This past weekend we celebrated the Summer Solstice. My friend Jim and I took up the challenge of dedicating a-year-and-a-day to doing the good things in life that increase our personal health and energy.
One major component of health and energy lies in the spiritual. It is the quality of our connections to the land, the people and the gods, that determines the amount of energy we have in life. And this is the mindset in which I took up this vow.
I equate energy with consciousness. So my year ahead is one dedicated to waking up, waking up all my senses so that I can live life as conscious as possible. I know that when I do the work and exercises to wake up, my life is more full of the “good” things in life: joy, purpose, connection, freedom, courage… (It isn’t that life doesn’t have the “negative”, it is that when I am faced with the darker things in life, I find inspiration in them. I don’t shun or fear them. I embrace them fully, moving deeper into the mystery and wonder of life. So I try not to break this down to dualistic concepts of good and bad, positive and negative).
One important premise in in the process of waking up, is to realize that the body isn’t a vessel for consciousness. It is consciousness itself. There is no mind/body separation. Everything I have experienced in life tells me this is so. And as one who doesn’t run on belief, I am using this as a principle from which I operate. So my work begins in the physical. I need to wake up my senses of touch, taste, and smell. I need to get stronger, more fit, more cleansed of the poisons of processed food. I need to move my body. While working out three hours a day at the gym is unnatural, so is sitting in a cube for nine hours a day. My thought is to build natural fitness through body movement, running, jumping, swimming, lifting things up and moving them about – basically all the types of things humans have been doing since we came into being.
Spiritual development is simple. Starting is simple. Basically when I am active and fit, I am more conscious, more awake. When I am more awake, my relationships are better, deeper, and more fulfilling. When I am conscious, finding and stepping into the flow of inspiration in life is much easier.
I am not suggesting that one has to be an athlete to be conscious, but one does need to live and engage in the world. And living and engaging fully in the world can not be separated from the body. So even when our bodies “fail” us, we experience the word through touch, taste, smell, hearing, and seeing. This are not transcended.
I planted a mulberry tree as a “symbol” of this dedication to a year-and-a-day. I like this symbol as it is a living growing one. A-year-and-a-day will pass but the energy and result of doing this work will live on, grow, develop, and bear fruit. When I eat of the tree, I will be reminded of this year and the lessons I learned.
So it has begun and I want to say thank you to my friend Jim for being a co-creator of this next year. So, let me ask you the reader this:
What vow will you make to yourself that will help you become the kind of person you wish to be? What can you commit to?