We all have a default mode:
The first place we tend to go when the you-know-what hits the fan. This default setting or foundational habit mode is key, because life has a way of throwing us curve balls, so whatever our default setting is, we end up going there a lot.
What is your spiritual default mode?
What worldview arises when the seas of your life get rough and choppy?
Do you turn toward greater faith and belief in the bigger picture or do you begin to bemoan life, your lot, your inconvenient parking spot and everything else?
I have found there is one habit that all my happy, well-adjusted friends share, and it is this: when things get rough, they look UP.
They believe that there is a higher power and an order to their existence. No matter how messy things get, they believe that life has got their back.
This one fundamental belief changes everything.
Einstein is often quoted as saying:
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
I couldn’t agree more.
If you believe you live in a hostile universe, you tend to look down — down on situations, down on others, just down, down, down. This leads you, not surprisingly, to feeling down.
But when you believe you live in a friendly universe, you tend to look up. You trust there is a higher power, that you’re being supported by forces beyond your own will, and that love connects all living things.
You look up with awe and reverence.
I have been traveling around Europe a lot these days, which means I’ve been seeing a lot of cathedrals. It seems every town in France has a “Notre Dame.” Sitting in the energy and beauty of these temples is amazing, but what I noticed about all of them that was so special for me was this: They were obviously designed by people who look UP.
Every single cathedral you go into has intricate paintings or mosaics adorning the ceilings. I adore the mosaic of Jesus on the domed ceiling of the Sacre Coeur in Paris. And in Lyon, I was delighted to see lotus type flowers protruding from the ceiling. The detail, love, and inspiring beauty of these sacred spaces is a testament to the Divine.
My simple suggestion for today that I really believe will change your whole life is this: Practice looking up.
- Notice the colors in the sky and the way the clouds move.
- Admire the birds flying in unison.
- Enjoy the way the trees dot the hillside.
And if you happen to be in a town with lovely old cathedrals, enter one and tilt your head back so you can appreciate the years of work that have gone into the sacred art of honoring the Divine.
It’s a deceivingly basic thing, but if you practice looking up, you will soon find yourself filling up and feeling up.