After you read this post, close your eyes and reflect back on your life. Go back as far as you can to those memorable and meaningful moments, starting with your days as a child and all the way up to today. Take your time and visualize yourself and those who shared the moments with you.
Exploring old photo albums, yearbooks, and social media images and posts can expand your recollections.
Which events do you consider to be of greatest significance? What are the defining moments that shaped your values, beliefs, and character to have you become the person you are today?
How can and will you more consciously capture and appreciate more memorable and meaningful moments as you head into the days, weeks, and years that lie ahead?
When was the last time you took a long car ride? Go back in time to look at those family vacations where you loaded up the station wagon, minivan, or SUV and headed to parts unknown, to kick back and take life at a slower pace.
These days, many of us check our most popular navigation app to get where we want to go as directly as possible. This direct and speedy route often involves highways, lots of cement, asphalt, other vehicles, the occasional farm, and perhaps cows grazing along the road.
In what ways are the twists, turns, and bends in the road of life taking you on a much more meaningful and fulfilling journey? What intentional detours can and will you take now and in the future to enjoy the ride even more?
We do live in a material world in which dealing with our day-to-day physical environment is essential. For most people, life is filled with highs and lows, with varying levels of happiness along the way.
A surprising thing happens when we periodically move beyond or perhaps better said, within, to examine, discover, and explore our spiritual and soulful selves.
Beyond deepening your own spiritual practices, consider exploring the journey toward greater happiness within by reading, and studying the book, Toward a Meaningful Life. Perhaps discuss it with others in your life who are also ready for a deeper look around.
“Her soul was too deep to explore by those who always swam in the shallow end.”
Image from ripplecentral.com
Most of us are familiar with the stories of prospectors digging for gold or other precious gems, and know that these valuable resources are rarely found at the surface. We must dig deep into the earth to claim them.
The same is true if we wish to reap the rich rewards of deep and meaningful relationships with friends, family, and colleagues. Scratching the surface with limited attention virtually never creates the respectful, trusting, and soulfully satisfying relationships we all desire.
Where and with whom can you explore and pursue a deeper, more meaningful relationship in either your personal or professional life?
Big things get a lot of attention in our world. Society makes a point to recognize and celebrate things that stand out, such as:
The highest mountains
The tallest trees
The biggest buildings
The largest ships
The biggest athletes
The richest people
The largest homes
Meanwhile, when prompted to look closely at what brings them personal satisfaction and a life of meaning and purpose, many people list the often-overlooked “little things” that bring them smiles and fill their hearts.
If you, too, see the “little things” as big things in your life, consider generating a list of 20, 50, or even 100 “little things” that mean a lot to you.
-Mahatma Gandhi, leader of Indian independence movement in British-ruled India
Mahatma Gandhi was always helping and concerned about others. His aims in life included truth, non-violence, spirituality, honesty, discipline, and loyalty. His name, Mahatma, means “a great soul.” He was chosen as “Man of the Millennium” by the BBC.
Once, while Gandhi’s train was pulling out of a station, a European reporter ran to his compartment window. “Do you have a message I can take back to my people?” he asked. It was Gandhi’s day of silence, a vital respite from his demanding speaking schedule, so he didn’t reply. Instead, he scrawled these words on a scrap of paper and passed it to the reporter: “my life is my message.”
If your life were your message, what would the people around you say about you? Given, hopefully, many successful and meaningful years ahead, what new or different messages would your legacy include?
Please consider reviewing the links below to examine Gandhi’s extraordinary message in greater detail.
“The universe will fill your cup if you carry a big cup, a little cup, or a thimble.”
– Sonia Choquette, spiritual teacher and author
How full is your life? If it is so full that things are spilling out, perhaps this is because your life vessel is too small, and because some of the wrong things are trying to enter.
This quote points to the importance of the size of our life’s vessel, so that it can hold the abundance which the universe can provide. It suggests we have the ability to shift the size from one of limitation to one of greater proportions.
An additional consideration I’d like to suggest is to place a filter over the opening, and let only those people and experiences best suited to your specific life journey enter.
What actions will you take now and in the future both to expand the capacity of your life container and to accept only the highest quality ingredients for a full and happy life?
In other words, let’s go for both: quantity and quality.
– Henry D. Thoreau, author and leading transcendentalist
My father Marvin, at the age of 85, is one of the people I most admire. Throughout my life, he always referred to himself as one of the richest men in the world. We lived very modestly in a row house in Philadelphia, and I can never recall him complaining about his life.
He included among his riches:
A loving marriage
A job as a teacher, coach and counselor, where he got to make a difference
A happy family life with three wonderful kids (including me :-))
Close and loyal friends
A good sense of humor to laugh at life and even at himself
What are your personal riches that cost you little, yet bring you great wealth?
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