Monday, February 14, 2005

Living a life of greatness

On our life journey, every change presents us with a new horizon. Sometimes these horizons are breathtakingly beautiful, and other times they appear bleak and barren.

The New York City skyline now looks empty, the missing towers representing tremendous loss and pain. At the same time, a new spirit has arisen from that place of seeming desolation. People have turned within and come together to support the transformation of grief into renewed strength and lifegiving energy. Their creativity has given many forms to the expression of this loving care, so that as we become accustomed to the new horizon, we can know it is filled with a new spirit of interaction.

When we are looking for a brighter horizon, we need to keep in mind that we have to focus on the light. In order to do this, hurt, loss, disappointment and pain, the darkness that would pull you down into it, must first be acknowledged. Let this be an active, ongoing process of observing the feelings, thoughts, and behavior, the grief that would block acceptance of the past and joy in the present. Know that with intention, "this too will pass." The light is always beckoning at the end of the tunnel.

We must learn to nurture our body. We cannot be psychologically and emotionally fit unless the body, the carrier of our mind and our spirit, is sturdy and strong. Tending to the body creates energy that flows and feeds back to support the physical, mental, and emotional systems. In every way we know how to, care for our body, love it, and thank it for all of the years it has sustained us.

If we have abused or neglected our body in any way, ask its forgiveness and promise to be a better caretaker of this miraculous container of the Self.

We need to learn to feed our spirit. Light comes from an expansion of consciousness. The use of prayer and meditation helps us to recognize and open to our vision of greater service and life purpose. The world needs us right now to be a positive, creative visionary. Align with faith in all possibilities.

We need to be inspired. When dealing with problems, one spiritual teacher says to, "Take your mind off the problem and place it on God."

Similarly, Einstein advised, "Go where the problem isn't." Fear and darkness dissolve when we contemplate light, levity, and spaciousness.

Oprah Winfrey experienced deprivation and trauma in childhood and she overcame the seeming limitations of her early life. Oprah has been willing to disclose her own experiences and challenges and bring psychologists and spiritual teachers onto her show.

She affects the lives of 22 million people each week. She believes that life is a constant learning experience and that greatness, as Dr. Martin Luther King taught, "is determined by service."
Oprah serves. Her prayer is, "Use me God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself."

Oprah's social activism supports many service organizations around the world, including a multi-million dollar college scholarship program, the Angel Network, for students in need. She reportedly, also maintains an entire village in Africa through her personal financial support.
She has aligned her personality with her soul, in order to share her creative strength in service.

Another step in finding a bright horizon is to accept your power. It's right there inside, at the core of your being. It is the source of your self-expression and the silent spring of your creativity. Keep in mind, however, that the only thing we fear more than another's power over us is our own power.

We worry that looking at a too-bright horizon will burn the eyes. We fret about stepping boldly into the light. We'll lose the comfort of the familiar, the ease of being common, and more, much more, may be required of us.

Find the courage to shine your light anyway. Be a beacon.

You'll find that anxiety will transform to excitement. The body doesn't know the difference, and the energy from that excitement can fuel all of your efforts in moving toward a new, bright horizon. As Oprah says,"Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe."

Wouldn't we want to life such a life of greatness and meaning?