Do you ever take the time to ask yourself what you really want; what you are really here for?
I’m talking about REAL time? Even in the spiritual communities to which I belong, people often don’t.
Which is weird, right? I mean if we truly believe we are part of a larger spiritual reality that can offer us peace and happiness and empower us to make the world healthier, why don’t we enthusiastically embrace every practice that might help us enter into that reality?
To my mind, the primary practice that helps us discover and align ourselves with our true nature and purpose is taking the time to be open and present to a reality beyond what our tiny minds can grasp.
George Bernard Shaw wrote that the true joy of life lies in being devoted to a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one,
… being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
George Bernard Shaw (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
OK, that’s strong language. I’m not calling anyone a selfish little clod of anything; I’m just saying, think about it.
Are you too busy to do “nothing,” which rather than being nothing, might actually mean everything to your happiness?
Life by the Pond
Yesterday I went on a silent retreat. I sat by a pond and watched a family of geese — the father, every feather aquiver with protective instincts, stood tall and alert by the mother who had nestled down and lifted her wing, welcoming her tottering yellow gosling into warm, downy safety.
Down the hill, a coyote led an intruder away from its den, trotting slowly and then looking back over its shoulder to be sure the ruse was working; and it did, as the binocular-bearing human hustled after the animal and away from the pups.
The sun caught the cerulean gleam of a bluebird perched atop its box, repeatedly announcing the family territory.
All of nature was doing exactly what it was meant to be doing. Instinctively.
Grasses Being Grasses
I Want You to be Happy
But we humans are different. We have the gift/curse of self-reflection — of ego — which can drown out our true selves and keep us on the go, trying to satisfy hungers we don’t even know are there. To get in touch with these hungers and decide if they are in our best interest, we need to slow down and listen.
How about planning an intentional fast from busyness as the relaxed summer season approaches?
Are you laughing now because what does she know, the summer isn’t any slower, it’s even busier?
Whose choice is that?
You are not a victim. You are in charge of your life. Cancel some stuff. Why not make a little time to ask yourself, or better yet, a power beyond yourself: what are you meant to do here in this one, short life? Are you on the right path?
Anyway, I don’t want to preach. I just want you to be happy. I know, odds are you are a stranger to me outside of the blogosphere — but happy people put happiness back into the world, and so I hope for happiness and centeredness and every kind of health for you.
Resisting the Demon of Busyness
I’m sharing this reading from Janet Ruffing that might give you food for summer thoughts.
Go ahead – give yourself a break, literally.
“Resisting the demon of busyness requires choices we would prefer not to make, and if we should succeed in making them, I can guarantee they will go unrewarded in both the secular and religious cultures in which we participate.
If we’re honest, we admit to ourselves that there’s something about all this busyness that we love. We like it this way, despite our half-hearted protests to the contrary. If we’re as busy as we pretend to be, then we’re too busy to allow ourselves to be affected by the pain and suffering of our world. We’re too busy to be addressed personally by the social, political or ecological disasters occurring in our relationships.
We are too busy to listen to our own feelings or those of others. Our busyness insulates from care and from compassion. Our busyness deadens our feelings and numbs our responses. The expectation that we must be busy all the time feels as if it is an external expectation, with the result that we don’t recognize that it is also self-generated in collusion with the culture.
I become flighty with so many things to attend to, moving from one thing to another, sometimes intuitively, sometimes impulsively and unreflectively. By this time, I am divided in my consciousness. It requires a different kind of discipline not to allow my attention to get caught in these ways.
This divided, distracted consciousness is a large part of the demon of busyness. This state of consciousness is literally illusion. It is something our collective consciousness keeps going because we agree to it. By keeping it going, getting captured by it, I fail to ask myself what I really want. I collude in frustrating my deepest desires by indulging the demon of busyness, so that I never have to ask what I really want to do or really need to do. Were I to do so, I might make a different set of choices in response to it.
What we need to resist is the sense of time-urgency and all the internal diffusion of consciousness which simultaneously thinks of the future, basks in self-importance and maintains an illusion of control. All of those internal ‘thoughts’ actually divert us from all dimensions of the present reality. They are literally useless and exhausting, yet somehow we love them…”
— From Resisting the Demon of Busyness by Janet Ruffing
I am a member of Bloggers for Peace and this is my monthly post on the topic of Peace. I thought you might enjoy this thought that I borrowed from a post by fellow blogger for peace Elizabeth Obih-Frank:
“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” Black Elk