know, of letting go our need to be right or to be the expert, we open ourselves to new possibilities, to new discoveries, to surprises and to new insights.  We can shake off the old and like a child, see things anew.

Children are our best teachers in living this way and in showing us how to get back to the basics.  By watching how they live, we are reminded to awaken to the present, to be open to new experiences, to be curious and excited about life, to see the world anew, and to live in awe and wonder.  This can be an incredibly enriching and meaningful practice, one that brings greater clarity, appreciation, joy and happiness.

Be Well

1 Comment :, , , more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!