Awake in the World

Awake in the World

July 4th: Free Your Spirit Day

posted by debramoffitt

July 4th or Independence Day, marks a symbolic separation from burdens and outer controlling forces. More than a national holiday, imagine it as a day to free yourself from habits, thoughts, things and relationships that have hindered your independence and blocked your growth. Often we find ourselves caught up in partnerships where we adapt ourselves to the other’s views in order to please. In the process we compromise ourselves and no longer remain authentic to what our hearts are calling us to say and do. Sometimes the only way to resolve the problem is to make a break and become independent from them. Sometimes this may be only for a season. In other cases it may be for a lifetime.

Habits, too can weigh us down with heavy baggage and hinder our spiritual independence. Excessive needs for coffee, for example, may inhibit health and pollute the body. When we can’t find coffee, we feel we can no longer function. It has become an addiction and anyone who has been at this point and tried to stop knows that headaches, nausea and sometimes sickness follow.  We are no longer free. Addictions to people can also cause the same feelings of dis-ease when we attempt to separate and gain some personal space.

Those who were the rebels during the American revolution espoused dreams of equality and freedom in a way previously unimagined. Their views truly were revolutionary for the times. So it is with those who walk the spiritual path today. Notions of equality and equanimity bring us to view people, places and things as equally important and essential to life. Money and status do not become the values on which people and things are measured. Their value is intrinsic and essential and based on their connection to the Divine. A world without people to pick up waste from our neighborhoods would be very dirty and yet we tend to look down at these roles as unimportant and less valuable than say the head of a company. All are important and all have their roles. No one is less divine than another. As one teacher said, “The worm is no less divine than a human being, only the light shines forth more through the hearts of men and women.”

Take a moment to contemplate what you would like to liberate yourself from today. What is the best way for you to do this? It may be through a ritual like burning a letter or photos, or simply moving away physically from the place or person that you feel is hindering you. Embrace the joy of your spiritual independence. All that you need is within you.

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.

Karma 101: Cause and Effect for Beginners

posted by debramoffitt

Thoughts lead on to action; actions form habits; habits create character; and character creates our destiny. – Debra Moffitt

Karma simply means the effects of our actions. When we eat a little too much today, tomorrow, and again the next day, the result is a need to buy new pants to accommodate that expanding waist line. Like overeating, the consequences or results of karma are not immediate. It takes months or even years (and some would say lifetimes) for some actions to bear fruits. Though it’s often associated with negativity, karma can be good and bring good results too. Anyone raising a child knows that each day of loving care results in a healthy adult. Writers putting pen to paper know that long-term, the many words together can result in a book.

Our lives are created through each moment. The decisions we make, either conscious or not, create our future. If we follow human values and focus on uplifting thoughts, words and actions, we can create a beautiful and meaningful life. This is guided by a deep spiritual connection to the Divine.

If we choose the path of ego instead, then we will harvest the results of ego. We see it clearly in the lives of criminals. A small decision to lie may dull the conscience which warns when actions bear bad karma. The conscience wears away and the inner mechanism that keeps him or her from doing acts that harm himself and others no longer functions. He may move onto cheating, theft and even murder.

By listening to that inner voice of wisdom that elevates us to take the harder path and do the right thing at the right time, we naturally know what direction to take. Take a moment to contemplate where you are and the thoughts, decisions and actions that have brought you here. Consider, too, where you’d like to be in a year or ten years. If you’re searching for peace, love and compassion, begin by extending the same to others today. Every action counts.

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.

Power of Emotion: Moving to Spiritual Heights with Devotion

posted by debramoffitt

At the gates of this beautiful temple, a sari-clad woman prepared her devotion to a tree. In the Indian tradition, much as in Wicca tradition, nature is an embodiment of God and a part of us to be revered and respected. The tree she worshiped was elevated and surrounded by a wall all around its roots. Its thick trunk gave away its age.

The woman laid out thirteen clay pots, carefully filled each one with oil and added a rope wick. Her presence and devotion to the God in and around us moved me into a place of goodness and light. Though she must have performed this ritual a thousand times, she once again lit each wick as if it were for the first time. Her face was fixed in a constant gentle smile. Standing there, observing her deep devotion opened a door to insight and understanding about devotion. In the West we tend to consider ourselves above devotion. Devotion is an act of acknowledging that something is more than the small self — bigger, deeper, vaster. We tend to believe that we know it all and that there is nothing more – not really.

Once the woman finished her ritual, she offered prasad, food that has been blessed by God, to those like me who stood there watching. She did nothing self-consciously or for show. It was all so natural and for the sole pleasure of her Beloved. The woman was one of India’s villagers, probably uneducated, but her radiant connection with wisdom, Nature and Divine Nature shined like a beacon. She held no official role, sought no recognition; her aim was only to give devotion and by doing so to unite with the divine principle.

Today, if you’d like, explore what devotion means to you. Where do you experience feelings of devotion in your life? For some it may be through caring for kids and grand kids, for others it may be through taking care of pets and plants. Discover what moves you to feel devotion and consciously let the experience unite you with Divine Love.

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.

Keeping Cool Headed and Open Hearted When the Heats On

posted by debramoffitt

When it’s hot outdoors, the oppressively hot weather brings us to heat up emotionally and mentally. Here are some quick ways to cool down and keep your cool and stay spiritually anchored in quiet contentment. Energy expended on anger seriously depletes a body. Finding ways to avoid getting angry is best. Here are some ideas on how:

1) Physical movement and agitation contribute can contribute to mental irritation. We’re continually drawn out by the pressures to do and produce and to meet expectations. Make a point to be physically still for a time each day and bring the mind home. This helps to remain centered in a space of inner peace.

2) When the sun flares, the heat and irritation can also inflame us and make us more prone to anger. To cool tempers, drink a cold glass of water; walk away from the place where the anger flared; take a deep breath and say a prayer. I have some props around to help me keep a sense of humor about situations that challenge me to stay emotionally cool – a red clown’s nose works, especially when I put it on and look in the mirror. Speaking in a British accent, helps too. It’s hard for me (or anyone else) to take me seriously when I take on that formal attitude of the Brits to express my frustrations.

3) Self-deprecation can work wonders too. More than anything others love to have a reason to laugh when things get tough. Giving them a chance to laugh at me releases tensions and connects me with others. Laughter in the face of anger is a way to become more human, and avoiding the hurtful words stirred up by anger can help us to take a little step closer to the Divine.

Sometimes anger builds up and needs a healthy outlet. Blocked negative energy can cause health issues. One of my favorite ways to release pent up frustrations and anger is to go into the forest, a walk-in cooler or a private place and scream. Punching pillows works wonders too.  What are your creative ways to let go of frustrations and anger?

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.

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