My wife and I have an attentive, respectful relationship with everything in our house. We treat it all with reverence, awareness, appreciation and gratitude-- not for the thing in question, but TO the thing. We do not take anything for granted, or mistreat anything. We honor it for what it is and for its place in our life. Nothing we own could be owned by anyone who would take better care of it than we do. We are not this way because we think we ought to be this way, but because this is the way we are. It carries over into the way we treat our family, our nuclear family and our extended family. But we draw the line there, and do not invite other people into our life. We are not gregarious, chummy, and outgoing-- and do not trust ourselves easily to others. Which is as much a reflection of where we have been as it is of who we were before we got there. Our life is complete enough as it is, and we do not need the company of others to make it more-so. Too much of their company makes it less-so. Getting older is refining our sense of what is important, and narrowing us down to the things that matter most to us. We are increasingly clear about how we need to spend what remains of our time, devoting ourselves to the things we cherish, and allowing the rest to recede into the background and periphery of our lives.
Being still, being quiet, listening for what is predominant at various points in our day, taking regular readings of our balance and harmony, spirit, energy and vitality, keeps us alert to what's what and what needs to be done about it in each situation as it arises, in a "Here we are, now what?" kind of way. We could do worse, and it would be hard to do better, day by day. It is simple. It is easy. It is essential. Here we are. Now what?
How would you transform someone who is rule-bound and approval-driven into being flexible, spontaneous, fluid and unflappable? The best I can come up with is "Slowly, over a long period of time." Our tolerance for change is restricted to "Now!" Anything that happens that quickly is subject to snapping back into its original configuration just as quickly. It takes time and attention/awareness for things to become as they need to be-- and that may have no connection with what we want them to be. For things to change, we have to be able to change as well, and allow them to become what they are capable of being, which may be quite other than how we wish they would be. Water's rush to the sea is impeded by 10,000 things. Evaporation, cloud formation and wind currents may be a quicker way to make the journey, but look what happens to water in the process! Getting it like we want it, when we want it, the way we want it, may not be "in the cards," and we will have to play a different game with different cards-- or no cards at all.
Awareness, perspective, perception are a Trident, transforming the world, reshaping reality, and levering us from one mode of being into another just by seeing what's what and what needs to be done about it, and doing it when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, because it needs to be done, in each situation as it arises, day by day. Seeing things as they are includes seeing things as they affect us, which provides a modicum of objectivity for the time being, and is the way attending physicians and emergency room personnel see what comes through the door and responds appropriately to what is being called for with the gifts/shtick/daemon/specialties that are theirs to serve and share from moment to moment in doing what needs to be done, the way it needs to be done, when it needs to be done in addressing the situation and assisting it to the best available outcome. Awareness/perspective/perception transport us to a frame of mind that enables right action as a sincere, spontaneous, instantaneous response to the here and now, flowing from instinct/intuition/imagination and being exactly what is needed at exactly the right time presented in exactly the right way to stun and amaze witnesses and participants alike, and then it is done, and everything shifts back into place, returns to normal, and we wonder what happened, and how it happened, leaving us with the memory of its passing, and the dream of its longed-for return. Every moment of every day carries the potential of this kind of interaction with our life, our world, if only we are aware, perceptive and present in each situation as it arises all our life long.