It was a rather ordinary day here in Shanghai. I struggled out of bed at 6am and went to work. It was the 2nd week in a row of beautiful weather, so I took note of the clear Shanghai skyline from my 25thfloor office, with floor to ceiling windows. It was an ordinary day. I did my work, but was distracted thinking about this and that throughout the morning. It’s only the 2nd day after a long holiday, and the office was still relatively quiet.
Lunch happened. Ordinary lunch. I brought my food, and ate with my colleagues. Chatters about this and that took place. I was rather uninterested, and took my exit at an appropriate time back to my desk. Did a quick peruse through my social media, and discovered photo of a page out of a hard copy book that so very much resonated. The fact it was a photo of a real book made me happy, and then the content took me to another level of delight.
This poem resonated with me a great deal. Earlier this year, I had decided to be more present in my life. Being present is something that I have been continuously working on for many years. Yet back in the spring, I was getting caught up in feeling a lack of purpose in my everyday life here in Shanghai. I felt I was settling into a corporate grind, and life was passing swiftly before me. I needed some purpose. I had just returned from a marvelous trip in Ethiopia, and I was craving for a sense of adventure.
And then, I realized my life is simply beautiful, and I needed to take more time to notice its ordinary beauty. The friendships I’ve created were molding into something significant, though it was a slow process. Gaining a sense of purpose was completely within my own control, and I simply needed to create opportunities to feel purposeful. The ordinary life in Shanghai is full of intrigue, and it requires slowing down and taking notice. I started photographing mundane happenings around the city. It truly is a beautiful city.
That poem described the process of living an ordinary life so veraciously, and it took me through my day. Tonight at yoga, I was overwhelmed with gratitude by the most ordinary thing: I was situated next to the window, and out of the corner of my eye during mountain pose, the moon was brightly lit in its complete fullness. Through the rare clear Shanghai sky, the luminosity was competing with skyscrapers in the night sky.
It was another ordinary, yet always wonderful practice at Red Door Yoga (best yoga studio in Shanghai, by the way). I was being pushed to be better on my mat. I was being present and taking in the moonlight out of my peripheral vision. An ordinary night to end an ordinary day; living each ordinary moment to be the better version of myself, and the extraordinary will come.
You can contact Wendy Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.