Hunting for Diamonds
Have you ever heard Russell Conwell’s classic speech “Acres of Diamonds”?
He tells the story of a man named Ali Hafed and his undeniable thirst to be a diamond hunter. He was so passionate about this dream that he sold his farm, everything he owned, and even left his family to chase it!
Years went by and Ali had traveled to many distant lands, using up all his money on his quest for the still undiscovered diamonds.
Meanwhile, the man who purchased Ali's farm led a camel out from the barn to the garden to drink one day. As the camel drank from the garden the new farmer noticed a shiny object on the ground. Reaching for it, he pulled out a stone containing something he’d never seen before. He quickly took a look around while starting to stir up the white cold sand beneath his feet. He soon came to discover more valuable gems than he had ever seen!
I would guess that we are all guilty of overlooking the diamonds in our own backyard.
Have you ever overlooked your child's hard work in getting a B on a test because you wanted it to be an A? Have you ever overlooked a service someone did for you because it wasn’t done the way you wished?
We are strivers, just like Ali. Our longing for growth and progression seems written in our DNA. But what if we get lost in our longing? What if we fail to see what we have already become because we are so focused on what we want to be?
Non-Striving may be your new BFF. John Kabat-Zinn describes Non-Striving as an attitude of being rather than doing, one that embodies an openness to the present moment as it is. Without seeking for things to be different or desiring to be elsewhere, non-striving in mindfulness is about being in the here and now without anticipation of any future outcomes.
Non-striving does not mean we don't have goals or aspirations. It is simply an opportunity to pause and cultivate present moment acceptance.
We dig for diamonds in our own backyard.
One place non-striving can be most helpful is within our relationships, most especially our family relationships.
It is easy to spend too much time reaching for something, wishing our family was different. Longing for our husband to be more like that, our children to be less like this, or our parents would do this or that. If we aren’t careful, our wishful thinking can blind us to all the goodness and progress happening right before us.
Our Family Gratitude Meditation is a meditation designed to infuse non-striving and focus on being grateful for our family exactly how it is, right now. If you feel disconnected from family, try this meditation. If you want to feel gratitude for your family, do this meditation. If you want to show up on Thanksgiving with a heart full of gratitude for your family, do this meditation.
As a gift of gratitude for you, we are featuring the Family Gratitude Meditation all month in the Free and Featured section of our app, Small Seed Still. Download it if you haven't already and take some time to rest in gratitude this month.