In the Midst of Crisis - Gratitude for a Divine Spirit



"Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet" —Thich Nhat Hanh.

"No matter what,whether it turns out okay in the end or not, you carry the Divine within you. You are Enough, not because of the things you do but because of who you are fundamentally. Intrinsically. Always and without exception. Take a breath or two to allow yourself to Know this." - Anonymous


The world has changed almost overnight. We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic crisis that has not happened for one hundred years. Like many, I am in shock with this.  It's like living inside of a science fiction movie except that it is real, and unreal at the same time. By the time this month is over it will have become a living nightmare for millions, even billions of people on this planet.  I was just about to publish a book on gratitude and inspiration, and while putting on the finishing touches last month the COVID-19 virus started spreading. It was not easy to stay inspired.

I stopped writing.

Then something started happening with many of us.
We are all in this together - globally. We are all affected by the virus crisis directly or indirectly. In spite of the challenge of this we started to post inspiring messages on Facebook, shared humor, YouTube videos, and support related content. My inspiration came back, and after the initial shock of this wore off (or maybe it  hasn't completely), I started to write again.

I recently wrote several blog posts in this Inspirational Blog and the titles and links for those are below.



I felt compelled to write about this virus crisis and why inspiration and gratitude are more important now as we are self-quarantined in isolation, and have time to reflect on our life, the world, what we are grateful for, and how to be inspired if possible in the midst this worldwide crisis.  Who can write about gratitude and inspiration without mentioning a Divine Spirit? The following is included in the introduction to a new book (that I plan to publish soon).
Gratitude for a Divine Spirit?


If you are not an atheist, then you have some level of faith in a higher power or Divine Spirit, whether through a religion or a spiritual practice.
We are all on a spiritual journey and have different experiences and insights into life.  Our depth of faith is being tested at this time. Is it like an iceberg where only the surface is seen and experienced? Or does it include the full depth, much larger than the surface, beneath the dark waters of the soul?
 
My relationship with the Divine Spirit is more than intellectual. It is personal and private unless I choose to share anything about it. 

Yet when we read about faith or reference to our relationship to God or a Divine Spirit we might experience some resistance. No worries - I'm not preaching from a religious perspective, but a spiritual one that transcends all religions.

I need to "walk my talk". I need to live the ideas and attitudes and own my relationship with the Divine Spirit. Yes, I have a lot of inspiration, and yet I also am aware of the moments that I forget my connection, my deeper being, or my inspiration. Being more conscious of the moments, the possibilities, the inspiration, and loving life is an ongoing journey and one in which I have deep gratitude.
 A conscious life is an ongoing invitation to be aware of the Divine Spirit within and to choose how we are conscious of it in any given moment. At some point, it becomes second nature, and we feel love, gratitude, inspiration, peace, and compassion towards all humanity more often. We "Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with our feet" (—Thich Nhat Hanh). We sing a song of celebration in our hearts. We live the true meaning of "namaste" which means that the Divinity within us acknowledges the Divinty in others.

Yet with this 100 year pandemic it's easy to forget our connection and get thrown off balance. The deepest core of our faith is being tested, and the heart of humanity may be breaking. 

Since the theme of the book (to be published) is inspiration and gratitude it naturally involves our relationship with a Divine Spirit. This book is inclusive, and the experience and inner knowing of the reality of this is a thread woven throughout each chapter. 


If you are going to invest your time and energy in reading this book (which I expect to publish soon), or any book, it should serve its purpose in entertaining you or inspiring you or helping you to live a deeper and more fulfilling life, even if you are already living life with passion and inspiration. With all of the resources provided by various books, seminars, retreats, and other self-help products and services out there, the most powerful and effective one is free. 

The Divine Spirit is always with us, available for making us aware of subtle thoughts, intuition, and guidance. We really do not need any more self-help from outside of us. The Divine Spirit is the ultimate self-help guru within us.

That said, it is always a celebration to experience various ideas and inspiration with others in a community, a class, a seminar, retreat, or workshop. Since this is not available with social distancing, we are alone more now, and yet the Divine Spirit is with us. I need to remind myself of this as there are so many other things drawing my attention. Music, art, movies, books, writing, and games to name a few. 


Meditation is also there for us to enjoy without any seminar fees or travel time needed. We can choose daily or even on a moment-by-moment" basis to celebrate the presence of the Divine Spirit within. It can be a part of our journey and our life of inspiration and gratitude. Knowing that, sometimes it is hard to be committed to it as a spiritual practice. I had an epiphany when I realized that my excuse of “not having enough time in the day” to meditate was my own choice. I realized that “who is the one that is deciding that I do not have enough time in the day?”. After that meditation has been a regular daily practice for years. If we did not have enough time before, perhaps we do now with the stay-at-home new lifestyle.

In these times meditation can be helpful. Sometimes my meditations are not deep at all, but crowded with thoughts about the virus crisis, and a range of other ideas, feelings, and concerns. Usually these will fade away after five minutes or so, and my mind settles down and goes deeper.

Even if the mind does not settle down for ten, or even twenty minutes, meditation is a way to release these thoughts and feelings, and to reflect on life and whatever we need to in order to provide more peace and calm in our lives.


Our inspiration and gratitude are directly connected to our relationship with the Divine Spirit, and all of its manifestations in our life. In any given moment, what thoughts are we choosing to have? How are we choosing to respond to certain thoughts that we didn't seem to choose but come rushing at us or sprouting within us?
The most powerful thing in my life that I am grateful for and inspired by daily is the reality of the Divine Spirit within me and within the universe. I try to be open to all possibilities of experience and understanding of this without putting my faith or beliefs into a box. If I can live in the question while still celebrating whatever insights and wisdom and knowledge that have been revealed to me, then I can live my life more openly, more deeply, and allow the Divine Spirit within to guide me and reveal secrets and mysteries that sometimes cannot be described in words. 

A Mystical Experience

I am grateful for a profound mystical experience that I had in my life. It was not the first which set me on a spiritual journey and which is described later in the book. Yet it is one that keeps my perspective on the transcendent aspect of life in check, and the memory of it is embedded in my heart with deep gratitude.  

It happened in the middle of the night and was a moment of eternity. I had been on my own self-imposed retreat in Laguna Beach, California, and over a weekend, I was in silence, in prayer and meditation, and listening to sacred music and chants. While sleeping, suddenly my eyes were opened, yet still physically closed. I was immersed in a brilliant, white light, so full of love, peace, and subtle power. It was a living light, the divine light of God. The experience was beyond words or description even though I use certain words to describe it. There were no thoughts during the experience, as I was one with this living light that was the same light of my own soul. I do not know how long it lasted since it was timeless. I only remembered it the next morning. Although I have had a few mystical experiences along the way, nothing came close to this one. I know deep in my soul, mind, and heart that there is a transcendent, divine living light that is pure consciousness, that exists beyond belief.

This was the Living Light of the Divine Spirit-God. I know that this Divine living light is present within us and at the foundation of creation everywhere. It is beyond our conscious awareness and scientific measurement. Yet even if not aware of it we can have deep gratitude that this is a reality of life, and closer to our hearts than we may know.

In this tragic time of the virus crisis, I know that the Divine Spirit is with me. Even though I am not remembering this every minute of the day, the more the merrier. It helps sustain me and especially in meditation I can celebrate the connection.

If you read this blog post and any of it resonates with you, then consider this quote by an anonymous writer. It is one of my favorites and especially at this time we need to recognize the tribe(s) that we are connected with and both give and receive support from these connections during this time.

A favorite anonymous quote :

"Be around the light bringers,
the magic makers,
the game changers,
They challenge you,

break you open,
uplift and expand you,
They don't let you play small with your life.
These heartbeats are your people.
These people are your tribe. "

During this crisis we need to consider the possibility of living our own life as magic makers, world shifters, and game shakers. We need to raise our own consciousness to embrace life with this level of creative response. By our example we can challenge others, even "break them open" to be inspired to uplift and motivate others. We can't play small with our life anymore. Every day is a new challenge to make a difference in some way, to help others even from a distance. This is the invitation of a conscious tribe that is coming alive to a whole new level of vision, healing, transformation, and change. We might need to hibernate for a while before this starts happening in our life, or we may be empowered now. When we seek Divine guidance we will know what to do and when to do it.

And if it is our time to move to the other side, there is plenty of work to be done there also with tribes unknown and yet to be revealed. We do not need to have a fear of death as death is an illusion on the soul level. If you believe that the soul goes on then life goes on with it. At this time it is a possibility that a million souls or more will move on to the other side from this pandemic. It is a earth shattering tragedy if this happens on one level. On another, their souls will live on in new tribes and spiritual communities. Those that are left behind will be empowered to heal and rebuild again.

And gratitude for the Divine Spirit may continue even more on both sides. 

Namaste
 (the Divine Spirit in me greets the Divine Spirit in you) 
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