The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.
— Mark Nepo from The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
We’re asked to learn how to keep asking for what we need only to practice accepting what we’re given, and that’s a paradox. But what’s so important about this, for me, is that asking for what we need doesn’t always lead to getting what we need. Sometimes it does, and that’s great. But the reward for asking for what we need is that we become intimate with our own nature. We learn who we are by standing in who we are. The reward for practicing accepting what we’re given is we become intimate with everything that’s not us. We become intimate with the nature of life. And it’s the rhythm between our own nature and the nature of life that allows us to find the thread we are — the thread we are in the unseeable connections that hold everything together.
— Mark Nepo from Super Soul Sunday (November 17, 2013)