Treasure is Valuable. It’s Desirable. It Motivates. We are all searching for treasure, in one form or another, right?
It slowly became adult dark in our neighborhood, and we all heard the call. Dinnertime. We hadn’t found anything though! Yet. We hadn’t found anything, yet. Looking at one another, we climbed out of our hole and brushed off our technical equipment. Everything was silently put away and we carefully closed our work for the day. We finished our notes and with silent smiles promised to continue the quest tomorrow, after school.
Our dig site was a pile of dirt in Brian’s backyard. The technical equipment consisted of 3 broken beach shovels, a garden trowel and a number of gnarled sticks. Our notes were lines drawn in the dirt marking the places we’d already excavated and small mounds where we hoped for a discovery. The entire archeological adventure had begun with the search for a lost ball and a found dinosaur bone. (It was likely a chicken leg, but it stuck out from the ground in a place that screamed, “Treasure!”) So, we dropped the ball and began to dig.
We never found more dinosaur bones. We didn’t dig to the other side of the world. We found 82 cents and a few crazy old looking marbles. And that was enough. Treasure! The treasure was in the looking, it was in the ideas and the energy that we brought to our ‘work site’ each day after school.
Our everyday, ordinary lives are filled with treasure. There is potential inspiration and motivation on our commute, in the shower or at the stove top. There’s power in marking the beginning and ending of each day.
Yet, treasures are buried. They are difficult to find and even harder to hold onto. We lead harried, hectic, and Very Important lives. We are on the extraordinary quest for greatness. Do more things, make more money, get more things, spend more money. The efficiencies, conveniences and omnipresent entertainment in our culture, coupled with the constant influx and modeling of extraordinary, epic, legendary and mostly unreal images from media portray an unrealistic and harmful picture of our everyday treasures. If it isn’t epic, why do it? If it’s not legendary, is it worth it?
Our everyday, ordinary lives are fulled with Treasure. They are filled with meaning. And these treasured valuables, while hidden, are discoverable. They are identifiable and tangible. And what’s more? Our treasured values also provide direction for our future daily adventures!
Treasure hunting is exciting, risky and potentially rewarding. It takes intention, energy and time. If you are searching for more meaningful connections in your life, it is effort well spent.
Clues, maps, hints and helpers are useful along the way. And you will find them once you commit to the hunt for daily, ordinary treasure!
By reading this, you are likely interested in finding valued treasures in your everyday life. You know that there is more out there than the mundane activities of daily drudgery. Washing dishes, cleaning the toilet, maintaining and sustaining —it is all necessary toil, but meaningful, valuable? Yes, indeed.
To begin your journey, discovering the meaning and magic in the mundane, I’d urge you to ask yourself three questions.
Can you become ever-increasingly present to your everyday life? Do you know what it is that you are doing, right now? How often will you stop and ask yourself, “What am I doing? What is happening? What am I feeling or thinking right now?” In my psychotherapy practice, I consult with individuals who are working on strengthening their mindful attention. I’ve witnessed men, woman and children intentionally increase their interest in everyday interactions. As you develop an awareness of the WHAT?, time has a tendency to slow down, ever so slightly. All you need is a fraction of a moment to see the treasure and then make an important choice.
Are you curious why you do what you do? I mean truly, are you aware of the reasoning behind cleaning toilets, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, or making beds? Why do you choose one thing over another from your unending list of chores? Yes — they are all tasks that have to be done; they are Activities of Daily Living. That is the easy answer. It isn’t enough. What if we began with an assumption that they are actually choices you make? What if I were to tell you that there is a secret, hidden treasure in the ‘WHY?” of these choices? These choices can become daily expressions of our beliefs, our values, and our hopes and dreams. As you make moments to ask “So What?”, these values and beliefs tend to stand up and make themselves heard. Amidst the harried and hectic family lives where we find ourselves, a steadfast, grounded landmark, projecting truth and offering direction can be a welcome, necessary sight.
You have values. You have hopes and you have dreams. Life is full of them. Do you take action(s) that support and express what is most dear to you? Can you find your values and your beliefs in the choices that you make EVERY DAY? All of the things, big and little, are opportunities for you to move towards the life that you most prefer. This is not easy, believe me. There are obstacles; there are challenges, problems, and issues. This is the work. How can you hold your values more presently in your everyday life? What can you do, or notice, in order to call each value to become more powerfully present? As you maintain awareness of what’s most important and then ask, “Now What?” you’ll increase capacity to hold onto treasures and connect more deeply with your own life’s journey.
Three questions. Lots of opportunities for treasure. And it’s the best kind of treasure. The more that you search for and use this treasure, the more you have!
I hope that you notice and collect your treasures. I hope that you share them and live more intentionally everyday in your extraordinary life!
These three questions are the first steps on the map to a more connected and nourished life. Welcome to the journey of becoming a more deeply grounded and connected person, parent and partner!
What treasures and values can you identify in your daily activities? What meaning will you discover in your daily home work? I’d love to hear some of your treasure hunting tales! Currently, I am deep in the dark woods, exploring the meaning and motivation behind clutter, care-taking and consistency.
If you’d like to learn more about JourneyMen, the upcoming coaching course for Present Papas, and other programs and offerings from Nourished Connections, LLC, please email me at Jason@JourneyMenFoundation.com or join the journey at the JourneyMen Foundation