We seem be an anxiety-ridden society at best. Which is reasonable, what with 24/7 round the clock news ready and waiting for us to access at any moment. We watch television sitcoms where family and relationship problems are solved and tied up in a nice little bow in twenty minutes. Most of us have abandoned the family dinner hour, for grabbing our plates and heading for the sofa to sit in front of our big screens while we argue about who gets to hold the remote control. I can almost guarantee, that this is not what Norman Rockwell had in mind when he was creating his famous paintings of family bliss.
We have cell phones, palm pilots, mass storage MP3 players, microwaves, food processors, robot vacuum cleaners, waterless mops and so much more. All seemingly designed to make our lives less stressful. We have instant coffee, instant breakfast, drive-thrus and drive-ups, yet we can barely make it out door in the morning without our caffeine fix and/or sugar high. Road rage is at an all-time high and obscene finger gestures are now common place. We just have to watch nightly news footage during the holidays, of people willing to maim each other for the last "up-to-minute" toy or game unit in the store, to know that a paradigm shift is desperately needed.
Perhaps as a society, a simpler way of life is no longer within our grasp. Owning to this point, I recently heard one of the main characters of a film say (well actually he spoke in Italian and read the subtitles), "Don't be content to merely survive. We must demand to live in a better world.
" As for myself I decided about ten years ago that I would not be content to merely survive and that living in a better world began with myself. I started journaling and asking myself, who am I, what am I, and where am I going? Three of the most important questions I will ever ask myself. I read a great many books about personal healing. This helped me to understand how important it was to honor my complete self, which included my past, present and future life.
I chose to journey as far back as I could remember to lovingly and respectfully dust off the memories of my past in order to learn to love myself wholeheartedly.*Descanso is a Spanish word meaning rest, repose or tranquility. As applied to a particular area, it means "a place of rest." Such are the resting places at the side of a road or at a city intersection to mark where someone has died. This signifies to the passerby that a journey has ended. The decease's love ones will place a cross and/or flowers or perhaps they will lovingly paint on a rock to convey a sense of remembrance.
I first saw these descansos on a trip to Greece while I was still in my teens. Unfortunately, it was not until years later, when I read to the spiritual teachings of author and Jungian psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes that I really learned the true meaning of these lovingly tended sites. I use this a tool whenever I embark on a journey back through my life. And, when I come upon an event that causes me pain, I stop for a while. I create a "descanso", and allow myself to feel whatever emotions I need, then I ask Spirit to bless "the site" so that I may continue on my journey of recovery. I do not fear being overwhelmed by emotion as I once did.
The strong and courageous people I encountered in the many groups and healing workshops I attended, have been an invaluable resource to be.I have found the spiritual tool of meditation to be one of the most beneficial ways to, at least temporarily, leave behind the pressures of the material world. This a very caring way to empower ourselves to return to our daily lives with a more peaceful and refreshed outlook.
Enabling us to deal with our challenges more effectively. It is absolutely possible to access the mental, spiritual and physical tools within ourselves that will completely transform our lives. We may need the guidance and support of others to lead us on our personal journey. Usually those who have experience or personal knowledge of how to go to the peaceful loving place that is within each and every one of us. These people, whether they are counselors or supportive friends, will serve as guides who will lead us back to our true selves. They serve as reminders to us that we are whole at our spiritual center.
They will show us how to love.We in most cases we have forgotten who we truly are. Because who we really are, has nothing to do with the ego qualities of aesthetic beauty such as blond hair and a perfect gym toned body. It also has nothing to do with owning expensive homes, cars, clothes and jewelry or having a masters degree from a ivy-league school. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my mass-storage MP3 player and my ever present cell phone. But, if I begin to place too much importance on these material possessions, I will lose sight of the ultimate joy that comes from spiritual peace.
The true quality of our lives comes from the healthy spiritual relationship we have with ourselves and our inner spirit. All we need to do is ask and we will receive whatever it is we require to assist us along the way. Our spirit will grant us any tool we require to create a better world for ourselves.
The African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child" challenges us to examine the health of our consciousness. I know I took this challenge and made some really profound changes in my life. I continue to question my motives on a daily basis and work hard to like what I have rather than always have what I like. Author Stephen Covey says, "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey." I make this assertion an essential part of my meditation every day.
The most important voyage we make, is always the journey within. We can relocate to different places, change jobs, and romantic partners as many times as we like, but the "geographic cure" does not change who we are on inside. A friend says, "Wherever you go, you take yourself with you." So, no matter however far away we venture, whether it is to the other side of the globe or to the ultimate high from our drug of choice. We will almost always come back, to find ourselves exactly the way we were when we left. Unearthing our authentic selves may take some time, but it will be time well spent.
Ultimately we begin realize that the majority of our lives here on earth is spent with ourselves. So, why not make yourself your most favorite person to spend time with!.* Excerpt from Descanso "Place of Rest", A publication of The Friends of the Descanso Library Historical Committee.
Wagner is an online entrepreneur who has always enjoyed writing. She was delighted to find this type of creative outlet. Katherine and her husband Michael, make available many products, that can assist you in improving the quality of your life at: http://www.welcome2rmall.com.
By: Katherine Wagner