Finding time to meditate each day to find peace and presence is where it begins. It is the most basic way to root yourself to the present moment. Letting go of what no longer serves you (the past and the future) and living in the present moment is where we heal. It can take a lifetime to reach a sustained state of presence (also known as enlightenment), but the work is worth it in this life or the next.
It might feel counter intuitive or even selfish to think that you can change the world by focusing on yourself, but the truth is…it is virtually impossible to be around someone who is “conscious” and not feel something. That feeling that someone gets in the presence of a conscious or even awakened individual is something they may not be able to articulate or understand. So they simply chalk it up to wanting to be around that person. And, thus it begins. The curiosity deepens and a spiritual journey is set into motion. It is how we can spread the light. There are many ways to be light workers in this life, which is so desperately needed at this very moment. One of the most important and contagious ways to help is to be the light yourself.
When we wake up in the morning and can feel our feet on the ground, we are rooted. When we use our drive to work as a space for quiet healing instead rather than incessant thinking about the day ahead, we center ourselves and give gratitude. When we rise above our unconscious thinking and ego and refrain from snapping at a co-worker or saying something to a loved one that is defensive and hurtful, we transcend and anchor ourselves to the now.
All of this allows us to be more compassionate, present humans who listen, really listen, to one another and who are not on a hurried expedition to reach a destination where you can finally be happy. In this state of mind, we can enjoy the gift of life every day. And every day is a gift.
Just as any creature adapts over time, it takes practice. Eckhart Tolle described a human’s path to awakening like a fish evolving into a marine mammal. The fish’s curiosity brings them to the ocean’s edge where they slowly inch onto the shore. After becoming overwhelmed with new senses and emotions, they retreat back to the comfort of the familiar sea. Overtime, their confidence brings them to the tipping point, where they can now enjoy the sea and land in peace. That is our mission as humans. To transcend to a higher level of awareness—above our busy minds—while also being rooted in the human experience. This is the ultimate balance. And right now, we are out of balance.
The violence, divisiveness, and hatred that overwhelms us cannot break us. It only makes us more focused on the task at hand. Sometimes it all feels hopeless, to big and too heavy. But as my sister always says, when there is hope there is life. No matter how dense or how disparate our world seems, there is hope. The image of a barren land with a small green vibrant leaf poking from the ground says it all.
I certainly have weeks where I feel grounded and present and weeks when I regress back to a numb and unconscious state. But, I am hopeful that with practice I can continue to free myself from a mind that has gone haywire, negative self talk, anxiety about the future, and depression about the past. Together we can spread the light.