By Kåre Landfald
What are we here for? What are YOU here for? What is your deepest aspiration, your most alive intention for this moment, and for this life?
My main intention for this year is to live each day aligned with my truest intentions, my deepest aspirations, as much as possible.
And also: to not expect perfection about this, but to see each day as an ongoing journey of inquiry, exploration, experimentation, learning and adjustments – as an adventure of living, an Adventure of Now. To accept that I will fail again and again, and to accept that for days and weeks I may even forget all about this intention, and simply live in automatic, habitual patterns.
There are so many challenges in life that we need to learn to deal with and manage. Health. Money. Communication. Relationship. Work. Exercise. Habits. Negative thoughts. Difficult feelings. Avoidances. Holding back. Worrying.
And when we lift our head a little from out individual concerns to look more broadly, at society, and even more at the world as a whole, it is hard to ignore the fact that we are living in one of the most dire times in the history of the planet. For instance, in terms of survival for each of the life forms on the planet, including the human life form, I read on the internet here:
“The Permian-Triassic extinction happened about 251 million years ago and was Earths worst mass extinction. 95 percent of all species, 53 percent of marine families, 84 percent of marine genera, and an estimated 70 percent of land species such as plants, insects and vertebrate animals were killed during this catastrophe. […] The sixth mass extinction is in progress, now, with animals going extinct 100 to 1,000 times (possibly even 1,000 to 10,000 times) faster than at the normal background extinction rate, which is about 10 to 25 species per year.”
We can ignore, despair, withdraw, close our eyes (and hearts), focus on a limited version of the ‘here and now’ (me, my home, my family, my friends and my enjoyments) — or we can embrace everything, the near and the far, in the space of our infinite heart, and explore what happens then.
We can, perhaps, open ourselves to the reality of both the immediate environment and the small things of each moment, as well as the bigger, global picture that we now, amazingly, have full access to at all times through facebook, youtube, and 1000 other channels. Are we big enough for that? What happens to us if we don’t open ourselves fully to this bigger reality, that we are a part of, aware of, and both a contributor to and a receiver of?
How can we be a gift to ourselves and our surroundings, today and every day, embracing both the local, our society, and the global situation? Because, in truth, these levels of existence are not separate realities, but exist as a whole, in total inter-being with each other.
What contribution do you wish to be, today, tomorrow and this year, to yourself, to your friends and family, to others, and to the world? How do YOU want to be part of the force for good to yourself and others on this planet, in this amazing, glorious and dramatic time for Earth? How do YOU choose to relate to and engage with everything going on, near and far?
Are you aligning your everyday choices with your deepest aspirations, every day? Are you curious enough to learn from your limitations, your mistakes, your habitual patterns and automatic behaviours, your inadequacies, your fears and procrastinations, your addictions, your limiting beliefs and your withheld gifts?
Are you celebrating yourself and the gifts you DO offer to yourself and others, now and every day, by being you, by sharing your energy, your truth and your talents and skills? Are you celebrating the gifts you receive from others and the world, now and every day? Are you exploring and learning from what works in your life and your relationships, and allowing that to take increasingly more space and time in your daily calendar, day by day, week by week?
Life is rich and complex. We can be passionately concerned about the environment, global poverty and global inequalities, while also being busy planning our next yoga holiday in Bali or working on manifesting our dream home in pristine nature. We can teach the art of compassionate communication in the morning, and spend the afternoon judging ourselves our partner. We can hold honesty as our highest value, yet withhold from our partner, on a daily basis, a big chunk of the truth about our thoughts, feelings, actions and impulses. We can blog about healthy living, yet spend 6 or 10 hours sitting in front of the computer every day. We can have ecstatic experiences of divinity one day, and feel depressed and uninspired about life the next.
How many contrasts, polarities and paradoxes can you embrace in the space of your heart? How much inner conflict, tension, challenge and dilemma can you allow yourself to hold, while still relaxing, right here and now, into the simplicity of this moment, and let your action arise spontaneously from the inner space of not-knowing — the source of presence, compassion, creativity, true contact, love, joy and contribution?
Are you willing to ask tough questions about life? Are you willing to let your actions follow the answers you find, even when that means making uncomfortable choices?
If next February you get the news, after doing a health check, that you have maximum one more month to live, will you be able to say, then, that you spent the last year of your life wisely, in line with what’s most important for you in life?
One moment, a moment just like this one, will be our last moment. Life is short. Any moment it can all be over. The choices I make now, today, and every day matter. They matter totally.
Have a great day!