Many of us have already done lots of visualizations, manifestations, meditations and invocations. But life still seems heavy and hard. Is this just how it is to be human? Is it about living a life consistently filled with worry and feelings we don’t want that resurface no matter how hard we try to separate from them?
It seems unjust if this is true. Buddhist teachings tell us, in the first of the Four Noble Truths, that “life is suffering.” If you take that at face value, then it can seem totally depressing. But move on to the fourth Noble Truth, which essentially says that through meditation, we can separate from the suffering which comes from the Ego, from the sense of separation that can make us feel alone, scared and desperate, to achieve freedom and oneness. And that we can end our suffering by uniting with our true, higher consciousness, that we are connected to the universe and all beings, with love and with all that is.
But what is this oneness all about? And why does it seem so hard to reach? It might be something so simple about why it is hard for us regular people going about in our daily lives, jobs, relationships and families. It might just be that we forget. .
We forget to notice our breathing and our thoughts.
We forget to observe our emotions and how they physically feel in our bodies.
We forget that we have support from sources of Higher guidance that want to help us.
We forget that we are Divine, spiritual beings with powers to create and manifest things in our lives.
Okay, maybe it's a bit more than simply just forgetting. It might be a little more like, we forget because it’s easier to forget than to remember. It takes some work, some self-discipline, structure and commitment to un-do the habits wired into our brains.
Because the situation we are in is not entirely our fault. Few of us in Western society were taught from childhood to practice meditation (unlike in some countries, like India, where children are taught from the age of eight to do yoga, breathwork and light meditation.)
Our world truly would be a different place if all of us had been taught meditatio from a young age. Through this practice of mindfulness, we observe our thoughts in an effort to let them go, to just observe the spaces between each thought. By consistently doing this over time, we literally can re-wire our brains so that we similarly let go believing, and listening to, the negative voice of the Ego Self, that wants to keep us separated from our Divine essence and that wants to keep us in a state of stasis, unhappiness and even paralysis.
Thankfully, many schools and families these days are teaching yoga and meditation to children. Imagine the kind of enlightened society that could be on this Earth fifty years from now if every child were to have this this opportunity.
As for the rest of us adults, we have a bit of an uphill climb ahead of us. We will need to diligently put some effort into changing our habits (knowing that the Ego Self tries to come up with many ways to get us to stop meditating in the first place!). If you want to free yourself from the hamster wheel, here are a few ideas:
1) Make yourself do it. Yes, that’s right. You literally force yourself to just notice your breath. Don’t make it a big deal thing like you have to sit on a shrine for an hour every day. Get up a little earlier (or make some time before bedtime), have a space already set up to lie/sit down, have some relaxing music or a guided meditation ready, and just notice your breath for 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes a day.
2) Remind yourself. Put reminders in your phone to take 10 breaths. And do it when you see them. Right away. Just stop what you’re doing (you almost always can do that).
3) Deal with the negative Ego voice. If the Ego voice keeps coming up with reasons why you can’t quiet your mind (“too busy/doesn’t work/can’t do it/don’t feel like it”), you can talk to it like it’s an old friend you’re trying to get away from. Have a conversation: “Listen, buddy, leave me alone. I’m going to do this now. Just for a minute. That’s it.” And turn off the news and radio and information overload that the Internet when you can. It all fuels our fears/doubts/worries.
4) Get some support from people along a similar path so you can hold each other accountable and support one another. Many of us are experiencing awakenings right now in our lives, as part of our shift in consciousness, more than you might think. So talk about it! Share what's changing in you with others who understand. You are not alone and we need each other to make it through this!
5) Connect with higher guidance (God, your guardian angel, Archangel Michael, your spirit guides, Jesus, Buddha, Mary, spirit animals, whatever works for you). This is what has really carried me through. I talk to them (specifically angels, Jesus and God) all the time. Literally when I wake up and throughout my day (and with Angel Tarot cards for specific details). I visualize colors and light. I try to clear negative energy pick up with crystals, sage, oils, salt baths, connecting to the ground of Earth and intentional visualizations (just 2 minutes to do several times a day).
Even though we can’t go back and re-live our childhood to begin practicing meditation and developing spirituality from a young age, we can jumpstart the process right now with some consistent work. But it takes time (about two months to create a new habit if applied consistently) and using a new lens on reality. It also requires an understanding that the reality that many believe is the “real world,” the endless cycle of “work, eat, sleep. work, eat, sleep,” is not how life is supposed to be. We are not meant to be living in a form of modern-day wage slavery. (Why is it like this? Well, after meditation and talking to higher guidance, you will probably come to that conclusion yourself, as I did).
And it takes courage to do this . Courage to start doing things differently than many people around you. Courage to stand up for what you feel is right, not just because it’s what most of your friends are doing. Courage to speak up for what you believe in, from a kind and compassionate heart. Courage to change your daily actions to the extent that others may notice what you're doing (and hopefully will follow along!).
The good news is that this is happening anyway, all over the world, so it's easier to go with the flow now. We can accelerate our opening to our universal connectedness by immediately starting these new habits. No more waiting, no more hoping. Summon up your strength and step into a new way of being. You will find true freedom and truth, and your life will be forever shifted and expanded. I did this, and I'm not superhuman. I'm a regular person like you. So I know you can do it too.
P.S. For more ideas and practical, everyday tips to live in alignment with your Higher Self, join me for a free online workshop on how to connect to your true, spiritual self in everyday life, all the time (in your job, while paying the bills and even with your kids). And for live workshops coming up on working with archangels, on protecting your energy (this one is "pay what you can"!) and on movement in the body to find balance between spiritual and practical worlds (with Erin Curren!). I will be doing a short, free workshop on developing intuition this Saturday at the Enlightenment Expo (and offering Angel Tarot readings all day!). Come say hi!