When we listen to Source and act upon what we receive, our lives flow more gracefully.
Generally speaking, we spend much of our time doing things the "old" way. The familiar patterns of living, feeling and thinking have kept us wrapped within our lives in ways that aren't always comfortable, or even in our best interest. Our egos drive us to independence and we're darned if we're not going to stay independent!
Yet, we can remain autonomous and still connect to the Divine. It is possible to live our lives as ordianry beings and receive Divine Grace.
So, what does it mean to connect with the Divine, God/dess or Source?
For one thing, it means to release our stronghold on doing things "our way;" to listen, to receive.
"When am I going to get there", I wonder.
I have always been a "futurizer." Since I was young, I have looked ahead, longed for what was to come, lived in the future.
My husband, on the other hand, has reminisced, regretted and spent much of his time living in the past.
Why is living in the present so difficult? Is it so uncomfortable, or painful, or boring to simply be here now?
Ah, such strange behaviors we have taken on as adults.
And although many children talk about what they are going to be when they grow up, or relive precious memories, most of them are well planted in the present moment.
"What did you do at school today?" we ask at the dinner table. The very young child can scarcely remember the activities of the schoolday; that was many, many moments ago.
"Do we have school tomorrow?" the mid-youth asks. The concept of weekends verses weekdays gets confusing, even though it has been consistent for us adults. We often dredge through, make note of hump day, and rejoice with "Thank God it's Friday!"
But as children grow, the past or future become something to long for as the heaviness of responsibility and duty, right and wrong, and other cultural influences set in.
Do they have to set in? Does growing up have to mean longing for not being in the moment?
The moment... the simple, evasive slice of time (which doesn't actually exist). We can grasp it, make it last, or make it disappear. Although it is evasive, it is truly all that exists in time... the one and only moment; the now.
So, as I look to the future with high hopes or worry, or while my husband dwells on the past, we are always welcomed to the moment by our children. A present that is everlasting and precious indeed.
Some moments are easy to live into: celebrations, joyful times, passionate body and heart connections. Other moments, to say the least, are a bit more challenging: tragedy, sickness, fear.
What would happen if we shifted our perceptions of what it "should" be like to live into the moment? Most of us define living into a moment as "enjoying" it, but perhaps that is not an accurate definition.
Living into the moment is simply being present with What Is; completely experiencing the moment, the situation at hand, and whatever feelings that arise at that time. And, paradoxically, to notice when we simply can't. In other words, our awareness of how we are avoiding or escaping the moment is actually one way to be with it!
A sleek red car curved around the freeway off ramp until the loop ended at a “T”. It tightly hugged the corner of the stop sign as it signaled to turn right. The car moved, but – both swift and awkward – it made a sharp left turn instead. Within a few yards, the driver swooped the flashy car into a gravel spot of emptiness and parked – a sure sign she was lost.
Perhaps she had an old-fashioned paper map, some scribbled directions, or maybe even one of those high tech GPS systems. Maybe she simply pulled out her cell phone to connect with someone waiting at her destination. Though she was lost – and the likelihood of one of her resources would get her to where she was heading soon enough – it was certain she knew where she wanted to go.
Life offers us a multitude of sign posts when we are lost, but what do we do if we don’t even know where we want to go? Does anyone take Sunday drives any more, just for the sake of the scenery? In today’s world, most of us only embark on journeys to get somewhere specific.
Right now in our lives we are finding more and more reasons to feel lost. Many of us have lost our jobs, marriages, houses, and even our identity. So, as logic would have it, we start to seek out resources – guidance, support, information, and so on – only to discover the discomfort in no longer knowing where we want to go!
Oddly, perhaps, things you thought you wanted are suddenly appearing along your path, but you may now lack the finances, time or even desire to pursue them. Why is this? We have spent most of our lives wanting, planning and moving toward our desired destinations, utilizing whatever resources we could to get “there.” We had a sense of direction and, thus, purpose.
In our current spiritual shifts, however, our windows to our future seem to be fogging up and that darned defroster isn’t working anymore! We not only can’t see our way, but when we pull over to evaluate our next turn, we realize we somehow lack the inner drive to get anywhere because the fuel of desire is on empty.
At this part of your journey, perhaps you sit and rest and allow yourself to go nowhere at all. Simply enjoy the quiet time in your own vehicle as throngs of cars whiz by while you forget about getting “there” and experience your time being “here.” Maybe you find the local Starbucks and take in an iced tea or coffee (since they are on every street corner, you can always find one!). Why feel a sense of urgency when you have no clue where you are going? What would you be late for, anyway… your own life?
Your life is happening now. It is the uncertainty, the rest, and the cup of tea, not just the final destination.
There are really only a few places we drive to anyway; an obligatory errand, a desired destination that we’ve selected, or a place we have been invited to attend. Given that we are well stocked in the errand category, and the desired destination is unclear to us right now, then maybe the Universe is offering each of us an invitation… or will be soon.
In order to receive an invitation and attend an affair, we need two things; to be receptive and available. So, rather than worry and hurry into the future without a clue, perhaps we clear our calendars and wait for our invitation to arrive. As we experience more of the now – the present – we gain trust that the Universe only offers invitations to the most grand of events. And, to think, we don’t even have to go out and buy that present to attend the occasion of our lives!
Sometimes we can get caught up in the day to day doings; we forget about the present moment and lose touch with simply being. Yet, in each moment, we have the opportunity to tap into our own essence and experience our being. This does not imply that we should sit in stillness or in meditation and do nothing else but “be” all the time. However, when was the last time you gave yourself permission to stop and do nothing at all? Or at least slow down and experience what it is you are doing.
Even meditation is initiated by a doing action and can feel burdensome or invoke feelings of guilt if we decide to play the shame game. And, yes, sometimes when we “make” ourselves do something “good” for us, even when we didn’t really feel like it, we experience the joy that comes with the follow through as well as the results of our task. How many times have you found yourself grateful for actually eating all of your vegetables, making your bed or any of those other “shoulds”? Why did you feel grateful; because the task was done or was “good for you”? Or did you enjoy the experience itself?
Unfortunately, there are no hard, fast rules in self care. Generally speaking, we can assume that if we do things that are “good” for us, we will be happier, healthier, and perhaps live longer. Yet, we have all heard stories of the 101 year old man who drank and smoked all his life and loved every minute of it. Fair or not, self care is only an option with no guarantees.
Regardless of the results, perhaps self care or doing things that are good for us can actually offer us something while we are doing it. In other words, the endeavor can be just as valuable as the end results if we allow ourselves to experience it fully… or shall I say, if we allow ourselves to experience our being while we are doing. By being present with our task, we can deeply connect with ourselves on both a human and spiritual level.
Simply bringing our awareness to ourselves and what we do in each moment is a basic, yet profound, way to indulge in self care and it doesn’t have to take the form of a sitting meditation. So whether you are cleaning your bathroom, running on the treadmill, or brushing your teeth, I invite you to try doing your task with your full attention and see what it’s like …just because.