Happy Haven with Brandi-Ann Uyemura

Happy Haven with Brandi-Ann Uyemura

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

{flickr photo}

People often wait for mind-boggling miracles, the way they used to wait for Santa Claus. But I’d argue that extraordinary moments creep up on us even on seemingly ordinary days.

Years ago, I was sitting in traffic. It was morning and the sun had already begin to rise. I felt its rays shining through the car and beating down on my beat-up no-AC Nissan Sentra. I hadn’t been thinking about anything spiritual. My radio was off. And the only view I had in front of me was the stock pile of cars that mimicked a parking lot during Christmas season. I could have felt anxious, angry, nervous about being late for work. And on another day I probably would.


But not that day. Instead, in a single moment I felt a jolt of what could only be described as pure unconditional love. I felt it emanate not just from the sunshine pouring through the windshield of my car, but all around. It encompassed my entire being. And it left behind a surge of peace, gratitude and love. Just as I was starting to analyze the source of this extraordinary ordinary miracle, it was gone. The only evidence of its presence were the wet drops leaving a trail down my face.

After it happened, I gazed around at the cars next to me and wondered if they felt it too. But all I saw were people phased out or annoyed with the wait. What they were missing by focusing on where they wanted to get to instead of being in that moment.


In The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want By Being Present to the Live You Have, author Mark Nepo says,

“Anything that removes what grows between our hearts and the day is spiritual. It might be the look of a loved one stirring their coffee as morning light surprised their groggy eyes. It might be the realization while watching a robin build its nest that you are only a temporary being in this world. It might be a fall on ice that reminds you of the humility of your limitations…whatever comes from a moment’s grace that joins us to our lives and to each other-this is spiritual.”

As you go about your day, I challenge you to find the miracle at the grocery store, while you’re driving in traffic, as you spend time with loved ones. Spirituality exists there as seeds waiting for you to notice it, embrace it and smell the fragrant flower of its beauty.

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