What have I been overlooking?

“Who wants breakfast?” (Sally B sent me this wonderful photo of her cats)

I stopped by to visit some friends last week, who live in a spiritual community. It was fairly chilly inside their tiny space (which was set apart from the main house) but they all had on warm sweaters and said that they’d be turning the central heat on around Thanksgiving. Until then, they’d use space heaters and dress warmly. Living in a community means that decisions are made by the group, not by individuals, and while this is the perfect choice for them, it wouldn’t be for me.

I came home with a new gratitude for my warm house, not because I felt that their way was wrong, but because I had been taking heat (and the ability to turn it on when I wanted) for granted and suddenly, I saw it as a gift.

It’s human nature to want to change things on the outside so we can feel happier. Even for those of us who know better, we can still harbor secret thoughts that if only______would happen, life would be better. But it is never that way.

What can I love and appreciate about where I am right now?,  is a question that opens our hearts (and doorways of opportunity that we hadn’t previously seen) and it is the perfect mental state to bring us to the new place also.

Neither a promotion, losing weight, finding a soul mate, writing a book, nor becoming a millionaire, will ensure happiness. Nothing ensures happiness. No destination is great enough. No dream come true will do. Because happiness that’s not present at the start of a journey will not be present at its end“.  Mike Dooley, “Notes from the Universe”

13 thoughts on “What have I been overlooking?”

  1. Love the photo of the cats! I would say they are one happy group! Thanks for the beautiful reminder about happiness being a place inside ourselves. I needed to hear this and will keep those thoughts in my head today, Mary. Blessings.

  2. Interesting how Spirit works. I subscribe to “notes from the universe” just as i do to your blog. How interesting that i just read the “Notes” message then opened your post and there it was again. Double hit! Got it Universe. Thanks always for your thought provoking posts.

  3. this is so how it is for me right now though i know deeply the reality of the dooley quote. especially that last sentence! yes, i still harbor those secret and not so secret thoughts…many days in these last two-three-four years my outer lonliness can be felt through my solar plexis so intensely that it touches through to my backbone lying against my bed or moving thru out my days.

    when i keep moving forward……i can step outside and hear the hooting of the owls that roost in the firs and appreciate the first rain of the season…….and my warm home where i feel so comfortable and safe. we are blessed, may it be well for all of us.

    1. Oh, I can’t believe that I forgot to post this…it was Winnie W., and I’ll also post this tomorrow..thanks for the reminder!

  4. just a quick second post here. since the new rains have arrived i’m looking out into the pines just outside where i hang the suets and nut/seed blocks for the small birds. while making my bed i saw my first red-breasted nuthatch this season; a pair enjoying the feast. there is an abundance of busy little song birds who come to my garden. delightful. and the owls and raptors here too. it brings wealth to my psyche. thanks, mary for this posting today.

  5. Just this morning as I was returning from my long walk in the desert, I was thinking about my dear sister who passed away just two months shy of her 60th birthday three years ago. She lived a full and vibrant life, and left the most beautiful letter to each of us to read after she passed that began, “Forgive me if I bow out a little early” – I don’t mean this in a sad or maudlin way, – I just thought, what a beautiful thing to say, we simply ‘bow out’, our time on the stage of life complete, our exit hopefully graceful. We never know how many more days we will have, and since I am now a wee bit older than she when she passed, I think of every single day now as a bonus day, to be lived with deep appreciation for still walking here on this beautiful Earth. We will always have trials, but we have the new day, the dawn, and the blessing of the sunset. Be well everyone – enjoy your bonus day!

  6. Always this shift in perspective does wonders for me. Sometimes admittedly, I am more receptive to this idea than not. I often ask for help in this department – and sometimes, just ask for the willingness to have the willingness to be open! I find that when I do the ability to “change the subject” comes more easily.

    If someone were to discover something as simple as a pine needle for example, on the moon it would be considered miraculous! There is so much to be grateful for here on this amazing planet.

  7. Mary, the picture of the cats is priceless. And my week-end was spent mindful of not being judgemental (I’m never sure about the ‘e’ in the middle of that word)…and whether I was just plain tired of thinking about my grudges or what, being non-judgemental felt freeing. It took much less work than thinking about those with whom I have present grudges. It was a good task, Mary. And noting the posts above, Susan’s sister, Virginia’s expressiveness, everyone’s posts resonate so often with me. Especially when they remind me they are human as well…what I strive for is not always met. Nice to know I have company in that.
    SandyP in Canada

  8. We have a saying in our family: “If I only had a ________, my life would be complete and I’d finally be happy.” lol

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