It is possible to upgrade the quality of our life, to ride in the Bentley of life, without it costing a penny.
Let me elaborate by telling you a little story:
A Sufi master is walking with his student, discussing the mysteries of life, when they get to a cemetery. They go in, slow their pace and look around. The student doesn’t fail to notice that no-one buried in that cemetery is older than 5 years old. Puzzled, he looks at the master and asks: What happened here? Why are all these children?
The master lovingly smiles and says: The age you see on the tomb, has nothing to do with the number of days these people have lived, but everything to do with the number of days they have felt ‘truly alive’. So even if they lived for 70 years but, only felt truly alive for 1 month, that’s the age you see on the tomb.
This story grades the quality of life from the lower scale of ‘just living’ to the higher scales of ‘being truly alive’. In the same way that we grade our cars in society, from the lower scale of Renault, VW or Ford to the higher scale of Bentley, Ferrari or Porsche.
Let me make a confession: when it comes to cars, I’m very happy to drive a VW but, when it comes to life itself: I will not settle for anything less than a Bentley! I want to get the very best of life. I want to squeeze the goodness of every experience to its very last drop. And…I don’t think I’m the only one.
But how do we do that?
I’ve come to see that we all know how, we just don’t apply it enough.
Why do I say that? Because I’ve seen times and times again that when we pay a little fortune for an experience, be it: a concert, an expensive meal or an exquisite bottle of wine, champagne or whiskey (whatever we may be into), we give ourselves permission to be touched by the experience. We allow all of our senses to come to life and to energize us. Whenever we spend money for an experience, we seem to approach it with a certain quality of intention, attentiveness and curiosity. Qualities that are otherwise not present.
I know for example that when I go to a concert, as soon as I arrive in the hall, I put everything behind me and allow myself to be there. Totally present to the atmosphere of the hall. I can sense the anticipation and the joy in the room. I allow the dim lights to quieten my mind. And, I sit with the total intention to be open, to hear every single note that is going to be played. Whether I’m going to like the music or not, I am going to let every cell of my body become ears and let the music in. And, when the music starts, I can feel the notes. It’s as if I can even see them, dancing across the hall, bouncing off one wall onto another, hitting me in the process. I am truly there, totally alive!
Aren’t you the same when you have that special meal? Perhaps, you take time to look at your plate, to see how the food has decorated it. You may even notice the colours and, how they are put together. When you take a bite, you give your taste-buds time to receive all the tastes, able to distinguish the salt from the sweet, sour from bitter more precisely that ever. Can you say that you approach your supermarket sandwich in the same way? Do you know the colour of the packaging? Have you paid attention to the design? That sandwich may not be that special, but you are and, you most likely want to get the best from your life…
Perhaps, we can upgrade the quality of our life by changing our approach to our mundane tasks. We can start by picking one thing we do everyday, something we do so often and so automatically that we let our senses stay half asleep in the background like: making tea/coffee, taking a shower or walking in the street. We can change our attitude and do it with the same level of intention, attentiveness and curiosity, If it helps we can even imagine that we’ve just a paid a fortune for that experience. It is my belief that the more we do this: the more we approach our mundane tasks with these qualities, the more we find ourselves riding in the Bentley of life, without it costing a penny.