10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) is a program to help us develop habits to grow a joyful spirit. Many of us sabotage our happiness by habits that we might not even be aware of. Identifying and changing these habits can build a reservoir of well-being to enhance our happy times and sustain us during challenging times.
Monday, October 22, 2012
The Best Exotic Present Moment
Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, then it’s not the end. –Sonny, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
In the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a group of British retirees comes to India to stay in what has been advertised as a newly restored hotel. However, they arrive to find a dilapidated relic run by the ever hopeful Sonny. Each deals with the unexpected challenges and unfamiliar culture in his or her own way, some embracing the circumstances, some recoiling from them, but all finding some new level of self awareness in the process.
Each of the characters reminds me of various ways that I deal with the present moment. Sometimes the present moment is not what I was anticipating. In my zen mode, I can open myself up to the gifts of the holy instant, but I’m just as likely to balk, to judge, to try to change it, to escape, to pretend it’s something other than what it is.
When the present moment lands in circumstances not to my liking, I can feel fear start to beat like the orc drums deep in the mines of Moria. I begin to search for some way out of my unease. The drums grow louder. Panic clutches at my throat. I sometimes flee, or I turn to fight, making a powerful enemy out of what I can’t control.
Ah, what a waste, losing faith like that. If I believe, and I do, that all things work together for good, then, as Joel Osteen says, things are not happening to me, they are happening for me. It might not look that way, but the Bible cautions me to not lean on my own understanding, but rather to walk in faith and not by sight.
I’ve lived long enough to discover that events I initially judged as terrible turned out to be wondrous blessings. What if I had been able, in the time of trouble, to trust in the basic goodness of the universe, to rest in knowing that the pain would pass, to be grateful for the perfection of every present moment?
Like guests at a hotel, we can look on the back of the door at the map with the red arrow pointing to a spot that says “You are here.” Indeed we are. It’s the only place we can be. And it’s more than all right. It’s perfect.
related posts: Falling Into Now; You Are Here
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Yes, Galen, it is, indeed, better than all right, exactly where we are at any given moment. You have expressed this so beautifully here.ReplyDelete
I, like you, have definitely had those "Orc drum" moments (love that description!) but, with age, sometimes we do gain some wisdom. And, learn, most importantly, to walk by faith and not by sight.
Martha, Thanks for your affirming response. Blessings back to you.Delete
Wise words once again, Galen. Thank you.ReplyDelete
I have not seen the movie - I must make sure I do!
Alexia, It has a great cast. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting. How is your spring? Deep into cold, rainy fall here.Delete
There is no happiness without sadness. Pleasure is meaningless without pain. Without a contrast it is impossible to describe anything. Searching for a way out of an uncomfortable situation just means that whatever follows won't be as wonderful.ReplyDelete
Bob, No pain, no gain. Knowing it will pass and something better is coming certainly helps. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I missed that movie Galen, though I'm glad my kids saw it. :)ReplyDelete
Yes, it all depends on how you take life. For me, living in the moment, and making the best of everything is the only thing that really works. But yes, we have our down times too, which is when we need to pull ourselves out of those times and remain positive - isn't it?
Thanks for sharing. :)
Harleena, I wonder what my friends in India would think of this movie! What did your kids think of it? Thanks for your comment.Delete
I rarely see movies, but this sounds like an intriguing one! I especially like this interesting twist that you shared: "...things are not happening to me, they are happening for me." That gives everything a different spin, doesn't it?ReplyDelete
We have so much resistance and so much hesitation to just exist in simplicity! It can be humorous to watch ourselves.
Sandra, That quote is not from the movie, but you would like this movie! Yes, we are all pretty funny sometimes. As I've heard, God has a sense of humor. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I'll have to catch that movie when it comes on TV. Thanks for the tip.ReplyDelete
Since Moria is on my route to work, maybe I should open a Kwicky Mart. I'm told those orcs are impulse buyers.
Mikey, You are such a movie buff, I don't know how this gem slipped past you. I think you would like it. As for the orcs, good to know your customer base. Thanks for your comment.Delete
" If I believe, and I do, that all things work together for good, then, as Joel Osteen says, things are not happening to me, they are happening for me. " Wow. What a way to look at things!ReplyDelete
CW, It does change things, doesn't it?! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Ah, do I smell fear creeping back up? Why YES! I am getting better in this department. I used to flee, stick my head in the sand and "pretend" the problems didn't exist. Or believe that not thinking about them would make them go away. It only exasserbates reality. Denial is a great defense mechanism - used properly. I learned that in psychology class. Now, I look fear right in the face and say, "Bring it on. I can handle it." Great post. Cheers Galen!!ReplyDelete
bobby, I know a lot about denial! It has its uses, but at some point, it can be very damaging. At least it was for me. As you said, "used properly." Thanks for your comment.Delete
Wonderful! i love the first quote. i say that all the time to my clients. you haven't failed, it's not over yet. We always get so ahead of ourselves!ReplyDelete
Jodi, Yes, we do. That's a great reassurance to your clients. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Fabulous post! Thank you!ReplyDelete
Deborah, Thank you!Delete
I think this movie was on our "to see" list as well. Thanks for the reminder, on many levels! :)ReplyDelete
Jennifer, You're welcome! You will like the movie.Delete
Wonderful post. You brought up some very interesting thoughts. It is amazing how I look back and see how I was always fighting the moment but if I let life happen it all turned out ok.ReplyDelete
Bonnie, Yes, I do the same thing. Thanks for commenting.Delete
This was a great movie. We saw it while we were in PA recently. I get this, there is nowhere to go but here and you find your purpose when you stop searching and just allow yourself to be here right now. When the questioning stops and we cease the endless search for meaning. This is when we find it. Whatever it is, anyway.ReplyDelete
nicole, I think I will have to see the movie again. I like your explanation of the message. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Absolutely so! I saw that movie this summer with a girl friend, and we both totally enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
Karen, Yes, great movie!Delete
Sometimes right here can be frustrating, I lose the gift of right here and right now sometimes when my niece is acting out and swearing up a storm, generally directed towards me. I'm getting better at walking away most of the time, not to master doing it ALL of the time.ReplyDelete
Most moments are perfect just like they are. I hear you in regards to fear though, that's a real challenge to overcome sometimes; but like any other challenge in life it allows me to grow as an individual. I believe there are healthy fears, as there are unhealthy fears, as long as my fears stay leaning toward the healthy side, all is well.
I'd like to watch the movie you mentioned, it's not on Netflix yet though so I've made a note.
Have a wonderful day Galen! Thanks for this interesting post.
darlin, That walking away business is tough. Interesting distinction about different kinds of fear. I'll have to give that some thought. You'll love the movie! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Oh I saw that movie in San Francisco in June when I went to see my daughter get an award for her outstanding thesis - a Win-win trip I would say.ReplyDelete
I have watched it a few more times since then and I liked it each viewing and I reviewed it on my blog. It is all about change - one can not really change with out facing a fear but as anthropologist Jennifer James says,(paraphrase) once you jump through the window you can go back and forth but you never see yourself as the same on either side - there is a revelation that can not be deleted.
Good words as always.
Enjoying you book very much Thank you