(Alex Grey artwork)
I was recently asked - what is going on in the world? What is happening to people that they seem so out of control and negative? Why are they so unhappy?
The question can be answered with one word - fear. People feel the changes happening in our world and without understanding what those changes might mean, they become fearful that it will mean loss. Loss of everything they have held dear - a way of life, job, house, car, money, security, health.
Their fear is not unfounded. Many people are facing loss. So how do we step outside of fear of loss? After all, everyone will experience it at some point.
I believe the only way to step back from fear is to learn to live from the heart, side stepping the mind - which is where fear lives, learning to live from the true seat of consciousness, which is the heart. (Remember - we grow out of a heart, not a brain.) This is not the sentimental heart in which we are familiar - soft, weak, reactive, feminine, sympathetic, needful. On the contrary, the heart of which I am speaking is empowered by the Creator. It is the vibrational point of equality, the original awareness - the place where individuality and Oneness occurs. It possesses uncommon intelligence, resilience, with the ability to flow and adapt. It is empowered, and is capable of unending compassion and love. This distinction is important.
So how do we access this heart?
First, we must have behavioral intelligence.
The first step is to have humility. Recognizing that we are no better or higher than any other human being. We were all created equal, and in that realization, everything changes.
Learn appreciation. Appreciation begins with recognizing the small things in life that make it full and abundant. That doesn't mean money or prestige, but appreciation of clean water, food, the air we breathe or the birds singing in the tree. It is the recognition of life itself. It is being mindful. Contentment with the mundane.
Practice compassion. Most of us are doing the best we can, although it doesn't always seem so. The best way to avoid being judgemental is to bless the person, place, or thing. It shifts the mind from negative to positive, and keeps you heart-centered.
Forgiveness and Understanding. Sometimes easier said than done. These two take practice. But when we learn to put ourselves in other people's shoes, we get a better understanding of where they may be coming from - which makes it easier to forgive.
And last but not least, we must be valiant in our efforts to do the right thing. Asking ourselves if it is the right thing to do - not always the easiest, or most gratifying, but the right thing can lead to the heart of a lion. Strong and fearless.
(Adapted from James the Wingmaker teachings. For more information go here.)