How many of you are feeling the big-yawn of your daily life right now, the measured and dull predictability of things just marching along?
Sometimes when we feel mired in the same-old, same-old it's hard to imagine that our life could really be edged in Shine, could reflect the more brilliant and enlivening aspects of who we are.
While we may get the concept of Shine we still find ourselves living ho-hum, the two states, Shine/Ho-Hum, feeling more like two planets a million miles apart.
And even though we suspect our ho-hum is somehow connected to our brilliance, what's alive and dynamic in us is often overlooked for what's mundane and often just inching its way along.
We live a lot of grey. And it's not just the weather.
Some of it's Habit-Mind
A big part of our dullness comes from the mental ruts we favor.
When we rely on overused perspectives we slip out of the wide-open here-and-now moment which is where aliveness lives.
When we opt for the familiar, the focused, the zones, the shut-in mental-scapes we produce only forgone experiences.
And foregone experiences are the foundation of ho-hum existences. And in living ho-hum, Shine might as well be a planet away.
The Richness of Here and Now
People talk a lot about the power of the here-and-now. And I'm sure it's so for many reasons. But one of my favorite reasons to promote here-and-now living is that it's just teeming with Shine opportunities.
Being here-and-now, meaning you have body/mind/emotional awareness of the moment you're in, let's you see not only the specifics of the moment you're in, but as importantly, let's you glimpse the possibilities of where you could be.
Presence is preamble to Shine as hunger is to satiety, or creeping shadow to lighting a fire.
Presence shows what is and what could be.
Comfort is not Shine
If tuning in tells you where you are is not where you want to be, then obviously you can make choices to restore your equilibrium.
You can stand and stretch if your back feels tight, get a glass of water if thirsty, scratch the thing that itches.
Here-and-now presence is good for basic comfort and functioning.
But comfort is not Shine.
Shine is something different: it's your aliveness, your meaning, your joy, satisfaction and highest sense of well-being. It's the animating force that springs from your core and defines your particular expression of the above.
I would even say it's the reason you're here, your singular raison d'etre.
Genius is like Shine
If I were going to liken Shine to anything it would be to genius, to those flash moments that are deeply relevant, often revolutionary, and yield exponentially.
And as we know, genius follows her own schedule. She visits at will, like the desired and unpredictable lover she is.
And while we wait her arrival, it's best to do so in readiness if we hope to optimize the chance encounters.
Likewise, we can set the tone to capture potential moments of Shine.
Setting the Tone for Shine
We set the tone to experience more Shine when we make daily choices consistent with our Shine, with our vitality, joy, well-being and existential satisfaction.
And these choices are there for us to make precisely in our daily wandering about the desert of ho-hum.
These choices can look like any of the following:
- lingering for five minutes longer with your kid, or spouse, before heading off to work because it brings you joy or resonates with the tempo of life you want to be living. (It also works lingering 5 minutes longer with a favorite book, a glass of wine, or moment of beauty, etc. - anything related to the life that matters to you.)
- making the difficult choice to say No to someone/something you care about so you can say Yes to yourself - to that quiet evening at home, or evening out with girlfriends, or whatever it is that recharges you and puts you in touch with your essential aliveness.
- affirming your place and authority in the web of life by taking some action and making a difference in something that matters to you (donating money, time, a kind word; proposing a better solution; picking up litter; waving at a random child.)
The actions that lay the groundwork for Shine don't have to be big. They just have to be relevant to your Shine, meaning they flow from what makes you come alive, gives you meaning, satisfaction, joy and well-being.
And it's precisely when in the desert of ho-hum, meaning the mundane moments of living, when we work the soil of our Shine, when leaning into the here-and-now we can see which actions will draw her near.
This is how we leverage our guaranteed ho-hum to set the stage for our optional Shine.
This is how we Shine.