The other day I woke up, got ready, drove my youngest to school and set about working. Being totally engrossed in my work I arrived at 13:30 – all that I was committed to doing was done. That is when I noticed how hungry I was – really hungry – and so I made my way down to the kitchen. Around about two o’clock I experienced eating a DELICIOUS meal. What was extraordinary about this particular meal?
The food? No – it was simply white pasta with green pesto, leaves of lettuce and cherry tomatoes mingling with French vinaigrette. This is a dish that I had eaten earlier in the week and not even noticed it.
The setting? No – I was sit in my kitchen on the usual stool, in the usual position, at the usual height, looking at the usual stuff.
The ambience? No – I was alone, there was no television or music or anything else happening. In that sense it was a meal like countless others I have taken part in.
So what made the experience of this meal such a special experience? Hunger was present in a BIG way – it showed up in my world as being ‘starving’ and ‘lacking energy’. Coming from this context I experienced each mouthful – I actually was present to and tasted each mouthful of food. I tasted the pasta, the green pesto, the salad leaves, the cherry tomatoes and the vinaigrette. Every mouthful showed up as perfect.
What I am Taking Away From This / Committed to Keeping in Existence
So often I, you, we are looking for stuff on the outside. How often have I looked for the right restaurant, the right food, the right date to create an extraordinary dining experience – one that I would enjoy, one that I would remember? Countless times.
Yet the access to the experience of ‘extra-ordinary’ living is on the inside – my, your, our inner state of being. Notice: when real hunger is present the most ordinary of foods (in our usual way of perceiving stuff) shows up as extraordinary!
When I mention to people that I am committed to ‘Playing BIG’ and living an ‘extra-ordinary life’ many automatically assume that I am going to do extraordinary stuff like perhaps climb Mountain Everest. That is not what I am pointing at when I use the term ‘extra-ordinary’. When I use the term ‘extra-ordinary’ I am pointing at the internal dimension that allows for the ‘ordinary’ to show up as ‘extraordinary’ in lived experience. Or as Dan Millman writes in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior: “there are no ordinary moments”. That is the game I am playing: living in a way that all moments show up as ‘extra-ordinary’ moments in my living. How will I fare in this game?