With the Dawn, the Every Day Miracle Begins

Settling into the miracle of life may be all that we ever require. The miracle of the every day is the field of infinite possibilities available at every dawn. Distinguishing what is from what is not is a lifelong dilemma, a constant in humanity.

“Every particle of creation sings its own song of what is and what is not. Hearing what is can make you wise; hearing what is not can drive you mad” (Sufi poet Ghalib).

We are prone to making sure that events turn out as expected, keeping wonder in absentia. We are more comfortable when we confine the outcome to known boundaries. Trusting the miracle that we are requires a shift in perspective.
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“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” (Albert Einstein).

Viewing life through that lens, merely appreciating that we are alive seems more than sufficient. Yet, there is the matter of day-to-day relationships and situations.

The Vedic sutra Sankalpa–Sanskrit for purpose or intention—can be a way to frame our choices and decisions. “Every decision I make is a choice between a grievance and a miracle. I let go of all grievances and choose miracles” (Deepak Chopra, SynchroDestiny, DVD version).

Sankalpa opens up the field of infinite possibilities by encouraging us to choose courage over fear. When we accept our fear, all that is left is courage.

It means loving ourselves for who we are, not for whom we want to be or for the person we have been but who we are in the dawn of each day. In loving ourselves just as we are, we connect to the miracle of being alive.

“… Loving [ourselves] requires a courage unlike any other. It requires us to believe in and stay loyal to something no one else can see that keeps us in the world—our own self-worth” (Mark Nepo, Book of Awakening).

When we settle into the miracle of all that we are, we open ourselves to the world. There is no guarantee the world will open to us in return yet to live the miracle of the every day is to rely on the constancy of our own self-worth, confident in our ability to absorb the day no matter how it is presented to us, whether as pain or pleasure.

Every moment of our lives is like an opening night performance for our roles are constantly evolving through plot twists and scene changes. All the acts of our lives play from beginning to end, sometimes to applause and other times to catcalls. Such is the stage of life.

“And all moments of living, no matter how difficult, come back into some central point where self and world are one, where light pours in and out at once.…a fine moment to live” as is the next. (Mark Nepo).

14 thoughts on “With the Dawn, the Every Day Miracle Begins

  1. I agree with Janet; the paragraph on accepting ourselves “as is” hit he mark for me. So much wisdom, but so hard to practice. I also love the image of playing a role to catcalls or applause. It reminds me of Pema Chodron’s saying, “Don’t expect any applause.”
    Lovely post, my friend. _{{{hugs}}} Kozo


    1. Oh, I love that Pema Chodron observation. When I stopped expecting applause, life got much better rather quickly. I was not so hard on myself for I was no longer the center of the universe! As always, a delightful comment, Kozo. Thank you!


  2. Karen, I attended an event yesterday that made me think of you–it was about building/finding gratitude and acknowledging thankfulness in everyday life. And the event leader read a poem by Mark Nepo!


    1. What a compliment! Thank you, Ann. As difficult as some days are, I have found that if I just step back, I will notice something–anything–that allows me to broaden my viewpoint. It is then that gratitude emerges.


  3. In the last few days I’ve been walking around the neighborhood picking up the most beautiful autumn leaves and bringing them back to my kitchen windowsill. Like anything that is alive their beauty is ephemeral. Still, I’m often breathless in the moment because of all the world shows me. I think I am most happy, not when I accept myself as-is, but when I forget that self in favor of better distractions–like the speckled leaf of a crepe myrtle.


  4. Karen, in one phrase, “It means loving ourselves for who we are, not for whom we want to be” you have captured what it took me 42 years to learn. And, it is for me where Buddhism meets 12-Step Recovery meets Gestalt psychotherapy. I feel most grateful that I found all three of these fountains at about the same time. For me, at age 42, it had to do with accepting myself AS a person who stuttered. It meant I stopped trying to stop the stuttering, stopped trying to change who I was (i.e.,become a nonstutterer). At first the idea felt heretical. Certainly we are supposed to strive to become better. But no; I had to learn that I needed to be right where I was then, to fully BE there, then. Everything that makes sense to me since has come from one of these three founts. Thank you so much.


    1. You’ve given me a lot to think about, Janet. I really like the three fountains image, quite powerful. It is a bit of a struggle not to strive but to be fully present for it is only in being that we are completely who we are. It’s a bit simplistic to say that rather than striving, we just show up but there is something to that. Wonderful comment. Thank you.


  5. What a beautiful post, Karen! I am so guilty of trying to control life and make it conform to my image of what it should be, but I am indeed finding that as I let go and be present to what is instead of what I want it to be, there is so much more wonder and acceptance to be found. The more I accept what is, including myself, the better life works in so many ways.

    Thanks so much for this wonderful reminder and encouragement!


    1. To me, it is just as you say, Kenetha: the wonder lies in the acceptance of the moment as it is given to us, not in our trying to shape it. No, it is ours to experience so that we may let it go. It really is stunning, isn’t it? Thanks for such a lovely comment.


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