Tuesday, August 25, 2015

No Ordinary Moments

I mentioned in my last post a quote from Dan Millman's  movie, Peaceful Warrior:  "There are no ordinary moments."  A few years ago, I did a presentation called, Happiness Tools.  In my little presentation I discussed Dan's quote, it went something like this:

In the movie, Dan is a UC Berkley gymnast who has everything going for him.  He's good looking, has plenty of money, talented, makes good grades, and best of all the girls flock to him.  He even has a chance at the Olympic qualifiers in men's gymnastics, but he's hung up on doing the triple on the rings.  He thinks he won't qualify without it and it keeps him up at night with nightmares.  One night at 3 a.m. Dan has one of those nightmares; so he decides to go for a run.  While running through the foggy dark night, Dan ends up at a well-lit Texaco service station.  Dan strikes up a conversation with the old man, behind the counter there.  Through a series of circumstances, Dan becomes a "student" of this old man, whom he calls Socrates. 

One of the things that "Socrates" teaches Dan is, there are no ordinary moments.  But in the movie there's no explanation for this statement.  One day as I sat working at my computer, contemplating this quote, I'm thinking to myself, what's he talking about?  My life is made up of nothing but ordinary moments!  How can he say... "there's no ordinary moments."  That doesn't make any sense to me.  Just as I'm thinking this, my husband comes into the room, brushes my hair to the side, kisses me on the neck and says good-bye, he's leaving for a meeting.  Ordinary moment, right?  It happens all the time, but wait... what if my husband didn't come home?  What if he were killed in a car accident?  Then would that kiss on my neck have been an ordinary moment?  Or would it have been an extraordinary moment?  Would it be one of my most cherished memories, how he always kissed me good bye? 

The light behind this quote began to turn on for me.  All these things that make up our life, that we see as ordinary, are in fact magical.  We live enchanted lives that are filled with family, friends, community, opportunities, adventure, love, hope, service, compassion, forgiveness, mistakes, growing, learning, repetition, and suffering!  And each of these moments are fleeting!  When I was a young mother, sometimes the drudgery of having to get dinner on the table and get the kids off to their baths and bed, seemed so mundane to me.  What would I give now, to go back for just one evening and see my adorable little children's faces sitting around the dinner table again?  To experience that "ordinary moment"!  The trick is in realizing that these moments are fleeting and when they are gone, they will no longer be viewed as ordinary. 

"No ordinary moments,"  realizing this will change your life!  And even if you are struggling right now with a faith crisis, or someone you know is, it's probably not an ordinary moment for you, but it too is fleeting, and magical.  Allow the freedom to think and grow to be magical in your life, and if you are concerned about someone, let them grow and think.  Your gift of acceptance and freedom to them will be immeasurable and will work in your behalf as well as theirs. 


  1. This is so true! Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" is one of my favorites because it drives home that message so well. Speaking of family, I saw one of your family members last Saturday. He's looking good. :)

    1. That must have been Dan. Glad to hear it :)
      I've never seen that play, maybe I'll get to someday.