Live Gently

“Shamans the world over strive to live in complete harmony with nature, the environment, the cycles of the seasons, the weather, and the varying patterns of the stars, moon and sun. To accomplish this, they cultivate the intelligence of the heart.”  
~Jose Stevens~ 

To live in alignment with life, we must first remove anything that blocks us from living in a way that is empowered and accepting. The spiritual path calls upon us to dissolve the ego, rise above the mundane and cultivate trust. There are many layers to this work and many roads to enlightenment. As you explore various teachings that ignite your spirit, your willingness to learn will draw what is needed to you.

Walk gently upon the earth and listen to your inner guidance. Celebrate breakthroughs and learn from the challenges that arise. Everything works toward your highest good – always. With this in mind, fear departs as we take a greater role in what we choose to create and how we interpret the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

This never ending process of enlightenment is filled with opportunity, for as you change, the world around you is transformed. Seek to discover the language of your heart. Messages from the Divine are all around you and miracles abound.

Spiritual Practice

Solitary practice is an important part of spiritual development. Each of us must walk in truth to find our unique way of being in the world. Powerful too, is the heart-focused connection discovered within a group of like-minded individuals. The synergy created within group energy transforms and accelerates the growth of all those who are actively involved. When used consciously, group energy expands us into new dimensions and you can help to uplift and nourish the spiritual journey of others.

Meditate, chant, pray and play with those with whom you resonate. The combined intention and synergy has the power to lift the entire group into a new frequency. For those of you who are natural leaders, allow yourselves to participate without exercising control and receive the blessings generated by the group energy as well.

Spiritual knowledge must be articulated in order to fully incorporate it into our experience. Thus, we discover the power of sharing with others. Each of us simultaneously plays both roles – student and master.

Balance your journey ways that are best for you. Spend healthy time in solitude, connect with your soul circle and share what you have learned. There are always new dimensions waiting to be explored.

The Celtic Vows of Friendship

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Relationships offer fertile ground for spiritual practice. When in doubt as to the appropriate action or response, utilize the Celtic vows of friendship. Ask yourself, “Am I honoring his or her path as sacred?” Often we try to get others to adjust to our path. The key is to allow enough space for each person to thrive while offering love and support. Love is simply discovering who you are in the presence of another.

It’s important to be self-observant. Are you bringing an open heart to your interactions or do you keep protective measures in place? Relating to another is authentic when we feel safe and empowered; therefore, notice when you are closed down and tend to your inner state of consciousness prior to your interactions to ensure that you are open.

Nothing is more important than your state of consciousness in the present moment. Zen calls upon us to reside in the Now without distraction. Practice being fully present with those who grace your life. You’ll discover that time slows as inner joy is awakened. Love creates a space in which a transformation can occur.

Your Smile

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Smiles are infectious and can spread like wildfire. Sometimes we get so caught up in the tenor of our thoughts that we temporarily forget the magic of life… until a brief moment of laughter breaks through like a ray of sunlight on a cloudy day.

In moments of concern or imbalance, remind yourself to find joy in little things. The pure happiness of an animal or child can likely elicit a sympathetic reaction. A well-loved book or comedy can direct your energy to a higher vibration.

In turn, your smile can light up the world. Unshared joy is like an unlit candle. It is said that any light, no matter how small, transforms the darkness. Know that your authentic radiance shines as bright as a thousand suns.

The muscles that we use to smile change the body chemistry, releasing neurons that inform the brain and activate health and happiness. Bless yourself today by smiling often. Share your smile and watch the world smile back. There is nothing more important than your state of consciousness in this moment.

Here and Now

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

You can cultivate a powerful connection with life by going deeper into the present moment. Consciously release any distractions and travel inward. All the wisdom, peace and joy you seek is within you. It’s time that you come home to yourself.

You may consider creating or re-energizing your sacred space as part of the shift into the new year. Whether you have a meditative corner, a magic room or a zen garden, it’s life-affirming to have a space filled with your own peaceful energy.

I often pause on my gratitude walks to be inspired by the trees. Breathing deeply, I visualize my roots drinking from the energy of our beautiful planet and know that my innate way of being changes the world around me. This spiritual synthesis inspires unconditional love and acceptance.

Every experience provides an opportunity for enrichment. Live totally and intensely, so that each moment is filled with the sacred gifts of love, light and laughter. Rediscover magic and inspiration and celebrate the journey. The quiet grace of living with intention can be a powerful tool for expansion.

 

Present Moment Acceptance

“The true task of a spiritual life is not found in faraway places or unusual states of consciousness. It is here in the present.”

~Jack Kornfield~

Small acts of kindness can change the world around us. Just as consistent drops of water will eventually transform stone, loving actions leave a lasting impact. Practice reaching out in thoughts and behavior with kindness. When you choose to see the sacredness in all beings and in every situation, you become a channel for the love, light and laughter of the Divine.

The paradox of higher consciousness is this: By giving without asking, we attract all that we need. By putting others first, we wind up ahead. When we live without fear, life responds to us in miraculous ways.

Seek to break free from the limiting belief that life “should” be a certain way and instead, choose to embody complete acceptance of life as it is. Acceptance is not predicated on liking something; however, its presence opens the possibility of clarity and empowered movement.
Your journey is your own. Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own joy and the unique way that we choose to walk through the world.

Moment to Moment

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Step lightly. Be gentle. In this way you can be the observer and rise above the intensity of life. You can choose to find balance and peace Now by bringing loving awareness into this moment.

There will, of course, be times when you stumble or miss the mark. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to find the humor in the situation, dust yourself off, get up and move on knowing this is just another seed of wisdom that has been planted into your psyche. The light of consciousness will nurture and help it to grow.

All that you need is already here and the way into fulfillment is by going deeper into life. Willingness is the gateway to enlightenment. When you are willing to accept what is, the lack of resistance allows your energy to be channeled into the present moment without being diffused. Pure Divine energy then flows into all that you experience and all that you do.

Should you need assistance going deeper into the Now, let an animal help you. Here is Skye McKitten.

Change

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.
Out of a fear of the unknown,
They prefer suffering that is familiar.“
~Thich Nhat Hanh~
When plans crumble or change is thrust upon us, the natural human tendency is to resist. The mind prefers the known to the unknown, even when the unknown offers the possibility of freedom, happiness or growth. Because of this, many will often stay trapped in repetitive cycles long after they have served any useful purpose.
Life will often shake up the status quo. These moments of intensity or loss contain the seeds of new beginnings. Remind yourself that everything in your experience is there to help you grow or to wake you up. Challenges bring hidden strengths to the surface and once the storm has passed, there will be clarity and limitless potential to explore as you build again.
We can choose to look forward with optimism. Rather than losing oneself in the belief that life is wrong or mistakes were made, see each moment as an opportunity to discover the best of yourself. You are loved, and you are stronger than you know.