Last night I watched, Park Avenue: Money, Power & The American Dream. (If you want to understand Occupy Wall Street a bit better, it’s a good movie to watch to understand the perspective of the people that wanted their voices heard. You can watch the entire movie free, just click this link to watch it on PBS. You can also watch it on Netflix.) After watching it, after seeing all of the energy going to making, hoarding, or simply thinking about money — I began to think about something else: Life, feeling alive.
We’ve heard many times, “follow your passion.” Authors say the key to life is to follow your bliss, or be guided by what you love. But many people are left wondering, what? What is my passion? What do I love most? What brings me bliss? Another famous quote is, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” But many people wonder, how? Exactly how will the money follow? And more importantly, when?
Instead of wondering what you love, or questioning what you are passionate about, just focus on what makes you come alive. For example: What lights you up? When does energy feel like it’s unlimited?
Stop. Think about what I just asked. When you have an answer, continue reading.
Now, for the next question…
How can you finally realize, finally see, that this spirit, light and energy is within you? It’s always there. You don’t need an outside activity or circumstance or thing or person to bring it about. But when it is sparked or revealed, when someone or something does bring it out of you, it’s a good reminder. But don’t confuse the reminder for the real thing. Spirit, soul, energy, spark, You! You as Life itself — free, unbound, unleashed. The finger always points back to you. And whether or not you feel free or bound, is in your level of awareness. Whether or not you are confusing the reminders for the real thing.
In that Park Avenue movie I mentioned, you could be a multi-billionaire, have an impressive education or fabulous homes, have an attractive partner & family, be loaded with power — but what would that give you to feed your soul? Even with all that, you can still be impoverished and spiritually bankrupt.
When I say spiritually or in essence spirit, I mean exactly what I said: spirit, and not religion. People often forget that spirit simply means breath. Life! Spirit is from the Latin word spritus, translated as breath. And spirituality is the same as the Latin word, spritulis, breathing. Religion has nothing to do with it! So when I say, ‘impoverished and spiritually bankrupt’, I mean something is missing, and no partner, child, job, income, home, career, appearance, talent, intelligence, and even health, is going to fill this void. Something will always be ‘not quite right’, not fully alive. It’s like a house partially lit up, and the home owner can’t figure out how to keep all of the lights on, even though the house is always fully powered.
I wrote a blog post a few years ago titled, FOCUS on what you love: it’s important. I also wrote, Lost time, Lost Life. Writing this blog post today, made me think of both of those past blog posts. But this one today is different. It’s coming from a different perspective.
What makes you come alive and feel complete? What gives you energy and makes you feel whole? I promise you that it is not something that money, or a person, a career, a clean bill of health, or a set of circumstances can fulfill and sustain.
Without the game of ‘something will make me feel better’ or ‘if this was in place, my life would be better’ or ‘without this, I’m not complete’ — without that thought or belief, is the game over?
Without those thoughts and beliefs, what would we be chasing? Who would we be jealous of? What would we be fighting for? What would we be afraid of? What would we be trying to prove? What would be the point of life? It all gets really simple when we pull ourselves out of the game. When we finally put away the measuring sticks and get honest with ourselves. When we see there is nothing to fight for or against. But it’s hard for us. Just the thought of it makes us uncomfortable. We squirm in our seats and in our minds. We can’t imagine life without it.
We are all children! We love games! We are so used to playing games; planing ahead, dreaming & fantasizing, and working or fighting for something. Thinking that ‘when this happens’ everything will be better than it is now.
What would happen if that all stopped? If we ended the game?
Stillness, silence, finally peace? Maybe. Or better yet, what about something easier. What if we played the game, but played with the awareness that it’s all Play. The root of the word play can be found in the Proto-Indo-European legh “to engage oneself,” and also Middle Dutch pleyen “to rejoice, be glad,” and German pflegen “take care of, cultivate,” and Old English plegan “occupy or busy oneself, make sport of, mock.”
These days I’m really attracted to making things easier. Not just easier in a physical way, but easier for the soul, for the spirit. This is also why I’ve been so attracted to meditation and beingness over the years. It’s why I completely stopped living my life the way I was, and started over with an entirely different game plan and perspective.
Why would we want to make a game hard and forget it’s a game? Ugh. Sounds like suffering to me. Sounds like confusion, drama, and misery. When a game is hard and we know it’s a game, it’s fun! Sometimes the harder the better, the more challenging the funner! And if we prefer an easy game, like coloring in a book, or bouncing a ball alone — that is great too! Beautiful! But the point is, enjoy it. Make it enjoyable. Lighten up. See it all as play.
When all else fails in life, and you can’t seem to find balance, or see the fun in it all, listen. Just listen. See what awesome subtleties you might be missing out on. Listen to what your heart (not your mind) tells you. Listen to your breath. Breathe deep. Then plug your ears and listen to your heartbeat. Feel alive. Feel the wind on your skin, and the fabric on your body. Feel the weight of your head, and the texture underneath your feet. Isn’t it amazing?! When was the last time you did this? Why are you not always doing this? Feeling your heart, your breath, your gift that is your life — this is HUGE! Relish it. See it as pure pleasure. See it as divine. Have fun with it. Come alive. Be simple. Learn what it means to play. Be a child again. Remember what it means to be full of energy, full of light, full of life. It’s who you are when you stop trying. When you finally allow yourself to be you. When you allow life to be Life.