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Enjoy the Little Things: 11 Ways to Find the Sacred in Everyday Life

Woman meditating at sea

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault

One of the things I love about the Native American spiritual path is the focus on appreciating the simple things in life.

Simple things are often hard to relate to in today’s world of overwhelm.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, says we human beings currently create as much information in two days as we did from the dawn of civilization up through 2003!

And yet our bodies were, and still are, designed to be in tune with the sun, the moon, the seasons, and the cycles of nature. That simplicity is what our souls long for.

So our adaption to the “modern age” has been fraught with peril to our peace of mind and our health.

Our ancestors greeted the sun each morning, enjoyed simple home-cooked meals, played with their children and grandchildren, and delighted in a beautiful sunset, with no television to lure them inside on a beautiful summer evening.

I am as tempted as the next person to watch a good TV show, but I have found that the evenings when I putter in the kitchen, making a healthy meal while listening to relaxing music, are much more fulfilling.

Finding Meaning in the Little Things

I designed my house around being able to have African violets in the kitchen window.

I did it because my grandmother had them in her kitchen window. That meant the kitchen window had to be in the south, because that gave them the best light.

So my entire house was designed around having a south-facing kitchen window for African violets.

Every time I stand at the kitchen sink and see them, I think of my grandmother. And it becomes a simple, heartfelt connection to the past.

Native Americans sought a simple, earth-based lifestyle also. No one who truly understood the responsibility involved ever sought to be a “medicine man.” They longed to be a simple human being, living a simple life.

My first Native American teacher, Sun Bear, said, “I’m not interested in any philosophy unless it can help me grow corn.” Meaning, knowledge that makes our lives better is what’s most valuable.

It’s fine to spend time philosophizing about lofty ideals, but how does that help you if you’re unable to enjoy a cup of tea, or a sunset, or delight in watching a child take her first steps?

Living a peaceful, fulfilling life is sacred.

Is There More to Life Than This?

I remember an episode of the sitcom Seinfeld in which Jerry Seinfeld was, for once in his life, thoughtful and sensitive. In reviewing his shallow life, he asked, “Isn’t there more to life than this?”

His neighbor Kramer replied, “I know the answer to that: There isn’t!”

What if there isn’t more to life than simplicity, appreciating every day, helping others, and being kind when we can? I think that’s not so bad!

I have two friends who recently retired and told me they asked themselves, “What should we do now with our time?”

And they decided they just want to help people. They’re very handy and told me that whenever I need something fixed around the house, to just call them and they’ll come fix it at no charge. They do it just for the pure joy of it.

It helps me enormously and gives them the fulfilling feeling of having helped someone. What a simple retirement solution.

And I get the joy of inviting them over to dinner as a thank you.

Spiritual Acts in Daily Life

Here are some things that I feel are sacred in life, and they certainly are simple. Perhaps making time to add them to your day will bring the sacred back into it:

1. Prayer.

2. Meditation.

3. Time in nature.

4. Time with children; they certainly know how to live in the moment.

5. Meal preparation. It’s an opportunity to pray over your food. Make it a meditation.

6. Greet the day. Watch the sun rise and say, ”Thank you.”

7. Say “goodnight” to the day and express gratitude for everything that happened that day.

8. Declutter your home, which also leads to decluttering your mind. I’m going through a massive purging right now, getting rid of things I no longer use. It feels as though I’m opening up my mind and soul for a fresh breeze to flow through and renew me.

9. Awake early to have time to meditate, breathe, and watch the birds, while slowly, mindfully, drinking a cup of coffee or tea.

10. When you feel the need to buy something, stop. Wait twenty-four hours. Why do you want it? Do you need it? What void is it filling? What else can fill it?

11. Do you keep the T.V. on without even watching it? Living alone, I am well aware that sometimes I like the T.V on just to hear the voices of other people. But I’ve recently taken to leaving the T.V. off and listening to music instead. So I still hear voices, but more pleasant ones.

Here are a few things turning off the T.V. can give you: time with a loved one, time for exercise, time for meditation, time for self, time to observe nature, time for a nap.

Why not take some time to slow down, incorporate some of these spiritual acts into your day, and see what a difference it makes?

Woman meditating at sea image via Shutterstock

About Molly Larkin

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com.

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  • Tanya

    I love it! Although I think our ancestors had serious issues to worry about–like starvation, disease, and Great Depressions–they did live a more simple life. I’m trying to get back to that by cutting out T.V. and Neflix and reading more. It’s the little things in life.

  • Molly Larkin

    Good for you, Tanya. I think cutting down on TV is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Summer is a good time to get out of the TV habit because it’s all reruns! 🙂

  • IBikeNYC

    I just ADORE your violet-friendly kitchen window! That’s just the sort of thing I would do myself.

    Thanks for a genuine, deeply-felt smile and a set of the warm fuzzies on what had been a REALLY stress-filled day!

  • Molly Larkin

    You are most welcome! Glad to hear it helped!

  • Mollyu

    May i know how the word “Scared” fits into this topic? This Tinu buddha is really a crap site, which encourages people (so called authors) to write some shit..

  • fddfad

    Its really shame that.. this author Molly Larkin keeps deleting all the negative comments she receives.. A sign of good personality is to accept both Positive and negative comments equally. Its shame on you that you don’t do it..

  • sangeethamohandoss@hotmail.com

    Great post. I enjoyed reading . Keep Things Simple. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Molly Larkin

    You are most welcome. Yes, simplicity is very underrated! 🙂

  • Sarah Blinco

    Lovely feature, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Molly Larkin

    You are most welcome!

  • Janes Chiarelli

    Hello. My husband of almost 7 years, cheated on me and left me for her and is living with her now. He said he hasn’t been happy in years but never told/showed me he was unhappy. We have a 4 year old son that missed his daddy so much and cries for him to just come home. Our son even crawled all over his car crying “daddy stay home with me.” And he still left. He just keeps saying “he’s never coming back, no matter what.” I didn’t know what to anymore..he left me 5/7/15, the weekend before mothers day this year and it broke my heart and I keep praying to God and he keeps telling me “be patient” I was still trying mdy best but it was hard when this was hurting my son so badly. I have told my sister about this and she gave me some advice to contact a very good and powerful prophet who can help me pray for my husband to come back and be happy with us again which i did and i contacted the prophet. he prayed for me and my husband cam home begging me to take him back and now we are happily living together and a family. all thanks to the prophet and his email is (prayerstosaverelationship@yahoo.com). May God bless you abundantly!

  • shea oneil

    Why can’t you all just admit that you love TV! It is OK to love TV… people spend a LOT of time making really awesome shows that can take you all over the world and in and our of people’s consciousness and thoughts and sooo much human work and care goes into these programs… and then you can talk to other people about them and think about the theories and what you like about each character…and.. it is OK to love it. That’s all I am saying. There is this “thing” common today about how listening to music or reading books or talking with strangers is better for you than watching TV… but the fact is.. it is OK to love TV, and to admit it. It doesn’t make you a fat lazy slob. It makes you be like.. hey.. I am really glad that I am not a police officer and don’t have to do that for a living, and I wish life was more like so and so’s from _______ show… and then you tell that to someone on a date and they are like.. whoa I agree!!! and then you base your dream off of it because hey… it took like 1,000 people working harmoniously together to make that dream and get it heard on the TV so it is probably better than any one you can come up with on your own… but if you want to try to come up with one on your own.. Journal… then you can realize how hard it is… but that is fun to do too for a while… anyways the point is… I think its OK to love TV.
    Love it, learn from it, until you get sick of it and want to do something else. Then do that.

  • Molly Larkin

    You make a good point, Shea. Of course it’s fine to love TV. I have some shows I love, too. My favorite is Modern Family because it deals with real life family issues and makes me laugh at the same time. My listing TV as something to watch less of was aimed at people who have
    it on and are not actually watching it, as well as a way to find more
    time in the day for people who feel they don’t have enough of it. Good
    point, well made. Thank you for your Comment.

  • Amec Xavier

    Interesting!

  • Molly Larkin

    Thank you, Amec.

  • Dr.Steve

    When I wake up in the morning, I give thanks that I woke up. I’m 80.

    I give thanks I woke up between clean sheets. There was a time I had none.

    I look over at my sleeping wife and give thanks she’s there, she’s healthy and she loves me. And, wants to keep me. Two former wives did not.
    I put on my glasses and give thanks they enable me to appreciate the room about me. Once I barely noticed.

    I place my feet on the carpet and give thanks it’s not cold, bare concrete. I’ve had such floors.

    I greet my cat and am ever so grateful he’s glad to see me. He purrs and I thank him for that. There was a time my cats hid from me.

    I pet him and feel the softness of his fur coat. I give thanks for that because in the past I wasn’t aware.

    I go into the bathroom and turn the water on. It works. I say a silent prayer of thanks. Once it did not.

    I brush my teeth and am grateful I still have mine.

    I use the toilet and give thanks I’ve a doctor who keeps me “going.” And, has for the last seven years.

    My cat and accompanies me into the kitchen and I say thanks for his devotion and companionship.

    And so goes my day. Before I go to sleep, I give thanks for a bed to sleep in, for my wife, our home, our cat, for my health and for the minutes I’ve been given to live; each one of them has been sacred.

  • Austin

    What a wonderful and nice fulfilling list.