“….they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” – Isaiah 2:4
These are words that were to be the driving force to create, promote, experience peace in formulating the United Nations. History has and continues to show despite the sacredness of the aforementioned words, the United Nations, like its predecessor, The League of Nations have and continue to fail. That, however, is not the motivation to write this post.
For over a year now I have the rich blessing of being in the position to become enriched through the experiences of others. Thru these interactions what is abundantly clear to me is that the greatest war any of us face is the war with ourselves. Like wars occurring in various regions in the world, where ‘ordinary people are under siege, and in some cases, facing regular bombings, impending destruction. One way or another this war with ourselves is just as devastating. The lasting effects are equally as troublesome. Equally, this war affects our personal state of wellness on every level imagined. As bombs dropped during conventional warfare create in some cases life long issues for the survivors of the bombing, this is equally true of bombing from our ‘Self War’. This Self War leaves a climate of dis-ease that eats away at one’s mind, body, and spirit. Through this seemingly never-ending state of disease developed usually life-threatening habits that at some point put our very lives at stake. We begin to poison our bodies from what we consume. Our thinking becomes submerged in negative thoughts and energy. Even more important we lose sight of who ‘we truly are’. But the good news is that this war we find ourselves in can end peacefully. Instead of being weaponized, we begin to “plow the rich soil of our true being.” As we embrace our endowed powers of love unconditional, peace, kindness, compassion, joy, faith, meaning as we begin to truly love ourselves unconditionally, be at peace with ourselves, become compassionate, kind, and joyous with ourselves the self-inflicted war will end. This along with having unshakable faith in your overcoming this war. Even without conscious effort and thought you will emit upon the world the powerful energy of love, peace, joy, kindness, compassion, etc….
For some time now, I’ve noticed that the plants, in my abode, are growing so vibrantly. The make shift plants room is filled with abundant light during the day, and a vibrant darkness during the night. Growing plants has become an awesome deeply personal experience. There are many reasons I say that. For starters, there is the experience of patience. Today we live in an instant gratification world, and when that doesn’t happen, many of us become immediately flustered and frustrated.
However, because of the nurturing, caring required to enhance the growth of your plants, time, patience, and love is required for healthy, luscious success. In fact, my wife has a saying, that is so true regarding the growing and caring for plants. The saying is that ” your plants are a reflection of the depth of your love, as well, as the love in your home.” In addition to patience, is the willingness to embrace knowledge and implement that knowledge to provide maximum care of your plants. What we experience growing plants, helps us to appreciate the nurturing, caring of ourselves. Like plants, we have powerful internal systems that require maintenance, awareness and becoming knowledgeable. Similar to plants, these systems take in nourishment, dispense by-products, and engage in the time of growing. This growth occurs in the darkness, ‘the time of stillness’. All that active energy during the daylight fuels the growing occurs in the stillness and darkness of the night. Daily witness to the growth of the plants in my care, serves both as a reminder and a lesson regarding my own personal growth process. The quality of the energy we experience throughout our daily activity, will either induce vibrant growth or hinder it. Being aware of the nourishment and the quality of it is vital to our growth of mind, body, and spirit. Equally embracing silence in our lives is the ‘fertile space’ for continued wholesome growth. Limiting the “noise” in our lives is similar to removing potential pests that could potentially stump growth. It’s through the growth that we live the embrace of who we truly are.
“Spend less time trying to make it, more time discovering the joy and blessings of living ”
Every time I spend time walking along a trail surrounded by the marvels that are found amidst nature or merely sitting along a river, lake, or ocean there’s always a sense of simple joy and happiness. In these moments I’m always struck by two things. First, in this relaxed environment, there’s a powerful captivating energy that is emitted. Secondly, there’s a powerful joy that arises from just being. Joy often seems to escape us because we attempt to ‘manufacture’ it. But the truth is joy, love, peace flows freely when we simply do nothing. For some of us, the idea of doing nothing seems unreasonable. From nothingness, we begin to truly experience completely without hesitation. Without hesitation, we fully experience the inner joy, inner love, inner peace that so very much is a part of who we truly are. Freely experiencing this about ourselves, resulting in freely, emitting this joy, love, peace.
Today we live in a world of constant, seemingly never ending movement. Our actions, thoughts, daily routines, and virtually non existing interaction with others fill our lives. In far too many cases, we live our through an ongoing series of masks. We have a mask that we wear for our relationships. A mask for our jobs or careers. A mask walking down the street, etc… We wear and change these masks, like actors and actresses who must wear various wigs in a Broadway Production. And I’m sure there’s moments in our lives when it appear that we are in some kind of theatrical production. A never ending maze, that we are doing our best to navigate through. STOP THE MADNESS, something inside of us from time to time will cry out. When this happens, “Consideration needs to click in”. And what is it I’m having consideration for or of?
Consideration is acknowledgement of the presence of something or someone. Though our world is filled with many complexities, the act of consideration or being considered is a simple, yet powerful tool in our growth and embrace of who we truly are. Using this tool begin’s with awareness and consciousness of who really are. This requires a willingness to go beyond the beliefs and identities we’ve merely accepted as the truth of who really are. We then begin to truly acknowledge the real truth regarding ourselves, thus having “consideration to ourselves” . As this liberated self consideration grows within, we will emit freely consideration to others. This we will begin to do naturally, without judgement or analysis. The simple act of acknowledgement will flow from us void of the illusionary boundaries that hinder acknowledgement of ourselves, as well, as others. We will start to have an invigorating ‘pep to our spirit’.
I remember growing up, time and time again my grandma saying to me the words ” boy stop playing in the dirt, go get clean”. Just thinking about those words I get goose bumps, because I hear my grandma voice. With my childhood friends, playing in the dirt in one way or another seemed like a natural thing to do. Back then getting clean meant taking a bath, scrubbing, washing any signs of dirt away. Though I enjoyed playing in the dirt, what I equally enjoyed was the look and sounds of gleeful approval from my grandma.
Thinking of those wonderful times, inspired the thoughts of this writing. Though playing in the dirt was fun as a child, my grandma would say upon getting clean, ‘all that dirt hide who you really are’. The identities, beliefs that have created an illusion of who we are, and what we should be are like the dirt. Depending on when my grandma took notice, with my friends, we would play in the dirt for hours. Thus there would be much cleaning to do. Likewise, most of us have been submerged in the dirt of illusionary beliefs and identities about ourselves, resulting in the truth about ourselves becoming completely covered. Therefore cleaning becomes necessary. Again, hearing grandma’s words, “boy sit in that tub and soak, before you start scrubbing.” In those words, is an important key to our getting cleaned. What is that key? Learning to “soak or sitting still”. When my grandma prepared my bath, it always was at right temperature and bubbles from the soap. Thinking back she was very mindful in preparing those many baths for me. In our soaking or stillness engagement, the importance of doing so with mindfulness can’t be understated. Being mindful of the joy of ridding ourselves of all that has hindered our real embrace of who we truly are. Additionally, with mindfulness, we embrace the totality of not just who we are, also our connection with the “All of the Universe”, seen and unseen. In essence we embark on a course of real freedom and liberation through this process of getting out of the dirt and becoming clean. Though Grandma has transitioned many years ago, her spirit continues to provide lessons even to this day. Thank you, Grandma.
Truly understanding and embracing the truth that the Universe is our greatest supporter, as we navigate our steps balancing these two worlds, is the GPS to do so successfully.