“When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu
If you’re like me, you might be feeling as if life is moving at the speed of light. These days, with the advancement of technology, our world is functioning faster than ever…and our inner lives are a reflection of this frenetic speed. For many of us, there’s a normalized buzzing baseline of anxiety and stress that remains constant in our nervous system. And when we pause for even a second, stress, anxiety and the to-do list comes cascading into our mind, which puts our body into reactive mode. We’re collectively seeking a balanced, meaningful existence but our actions don’t always reflect our soul’s truest intentions. Aren’t we all simply seeking to embody more joy, love, peace and fulfillment in our lives? So lets break this down…
As humans, our bodies and minds are constantly seeking homeostasis. Even when we reach for that third glass of wine, that cookie or our phones to scroll through Facebook, our default modes attempt to create internal balance. But as we reside in a society flooded with messages of consumerism and the epidemic of not enoughness ~ feeling like we’re somehow deficient in all areas of our lives ~ we’re programmed to reach outside of ourselves to soothe this distress. This persistent external reaching leads to all sorts of challenges including addiction, depression and a pervasive sense of anxiety. So what’s the alternative?
Here, I layout practices that invite you to look within and begin to excavate one of the most powerful capacities you possess ~ your inner mindful healer. The thoughts and beliefs that are entrenched within us directly affect how we view ourselves…and ultimately, how we walk through the world. I challenge you to take the greatest journey of all…the journey inward. And as we turn inward, we’ll begin to find that beneath our conditioning exists a wholeness untouched by fear, self-doubt, anxiety and stress. Here we go:
The active practice of mindfulness is a practice of wholehearted surrender. How many times during the day do we wish our external circumstances and internal emotions were different? As humans, we’re in a perpetual state of wishing this moment were different ~ and this happens both consciously and subconsciously. Mindfulness isn’t about changing the present moment to gain some miraculous state of enlightenment, but rather, it’s a skillful way to expand the sacred container of our minds, bodies and spirits to withstand the turbulent weather of our internal and external lives. When we commit to the practice of surrender, we touch sadness, pain and discomfort for what they are…experiences within the rich spectrum of human existence. In the same vein, through mindfulness, we’re able to awaken to the emotional tones of joy, love and peace available to us in ordinary moments. To excavate that inner mindful healer, make surrendering throughout your day a non-negotiable practice.
SURRENDER PRACTICE: Set an alarm on your phone to go off 3 times a day. During the few minutes after the alarm chimes, pause, go within and ask yourself, “How am I? What are my thoughts, emotional tones and body sensations in this moment? I surrender to all that is true for me in this present moment.” And through the art of surrender, we untether ourselves from self-imposed suffering and awaken to life’s inherent beauty.
OPEN TO INTERDEPENDENCE
One of the few truths of being spirits having a human experience is that we are all intimately, eternally connected. When our field of vision is small and we’re in the trance of our egoic microcosm, we feel more emotionally and energetically constricted. But when we expand our heart minds to encompass all sentient beings in this Universe, we begin to see that we’re all woven from the same thread. To hone this inner capacity to open into a spaciousness of the heart mind is a fundamental function of healing. Our words, acts and energies ripple out into the world…far beyond the confines of our own physical bodies. Vietnamese Buddhist monk (and one of my favorite mindfulness teachers), Thich Nhat Hanh says, “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” The internal sense of separateness perpetuates our stress, depression, anxiety and baseline of energetic unease. But when we’re able to cultivate a sense of interdependence, we feel a part of this wild and wonderful world again.
INTERDEPENDENCE PRACTICE: During your daily meditation, or during a moment of pause during the day, imagine you are peering down at the Earth from space. Allow this bhavana (sacred image) to become bright and vibrant in your mind’s eye. See the outlines of the continents and oceans. Bring into your consciousness the vast diversity of humans living around the world ~ inhabiting this world…attempting to survive and thrive in ways beyond our imagination. To visualize the Earth as one entity immediately awakens our heart mind to the truth of our interdependence and separateness melts away.
Return to love, over and over
Spiritual teacher, Marianne Williamson, has taught countless people about the essence of our human existence, the depth of love. She writes, “Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.” To commit to the practice of love is to return to your true Buddha nature within. As infants, we were born with the purest of love and light, unconstricted by human conditioning. The defense mechanisms we develop over time are adaptive, as they help us to survive our lives but they often malfunction, keeping us playing small and acting out of our fears. Our truest purpose on this earth is to love ourselves and all beings ~ those who walked before us, those present on earth and those who will exist far beyond our body is gone. To return to love is to mindfully heal the sacred wound of fear.
LOVE PRACTICE: Make a commitment to yourself to drop from head to heart throughout the day. Whether you’re in the car, at home or at your office, breathe into the heartspace. Take 10 deep, mindful breaths into the heart while repeating a love-infused mantra. Mine? “I release fear and commit my life to the cultivation of a loving presence in service of myself and all sentient beings.”
When we choose to live in the light of presence, we begin the journey of lifelong transformation and healing. Each human on this earth has the capacity to excavate their own inner mindful healer, awakening the spiritual self to a life of expansive meaning beyond our wildest dreams.
I’m honored to guide a group of mindful healers to my spiritual homeland of Vietnam this year. A loving invite for you to join me and Pravassa ~ retreat details HERE. For more wisdom on cultivating your mindful healer within, subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram.
A deep and loving bow,