The Search for the Best Ever

March 1st, 2011

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” -Howard Thurman

It was a Monday,  in every sense and layered meaning of the word today.  It was a pouring-down, rainy, cold, windy Monday that made you wish you were back in bed. I wasn’t feeling well and my lack of focus quickly turned into missing scheduled appointments and a few other misdirected attempts to get things done.  Even taking the dogs for a walk in the driving rain only served to turn my umbrella inside out.

As I was walking I remembered the idea that Jack had taught everyone at his funeral yesterday- “this is the best ever…”  and I laughed to myself as I said out loud, this is the best coldest, rainiest walk ever.  All through the day, when things were coming undone,  I would jar myself awake again and looked for something to be the best ever.  It wasn’t spontaneous for me like I imagine it was for Jack, but it was a practice that changed my frustration and darkness into something else.

A lot of times we meet our frustrations with more of the same behavior that got us to that point. Taking the opportunity when things are not going right and life is not bending to our will as a sign to do something different is a sign of evolving humanity. For me, turning those moments toward something positive is revolutionary.

As I explored the “best-ever” space,  people around me were a little surprised. Sometimes we avoid changing our ways of dealing because we are worried about what other people will think;  but usually they don’t think nearly as much about us as we fear they do. And when you can have the presence of mind to be both different and positive, I imagine the only talk behind you when you leave the room is pleasant.

Besides that, changing how we react to frustrating situations, turning it on its head and finding anything that is the best of it offers a kind of freedom of experience. Not only are you not caught up in your habitual response, which has probably long lost any real utility, but you are actively experimenting with what life feels like new. Newness of any kind,  manufactured or stumbled upon is at the heart of the present moment.  Today, when the rainiest, windiest walk with the dogs turned into the best ever- I was immersed instead of resistant. It was fun even.

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