Work/Life Balance: Making Every Day Sacred
By Wendy Betterini
So many of us rush blindly through our days, fall into bed exhausted, and wake up the next morning to do it all over again. For many of us, our lives are composed of millions of meaningless moments, all strung together - perhaps with a sprinkling of sacred moments mixed in. I'm sure you can think of a few sacred moments in your own life. Maybe your marriage, the birth of your child(ren), or perhaps a heartfelt moment of connection with a good friend. These are the moments when we are consumed with joy and awe. At these moments, we are fully present in the moment. We aren't worrying about tomorrow, or trying to rush through the experience to get to the next. We are in the now, and the now is amazing.
However, why do we wait for major events to honor these sacred moments? Why can't every day be sacred? Every moment? Each moment is sacred - if we decide to make it that way. I stated above that our lives are filled with meaningless moments, but those moments are meaningless only because we don't honor them. We are hurrying along, focused on other things, not stopping to notice them at all. They come and go without so much as an acknowledgement from us.
Honoring the sacred means simply choosing to make each moment count. It is a tiny shift in perception that assigns meaning and importance to each moment. It means stopping to notice the beauty and love around us, and within us. It means being fully present in each moment, because only the present moment truly exists. So many of us worry about the future, hold regrets about the past, and completely ignore the present. When we give the now our full attention, even mundane tasks can take on an aura of holiness. Then our lives become millions of meaningful moments. Nothing has changed except our perception, but it makes all the difference.
So how do we change our perception to one of sacredness? What does it mean to stay in the present moment? Let's use an example: washing dishes. When most of us wash dishes, we hurry through it, often thinking about the million other things we need to get done that day (or the next day). Our minds are scattered all over the place, focusing on everything but what we are doing. Who can blame us? Washing dishes is not the most exciting experience. However, if we choose to make it a sacred experience, we will want to focus on it. We want to take our time and really pay attention to how the water feels on our hands, how the soap cleanses away the grease and grime, and the sense of satisfaction we get as each dish moves from the dirty pile to the strainer, now clean and shiny.
Maybe that still doesn't sound very thrilling. Let's look at what else is happening. As we give our full attention to washing the dishes, we are not only "doing," we are BEING. Ah, that is the key. It doesn't matter what we're doing or not doing in each moment of our lives, it matters only that we become aware of our own state of Being. In those moments, we are fully alive and conscious. We are connected to everything, and we are One with everything. We ARE.
Have you ever heard the term, "walking meditation?" This can be great practice to help you honor the sacred in your own life. Many of us walk for health or recreation, but we can also walk for spiritual awareness. A walking meditation is a slow, focused walk where you give your full attention to each step you take, the feel of your muscles working, your breathing, and even your surroundings. Especially if you walk someplace in nature, a place with lots of trees and wildlife. The trick is to not let your mind wander, but stay focused on the now. It can take practice, but once you accomplish it, your life will never be the same.
Imagine living a full, meaningful life. Imagine miracles happening all around you. Imagine being filled with awe and gratitude each day, and laying down to sleep each night feeling peaceful and relaxed. You can. If you choose it.
About The Author
Wendy Betterini is a freelance writer and web designer in New England.