Thursday, August 12, 2010

Building Spiritual Muscle

“Be yourself,” Oscar Wilde wrote, “everyone else is taken.”

Wow! How cool! Don’t you love that, both funny and true? Blogging has been a big help to me in being myself. Who and what am I, and you, by extension? I work through that when I blog. Am I a spiritual being dreaming I’m a person, or a person dreaming I’m a spiritual being? What does it mean to be ‘human?’ It means being compassionate, angry, loving and fearful – all of it, not either spirit or person, but both spirit and person. That’s what it means to be human – ups and downs, highs and lows, thinking and feeling, intangible spirit and tangible physicality - contradictions.

But, I’m discovering, believing and trying to live from the place that says I’m essentially a spirtual being dreaming I’m a person.

Here’s how its been working for me: as I blog, publicly wrestle with my contradictions, thinking and writing about them here, I’m discovering how my own thoughts and feelings, my non-physical aspects, create my physical reality and experience. Sure, there are physical facts, like my desk and computer, but what these things mean, to me, and how I react to them is my choice. For example, I’m discovering that if I ‘make an issue’ of something it becomes an ‘issue.’ If I choose not to see it that way, its not that way to me.

But it takes effort, dedication, a sense of humor and a sense of what’s lost and gained with each thought, feeling and decision to act or not act as if I’m essentially a spirtual being dreaming I’m a person. What’s lost when I act as if I’m not a spiritual being, get caught up in the world, take things very seriously, believe I am alone and must do something or else, is the peace of God, my sense of connection, my joy and creativity. Not much to lose for the privilage of believing in original sin, feeling guilty and judging myself and my neighbor, is it?

It takes dilligence, joy, humor and constant gentle self-awareness (mindfulness) to break free from the the negative messages I’ve (we’ve) internalized and the belief that I’m an earthly being having a spiritual experience. Courage too, it takes courage to question perceptions and to ask is this really what spirit would want, do, think, feel, or is this just my ego, my bloated nothingness, my habitual perception? It takes an inner strength I didn’t know I had to get my bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits and go against what I’ve been told all my life and experience all around me. But the rewards are worth the effort!

Once moving along the path of spiritual beingness, allowing ourselves to know who we really are, connecting with, cultivating and nurturing our spiritual reality, the rewards – the peace of God, absence of stress, fear and worry, and the blossoming of creativity and joy – are abundant. Problems cease being ‘problems’ and become opportunities to connect and shine. Living from this place is worth all the effort, it takes to live in this place. But it gets easier the more I, you, we do it. It’s like building muscle - building spiritual muscle; it takes practice, regular, minute-to-minute joyful practice.

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