I had the desire to write something to you all today, you with whom I share space and relationship, whether personally and directly or via the virtual world, but it was difficult to know where to begin. Oftentimes the more clearly we experience Reality the more difficult it is to speak about it. Because of the vastness and unimaginable, unspeakable nature of God, The Transcendent, the Divine, etc. it becomes nearly impossible to arrive at words, or even a conclusion for that matter, that appropriately or even closely describes the experience of said God. It is true that all words about this experience are by necessity metaphors. To speak about that which is beyond words is and will always be, if not fruitless, at least an almost laughable endeavor. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to speak…
Gratefulness is a key, a mechanism, for opening our eyes to the fullness of Beauty embodied in all creation. It transforms us from the inside out. If you see Beauty everywhere it is impossible not to recognize and call it forth in yourself as well. As our gratefulness increases so correspondingly does our compassion, hope and love. We begin see light surrounding us instead of darkness and every breeze, embrace, or sun on our skin is a fresh opportunity to appreciate and deeply participate in what is truly a beautiful Life.
I’m an honest person, but I have told a million little (and not so little) lies in my life. I have faith but doubt nearly all that I know continually. I’m quite confident in who I am as an individual yet make decisions constantly based on how others will view me. These seeming contradictions are no cause of dismay for me. Now more than ever before I have become comfortable in my humanness, brokenness, or “sin”, as it is often referred to. Without it I could not enjoy grace.
The difference between being awake or asleep spiritually is much the same as it is to be so physically. To be conscious and taking in the world through eyes opened wide is to be awake, alert. Although staying awake is largely a decision, waking up at all is a force of nature, biology, or spiritually speaking, of God.
American climber and artist Coulter Prehm's work is stunningly detailed. Trained through a classic methodology, the New Mexico-based portrait painter can often spend twenty sessions working with a subject to complete a piece.
I firmly believe, as I’m sure many of you do, that every human life is created purposefully and for a purpose. Every soul is literally pulsating with calling and the searching for our individual reason for being is a shared pursuit of nearly everyone on the planet. Discovering our purpose in God has sometimes been portrayed as a sort of quest, during which the treasure we are seeking is always just beyond our reach or hidden where, if we are honest, it seems only the lucky or “chosen” ever find it.
I don’t have bad days… ever. This does not mean I don’t encounter trials like everyone else; I just don’t have bad days.
I am not in favor of a skeptical, cynical, or depressed response to or view of the world. When I look at out at the world through the eyes I have been graciously given, I see a place and people full of potential and possibility. I see individuals who I believe desire peace, joy, justice and love. When I look at the world, I see Goodness.
Like it or not, your life has inherent purpose. Whether that purpose is understood by you through your relationship to others or in terms of a metaphysical implantation of destiny or ability that happened before you were even born, purpose exists in and surrounds you nonetheless.
There is more power in the words we speak than we can possibly imagine. Creation and destruction, life and death, blessing and cursing. If we’re conscious of the words we speak, we will also be conscious of the reality that we are manifesting; whether our words are releasing heaven or hell.
To say that nothing is required of us in the spiritual journey, that we are only passive bystanders, seems to me to not be accurate, but almost simultaneously (and seemingly contradictorily) it seems obvious from my perspective that if we try too hard, we will end up hypocrites and blind guides instead of bearers of light, filled with a Divine Love.
Life is short. To dwell on yesterday or dream about tomorrow is a mistake for it is here and it is now that your life is happening. Love and joy happen now. Peace is experienced now. Hope and excitement don’t exist outside of Now. Let us endeavor to live in an Eternal Now, where we have no time to spend on worry about the future or shame about the past because we are too busy being mindfully engaged in wherever we are and with whatever we are doing.
Too many people are living not with hope, but carrying dread about what tomorrow will bring. There is a way to exist free from the worries of tomorrow and that is to live liberated in the joy of today.
I am thoroughly convinced that everyone believes in “God” on some level; in something that is beyond themselves and transcends their personal understanding. I also feel that anyone who claims to not believe in this “Transcendent Something” simply does not feel that the established ideas surrounding “God” are sufficiently large or inclusive enough to be applicable to all peoples at all times. There are many ideas that have been perpetuated about God that are, in my opinion, simply not true or useful. The notion that God is loving is one of them.
True generosity is only capable of flowing forth from a soul who knows how freely and undeservedly he or she has received. This kind of Giving is not something one does but is a defining characteristic of who one is. It is a heart condition that permeates every facet life.
Extraordinary things are not done by extraordinary people; they are done by ordinary people with an extraordinary ability to persevere despite the odds and obstacles. People are extraordinary to the degree that they believe that their dreams are of value and that they can have a genuine impact on the world. The difference between the extraordinary and everyone else is that they didn’t give up and, often times, the only difference is that they were willing to try what seemed impossible at first glance.
I have a little story and challenge for you. Yesterday, I encountered a man outside a restaurant. I said hello to him and his response was muffled, barely audible. He was hunched over, smelled like urine and looked like he was on some kind of drug. I had some money in my pocket but didn't give it to him... I honestly thought it would just get used on substances (a thought I try to never entertain about people because I firmly believe it's my job to help, not judge).
Progress has little to do with up or down, promotion or demotion, more or less. Progress, on a personal level, has to do with the development of our True Self; a deepening inner-knowledge of the things which are actually of value in our lives.
When waves crash against you in the sea, you discover how well you can actually swim. Life is no different. When trials rush in like a flood, one finds out whether or not they can actually stay afloat; it’s not until that moment that you really know.
How to be you. It seems strange that one would even need to talk about this at all, as if this is something people aren’t actually good at, but I’m afraid we must. What’s more, I’m not sure if I am qualified to teach on this topic, or speak as any sort of authority. I’m often plagued by my own inconsistencies and haunted by my lack of ability to “be who I really am.” Although this is true, I give a lot of thought and energy to living an authentic life, free from the pressures that are relentlessly trying to make us all to conform to and fit in society’s mold. I’m not writing as an expert, but as a friend, who is trying to be who I am created to be, and to encourage you to do the same.