The Mona Lisa is one of the most visited and studied pieces of art in the world. Personally I’m not a fan. My best friend and I went to the Louvre in 1998. We spent about 30 seconds in front of the painting and moved on. Because we were there, we felt compelled to stop. It was a moment that I felt was largely for someone else. When you go to see something like the Mona Lisa, it is often due to other people. The fame of the painting induces others to go. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. The Mona Lisa moment is special because it is supposed to be special. No one would question you if the painting moved you in some emotional way or left you in deep contemplation for hours. In many ways, I am the freak because I did not have that experience.
My focus tends to be on the anti-Mona Lisa moments. The times that could be common or mundane but we use focus and intention to make them magical or meaningful. Standing in a parking lot alone and feeling the weight of events that had happened days before. Walking out the door like you have hundreds of times before but deciding to feel the possibility of this particular day, not because it was special on its own but you resolve to make it special. These anti-Mona Lisa moments are available all of the time and do not require a trip to France.
Due to our hyper connected, in stereo, 4G, technicolor on steroids world, our expectation of Mona Lisa moments in our lives has increased exponentially. Vacations need to be bigger! Parties need to be grander!! Times need to be funner!!! More exclamation marks and CAPITAL LETTERS WILL MAKE EVERYTHING ON PAR WITH OUR EXPECTATIONS!!!!! Unfortunately in the end, it is all “la petit mort”. Making too many things extra means that normal is nothing.
So rather than trying to put icing and sprinkles onto everything, take a moment today and make it special. Not because it is filled with adrenaline and relevance but because it is not. This is a muscle that you can build. If you make it strong enough, perhaps you won’t need the icing and sprinkles on your next Mona Lisa moment. It will be amazing because you decided to make it that way.