Archive for July, 2014

Understanding Oneness

Sometimes we look at the actions of others and find it difficult to understand what motivates them. But we are all doing the best we can with the information we currently have. We have all been taught how to see the world from the examples of those around us and by our experiences. Keeping this in mind, we can accept the choices made by others while seeking ways to increase the world’s level of consciousness as a whole.

Our different levels of consciousness are like the developmental stages of children, whose understanding varies according to their age and experience. For example, the behavior of a two-year-old who doesn’t want to share can be understood as a phase of his social education, whereas a 16-year-old who behaves in the same manner would be thought to be acting childish. It is important to remember that we are each on our own unique path. We may have chosen certain lessons or made an agreement to play certain roles in the unfolding of the world’s understanding before we incarnated in this lifetime. So our job is not to judge others but to shift the balance of understanding in the world by increasing our own.

Every thought we have and action we take becomes part of the collective energy of the planet. When we use our energy to bring light into the world, it combines with the light brought by others to dispel the darkness. Though we live in a world of duality, which helps us to experience the material plane, we don’t need to experience extremes to understand them. We can share our experiences and understanding with others not from a place of condescension but of connection. When the entire family of humanity understands that each of our thoughts, choices, and actions affect us all, we will share an incredible level of consciousness—one that puts our oneness above all else and helps us evolve into higher expressions of our spiritual selves. Remember the next time you witness an action of another that they are of the same earth as you but simply on a different conscious level at this point in their life. Find compassion, bless them, and move along your day in grace.

DailyOM

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Healing Gardens

Time spent in nature’s embrace is a soothing reminder of the fact that we also are products of the natural world’s ingenuity. We feel at home in a quiet forest and are comforted by the pounding surf of the seaside. In both the sunny meadow and the shaded waterfall’s grotto, stress and tension we have long retained melts away. Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature to enjoy its healing benefits can be difficult, however. Planting and tending a garden allows us to spend time with Mother Nature in a very personal and hands-on way. We work in tandem with nature while gardening—honoring the seasons, participating in the life cycle of various organisms, experiencing the unique biorhythms of our environments, and transcending all that divides us from the natural world. As we interact with the soil, we are free to be ourselves and reflect upon meditative topics. Fresh air invigorates us, while our visceral connection to the earth grounds us.

Though you may plant a garden to grow food or herbs, or for the pleasure of seeing fresh flowers in bloom, you will likely discover that the time you spend working in your plot feels somehow more significant than many of the seemingly more important tasks you perform each day. Whether your garden can be measured in feet or is a collection of plants in pots, tending it can be a highly spiritual experience. You, by necessity, develop a closer relationship with the soil, seeds, water, and sunlight. Nurturing just a single plant means cultivating a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that permit it to thrive. A true healing garden is simply one where you feel comfortable plunging your hands into the earth, lingering over seedlings and plants to observe their growth. And yes, even caressing and talking to plants. Creating beauty through the creative use of space, and giving yourself over to awe when you realize that you have worked hand in hand with nature to give birth to something, is truly wonderful.

The partnership that is formed when you collaborate with Mother Nature through gardening is wonderful in that it provides you with so many opportunities to be outdoors. You will be reminded of not only your connection to the earth but also of your unique gifts that allow you to give back to the earth.

DailyOM

Revealing Your True Self

Identity is an elusive concept. We feel we must define ourselves using a relatively small selection of roles and conscious character traits, even if none accurately represents our notion of “self.” The confusion surrounding our true natures is further compounded by the fact that society regularly asks us to suppress so much of our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual vibrancy. Yet we are, in truth, beings of light—pure energy inhabiting physical bodies, striving for enlightenment while living earthly lives. Our true selves exist whether we acknowledge them or not, often buried under fears and learned behavior. When we recognize our power, our luminosity, and our divinity, we cannot help but live authentic lives of appreciation, potential, fulfillment, and grace.

At birth and throughout your childhood, your thoughts and feelings were more than likely expressions of your true self. Though you may have learned quickly that to speak and act in a certain fashion would win others’ approval, you understood innately that you were no ordinary being. There are many ways you can recapture the authenticity you once articulated so freely. Meditation can liberate you from the bonds of those earthly customs that compel you to downplay your uniqueness. Also, communing with nature can remind you of the special role you were meant to play in this lifetime. In order to realize your purpose, you must embrace your true self by letting your light shine forth, no matter the consequences.

Rediscovering who you are apart from your roles and traits takes time and also courage. If, like many, you have denied your authenticity for a long while, you may find it difficult to separate your true identity from the identity you have created to cope with the world around you. Once you do find this authentic self, however, you will be overcome by a wonderful sense of wholeness as you reconcile your spiritual aspect and your physical aspect, as well as your inner- and outer-world personas. As you gradually adjust to this developing unity, your role as a being of light will reveal itself to you, and you will discover that you have a marvelous destiny to fulfill.

DailyOM

Your Last Breath

Procrastination is an almost universal human habit and one that infiltrates nearly every aspect of our lives. Modern existence is so complex, and much of what we long to do is left to wait by the side. We know what is important but tend to let the weight of worldly pressures lead us astray. To get back on track, however, we need only take a moment to consider where our thoughts will be as we take our last breath on this earth. More likely than not, at that instant, disagreements, bills, petty annoyances, and other frustrating elements of our lives will no longer seem as significant as they once did. Thoughts of loved ones and the positive impact we had on the world would no doubt occupy our remaining thoughts. Whatever we imagine ourselves musing upon during our last breath will almost always be representative of what truly matters to us.

This simple exercise introduces us to a new way of thinking. While our attention is drawn momentarily to the end of life, our contemplations serve to point out that we are masters of our own perspective and, consequently, our own existence. There is nothing preventing us from shifting our focus right now as we imagine we will in our final moments. We can choose to spend more of our time and energy on what gives our lives meaning. We can spend more time with loved ones and do more of what we enjoy. Doing so may not always prove easy, and there will inevitably be times when circumstances interfere with our resolution, yet we do not have to regard this as an indication that our priorities are not in alignment with who we really are.

Sometimes the only way we can see the beauty of life is to remind ourselves that it is finite. Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.” His words are a potent reminder that living life more fully is not about pushing ourselves harder or shouldering more burdens, but about experiencing all the wonderful richness life has to offer.

DailyOM

Filling Imaginary Voids

In our culture today, we are constantly encouraged to consume. This includes food as well as purchasing ever newer items that we may not need, often using money that we may not actually have. It could be that we are trying to fill a void we feel within ourselves, but if we take the time to examine it, we know deep inside that this is not the solution. We may notice how quickly the joy fades after our purchase or once the food we’ve enjoyed is gone, and how soon we feel the urge to do so again. This is a symptom of disconnection from our true selves, so the first step toward balance is connection to our center.

When we connect to our center, we access the fullness of who we are as an individual spirit. We also connect to the energy source of the universe, from which nothing can be lacking. It could be that we have been energetically starving ourselves but trying to feed the need physically, outwardly. Once we make the decision to reconnect, we have the ability to examine the behavior from a higher place within ourselves. We can look, without judgment, at the thoughts and feelings that occur before and after our indulgences to find a pattern. We may want to keep track of these observations in a journal so that we can go back if we lose our way.

Often boredom is the main cause for the desire to eat or shop. But when we connect to our center, our intuition can more clearly guide us to the places where our energy can best be used. We can replace the boredom with a meditation practice, a class, a project, seeking a new job, or getting involved in a charity. We may even want to begin planning an adventurous trip. Whatever inspires us tells us the direction we should go. When we find the place we are meant to be, we become so consumed by its constant creation that the frivolous filling of an imaginary void becomes a thing of the past.

DailyOM


Month at a Glance

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