Eric closed his eyes as he rubbed his temples for what seemed like the twentieth time that hour. His life lately resembled an episode from a daytime soap opera rather than reality. A thought entered his crowded consciousness: “What is it about me that I can not have a quiet, calm, uninterrupted life?”
Sheila discussed the twists and turns through the past decade with her new friend, Danelle, over a Mocha Java at her neighborhood coffee house. The aroma of baking bread filled the room as her hands gestured with her eyes wide. Her hearty laugh rose through the room. Danelle stated simply, “Your life has been anything but dull! How do you do it?”
Sheila paused as she allowed her warm drink to fill her throat and chest. Looking contemplative, she softly said, “I would not have it any other way.”
Eric Hoffer, twentieth century American social theorist said, “The remarkable thing is that it is the crowded life that is most easily remembered. A life full of turns, achievements, disappointments, surprises, and crises is a life full of landmarks. The empty life has even its few details blurred, and cannot be remembered with certainty.”
Making the most of your landmark experiences will insure your life will be both memorable and filled with meaning.
Here is how to maximize your landmark experiences:
1. Facing a landmark experience with gratitude is sure to energize it towards the positive. Being grateful for something which on the surface looks contrary to your plan for life is highly unnatural. Perhaps THIS is why it is so effective. As ridiculous as it sounds, practice the tiniest gratitude for the situation, and grow that gratitude daily. You will notice a difference in a short period of time, guaranteed.
2. Honor the message the landmark experience is sending you. Instead of pushing through the time or aggressively creating a struggle, invite the experience to dance. Listen for its rhythm. Match its movements with your own. Engage it as a partner. Deciding to honor and respect your experience will bring you through it more quickly than rushing it: sort of the tortoise and the hare race in life practice.
3. Remain in integrity throughout your experience. Keep your balance and focus on the totality of your life, not simply on this experience. As you persist in a place of gratitude and honor, you will see that being in integrity is a natural, flowing, peaceful state when you partner with the twists and turns in your life instead of viewing life from an adversarial perspective.
4. Steer clear of judgement in relationship to your landmark experience. Instead of seeing it as completely chaotic or wholly ridiculous or the most magnificent growth episode ever in your entire life, simply allow it to be what it is for you in that particular moment. Over time, your perspective will ripen towards the proper valuation. While you are in it, allow yourself to simply be in it without attachment, without evaluation, without analysis.
Jeff was hiking with his younger brothers and sisters as they came to a stream deep in the woods. Looking to him for guidance, his sister Molly asked him, “Can we drink from here?”
Jeff surveyed the scene, looking for a spot where there were plenty of stones for the water to bubble over. “Grandpa used to tell me to look for the rockiest spot: the water is purest there.” Kneeling down by the water’s edge, he cupped his hands and offered his sister a sip of cold, clear refreshment. The ripples and rapids made by the rocks naturally purify the water making the taste crisper and cleaner.
Molly drank the water Jeff offered with reckless abandon. She got down on her belly so she could peer into the stream and drink directly from the magical spot where the rough hewn rocks made the water run true, clear and refreshing.
Your landmark experience, with its jagged edges, unexpected drops and dips and turns will purify your life experience as well. When you follow the simple steps outlined here, it will empower you to lead the life you were meant to live. Take your time to look from a new perspective. Then take a long, slow drink. Remember your life. Live it with passion, today.
Julie Jordan Scott is a Co-Founder of We Coach People Network: a Community for Coaches to Create a Webpresence and Methods for Achieving Coaching Success without Breaking the Bank. Find out more about this new site now: http://www.WeCoachPeople.net Visit her website: http://www.5passions.com