"Don't look to the world for a sense of importance -- look within, to your own being." (This was #9 in a post I wrote last week entitled "100 steps to grace for 2011.")
For many years I not only wanted to find the truth of life. I also wanted to be a successful author, because I thought it was part of my destiny .
I did in fact achieve some small success as an author. I wrote three or four books, the last of which, an animal fable entitled "the Raven who spoke with God," was translated into 11 languages.
I had an agent in London. It was very exciting each time she e-mailed me to say she had a new contract for the book. It was even more exciting when a few copies of a new translation would arrive at my home published in beautiful editions like Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Russian.
The book has reached the end of its natural cycle now. And my dream of being a successful author has also passed away. But what do I care?
Something infinitely more precious has emerged in my life. It is a love of stillness -- an awareness of the presence of my own changeless being.
Only this truly satisfies. Only this does not change. And only this makes free.
It is the one thing you can never lose -- your own deathless, unconquerable spirit.
Here are 5 thoughts or suggestions on how to reconnect more deeply with this central essence of your own being.
How to reconnect with your true essence
1. Listen to your own inner wisdom
As confusion and conflict increases in the world (and paradoxically, beauty and truth also) it is becoming more and more important to open our heart to the wisdom of our own being and trust it.
There is nothing difficult or strange in this, I have found. All we have to do is to be still for a few moments and we will know what we need to do in the moment or day or life that is ahead of us.
2. Don't be afraid to change your mind
In these changing times the need for flexibility at every level of our experience becomes more and more obvious. I was talking with a dear friend just yesterday and she said that because of the difficult economic times, demand has dried up for the particular artistic work she used to do out of her home. She is going to have to reinvent herself.
In one way or another we all have to reinvent ourselves these days. In a personal sense, as I approach my 80s with limited financial resources I am enjoying reinventing myself as a blogger.
I have to trust that as I stick with it the blog will provide some extra money to help my wife JoAnn and I on our fixed income.
3. Let the earth help you stay grounded
Not only the spirit, but also the earth can be our friend in these difficult days.
In my last post, "100 steps to grace for 2011," I wrote: "Pick up a stone and admire it for a few moments." Such a simple action, picking up a stone and holding it in your hand. But it helped save my life a number of years ago.
The spiritual community in British Columbia to which I had belonged for 36 years had disintegrated, and at 65 -- back in the world, a rather lost and forlorn character -- I was walking along the edge of a small creek one day.
I saw this beautiful white stone, perfectly round, and picked it up. Perhaps it had been used long ago as some kind of grinding tool. In any case, as I held it in my hand I was strangely comforted.
The stone became a symbol for me of what is enduring and strong in life and in ourselves. I'm holding it in my hand as I write these words to you.
4. Every kind word counts
Every kind word you speak, every kind thought you think, and every kind act really matters. It matters to the world, but it also matters to you.
Such a simple thing as a kindly word to a friend or a stranger connects us immediately with the eternal fountain of love that is the truth of each one of us.
5. Be daring
Daring is an essential characteristic of our own true nature and the good news is it is never too late to be daring. Of course, it's never too soon, either!
Look at a newspaper, or the TV. There are terrific stories coming out all the time about people of all ages being daring, inspiring, and magnificent. In the horrendous happening in Tucson the light of daring certainly burned bright.
Love your own unconquerable spirit
I love a quote from Oprah Winfrey on this theme: "Devote today to something so daring even you can't believe you're doing it."
Love your own unconquerable spirit. Open your heart to it anew in this very moment if you so wish. It is so beautiful. It is the very source of happiness and peace - and it never lets us down.
If you have any thoughts on this article you'd like to share, I'd be delighted to hear from you. Also, if you like the article, please don't hesitate to share it with some of your friends.