Last week was my eighth #WeLiveBigWednesdays (WLBW) Challenge. On Tuesday, May 2nd, the idea of WLBW came to me and on Wednesday, May 3rd, I launched the first challenge.
For those of you who are planners, this probably sounds insane. I had no editorial calendar sketched out and no plan of how I would record or market the challenge. But I knew it was something I was supposed to do because now I'm becoming familiar with the distinct call of the Spirit.
Last week I was asked to address the topic of the Spirit in this coming Wednesday's WLBW Challenge. (Tune in to the We Live Big Facebook page at 9am Eastern to participate.) Of course, this has me thinking about what I want to say.
As a person who was raised Catholic, I was trained in traditional religion throughout my childhood. And while my family was very active in the church, I never felt a spiritual connection until recently.
If you feel connected to the spirit through religion, I think that's fantastic. If you found spirituality another way, I applaud you. If you are one of the many who doesn't feel particularly convinced that you have a spiritual side, but you're curious, I'll share a couple things that have helped me on my journey.
My first spiritual breakthrough came through yoga. It wasn't a particular moment or a dramatic event, it was simply the practice of disconnecting from everything, including thoughts, to create space to breathe. I believe that we need to be quiet enough to hear our own breath and still enough to feel our own heartbeat to hear the voice of the spirit. If we can give the spirit this opening, it will give us precise guidance on what to do next. I don't hear a voice; rather I have a vision of an impressively engineered plan that is delivered with such simplicity and clarity I know it will work.
The second breakthrough came as I was reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. For the first time, I considered the idea that God wasn't outside of us as I learned growing up. I started to explore, instead, that maybe God was inside of us. Maybe we are God.
The first time I considered this and even now as I write it, it sounds blasphemous, maybe even narcissistic. But there is a nuance for me that helps me live into the responsibility of my life. If each of us walking around are God, we have infinite power to do good. We also have a way to connect with each other that goes beyond the physical. When we can connect on a spiritual level, labels that cause hatred are stripped away and we can feel what's universal to the human experience.
These places of quietness and connection are where my best ideas are born. When an idea feels like it is elegant, simple and pure, that's when I know the spirit has spoken it. And whether that spirit for you is God or the universe or your inner voice, you have the ability to access it.
Try these daily practices to tap into a deeper sense of spiritual connection.
1) Find time for stillness. This is often most transformational after a period of movement. So if you run, find a few moments to mediate afterwards. If you do yoga, be sure to stay for Shavasana. Whatever movement you embrace, find time for stillness afterward. Try emptying and opening rather than receiving and filling.
2) Reflect on your ideas. Is there a project or an activity that you keep thinking about but you're not sure why? Is there something you can do to start? Even if the whole idea hasn't been delivered, as you start to take action, you'll receive guidance on what to do next. On all of my interactive public art projects, I saw a vision, decided to accept the challenge and gained clarity as I worked with the materials.
3) Listen to yourself. Instead of asking everyone around you what to do or how good your idea is, trust yourself. Nobody can see the vision you have and it can be really hard to explain the ideas of the Spirit, because they're not quite human. It's your job to translate that idea of the Spirit into something to which us humans can relate. You'll probably need some help if you have a big vision, but as you keep moving forward on your ideas with passion, you'll attract the people who can support your efforts.
Case in point: The day before I launched the Soar project, I received a call from the owner of Hoffman Town Center. He said he didn't know me, but saw one of my #WeLiveBigWednesdays videos and noticed I had a funding gap on my Go Fund Me campaign. He offered to write a check the next day for $1,650 to cover the balance. To me, this is a great example of the world aligning to support you when you do the work you're called to do.
When is the last time you were quiet enough to hear the call of the Spirit? Instead of straining to listen, try opening and emptying. Once you create enough space for your spirit to dance and honor its voice when it speaks to you, it will show you the way.
Soar Comes to a Close at Well Ray
On Saturday we came together at Well Ray to celebrate the end of the Soar project. While the physical manifestation of the project is over, I hope the concept of letting go and transformation lives on in all who participated. Remember, when we let go of fear, it can transform into courage. When we let go of anxiety, it can transform into peace. When we let go of protecting ourselves, it can transform into a beautiful connection with other people.
Whatever weight you let go of at Soar (or on your own), know that with continued work, your burden can transform into the most beautiful part of who you are.
"Be the Light" Story wins EMMY Award!
The Be the Light ABC7 news story by Jay Korff won an Emmy award on Saturday evening! The award-winning segment featured Jay's ability to capture powerful stories from every-day people. Congratulations to Jay and his team!