Practice: part about improving, and part about changing our attitude to imperfections.
Relaxation methods can be very helpful. But they tend to exert their effect only as long as we do them. Stop them, and we may cease being relaxed.
On the other hand, to rest in present moment awareness, just as things are, with no need to adjust how we are, or how things are, is to taste a more durable kind of peace.
We can let things spin as they will, while we rest at the hub of the wheel, less concerned with the activity of the spokes, yet accepting it.
In a life of practice, reductions in irritability and anxiety will surely happen. At the same time, they tend to be associated with more realistic self-assessment. The demands we place on ourselves dwindle, and we accept ourselves with our faults more readily. As that happens, so our manifest faults may dwindle somewhat too.
All the marvelous things that the western work ethic, industry and utilitarianism have produced over the centuries… yet perhaps there are at least a few areas of life that are still best left untouched by them.
Is it possible that practice could be a province where a different set of rules operates, one governed not by utility and the work ethic, but by an alternate economy, where size and scale, and all metrics and measurables, are mute and dumb, where product and utility lose substance, where instead the factors are generosity, intrinsic creativity, infinite abundance, ease, spontaneous giving?