Paying Attention to Miracles with Sharon Snir
I am so proud to offer this inspiring guest post from Sharon Snir, psychotherapist, healer and author who has recently published The Little Book of Everyday Miracles. You can read my review of it here
You can hear a fascinating live interview with Sharon on SBS radio here
More info on Sharon and her work at the end of this wonderful guest post.
Have you noticed how quickly the days come and go? How often we shake our head when we realise it is already Thursday? How August seems to creep up behind and leave us wondering where in the world April, May and June went?
When life becomes too busy, few of us stop long enough to take a deep breath, let alone pay attention to the little moments of magic that happen around us every day. And yet, most of us have at one time or another experienced these moments that I call everyday miracles.
For example, have you ever wanted to telephone a friend and just as you reach for the phone she calls you? It happens to me all the time. My friend Chardi has a parking angel: as soon as she begins to look for a parking space, a car miraculously pulls out and leaves the space for her. Walking along a quiet back street in Tokyo I once met an old friend whose name had somehow come up on my phone just that morning. Some people would call these miracles. Some people shrug them off as coincidences.
I recently read a wonderful story about a man sitting in the park watching his children play. He had just completed six months of chemotherapy and was feeling peaceful and grateful to be alive on this beautiful day. He looked up at the clouds. A small patch of fluffy clouds moved away from the rest, forming three separate letters. The first was J, the second looked like an O, and the third was a Y. Joy.
He believed this was a miracle to remind him that joy is there just for the looking.
Everyday miracles reveal themselves when we choose to pay attention. The more present we are, the more frequently these moments occur. Life, regardless of our circumstances, is enriched a thousand times over when we stop and pay attention to what is happening right now.
Hearing bad news everyday has become par for the course. Our television, radio, newspaper and internet siphon stories of natural and man-made disasters, earth quakes, war and famine into our living rooms, our cars our mobile phones every day.
Bad news is the media’s ‘good news’. Why is good news so rarely shared? Is it perhaps too boring, too mediocre, or too banal? Why does bad news attract more listeners, more viewers and more readers? Or does it?
Although I believe we do need to know what is going on in the world we also need to realize that is not all that happens. Beautiful, magical, gracious acts of kindness weave in and out of life too. Prayers are being answered, forgiveness is being offered and gratitude is being given every minute of every day by millions of people. Their stories life our spirits and bring us hope that all is not lost, indeed far from it.
Television programs like ‘The Voice’ and ‘Master Chef’ have drawn a huge number of viewers and I suspect it is because people love to see people learning, growing, doing well and achieving their dreams. When we see someone’s dream come true we feel more positive, more hopeful and more optimistic about the possibility of our dreams coming true too.
And when we hear about someone experiencing a miracle, it not only leaves us more hopeful but it opens our heart and our mind to the idea that maybe, just maybe, the impossible is possible.
When we’re open, we allow ourselves the opportunity to experience more everyday miracles, because, as the powerful universal law states, ‘That which is like unto itself is drawn’. Basically, we attract what we think about. If we focus on the good things in our life we draw more good things into our life. We have the power to attract both the good and the bad as a result of what we think and feel and call to us. Whether these intentions are conscious or not, when we change our thoughts, we change what we attract into our life.
|Author Sharon Snir|
So how do we change our thoughts? Here is a little story about an experience that happened to me recently, which changed my outlook.
My husband and I have been married 31 years and like most marriages we have had our difficult times. When he retired four years ago I have to admit it became a bit challenging to have him home every day. I missed not having the house to myself in the way I used to. I missed going downstairs in the late afternoon and turning on the radio full volume while I made dinner. Having him home meant he was right there in the kitchen with me, offering his help to be sure, but the ritual of cooking with the radio blaring had suddenly ended. Life had changed and to be honest, I wasn’t ready.
Then my cousin unexpectedly died, and everything changed again. We had been very close. I had known him since I was a child. Death is very final. One day he was here and the next day none of us would ever see him again.
After the funeral, my husband and I came home and sat in the kitchen, poured ourselves a drink and talked. We discussed the impermanence of life and how easy it is to forget that we are here for such a short time. These kinds of situations help us to reflect and clarify what is really important. They help us appreciate everything life has to offer. Sitting quietly with my husband I felt deeply grateful for the time we still have together.
Paradoxically, every morning I wake up also knowing this could be the last day of my life. It could be the last day of my husband’s life or one of my children. Knowing this and bringing it to mind heightens my sense of thankfulness for every minute of the day. The more we practice kindness and generosity the more we find it flowing into our lives.
Paying attention to everyday miracles reminds us that life is a gift. The joy of taking a deep breath cannot be taken for granted, especially when you have seen someone take their last. The gratitude that fills your heart when your child succeeds in getting a dream job, or your grandchild says I love you cannot be underestimated. The peace we experience when we befriend an old enemy is possibly the greatest miracle imaginable. The willingness to let go of complaining, let go of being a victim, let go of our addictions to drama, brings into our lives a world of everyday miracles.
In the words of Marianne Williamson, ‘Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.’
Spiritual teacher, author and clinical psychotherapist Sharon Snir is the founder and creator of a system of learning, called The 12 Levels of Being. She gives regular lectures, seminars and workshops in Australia, Asia, Europe and in the United States. Sharon has written three books. The 12 Levels of Being, published by Shekhina books in 2007, Looking for Lionel –How I lost and Found my Mother through Dementia, Published by Allen and Unwin in 2010, and The Little Book of Everyday Miracles, published in October 2012 by Allen & Unwin. She has her own on-line weekly radio slot, a small private practice and is on You Tube. She and her husband have 5 children, one son in law and a cavoodle they all adore named Chino.You can learn more about Sharon at www.sharonsnir.com