Ordinary is a Wisdom Teacher

Ordinary is a wisdom teacher. I sit at her feet each time I enter a process of transformation. Transformation is not a short stretch from A to B. It is a long process of taking a new shape in order to birth a new layer to my multi-layered life. There is no rushing through, if I want my mind, heart, and inmost being to work united. There are long everyday moments: breathing in and out, sleeping and waking, eating and waiting.

This wisdom teacher tells me change happens slowly, and the slowness is good, even when it’s so slow I am unable to recognize movement. She tells me to hold on for one moment. And then one more moment. Her teaching methods are simple and subtle.

Ordinary enables a flow without interruption. While often I consider it boring or a place to feel trapped, it is a daily opportunity to look around and generate my own creativity and perception apart from spectacular events or the influence of tribal thinking. If I never immerse myself in the ordinary, I will forever be scaling the mountain of mania, thinking my life is all about arriving at the summit as swiftly as possible, while hoping everyone is watching, (except when I slip.)

Ordinary time is necessary for the cycle of growth. It is not quite the same as rest; it is more about openness and acceptance of what is here and now without trying to miracle-gro my way into the next phase of an endless string of spiritual experiences.


I am all about pursuing experience, because it speaks life and light into me. But I am now considering that this, too, might be possible: Can I wait for experience to come to me? Can I be alert, watchful, but not forceful about my personal evolution? Can I let go of the rudder for one holy moment of surrender and allow my life to be beautiful now?

Ordinary is the space I hold to discover meaning: of events, the world around me, my self. If I do not leave space to study and understand, I will be continually at the mercy of the urgent, or the mercy of perceived expectations.

I don’t want to live like that. I want the whole of this winding river life. The thrill of the rocks and rapids to the lazy drifting under weeping willow canopies with the gracious space of time necessary for dreaming at the sky. Dreaming at the sky is one thing I cannot afford to miss. It keeps me alive. It keeps me wanting more, not out of dissatisfaction, but out of calling.

If I don’t dream, I can never live awake. The heron knows what I mean. The woodthrush knows what I mean. The sparrow knows what I mean. If you find yourself in still waters, make sure you seek them out.

I am linking up with Esther Emery for #WholeMama. Our prompt this week is the word "ordinary."

Jamie Bagley