When we become more interested in spirituality and our inner-world, knowing that there is this rich, loving dimension to us, yet keeping true to that in our daily life, can be tricky. I've found that keeping things simple really helps.
As I go about my life, I often come back to remembering these five A's: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing life. Each of these qualities brings simple reminders that help to open our heart and ease our struggles. If we take the time to cultivate and express a little of each through our day, a new level of relating can really open up.
Attention reminds us to really listen, observe and notice all the feelings that come up for us, moment to moment. We notice with a caring, neautral quality, without judging. In relation to others, we're reminded to give our whole-hearted attention to whoever is before us, remembering that this moment to relate, in this way, with this person, at this time is completely unique and will never be repeated.
Acceptance involves complete acceptance of ourselves and others, just as we, and they, are. Acceptance includes acknowledging that there will be times when we will act in ways that don't feel right or best for us, and that this too is okay.
Appreciation includes being grateful for all of our gifts and the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas that are inherent in being human. Appreciating that we are on a life-long learning journey, and that all beings are searching for the same peace and happiness that we are. May we have a deep appreciation for the precious gift of life!
Affection means showing our sincere love, care and compassion towards others. This may be in the form of physical affection such as a gentle touch on the arm, using an affectionate voice tone or showing affection to someone we might not normally, through a kind gesture. We can make every hug really matter!
Allowing life means allowing life to be JUST AS IT IS. Perhaps adopting the attitude that life is 'for us' - for our learning and loving - and not 'to us' as we can tend to complain or blame. For me personally, 'allowing' is the real clincher that holds all the five A's together.
With these five A's in mind, living and loving more mindfully and more whole-heartedly, becomes just that little bit easier. I encourage you to give them a try...