The Ordinary is the Most Extraordinary

Guess what, friends? I’m about to tell you something that is going to blow your mind. Literally.  It’s going to shake the entire ground of your existence simply because it is so directly opposite of how we do things, how we think we need to be, what we think accomplishing the next thing [insert your own goal(s) here] will bring us. Here it goes:

 

Let go of all the stuff that you think makes (or will make) you extraordinary. Drop it. Let the should be/shouldn’t be, cannot, will not, should not, must-be-more self just fall away.  Let your life allow you to BECOME MORE ORDINARY. Stop searching, stop seeking, stop striving. That which you seek is already and always here. Now. And all that searching, seeking, and striving is actually keeping you from experiencing it. Instead of "go big or go home," just simply come home, come back in to reconnect with your most essential self.

 

Many years ago, I came across an excerpt from one of Georg Feurstein’s essays in The Deeper Dimension of Yoga, a collection of essays and commentary on the tradition and philosophy of the system of yoga. If you don’t own it and you practice yoga – or especially if you teach yoga – please get it and read it. Here's what he says:

"The closer we are to Self-realization, or enlightenment, the more ordinary we become. Only seekers striving for liberation as if it were a trophy glamorize the yogic process and themselves.  They want to be extraordinary, whereas liberated beings are perfectly ordinary. They are as happy washing dishes as they are sitting quietly in meditation or teaching their disciples. For this reason yoga from the beginning celebrated not only the path of the world-renouncing ascetic but also that of the world-engaging householder who uses opportunities of daily life to practice the virtues of a yogic lifestyle."

 

For so many reasons, I love this. At first, it’s like a get out of jail card, because you realize that you you don't have to push so hard, to try so hard. You're free to move around. But then, you realize that there’s no jail, never was, and there is no amount of property you can buy that would make this moment, this life better [pardon the Monopoly metaphor]. All that you have and all that you are is enough. Perfectly, ordinarily enough.

 

But perhaps more importantly than even the recognition of the perfect ordinariness of “liberation,” is the acknowledgement of “the world-engaging householder” who recognizes and uses that which daily life presents to wake up to the fact that the ordinary is the most extraordinary. This breath, this moment, this everything. Life is the Guru. If you can’t see it HERE in the ordinary, you most certainly won’t see it THERE in the glamorous extraordinary. The ordinary is the most extraordinary.