Do you have a "Job" or a Calling?

Do you have a "job" or a Calling?

Day 18 

June 7th, 2016

Imagine if we got out of bed every morning with a sense of purpose knowing that wherever we were going, our presence was going to make a difference. When our work is in line with our soul and our higher vision, than our "job" is no longer a "job". It turns into a "joy".

I heard today that right before Monica Lewinsky was about to go on stage to give her inspirational Ted Talk, she froze. She was terrified and had thoughts of skipping out on the whole thing.  Stepping back into the spotlight after the scandal and public humiliation she had endured for so many years, seemed overwhelming, just too much. 

But, instead of sprinting out the back door, she looked down at her script upon which she had written in big, bold capital letters, “This Matters!” 

And, in that moment, she realized she had no choice. She had to do it. 

She knew her message was more important than her fear and that gave her the courage she needed. Once she shifted her perspective to her cause, her vision, her purpose, then brave action became the only option.  

I believe that when we combine our creativity and what we love to do with compassion for humanity and service to others we get right to the heart of human happiness and human potential and we gain strength and courage we never knew we had.

When a reporter once asked Ghandi, "What's your message?", he responded,

“My life is my message.”

Everything he did in his life was in line with his larger purpose. 

We can do this too. We can combine whatever it is that we love to do with a larger mission. We can take our music, our science, our paintings, our service, our product, our business, our ANYTHING and build a better world.

First, we need to find a cause, a mission, a stand, something that is so important that we would be willing to do whatever it took to LIVE THE MESSAGE.

Second, if we are not already doing what we love to do, we need to get on it!  It may mean less money and status initially, but we need to look forward to going to work! 

If we want to coach, we need to coach! If we want to design a clothing line, then we need to do that! If we can't do it right away, then we have to at least set the goal and make it top priority. 

Once we combine our soul’s expression with a higher vision, money and status and significance are usually a by-product anyway. And if for some reason they are not, at least we spent our lives doing meaningful work that felt good and true and helped the world and made for one happy, fulfilling life. 

So our 

homework is to ask ourselves:

How could we start changing the world right now doing what we love to do? 

Have fun with this! Let's try to come up with 10 things!

That's what I was thinking about today.

Love, 

Annie

Connecting to The Force

Connecting To The Force

Mindfulness and Authenticity

Day 3

May 23, 2016

The earth is a brutal place filled with violence and suffering of all kinds from which we are largely isolated here in the US. We hear about it on the news but it's difficult to imagine how most of the world lives. In fact, we don't want to hear about it because it is just too painful and we often think "There's nothing I can do."

Although things are getting better on many parts of the planet, according to the United Nations, about 21,000 people die of hunger EVERY DAY. That is approximately 1 person every 4 seconds and most of them are children just like yours and mine.

When I start to complain about how frustrated I am with my progress with my mindfulness practice like I did yesterday, I realize how ridiculous it is to complain about anything in my life. After all, I am part of the elite.

When I say elite, I mean anyone living in the first world with the rent paid, shoes on their feet, food in the fridge, an IPhone, and a car. If you've got all that or something close to it, you are living better than the vast majority of the planet. You are the elite.

Now I don't mean to crap all over us first worlders but I can't deny the fact that statistics like the one above are startling. They make me feel a responsibility, a duty of some kind, to try and help make things better in the world.

I felt this responsibility this morning as I was sitting here thinking about what to write. It was not the burden kind of responsibility, it felt more like an opportunity. The kind of thing that gets me energized and keeps me up at night rolling ideas around in my head.

So while I was sitting here in front of my computer this morning, I realized something awesome!

I realized that the benefits to creating a mindfulness practice go way beyond improving our own sanity and happiness here in the first world. Why? Because a person with resources, who has awakened and come to the realization that we are all connected, is much more likely to start caring about this beautiful planet and all the people, animals, plants, rocks and other things on it, on a much deeper level.

And, as people who have awakened, we can start to think like citizens of the earth! Even citizens of the UNIVERSE, instead of just citizens of the USA.

So how does mindfulness help us wake up? And what is waking up mean anyway?

This is how I see it. It all goes back to The Force in Star Wars.

Obi Wan Kenobi described it this way, "The Force is what gives the Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."

You can call it any other name you want. Kung Foo Panda calls it Chi. Some people call it Universal Energy or Source Energy or God. I am going to call it The Force here.

Connecting to The Force helps us be more mindful. Connecting to the Force is the PRACTICE of mindfulness. Connecting to the Force allows us to feel fulfilled and at peace in the present, free from the fear of the future and the guilt of the past.

How do we connect to The Force?

Everyone is different. For me, meditation and spending time alone in the woods is my mindfulness practice. It is how I connect. Silence is my way.

Mother Teresa said:

"See how the trees and grass grow in silence?  See how the stars, the moon and the sun move in silence? We need silence to be able to touch our souls."

In the silence I receive feedback from my true self. In the silence I feel connected, loved, important, free, at ease, inspired, and safe. 

Rumi describes the silence this way:

"In the name of this place, we drink in with our breathing, stay quiet like a flower so the birds will start singing and we can be in grace."

Wayne Dyer said:

"For it is when you merge into the silence and become one with it, that you reconnect to your source and know that peacefulness."

Those of you who know me well know that I like to spend as much time as I can in the woods. I find it so powerful.

I believe that we all need the quiet and stillness of nature and meditation because our nervous systems are constantly overstimulated by this crazy modern world of blaring sirens, leaf blowers, chain saws, construction equipment, and giant trucks barreling down the street. We then ADD to that noise by blasting the radio and, in many homes, the television is perpetually on. It never gets turned off!

We need to make time to be still and quiet and calm along side all the chaos. And more people are starting to realize the importance of this. More people are starting to wake up from the madness and it is so exciting!

We are starting to realize that if the human race wants to survive on earth, we are going to have to (in the words of The Pachamama Alliance) create an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilled human presence on this planet. I am convinced that creating a mindfulness practice is the first step. We must wake up so that we can get to the more important business of helping the world.

John Muir was positive and optimistic when he said, "Thousands of tired, nerve shaken, over civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is gong home, that wilderness is a necessity." And this guy John Muir, if you are not familiar with him, was one cool cat.

He used to climb to top of giant Douglas Fir trees during winter storms and endure the wind and snow and freezing temperatures while the tree thrashed and rocked about. He would hold on for dear life until the storm had passed all in a quest to feel the power of nature. He wanted to feel the power of The Force.

John Muir also said : "The clearest way into the Universe is through the Wilderness."

The overstimulated culture in which we live, feels dangerous, unhealthy, and is contributing to the malnutrition of the soul. And I believe it is keeping us asleep.

It is our responsibility, as the elite, to commit to a mindfulness practice so we can develop the awareness we need to save ourselves and our planet.

We need a group of people with a new kind of consciousness, with awakened minds, to lead the way.

By making a daily practice of connecting to The Force through meditation or nature or however we want to do it, we are taking the first step towards transformation. Let's do it!

More tomorrow.

With anticipation and gratitude,

Annie