The challenge of readiness in four dimensions… physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. I’ve been thinking about each of them.
I think the first level, physical, is necessary for me to be ready on any other level. I like to be prepared, and when I am physically prepared for something, the rest follows – reminds me of the AA saying to “act as if” (i.e. act outside, in the physical, and the other levels will follow). Physical readiness means the availability of scales, and always having enough food in the house: I never run out of anything. I am always aware of exactly what I have in the house. It means knowing my schedule for the next day, and a rough knowledge of the week ahead, so as to plan and/or prepare food in advance. These things get me physically ready.
And then, when I am prepared like that, I tend to be ready mentally as well. I may not be 100% sure about something on an emotional level, but mentally, when I have my food and physically I know everything’s ready, I’m OK. I suppose emotionally I’m never ready until after the fact. For me, emotions follow events… in other words, I don’t know how I’m going to feel about this particular meeting or event until I’m in it. I may have my emotions about it before, dread or joyfully looking forward to it… but there’s nothing I can do to get “ready” emotionally. I just have to go through the physical actions.
And as for spiritual readiness… I suppose it’s the same as with everything else, readiness comes from preparedness, and that comes from the daily practice of spirituality. Just as physical preparedness in abstinence comes from the daily practice of it, a routine grows, and because I generally have that routine I can manage the emergency when it appears. Because chaos isn’t the norm.