“Today is going to be the best day ever.” I heard these words from my 6-year-old daughter this morning, and I hear them on a regular basis. Not only does she speak this truth, but she speaks it into existence. When I ask her about the day during our nighttime ritual the icing is placed thoughtfully on the proverbial cake with a definitive, “It was one of the best days ever.”


These days aren’t always marked by some significant event, although today’s proclamation came in preparation for attending her birthday celebration at the Waldorf school she’s been attending since we began with parent-child classes there when she was around 2-years-old.


One of the very appealing hallmarks of what the Waldorf model has to offer is the celebration of events, beautiful daily rituals, and festivals to acknowledge and revel in stories that have been completely lost in our current culture – things like Michelmas, The Feast of Three Kings, and the Advent Spiral. I’ve pondered my daughter’s ability to manifest the best days ever on such a regular, authentic basis because I certainly don’t remember speaking that kind of joy into existence at her age. I do remember feeling it, though, around certain special days like family trips to the beach, birthdays, and of course, Christmas.


I’ve come to believe that she has been gifted with this precious ability through her experiences with a place that preserves these kinds of rituals and daily celebrations. In losing touch with this value, is this how we as a culture have become so detached from the joy of our present moment? The ability to not only see it but also bask in it?


My daughter seems to be so adept at claiming the day and truly immersing herself in all that it has to offer – and reveling in it at its completion by bedtime. And I have to wonder, when did I lose that ability? Did I ever have it? And dear God, will it be something that blossoms and unfolds in her, or will the world slowly dim this bright little fire?


While I acknowledge the wonders of childhood and the precious time of imagination and fantasy, I want, with all my heart and being, to preserve and nurture this for her so badly. Seeing this in her has caused me to realize the ways that I, myself, have been guilty of extinguishing this gift she seems to have. Without, of course, even realizing it.


Sigh. Such are the ways of motherhood. Parenthood, really, as I’m playing both the part of mother and father in our case. I choose to see it, allow myself to feel that tinge of sadness and regret, and yet not linger there. We evolve, and while it’s bothersome to me to think that I’m practicing being a better human being one very small, precious one that I have created, I can also exist in a place of grace for myself and commit to the never-ending journey.


And there’s the work.


I’m driven by nature, and always have been. I have a deep-seated fear of regret, and my worst episodes have been ones of complacency and lack of movement. While this keeps me on a forward trajectory, it’s also presented the risk of losing my ability to access joy in the moment, in the day as my daughter is so gifted at. What is the value of being driven and constantly striving if it becomes a tiresome, slagging burden in the here and now? How does one live into their future while captivating the beauty, wonder, and joy of the present?


It must come down to that tiresome, overplayed word – balance. Even as I write that I feel guilty for saying it. I don’t want to rain on anyone else’s Balance Parade, but I do wish we’d come up with another way to define the phenomenon of living joyfully, finding ease and acceptance no matter the circumstance, and not being/playing victim to what the day has to offer.


But maybe that’s it. Maybe that is the balance. What is the striving for? A future where the joy will suddenly manifest and life will flow like water? And to be clear, I define joy separately from happiness. Happiness is circumstantial. It’s often event-driven. Whereas joy, in my opinion (and some other folks’), is a state of being. It’s a condition, if you will, that allows us to feel that balance and ease whether we’re abounding or brought low (thank you, Paul).


So if that’s what I’m/we’re working so hard for, and focusing all of my intent, what would happen if I lived as if. Meaning, living that future right now, today. My current circumstances and environment are… heavenly. Beautiful. Incredible. All of the words and flowery descriptions you can think of. I know it, and my beautiful, evolved, loving circle of friends and family affirm it for me regularly.


And yet, I do hold a vision for the future that is even… dreamier. Bigger. More outwardly focused with the ability to touch and impact more people in deeper and more meaningful ways. And, I know it’s coming.


But what if I lived as if it were here today? I have to believe, and I’ve heard it said by some wise sages I’ve recently encountered, that living my future right now, will not only surely bring those circumstances about, but in more fantastic and expedient ways than I can imagine.


So I commit. I’m speaking it out to the universe. My decisions, even the seemingly mundane ones, will be based on what the woman living that future dream would do. Even as I write that, I feel that “joy state” being kindled within.


And to be sure, this isn’t just a selfish, self-serving mission. Although when my big vision manifests I will be over the moon and abundantly aware and grateful. This is me, taking up with my daughter to not only join in her ability to glory in the day but to model what it’s looks like to live it. Aside from actually giving birth to her and being the steward of the profound creation she is, it might be the most important thing I’ve ever done.