Being “alert” means being open to and aware of what is happening now. This means awareness of your outer and objective surroundings, as well as inner awareness, attentiveness to your subjective environment.
Being “available” means being open and willing to engage with what is going on, inside and outside of you.
Bill Murray gives some practical illustrations of how this kind of mindfulness works for him. He has simplified his life to make time for the present. And he takes action when he is moved to. For example, if he is walking down a street and sees a game of ball on a corner lot, he is known to stop and ask if he can join in. He looks, sees, and if he feels drawn to engage, he does.
Being alert and available is a simple formula for being present. And it promises dividends in the form of reduced anxiety and increased satisfaction with life. It may seem an overwhelming task at times, but you can approach it gently. Begin just by making an intention to be present. This is one case where wishing does help make it so!
Practicing awareness and engagement offers you an avenue for expression: an opportunity to discover and share your self light and creative individuality with the rest of us. As you connect with your self and the world around you, and it connects with you, we each have the occasion grow and share our generative potential.
But first you have to be willing, ready, and available.
Start small, with just one moment: stop, look, listen. Where are you? What do you notice? How do you feel? Then engage, in whatever way moves you.
Smell the roses.
The Bill Murray interview is worth watching. You can find it on Hulu.com or through this link: http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60340546