Thursday, May 15, 2008

Free to Respond

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death is but Crossing the World, as Friends do the Seas; they live in one another still.” - William Penn

Every moment we are alive on this planet we have a choice to react or respond. For me, to react comes out of desperation contrasted by responding coming from a place of inspiration. We can create heaven or hell depending upon our choices. We can be self absorbed or engage with our community. Can we realize from understanding our ego the importance to behold something greater then the individual self? It is time we respond and plant new seeds of awakening within each of us.

The American spirit has been both kind and selfish. It is time we culitivate greater kindness so to inspire greater well being. We must not arrogantly act interested only in ourselves. We are in a critical human evolutionary period of consciousness. We are not children and must mature so to be fully responsible. Our actions must show reflect greater awareness towards how we affect our interconnection with all things. Can we unmask our unconscious fears, to truly be the greatest of our potential?

Self delusion, greed, hatred, envy, anger and host of other ills terrorize this possibility. Let’s clear away the debris of these selfish emotions and allow new light to shine. We are on the threshold of tremendous fury caused by want, despair and anger. We have to find the calm in this storm by showing compassion and insight. Being able to realize how to make this transition is why we must seek to better respond not react.

How can we balance both thought and feeling that allows us to act free? Yes, we can touch grace if we can see both sides of the coin. We can have the opportunity to see both life’s blessings and its curse then we can find a great harmony in intricate web of life. To be responsible is our path to liberate us from the ghosts that haunt us from our past blunders. If we practice forgiveness we gain stimulate increased happiness.

Tough love is about developing healthy boundaries with all our relationships. Understanding how to do what will benefit is what our freedom requires. So to best respect all our religions we have to be tolerant to worship side by side. May we vow to pray together and not prey on each other. We must work for greater justice so to promote widespread peace and harmony.

Our natural world cooperates and works together, and so must we to survive. Our collective human heart must find many guiding lights. Especially since much darkness shrouds us. Many have become blinded by their self-interest holding our progress forward. Again, we must seek a higher level of relating to endure these times.

By cultivating new friendships we achieve what we need - community. The health of human race depends on how we treat everything around us - people, places and things. Developing tough love to preserve and protect all things is required if humans wish to prosper. Without some reverence for such simple relationships we may not continue to be. Empowering ourselves and others to see our present danger can help us overcome our many self-destruction patterns.

Awakening and being personally responsible is the first step to liberating our world. When we react we separate and disconnect ourselves from life. Making a simple choice to respond instead of reacting we realize our inter-connection to the divine.

Free yourself from reacting to those shadows that imprison you. Act and benefit by becoming more responsible. Consciously responding to our daily challenges we both liberate and increase the quality of our lives.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cherishing My Spirit

Whenever I pay attention deeply to my soul I feel a profound sense of beauty. Nothing is more priceless when I pay attention to my heart at its deepest beat. Beyond the sound of this pulsating I hear faint things. When I change my focus and hear my intuition speaking then I welcome my spirit.

What an invaluable thing our soul is. Also how easily we ignore it, become preoccupied or too busy to cultivate another level of our existence. My life becomes better aligned when I listen to my spirit.

This process introduces me not to just my spirit but to the great spirits within and without this world. This last statement can challenge the comfort zone of you the reader to say what? Many people lack to courage to be vulnerable so to tune themselves to the non-ordinary and venture in this unknown.

Is not your life a mystery? If you think let’s be rational then you are missing the whole point. The spiritual world is just that the world of spirits. Such instructions, signs, messages, teaching or whatever form spirit communicates is goes back to very beginning.

From our rich past we have developed an understanding ancestral traditions from earth-based societies. Venturing and experiencing some of these rituals can help us reconnect to earth in an intimate and healing way.

Another rich spiritual exercise is when I become more aware of my words. Before the white man natives on this land spoke in a manner that their words had greater meaning. Besides their greater sense of the interconnectiveness of things, indigenous people’ word had a greater sense of value. A friend of mine calls this credibility when the word was honored as something sacred. For me this skill creates a powerful and transformative shift in my world. For me this act is a soul awakening.

No word exists in the hundreds of Native American languages that come close to our definition of art. There is no separation between art and life. Art. Beauty and spirituality are firmly intertwined in life since there are no words to separate them.

What this calls for me is a profound listening to what the soul sincerely needs, the sacred connection of what is true. Just as indigenous people understood we must taking off the societal mask and unveil what false identity we have created. Once we discover our authentic being we find the courage to get out of our habitual roles and the comfort of the familiar. Beyond what our cultural and family conditions are a new freedom may be found.

When we shift this identity we welcome the “we” from the ego self from seeking acceptance and approval to a greater understanding of what we were pretending or hiding from at some unconscious level. Great determination is required to make such a transition since in my own experience I become very vulnerable. Like-minded supportive friends are required for such a transformative journey to this higher self so to enable this spiritual exploration.

Remembering to have courage and trust is critical for me in this loving-friendly adventure. Yes, taking this risk has bountiful rewards. Cherishing my soul is one my precious gifts to fill my life with light.

If you desire the self, get out of the self.
Leave the shallow stream behind and flow into the river deep and wide.
Do not be the ox pulling the wheel of the plow,

Turn with the stars that wheel about you- Rumi

Awakening to Our Full Potential

Today we live in times of economic worry, environmental destruction and many natural disasters. However, as Gary Zukav writes in “Soul to Soul,” on page 179 under the heading, WHY STRIVE FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IF THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END?

No one’s destiny has been written. You are born with potential, not a limited destiny. Whether or not you reach the fullest potential that is available to you is a matter of choices that you make.

I challenge you to the question of your potential choices. I ask myself the same question. How can I best achieve my full potential? This journey begins for me by quieting my mind and listening to my heart.

For me giving my best to the world is a gift that is return in what I call “Happy Returns.” I have been involved with all aspects of recycling so naturally I refer to the three R’s for guidance.

1) Reduce my suffering by giving my best to the world so to reap its rewards.
2) Reuse my many positive qualities I possess such as joy, love and enthusiasm.
3) Recycle things as sacred instead of abuse these same things by being mindless.

Happy Returns is about creating an attitude of gratitude. Also it aids me to explore more creative ways to cherish people, energy and resources. To reach my full potential I must cultivate my virtue, time and or my talents. I intend get more than just the return on my investment but the return of my life investment.

As a life long tennis player and teacher I focus on giving “happy returns” both on and off the courts. There are many similarities to playing tennis and serving our beloved earth. One is keeping things in play. Another is to learn how to better serve. The ultimate game in my life now is living to my full potential or giving my best in all aspects of my life.

I invite you to give back to life and celebrate your many Happy Returns! Nurture your full potential. Reduce your suffering; reuse your love and joy; and recycle so to best use not abuse things as sacred. Let's develop our full potential by serving and benefiting life now.

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. - Albert Schweitzer