Recently, I was washing dishes and looking out the kitchen window as the sun broke over the eastern horizon. My mind was full of everything that I needed to get done. E-mails, deadlines, and prep work for upcoming events were consuming me. I felt burdened by the pressures of the coming day.
However, with the arrival of the dawn’s light on this particular cold winter morning, I paused and surveyed the land. And there before my eyes in the walnut tree on the edge of our field was a mature bald eagle. Illuminated by the morning sun, it’s white head shined bright. Bold in size and stature, I was captivated. It was a miracle of nature and so magnificently beautiful.
Later, upon reflection, I realized that in that precise moment when I first saw the bald eagle all my worries had vanished. There was nothing but an overwhelming sense of awe, joy, gratitude and connection. It was a moment that changed me and changed my day.
I remember a similar feeling when I was younger and in the early stages of falling in love. Just seeing her come through a crowded room made my heart skip a beat. She was my complete focus and her presence filled me with joy. All that was before me was beauty and love. College, homework, papers and tests all fell by the wayside and there was nothing but this moment of heart felt connection.
I have had similar experiences with each of our children. The joy of seeing them after a business trip, the delight of seeing them figure out how to ride a bike for the first time, the pride of seeing them graduate to a new level of learning. In these special moments, there is nothing but an undivided and complete attention to now.
Yet, at our jobs and often at home many of us are consumed by endless amounts of work. We suffer from obsessive compulsive productivity disorder. Our lives have become binary in nature, i.e. all work and then an exhausted night with poor sleep. We push and push hoping to make some dent or progress in the piles or with the endless e-mails. And as we are consumed by all of this busy-ness and business, we miss the many miracles of now that surround us.
The eagle in the tree at dawn was just experiencing the moment of the sunrise. It was not trying to be some place else or rush off to its morning meeting. It was not distracted by the beeping or buzzing of a cell phone. Instead, the eagle was deep into the moment of now.
We forget that we have the opportunity to make a similar choice ourselves. We can choose to be more present to the moment of now or we can choose to be consumed by endless details that are swirling around us.
This commitment to living into the fullness of now is a commitment to wholeness over fragmentation. It is the choice to see our children as the living miracles they are. It is the choice to see our husbands, wives and partners as the wonderful people there are and have always been. It is a choice to build and maintain this connection to the now on a daily basis.
And when we do this, we are often gifted with the miracle of seeing a bald eagle at dawn. Then, in this moment of complete attention to now, we feel whole, at peace and one with the entire world around us.
My hope is that each of you can live into more moments of now this holiday season. It will transform you, your family and this special time of year into one of countless blessings and miracle connections.