Every morning, we are one day closer to no longer being in this physical body. But we are also one day wiser than yesterday. The constraint of time combined with yesterday’s wisdom equals opportunity. Opportunity to seize this day and all the other ones remaining. Opportunity to embody joy and to share it with others. Opportunity to realize that we must make the most of today as if our days were limited. Because they are.
Just because we have grown up doesn’t mean we are too old to dream. Don’t lose touch with that inner child who dreams of new possibilities and remembers how to stand in awe of life's wonders. Everything we see around us originated from a thought, a dream. Any physical actions taken to make that dream a reality had to be preceded by an idea.
Hope is the doorway to belief. Once we believe we can do something, we can step over the threshold into a new space where we will actually take the steps necessary to do what needs to be done to turn hope into experience. If Edison didn’t believe that creating a light bulb was possible, he wouldn’t have even started with the process.
We can’t change things from the same consciousness that created them. This applies to both our personal lives and the world at large. To change something that doesn’t work in our lives, we must start by shifting our perspective and attention to what will work, not with fighting what doesn’t. Those that are against war and hate will never create a more peaceful world as they perpetrate the same energy that created the problem. Only those that are for peace and love can do that.
As you look back on your life, you will not worry about how crazy your ideas were or how silly you looked. You will know that everyone’s idea of a life well-lived life is only that – their idea – and each is valid. But you will want to look back in the knowing that you followed your heart. That you did it Your Way.
If you don’t learn to appreciate the little things, you will never appreciate the big things when they arrive. You will always keep searching for the next thing even as you may be enjoying something magnificent already.
If we want to understand ourselves, we must learn to understand the world around us. If we want to understand the world around us, we must understand ourselves. To understand, we must be open-minded enough to see things in a new way and willing to set aside ideas we have held dear – many times for no reason but the fact they were part of our upbringing. Understanding entails both conceptual knowledge and experience – these can only be transformed into wisdom as they merge. That process naturally takes time. The more novel ideas we explore and the more new experiences we have, the more we can integrate the two into new ways of being.
Embrace the pace of nature, embrace the pace of your own life. You may have thought you would be at a completely different point in life right now. Perhaps there are things you thought you would have finished or accomplished by now. Your trials and tribulations have led you here where you are stronger than ever. A point from which you can create and construct even more marvelous ideas and creations than you ever thought possible.
Get to know thyself and you will know beyond the self. Who? Who are you? Who am I? Who is Self? what is Life? Who looks back at you in the mirror? Who is the one that can observe the voice in your head? Who is the one that can put a label on the emotions you are having? Who is the perceiver that perceives your life from your particular vantage point? Who is conscious of having a body? Who is conscious having a brain, a heart, and a nervous system? Who is breathing…or being breathed? Who is the thinker beyond the thoughts? Who is the one thinking these questions are silly? The questions will never have an answer that can be put into words. Perhaps they are only here to dissolve the questioner…or perhaps they give shape to the questioner. But likely it is both at the same time...you decide.
It’s all relative – or is it? We still think of the world mainly in a linear and cause-and-effect manner. But at the quantum level, matter is nothing more than a coalescence of energies that rises into existence out of a field of possibilities. Parts of that one field of absolute energy constantly going in and out of physical existence, some temporarily forming matter, some remaining as potential fields of energy. Our senses perceive the particles we call matter, our brains process a tiny percentage of it, and we then stick labels on it calling it reality. Just as we stick labels on ourselves as individuals, communities, and nations. We are that which creates the labels and chooses where to put them. We create separations where there are none. Most of these are for good practical purposes of operating within this universe. Still far too many, however, do not align with the core of our inter-connectedness and goodness that we intuitively resonate with.
We keep looking to heal symptoms with symptoms when it is the root causes of the problems we should be thinking about changing. It all starts with us and the thoughts we think and the beliefs we choose to hold about ourselves and as larger communities. We can see ourselves as random biological outgrowths that have to protect themselves from the outside world or we could also see ourselves as a natural and essential part of everything that we see around us. We could see ourselves as belonging to the world, as being connected to everyone or we could live in fear of "the others" that could threaten our existence. We could believe in ideas that promote cooperation or ones that do not. We could believe in ideas that empower us to take control of how we feel and what we do or we could believe in ideas that constantly blame others. It is, collectively, up to us to choose which ideas will drive our actions.
None of us are exempt from suffering, disappointments, challenges, sadness, anger, or grief. Cultivating compassion towards others helps us be more compassionate towards ourselves when such feelings arise. As we learn to look upon ourselves with more compassion and accept ourselves for who we are, there will be a natural transition to extending these feelings towards others as well.
The more diversity we see in life, the more we embrace that underneath it all, it’s all expressing the same thing. The traditions and customs that different cultures follow are, at their core, followed for one overarching reason - to honor something greater, to honor the innate connection between us, or to enhance our sense of belonging - because at a deeper level we know we belong to All of it.
Everything that we see in life simply IS what it is. We have become so accustomed to thinking in terms of duality, that sometimes we forget the pure essence of being. There is intrinsically no right or wrong, no good or bad, no beautiful or ugly. Certain means work better to reach a certain goal while other means are less efficient or are performed out of a place of being that is not really in line with who we truly are, resulting in consequences that do not resonate with our long-term well-being.
When we encounter something we do not want in our lives, we can use it as signal to start thinking about what we DO want. If each time that we figure out something that DOES NOT work, we can think of something that will work better, we move forward. Dwelling on what does not work, on what we do not want closes our eyes to everything that’s on the other side of the equation.
Our brain naturally wants to protect us from danger – that is why we feel fear. But our brain can’t differentiate between a perceived threat and a real threat. When we think fearful thoughts, when we think we can’t do something, when we are afraid to step out of comfort zones, we activate the same chemicals as when someone is chasing after us. Fear is natural and as long as we are growing and expanding, we will feel it. Once we understand its role in the body, we can learn to observe it as it arises and make a conscious decision about whether we will allow it to interfere with what we are desiring on a deeper level.
The moment you stop apologizing for who you are or defending it, you become free. And when you forget that it’s ok to be yourself, that’s ok too.
I would rather live my life believing that the universe is working for me and that I have some level of control over my life than fearfully thinking that everything is against me or that I do not have any control.
There is a space between discipline and surrender – between the brain and the heart – where life-changing magic can occur. Our heads can help us plan out portions of our lives, they can help us create blueprints for our dreams but we must also allow ourselves to be led by the calling of the heart which spring forth from a deeper internal guidance system.
Let’s keep blurring the lines. Let’s keep breaking the divisions between ideas and concepts in order to expand them and make them greater than they have ever been. Interdisciplinary explorations between all of our collective knowledge – all the different fields of the natural sciences, the social and human sciences, the cultural stories, the myths, the fictions, the autobiographies – the wisdom glimpsed from each can be exponentially more powerful when connected to wisdom from the other fields. The oneness of everything in the universe, the depth of human potential, the literal power of wonder, kindness, and love – all of these have been talked about and proven by souls in all of these fields. The question then becomes, how willing are we to connect the dots and apply these concepts to our own lives?
There will be times of confusion and there will be times of clarity. There will be times of indecision and times of certainty. When it feels like the clouds of confusion have lingered for too long, it helps to remember the clear sky behind them. Answers, options, and possibilities may only be a few new perspectives away – many times already within us, simply clouded by old ideas we resist letting go of.
All that we know in this physical world will eventually re-emerge back into a pure state of energy where it came from. And that is beautiful. It means there’s nothing physical to cling to, nothing to hold onto. For when we depart, our memories will not consist of things we owned, but of the depth of the life we lived.
Resistance to life as it is is the ultimate cause of disappointment. Who we are is what we are. Our reality is what it is. Judging or condemning it does not change it. Our past is only a sequence of images in our minds – often distorted ones. Our future can only be changed from one point – now. Acceptance is the gateway to change as it gives us back the power that we have always had to make a new decision in this fresh moment of now.
Peace lies in the acceptance and appreciation of what it is. The excitement of all that is constantly arising in this one moment of now can turn that peace into joy. Our glimpse of our true power that arises from within can turn hope into excitement that fuels action.
The moment we cease striving to become something special, we are free. We open up to the possibility that we are all on a path to remember ourselves as beings of endless equanimity, joy, and creativity. We acknowledge that we all have biologically built-in fears and desires and that even these serve a larger purpose. We find ourselves in a universe of an intelligent order where even the desire to want to become more is part of the perfection. Perhaps the forgetting of our own potential and beauty is built in so that we can stare at ourselves in utter amazement once we again realize it.
With so much content out there on how to live a better life we could be consuming information forever. Everyone is telling us they have our solution. But at some point we just need to pick something that resonates and make alterations as we feel called to. Others' guidance may be helpful to some point but we must also take steps to integrate it and to discern what works for us and what doesn't. We have our own unique inner wisdom to come up with all of these "how to" lists ourselves, customized perfectly to be in tune with our own body and mind.
Nothing can be farther along on a circle – the circle of life. The joy of being arises from the diversity of nature’s expressions in all its forms. There is no "better" tree or flower in nature. They are all beautiful and important. There is no "inferior" or "superior" expression of humanity. For without the short, how would we know we are tall? Without the ones that are still learning love and acceptance, how would we know what love and acceptance feel like? That is not to say we can't uplift others to an even high vision of all humanity though - there is always plenty of room for that.
My life is one remarkable question mark that I have learned to befriend. I don’t have anything figured out. Instead of having answers, I am replete with questions. Questions for the joy of the exploration. I am an endless explorer of life, of reality, of the infinite streams of consciousness. For life is not anything to be questioned, it is simply that which is here, beautifully unfolding. Its answer lies in front of us yet farther beyond all senses. Life is the process itself, tasting its own deliciousness.
You are magnificent...but perhaps you need a reminder. Nourish your soul here.