Ongoingness – I can’t imagine that I’ve invented this word. It has to exist out there in the current vernacular, yes?! It struck me, this word, as I was having my daily conversation with God. Ongoingness – the idea that living is a process, a set of steps we take each day that combine to make up the way we live and ultimately create our lives.
As a life coach I often work with clients on making conscious and specific choices about what they want their daily steps to look like in order to create a life that is aligned and heartfelt for them. And then, we can take this a step deeper by exploring what the quality of our consciousness is as we go about these daily steps that fill up our days and make up our lives.
Over the years I began to recognize that I can go about my daily activities with a consciousness of sacredness or haphazard rushing.
The results can be the same, I get the thing to do done, but how I’m feeling inside physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually ends up being much different. That’s the quality of consciousness piece.
I remember my grandmother and how she used to go about her daily activities. She probably called them chores, but they never seemed like a “chore” to her. Both she and my grandfather had lots of To Do’s each day, and many years after they passed, I realized I’d never heard either one of them complain about their daily life requirements like doing laundry, gardening, cooking, or car repairs. Instead, it seemed they just magically, to my very young eyes, handled things, all the things, and did it with such grace and even finesse.
Once I became an adult, many years over, I began to understand that my grandparent’s life had become a sort of art form. Of course, they had their life struggles, significant ones as younger people, but time seemed to teach them how to go with, not against, the flow of their daily lives. As a younger person I vowed to learn how to live my life in a similar way, and at fifty-five years of age I’m starting to get the hang of it.
More and more I’m waking up to the ways in which I can make the daily experience of my life more sacred, more joy filled, and more fun.
One example – I have to clean up after the dogs. Yes, I have to scoop their poop. But how do I hold this experience? Is it sacred? Well, I don’t think of it as my favorite thing to do, but these three little dogs bring me so much joy and loving, what’s a little bit of picking up after them each morning? It’s just a part of life when you really think about it. Let’s face it, there’s always something we might call messy that we’re cleaning up. And I use this example because as much as many of us would like to think that life is always rainbows, unicorns and daffodils, God knows I do, it’s got another side to it as well. A relationship filled with that new love feeling, we know from experience, doesn’t last forever. Relationships are multifaceted and require our energy like tending a garden. Loving another person is a sacred, active, and daily process, not an ideal or fantasy.
Graduation is another example. Life is not just the actual graduation day, but the thirteen years of schooling that leads up to that special day we graduate from high school. If we’re open to life and the lessons it gives us, we know full well that life is a process, while a graduation, or an award as another example, are the cherry on an ice cream Sunday, or the icing on a delicious vanilla cake. All this work requires fuel, people.
Life, and the art of living it, is an ongoingness, and it’s there where our greatest opportunity for joy resides. It’s very much like becoming a craftsperson for living life. That was my grandparents. Crafts people who carved out an incredibly beautiful life. They gave value to each moment and to each of what we might call our daily tasks. And I believe, because of this, their eyes, their energy, and their lives had a sparkle to them.
So yes, I do believe we can all shine and that we can make our daily lives sparkle by simply honoring each moment, each task, interaction, or activity.
This way of approaching life becomes a sacred process, an actual art form. And yes, this also includes honoring each person we experience in our daily lives be it our loved ones, our co-workers, or that person ringing up our groceries.
Each day, when I can remember, I go about my various activities with this sacredness of the ongoingness in mind. I don’t always remember, and I don’t always succeed at this, but when I do aim my conscious thought in this direction, life takes on a lightness where more joy is present, time passes without my knowing it, and I have one hell of a better experience of my life. So, if this concept of living life ongoingly sparks your interest, give it a go. Try it out. See how you feel. You might just discover that doing the dishes can be a meditative process, as can mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage. I know it might sound strange, but how we go about doing anything is how we’re creating and experiencing our lives. More and more I’m choosing to make it all sacred. The present moment really is a gift, therefore whatever that moment contains deserves to be honored. Sounds pretty good to me. But don’t believe me, rather try it out for thirty days and see if your life feels any different. Life really is a grand experiment. The worst that could happen is that you’ve tried something new. The best would be that you end up transforming your life for the better. And wouldn’t that be something.
Barry Alden Clark is a writer and professional life coach. His work is focused on helping people live their best lives by acting as a guide for them to connect more deeply with their internal life force where creativity, purpose, and true freedom reside, while using humor, compassion, and kindness as hallmarks for the process of personal evolution. Recently Barry published his first book, “Living Life Now: Ingredients for Thriving In The Modern World,” now available on Amazon, and launched his new podcast “Living Life Now,” available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Music. You can reach Barry at www.barryaldenclark.com.
Image courtesy of The Lazy Artist Gallery.