Today, I am reminded to be in the moment. I am reminded of mindfulness, of presence, of awareness in and of the moment-to-moment reality of our existence. Today, I am reminded of the moment-to-moment reality of our lives.
This moment –this one right here, right now!– is the only one that truly exists. All other moments are either gone (past) or haven’t yet happened (future).
Keep your awareness on the moment and live in reality. Practice mindfulness. Appreciate and experience each moment of your life. The past no longer exists and the future is not yet here – they are but ghosts of your experiences on this planet, and you can alter neither. But this moment is real. See and feel and experience what is here now. Be awake and aware, and be here now, in each moment.
“Many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment… imagine living your whole life like that! Always, this moment is not quite good enough because you need to get to the next one.”
– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of NOW
Shootings, rapists, abuse, attacks, and violence of all kinds. It’s everywhere, and many people are understandably scared, frustrated, saddened, outraged, and experiencing a myriad of other emotions and reactions to any of the all-too-common societal traumas that are making the headlines.
These reactions are understandable – we are thinking, feeling beings after all, and we naturally sympathize and empathize with each other. But the reality is that the strength of these reactions are also encouraged and conditioned by the societies and cultures in which we live. In fact, our culture seems to thrive on the extreme emotional chaos and sense of personal impotence that these events evoke.
But do you see that your (natural, encouraged, culturally-groomed) knee-jerk reactions to these events … your emotional responses… your outrage, indignity, etc. … are not “solutions to the problems”? Do you see that your emotionally-based responses and calls for “justice”… your demands for “legislative fixes” … or any of the other words or phrases or ideologies being bantered around so freely these days … do you see that these are not solutions to the problems we are facing?
Don’t you see that all of this… ALL of this… is simply the proliferation of hate? Don’t you see that this is simply the perpetuation of judgement and bias and ego? Don’t you see that these strong emotional reactions are ADDING to the “problems” instead of offering any real solutions? Can’t you see that this is the old paradigm of action-reaction … of cause and (programmed) effect? Don’t you see that this is Not Helping? That it is only encouraging and reinforcing the same old bad habits, the same stale, harmful, and non-Light-serving energies that we have held as “status quo” for how long now? Do you not see that these are the same energies and behaviors that have gotten us here in the first place? Can’t you see that it’s time for a change? A REAL change?
No, I’m not talking about passing extra legislation or adding layers to an already bloated bureaucracy, nor am I talking about the adoption and enforcement of some set of (currently) socially- and culturally-acceptable ideals or morality or ethics or… let’s call it what it is, folks… EGO … over other ideas and ideals, beliefs and knowledge, independence, thoughts, or souls of others because it is “politically correct” and it suits your personal, adopted ideology.
Can’t you see that if we are to make changes… REAL Changes… we need to start with ourselves? Do you see that these changes need to start with our families and our “clans”, our “tribes”, our communities… without the constant knee-jerk reactions to cultural stimuli and without the egotistical, egocentric judgements and sheer arrogance of “my way is the best (or only) way”? Can’t you see that we have to change things on a very basic societal level in order to effect the kinds of changes that we need to have happen in this world right now… changes that We Are Ready to have happen right now?
Do you see that the issue is not politics, or ethnicity, or religion, or race, or weapons, or sexuality, or any of these other false divisions among our species?
Can’t you see that the real issues here are about how we act and react… about what we choose, what we expect, and what we’ve been conditioned to believe or want…? Don’t you see that we can choose something other than hate and violence and ego and out-of-control emotion… regardless of the stimuli to which we are exposed?
Can’t you see that change has to come from that place of true integrity, of true morality, of doing what is right simply because it is right… NOT because you expect to get anything out of it, and Not because it’s the most recent “socially acceptable” fad… and not because you fear some negative repercussion to your action…?
It’s not about superficial rules. It’s not about judgement. It’s not about ego, or coercion, or limitations… it’s not about any of these things that we all take for granted in this world, in this day and age.
It’s about Being You. It’s about being the True You. It’s about freedom and choice. It’s about being willing and able and brave enough to love, to help, to teach, to coach, to guide, to encourage, to lift up your fellow man! It’s about being REAL. It’s about listening and participating and being open… without Ego. And it’s about choosing your actions and your reactions… It is about choosing where to invest your energies.
Do not “Do”. Be.
There is such “DOing” in the world. Everything, it seems, needs to have some physical aspect to it – something we can point to and say “I did that”, or “that’s mine”. But what in this world do we really own? What, in this world, are we really doing with all this running around and sense of accomplishment. What, exactly, are we accomplishing? We are accomplishing chaos, and business, and a disconnection from nature, spirit, each other, and ourselves.
Why do we do this? Does it make us happy? Do we really feel accomplished or successful at the end of the day?
What about when you are still – in prayer or meditation? When you DO nothing -when you BE everything- what do you accomplish? What do you feel? Are you happy? Do you feel accomplished, when you are still and at peace?
Or are you ever really still?
Find your center. Keep your awareness. Recognize the comings and goings and energies and patterns of everything around you for what they are, and let them pass you by.Be unmoved by these things – they are but shadows, ghosts, illusions. Let them go. Like a rock in a stream, let it all flow past. Be still. Be constant. Be steady and true.
And just Be.
There are no excuses. There is no history, no patterns of behavior to overcome, there are no reasons not to treat yourself well and to nourish your soul. Listen to your inner guidance. What is it that you need right now? What is it that makes your heart and soul soar? Do it.
Even if you are trapped in physicality, there are ways to attend to yourself. Take a little step, if you must, but listen to yourself and treat yourself the way you should be treated – with respect, with honor, with love – on all levels of your being. All the time!
You *are* deserving. This is your natural state – one of joy, one of love, one of unity, of wholeness, of health and compassion and essence and BEing.
Listen to yourself, to your needs, to your essence, to your goals and Path and Work.
Be mindful. Be true.
And do it.
So life throws you a curve-ball. You do your best to react with curiosity, with gratitude, to learn from it, to “flow with it” and see where the next step of the Path lies. So you realize that these unexpected turns of events are opportunities for learning and personal growth – good for you!
But sometimes, one curve-ball isn’t quite enough to elicit the type of change the Universe has in mind for you, so another comes hurtling your way. And oh – here comes another! And maybe even another! … and still, another?!
Ok, so you’ve taken a deep breath and realized that you’ve done this a couple of times by now; you’ll be ok. You’re relatively Aware, and have faith that the Universe has plans for you. You’re doing your best to “go with the flow”… even if the flow is more like a hair-raising, white-knuckled, whitewater rafting type of flow than what personal experience has so far shown you. But the entire point is to shake things up, isn’t it? The Universe is paving the way for major changes in your life, and like with most things, it’s how you choose to react that determines the experience… and the end results.
You might not be able to tell where this series of events is taking you. And that’s ok. You might not be sure if this particular series of “whitewater” events is about to hurtle you over a waterfall or land you in a nice serene lake. And that’s ok too. Keep your center and stay balanced. Take each step, each moment, and each breath, one at a time. Before you know it, you’ll land in the lake. You might find yourself in the lake after a thrilling flight over a waterfall, but you’ll safely end up where you’re supposed to be nonetheless. So “enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination” and make the most of these “curveballs”. The Universe knows what it’s doing.
Sometimes it seems that this physical life decides to throw us a random “curve-ball” with which to contend.
When faced with these curve-balls, our personal world seems to stop for short period of time. Suddenly, everything changes, and we are faced with the decision of how to react and what we do with the experience. We can react badly (“This kind of thing always happens to me! Life stinks!”), or we can recognize the opportunity for what it truly is – a chance for us and/or those around us to learn and to grow. Your choices can reinforce the type of experiences you have on this plane, so if your first reaction is along the lines of an emotional “Not me! Not again!”, I’d encourage you to transform that reaction to one of interest and curiosity “Oh! What lesson is here for me?!” or a grateful “Thank you – I will be more mindful and aware” or perhaps even “Oh! Where is this experience leading me next?!”.
Because the truth is that these curve-balls… these unexpected turns of events… are not random. They are the Universe’s way of doing things. They are a jolt to our assumptions and to our lackadaisical lives. They are the Universe’s way of reminding us of our connections to and with others. They are reminders of our own Paths, and of our own choices, and they can change your perceived physical reality in a moment!
And the choice in how you react and what you gain from the experience is yours…
Nourish yourself on all levels of your being – physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual, spiritual, energetically, etc.
Do it always.
Today, I challenge you to shine!
Let’s be honest here… how many of us are at least a little bit hesitant -or even downright afraid- to let the full glory of our inner light shine out to the world?
I’m not asking you about the little pieces of Light that show when you’re happy, meditating/praying or fully engaged in a creative pursuit, nor am I asking about that subtle glow that happens when you’re at peace with the world, or the occasional beam of Light that sneaks out when you least expect it! I’m asking about full, 100%, all-the-time, glorious, blinding (in a good way), wholesome, complete LIGHT!
You do realize that it resides within you, right?
Stop with the self-doubts and the excuses and the societal beliefs and conditioning that you’ve absorbed through the years! Do you realize that you are made of Light?
You do know that it’s unlimited… that this Light is the true nature of reality… don’t you?
Take a moment, right here, right now, and just feel that Light. Feel it! Feel it come from within yourself. Feel it surround you. Feel how far and deep it goes… feel how bright it is, how loving, how comforting and how all-encompassing that Light is.
Did you feel it? Do you still?
Yes, that Light really, truly exists. And it’s within you. No, it’s not your imagination conjuring some image or feeling or whatever. That Light, that Peace, is really there. And yes, you can feel it – if you let yourself.
So today, I challenge you to let your Light shine to it’s fullest capacity …all day! Today, just today, let your Light really and truly shine.
Think you can do it? I know you can do it! So, I challenge you to let your Light really and truly and fully shine!
… and should you get “lost” in daily activities, catch yourself, just breathe for a moment, recenter yourself, and recall the Light and your connection to it, and Shine On!
Breathe in all the Good.
Breathe in all the Light.
Release anything that does not serve
or benefit you in the highest sense,
for the highest good.
Just let it go
and breathe in all the Good.
Breathe in all the Light.
Know that you are One.
Breathe it all in.
connected to yourself,
in all its myriad aspects,
in all its various roles,
… and breathe!
We are One.
I’m just not feeling it today. Today, my heart is mostly closed, my thoughts and emotions are a bit unruly, my focus is off, my connection to Spirit is … ignored (it’s probably the best word to use right now). Through recent events in my physical microcosm, I find myself disappointed in humanity today. It is not their fault. They truly do not know what they do, nor do they realize just how entrenched in mistaken perceptions of reality and life and living that they are –and I know this!– but I find myself less forgiving and less compassionate of them and their situation than I usually am… and a lot less than I endeavor to be, always.
I’m tired of having to fight against the tide… tired of fighting against the cultural conditioning and warped expectations or understandings that so many humans seem to embrace and then, to the detriment of everyone, project as solid reality. Their reality is wrong. And it’s not just wrong, it’s absolutely backwards, and worse – it’s detrimental to the overall development and spiritual/emotional evolution of the species!!
To quote Morpheus from The Matrix
“You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it”
And so, I’m tired. And I’m disappointed. And, once in a while at least, I’m allowed to be. After all, I am incarnated here too, and dealing with this reality and the warped perceptions and egos of humanity goes hand-in-hand with my decision to be here. But I want to “smack them up the side of the head” to wake them up to Reality… or I’d even settle for just getting them out of their stupor! But it doesn’t really work that way, does it? *sigh*
Reality -real Reality- is based upon personal responsibility and personal analysis/understanding. It’s also based on Compassion and understanding that we are all aspects of the One. But boy, oh boy, does the human race seem determined to go out of their way to avoid experiencing even a little bit of any of this!
As we grow in our consciousness, there will be more compassion and more love, and then the barriers between people, between religions, between nations will begin to fall. Yes, we have to beat down the separateness.
– Ram Dass
And so, I retreat to my meditation cushion, do some cleansing and healing work, and try to find a little more compassion for those who are entrenched in the system, blinded by it, and perpetuating it.