With the new year ahead, this is an invitation for all of us to start deeply looking at what we are creating – me, you and everyone of us. What is it we are creating? We live in a world that moves so fast and is focused on the next best thing, quick fixes, get rich quick schemes, symptomatic relief, lust over love, temptation over dedication, coverups over proof, lies over truth, war over peace, cost over value – what are our values? What do we honor? Is the accumulation of things more valuable than building connection? Are we so self-absorbed in our story that we can no longer relate? Have we become so focused on capitalizing on others for personal gain that we have lost our ability to share with others and create a conscious community? Is the color of someone’s skin so frightening that we treat them with such malice and degradation because they do not have the same pigmentation? Is someone’s belief regarding their higher power so threatening that we kill the very spirit that lifts them up and liberates them from the chains that bind them? Is our greed so deeply embedded that we feed ourselves with such neglect of other’s suffering for our own gratification? Have we lost our hearts? Have we poisoned our minds? What will it take for us to wake up? We all have dreams of living a life that brings peace to our mind and deep love in our heart, though for a dream to become real one must wake from the slumber. What must happen for us to come together with a unified consciousness rooted in compassion and acceptance? Must there be a tragedy so horrifying that it rivets the core of humanity?
Then, the questions comes; what am I doing to be the essence of this desire for peace, love and abundance. Am I leading with compassion and acceptance? Am I just hoping that everyone else will change, so then I can justify my position and not have to do the work that would necessitate and manifest the desired change? What a tangled web is woven. Yes, the invitation is there for me to step up and be responsible and accountable for my thoughts and actions. It’s not just a you or me thing; it’s a WE thing. We are in this together.
So, how do we attain it? How do WE attain it? Again, this is a WE thing; a shared experience. It’s not about pointing fingers and calling others out as much as it is remembering the truth of what we desire to experience and lifting others to that level of consciousness with tender, loving care. Too often we become preoccupied with what is going on outside of us; so much that we dismiss what is integral to our personal, and collective, growth. Why? We externalize our human experience. There is so much to do, so many things that can monopolize our time and space – the visible world can be so tempting. This is the ‘busy-ness’. For just a moment, slow down… take a breath… feel that breath as it enters your body, notice any particular feeling, sensation or awareness that comes forward. This is what inspires you. This is your connection to all that is. We all breathe the same air, bathe in the same light, walk upon the same giant magnetic rock gazing at the wonders before us. So, what truly separates us? Ponder that for a moment…
Where are we to look and in what places can we find a light that doesn’t lead us astray? Journey within and you’ll never be without. Again, what truly separates us? What is holding us back? Who is holding you back? You. Who is holding me back? Me. That said, what separates us is an illusion that our mind creates. YOU are, and I am, the answer to breaking the barriers that separate us from experiencing love, truth, peace, community, connection, value, abundance, magic, joy and the list goes on. We have a choice each moment of every day to set our self, and others, free of the chains of the past. Ok, all of this sounds great, airy-fairy and hippy-ish, right? Is a life like this possible? What can we do to create conscious community and bridge the gap between the illusion of separation? How do we raise consciousness and amplify love? How do we overcome the discrimination, abuse, greed, temptation, the senseless killing that is spreading rampant throughout the world? It all begins with me. It comes down to honoring my self. Simple, right? Yes. Simplicity is the key. If we take care of our self; everything around us takes care of itself. It all starts to come into alignment. You can do it and be the shift that the world is so craving. It begins within.
Here are 11 very simple ways to honor your self:
1. Eat organic, non-GMO, whole foods with no preservatives, added MSG, high fructose corn syrup, nitrates, added sugars or hydrogenated oils – as much as possible. Remember, baby steps. Educate yourself on what you put into your body. Would you put rubbing alcohol in your gas tank
2. Correctly portion your food and slow down while you are eating. Taste your food and honor where it came from. Food is a source of energy; not just entertainment or an activity.
3. Exercise – whether cardio, weight training or any other exercise regimen; detach from any external thought and focus on the the movement and connection with your body. Exhale as you lift/pull weight and inhale as you release. When running or doing cardio; create a patterned, rhythmic breath as follows – inhale on the left, right, left and exhale on the right, left… repeat
4. Practice yoga, tai chi or qi gong. Develop and experience a deeper physical, mental, emotional and spiritual connection through a variety of stretches, poses or gentle movements; mindful breathing and meditation. The benefits cannot be overstated.
5. Practice acceptance and tolerance. Love unconditionally.
6. Breathe with your heart. Create space in your heart so love can flow in. When you practice breathing with your heart, you slow down and have a more conscious, aware connection with your breath. There is a tenderness to it. Yes, men, this is ok. When inspiration flows, your love grows.
7. See the world through the eyes of a child. Make it your playground. Get dirty, be silly, explore new things and make friends everywhere you go.
8. Spend some time each day outdoors appreciating nature. Free your inner hippie.
9. Take time to connect with others on a level that goes beyond the surface. Be invested in others’ growth. Create meaningful relationships where you relate with rather than expect from. Practice the art of a warm embrace. Again, guys, it is ok. “Love, love, love – that is the soul of genius.” Mozart
10. Breathe… it inspires everything.
11. Begin a daily practice that deepens your connection with all that is. Whether you are religious, spiritual or not at all; tune into the expansiveness of creation and revel in the wonder and magic of interconnectedness that you are so integral in. The universe is within – experience ALL of you. Prayer, meditation, contemplative thought and creative expression are all forms that tap into the infinite, creative intelligence that IS you.
May this year be ALL you desire and more!