Friday, September 18, 2009

Everything Counts


I just read an inspiring story from Simple Truths taken from Andy Andrews’ new book, “The Butterfly Effect.”

The story is a powerful reminder about how everything we do counts. Here is what Andrews says in his own words: “Simply put, when we understand that every action matters, every result of our actions immediately improves.”

Just months ago, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing spots out of our white carpet for the umpteenth time. Doing my best not to cuss, I was frustrated that instead of doing something important, like writing my next article—which was certainly in greater alignment with my purpose—I was scrubbing a carpet.

Then I got caustic. I really wanted to wring the neck of the sorry person that decided white carpeting should be a new home d├ęcor trend. Clearly this person had never cleaned a carpet in his or her life.

I was not doing a very good job of using my momentary carpet cleaning service as an act of devotion. I wasn’t even maintaining a quiet, non-complaining state of consciousness. I was pissed. (No wonder those spots keep coming back!)

Fast forward with me to just a few weeks ago. I was sitting at the computer with a list of tasks that needed to be accomplished. All of them, in my opinion, were in clear alignment with my purpose. I had articles to write, letters to answer, comments to address on my blog, an action pan to address for a sales campaign for my book, and Foundation business to complete.

The challenge was that they were all priority items and pretty much on the same deadline. So how was I supposed to choose which task to complete first?

Throw in an unexpected call or two from people that needed immediate input to do their work, a daughter’s need for a little love from her mom, along with my body’s cry for a little rest, a desire for a little fun, and need for some exercise somewhere in the mix and voila—I had the typical crazy-day formula that reminds me I’m human.

It felt like my own circumstances were pushing me into trying to figure out what the heck was most important! That’s when I came to grinding stop. I got quiet inside—really quiet.

When I’m not clear about what is important, I know from experience it is time to find my guidance—not TRY to figure it out. At those moments, figuring it out usually leads me down some interesting trail, but rarely does it put me squarely on my truest path.

How could I possibly figure out whether it is more important to spend some time with my daughter or write the next article? Which one makes the greater difference? It seemed to me they both do.

In the silence, I remembered a moment just days earlier when I was in the middle of a mundane task. All of sudden, someone’s beautiful face was in my inner vision and I could feel their presence. Something good had just happened for them and I could sense that it was linked to, or enhanced by, the inner calm and happiness I was feeling in that moment.

I get so hung up sometimes in the egoic desire to do only what is important that I miss what is really important—how I am choosing to be with everything I do. It all matters. Everything is an expression of the Divine exploring Itself through me. So, how I am being is just as significant as what I am doing.

I reminded myself that my intuitive guidance would know the proper order in which to approach my desires if I surrendered to its flow. In the surrender, it all got done. The exercise, the phone calls, the work, the rest, the play, even the new spots in the carpet got cleaned—peacefully, lovingly, seeing the Divine in every motion and every choice. Because it is all the expression of the Divine, it all counts.


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