Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary moments.

Mar 15, 2021




Morning Walk. Tuesday. Unremarkable. Ordinary.

December is grey with dark monotone mornings. The waves are calm, the temperature is mild, the sky is a blanket of one gigantic cloud. The air is dull and sedentary. Neither windy nor calm. Ordinary, flat. The ordinary seems just boring I guess, my senses and experience feel dull, I am picking up on my perception of the environment I walk in.

I ponder the idea … Can I find the extraordinary in the ordinary…no matter what the situation?

Can you relate…?

Have you experienced those days when everything is just the same? It is a sort of lifeless moment. Nothing is super fun, nor is it dramatically bad.

Cue….eye roll..bored teenager vibe!! Yep….hopefully you are with me now!

Am sure you have probably experienced this more often the last few months where restrictions on ‘social’ fun activities have been reduced or temporarily squashed altogther!

Can I find the extraordinary in the ordinary… No Matter WHAT the situation?

This is a question I asked myself on this particular day on my morning sunrise walk.  I seem to have set myself a challenge, which in itself has sparked a bit of excitement!

Senses awakened, open to experiencing the ‘extra’. Here is what I observed and discovered…

My first encounter came just 30 seconds after my internal dialogue asked the question.

Walking towards a pigeon, which is very ordinary for my morning walk, in England. It was perched facing seaward, on the white painted wooden railing. It continued to perch until I was just one metre away, then it took flight. It’s wings opened and lifted off with total ease. Wings and flight…now that is pretty extra!

My second encounter of the ‘extra’ came 20 seconds later. A bench I have walked past ten’s of times over the last two months without really noticing it. You know when you’re aware it’s there but it’s just a bench, an ordinary object. If someone had said it was painted blue….I could neither argue for or against! Senses on alert for the ‘extra’ the engraved plaque glared at me.

‘Reunited in 2012’. For 8 (now 9) years that metal plate has been present to at least 2920 days. 2920 sunrises and sunsets, 8 winters, 96 full moons.

The names ‘Arthur Coleman 1924 to 2009 and Ruth Bax 1927 to 2012’. I wonder what lives they lived? The extraordinary realisation of them witnessing the same sea view as I see now, long before I entered this world in 1988. What was their story? Where were they during WW2 and the Cold War? What were they up to in the 60’s and 70’s? What were they passionate about? How did it sound when they laughed? What was their story? Do they have family members visiting the bench where their names are fixed?

Extraordinary ++

5 steps down, leaving the bench towards Durley chine, I notice cuttlefish shells, small but out of place on the steps of the cliff. Impossible to be washed up here. I imagine gulls, picking them up in their beaks whilst hunting. Taking off and releasing them midair to just land here right by my foot! ExtraO

On a rather dull, grey wash day in winter I notice yellow flowering petals of the gorse bush. Normally it is the one bush I dislike with its prickly nature. However, now it is the only coastal vegetation in sight that blooms in colour. The ‘prettiest’..who would have thought? Visually delightful against the monotone backdrop.


Walking down to the water’s edge, I glance out to sea. Two large cruise liners stationary, waiting out the pandemic. Not able to travel or adventure, I can sympathise with the nature of this man made invention we refer to as she/her.

Instead of simply noticing them, I stare in wonder at how such a mass can lay effortlessly afloat. A familiar thought over the last 6 months and obviously I am aware of the science as I am sure you are…but science altogether is pretty extra!

So I added it to my ExtraO sightings!

A ‘sunrise’ walk, with a thick mass of cloud covering the sky, hiding any hint of a rising sun beyond. Then, as I am staring at the featureless grey, a small horizontal slither of clouds part. A window to the dreamy orange tones of sunrise. A peak hole into outer space and the world beyond the curtain. EXTRAO

A beach haze that feels out of place and time for a winter morning with no raindrops falling. Just a familiar haze transporting me momentarily to a warm summer’s evening. ExtraO

50 birds taking flight, similar sizes, different colours, same flight plan that evolves circling up and around to somewhere? Somewhere that only the birds know the destination of. 
Do they all know where they are flying to? Is one in charge? Are they talking to each other as they go or signalling equivalent to air traffic controllers?

Or…is their flight path intuitive? Total presence within flight as there are no collisions or near misses. ExtraO.

Lastly….the surfers.
Thirty-ish in total. The group halved and separated to either the east or west side of the pier. One group paddling or waiting for their break within a 6 metre section. Eager to catch their 3ft ride for all of 5 seconds. The kind of activity that is more fun to be a part of than watch.

One sport, two perspectives. The participant and the observer/spectator, each getting some fulfilment out of the activity. ExtraO  – (the realisation of multiple perspectives and experiences of the same thing)

My conclusion…

Can I find the Extraordinary in the ordinary….no matter what?

YES YES YES … and even more rewarding/eye opening than I ever expected.

You CAN TRANSFORM THE MOMENT, the day, the experience No Matter What the situation. By choosing to focus and tune in to the details. Total Presence. Awakened to life and its extraordinary small fleeting moments. Dialling up the magic of being alive in this very moment!

One morning….three different extraordinary visuals


Go for a walk in nature… and find the MAGIC.

Tune in to discover the EXTRAordinary moments in what previously you may have considered dull and ordinary.

Would love to hear feedback in the comments….What were your ExtraO discoveries??

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