When you stretch out your feet to the incoming tide, lazily reclined in a beach chair, and the sun is a hand’s width above the water on the horizon, and the wavelets are chasing each other up the sand, and the egrets and sandpipers skitter nervously away as if they’ll melt if the water touches them, your mind isn’t occupied with what’s next..
You soak in the moment as you soak in the sun. This…this is the reason you’re here. It’s what you came for. It’s the end sought.
For most of us, ends as idyllic as that described above are rarities. They are valuable in proportion to their scarcity. Beach folk may no longer hear the murmur-Roar of the waves tumbling in. They may take these marvels of sight and sound for granted, because they’re no longer novel. And familiarity breeds contempt.
But what can we do, regardless of where we pass our lives, to extract the sublime from the familiar, eliminate the contempt, and cease taking anything for granted?
In that light, find small “mini-ends” throughout your day. Identify the ends in themselves. Look for them every time you drink a cup of coffee or tea. Savor every conversation with a loved one. Similarly, let each meal exemplify the opportunity to reflect on more than transience. Sure, you’ve had many meals. You anticipate others. But, stop to appreciate that by some miracle you’re having this one, right now. It’s the only time you’ll partake of this meal. That’s a worthy end in itself.
That mindset and it’s objective is what we cultivate by the practice of awareness, or “mindfulness”. To do so is to fill the mind with what is right in front of it. Extract the precious by appreciation of the obvious. Discover what is too often disguised by plain sight, and realize that if you’re still conscious of being conscious, things could always be a whole lot worse.
Find these moments hidden in plain sight
Acquaint yourself with moments from which you want nothing else. Recognize and log in your awareness each time you recognize a moment to which you would add nothing to make it better, or sweeter, or richer. The more these inner promptings bring you into the present, the better you will come to know your true self.
You’ll see that the good life isn’t about waiting for the big, rare thing to come along. Rather, it’s seeing and appreciating the good already present in the so-called mundane grind of life. And when you can maximize happiness from the everyday, you’re living a rare life indeed