We All Worship Something

We all worship something. We might worship a god, a spiritual set of constructs or people in our lives.  Maybe outer space aliens might imagine some of us worship the gigantic shopping malls that look like Greek theaters. It appears some of us worship money and power, and we direct our time and energy into it as though it were holy in some way. Is it?

There seems a large discontent among people, even with those who seemingly have money and power. Huffington writes in Thrive pages 259-261:

“We now know through the latest scientific findings that if we worship money, we’ll never feel truly abundant. If we worship power, recognition, and fame, we’ll never feel we have enough”…”remember while the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high-volume signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are, to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, to pause to wonder, and to connect to that place from which everything is possible.”

In our twenties and thirties, this would be good encouragement and wisdom to hear, to have a mentor or wise person looking out for us in case we got caught up in the externals. We might know something doesn’t feel right but we’re not sure of an alternative.  We don’t always have the perspective in our youth for self preservation, or even the power speaking up can have. Looking to those people and authors we respect who are farther along in the journey of life, can offer us wisdom and insight when we face a tricky situation or a fork in the road. And going inward and listening to one’s own wisdom is an important part of one’s well-being.

Cherokee Legend

There seem many pearls of wisdom and quotes to share from Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive”.

Like this one:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. ” A fight is going on inside me, ” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” 

He continued, ” The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” 

—Cherokee Legend

What’s Right?

How do we know what is right? What is right to do when faced with a choice or a decision? How do we know? Maybe what is right is different for each of us? Is it possible that what is right is a moving target depending on any number of circumstances and issues? We probably need more of these questions asked and grappled with in our conversations, both private and public. In that way we can listen, disagree, agree, advocate, listen some more, contemplate, and maybe ponder in an effort to get closer to some better idea for ourselves of what is right. Right?

Here’s a question to ask oneself as another way to check what might be right: “Is this the right thing to do and for the right reasons?” Right can mean many things depending who is asking the question and his/her own interests.

Right reasons might speak to one’s principles, so we need principles we follow in order to know what is right, at least right for us at any major choice or decision point in our lives and what is at stake. Principles are rules of conduct or action an individual or group or country might profess to live by. Usually our values or principles, what we hold dear and live by, can be seen in our actions, words and deeds. A principle to live by might be to treat others as you would want to be treated. Then each choice or decision would naturally factor that principle into it. Then we’d be living a congruent (what we said and how we acted were aligned) and principled life.

Certain cultures would make decisions based on what was best for seven future generations. Based on that valued principle of looking after the quality of life for hundred of years ahead it focused decision-making and agreements.

Asking “Is it the right thing to do for the right reasons?”can be a helpful question to ask oneself when confronted with a sticky problem or situation. And maybe it helps simplify what needs doing. Start a conversation. What’s right?

Gratitude

Gratitude is important in our lives. It is the appreciation of our days, moments and people. We can pay attention to even small things such as our breath , in and out, as something to feel grateful. Noticing the things throughout one’s day, things or moments one can feel grateful, seems to open one’s heart. Feeling gratitude is said to reduce stress.

Gratitude is also the acknowledgment we did nothing to deserve the goodness that came our way; it was freely given. With a feeling of gratitude, our vibration may get higher as can our mood. Many kind actions and benefits happen to each of us in a day or week. It helps to notice. Maybe someone helped get our car out of a ditch or invited us for dinner or smiled at us.

Here’s an ageless, ageilicious, inspired quote that speaks to gratitude of what is, and having faith in it.

My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.    Imam Al-Shafi’i, an eighth-century Muslim jurist

 

Mentors

When author Meg Wolitzer ( The Wife) was asked about female mentors she’d had in her life, she said:

The world will whittle your daughter down. A mother never should. My mother never did. That is a kind of mentorship and feminism in action. 

We embrace all those mothers mentoring their daughters in such a way, helping them to grow into strong, self- loving  women.

 

The Path

There is no set path. Just follow your heart. 

This quote from an unknown source is on a greeting card. We often grapple with what to do, or what is right or what is right for us right now. You’d think knowing what your heart wanted or what we were meant to do would be obvious to us. After all, we are inside our bodies and minds, shouldn’t we know ourselves and read ourselves well and easily?

It seems a challenge to know what is our path or purpose some days, especially when the outer realities of this life seem to change on a dime, and we think we need to respond or adapt in some way. How can we listen to our heart in these changeable times? Maybe it is when it is most important to do so, as a means to know our own truths for ourselves versus being buffeted about by others wants or actions that may or may not serve our’s or the greater good.

We may be out of practice  of listening to and acting from our hearts. Being in nature, meditating, journalling or any activity that quiets us down is a way to better get in touch with one’s heart/ spirit, as that seems where our real truth and calling comes.  And often it brings a sense of inner peace and feeling of connection. What a gift!

Find that time each day, even if just a minute to breathe, and connect with yourself. “There is no set path. Just follow your heart. ” Ahhhhhhhhh