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Showing Up with Gratitude

Being present in a luminous space

a luminous sunrise: authors own photo

Being in the moment is hard work, right? We are so often dragged into the past with our thoughts. We have regrets about what we could have done or said, or what someone else could have done or said. We easily get pulled into the future, usually in a negative way. We worry about outcomes and experiences we fear will be negative, either tomorrow or two years from now.

And the strange thing is, we think we are living.

I remember a moment when I was 22 years old. I was sitting on a beach in Maui, watching the scene unfold as the sun rose above the volcano behind me. The sun showed the complex landscape of mountain and sea. The ebb and flow of the tides mimicked the ebb and flow of the folds of an ancient volcanic cone ahead of me. Light and shadow. The yin and the yang.

The feeling of the still cool sand on my feet and silkiness in my hands, the sound of the early morning birds stirring for their first meal of the day, the smell of the sea and the brilliant tropical flowers nearby.

That moment and the energy of that that moment has stayed with me. Even thirty years later, I visit that place even now in my meditations. That was a special, sacred space.

You could say that moment has been a guiding light for me – an inspiration – to re-create aspects of that moment throughout my life ever since.

But that moment could have been something very different. The sun would have risen the same way, the sand would have been just as silky, the birds just as adorable and those flowers…still so brilliant. But what was different was that, in that moment, I showed up.

I now recognize that my “showing up” made all the difference. I could have witnessed that place as I have done with other moments throughout my life. Distracted by the past or worried about the future. I could have missed it if I had not been in the present, in the NOW.

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” – Eckhardt Tolle

I guess it was gratitude that led me to experience that moment in all its glory. Visiting Hawaii was on my list ever since I watched that Brady Bunch episode. (You know the one. The girls learn to hula while the boys go on a tiki doll adventure).

Sitting on that beach, my first day in Hawaii, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude well up within me. My heart burst open wide as I took in the moment before me.

I call this moment my “luminous space”. I think the word “luminosity” really captures the energy. I experienced a brilliance, a Divine light all around me. Nature was my church, and still is. It is in nature that I get my fix. It is in nature that I am most brilliant and most grateful.

Showing up that day, that moment, changed my life. It was a slow transformation, but it was growth nonetheless. I may not have truly understood the power of that moment until now. Being in the now. Feeling that place with all my senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste…and intuition and connection.

I honor that place in Maui and am slightly jealous (well, I am human, you know) of a colleague of mine who now lives very close to that special piece of sand.

But more than that, I am extremely grateful that, all those years ago, I showed up and was present to truly feel the Divine in nature. And that moment has made all the difference in my life. Namaste. 

Want to see how you can create a more luminous space? Visit my website for more ideas: https://www.luminous-spaces.com/

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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