I have had an interesting collective of dreams and inner messages over the last few weeks, each addressing the difficulties we face in finding comfort and balance in the world. Remarkably, one of the dreams included an instruction to me to write about this and to title this post “Struggling to Arrive”.
So, here we go!
It is not easy being human in a world that is inequitable and seems to become more so all the time. It is as if there are different worlds, multiple and uneven playing fields, indeed, parallel universes, right here in our own surround. The spaciousness of spiritual awareness and the devotion of faith do not remove the challenges facing our planet, our countries, and us, both individually and together. There is a palpable feeling of frustration and in some cases dejection and despair.
The question is, how do we put together intentions of love, light and truth with the realities of the concrete, outer world to manifest greater comfort and security and peace and well-being? The divide can seem impossible to traverse. How do we join in the dance of life with joy, rather than looking for a different dance, or giving up on learning to dance, or simply longing to leave the dance?
Start by recognizing you are a creator. We arrive in this incarnation and assume the dense form of human matter in great anticipation of the opportunity to express our essence, our souls, in material form. The idea is not to spend our embodied time waiting to get out or to get somewhere else, but rather, to bring something, to add something, to participate in the unfolding of creation here, and at the same time add to our own understanding, all by and through the fact of our unique presence and being.
Imagine you are an artist. Your body and your mind, your heart and its field, and your physical senses of touch, feel, smell, taste, vision and hearing are your means of expression. This Earth, this beautiful, gritty, complicated, visceral, poignant, dazzling and messy mass of persevering matter and creation, is both your toolbox and your canvas.
As poet Mary Oliver asks:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
The next step is to BE! HERE!
Our greatest sense of peace and well-being as humans lies in the integration of our spiritual access with our physical bodies. We are spiritual beings in earthen bodies, and we balance in equipoise between heaven and earth, inner and outer, ethereal and physical. In real and pragmatic terms, this means living and doing and being in our bodies. Not just our minds, and not only through our souls. We sometimes long to escape to disembodied places, whether non-physical spiritual or imaginary realms, for respite from the pain and effort of life. Nice place to visit, but as long as we are incarnate, it is necessary to counterbalance with grounded wakefulness. Otherwise the body begins to suffer, and emotional, social and physical stress eventually compounds.
Seek ways to experience joy through the body and its senses. This is simpler than you may think. What are the simple things that you love or that give you pleasure? A rose, a child’s smile, your faithful dog, blue skies, running brooks, strawberries and chocolate, the feeling of dewy grass on bare feet, sunsets, baseball, laughter, touch, a song, fresh baked bread, quietness…and once you have attended to a list of your own, then remember to come back to these simple and life affirming experiences as often as you can. In other words, look around your world with engagement and a sense of conscious and feeling appreciation. It works.
At the end of one of my inner conversations over the last few weeks I asked: “Is there a special message you would like me to share?” And I received this response instantly, in succinct and very direct terms, which rather wonderfully sums it all up:
“Live Love. And Love Life.”