Extraordinary Life

“The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things.”
——Veronique Vienne

History has given us a parade of saints, seers, poets and philosophers who have instructed us to embrace “bliss” here in this life and not to wait until heaven. In America, Joseph Campbell began to teach us about bliss. He was followed by Bill Moyer’s, The Power of Myth. “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of tract that has been there the whole while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”

We experience happiness when something outside of the regular dreary, repetitive routine of our everyday lives. Something external from us happens to shake us up and brings a feeling of gladness or happiness. It could be buying a new house, free tickets to a play, an invitation to a major league baseball game. If something happens to change the event we are upset and not happy any longer. The happiness came from an external source.

Bliss is not external. It comes from within and it doesn’t involve other people or events or times in our lives. You can recognize it when you experience joy, unusual sustained happiness or the awareness of the sensuous in the ordinary.

An ordinary life is something that conjures up images of drudgery and boredom and repetitive endless actions. As a child, I knew I didn’t just want to exist or survive. This was my concept of ordinary. But you can find the extraordinary in life with simple things. One very important aspect is to live in the moment. Allow yourself the pleasures of life. Smell the fragrance in the flowers even if they still need weeding. Stand for two minutes and find the dragon in the clouds. Put a pot of water on to boil filled with your favorite spices and allow yourself to enjoy the aroma all day long.

Set the table with special china once in a while to make the roast beef and steamed vegetables feel like you are enjoying Beef Wellington in an expensive restaurant.

Following your bliss can take you to a new job that you never expected to get or to finding a new friend who really “gets you.” Your bliss can be something that you can’t even imagine right now but the inner voice takes you to a place that just leaves you joyful.Your bliss can also take you to your backyard where you can have the most restful, relaxing day you have had in months. An afternoon lying on a chaise lounge in the sun, sipping lemonade and reading the book you have been trying to find time for, This can bring you sheer bliss and contentment.

Life can be filled with bliss especially when we listen to our inner selves. It is the incandescent in your life. It is the bandage which covers the wounds we receive in life and heals the wounds more quickly.

Bliss is personal and private like prayer. Women have bliss triggers and blockers. Mine is walking on a beach in the sunset. Yours might be mint chocolate ice cream. I feel bliss eating fresh veggies and fruit from a farmer’s market. Your bliss can be just taking a day trip and visiting your childhood home. That feeling you get when it feels as if you can’t stop smiling and are filled with sunshine.

This bliss is what can turn your ordinary life into an extraordinary one. Blogging is one of the things that makes my life extraordinary. Visiting an art museum to see a new visiting exhibit thrills me and I am experiencing bliss. I challenge you to start to take the ordinary in your life and make it extraordinary. And know that Divinity is well pleased. We are here to experience this gift called life.

Holden Beach, NC Photo by Barbara Mattio

Holden Beach, NC Photo by Barbara Mattio