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Does chasing an “extraordinary life” really make us happy?

by | Create a Turning Point

On a plane back to New York recently after a week in Israel with my daughter, I had an epiphany. I was listening to Brené Brown on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast..

Brown said, “Sometimes, this world is tough because we shame and diminish ordinary.…We chase extraordinary moments instead of being grateful for ordinary moments until hard shit happens. Then, in the face of the really hard stuff—illness, death, loss—the only thing we’re begging for is a normal moment.”

This trip was my first visit to Israel since my dad passed away. I had been on a flight from New York to Israel to see him when he made his transition. The flight back from his funeral had been very emotional. Even the thought of transitioning back to “normal” life after losing my dad was hard.

This time around, my visit was more ordinary.

If you’re a mom, you know the feeling of happiness that comes with nurturing your children, no matter how old they are. I had felt from 6000 miles away that my daughter needed some “mommy time,” which aligned very well with my motherly need to nurture and care for her.

I stayed with my daughter and her boyfriend in their new apartment, and I spent most of my time doing ordinary things: Getting groceries. Cooking. Doing the dishes. Cleaning the kitchen counter. Helping them buy plants. Taking walks. Having meaningful conversations. Listening to my daughter and acknowledging her. Validating how she felt. Watching TV with her while snuggling on the couch.

I released any pressure that I usually put on myself to see as many friends as possible, to go to concerts, or to conduct business related to my life and family in Israel. I simply lived an everyday life while doing my best to be present for my daughter.

I did some work. I kept my daily routines: Giving myself Reiki. Meditating. Practicing gratitude.

“Ordinary” felt great.

“Ordinary” felt extraordinary.

We are often conditioned to think that the extraordinary is what will make us happy.

But what if the ordinary moments are what actually bring us peace?

What if the ordinary moments are what make us happy, and the rest will fall into place naturally?

If you have attended one of my workshops or classes, or if we have worked together privately, I’m sure you have heard me talk about thinking big, dreaming big, and shining your light in a bigger way.

Yes! I believe that we are meant to live as the beacons that we were born to be.

We are being called to raise our vibration and contribute to a world that needs us.

Raising the vibration in the world, one woman at a time, is the mission of the Beacons of Change community.

But we must remember to appreciate the simple things in life.

We must create ordinary moments and recognize that every ordinary moment can make us happy if we let it. Every ordinary moment can fill our hearts with gratitude and appreciation.

Barack Obama said, “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”
Allow yourself to be an ordinary person.

Be mindful and present in the moment. Feel a sense of appreciation for the life that you have while washing the dishes, walking the dog, watching your loved ones, or cleaning the kitchen counter.

While writing this blog I came across this poem by William Martin that summarizes the sentiment well:

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

The extraordinary will take care of itself. Today, let’s all strive to be as ordinary as possible.


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