In our world, it is common for us to appreciate almost exclusively the ‘big ticket’ items in life – the new job, house or car, the unanticipated windfall, the volunteers who help out in a disaster, the player who scores the winning goal for the team. It is, in my experience at least, rare for us to appreciate what we deem as insignificant or mundane events like enjoying a lovely meal or just a cup of herbal tea, for example. Such moments are relegated to the status of being merely incidental and instrumental in our pursuit of the big-ticket items.
Even rarer is it for us to appreciate qualities, those of others and ourselves, the exceptions involving social rituals like death, marriage, and graduation. Rather, our focus tends to be more on achievements and material acquisitions.
I’ve been observing how this sets us up with a continuum of progression for appreciation, with qualities per se receiving little or none, treat-like items and events receive a modicum and, as noted above, the big-ticket items take the lion’s share. We eke out our natural appreciation like a miser would his gold and force ourselves into habits of utilising appreciation like a non-renewable resource, using it minimalistically and idealistically as a means of confirming when an inner picture, goal, wish, dream or aspiration has been reached – seeing it as the full stop at the end of a sentence or the tick in the ‘done’ box.
Along with millions of other people, much of my life has been focussed on unfolding a spiritual, and latterly, a Soulful path. On these paths there has been, until recently, a similar tendency to appreciate only the ‘bigger,’ more advanced or perceived-as-being-more-Divine qualities and for ‘a limited time only,’ as the TV ads would say. On the spiritual paths I pursued, there was a belief in true divinity occurring only after death – hence no need to appreciate this life: and on the beginning Soulful path I noted a tendency to appreciate only the absolutes, e.g. absolute Joy or absolute Stillness. Such occasions were rare so what do we do with our appreciation the rest of the time? Are we then repeating the pattern of appreciation being exclusive and only for ‘special occasions?’ If so, how do we redress the matter?
Is it possible that we can bring the magic of our Soul’s presence to any and all mundane tasks through the choice of such inner connection? Could holding the awareness of our inner quality as we move through life, appreciating its effects on the smallest of details, be a way to bring our innate magic to the long overlooked mundane tasks of life? Can the mundane be blessed by the livingness of our loveliness, our joy or our stillness?
How would this look and feel on a daily basis?
Observation and experience have indicated that externally things look almost the same except that there is a notable absence of drive or disregard in one’s actions and movements, which have been replaced by a sense of solidness and grace. This can occur with just about anything – washing the dishes, setting the table, cleaning the house, walking in nature or to work. The possibilities are as wide and varied as life itself.
However, the real changes are felt on the inside and become visible through one’s connection with others and the outside world. When I am in appreciation of the flow of my movements and the inner warmth that accompanies this, I am also more open to looking deeply into the eyes of others and confirming our connection through a delicate smile or a subtle bow of the head.
At such times, I also delight in my surrounds – everything takes on the hue of beauty and wonder and I know that everything I touch feels the same loveliness as I feel within my body. Others will return my gaze in the same quality, again confirming our connection and equality by quality.
Here there is no continuum of importance, no big-ticket item to pursue, simply a warm meeting of loveliness gazing into the mirror of the loveliness of another and the mutual acceptance of that quality within each.
I find a deeper awareness of the perfection of the timing of events; things flow unhurriedly and have a natural rhythm, very much like the subtle gentle breath that is felt and enjoyed at such times. Often there is a light breeze that delicately caresses the face and hands, an invitation to allow one’s breath to deepen in the same delicateness, as though Nature is responding to and confirming this quality also.
This all feels very normal and from the outside looks completely unremarkable.
On the inside there is the unfolding of the knowing that there can be divinity in the smallest detail of our lives, if we but allow the awareness, and then the appreciation, of our quality to unfold and bring its magic to the mundane. Under the blessing of this magic the mundane is transformed by the touch of the divine, with no magic wand required, but the simple grace of presence expressed through the quality inherent in one’s movements.