Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Invest in Character

posted by debramoffitt

Money comes and goes. Character comes and grows.

Money, too often, becomes the central focus of all of life. It becomes the be all and end all of existence. We need it for essentials, but should not let pursuit of it dictate our lives. Sometimes life takes unexpected turns and the money disappears. Those people we imagined to be friends may also leave when the money goes away.

But character developed over the long term is a prized possession. No one can take it away. When we invest in our character through developing integrity, compassion, courage and Self-confidence, and all of the multiple facets that create character, the returns will grow. The results will become essential to us and an integral part of who we are at the deepest, most profound level. No change in the outer situation – no loss of job, no change in relationships or even illness – can diminish it.

The character of truth, duty, peacefulness and contentment we develop will stay with us. It will grow when we continue to cultivate it and rely on the Divine principle. What aspects of your character will you choose to develop?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Graduate from Human Doing to Human Being

posted by debramoffitt

In Europe, four weeks of summer vacation are common. Families and friends take off to mountains and seas to relax and renew from the long periods of work. Good food and fine wines mingle with good company to create memorable moments.

The Italians have an expression to describe this time of non-activity – dolce farniente. Literally translated it means, “sweet do-nothingness.” It’s an expression understood and adopted throughout Europe and a way of living in the summer that invites and accepts periods of just simply being.

U.S. culture worships productivity. We measure outcomes. Gross domestic product (GDP) and Gross national product (GNP) both focus on output, on producing. But everyone and everything requires periods of rest. Nature sets the example. After the intensive growth periods of the spring and summer comes the fall harvest followed by a period of quiet. Leaves drop away and the plant life in Northern climes takes a break. It sleeps only to awaken with renewed vigor in a few short months. But beneath the surface the earth restores itself, trees renew and buds begins to reform.

Farmers who try to push the land too much by keeping it constantly planted in crops know that the soil becomes depleted. The earth cannot continually be emptied of nutrients by constant growth. It requires compost and periods of rest. It needs a breather.

Today take some time to be a human being. We end up so often in production mode that we have become human-doings and we hardly realize there’s another way. So for today, make some time to simply stop. Become quiet and observe what happens. You may find it hard to sit still and feel an urge to get up and go work some more – but don’t. Activity is often a form of laziness that prevents us from doing the real inner work and facing ourselves. For now, just be. Observe your reactions. The longer and more often you can simply “be” with yourself, the more you will become your own best friend.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

The School of Life: Get on the Bus to Grow

posted by debramoffitt

Life is a school. From day one until old age it can bring new discoveries and help us to grow. But many people hold the attitude that once they leave high school, college or grad school that they’re exempt from learning. They’ve passed the tests, received the diplomas and they have no more to learn. They shut down their minds and close the door to the school house.

Life learning does not stop when school’s out and it doesn’t necessarily take place in a school setting. When we are open and pay attention we can continue to learn about ourselves, improve and grow. Life teaches us through the situations it presents in relationships, through difficulty and in hardships. Sometimes the situations that seem painful and bring discomfort propel us into the greatest periods of learning about ourselves. They can break us open and help us to transform.

Today when you wake up, imagine a  yellow school bus arrives and you decide to get on.  In your imagination, ride it throughout the day and see where it takes you. Learning requires an attitude of openness to make mistakes and curiosity about the unknown. Where does your school bus go and what do you learn? Sometimes life subjects tolerance, kindness and compassion. What will you major in during this lifetime? Remember you’re never too old to grow.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Love and Embrace Uncertainty

posted by debramoffitt

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.

—Eleanor Roosevelt

One of my teachers repeated, “Love my uncertainty.” Uncertainty has always been very difficult for me to embrace. I like to know what’s going to happen next and I try to plan ahead as much as possible. But when I plan too much I don’t leave space open for Divine play. My personal life has recently taken a painful and unexpected twist. A relationship that I value is ending and I have done all that I can do to make it work, but to no avail. I have two options – accept and move into the unknown or try desperately to hold onto something that will create more pain, stress and illness. The embracing the unknown can feel scary, but this is the path I’ve chosen.

In reality every day we awake not knowing what will happen to us. In modern, Western culture, many things move along in a predictable, even manner. But when the unexpected happens we’re often unable and unwilling to look at the opportunities it brings. So many people said they changed their lives and moved to different, better places following the 9/11 terrorists attacks. Others moved away from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. So far most of these people have felt that their moves were for the better and were really part of the Divine Invisible Hand moving them. The moves made them slow down, some moved closer to family and others appreciate the moment more.

If you are in a situation of uncertainty – looking for a job, worried about a situation, waiting for a mate, always hoping for something that has not yet come, open up and look around. Say a prayer of gratitude for what is and accept the future with all the twists and turns it may bring. Take a deep breath and smile. Yes, smile. Right now everything is okay.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.debramoffitt.com and http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

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