The Magic of the Mundane – Appreciation is the Key

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.

By Coleen Hensey

Related Reading:
What is the Science of Appreciation and how does it Evolve All of Our Relationships?
Trust and Appreciation
Appreciation of Life and Ourselves

591 thoughts on “The Magic of the Mundane – Appreciation is the Key

  1. There is something very wonderful about appreciation of and attention to the unremarkable of our everyday. There is so much gold here. We head off on grand adventures that can take years to find an amazing experience, a pinnacle of this or that, be it at work, in sport, in religion. Yet it is all right here, inside us, with us every moment as a potential. Can we see it?

  2. This is a beautiful description of how we can bring out the magic, with “no magic wand required, but the simple grace of presence expressed through the quality inherent in one’s movements”. Really, truly paying attention to the details and what each situation or conversation is asking of us in our day, and how magic can be brought into it, enriches life and absolutely connects us to the bigger grandness that we are.

  3. When we bring life back to ourselves, in the sense of that it is the quality of our every move that contributes to the world, we can feel that it is never about what we do but about the quality we do it in and with this understanding it becomes clear that every move and moment counts not just a few selected.

  4. When I read this the old saying,’life is what you make it’ springs to mind, although an old saying this blog gives it new meaning or renewed meaning for whatever we bring appreciation to gets given a kind of magic, so even the mundane can be magical.

    1. Yes, and when you say “so even the mundane can be magical” this is a mindset we have learned, that certain things are boring and a waste of time. But with that mindset we deny ourselves to feel how in truth magical rhythm and being present with ourselves is and that it is actually not the task at hand that counts but the quality we are in and thus bring to our every move.

  5. After a very difficult day yesterday I asked myself before going to bed what was there to appreciate…there was so much and this exercise allowed me to make greater sense of the day. Today I need not wait till the day is over I can appreciate as I go and we will see what difference it makes.

  6. Appreciation provides the means for us to make sense of and accept what we see and feel in everyday life so we have the opportunity to expand our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

  7. I love what is presented here because it asks me to look at life differently – to see that there is much more than the physical to appreciate. To understand what is behind things that ‘fall into place’ or ‘work out’ in our lives and truly see the bigger picture – knowing that our choices have a lot to do with why things come into our lives.

  8. Love it! This indeed makes life beautiful because there is joy in everything we do. And on top of that there a still the big tickets in life, but the “small” tickets, like meeting people with this quality are the true cement of life.

  9. This was beautiful to read today.. how being present and focused on our movements transforms the mundane into magical moments – that moments can become more alive and feel full, when we feel full, within ourselves. Trusting that there is a flow to life, that there is enough space for everything, is an amazing feeling – life feels fuller, less hurried, and it feels like the space expands so that we find ourselves with the space for more, instead of the compression of ‘never enough’.

  10. I love connecting to people via eye contact. But if I am feeling tired/grumpy/in reaction etc I tend to withdraw which doesn’t help. Something as simple as eye contact can be really lovely and worth appreciating when people do join me and connect.

  11. On sharing something with a friend recently she reflected back to me where I am so used to doing something that I do not actually appreciate what a gift it is bringing to others. Appreciating the call to enjoy appreciating the smallest or most mundane of things that are there to appreciate!!

  12. I have noticed that when we move with the deliciousness of our own steady connection with our bodies it is hard not to appreciate everything that happens, even events that we would normally perceive as negative.

  13. I would never have put mundane and magic together in the same sentence before so thank you for bringing my attention to how much we can appreciate the little things…God is in the detail.

  14. I love appreciating the little things…. there are so many more of them about, and so you can feel how much there is to appreciate and there is a much more constant flow of appreciation when we do.

  15. True appreciation is felt in the body which makes us feel more love in our body and this naturally makes us be more loving and appreciating of others.

  16. Hard to grasp if you are not familiar with it, but this is what makes every life worth living. Today I cooked with that connection to my essence, and the cooking was magical, I really enjoyed it. The clue is bringing that feeling in everything I do.

  17. A blog that needed to be expressed for us all, as you are so right there can be appreciation in each moment as much as we want or can handle, it isn’t something we have to ration and only bring out for the big occasions.

  18. A very beautiful blog Coleen that profoundly points out that there is a richness to every moment of life lived when we live from the inside out, from our connection to who we are, our Soul, our divinity as such our Godliness. For with this vibration it is not just ourselves that we are living in connection to, but more so it is all that we are connected to, through which the magic of oneness we are intrinsically part of can be brought to life and appreciated as such.

  19. I love appreciating and seeing quite what is on offer in each and every moment. And when I do it blows me away and is very humbling to know that the entire Universe is set up for us to expand and be more of the love that we are – all we need to do is surrender, appreciate and allow what is before us to be. And with this take responsibility knowing that how we are in one moment directly affects the way we are in the next.

  20. There is so much focus given to the big ticket material items that we completely bypass the gold that is right there at our fingertips.

  21. When we are connected and living divinity though our actions everything has purpose, is magic, and has no class or distinction.

  22. When we begin to bring appreciation to what most would call the mundane, we bring the sunshine to activities that we have always considered to be dull. And from this appreciation of the littlest things in life we suddenly begin to see the world through much brighter eyes and so even vacuuming the floor can become a joy.

  23. In the way you describe Coleen we feel the magic in everything we do, and it doesn’t matter what we do. This is what makes life truly great, not the great accomplishment or peeks which life has for everyone of us.

    1. If we bring equal quality to all that we do then we feel magic and joy regardless of what we are doing. So if this is the case, how would this change the workplace environment if this is how we all approached our work? Would there be a fundamental shift where we were geninuinely interested in the success of the business rather than competing with each other for recognition?

  24. When I make life about connection and love it doesn’t matter where I am or what I do and although we live in a world that doesn’t want to understand and acknowledge this way of being today it is worth gold every movement, big or small I make in the quality and presence of love.

  25. “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…” – i so agree Coleen and that’s because it’s seen or visible and something obvious – to others mainly. I used to think the only way of appreciating was this….though over the years it’s been changing to appreciating what it is i can feel or sense about the quality of myself from self-loving choices, which although is internal it’s equally something then seen or registered by others. Quality of the inside being felt to be seen on the outside!

  26. I recently treated some clients at a staff retreat day and it was shared by them that they felt my gentleness, my attention to detail in the placing of the blanket, in the warm and nurturing feeling they felt when laying down on the massage table – it made me realise that I should appreciate these seemingly small things that have become a natural and normal part of my every day life and how beautiful it is to reflect this to others. Thank you Coleen for your lovely reminder to appreciate the smallest of details as well as the big ones.

  27. When we consider and observe our movements made from our bodies we not only create space but expand our lives via the invitation to explore the beauty that is around us always. Our movements bring a quality of energy that offers us so much more to explore about how we are within our days but also the flow on effect this has within the world on a grander scale too.

  28. Can the mundane be blessed by the livingness of our loveliness, our joy or our stillness? This is a great question, every fortnight I go to a place near central London and tidy up an area that is used by kids to do drugs and party. They leave thousands of these little canisters that were filled with amyl nitrate (poppers) amongst all there other rubbish. Now doing this job is severely mundane and I wouldn’t actually be able to do it if it wasn’t for knowing that the more love and appreciation I can bring to this task the more healing these kids will get.

  29. The appreciation of every detail brings back the openness to the communication of God through symbolism, nature, numbers and so much more to remember what is our true origin of our divine nature.

  30. “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?” I love this – becoming more aware of the quality of my everyday movements is anything but mundane. In the past I would have believed it so and thought I was ‘just walking’.

  31. Being with our movements (including the times when we feel boredom or frustration) the mundane becomes anything but mundane.

  32. We can bring the magic of our soul’s presence by our inner connection, to everything in our day, ‘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.’

  33. We do life every day. In that, we can focus on what is to be done and feel proud of what we achieve. Or, instead of allowing ourselves to be absorbed by life, we can concentrate in ourselves, in the quality of our movements and appreciate ourselves and feel the joy of moving with ourselves and of doing whatever is to be done in that quality.

  34. I love how the simplest of things when we do it with all of ourselves and appreciate what we are bringing can be so much fun and enjoyable. Which shows that it is the way we do things not what we are doing that matters.

  35. Bringing awareness and appreciation to our movements seems like a great thing to appreciate, ‘I am in appreciation of the flow of my movements and the inner warmth that accompanies this’.

  36. Aha, the penny dropped reading this today as I realised I hold appreciation for the absolutes, that I’m in absolute stillness but not necessarily those steps along the way, even those correcting steps along that way, so it’s great to now be aware of this and appreciate those little things, each and every one and that it’s about the quality in any moment and just appreciating the magic in that. And right now appreciating my willingness to keep coming back no matter what!

    1. Well said Monicag2 and an important reminder to all. Appreciating our dedication to being a student of life and all that life presents to us to learn from, is important to be part of our everyday.

  37. I feel that there is no such thing as mudane for there is richness and opportunity in every single moment. So considering this how could any moment be mundane? If we are bored or looking for excitement, we have simply disconnected from the everything we have within.

  38. It is all the little things that we can appreciate that then lead to the bigger more obvious ones. I find without appreciating all the so called everyday occurances and instances I miss out of the magic of God and the love that is on offer in every single moment. It also means that then the ‘big’ moments are then lessened or carry a sense of disappointment afterwards because they are seen as a pinnacle rather than the confirmation of what has already happened and what is to come.

  39. I am aware as I read what you have shared how much we fight the mundane, now we feel we are not achieving or getting anywhere. Yet without appreciating the mundane we have no foundation, we are like a boat with no stable rudder.

  40. Small children are breathing appreciation. They just enjoy themselves and emanate that divine through their small bodies all the time. They live this continue appreciation by moving in a way that just expands their light.
    Where did we stop? Lets move in this divine quality once again we know so well.

  41. Yes, that is it Coleen. When I start appreciating the ‘small’ things in life, like for example the delicateness in my finger that I feel when typing this, or looking in someone eyes and feeling the connection, that is when things starts to build. And there can be no love without appreciation. I open the appreciation tab in full!

  42. What a beautiful blog. There is such a richness available to us and so many opportunities to appreciate and nurture that richness … we rob ourselves if we keep that for big occasions only and in fact we miss the point for those ‘big’ occasions are made up of all those little movements we’ve made … we didn’t just arrive ready packaged, we made a series of movements which got us there, so why not deepen and appreciate every one and the quality we are in it. As you say here it may look the same outwardly but inside it feels very different as we literally fill ourselves from the inside out … we glow.

  43. Within everything and within every moment there is something to appreciate if we are open to perceiving it. Learning to perceive this through deepening my awareness of myself and everything around me is wondrous, deeply life enhancing bring with that an ever-deepening appreciation of the Magic of God.

  44. I have noticed when completing the My Cycles app at the end of the day, I find it easy to enter a mood or a symptom even if it only occurred for a minute or two in my day. Where as the feelings that are more positive in their light, I feel to pick them they need to have been present for a substantial part of my day…..

    1. Thank you for this comment Toni. It also reminds me to check in with the Our Cycles App again. I stopped because I felt I was no longer enjoying it, it had become like a box ticking exercise and not something fulfilling as before. Now I feel it is time to go back to it with freshness and a new start.

  45. When we live “Soul-Fully” could it be we can then actually look forward to “death”? Then as we live our life with this level of connection so much of life is preparing us to live in a way that death becomes a part of our evolution and the energy we are in as student of our own Livingness feels death as a blessing!

  46. What an amazing knowing of the importance and magic of the mundane and our quality allowing this beautiful growth and knowing inside with a deep consistency and flow and our everyday movements with grace and love for all.

  47. Embracing the love of God — is our one and only goal if we had one. Accepting one’s will to choose this love is key. A beautiful way of dealing with anything that we have let come in the way of beng that love — is allowing, accepting and appreciating.

  48. Our inner connection is the compass to our connection to all and that brings great clarity, understanding and truth to how we live within our daily lives and how we we can bring a unmistakable quality of movement to our daily living and turn any mundane task into magic.

  49. I am starting to feel that there is a whole Science to Appreciation. Its more than a word or a concept and its nothing we can talk ourselves into. There is something very deeply stilling and warming about being in and living appreciation. Its a pathway to knowing and living the more that we are.

  50. Yesterday I worked briefly with a lady I have recently met and there was a sweetness that I had not noticed before and the hardness of protection was not dominant. It was if I was seeing her as she would have been as a child. Awesome to feel this in another.

  51. When I appreciate I can feel literally that somehow the contraction is melt down, because I offer attention and space to what is unfolding in my life. Appreciation simply takes me back to my presence, while I come back to my observant and loving gaze.

  52. The more we deepen the application of our choices and movements within, the more we are able to appreciate what the world brings to us. It is all about the detail.

  53. I am finding so much joy and appreciation in the little things in life, like the morning perfume of the flowers in the garden, the gorgeous light of the full moon, the laughter of a small child, the cool summer breeze against my skin, so much to appreciate by just being me.

  54. We don’t stop often enough and deeply accept where we are at, the absolute graceful flow of life and all that has constellated for us to be more of our divine grandness. There is much to appreciate in every moment and there are limitless moments within the cycles of our day and life.

  55. The quality of grace expressed in ones movements – it comes from a livingness not a thought pattern and that is what is so noticeable. It also keeps us in the moment without rushing ahead.

  56. I find a lot of joy and fun appreciating the small details, the little things that I could easily miss if I was rushing about my day.

  57. ‘I find a deeper awareness of the perfection of the timing of events; things flow unhurriedly and have a natural rhythm’, yes I too really appreciate the perfect timing of events and how easily everything I need is just flowing towards me… much to appreciate.

  58. “Can the mundane be blessed by the livingness of our loveliness, our joy or our stillness?” Yes it can. I was doing a very mundane task at work yesterday and was sitting in a very mundane way, and making it very mundane. I clocked what I was doing, sat up straight, felt my loveliness, joy and stillness, brought that to the task, and it was for sure blessed! And I felt much more energised for sure.

  59. By refining our movements, bringing the attention to details and appreciate them by seeing the magic of God, the so called big things can occur which serves all.

  60. Appreciation can bring to life the most mundane and boring task. but it comes from me first appreciating me in the task, and then the magic really does happen. See the task as a box ticking exercise and it becomes mundane tedious and an opportunity to check out.

  61. This article is very relatable and easily understood. This is how I see life, things in an order of preference and importance and yet it’s all where the quality of movement or quality of being is the key. As this part presents “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.” There is no mention of the what, only a dedication to the how, the movement. It is like there is a now a point for me to slow life down more, taking care that each movement has a true purpose and in that there is an appreciation of the feeling or flow of that movement, no title necessary.

  62. Recently I was at a local function and it was time for dessert. There were pavlovas and tiramusu and all sorts of amazing looking creamy dishes on offer. I looked around and realised that what I would really like was a hot drink so I went to the kitchen. There people were frantically washing up the copious knives forks plates and dishes from the first course so I offered to help. The obviously overburdened few there said no “it’s all right go and enjoy yourself’. I explained that for me drying up the dishes would be just as enjoyable as eating and chatting in the main hall. There was a moment of surprise and then one turned to me and said well you do look very good, as if to say that he could believe me, and my presence in the kitchen was accepted. When someone suggested a cup of tea it was obvious that this was not the order of the day. No one was being offered coffee or anything because they needed to clear the hall by a certain time and it did not fit in. I was in no way disappointed. I enjoyed very much my time in the kitchen, having a laugh with the others there and only leaving when we were all called to our tables to go through the answers to the quiz that each table had been given at the beginning of the event. I so appreciated my time in the kitchen and I know they also appreciated me. When we follow how we truly feel we find ourselves in the right place at the right time.

    1. I love that elainearthey, they are moments of connection and you were probably impulsed to look for the cup of tea to get you in the kitchen because your grace and space would offer support to those ‘tied to the sink!’ I have been the sink person so many times I would have loved you to stand and dry next to me.

  63. I can totally relate what you’ve shared here about appreciating the big stuff and letting all the tiny moments of appreciation pass by unnoticed. When we do this with ourselves, i.e. appreciate someone else’s qualities because they seem bigger and better than our own, we’re short-changing ourselves and all others. No one else’s quality is better or more impressive than another’s.. no one is better than another – everyone has their amazing, unique qualities to share – it’s just a question of how we live, and how willing we are, to share our precious and amazing qualities with the rest of the world. If we choose to hide ours away, and choose to be less than who we are, then we cannot blame another for not seeing us as who we truly are.

  64. It is a hard reality that appreciation is only shown when we have the bigger things occur. I interestingly observe myself and others and how I’ll only appreciate if I have to or if I am reminded too – it is not a natural thing. And yet at the same time, it is so natural and building and evolving. It is just that I have invested so much into issues and setbacks that I’ve made this more important than the simplicity of appreciation. But it is always there, just waiting for me to choose it more and more.

  65. I had a lovely moment yesterday when I took my children to the local pool, something we have done many times before, and I just really appreciated how joyful, beautiful and playful they both were with each other and with me. It was a very simple every day moment but a very powerful feeling of love and appreciation which felt great.

  66. By appreciating ourselves and our limitless value, we will naturally hold others in deep appreciation of all that they are.

  67. There is magic in every situation and circumstance. If we have pictures of what is magic we miss out on divinity at play.

  68. In the days when I am in a momentum of rushing I miss out on all of the opportunities to connect, I miss out on the gold and on the beauty in the day. When I rush my day is focused on me, when I give myself space my day is often focused on others and observing what’s going on, what they need and how I can support them.

    1. I agree MW it’s two completely different ways of living, rushing through life only taking care of ourselves or knowing there’s something bigger at play here.

  69. What is offered in our movements is a solid foundation. There is such magic and wisdom and it is so amazing to see how this can translate to a solid consistency. You make a great point that we don’t enough appreciate the foundation we have allowed.

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