Beholding the Bliss … or … Missing the Moments??

The most nourishing part of my days is typically during in the darkened stillness of the pre-dawn morning. I wipe the sleep out of my eyes as I pour my coffee … and then … with the warm ambiance of battery-operated candlelight/twinkle lights, I nestle into the sublime solace as I wait for the sun to greet me through the picture window. Many years ago, the old boy switched out the teeny, tiny dining room window and replaced it with an extra large 9′ x10′ bay window that allows my eyes to effortlessly touch the world outdoors from the seated comfort of my reclining loveseat.

Yep. This is where/how I get centered for my day. For the past 325 days, I have been a student of A Course in Miracles and have listened to one lesson each and every day orated by Marianne Williamson. With a solid spiritual start to my day, I then follow it up with some journalling. Its been almost a year since I started meeting on the page in a private Facebook group with some very beautiful souls. We each share our answers to the monthly ‘journal prompt’ for the day. I found the questions on Pintrest. The connection and opportunity to engage with one another in such a deep and meaningful way has also become one of my most nourishing acts of self care.

At any rate, as I was typing up my reflections to the question of the day on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 … my eyes lifted … and I caught a glimpse of the most delicate stream of pink cascading across the ever brightening blue in the sky. My heart skipped a beat because I knew that what was visible to me from where I was seated was just a brief invitation to the magical gift that generated that colorful sky.

The magnificence of that moment came into fuller view as I drew closer to the window. I was so enchanted with it’s infinite expanse, I wandered upstairs to the balcony off my bedroom to capture a fuller appreciation of the glorious gift of this sunrise. I could see it continued beyond my field of vision so I went to the other side of the house … and … “Wow”. Those colors refused to be contained. They exploded exquisitely over the entire expanse of the Eastern sky.

I snapped a few photos of it with my phone. Something about those rich hues touched something deep inside of me … I can’t find the words to explain it, but I stood there, letting that delicious moment land fully within my awareness and completely capture my consciousness. I was so enamored by it that I posted this collage on Facebook so others could share in my delight!

Photo Credit: Karen Lanser

And then, before you know it … it was gone. Yep. Here is what it looked like just a few moments later.

Photo Credit: Karen Lanser

The fleeting nature of this divinely inspired artwork struck me in a way that it really never had before. I wondered how many times I might have failed to adequately appreciate these awe-inspiring offerings over my six plus decades on this planet?? And, that thought, inspired more curiosity within me around how many other beautiful, beneficent blessings are perpetually being bestowed upon me as I breeze unconsciously through the moments of my day? How many of these remarkable instances have been gifted to me that I never, ever even recognized … never mind made the time to fully unwrap and embrace??

I know that I don’t typically miss the really big and bold blessings that might be dropped along my path. I am thinking more about the ones that are not quite so glaring … the ones that unless one is wide awake and paying full attention might silently slip by without any fanfare. I am thinking about those instances when we might miss the chance to actually let them land in our hearts, minds and souls. I found myself questioning how many times I have robbed myself of being moved in a meaningful way. I reflected on how many times I might have missed a chance to co-create something glorious with the Universe in any given moment? I suspected there were oodles and oodles and oodles of them. As that truth became apparent, I felt a blush of regret wash over me.

Perhaps Mary Oliver is entirely and completely correct when she suggests:

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

Whoa?? What if? What if we are so mindlessly racing through our days that we are simply skimming the surface instead of living our lives to the absolute fullest? How many moments are we missing?

With deepest appreciation to Katharina Tina Rempel for this incredible capture. I adore her photography. She pays rapt attention … she is eager to be astonished … and she generously shares her experiences by posting many of her pictures with us on social media. Many years ago I asked for her permission to add some quotes to her photos so I could share them too. She graciously agreed. Thank you again Tina.

As we are rounding the corner towards two years since the pandemic began, it is tempting to get caught up in everything that is ‘wrong’ with our world right now. Covid-19 brought with it much more than a virus to darken our days. Fear has been the prevalent vibrational frequency since the start of this pandemic. And, sadly … it is almost impossible to escape that energy … even now … some 22 months into it.

But what if we countered the negativity in our space with more deliberate focus. What if we decided to look for moments of awe and wonder and kindness and compassion. What if we spent as much time sharing all of that benevolence as we do sharing the fearful memes that currently populate our minds and social media?

Rick Hanson PhD, a renowned psychologist and author, has written much about the neuroscience of lasting happiness. He reminds us that our brain is wired to notice the challenges, problems and issues. The ‘positives’ are expendable, because in terms of ensuring our survival, the ‘good stuff’ is entirely expendable. The ‘negatives’ however are never ignored by our neurobiology … and rather … become collected to the point where they can eclipse our perceptions of the favorable moments in our lives.

Hanson contends that positive experiences need to held in our awareness for at least 10 to 20 seconds for them to register in emotional memory … and … for the protein synthesis to activate neural growth. He, much like Mary Oliver, recommends that we:

Photo Credit: Karen Lanser

What if the magic of the moments can be multiplied and magnified simply by our conscious awareness? What if … a delight is truly doubled in the time it takes for us to simply take 10 or 20 seconds to simply soak it in and/or share it with others?

  • What might our days look like if we held tight to a random dot of light … and … let it brighten our path?
  • What if we really soaked in that a smile from stranger?
  • What if we curated our connections with more care, curiosity and compassion?
  • What if we kindled the kindness we extend/receive until we actually felt a swell in our hearts?
  • What if we really savored the next bite?
  • What if we leaned into our laughter just a little bit longer … until we could feel it warming our souls?
  • What if we mindfully let our lips linger beyond the customary peck? What if our hugs were less hurried?
  • What if we looked for what is right and good in each moment rather than what is wrong and bad?

What if we really paid more attention and consciously engaged with our lives just a little bit more intently and deliberately? I wonder what we would notice …

Photo Credit: Karen Lanser

With heartfelt determination to widen and deepen and mindfully shift my gaze … 🧡 Karen 💗

P.S. I noticed a hint of pink gently floating across the sky after I got home from work recently (November 20, 2021), I decided to heed Mary Oliver’s urgings. I chose to ‘pay attention’ to it’s call. I felt entirely awed and ‘astonished’. So, I thought I should also ‘tell you about it’ with a couple of collages.

Photo Credits: Karen Lanser
The palette of colors that unfolded over the hour I was witness to it … was nothing short of extra-ordinary!! 🙌

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl Hill
    Apr 11, 2023 @ 14:56:46

    That was really great 👍
    Very true about rushing past things without admiring.
    I’ve now 🐌 down… 😉❤️



  2. Betty Ann
    Apr 12, 2023 @ 10:14:33

    The darkest hour is just before dawn. When dawn breaks God surprises us with a new and different sky every day. There will never be the same. We need to appreciate that time of day and enjoy every moment. The most wonderful way to start each day.Bakolody1



  3. Marie Hutchison
    Apr 15, 2023 @ 11:17:46

    This is an incredibly beautiful post, Bestie. I love how you weave your thoughts and words together and put them to the page to inspire and delight us! And of course, the photos are spectacular! Thanks for being such a bright light in our world!



I'd sure love to hear your thoughts ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

My Tributes: Better Because of You ...

Better Because I Can Forgive Myself …

I acknowledge that for much of the first 40+ years of my life, I hid behind a really beautiful mask. I might have looked like I had it all together but, as I shared in another blog, I was suffering in silence and was a pretty conflicted soul. I deeply and desperately wanted to create […]

All our Lives are Better Because of our Laudable Leah!

I started this blogsite with the intention of honoring the people in my circle for the ways in which my world was a better place because of them.  And, for the most part, I have acknowledged friends, family and colleagues.  The person I have chosen to honor today was an acquaintance of mine for many […]

Better Because You Spark So Much Light!

Can any of you guess who this bright-eyed beauty might be?? I’d sure love to know what she was thinking when this picture was taken. I adore the gentle glow that ever so delicately glimmers through her upward glance. I can also sense such a sweet and sensitive soul reflected through that precious smile! I’ll […]

An Advent of Love … Better Because I’m bringing You Home For Christmas Momma!

Those of you who read my “Better Because you Spared Me …” blog will already be aware that Christmas 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of my Mom’s passing. You will also know that I didn’t even realize the loss of my Mom had remained so unprocessed … until the words, tears and unspoken grief spilled […]

Better Because You Spared Me …

Do you suppose this is true?? I am purposely pondering this possibility because … I don’t even know the man.  I do know who he is, though. And because we have lived in the same small, rural community for the past quarter of a century, I have seen him out and about every now and […]

%d bloggers like this: