Living Life More Fully

My companion Panda out in four feet of snow in front of my house at Lake Tahoe

One of the primary reasons I’ve replaced my professional business site with this one, is because I believe it’s important for people to understand the value, benefits and soul-enriching rewards of living a more complete life beyond societal norms.

Work, family, community — yes, these are all valid pursuits.

Yet if we don’t learn how to be more fully present as human beings, to embrace the greater expanse of humanity, nature, and how we’re all connected, we miss out on so much.

If all we do is wake up, every day, day in and day out, to experience the same routines just to fulfill basic function as people, we’re going to eventually burn out. And if that happens, the resulting suffering we experience as individuals, and in turn, the outward ripple effect that has on those around us, can take a severe toll.

On our intellect. Our emotional wellness, our spirit as living creatures.

Because of this, I believe it’s critical for all of us to find techniques, methods, modalities, and a support structure that allows us to develop our internal awareness. Our internal view of the world. Our internal sense of what life is. What life means.

For me, it begins with opening up to a life force greater than me, or anyone.

Some call that God. Others, a higher power. Others still, universal life force.

Whatever the words are you choose, learning how to tap into that force, pay keen attention to it every day, and in every situation we live through, is the key to that greater understanding. That greater awareness.

Yet it’s so much more.

As we seek to strive toward life goals, we need to get out of our own self-fixated existence.

We need to shed greed, arrogance, ego.

In their place, we need to see, accept, and internalize the need to consider our individual impact on others, on society.

Whenever I visualize manifesting something positive in my life, for example, I integrate something I learned more than 30 years ago from Shakti Gawain, author of “Creative Visualization” and several other books, meditations and life tools.

It was Shakti who taught me whatever I seek, I only seek it where the greatest good of all concerned will be met.

It’s not just about me, my goals. It’s about the reality that the bigger the goal, the more likely others will be involved, to varying degrees, in the achievement of that goal.

And along the way, if  I win, but you lose, that’s not the best outcome.

Of course, I’m only human. And too often, fall short in my own process, my own participation.

Yet I strive to be better. Do better. Participate with a purer heart.

Through meditation practice, I’ve come to a point where everything I do, everything I experience can be, and often is, a form of meditation.

Being in nature. Interacting with other people. Are meditative experiences.

Learning empathy, without having walked in someone else’s shoes or on someone else’s path in the physical world, is another aspect of this. I long ago shed the “I sympethize”, and replaced it with “I empathize”. At least to the greatest degree that is humanly possible.

I can’t truly know the full depth of some people’s suffering. Yet I can, and do, recognize, understand and respect the underlying psychological, intellectual, and emotional trauma, pain, fear, sense of loss, and more.

I look at people who work in retail, or at the local Starbucks, or pick up the trash, or have just migrated to this country, or work three jobs just to feed their children. People who feed the homeless every day. The homeless themselves. People who may have very different views than I do politically, spiritually, philosophically.

I don’t need to agree with their life choices. Nor do I need to abandon my own truths for theirs.

Yet my own life is more complete, more miraculous, more alive, when I work to empathize how they got on their path, why the choose or are forced to live the lives they live.

I humbly understand that it’s not “my way is the only right way”.

I accept that, but for situation, circumstance, fortune, fate or luck, I could be them.

So much is involved in getting to that point in life where this becomes second-nature, it can be a challenge. Over many years. It has been, for me, at least.

Yet the rewards are indescribable through mere words.

The fulfillment, satisfaction, happiness that results is beyond worth the effort.

So, I say to you this:

Go. Be. Do. Live a more complete life. Find the tools, resources, methods, modalities and means by which you, too, can breathe a deeper, more powerfully joyous life.