Why you might not need a detective

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Have you ever misplaced a ring and figured it was gone for good? Well there is a guy in St. Albert, Alberta whose hobby it is to find your lost valuables. Norm Peters has a genuine desire to help people and a knack for using a metal detector. That powerful combination makes him one crackerjack ring detective. Reading a recent article about his uncanny ability to locate missing rings, one thing jumped out at me. Norm has learned that people’s rings don’t always turn up where they lost them. Often people spend their time searching in the wrong place.

That is true for more than lost rings.

We are continually looking in all the wrong places for the most valuable things in life.

We search for happiness in material possessions thinking a bigger house or more toys will make life better. Happiness is measured in piles of stuff which ultimately lead to our unhappiness as we try to accumulate even more stuff and then wrap our heads around how to manage the clutter.

Or we believe that happiness is tucked away in some other circumstances that are somehow different than our current ones. We think that “when this happens” or “when that happens”, then we will be happy.

We are always searching for the things we most desire in life – things like a sense of calm or balance or unconditional love and especially happiness.

The truth is we really don’t have to go looking at all. The most valuable things in life are right in front of our faces.

Whatever we are looking for, we already have it. It’s here in the present moment. We just can’t see it because our focus and attention is somewhere else.

We continually look outside ourselves rather than turning inward. Perhaps we are simply afraid of the possibility that we can actually have what we want – that what we desire is already here for our enjoyment. At our fingertips in any moment is the opportunity for peace, or calm, or joy, or love or playfulness, or connection or anything else your heart desires.

Now you might question whether it can really be that simple. But think about your happiest or calmest or most loving memories. They were created because you brought your full and undivided attention to what was happening at the time.

Writer Nathaniel Hawthorne offered some pretty good advice about not needing to search for the things we value in life. He said, “Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

The two key elements there are pausing for a moment, and allowing our inner stillness to reveal what is right in front of us.

So when you are feeling like you can’t seem to find what is most important to you, sit for minute. Breathe. Be quiet. Let what you seek alight upon you.

It’s good to know that if I ever lose a ring, Norm Peters is the guy to call.

It’s even better to remember that I don’t have to search for all the other valuable stuff in life. No lost, just found.

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St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.