The Extraordinary Ordinary

The Extraordinary Ordinary. It’s always right here

One thing that I’ve noticed over the past year or so, which has been highlighted whilst here in this island of the gods in Bali, is that I’m no longer interested in doing a lot of outer activities. Not interested in the touristy things, or even shopping, or having to do something, anything. I’m completely content to do nothing actually. I no longer feel some internal drive to be doing something, buying something.

Instead I’m so happy to simply marvel over ordinary things that are all around me right here:

  • Conversations at the breakfast table with strangers
  • The color of leaves on my walks
  • The sound of birds
  • The smells of incense and food
  • The slowness of walking without a particular destination
  • The shapes of clouds

I would guess that I could be a very boring person to hang out with unless one is in a similar place. Thank god, my husband is in this similar place of enjoying the ordinary.

Which leads me into the idea of living a life striving to be extraordinary. 

I grew up in the US and I took on a conditioning where I learned to strive to be extraordinary.  Being extraordinary at something was the ultimate idea of living a fulfilled good life.  And so much of that dream is centered on being extraordinary rather than the ordinary. 

Lately I’ve found being content with being extraordinarily ordinary to be a more relaxing, joyful, and lovingly simple way to live: enjoying the everyday ordinariness of life.

Sometimes when I write things like this, it feels like what I’m saying is so simplistic, and it really is.  It’s really simple. 

When I write, I tend to share more from my own individual experience.  And at different times, certain ideas want to come through. 

The concept of being ordinary has had a bad rap. But there are many textures beneath the black and white of being ordinary. And the question arises, who is making the decision on whether something is extraordinary or merely ordinary?

There are artists who I’m sure felt this way about the extraordinary ordinary in life and have tried to convey that in some way.

Think of Georgia O’Keefe. She found staring into the center of a flower so extraordinary that she had to share that perspective through her artwork because what she saw in the everyday ordinariness of a flower was so extraordinary. And she also felt that most people missed seeing this. So she painted it and painted it large so we couldn’t miss it. 

A truly awakened, or enlightened being sees things as they are without a mind commentary or identification with anything. It’s the middle way of Tao, Zen and non-duality. It's not either, or. It is the very center of two opposites. The Ajna, the third eye of seeing not two, only one.

extraordinary ordinary

Where to focus attention

I invite you to view your world inner and outer as one thing and notice the things your mind easily dismissed for one reason or another. The ordinary which is often mind-labeled as boring, or not interesting enough. SEE freshly, with a babe’s eyes, the wonder and beauty of being here right now and what is in your immediate surrounding and environment. There is a lot of stunningly amazing beauty and wonderment in the ordinary which, when seen, makes it extraordinary.

With love & gratitude,

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