The following easy exercise will help you to realize the truly new and unexpected life.
Each day, make it a point to spend some time in a natural setting. Never mind that you “don’t have the time.” If you want to find your way out of yourself, take the time. Go for a walk in a park, or just go outside where there’s sunlight and trees, maybe some birds or squirrels. To receive the unexpected, learn to invite it.
Look at life around you. Don’t sit there and think about it. See it. See the way a tree stands, the way a leaf falls, how sunlight streams across a road or field. See that nothing is static in life other than your own thoughts about your life. Just let go of your familiar self. Dare to drop your longings, your expectations about your life in favor of being willing to be alive… and welcome the unexpected. Come wide-awake to yourself. Then quietly know that all around you — in every living thing, and within you, in your life itself — there dwells an ever-expanding universe telling its story to those who will stop and listen for it.
As you work at this simple exercise, what you want from life will begin to change. Why? Because you will come to see, increasingly, that what you want already is yours. There is nothing to chase, nothing to pursue. There is nothing that can be held onto because not only is it clear that all of life is ever-enlarging herself, but to hold onto anything limits what you can have. The birth of this understanding is the beginning of the way out. Take it.
Even though we often speak of it being the “higher life,” the authentic spiritual journey is not so much about a direction in life as it is about an expansion of it.
Whenever you have an expansive moment of understanding, it is you that is opening up, entering into something that was always there, and that will always be there… forever continually becoming more of itself. This new self-understanding is like finding yourself within a beautiful sphere of light that is always larger than you are, even though it is within what you are. And within its new revelations are your new intentions, new energies, new everything. This unfolding process of infinite possibilities is a miracle. It is in you, yet you are in it, and the whole affair is always new, never expected.
New possibilities in life are always opening up, moment to moment, but we usually miss seeing them
because — in fearing the way in which they’ve been delivered —
we either have our eyes closed, or are looking the other way.
The more awake we can be,
the more mindful of the whole of ourselves we are before we start moving toward any aim in life,
the less likely we are to find ourselves feeling stressed, angry, or fearful over where we end up.