How I Began Conscious Living
The following is a story of how I began living life with conscious clarity. What I expected to happen is for my daily life to change like a big, grand, eye opening whammy of an event. You know, the clouds part and the sunbeam shines directly on me as I extend my hands in blissful ecstasy. It has not exactly happened like that; although, there have been very intense moments of happiness.
Now I understand that I am made of energy and vibrations, and I must go through the energetic steps between ‘blah’ and ‘happy.’ I purposefully use vague words because language can only be a symbol to describe the energetic vibration of what it feels like in ‘blah’ and what it feels like in ‘happiness.’ More importantly, I have learned that there are many energetic vibrations between blah and happy, like rungs in a ladder. Although I slide up and down this hypothetical ladder during the course of my days, I am delighted to discover that my clarity increases as I journey along and my experience of happiness and sustaining the vibration of happiness increase as I journey along.
And so this is how I began…
I made a commitment to love myself and take care of myself. Maybe it is simple for some people, but I realized that I was not doing it. I was putting other people’s needs ahead of my own. Now, I am a mom of three small children and I am fully dedicated to ensuring the well being of their little bodies. What I realize now is that I do a much better job taking care of them when I am fully charged. Metaphorically, you cannot pour from an empty cup, so I began to examine how to keep myself fully charged. This involves doing some reflection and asking some big questions. What do I do to take care of myself, in mind, body, spirit? What do I need to adjust in my daily routine to take care of myself? How is all this going to fit in my life?
I answered the questions and made clear decisions about how to practically integrate self-care into my life. I took some classes that interested me, I joined the gym, I found time in the day to meditate. I insisted on mom-time to take a bath in quiet and even to see friends with only my purse attached to my hip. Was this easy? Not as easy as it sounds in two sentences. My kids were used to me always being around at the sound of a whistle (or scream!), and my husband was used to me always taking care of running the details of the home and childcare. Needless to say, the unspoken rules had changed in my closest relationships and although it was an uncomfortable time, I experienced the blessing of committing to myself and eventually the old unspoken rules were revised and updated to whatever they are today.
What has been revealed to me about the importance of loving yourself is to love yourself before you love another. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of another. Have you ever sat down at a picnic table and since it was not on stable ground it was wobbly or lop-sided? When you take care of yourself, you are on stable ground to provide support for another person.
Another truth gleaned was that by being responsible for ourselves, we begin to understand on a deep level who we are and what is important to us. Knowing and feeling inside, this is who I am and I love myself! I accept myself, the good, the bad and the ugly! This made is easier for me to allow and accept others, for who they are, not for who I want them to be to me. Is this not unconditional love, loving without conditions? I love you for who you are without conditions; I love you and I accept you, the good, the bad, and the ugly. As I love myself and release judging myself, it is easier not to judge others. My desire for perfectionism surfaced and although it continues to surface, I have the self-awareness and self-love to pat it on the head and say, let’s just do the best we can do. In fact, it comes naturally now to also not expect perfectionism out of others.
Be clear here on the difference between self-love and being selfish. Self-love is balancing giving and receiving. Being selfish is only receiving.
My daily practice of feeling gratitude began not only because it is on the loud speakers of the new thought movement, but because it feels so good. If the mental wheels are turning in the direction of gratitude, it sure feels better than always going over what is wrong with the situation or other negative self-talk. People and situations show up in our life to mirror something back, to help us learn something. Find the teaching, accept it, bless it, say thanks to it- and then release it. It just feels better to me to stay focused on gratitude and blessings in my life, and it has made it easier to go with the flow. It has made it easier to appreciate what is, instead of what I expect it to be.
The world at this moment in time is changing all over the world in many of the structures mankind has set up. Because of my sometimes ridiculous optimistic thinking, I am firmly planted in the belief that what emerges after chaos will be a more solid structure than what was there before. Honestly though, it is not just optimism, history shows this to be truth. When a system falls, a more suitable one emerges. With all this going on, it makes for exciting news coverage for some people I suppose, but if it is not the type of exciting news that feeds me warm and fuzzys then I usually turn it off. I am not denying that it is happening, I just do not benefit from a daily diet of doom and gloom, look what a mess we are in news coverage. Humanity is stumbling upon some profound truths now: we have to take care of the environment (global warming, green movement), we are all intimately connected (global economies connected as they fall, industries connected as they fall), we need different healthcare standards (farther reaching coverage and complementary medicine), we need to raise our kids differently (health, schooling, and family units.) These are just a few things, but the changes need to happen because it was not working the way we had it set up. If I find myself around conversations about the problems of the world, I usually get up and leave if the folks are going to stay in that energy. Fearful energy seems to be the norm rather than the exception.
What if everyone in the ‘recession pits’ aligned themselves with new opportunities for a better way of living? What if we let go of what was and allowed what is to emerge? Instead of an individual pouring energy toward the pits, it is possible to pour that lovely energy that God has given us into realizing what our personal contribution is in the magnificent emerging world. Really, I wonder if the majority of folks began thinking this way, if the changes would be swifter and easier. Since I can only live my life, I simply refuse to participate in all that fear energy and I live in the energy of love by counting my blessings every day.
Biologists observe that cells in a petri dish gravitate toward food and move as far away from toxins as they can get. Be grateful; align yourself with life-nurturing elements to continue to nurture your life.
Exercise and nutrition
Exercise does more than simply keep our bodies healthy. Exercise moves stagnant and stuck energy and releases endorphins. When I was fed up with the monotony of my life and becoming overcome with bitterness, I started jogging and the YMCA just to get away from the boring routine I cycled through every day. It turned into sacred personal time and as the energy moved, emotions would bubble up and sometimes pour down my cheeks, but I left feeling great. Exercise helped me shift from feeling despair, into knowing I was okay even though I may not agree or condone certain things going on around me. I took responsibility for what I could change in my life and did it and stayed focused on that. I allowed those around me to be miserable if they wanted to, or to be worried if they wanted to. I like to believe that by changing my vibration and releasing, my relationships with others changed for the better. Cesar Milan sums it up for dogs, but it is true for humans also, “you can’t affect change in the same consciousness, someone has to change first.” Nutrition is very important too, this is part of the life-force energy our bodies absorb, make it top notch life force and feed your body and mind what it needs.
Daily dose of energy cleansing and refill of life force
Just as we need to eat every day, sleep every day, and breathe every day, we need to take care of our energy body every day. I did not know how to do this or why I should do this, but turns out for me it is a cornerstone to well being. Energy cleansing simply means releasing any energy that does not belong to me. Energy from other people regurgitates in my thinking, energy from media, it’s everywhere! Releasing all of that daily has gotten me in better attunement with my own energy and clarity of purpose. Also, knowing what it feels like to be comfortable in my own skin, it’s loud and clear when I am holding on to something that is not in alignment to my well being. I began by trying out meditation, I didn’t know exactly how to do it or if I was doing it right, but I stuck with it and did what felt right. I still really do not know if I am meditating like the zen monks do, but it does not matter. I am doing what feels right for me and it feels good. Like those cells in a petri dish, gravitate toward what feels good. (A note on this, to examine what “feels good”- it must always feel good in all circumstances. Something like drinking alcohol does not hold up to always feeling good because it has the ability to cause harm and hangovers!)
To refill life force is to connect with the God energy that created me. How to do this is unique to everyone. I find it only when I am calm and centered. I breathe it in, feel it in my body, feel it around me, and radiate it around me and into the world. These moments are the windows into bliss, and this is my most favorite addiction. To consciously live is to live self-aware; a few words with huge implications. Changing routines means changing neural pathways, letting our energy and cells gravitate toward what feels good and is life affirming. Like Nike’s slogan: Just do it. And Obama’s phrase: Yes We Can! Peace. Tasha
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