(Photo by Robert S. Fagan)
What is enlightenment? It may simply be closing the gap between where you presently are and your best, highest, and most authentic self.
Many folks may have heard and figured that the best way to “Enlightenment” must be through meditation and eating raw green vegetables. Well, I have no qualms with either and at the very least, they are both a healthy start, but there’s much more to it. Any tool toward overall health is just that, a tool. Our life is our classroom. It’s where we are tested and apply everything. And in the spirit of today’s Western Society values of speedy fulfillment, I am going to offer some fun and easy other ways in which you might hasten your journey… though I hate deploying the word, “hasten” in any enlightenment piece. Nevertheless, here it goes.
1. Fall in love with yourself, not in an egocentric fashion, but rather because you’ve forgiven and appreciate yourself. Be on the lookout for beauty, stillness, and laughter in all things and celebrate gratitude when you do.
2. Make peace and forgive everyone and everything that bothers you. Even if they’re wrong, forgive and accept them. Try to make everyone right and forego judgment.
3. Develop yourself now and don’t pollute the future with worry or obsessive thinking. Attend to the present and watch a more delicious future unfold. Don’t allow life to force you into the “hurry up” mode.
4. Remember to surrender to yourself only to that you can fix yourself, but not much else. Learn to accept what is… is, and there are blessings and lessons hidden everywhere and in every situation if we only stop to look for them.
5. Realize that spirit is subtle; it is neither fast, loud, or obvious, and its direction is focused inward and like peeling away the skins of an onion, there is yet another layer to be discovered.
6. Keep your sense of spirituality quiet and private. Allow it to be soft, warm, feminine, and vulnerable. Softness like water wins in the end as hardness gets torn, broken, and swept away.
7. Spend time with and closely observe nature and children. What can you learn from them, perhaps things that you may simply have forgotten?
8, Exercise a child’s play and wonderment in your life. If you are burdened with great intelligence, you will have to navigate and negotiate your ego’s labyrinth to get to the light so don’t make things complicated in the failed effort to make them seem more grand and real.
9. Remember that if there is any judgment at the end of your life, it will be about your kindness to all things.
10. Always focus your attention on who you are on the inside. Know thyself. You can’t be happy let alone fulfilled if you are aligned with your genuine, best or highest self.
11. Get out among people, travel when possible or avail yourself to new things, different people, customs, and ideas. Spend time with and get to truly know and understand your adversaries or different personality types for you will find you likely share the same joys, fears, and aspirations, and are not so different after all. Read, reflect, listen, reflect, serve others, reflect. Ask questions, listen, and reflect.
12. Be patient, relax, observe, and again reflect. Consider to even live this very week as if it were your last. What would you do, say, and feel differently. After all, it just might be, so don’t squander it. Engaging with life as it is, is so enlightening.
Okay, though these suggestions may hasten your progress, enlightenment is still a slow patient process and you may not regard these steps as “easy,” but each is imminently doable. Don’t let that very “difficulty” judgment misguide you. Step into your power and own them.
Enlightenment may be as much a realization that life is not really that complicated and that everything is linked or connected; we are one. Stay quiet, aware, and balanced. Simplify and be brave. Detach from the noise and non-operating messages others are bombarding you with. Yes, allow to pass the discomfort you feel about yourself and your life’s circumstances. Employ your power and act decisively on your own path away from the crowd when necessary. Lastly and most importantly, love and forgive. When you get right down to it, enlightenment is more about awakening to the genius that has simply been subordinated and temporarily forgotten. Enjoy your journey!