the best day of your life

“Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them.”



“Saying the mantra is like watching the bag dancing in the wind in American Beauty.”

Via Transformativa

Playa de las ConchasHow will you know when it’s the best day of your life?

Well, of course, you won’t. It will have passed before you know it. And anyway – no matter how fantastic this day is turning out to be who’s to say tomorrow won’t be even better?

In the movie ‘About Time’ Tim discovers that, like his father, he can travel in time and change what happens in his own life. Desperate for a girlfriend he is able to re-engineer social situations to his advantage. Result. As the novelty wears off he uses his ‘skip backwards’ trick to relive ordinary days to find the gold in the lead.

So although playing the game of ‘spot the best day of your life’ can be fun it can’t be won but it does help us focus on fully appreciating the present experience not becoming lost to the moment in some anticipated future or fondly remembered past.

We can take this a step further. Because the perfect day will elude us in its passing we can always live this present day as if it was the perfect day. And in a profound way it is. In the grand order of things the cosmos is in its perfect stage of inflation, our galaxy is in a perfect spin rotating once every 226 million years and the sun comes up on the frostiest of mornings. More prosaically, the traffic on the ring road is exactly as busy as it is and you will get to the station just in time to catch (or miss) your train.

With so much finely tuned for benevolence it seems churlish to accuse the garden of Life of serving you a lemon. Learn to like lemons. Who is the sage that said “happiness consists in wanting what you’ve got”?

This is not a manifesto for passive acquiescence in the face of unacceptable injustice. It is, however, a manifesto based on the intuitive understanding that you and Life are not separate … or that Life is ‘being done’ to you. You are Life unfolding.

“The truth is I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day. I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.” Tim in About Time.



“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”

Meister Eckhart


“Saying the mantra is like a free floating space walk daisy-chaining with atoms, saints and galaxies.”

Via Positiva

gravityIn ‘Gravity’ at her lowest ebb high above the earth Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) gives up on life and turns off the oxygen supply in her space capsule.

As her thoughts turn to her imminent death she murmurs to herself “No-one taught me how to pray.” Without spoiling the ending, when she crawls out of the lake (like a creature re-born) she murmurs to herself “Thank you.” She taught herself how to pray.

At the end of ‘American Beauty’, Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) – who has just lost his life after finding it – says “I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me … but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst … And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life … You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry … you will someday.”

The strap line to ‘Gravity’ is ‘Don’t let go’. It should be ‘Let go’. As George Clooney as Matt Kowalski says as he floats off, “You’re gonna have to learn to let go.”

An attitude of gratitude is the daily mantra of the secular monk in all of us. We are priests to ourselves in our own lives.