Are we ready to enjoy each unique day as it comes? No two days are ever alike in any season. There is a surprise of newness in nature and in us, a gift of experience we haven’t had before if we’re ready to receive it by offering our best to it. Maya Angelou said, “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.

Today is a wonderful day, not only because it’s one we haven’t seen before. Whatever the date is on the calendar, we won’t see it again for another year. And, when it gets here, it will be nothing like today and neither will we. The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, wrote: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

The Universe is constantly moving forward and outward with everything within It moving in the same direction with It, and that includes all of us. Everything in Life is ever-evolving, and so are we. Nothing remains the same anywhere no matter how “same” it may seem to be to us.

Things only seem the same to us because we feel the same about things. We’re thinking in the same old way that causes us to view a new day as a repeat of yesterday and the day before that. Our focus on the rearview mirror of our mind keeps us from seeing what’s new in front of us. We express our self in the same old way we always have, and get the same results we always have, because when push comes to shove we fall back on habits of behavior.

Here’s a good analogy: You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? “Because someone bumped into me!!!” No, you spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea. Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out. Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you, which WILL happen, whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to be nice, until we get rattled. So we have to ask ourselves, ”What’s in my cup?” When life gets rushed, what spills over? Whatever spills over is what we bring to the day. We can choose to bring peace, patience, joy, and enthusiasm; or we can default to frustration, impatience, and righteous determination. Life provides a clean, empty cup each day. We get to fill it. Today we can to fill our self up with so much gratitude, joy, resilience, positivity, kindness, gentleness, and love for our self and others that if someone bumps into us it will be a pleasure to let our cup spill over. In fact, it will be a beautiful thing!

This day has never happened before in all the history of humankind, and we’re here to experience it any way we choose. We get to decide anew, if we want to, what we’ll bring to the day so that if push threatens to come to shove or we’re bumped or shaken, we can respond through choice rather than habit. Every moment of this day offers us mind-changing evolution that will cause our life to be better and better, if we take it up on its offer.

I have a treadmill at home that includes a computer program called iFit, which offers its members an opportunity to virtually workout all over the world with a trainer who has planned the perfect workout for a particular terrain.The iFit trainers are all so positive and uplifting, I’ve often thought they would make excellent ministers or life coaches. And, in a way they are. They encourage us show up every day because, they tell us, consistency and dedication are the only way to improve health and fitness through exercise. Dedication to our fitness goals will get us to turn on our machine even when we’re not feeling motivated. It is what we do every day, rather than only some of the time, that will make the difference in the way we feel and make actual changes in our body.

My current trainer, a former Denver Broncos cheerleader is full of high energy and positivity. Even while we’re just warming up, she tells us, “This exercise won’t happen again. Even if you do it again, it won’t be the same workout. So don’t let it pass you by, by not giving it your all.” She encourages us to leave our workout stronger than when we started, and to go out with a personal best. So just before our last set of workout, she says, “Last set,” and she has us say, “best set!”

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of parallels between taking care of the health of our physical body and taking care of the health of our mind and spirit. Positive consistency in our thinking every day, rather than only some of the time, will make the difference in the way we feel and make actual changes in our thinking.

Dedication to expressing our best self each day causes us to get up looking forward to the day. Even if we’re not motivated by what may be happening in our life, when we’re dedicated to wonderment in a new day, waking up is enough. Even when it would be much easier to just stay bed, or to get through the day with our head down “getting ‘er done, dedication to life’s wonderment will cause us to give the day our best self, and to look for the good no matter what task is at hand. When we do, we realize that all the moments in the day matter because we feel how precious each moment is.

But so often in our hurry to get things done that we’ve decided must be done in our day because they’re important and necessary to get done, we act as if not all the moments of the day matter. After all, we do get 86,400 seconds each day! Why shouldn’t we just let some of them pass us by without offering a positive thought to what we’re doing or intentionally engaging in a happy interaction with someone who’s there? Why do we need to take time to show thoughtfulness and kindness when it seems more expedient not to because we just need to get a particular task done?

Maybe we’re thinking, if we’re thinking about it at all, that we’ll have a chance for a redo some other time. Maybe next time we’ll take time to choose to be more patient, considerate, understanding, loving, or gracious. But not this time because we just don’t have the time to do that all the time. We might be thinking “Everyone has moments like that, so what?” But consider these words by Wayne Dyer: “Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”

Only our dedication to being our best self in each day will allow us to experience the best in each moment. Unlike a workout on a treadmill, we don’t know what set is going to be our last set in this human environment. If we want to discover the depth of our peace and the extent of our ability to be Love while we here, we don’t have a second to throw away being anything else. Our obsession with getting things right in the world at any cost, often by trying to control everything and everyone around us, causes us to miss getting it right with our Spirit.

So how do we calm down when things seem crazy, and what we need to get done has a timeline? How can we get to a place of peace and spiritual presence in a moment when we feel rushed, hurried and uncentered? When exercising on a treadmill, no matter how fast our feet may be going or how steep the incline might be, slowing our down breathing, especially if we’re panting, actually gives us more energy. Breathing slowly and deeply sends more oxygen to the whole body and energizes it. In the same way, no matter what we’re doing in any moment, no matter how fast our body or mind seem to be racing, taking the time to breathe deeply and slowly, right then and there, will center us and send spiritual energy to every part of us, and even to those around us.

We know how good it feels to feel good about our self and everyone else, and how bad it feels not to. It’s energy sucking! When we toss out an interaction with anyone, friend or stranger, by not taking the time to breathe spiritual energy into the moment, we lose out on a deeper experience of our Self and a holy encounter with another that we won’t get back again. We’re the creator of our own reality. The one we choose to be in any moment will be all we see and experience. The Power of a Universe created by Love is within us in every moment, and available to us all the time. But we have to let It be us before we can experience It.

What miracles might we pass up in a day if we toss away even one moment as unimportant? Stephen Grellet, a prominent French-American Quaker missionary in the early 1800s, wrote: “I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

This is a wonderful day, a one of kind day that will unfold for us in any way we allow it to. But however we allow it to unfold, whether we savor each moment or let most of the moments pass by unnoticed, it is a day that won’t happen again for us, as we are here and now. Today is the only day that’s guaranteed. It’s up to us to choose whether or not we’ll let it pass us by—by not giving it our all.