I am having a little evening texting exchange with my sister. When I text, “Did you have a nice day?” I think, “Won’t it be great if ‘Spectacular!’ is her reply?”
And then I’ll have to stop making dinner and call her and get the details.
As I look down at the screen, checking for her reply, I idly wonder… how would she specifically define a spectacular day?
And then I think, “What about me? What would it take for me to be able to answer ‘Spectacular!’ Without a whiff of sarcasm, I mean.
I am commonly at the ‘fine’ or ‘pretty good’ end of the spectrum, with an occasional dip into the ‘very stressful’ or ‘freaking aggravating!’ zone.
So I take a few minutes and answer that question for myself. What will kick the needle toward the ‘pretty darn good’/ ‘fabulous!’ end of the day-o-meter?
And you? What sort of events will move the needle for you?
You know where I’m going with this don’t you? I’m thinking this is a spiritual exercise opportunity and a charming excuse to employ colorful markers and an array of office supplies.
It tickles me to think of you taking a moment for yourself right now to do this. I promise: imagining the details of your great day will get you tingling delightfully. That delightful tingle, by the way, is your body creating a neural pathway for that event to occur.
Now this is getting fun. It is similar to a ‘Good News’ exercise, which I don’t do frequently enough. I love to think about the people in my life and then make a ‘Good News!’ list. Have they interviewed for a job and are waiting to hear if they got it? Are they waiting on test results? Do they need to find a deal on a dress for a special event? Best to stick with things for which I know they are actually hoping. I imagine myself and others getting all kinds of good news and put the list in my pocket and glance at it from time to time for the next day or two. The results are – well, good news.
Why in the world don’t I do that every few days? Why do I ever fail to plug in to the spirit that is jiggling and sparkling nearby? Perplexing.
Sending good thoughts is a powerful practice. I haven’t a doubt about that. But there is a need to keep it spicy. Boring prayers kind of plop on the ground. You can’t just toss the plug in the general direction of the outlet.
I find I have to do something. Different. Surprise myself. Get excited. To make those suckers fly, I have to get some oomph going.
Coming at things from a different direction, like making that good news list or posing an intriguing question, is just the ticket. That gets me plugged into the spiritual socket.
So back to that day-o-meter.
For me, answering the question of what would make me rate a day ‘spectacular’ immediately led to another couple of questions.
Is this likely to happen?
How do I make it likely to happen? (And if I’m feeling not entirely selfish, how can I make it more likely that someone I love will have a sensational day?)
Handsome supportive husband and I were on the road to visit family in New Jersey when we stopped into a Starbucks in Connecticut and had one of those moments that become part of a couple’s legend. We were waiting in a short line, people watching, enjoying that soon-to-be-caffeinated glow, when a smiling contractor-looking guy walked in. When the Barista greeted him and asked how he was doing, the guy answered a loud, gut-felt “AWWWWESOME!”. I mean it came up from his toes and put a huge smile on every face in the cafe.
Can you imagine?