Tyler has an amazing gift for spotting the beauty within the ostensibly humdrum moments of our lives that drives his followers to demand more.
Scattering kindness and other commonplace miracles
COMMONNESS - Bong R. Osorio (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2019 - 12:00am

Tyler Knott Gregson, the national bestselling author of Chasers of the Light, pulls back the curtain on his creative process to share how to unlock creativity and lead a more mindful and compassionate life in his newest book, Miracle in the Mundane. It is a collection of his Instagram posts of amorous and arresting pieces of poetry that fascinate his followers with his brand of authenticity and intimate expression.

Tyler has an amazing gift for spotting the beauty within the ostensibly humdrum moments of our lives that drives his followers to demand more. His latest tour de force presents a stirring collection of poems that exposes his more clandestine side, along with nurturing a sense of wonder for the universe. Each topic discussed comes with an insightful guide to help you get in touch with your creativity, spark inspiration, and live a life that is beyond your expectation. 

Through a series of “challenges and beyond” discourses paired with honest and passionate poems, you are cheered to write, draw, take photos, and share as you discover how to see yourself in a new light. It also showcases exercises on mindfulness and self-expression, as well as a poem for every prompt that expands your heart and mind to unearth the miracles concealed all around you. There are about 40 topics covered in Tyler’s collection of creativity and unfiltered joy. Below are the standouts.

A compassionate mind. “We can forgive those who forgot us, we can set down the burden and walk away untethered. Why do we carry the corpses of cruelty, the dead weight of betrayal?” We hold on to anger, irritation, frustration and blame, and we forget about the negative consequences inflicted upon us when doing so. Without directly noticing, it shifts our perspective, it paints everything in colors we didn’t intend, and it reframes the way we see everything. Before we know it, even the good bits lose their luster; even the positive moments seem tainted. These broad divides leak their way locally into our homes, our own hearts. We feel divided from those we should feel connected to.

Sankalpa. “What haven’t you seen that you wanted to, what life have you waited to live? We sit, for lifetimes we sit crafting, excuses out of fears, our humble hands bleed from stitching them together. Set fire to the seams, perfume yourself in the smoke of your regret.” Hope is sometimes lost on us. We need to give that hope a hopeful push, and one of the ways to do this is with a sankalpa, a Sanskrit word that means “resolve.” It is a beautiful reminder that we already have within us all the tools and drive to live the life you wish, to be the persons we wish to be. Simplified, it is a resolution we make going forward, an intention we give to the life we’re about to live.

Alone vs. lonely. “I think people so often forget that the word alone does not and never has lived inside the word ‘lonely.’” Let’s face it: We’re conditioned by a million sources to believe that the only way through this life is with constant companionship. Somewhere along the way, amid this bombardment of reminders from every other person who has a partner to share things with, we feel that if we do not also have someone to share things with, we cannot experience anything; we cannot do, really, anything at all. This is wrong. Painfully so.

A good deed goes un-posted. “I will meditate on kindness until I become it, effortless and true. I’ll practice love, until I know nothing but giving it. Until I leak it without ever noticing.” Don’t do good deeds for the praise, for the recognition and accolades, and no one anywhere needs to hear about it. We push for likes, for re-tweets and for followers, for acceptance and recognition, whether we like to admit it or not. This is a natural thing; this is understandable. The problem is the motivation behind the action, not the action itself. Regardless of our intentions, when we’re motivated by those enticing and addictive positive reinforcements, the actual of doing a good deed is short-lived and fleeting.

Be in the moment. “We forget to stop, we forget to pay them any mind, and feel no remorse in this forgetting. Eyes closed, we wander through this life; we don’t know we’ve got honeycomb hearts that need that pollen. Maybe if we know, if we all just know, we’ll all be back as flowers.” Out of a million memorable moments, how many are missed? It is unclear how this phenomenon leaked into our lives, when it first began shifting the way we approach the times that excite us or wake us up, but it can be worrisome. Why do we feel such a burning need to share every new thing that happens to us with people, many of whom we’ve never met? If we don’t capture it, caption it, hashtag it, and spread it around the Internet, does it lose value? We’ve become so busy trying to curate the perfect capture of a single second, we miss out on the live, in-person, ephemeral beauty that will never look this way again.

Practice observational meditation. “If you grow (and grow you shall) to be one (you will be one hundred billion things), thing, the one (out of all the infinities stirring) alone (you are never, ever, alone), let it be gentle.” We go through life often forgetting we are not the very center of the universe around us. We see ourselves as the sun, and everything else just a planet that orbits around the life we’ve carved out. A tool used over the years to help rid of this incorrect and limiting viewpoint is meditation: on kindness, creativity and on the idea that we’re not the center of all things but only one component. It sounds simple and obvious, but by directing our thoughts and senses to this specific character misconception, it allows our minds to shift the narrative and expand into areas once closed-off and forgotten.

Life is full of juxtapositions. “Two things at once, often more. Fierce, but tender, calm, but a volcano of worry and nerve; strength unmatched, with softness perched atop. You, you of poles, of wild opposites discovering harmony.” Life beside death, construction sharing space with destruction, calm inside of so much noise. The more mindful we become in our lives, the more trends we should see emerging, the more common threads that, in a sense, weave the rest of our lives together, and one of these threads is the art of observation, the art of noticing. We become accustomed to looking for patterns, noticing repetition in so many of our senses. What can be more challenging is finding opposites sharing a space, finding literal and symbolic antonyms cohabitating somewhere in our own daily lives.

Clean your slates. “How tender can you be, how delicate with the thin glass of another’s heart? So many with hammers for hands, so few can hold us.” Fewer things are more dangerous to our own discoveries in this life than preconceived notions. Fewer things limit our capacity for compassion, for curiosity, for spontaneity than coming into a situation with half-formed beliefs about things we may not have actual knowledge about. The idea of cleaning the slate doesn’t mean we should ignore every warning of every person who could potentially do us harm. Instead, it’s that we should keep an open mind when meeting people who may have fallen out of favor with those who know them, with people we have no reason to dislike but are told to do so.

Try, try, try, try. “Repeat this mantra over, and again, until it sings when you’re silent, it breathes when you are breathless: I can do anything; I can do anything; I can do anything; I can do anything.” We learn through failures, some large, some small, and they shape us into the people we become. Without these unfortunate but vial valleys in our lives, we can never truly reach the peaks that can follow; without learning from our own mistakes, painfully acquired along the route of attempt, we cannot learn where we went wrong, what we let slip through our fingers, how to require so much more than ourselves to be what we want, to do what we should, to try.

Be creative every day. “If you wait for beauty to present itself, it might, a time or two, half dozen or so over the winding course of your life. If you choose to find it on your own, your eyes will never have time to close.” Even if it is once, even if you have to force it for a long, long while before it comes naturally, even if you have to invent new ways to find it, be creative. Make it a purposeful thing, make it intentional, make it habitual, and make it a priority. We live busy lives, all of us inundated and surrounded by a million things to steal our attention and time.

Miracles are indeed all around us, even in the dull, boring, tedious, wearisome, monotonous and run-of-the-mill events in our everyday existence. We are all witnesses to how God works in our lives, sometimes in the smallest, most unexpected of ways.

Watch miracles in the mundane unfold every day. Use them to your advantage.

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Email bongosorio@gmail.com.

CHASERS OF THE LIGHT MIRACLE IN THE MUNDANE TYLER KNOTT GREGSON
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