live with purpose,  personal power

Unlock the “profound now” to inspire joy, healing and health

Part One

You may be thinking, ‘I want to become more aware, more aligned with my soul or spirit’. Where do I start? The answer often given to this question is “start where you are”. That is, be aware of where you are right now, and how the longing to be “aligned” with your spirit has played out in your life so far. This awareness of “now” is all that you ever need because nothing else exists but now. Realize how valuable “now” is: it is the only thing you truly can create. So, if you want to be more aware, start and end with “now”. 

Hanifa Nayo, co-founder of One Village Healing gave three simple steps to building spiritual awareness and resilience at a recent symposium I attended: 

  1. connection and support; 
  2. self-check-in; and
  3. personal practice.

Learning how to expand awareness, means being connected to others who will support you in your journey. If you were learning a trade, a language, or a new task, you would surround yourself with people, places and things to support you in your new learning. The same with developing awareness and expanding your perceptions. Find your tribe!

Thomas Moore said “soul work is the long process of taking the raw materials of life and making something of it”. The raw material is your desire to have expanded awareness. Quiet solitude, binaural beats, and meditation are examples of making room for awareness. From these opening points, raw material will emerge. “Making something of it” or processing and integrating the material, will come with communing: connecting with others who have been on their own journey to embrace new, expansive perspectives. 

The important thing about connecting, supporting, and communing is to be with people who will listen and respect your journey.

The value is in their ability not to dismiss, judge or influence your perceptions. If you find yourself connecting with individuals or groups who try to impose their interpretations on you, move on. This will only stifle your growth. 

Moore refers to the value in relationships, “the point in a relationship is not to make us feel good, but to lead us into a profound alchemy of soul that reveals to us the many pathways and openings that are the geography of our own destiny and potentiality”. Find your tribe, and expect to be stretched into and through your “profound alchemy”. You may feel a little stiff at first, that’s because stretching perceptions is like stretching your muscles, it can be uncomfortable to do something you’ve never done before.

Expect the relationships you build to challenge your perceptions in a respectful way; in a way that honours you now, and the future you.

Listen to the language used: instead of “I know what I am saying is true because it happened to my friend”, you may seek individuals who say “I have come to know this is true for me”; or “the lessons I have been shown suggest ____ to me”. 

The other important aspect of communing is the sharing of resources: information, conferences, books, courses, anecdotal stories, traditional wisdom, and research. The vast amount of research on awakening worldview expansion is growing rapidly. The great thing is, many of these resources are found online and are free. (eg. NDERF, Shift Network, blogs, podcasts) 

Haifa’s second point is self-check-ins. This is a valuable tool to learn and employ at any stage in life. It helps to build awareness into your day; space for you to listen to your own wisdom. I remember as a young university student, running from class to class, rushing to work, frantically cramming in study-time before exams. There were times when I was frustrated and irritated but I had no clue why. 

When I started self-check-ins, I finally created space to listen to my body say “I’m hungry”, or “I have to go to the bathroom”, or “I need some downtime to rest and replenish”. Previous to that, I didn’t understand the “irrational” frustrations, headaches, or irritations I was experiencing. It was my body trying to get my attention. Spirit works in a similar way. Look for a range of sensory clues and listen well. 

In Starhawk’s The Earth Path, she describes nine ways of observing – the path to finding clues and listening well. As you observe, you create space for “now”, which allows you to build awareness. Take some time, throughout your day today to apply Starhawk’s “nine ways”:

  1. I wonder. . . 
  2. Observing energy
  3. Observing flow
  4. Observing community
  5. Observing patterns
  6. Observing edges
  7. Observing limits
  8. Observing from stillness
  9. Observing past and future

Starhawk’s writing inspires us to the awareness that we are all one, from one-celled beings to complex organisms. We are co-creating in every moment, in the “profound now”. These nine observations, which make space for “now”, are valuable tools for you to BE (more aligned with spirit). The greatest gift of these observations is becoming aware, which translates directly into worldview expansion: you come to know your awareness (spirit) is all at once personal and universal. You are one. We are one.

As Eckhardt Tolle says, “there was never a time when life was not now, nor will there ever be.”  He adds, “Nothing ever happened in the past, it happened in the now. Nothing will ever happen in the future, it will happen in the now.” Tolle reflects on the teachings of Zen: “The whole essence of Zen is to walk on the razor’s edge of Now – be so present that no problem, no suffering, nothing that is not “who you are” in your essence, can survive in you”. 

By creating space for self-check-ins, you are able to observe the “now”. Tolle’s focus in The Power of Now is not just on individual awakening. Starhawk and Tolle believe the culmination of raised human consciousness allows everything to change: everything in our daily lives, the natural world, and indeed, the cosmos.

Part of knowing this oneness is realizing everything we think, say or do impacts the universal whole.

I had a friend say “I’m not really into the spiritual thing. I am a good person, and that is enough”. Yes, that is just perfect. And when that friend thinks, says, and does something, they are impacting the oneness we are all connected to. The difference is awareness. Once you realize you are painting on a larger canvas, there is a tendency to want to see your own brushstrokes, and how they fit into the larger picture. Either way, spirit is co-creating in a unified field, regardless of whether we want to consciously experience the unified field.

When you “align with spirit” you are creating in the “profound now” with awareness, through observing. Your perspective and understanding of the world is unlimited. You are part of the unified field, oneness. In this state, the things in life we label as good and bad are no longer polarities. We can now observe our daily lives from many different perspectives, from a place of pure love, without judgement, without shame, without all the human trappings we fall into when we believe we are painting in isolation, as an individual.

Once we are aware that we are co-creating, we have the ability to save each other and the planet we depend on. Starhawk –writes “everything works in circles, outer work leading to inner work and inner work leading to outer work”.  Starhawk suggests once we create space through our awareness, we cultivate love and compassion for ourselves and “other” – ranging from one-celled organisms to the complex cosmos. 

We come to know we are one with everything in a unified field of love, and that is powerful.

With that positive energy channelled, we become alchemists; magicians who have the power to co-create healing beyond self. As you develop awareness, as you find clues and listen, know that you are part of this great co-creation and healing; part of this great magical “now”. Tolle, Starhawk, and many other current writers, join with the great thinkers and scribes long passed, to ask each of us to step into our magic and co-create a new, respectful way of being with each other, with all beings, mother earth, and our cosmos.

Click here for Part Two of this blog

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