There is a Zen saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
There are books written on what this might mean: A simple statement that carries loads of meaning.
It can mean that after all is said and done, the every-day things we do are still there. It can mean that how we do every-day things is also how we do everything, big or small; and that what we encounter in life isn’t nearly as important as how we meet those things that we encounter.
It could also mean that living an every-day “ordinary” life can be just as fulfilling and worth-while as living a life filled with adventure to remote places.
Today, and for a while yet, most of us have been forced to narrow the focus of our daily lives to what’s in front of us; to what we may see as “ordinary”. If you’re used to being busy, then this might be a real hardship for you – this luxury of time you never asked for.
Chop wood, carry water – how can you make that simple task meaningful for yourself today?
Stoicism as a philosophy for an ordinary life
Quote of the Week
“I sit there thinking about how much courage it takes to live an ordinary life.”
― Colum McCann
Need more? At times we need more – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages. For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.