Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Lantern Within

It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of another year; a year of up’s, a year of down’s and a year of experiencing just about everything in between. There have been some outstanding ‘blink and you miss it’ moments entwined with moments where time seemed to stand still, frozen and silent, yet teaming with life and wisdom at the same time. There have also been moments when we have experienced both at the same time; feeling at the epicentre of a whirlwind in a kind of frozen state of raised awareness where time slowed down and sped up, and slowed down...

Although we should, by now, be used to such oscillation and vacillation in life, even the hardiest amongst us had moments of breakthrough, release and revelation at times. The undulating ebb and flow of life has led each of us on different pathways in life, but every single experience has cumulated in a deeper sense of knowing and interconnectedness. Some of us have faced some long dark nights of the soul, yet, despite these challenges, an incredible aura of strength has risen up from within, lighting up the darkness like a lantern glowing brightly.

It seems that it has been our willingness to turn and face the discomfort and the challenge that has enabled us to embrace a new level of conscious living that now feels so life affirming and life enriching. Although there are times when we feel as though our inner lantern is swinging wildly in the tumultuous storms of life, the light still burns brightly, guiding us home and bringing us a sense of reassurance and knowing that whatever life brings us, we have the courage, strength and tenacity to continue to grow, blossom and flourish.

This inner light is of course our soul; the core of our wisdom and our strength, bringing us the ability to weather the storms of life. We each have a light within and it is this light that gently carries us when times get tough and inspires us to step into unknown terrain in order to reach a point of breakthrough or release. Even though we are not always aware of this inner light, it is always within us, burning brightly. Sometimes the layers of clutter and distraction build up, shielding the light from our eyes and disconnecting us from so much in the process. It is often when we feel disconnected that we need this light the most, but the only way to reconnect comes from letting go and turning to face the pain, the Truth and the present moment. 

Watching the ebb and flow of the cosmos and standing under the infinity of the universe is awe-inspiring and incredible, but one can feel exceedingly small at the same time; one soul in an ocean of souls, all seeking guidance and wisdom, insight and hope. Some stand as lighthouses and watchtowers for others, illuminating the path and offering a warm smile of reassurance; these beacons of light collectively illuminate the heavens and new lights switch on as more and more souls reach a stage of reckoning; that point when nothing feels the same anymore. There is no ‘right’ path to illuminate the light within as different souls have different pathways to touch the divinity within. There is a lesson in being without judgement, without tolerance (as that implies ‘putting up with others’) and instead being love and compassion, as we allow the lights within to come together as One.

As we continue to embrace this time of infinite possibility, we should no longer feel shaped and defined by all that we cannot do, but feel inspired to celebrate all that we are. Such a shift is pivotal as it takes us away from chasing rainbows and ever-distant horizons, to instead living life now, in this moment. As the lights within continue to grow brighter, we owe it to ourselves to use the radiance of this light to live the best life possible and to live consciously in the present moment. We can never truly know what lies around the next corner of life, so why not embrace this moment and let go of living conditionally (watching, waiting and hoping for the right moment to come) before we live life?

The path ahead will inevitably be paved with more ‘blink and you miss it’ moments as well as those ‘still, frozen and silent’ moments, and it will also be paved with even more moments that combine the two, and we have a choice now: we can get lost in the oscillation and lose sight of the light within or we can turn and face the howling winds; weathering the storms as we come alive, allowing our inner light to burn brightly, illuminating the soul and bringing us even closer to home...

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Conscious Being; Being Conscious

As we step ever more consciously towards the gap that rests in between where we were and where we are going, and in the space between the constant cycle of endings and beginnings, there is a growing sense of re-connection to Truth as we begin to realise the full extent of what it feels like to be awakened and alert.

Conscious living involves a willingness to step beyond all that we know in order to explore new terrain on all levels of being. Although we intuitively feel that such a path is a natural progression, and it sounds exciting and liberating, we can find ourselves pondering what it really means? What does conscious living really involve and how come we are always on the path towards living consciously but never quite able to get there?

Although each of us is walking a path of increasing awareness, it can be hard to know quite how to dot the i's and cross the t's when it comes to getting it 'right'. We can tangle ourselves up into complex knots as we try to unravel the many different threads that weave the great tapestry of our lives. It seems to follow that the harder we look, the more confusing things become as more questions arise rather than answers. We then dig even deeper, chasing solutions and understanding, and this simply creates more knots and tangles. Sometimes being a spiritual and conscious being is both frustrating and perplexing!

There comes a time when we realise that continual digging cannot bring us the inner sustenance and nourishment that we seek; and we begin to reach towards something more. We step beyond the realms of religion and the new age, seeking enrichment; something that warms our souls and brings us a sense of release as we can finally let go of the knots and tangles that have been shaping and defining our lives for so long. Of course, there are many who find joy and connection through their religious beliefs, but for many of us, there is a sense of disconnection as we can no longer find all that we seek from such pathways.

The path to God is a profoundly personal one and one that is now taking us beyond all that we know and love spiritually and energetically as we try to make peace with the unknowable expanse of being an integral part of an infinite puzzle. Yet, despite these shifts, we still come back to the question as to what conscious living truly means.

Of course, we know that being mindful and living in the present moment are key facets of living consciously but when our beliefs feel shredded and torn, scattered and dissipated, it can be hard to find any true sense of wisdom from being either mindful or aware of the present moment. In fact, it becomes easier to turn our heads and look away from the present moment as it seems saturated with unanswerable questions and expanding uncertainty. However, these feelings are natural as they represent our humanity and our unbending desire to evolve and be free.

It seems that the key to untangling the tangles comes from a willingness to accept the presence of the knots in the first place. Once we have turned, faced and leaned into the discomfort of accepting our imperfections and embracing our complexities, everything somehow becomes easier as we let go of layer upon layer of beliefs, story lines and 'stuff'; it melts away as we longer see knots but beautiful, incredible and amazing opportunities to evolve, expand and blossom. Of course, such a shift in perspective doesn't remove the reality of dealing with life's ups and downs, nor does it fix the daily challenges we face, but when our perspective shifts away from the heaviness of life to one of mindful awareness and present-moment consciousness, suddenly we feel lighter and more able to cope.

Yet, we want to do more than cope; we want to thrive, expand, evolve and be free. We want to be awake; to feel alive and to be conscious of every single breath, thought, heart beat and moment. We want to know the joy of being connected and the love of knowing that we are integral parts of the Whole. Such awareness feels infinite and beyond our comprehension, and in many ways it is, but, at the same time, we intuitively know that it is not beyond us; never has been, never will be.  It is only when we perceive it to be beyond us that it moves out of our reach.

When we realise that we are already Whole, connected and awake, we realise that there is nothing we need do in order to live the best life possible; we instead accept that being in the moment is the most precious gift of all. Yet for many, all this talk of consciousness, awareness and the present moment feels alien as the reality of life gives them no leeway for expansive thought; there is no room for awakening when the business of keeping on keeping on is so consuming. However, this is the point, as the more we realise that keeping on keeping on is not how it has to be, the more we can accept that by welcoming the present moment with open arms, the more we can elevate our awareness beyond the cumbersome and heavy pedestrian-ness of life and towards living, and being, free.

Conscious living is just as much a state of mind as it is a state of being; when we feel conscious, our thoughts expand and we finally know that we are home. There is no 'do' here as we rest consciously in the moment and celebrate the true gift that life brings. We so often take being alive for granted, and it is often only when we face trauma or challenge we realise just how special, precious and incredible we are. As every single one of our millions of cells interact and go about their daily business, they enable us to be the conscious vibrant and magnificent beings that we are. Although some of us might have daily challenges, it is still important to honour the universe within us that brings us life.  The more we focus on the life affirming, the more connected and conscious we become. Although this cannot remove reality from the equation, it does enable each and every one of us to take a deep breath of life and exhale...