When I was a child, everything spoke to me. I experienced my world with intense ecstasy, my body and senses absorbing the beauty of the natural world, its scents and sounds, tastes and textures, until they became part of me, streaming in my blood, singing in my bones. I blended with the jungles and mountains that surrounded our vacation home, and with the sea, crows, and sun-seared sky in the big city of Bombay, where I grew up.
Well into my teens, I was in ecstatic, loving relationship with everything around me. The natural world, yes — but also my bed and pencil-box, the statue of Saraswati in our living room, the chairs and couches I curled up in to read, the books I held in my hands, whose pages smelled of trees and ink, the clothes I wore to school.
When life got scary — when my family began to fall apart — the things around me offered comfort and consolation. They reminded me that I was safe, I was loved, I was blessed, and blessing.
Out of my heart-relationship with things, I developed a simple practice that remains part of my everyday life now, more than sixty years later.
Each time I encounter a thing or share a moment with it, I let it know how much I love and appreciate it. And, I feel its love and appreciation flowing back to me.
Each time I care for my body in any way — eat a meal, rub balm into my lips, take a shower, go for a walk — I extend my love and appreciation to whatever I am nourishing myself with. I bless the food, the lip balm, the shower water, the path beneath my feet.
Then, I ask it for its love and blessing. I ask the food to nourish and fill my body with joy and health, with sustenance & replenishment. I ask the shower to fill my body with love, with creative inspiration & delight. I ask the path to bless my body with grounding and support, with safety, beauty, provision.
I soften and let myself receive their love, take in their blessings, as fully as I can. I feel my deep, deep gratitude for them, for the love and tenderness they offer, for the beauty of their being. I feel my cells filling up with their blessings, with these qualities of soul so generously shared by everything in my world.
It only takes a moment, but when you do this with every activity, throughout your day, it changes you. It changes your body, your heart, and your relationship with the world.
Every breath becomes a reminder that you are in loving relationship with the very air you breathe. Every breath is an opportunity and a choice — to be in love, to take in love, to extend love. Each ordinary action of your day becomes a blessing, taking you deeper into relationship, deeper into incarnation.