True understanding is to see the events of life in this way: ‘You are here for my benefit, though rumor paints you otherwise.’ And everything is turned to one’s advantage when he greets a situation like this: You are the very thing I was looking for. Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth of those around you. This, in a word, is art — and this art called ‘life’ is a practice suitable to both men and gods. Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing; what then could be strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend?”
Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD)
Last weekend I spent Saturday afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, NY. Viewing the ancient Egyptian and South Asian collections along with famous contemporary works reminded my companion and I how art provides modern society a record of how life and culture was in centuries past. We were also reminded of just how much humans have evolved over the span of thousands of years: how ancient civilizations were sophisticated for their time, and how society transforms at the ‘perfect’ pace. Art truly is life.
I’m washed over with a sense of grace and ease when I remember that I am in exactly the perfect place at the perfect time in my life journey: That everything occurs for a reason. This results in me taking ownership for my intentions, my thoughts, my words, and my actions. I also feel a sense of grace when I ease the pressure I sometimes put on myself to immediately have the ‘right’ answer, or to rush towards the the ‘right’ outcome. That’s how I define the ‘art’ of living life with grace and ease.
How about you: How can you find more ways to live artfully with a sense of grace and ease? How does your day unfold when you approach it as if “all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend”?