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

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

  1. I had to laugh about the way we live as miser with regards to appreciating, just like we have a reservoir which can run out. It is the other way around, the more we appreciate, the easier it gets and the more it flows. Appreciating all the time is just lovely.

    1. There is certainly nothing mundane when we are bringing our true quality to what is before us… for there is nothing mundane in magnificence and divinity.

    2. Very beautiful Nicola. It really highlights that nothing can be mundane simply because we are doing it ourselves. I know that I am not mundane so the things I do. if I do them with feeling my gorgeousness then tasks cannot feel mundane at all but full of beauty.

  2. Appreciating the qualities that we ourselves and others bring to life is deeply enriching – it helps us to build on those qualities and to bring them out more.

  3. It is possible to live in such a way that for most of the day, if not all of it, we feel grace in the tiniest of our movements, the joy of each moment, no matter how small it has been. This is there for the taking for each of us and it comes from us being dedicated to deepening our inner most connection with who we truly are. But we have to knock out the notion that there will inevitably be parts of life and of the day that will be mundane and filled with undesirable chores. The moment we succumb to this, we’ve become mechanical and we lose connection. We lose the grace and the glory that otherwise is simply ours to rejoice in, every day.

    1. Yes, I’m discovering what you’ve said is so true Katerina. The more willing I am to be present, to feel whatever is there to feel the more I stay present and nothing is ever mundane.

  4. By seeing and appreciating ‘the big’ that lives within ‘the small’, we eradicate the mundane by way of transmuting it back into the divinity it departed from when we left our true self out of the equation.

  5. The beauty of the mundane has to be consistently appreciated with stock taking, and then we see all the amazingness has happened precisely because there is no need for anything to happen. It is one of the most amazingly beautiful experiences.

  6. Thank you Coleen for this beautiful reminder in the joy that can be found in appreciating everything in our day. As no matter what is happening every little thing presents as an opportunity to celebrate or learn.

    1. And how amazing to have the view of being able to say that everything is something to celebrate especially our learnings.

  7. How often do we ‘stop and smell the roses’? …not often enough perhaps. There is great beauty in the simplicity of life that we often pass by without noting and likewise in each and every quality and movement that lives our day and we fail to appreciate the magnificence of.

  8. I love what you say here, Coleen, about there being no big-ticket items to pursue in life, but an ever-deepening connection within ourselves and with every part of life. I used to always be seeking the ‘next big thing’, which I can see now was a distraction away from the power of simply living in my grandness.

  9. I like to come back and read this blog as it is my constant reminder to work on the in between space of how I go about my day. I am beginning to understand that the space in between has so much significance and for me I feel it is the answer to staying within my body and not checking out.

  10. To appreciate that it is possible to bring a depth of love to the smallest of tasks, in the same way that we can bring that same love to something that we ‘love’ to do, brings a whole new level of appreciation and understanding to everything that we do, as we leave behind an imprint for everyone else to feel.

  11. I have a very busy day ahead of me and have been wondering how I’m going to fit it all in. I’ve made a decision to not look at my clock and go with how the day flows. Reading this line inspired me – ‘I find a deeper awareness of the perfection of the timing of events; things flow unhurriedly and have a natural rhythm..’

    1. How true – and the difference between these alternatives is massive and hugely affecting not only ourselves but the world around us equally.

  12. Yesterday I had a big revelation about something in my life. What I can feel when I sit with this blog is that there are two ways that I could go with this. 1 – I can spend time pondering the ramifications, freak out at how big it it and impose upon/pressure myself to make sure that I implement the changes that the revelation inspired, etc, etc. Or 2 – I can appreciate the moves that I made that brought about this revelation, appreciate the willingness that my body had to reveal this to me and appreciate that my soul has gifted me this valuable tool. Now, to prove my point of which is the more supportive path to go down, imagine if I were a child and I was spoken to in both of these two ways – which expression is more likely to make me step up to the plate and change the way I have been living? The power of appreciation.

    1. I love your two options here Otto, it makes it so clear how we have made life a struggle by always aiming for perfection which has made us blind to all that we have and what is already. In your offering when we appreciate that what has brought us to new awareness, be it through a so called mistake or other movements, we allow for a learning to take place that then lets us move forward with less baggage and more clarity.

  13. This is an interesting point about appreciation – “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.” why wait until the end? We just had a new bathroom and it was a joy to appreciate every stage.

  14. When I make appreciation an ‘as I go’ thing throughout my day it is not only the glue that helps everything to flow it carries a joy that energises everything.

  15. When I find myself in the mundaness of life I know I have lost touch with myself and the magic that only comes from being connected to the otherworldy aspects of life.

    1. I completely agree, Alex. In truth we can all feel the moment we loose connection to the vastness of love that resides innately within us.

  16. When we are appreciating the flow of life and how we are in our bodies, big ticket items are no more important than how you chop fish. It all comes back to how we are in each moment and that is where the appreciation lies.

  17. This is certainly something that I can relate to “On the inside there is the unfolding of the knowing that there can be divinity in the smallest detail of our lives, ” I appreciate much more the smaller details in life, this has enabled me to feel joyful more consistently. I know there is something going wrong if I do not feel joy now , I know there is something gone wonky and it comes back to noticing the details of life.

  18. The more present, I am the more clarity I have in my body. It is like I feel crystal clear and can therefore feel much more around me.

  19. Thank you Coleen – while it can be tempting to think things just occur ‘out of the blue’ it’s simply not true. We are constantly investing our money in a bank either for Love or what’s not that. So when we finally get the goal or landmark we think is great it’s truly a moment to value every choice that we made to fill the love bank up. No more fairy god mothers or miracle events just choices that deliver our true deserts.

  20. I love this sentence, Coleen – “This all feels very normal and from the outside looks completely unremarkable.” When I am walking to work, I often feel so much joy and connection inside that I smile at the people I pass (they may think I’m a bit weird!), and carry on with my heart wide open looking completely unremarkable.

  21. In those moments of appreciation we have everything we could ever need and the drive for owning external objects pails into insignificance. Appreciation has the ability to open up a whole new world of wonder and put life into perspective.

  22. Appreciation is a way of being that we need to embody as a natural way of life. If we are not filling our self up with appreciation what energy are we filling the empty spaces with?

  23. With every discussion about appreciation I get to feel more deeply the fact that it is a heart word, a heart quality, and that letting ourselves explore and experience this is an ongoing unfolding that enhances life beyond measure.

  24. Unfortunately, most people grow up with the misleading notion of what appreciation is – making it about something that is external and tangible and never truly connecting to it as a vibration within ourselves and feeling it in the quality of our movements. As it is only then that we can confirm that which is our natural right as true sons of God.

  25. Make every encounter with a person count, make it about connection, love, realness… and it will be magical even in having the most mundane conversations like talking about the weather.

  26. I never realised just how powerful appreciation is until introduced to the importance of it through Universal Medicine and then having experienced just how appreciation grows the value of yourself and others I have realised how this appreciative focus on evolving moments or the reading of the smallest of details highlights and bring to the fore what could have otherwise gone unnoticed and undervalued or worse missed altogether.

  27. Every task is an opportunity to bring our all and appreciate that we can move in and with Divinity – certainly not boring, in fact super inspiring!

  28. So interesting to read this now as earlier today I was thinking about how I can bring appreciation to those tasks that I don’t always look forward to. This article here is so true and a lovely confirmation of what I was looking to work on.

  29. ‘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?’ – absolutely. We are all already divine, but for so long we have been walking around being unaware of who we truly are. Your blog is a gorgeous reminder that we can choose to turn on the lights and let our love loose, bringing the essence of who we are to every movement we make, by simply choosing to reconnect with our glorious selves.

  30. Appreciation holds our foundation of love together, allowing it to grow and expand each and every day. Through appreciation we honour and bring all that we are to each movement, there is nothing banal or mundane about that. There is always so much to appreciate all around us, there are no limits on how much appreciation we can use, only the limits we put on ourselves.

  31. The title of the article alone starts to turn the tide on the way we grade certain activities over others. ‘The magic of the mundane’ brings my attention to those in-between moments when, depending on the quality I bring to a task, I can definitely be in heaven washing up!

    1. Life mostly consists of in-between moments in my experience and, yes, they are vastly important and valuable and can be very enjoyable.

  32. Reading the possibility that, ‘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’, was a stop moment for me, because I could feel that this is true, this is what we do, so then I had to ponder on where such a habit would come from? It’s as though our focus has become so narrow in the way we live life that we have forgotten how to appreciate what is naturally all around us the magic of God, it’s as though this is not enough we want more in the way of stimulation to feel we are alive.

  33. It truly is magic when we in-joy the mundane. We accept everyone equally that is felt and seen in others eyes, as you have said it is that connection with others that will never be mundane!

  34. ‘When I am in appreciation of the flow of my movements’…….this brings appreciation to a new level and expands the word to mean so much more. So often appreciation is used to show gratitude for the things we have but I can feel in your words that if I can stay with me, and the appreciation of the movements I make then this will allow the next moment to be in full appreciation too.

  35. We always look forward to holidays and ‘time off’ whilst the routine or ‘mundane’ everyday is looked down upon… but what if we have this all backwards? If 90% of our lives is the ‘mundane’ this should be where we appreciate, celebrate the most and then the quality of holidays etc. are guaranteed.. We can design our everyday rhythm to be this way, but it requires a change of attitude – are we not worth the effort to make our 90% amazing?

  36. It is our innate godliness that transmutes the seemingly mundane back into the divinity from which it (we) separated from. We are not here in physical form to live life through functionality alone, but rather bring through this form the quality of the formlessness we are originally born from.

  37. We have a choice in any one moment to see something as mundane for example, but then we have moved away from ourselves and are not in the joy of moving in our own love so of course something will not feel enjoyable because it is void of the very thing we are made of.

    1. Do you think this is the reason why people say they dislike their job? I know it is the case for me when I find any task mundane, it is a reminder that I have disconnected from my body and divine purpose.

  38. I was the queen of wanting to experience the next big thing until I’ve come to appreciate it doesn’t matter what I do – working, walking, cooking, cleaning etc. – if I’m doing it with being fully present and feeling the beauty of being me.

    So I can still catch myself wishing for better weather and more sunshine, a walk on a beautiful beach, but actually I’m just not appreciating me in those moments and wanting the outside world to give what I am not appreciating is already there within.

  39. The mundane is an absolute key to life. It allows us to recover much more quickly when we are emotionally affected and it gives us a base to return to. Personal evolution in my experience is what we do with the mundane and not the exciting, the extraordinary, the seemingly important.

  40. ‘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?’ I love these observations. I was noticing the other day how much we dismiss life and ourselves as if this life doesn’t matter and we will somehow make it to Heaven nevertheless after death. I certainly assumed that we must just go to Heaven as a sure thing so but with this there is a complacency in life and I don’t fully appreciate everything this life can bring.

  41. If you categorise, sleeping, walking, driving, eating, daily chores as all ‘mundane’; well, that is at least half our our lives…so if we are not appreciating those, then… no wonder, we crave relief, rewards, a drink at the end of the day and holidays.

  42. I used to absolutely be one who would seek rewards, expensive meals out, holidays etc…And now I can get way, way more joy from the most simple of simple things – and then can’t help but smile to myself at how these are almost always cheap and free pleasures; compared to the money I would spend on rewarding myself, it’s amazing! Can you imagine what would happen to all those industries that supplied ‘rewards’ (holidays, posh restaurants, crazy expensive fashion…) if we all started appreciating the mundane?

  43. I often really appreciate those moments in my day when everything comes to a standstill and I can rest and just sit with me and connect with my body. There is nothing actually happening in these moments for I am not doing or achieving anything to the outside onlooker, however the connection and stillness I feel in these moments is beautiful and priceless.

  44. Someone recently told me that they had been so busy for their whole adult life frantically pleasing everybody in order to feel worthy, that they only now had the experience of ‘looking up and smelling the roses’ so to speak. She felt such appreciation for the little things; colours, smells, having a bath etc, but I know the greatest joy for her was simply in having the space to connect more deeply to herself.

  45. The appreciation and magic of every moment is something that we can truly feel from the quality of our presence in ourselves and being all we are and the so called mundaneness of life is no longer mundane but glows magically from within.

  46. It can be so easy to be resentful of carrying out mundane tasks, but feeling the purpose behind them, and appreciating every little moment, creates the quality of the bigger moments. Then it makes it so worthwhile to build the quality of the smaller moments.

  47. Agree we can bring the magic into every moment as every moment is magical if we so choose it to be. No moment is mundane when we are fully present and aligned to our soul.

  48. It is so worthwhile to put attention to the little things in life, as every small act we do contributes to the next move we are going to make.

  49. I have always appreciated nature and the magic it offers – but housework – now that was something I did because I had to if I didn’t want to live in a dirty home. After being part of an appreciation thread I soon realised that everything in life offers us an opportunity to change – each little detail can be appreciated for what it is offering and when we walk through life with an open heart we realise that there is wonderment in every moment.

  50. I like looking at the spiritual path in this way, with it being a continuation of the search for achievable goals, because this helps me to make sense of why even after a heightened spiritual experience I could still feel empty or lost, which I now understand is because there is nothing so fulfilling as the steadiness of everyday living with the oneself in an unfolding journey with the soul.

  51. It is interesting to appreciate how things that used to seem mundane, no longer are, as a result of making different choices in how I take care of my self in my day to day life and consequently with everything that I do.

  52. Doing the daily jobs with a sense of solidness and grace. I love how that feels Coleen, there is a huge difference doing anything and everything with our connection to ourselves. Then everything is done in appreciation, there is nothing mundane about that at all.

  53. To be more aware of the movement of the body in solidness and grace is exquisite to feel and any push, rush or drive is instantly felt from thereon.
    “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”.

  54. To deeply feel the appreciation of small and big choices in the body is key to growth and acceptance, which leads to responsibility and commitment.

  55. ‘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.’ This really says it all and hence the importance of appreciating ourselves.

  56. Bringing the magic of the soul in to every day life is very possible, it is a choice and a practice but even replacing the loo roll, hoovering etc can hold magic, it is all in how you do it.

  57. Every detail of life matters and even moreso how we are in each moment. In appreciation we begin to see the rich tapestry that life is from the tiniest and seemingly most insignificant moment to ‘big ticket’ moments and see that there is no such thing as insignificant.

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