December 5

Finding Joy and Beauty in the Ordinary

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It’s that time of year. If you live in the United States or elsewhere in the West, it’s impossible to avoid the culture surrounding the holidays. Last week I talked about the negative aspects of this time of year. The Black Friday sales, the Cyber Monday promotions, and the sell, sell, sell culture. So, to balance things out, I want to focus on the life-giving joy and beauty of taking time to find that which is sacred amid the craziness.

We often forget the origin of the word holiday. It came from our religious traditions. It was a time when we were to set ourselves apart to focus on our shared stories of meaning as a community. That often gets lost in the culturescape programming that surrounds us. We succumb to what Vishen Lakhiani calls Brules, or B.S. rules.

Holiday Brules can be incredibly personal. Do I need to attend that work party? Do I have to talk to my uncle, especially since I am pretty sure he will bring up politics? I invite you to step back from the culture. Leave the Brules behind. 

Don’t focus on how others tell you to believe and act. Instead, take time to celebrate the ordinary beauty in the daily. Here in the U.S., the leaves are changing, and there’s frost on the windshield in the mornings. Rather than curse the cold, I am delighting in the reality that the world kept spinning for another year. My friends in the southern hemisphere are experiencing the first days of spring and all the life that comes with that.

There are wonders all around you. They are contained in the ordinary – the glorious richness of nature, a conversation with a friend, the simple but profound essence of being human. Take time to make the ordinary holy.

Open your eyes and heart to see the joy and the beauty in the ordinary.

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