Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Life Less Ordinary

What does it mean to live "a life less ordinary"? I started thinking about this after picking up a copy of a local publication called LEO Weekly. The featured story is about a local artist who "extracts the romantic and strange from everyday life". I was intrigued by the story because I have also have a deep desire to live "a life less ordinary" despite having a life that is by most standards quite ordinary. I don't think a life less ordinary is necessarily a large life with lots of adventure. If a large and exciting life was the only way to live a life less ordinary, most people would be unable to achieve it. The reality is that most people live in ordinary circumstances where their days and nights are filled with work and family, not to mention other obligations and responsibilities. Much has been said in recent years about living a "purpose driven life". I don't really like that term because it suggests to me a life of doing. The problem with most people's lives is that there's too much doing. Endless activity, demanding commitments, and over booked calendars are a hindrance to living "a life less ordinary" in my opinion. How do I try to live "a life less ordinary"? I strive to do it through the practice of mindfulness and my attempts at Zen. I strive to do it by trying to live in the moment, by trying to be spiritually awake and aware, by trying to notice the extraordinary that is often hidden in the ordinary, and by being sensitive to the different colors and nuances of life around me. It can be as simple as noticing the fragrant aroma of my neighbor's honeysuckle bushes as I walk into my home at the end of a workday. So for me "a life less ordinary" is really about a life where I am more in touch, more sensitive and aware, and more alive to the life I have. Life is not about quantity, it's about quality.

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