It will not be as if you woke up and the world had turned itself around.
The trees will be the same green. Your body will not suddenly be healthier or more beautiful. The people you know will be difficult and wonderful in the same ways as before. The change will not be because you have finally become a better and more positive person. And no great power will have reached down to save you from your troubles.
Nothing will have changed, yet everything will have changed.
After a long time of working to be truly mindful of your life and of life around you—sometimes with focus, sometimes with little attention—you will have made a small shining discovery. You will have noticed that the only life you have resides in the present moment. You will know that by paying attention, right now, you are seeing life at its core.
And the key that unlocked the door to paying attention will be that you do not judge anything.
You will be like a separate person, looking at your life with an unexpected calmness. You will see how intense you can be, and how lost you sometimes are. You will see how intricate and gifted you are. You will not judge yourself. You will be surprised that you ever did.
You will see how hard other people work at life and how their effort earns them a strange mix of success and failure. You will hear their words for what they are, not reflections on the quality of your being, but as attempts to make themselves known—or to hide themselves. You will be amazed at how complex and wonderful they are.
You will see what a churning and changing thing life is, and how everything that exists seems to be flowing into something else. You will see that you are but a small part of the whole, and you will know that this is okay. It is just the way life is. Your new way of seeing will be gentle and small, but it will be a light that can never go out. It will only grow, because, each moment, you will learn to love life more—your life, the lives of others, the whole of life on earth.