Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Distilling Your Essence: A 7-Step Program

When asked where God is, people point towards the sky or some far distant region; no wonder then that He does not manifest Himself! Realize that He is in you, with you, behind you, and all around you; and he can be seen and felt everywhere.
~Sathya Sai Baba
My last article touched on our Creative Essence, reminding us that every living thing contains within it a bit of the Creative-I-Thought-of-Everything-Loving-Life-Force—or Source—from which it came. We need only to open our eyes and look around—or go within—to see evidence of our creative existence. It’s in our DNA.
This is good news! Made in this image--though on a lesser scale than our Creator--you can bet that something so intricately woven together as the human life carries with it what it needs to get along in the world. And that means a creative touch.
But how do we move from intellectualizing to connecting; from observing to being? With so much creative potential at our disposal, how do we distill our creative essence and bring forth our riches in the physical world?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. OPEN UP! The first step to create anything of value in life is to open yourself to its possibilities. This means not only making your connection a priority—carving out time and space to align with higher wisdom—but also opening your heart and mind with the curiosity of a child and a willingness to explore your true nature. Do you really believe that God is someone or something “up there,” separate from you? Be willing to challenge the accepted wisdom and find the truth that resonates with you. Your deep-rooted beliefs will shape your expectations of what's possible for your life. Count on it.

2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T . . . our girl Aretha sang it best. Start with yourself. Learn to appreciate all that you are, as you are. Get rid of the negative self-talk and loathing. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself—or some characteristic that holds you back from living your best life—and it’s within your power to change, then change it. Otherwise, find a way to let it go.
Can you imagine giving your beloved a gift and every time you turned around she trashed it? I think that's what it must be like for God when we disrespect ourselves and trash our gift of life.

When you have the ability to see yourself clearly, and love yourself enough to set healthy boundaries for your life, playing the role of victim doesn't work. With this awareness, you then become the kind of person who actually participates in the shaping of your life. There's no need to disparage yourself or gossip about others—all of that fades away—as you move from a path of negativity to one of goodness and light. There’s nothing closer to your Source than that!

3. CALL YOUR MOTHER! Mother Earth, that is. Go ahead kids . . . go outside. Get moving. Take a hike. Engage your body in its natural environment. Go to a park or sit by the water's edge. Sit on a rock and b-r-e-a-t-h-e! Pay attention to the beauty around you. Going green is not just about recycling and reducing your carbon footprint. It’s also about seeing the environment as a living organism--just like yourself. With that kind of connection, creativity naturally flows.

4. STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. Slow down, open your eyes and listen. The world is full of little angels and messengers from God who bring wisdom and inspiration. Like my cousin’s six year old daughter, who gently encouraged her mother during a fit of road rage to consider “what that person in the other car might be going through.” Get out of yourself and pay attention to other people. Be curious. Ask questions. You might learn a few things. The inspired mind is a playground for creativity.

5. MED-I-TA-TION [med-i-tey-shuh n]. I come from a long line of deep thinkers. For some it’s a blessing; for others, a curse. For me, it expresses itself as a tendency to spend incredible amounts of time mulling over the mysteries of life, asking “What does it all mean?” Meditation is my key. I’m not talking about a mind devoid of thought (although sometimes that's preferred). Here, I’m speaking of disciplined thought—the ability to engage in focused contemplation, usually on a spiritual or philosophical subject, that leads to a greater understanding of your life and the mysteries around you. Like anything, the ability to quiet your mind and engage in conscious reflection takes practice, but the rewards are great. Go deep.

6. PGS. [Prayers of Gratitude and Service]. If you have a roof over your head—give thanks. If you can get out of the bed in the morning and walk to the bathroom—waive your hands in the air! When you discover that your seeming “unanswered prayer” was, in fact, a blessing—shout out, “Hallelujah!” Make prayers of gratitude everyday—even for the small things—and then, armed with your many blessings, get out there and give back to the world. There's an energy in giving and there’s no better way to engage your Creative Essence than by loving your life and helping humanity through service to others. And when you give, your focus will shift from what you don't have to what you have to give. Remember, there’s always someone out there a little worse off than you.

7. CONNECT WITH J-O-Y! Ellen DeGeneres cracks me up. Every guest on her show is required to dance when they come onstage. She plays all kinds of crazy-disco-hip-hop-booty-shake music; you can’t help but smile just watching them. They’re smiling, too--even the stiffest of stiffs. And how can you not feel happy when you’re smiling? Smiles, like yawns, are contagious.
So whether it’s dancing, painting, playing with your children, traveling, making music, writing, having mind-blowing sex or working in the garden, connect with what brings your heart the greatest joy and make it a priority in your life! If you find it hard to experience happiness and joy--if your senses have been dulled by depression or years of repression--be patient with yourself. It may be a matter of rewiring the pleasure centers in your brain. This takes time, patience and repeated expressions of joy--but it can be done.
Choose to move through the world with a glad and cheerful heart—it will radiate to everyone around you. And that, my friends, is the essence of our Creative Source.


If you have unique ideas or special ways that you connect with the Divine, I would love to hear from you. Please e-mail me at or send a comment to this post by clicking on the comment button below. Your idea or story may be included in my book.

1 comment:

TR Hughes said...

What a great article. I look forward to trying my hand at meditation again. I like that you describe it as controlling your thoughts and having disciplined thoughts rather than being devoid of thought all together. I am so full of constant mind chatter and my previous attempts at meditating have failed probably due to the fact that I always try to empty my mind, which I feel is impossible. Now I am so excited to try to simply concentrate on one thought. Thank you for the eye-opening post.