Even in the longest life real living is the least portion thereof

“Even in the longest life, real living is the least portion thereof.”

—Seneca, Roman stoic philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Jeremy Belanger

Social media posts are fascinating.

When we scroll and post we are constantly editing and discerning how we and others are living.

Like an editor of a film, newspaper article, or book, we take out all of the items of marginal interest and leave only what seems noteworthy and exceptional.

If a documentary film crew were to spend a typical day, week, or even a year following you and your family, how much real living would remain?

How much trivial and meaningless footage would be left on the cutting room floor?

EXERCISE:

What qualities of life represent real living to you?

How can and will you infuse more of these genuine and meaningful expressions of living into your days?

What shifts in perspective might have you reconsider what and how much of these experiences you share with others?

If you can’t see what you’re looking for, see what’s there

“If you can’t see what you’re looking for, see what’s there.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Anne Nygård

What is your relationship with reality? How often do you find yourself upset by the fact that your expectations of things go unfulfilled? Many of us often resist aspects of our lives only to notice during times of “heel digging” that these things seem to become even more persistent.

My meditation practice over the past several years has increased my capacity to accept and allow more things to be as they are, and appreciate the law of impermanence. Looking harder for things that aren’t actually there prevents us from seeing what it is that we can actually work with and influence.

EXERCISE:

Where is it time to take off your rose-colored glasses and see things as they are? How can and will you work with and influence your reality to improve the things you can, and accept the things you can’t?

 

What part of your reality can you meet with more acceptance

What part of your reality can you meet with more acceptance?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from NBC

During the cold months Wendy and I often spend some of our quality time watching TV.  Although we sometimes differ in what constitutes quality viewing, we both agree that NBC’s “This Is Us” is toward the top of our list.

In a recent episode, the mother is diagnosed with plaque in her brain, with early signs of memory loss and dementia. Realizing this decline and other aspects of the aging process she does a beautiful job taking the viewer through many challenging feelings and emotions. Her authenticity, vulnerability, and courage to meet her reality with greater acceptance is done with grace and warmth.

EXERCISE:

Where would greater acceptance of your reality support you in living a more fulfilling and satisfying life?  Consider trying an equanimity meditation to explore being more accepting of your reality as a daily practice.

 

“The reality of where you are is always more important than the ideal of where you imagine you should be.”

“The reality of where you are is always more important than the ideal of where you imagine you should be.”

Jeff Warren, Canadian author and meditation teacher

Image from Unsplash by Alejandro Piñero Amerio

For the past few months, I have added Calm’s daily trip to my meditation practice. Jeff Warren, the author and narrator of these ten-minute segments, put the practice of meditation and mindfulness into an edgy and contemporary perspective, which I find novel and engaging.

Today’s quote is satisfying and reassuring. It reminds me to more fully appreciate where I am and what I have. This feeling and knowing helps in my happiness efforts and expands my capacity for gratitude.

EXERCISE:

How would embracing the idea that “someday” is not actually a day of the week help you live more fully today? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves — we might miss something very important.