Creating a Joyful Life

I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments, gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.
Brené Brown
The littlest things can bring the greatest joy. It is created by the way that we appreciate and approach life. But, as with everything else, the experience of joy is a choice that we make again and again until it becomes our natural way of being.
When life is a mixture of tragedy and comedy, paradoxes and ridiculousness, laughter and love, we’re getting close. Sometimes it feels as if the world is running amok, and yet, in this moment there’s a beautiful kitten purring happily in my lap as I write. She brings a smile to my face as my heart is overwhelmed with joy. There will always be a blend of feeling deeply connected to the Divine in the midst navigating the challenges of life.
Notice all the opportunities to experience moments of joy, bliss, contentment, peace and mindfulness in your daily journey. You may come to realize that they are all around you, all the time. Sometimes, deep in the uncertain cacophony of life, a skyward glance to appreciate the clouds or stars will remind you of the continuity that exists. You are one with this permanence. You are infinite. You are love.

Going Within

“May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here,
that behind the facade of your life
there is something beautiful and eternal happening.”
~John O’Donohue~

It’s important to create moments of quietude in order to go inward to connect with Presence. An immense stillness resides within you that is simultaneously filled with everything and nothing. Stillness is the key to self-discovery.

The cacophony of daily experience can be overwhelming and distracting. When you cultivate the ability to quiet the mind and reside peacefully within life’s chaos, you create a space of connection that allows you to access the strength of your soul.

Choose to be in the world but not of it. Rather than following the crowd, find your unique way to contribute to global consciousness and expansion. Just by being yourself, you add something beautiful to the world that has never been experienced before and because of your presence here, we are all transformed.

Even if you feel you do not consciously know your purpose, simply be the best version of yourself that you can in this moment. The rest will make itself known in the perfect way at the perfect time.

 

The Spiritual Practice of Listening

“Listening is about being present, not just about being quiet.”
~Krista Tippett~

Many people often feel unheard and misunderstood. Consciously choose to be receptive today, offering advice only when it is specifically requested. Being an open presence of non-judgment and an active, present-moment listener is a sincere expression of love and respect. Every moment provides an opportunity to learn from one another.

The next time you find yourself in conversation, observe the thoughts that run through the mind and purposely choose to become present. You may be surprised at the busyness of the ego. Authentic listening demands that we forget ourselves completely (not an easy task) and become the Divine feminine – open and receptive, a conduit for energy, light and love. We cannot achieve communion by being aggressive. Open the door and wait.

Each time another piece of the puzzle falls into place we develop a greater understanding of the whole. True silence exists within you – and in within it, the ego cannot flourish. More than the absence of thought, it is the deep and profound stillness that holds the seeds of infinite possibility. Active listening puts you in touch with the present moment in way that is profound, almost magical.

This Moment

The Inspiration You Seek
Is Already Within You.
Be Silent And Listen.
~Rumi~
This moment is the gateway to infinite possibility and whatever arises is exactly what is needed for your soul’s growth and development. Bring a sense of awareness to all that you do, seeking to observe the ego rather than becoming trapped by it.

The mind is conditioned to stay in reactive patterns and a habitual survival mode. Beneath this activity is the stillness of Presence, a timeless dimension of limitless possibility. The more you recognize your unconsciousness, the more conscious you are becoming.

Your life’s journey is an adventure – be aware of the miracles that unfold around you. This choice brings a sense of vibrancy and wonder into even the most mundane circumstances.

The joy of being a spirit having a temporary physical experience is expressed through our five senses. Take the time to look at life through the eyes of love. Listen without judgement to the sounds around you, but more importantly, listen to the silence beneath the sound. Touch something and feel the energy of the Divine flowing through it. When you allow everything to be as it is this moment becomes the key to freedom.

Acceptance and Friendship

“A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”
~Dinah Maria Craik~
Over many lifetimes we cultivate intimate relationships that have seen all the highs and lows that life has to offer. Those with whom we have the most history seem to bring out the greatest compassion within us. No matter what time or distance separates us, the love remains. The ancient term for these soul friends is Anam Cara.
Our sense of worthiness determines our willingness to receive the gifts that these friendships have to offer. Cultivate healthy soul connections by first being comfortable in your own solitude. Take the time to create balance and peace in  your experience until you are at ease within the mystery of awakening. Then your friendships will be playgrounds of enlightenment, discovery and adventure.
Each of us walks the journey of transformation, sometimes in solitary splendor, sometimes with companions… but always homeward bound.  Faust once said, “Linger awhile, for you are so beautiful.” Celebrate life by being fully present with those you love.

Belief

“Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.”
~Eckhart Tolle~
There are nearly eight billion souls currently on the planet. No matter what you choose to believe, it is likely that you will find many who agree with you. As we evolve, this becomes a subtle manifestation of the ego. Beliefs become more deeply solidified and adhered to until a “us versus them” mentality arises.
When we seek to codify the Divine, we limit it with our words. It’s important to remember that descriptors, beliefs, research and rules are all merely pointers and should be utilized only to spark an awakening. Learn what you will in whatever way speaks to your heart and then bring a deep Presence into all that you do.
Expanding consciousness is a byproduct of your own journey. Next lifetime you may approach your evolution in a different manner so you can cultivate a deeper understanding of the various ways to awaken. For now, live in alignment with your true nature and let your life be your message.
No matter what you choose to believe, seek to infuse it with the higher levels of consciousness: love, joy, peace, enlightenment.

Slow Down and Let Go

“Drink life one sip at a time. This moment is brand new. Let it pour it’s newness into you.”
~Hiral Nagda~

There is no need be enslaved by expectations that you have placed upon yourself. It’s time to reside in the fullness of who you are Now. There is a new quality of acceptance that awaits discovery underneath the illusions we create, and you may find that you welcome this moment in a way that you never did before. Home, peace and beauty reside within you, perfect in the stillness. The key is to be at ease with whatever you choose to do. Approaching life in a way that is centered, alert, joyous and grateful allows space to for love to express itself.

When we release expectation around timing, self-imposed “shoulds” and impatience, we allow the Divine to emerge without interference. Life is transformed into a dance of Oneness. Even challenges become a doorway through which we can share the expression of the awakened soul. It is simply the right time to be who you are and celebrate your unique way of being. Be one with the earth, work with your hands and enjoy this temporary experience of being human.

Being

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

~Paulo Coelho~
Love calls to us… the earth seeks to embrace us with her beauty, her light and nuance. Allow this divine love to inform every decision by lifting yourself up to greet it. When we slow down and pay attention, everything has something to teach. We learn patience by walking through an ancient wood. We discover joyful appreciation when witnessing the fleeting nature of wildflowers opening to receive the sun. The soaring path of a hawk can remind us to rise above in order to get a new perspective.
The mind will often attempt to distract; therefore, it’s helpful to align yourself with Presence by filling your days with tiny sparkles of peace, gratitude or meditation. Find beauty wherever you are and periodically take a moment to just be. Awareness is transformative. Each of us has an opportunity to consciously participate in our collective awakening.
Rather than seeking love or peace or enlightenment, be love. Be peace. Your unique way of being in the world will demonstrate what enlightenment looks like.

 

Be the Light

“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion – and where it isn’t, that is where my work lies.”   
~Ram Dass~
No matter where you are, you can choose to be the light of that place. We cannot control events that occur around us; however, we can consciously choose how we respond to them. Let your life be your message.You can plant seeds of powerful change in the world by holding space. First, you must focus on your own state of consciousness. Take the time to create a sense of gratitude, grace, peace and balance so that you are at ease in the present moment. Your very presence will teach others that alternative perceptions and responses are available.
Old souls see life differently, and that’s the way it is meant to be. Choose too, to be at ease with those who are still at lower levels of consciousness. We all walk the same path of awakening, each at our own rate of spiritual development.
Walk forward knowing that you are exactly where you need to be. You bring something beautiful to the world and your path is sacred.

Simple Pleasures

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
~Dalai Lama~

Great beauty can be found in the simple, ordinary things of life. Even the most mundane of tasks take on a sacred quality when approached with awareness, intention and gratitude. It’s important to remember that you dictate how your life unfolds by the energy that you bring to the situations you encounter. When we act out of love, without expectation or attachment, wholly involved in the Now, we become one with life.

Be patient with yourself. Sometimes all that is required is a peaceful alertness as we learn to exist aligned and in tune with the energy of the planet. This is a time full of mystery… like the dawning of a new day, there is a quiet anticipation as the awakening happens all around us. In the silence, limitless possibilities await.

Be aware of your relationship to the world around you. Our interconnectedness is becoming more apparent with each passing moment. As spiritual seekers, we are consciously engaging the truth of Oneness through interactions, gratitude, reflection and exploration.