The beauty of involuntary simplicity

Don't let this happen to you!

Don't let this happen to you!

After two years of paying $125. a month to store stuff I didn't need or want (or even remember I owned, in most cases), I finally took a day off last week to empty my 10x10 storage unit and give it all away. It was a heart-breaking, exhausting, and wonderful day.

The term "involuntary simplicity" has been floating around the Internet for a while now, so I can't take credit for it. But last week, as I tearfully watched dust bunnies swirl around my newly empty storage unit and the thrift store truck lumbered away, the phrase suddenly came home to me powerfully.

Always an advocate of simplicity and decluttering, I used to take the odd afternoon to clean out the closets or cabinets in my former big, beautiful house and take stuff to the thrift store. I loved the light, free feeling I got from reducing the number of possessions I had to organize and maintain. I realize now how relatively luxurious it is to pick and choose what you give up.

Far from being a doomsdayer or end-of-the-worlder, I avidly believe that humanity is perched on the brink of a gargantuan evolutionary leap from material-based to spirit-based creatures.

How many of you feel as though you're being funneled into a white-water rapids riding a broken-down wooden canoe with a hole in the bottom? And no paddles? Do you have a sense of shrinking material means (personally and globally) even as you experience your spirit emerging from the cocoon in the form of greater intuition, increasing glimpses of your own personal power, and awakening awareness of your essentially divine nature?

new_dawn

Or you might just feel, like so many of us do right now, that you're going crazy. In which case, relax! Despite apparent proof to the contrary, all is well.

This is all part of The Plan. And (hold on here): I think we're causing this chaos collectively, as a species, to make our evolution an absolute necessity.

Why? Because The Stuff, and our addiction to it, now owns us. And it's not even the kind of abundance we really needed or wanted.

So, voluntary or involuntary, we've got to strip back down to make room for what's coming, which is beautiful beyond belief.

It is easy? Is it fun? Maybe not. It's like birthing pains, I think. But we can either fight to hold onto our stuff or help the process along by focusing on what true abundance looks like: deep, self-generated happiness, living your soul purpose, time to spend with friends and family, growing and eating real food, and connecting more and more with Spirit, however that looks to you.

Why are you here?

I asked my yoga students that question tonight during Savasana (corpse pose), in which I encourage them to practice dying, or—in more acceptable terms in our death-phobic society—"releasing the physical self."

I sensed a silent "hrrrrr?" from many in the room (refer to photo).

I remember when I first got asked that question a few years ago. I did the same thing. My answer was something like, "Uh, because I was born?" Unfortunately, I was already 42 at the time. So according to my genes, I'm already almost halfway done (although I have a plan for that).

Talk about a sense of urgency! Besides, what's that great Jack Nicholson line in A Few Good Men? "You can't HANDLE the truth!" That was me. I so wasn't ready to hear what I was supposed to do, and I wouldn't have believed it then anyway.

So, in case you don't already know, I'd like to ask you the same question, because the clock's ticking on this lifetime:

Why are you here?

You came here to do something. What is it? Are you doing it? Are you awake?

Get really quiet and tune into your heart space. Then ask. Your heart is way smarter than your mind in these things, although they're meant to work together as twin, razor-sharp blades that cut away ignorance of all kinds.

Here's a hint: it's the thing that lights you up like frickin' Fourth of July. It's what makes you feel expansive, joyful, and powerful. It's what makes YOU bad-ass. (Yes, you.)

Still don't have it yet? Nothing in your life like that? Start paying closer attention. Every soul, including yours, has a mission. Depressed? Angry? You're soul's waiting on you to let it loose to work its magic.

Once you get the answer (and you'll know it's the truth because you'll feel happy and probably scared because you've dared, you rebel, to name your heart's desire), start taking a step everyday to make it your reality.

Here's a practical example. Say you're currently a fry chef at McStarPanera, Inc. But you realize the reason you're here on this glorious planet at this extremely auspicious time is because you have an incredible connection with our animal brethren. You can communicate with them and they with you. You cry and laugh when they tell you their stories. They listen when you tell yours. You know what animals need and can help their human guardians understand how to take good care of them. You're an inter-species translator!

So you continue to work at McStarPanera for right now—unless you're like me and you just quit everything you were doing and live down by the river until all the exploded pieces of your life fall back to earth in a new shape you like better. (Note: This approach is not recommended for its entertainment value.)

But the difference is, you're heart's now on fire with a mission! You start smiling at people, asking questions about their pets. Maybe you start up a few new friendships with fellow animal lovers and start a weekly meeting to discuss ways to make your special services available, because you know—deep down—that you're absolutely needed. One day a holistic vet comes in and you strike up a conversation....

See?

Once you ask the question and allow yourself to hear it, your heart, assisted by your mind, will lead the way into a future that you could never have imagined was possible.

It all starts with a question: Why are you here?

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." --Oscar Wilde

Much love to you.

"There is a river flowing now very fast..."

I feel compelled to share with you these concise instructions on how to be as we move forward in our evolution from today forward, from an elder of the Hopi Nation in Oraibi, Arizona. I received this today via our good friend and medicine man Daniel Posney of the Keyktapo Awakening Ceremony:

"You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour. Now you must go back and tell them that this is THE HOUR. And there are things to be considered...

Where are you living? What are you doing? What are your relationships? Are you in right relation? Where is your water? Know your garden. It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, 'This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate!

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we've been waiting for.'"

I could not say any more eloquently what it feels like our path is right now as spiritual warriors, and what that looks like.

In honor of our own warrior paths and to initiate others into their own beautiful soul purposes, Jim, Dan, and I are planning a workshop in 2012 called Training for Humanity's Quantum Leap: Skills for a Leading Edge Life. It will include the essence of what we three each bring to the world, and we can't wait to share it with you.

If you are reading this, you are a warrior. You're being called to lead during this time of change. See you in the river!