Recently, I’ve discovered all sorts of new thinkers, teachers and writers. People who I had no idea existed until I started looking. I think its something to do with that old adage, that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Apparently I’m ready for some new learning, because the teachers keep emerging all over the shop.
And one of those teachers is Gabrielle Bernstein. I like a lot of what she has to say, but most of all I love her determination that we should approach every day, and every moment of every day expecting miracles. That we should approach life with the full expectation that the wonderful, the beautiful, the joyful can, and will, show up in our lives in some form or other. It doesn’t make everything perfect, or eliminate struggle from our lives, but it absolutely turns our attention to the miraculous moments – the unexpected gift, the surprise invitation, the heartwarming text from a dear friend.
And by expecting miracles we create the possibility that we can receive more of them. By expecting more from ourselves and the people around us, we get more. And whether that’s because our change in attitude changes something in the ethers, or whether we just notice the good stuff more is neither here nor there. Because when we do that, when we expect miracles, we realise that we are getting them all the time. Not always in dramatic form – like lottery wins, or all expenses paid holidays to the Caribbean – but in small repeated moments through each and every day. Those chinks of light that make it through, even when there’s a lot of darkness around us.
The message I’m getting loud and proud from all these new teachers is that our thoughts create our reality. That where we choose to place our thoughts has a huge impact on the way we experience our lives. That if I wake up today with my arms folded, and a face on me that says to the day ahead ‘go on then, show me what you’ve got.’ what’s likely to happen? If I drag myself into today expecting my kids to be a demanding nightmare, my husband to be unhelpful and my dog to be needy and disobedient, guess what I’m likely to get more of?
None of this is rocket science, but for some reason, it’s ridiculously easy to forget. It’s ridiculously easy to anticipate the problems, and takes more of a conscious effort to expect miracles. But just because it takes a conscious effort doesn’t mean it’s not a conscious effort worth making. Just because it takes a little extra effort on my part, doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
Here in the UK we’re just on the other side of a general election. For some the outcome is a thing of triumph – they are delighted, convinced that the best party has won, and feel that the most important values will be upheld for the next 5 years. For others this is a disappointing and wounding moment in time. This is a moment of shock and loss. Feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness abound. And it’s in these moments when it is ridiculously easy to anticipate the problems. It is ridiculously easy to despair and expect the worst. It is ridiculously easy for the narrative to become one of doom, gloom and misery. For those who feel unheard and unrepresented to stand, arms folded, waiting for disaster to unfold. Waiting to be proved right.
And as a member of that group I get it. I get the temptation to go there. It’s enticing, and I’d surely have a lot of company if that’s the direction I chose. But I can’t forget what I’m learning – that if I go through the day expecting miracles, I get them. If I approach my kids expecting to see their gorgeousness, I see it.
And not for a moment am I suggesting that if they behave horribly I don’t address it, or if something ghastly befalls me today I don’t feel sad, or do something about that.
But what I am suggesting is that when I start out expecting more from life, I get it.
And today, as I lick my political wounds, I choose to apply that learning to those invested with power (for good or for ill) over my life. I choose to expect miracles from them. I choose to hold space for them to surprise and delight me with their unanticipated wisdom over the next 5 years. It’s absolutely requiring a conscious effort from me. My arms are itching to fold themselves. My face is aching to get a snarky look on it. But, in pursuit of something bigger and better, it feels like a conscious effort worth making.
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Did this resonate with you? Are you interested in applying the perspectives here to your own life? Work with me, and we can really get into it. I love talking about this stuff even more than I love writing about it (and that’s a lot).