Why is creating harmony important in our lives? We often create a distinct line between spiritual life and life. However, as we evolve as a species, it is helpful to integrate our spiritual life into day-to-day living to create a more harmonious way of being. Humanity needs people living in harmony with their families, their companions, and the world.
With each example of peaceful, expansive living, we open pathways within ourselves toward others; creating harmony. That is not to say we are extraordinary beings living an idealized life. Instead, we are human beings unfolding possibilities, by living them. So much of what causes disturbances are things outside our control. Being time-space-sensitive, we often do not get the big picture.
The Big Picture
The need for harmony is so evident that the word itself has lost meaning. Overused and misused, it has come to mean “When everyone agrees with me.“
This leads to further discord in the world. Instead of being a beautiful kaleidoscope, differing perceptions of reality are used to polarize and separate. We point out and focus on our differences in our conversations, writing, and media. This limited view of yes/no and right/wrong is cutting deep into the fabric of our recognition of each other’s humanity. Still, there is an undercurrent of the need for harmony emerging from this extreme manifestation of separation and chaos, and it awakens the necessity for a new reality based on acceptance and love.
So How Do We See That Picture?
When I feel pain or discomfort because of a strained muscle, my body will not let me forget! A sprained ankle reminds me with every step that I must sit and rest in a certain way to alleviate the tension. The same is true of my inner self. It pains me and causes me discomfort when I do not listen to it.
Unfortunately, we have learned to ignore the inner signals because our lives are so busy. Then our minds and bodies pay the price. We can’t sleep, we distract ourselves with unhealthy habits and feel tense or reactive. We are out of alignment with ourselves.
I can wish for harmony to come to me, but that is expecting it is someone else’s responsibility; someone else’s fault that I am not in harmony. While I cannot control the reaction and actions of others, I can learn to do so within myself. Even when these often-repeated words: harmony, acceptance, love, become trite, my mind understands them and repeats them as a salve for a momentary easing of emotion. I am aware of a living vibratory force that awakens when I embody these harmonious words with intention and deliberate meditation.
By paying attention to the sensations of my body, I feel the tension when not aligned with my expansive self. This disconnect does not feel good. So, I choose to come into alignment with harmony and acceptance. Then tension and judgment are released.
Old Wisdom for a Modern Time
I was fortunate to know my great-grandmother, Mary B., a happy, petite southern lady who loved life. She did not see a stranger, and you felt the joy of life when in her presence. At 94, she played croquet with neighborhood children who came to her door to play. She taught me a love of history and people, not by long lectures, but by the simplicity of her living. One phrase she shared with me, stays with me to this day. “Libbie,” she said, “people should feel better about being who they are because they are with you.”
It was a simple phrase packed with wisdom: The only way people can feel better about being who they are is for me to be open and nonjudging. I cannot change how they think about themselves, but I can recognize the infinite being within them and when I respond to that soul, they are more likely to feel heard, understood, and accepted. What Mary B. taught was her embodiment of love – so alive and accepting.
Another thing I learned from her was to listen more and talk less. When I am more present and calmer, aware of the other person, and connecting with their yearning to be heard and understood, it is another way of creating harmony. This is a lifelong process for that ten-year-old great-grandchild, but when I remember, there is an overriding sensation of “oneness” with time, people, and life. It is a joy-filled vibratory force.
We are vibratory beings in the same place and time for reasons we cannot understand. We meet and share a moment. This moment becomes all time. Mary B. is there by my side as I remember her words again. She would not recognize today’s world, but she would know the souls.
Bringing the Inside Out
Years ago, I painted a series of images of an egg, cracked, with a chick ready to break from its shell. The shell breaks and a chick’s head pokes out. Alarmed by what is outside the shell’s safety, the chick reaches out and closes the shell around itself again. The question, “And how was your day today?” hangs unanswered.
The picture is rooted in a truth that many of us feel, especially in today’s world. Inside our shells, we try to separate ourselves from the chaos, or so we tell ourselves. But this delusion cannot sustain itself as we soon discover what we see outside already exists in some form inside our egg. The disharmony is within me, though I think it is outside.
Discomfort rises with the growing awareness of the connections between my thoughts, emotions, and the outside world. These thoughts go beyond the mind and emotion and manifest in the world through me. As my mind ruminates, it is increasingly apparent that what I think I see – I see.
If I feel defensive, everything is out to get me. A friendly smile becomes suspicious, a joke an assault, and laughter is directed at me. So, I defend myself, harden my shell, and make sure that no one can crack it open. My view is the only view.
The “Safety” of Staying Inside
Nature reveals the flaw in staying in the shell of one’s own worldview. Seeds only thrive by allowing water, roots, and stems to crack them out of their shells. If they are not permeable, they will eventually decay, becoming part of another process, but not what they could have been. It is our nature to seek ways to thrive. Life’s longing for itself is an irresistible force within us and when we allow that force to unfold, it creates harmony.
This life force seeks growth and expansion. It reaches beyond the world as it is and seeks the creative edge of being alive and in the flow of life. We feel expansive energy when we are aligned and connected to this life force. As I expand my view of who I am, the thin membrane of habitual reality inside my shell breaks. I discover the world within and naturally want to expand.
Preparing Myself to be In Harmony With The World
Going inside my shell to a safe, known place allows me to explore my relationship with myself and the world and consider the consequences of my thoughts and actions. This is a good starting point in the morning. In my meditation, I can safely introduce ideas I have not previously considered and create new scenarios. I can have a discourse with my authentic self, which is much more expansive, forgiving, and nonjudging than the self I run around with all day. I begin with a basic premise: I can have a conversation with a self that is bigger than me.
So, how to engage in this conversation self to Self?
First, make yourself available for the conversation. Find a comfortable spot without distractions. It is helpful if this is first thing in the morning before thoughts and life begin to bounce around in your head.
Realize this is a conversation only you can have with the one person you carry with you all the time. This is your most important relationship and one we often miss entirely. This “other self” is not distracted by the finite elements of living, it is beyond space, time, and beliefs. It is a connection to the eternal energy of life itself.
Cracking The Egg.
In the first few moments, just calm your thoughts. It helps to focus on a monotonous sound in the room, a fan’s motor, white noise, or your breath. You ready yourself to meet an old friend. The conversation opens with the awareness that we have everything we need inside us. Acknowledging this is empowering and life-supporting.
Start with an Invocation:
Give words to your thoughts. Concretize them and give them form. Describe a situation that may be bothering you, but without reasons or justifications. For example; “I am struggling with a particular personality at work.” Be straightforward in what you wish to explore. Pay attention to the emotions that arise and be aware of the sensations in your body. Open yourself to the presence of a greater awareness that is always there. Like the sun, whether acknowledged or not, it is always there.
Spend some time Waiting:
Waiting is: allowing, tuning, and aligning. A time of mental silence or, if not silence, of observing the movement of the mind. Visualize your thoughts as clouds floating by while focusing on the blue sky. Discover silence. A state of mindful awareness, raising thinking and thought to the level of sensation. The emotional feeling becomes a sensation. Silence and space, peacefulness, connectedness, and expansion.
Listen for the Response:
The response is a process, and as a process, it will not be completed, finished, or done, but will have layers of development throughout the day. We will have moments of awareness of the response before us in life. Layers of the same truth echo the same sensation within us as we become living manifestations of souls connected and aligned.
When I feel connected and in harmony with the world, I feel expansive and alive. When I feel afraid, it is a sensation of being closed and heavy, uncertain of myself and the world. The sense of fear takes away my power and makes me feel out of control, a victim of life. So, I pay attention to how I feel. Not the emotional movements that flit by quickly as moods change, but the actual sensation embodied in feeling.
The sensation of being in the midst of life and available empowers me. I feel alive. It is surprising how liberating this can be. I choose to acknowledge that I have everything I need at this moment. And, I am enough. I am aligned with the infinite energy of life itself, in harmony with the world around me.
As fleeting as this moment of empowerment may be, once experienced, you own it!
You know the feeling. You recognize the experience and the way out. It takes repetition and awareness to make it your habitual response to life. Your setpoint changes, and though you may forget and repeat an experience in a new way, you are not the same. You are ready to face the world bringing your awareness outside with you.
To have a broader, more expansive view, I must create space in myself for answers. This is a continuous process. Don’t be afraid of being wrong or making mistakes. These are ways of learning how to correct ourselves, much like the navigation system in our cars, we can recalculate. It is the journey that is called living – let us try to do it in harmony with each other.
Getting our Chicks in a Row
Meditation and reflection are tools. Applying them to our lives makes them real. We can practice mentally, visually, and with sensations in different scenarios and explore our feelings about death, aging, or flowers in springtime. Nothing is off-limits as this honest, nonjudging, exploration opens new territory never known before.
Humankind made a massive leap in consciousness when the first image of our earth from outer space came into view. We glimpsed that the actual horizon of the earth was not linear but round, a pale blue dot surrounded by space. I make the same leap in consciousness when I place my experience in living within the process of all humanity.
This slight shift in perspective creates a sense of being that is empowering and aligned with life. It propels me to be clear in my thinking, supple in my response, and gain distance within myself to see an expanded view.
Sharing the Joy – Creating Harmony
“Remember who you are.” You are the only one who can be you. Celebrate the unique, unrepeatable life experience you live. And from that place, you give permission for everyone else to live their unique life. In this awakened state, we can all live in harmony. We can create new worlds. Connecting these worlds reveals a greater truth; our horizon changes, our vision expands; we are each of us, uniquely the same.