The art of appreciation is seldom practiced. I suspect this is so because appreciation actually contradicts our belief about how much is ‘wrong’ with life. It is difficult to be appreciative when most people are caught in a loopâ€”trying to make the world, and others, behave. And of course, this seldom if ever works.
Appreciation exists in the here and now. It is an approach to the ‘is‐ness’ of life. It only happens when I suspend judgement so as to be present with what ‘is.’ In a sense, appreciation is a meditation and a reflectionâ€”a way of telling ones life‐story with gratitude.
Many people wish to put their fears aside and to create and live a full and elegant life. In Zen, we say this is simple, as in “Simply Sit.” Or, “Pay attention!” Or, “Wake up!”
The point of these little aphorisms is to bring living into the present moment.
Fearful living disables our ability to act in the here and now. Of course, when you think about it, the fear is totally internal. I fear what I am imagining might happen, and therefore am standing still doing nothing, or doing what I always do.
Fearless living is not reckless. It is both present and prepared. It also recognizes this fundamental truth:
All you can control is the action, not the outcome.
Many of my clients are “Boomers,” and many of them are ‘squeezed’ between their living parents and their kids. I want to frame what I’m about to show you with this: The goal of parenting is to raise your kids to be independent adultsâ€”and the age of independence is 18–20. That this is not happening is terrifying.
Always has been, always will be.