Surprises and Perks


Today I did a short podcast interview about my work. As I was a little pressed for time and could not anticipate all the questions in advance, I realized, after the fact, that there was one aspect I did not get to emphasize, and it was something I find quite exciting about the practice.

My work tends to highlight two ends of the same message. On the one hand, because all our actions are involuntary, occuring on their own, we have no choice or control over what we do. But, the flip side is that we get all our decisions for free and there is nothing to figure out! Furthermore, everything we do is what we should be doing despite how we or others may judge it. For me, this is intensely liberating. Finally, knowing that what I do is what my body does (and nothing other than that), it is fun for me to watch what my body does to find out what I am going to do next and next and next!

Living in the surprise element of observing what nature produces through my body is like watching a movie. This is different than the movie in my head; it is my real-life movie in real time. Understand that this is not all fun and games, and that much of the time there is a battle going on between what I wish were happening and how I actually spend my time. However, being that I really can’t change reality, I have surrendered to the fun of feeding my curiosity. Since my planning mind cannot know anything that will happen, the opportunity is always there to marvel at my daily actions. Sometimes they go along with what I imagined, and other times I’m a little wowed by this or that. I like the wow moments and have come to look forward to them. I call them perks.

Perks are a nice way to mark the day, and there are always a bunch I can jot down. Perks are as they sound, little events that uplifted me in a day. As I get deeper into the practice of listing perks, I make a big deal over the things that, perhaps in the past, I would have taken for granted. It is a way of acknowledging goings-on that made me feel good, on whatever level that occurred. Maybe I got a great night sleep, or drank a delicious cup of tea, or a friend unexpectedly stopped by, or I had a wonderful walk, or watched a great movie, or somebody “liked” my Instagram photo, or I cooked some good food, or enjoyed writing a blog article, or got a lot of editing done, or got a job offer. It can be anything from small to grand.

Though it is typical for a mind to feel like its person is not active enough in the things she or he would like to be accomplishing, in truth we are always in some action. If our body is in the space, which it always is, then it is automatically in an activity. Thus, we are always productive, and it feels good to be productive. Look and see what activities you are in throughout your day and recognize that you may be enjoying yourself more than you realize! Watch your own movie as if it were a cinematic surprise. Notice how the script just unfolds…

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