Monday, October 08, 2007

Standing on a Hill of Diamonds, Looking for the Gold Mine

We say "diamonds are forever" and "worth your weight in gold" so it's no wonder that when I first read the line that I have taken and used as my title for today, I just didn't get it.

I thought it was a win-win kind of thing. There you are, standing on all that long-lasting stuff, like building your house upon the rock, setting your sights on the gold—of accomplishment, of experience, and yeah, sure, of value.

Nope. Unh-uh.

What Anne Wilson Shaef, author of the daily devotional Women Who Do Too Much, says is that we don't see the forest for the trees. In other words, we go striving for what we already have, yet fail to recognize. So in this particular case, she suggests that, all things being equal—like diamonds and gold—we tend to go searching for the mere hopes of finding the richness we, in fact, already possess to excess. It's easy to see that a hill of diamonds is a ready resource of measurable proportions, whereas rooting around for a gold mine which would then require extraction efforts, in the face of the guaranteed fortune in front of us, would be a titanic waste of time, energy, and life itself.

It reminded me of what I said the other day about not being consciously aware of the magnitude of the gift of the human body, mind, and spirit. It's a hill of diamonds we stand on quite frequently, looking off into the distance to find those perfect accessories to go with it. Face it, we all do it. We ask ourselves, "What good is it to be trapped in this body if I can't have/do/be that?"

Ok, now I'm not saying that we can't take our human organism out for a drive and see what she can do. No, what I'm seeing as the distinction is that yearning that we beat ourselves up with. The literal, "What good is it?" The idea that what we have right now isn't good enough and what's the point anyway? It's the difference between following the joy and the passion in your heart and being driven by wild desire (or being driven wild by desire) for something that seems unreachable--but that's either because we expect perfection or we want instant gratification, or both!

I'll use myself as an example.

I love to dance. Now, at 37 years of age, I take dancing lessons. (You hear the judgment already, right?) And boy is it ever easy to sit back and watch people who have been dancing for five, ten, or even twenty years or more and think, "Well heck, I kinda suck! Will I ever learn this stuff so I can dance as effortlessly as they seem to?" (Or forget watching...try dancing with an experienced partner and having these thoughts come racing in when you inevitably flub it up!)

But if all I focus on is the end result and I allow myself to be discouraged because I don't have it right at this instant, then I miss out on the joy of dancing now. The fact is, I dance like someone who has been taking lessons for less than a year. And that's the's just a matter of fact. I have to allow for the journey. Right?

Repeat after me: "Life is the journey, not the destination." (Have we all heard this enough times now that it's about as "out of the box" as that worn out tag line itself?)

And I have to say that I dance much better when I don't think about doing it perfectly but rather let myself feel the be the dancer, dancing. (And I won't even get started on how my golf swing improves when I just do it!)

But it's so easy to forget the diamonds under the soles of our shoes (I nod to Paul Simon) as we trudge behind the pillar of clouds in the distance that always remain in the distance. The secret to loving the heck out of our lives is to live them right now. To find the perfection in each moment. To just "be" our way along the path.

That's what we're really looking for anyway. The hill of diamonds is there for us whenever we live right from where we are at any given moment. It's not out there in a land far, far away. It's here. And now.

Still not sure what that means? It's taken me a good ten years or so to really understand this idea for myself. Now I'm in the practicing phase. Are you practicing?

On that note, I would like to share a quotation with you from one of my favorite inspirational authors, Mr. Mike Dooley:

Live your dreams now, to any degree that you can. With every purchase. Every decision. Every hello and goodbye. Every assignment. Every conversation. Every meal. Every morning, afternoon and evening. And never, ever, ever look back.


Go on.

Do it now, and have FUN!!! :))

© Nicole J. Williams, 2007, all rights reserved.

1 comment:

Camellia said...

H'mmmm..maybe if what we are doing is supposed to prove our worth, then we have no idea what our worth is and we poison what we are doing...oh, being, so much less complicated. Thanks for your usual thought-provoking musings.