Your Calling Awaits

Within us all lies a calling capable of evolving us into the person we were born to be. It’s an innate desire to service our lives for a cause.

We may not give it much thought, but it bugs us every time we stray too far away from its path, letting us know a more fulfilling life awaits.

But where to start? (One of the most imposing questions to ponder while trying to bring a vision to fruition) Even if we have a great idea that could lead to revolutionary change in the world, or at least in our own lives, it’s easy to  get stuck in the beginning.

Too concerned with starting off on the right foot, we panic when things don’t go as smoothly as planned. Our first attempt resembles what a rough draft usually looks like, rough.

But how many times has the beginning of a task or journey been easy? How many people created their vision in exact detail on their first attempt? Likely very few, if any at all.

It took Leonardo da Vinci 16 years to finish the Mona Lisa. Thomas Edison learned how NOT to make a light bulb over 1,000 times before its actual invention.

The point is to not stop trying. You see, we have all failed and struggled when chasing our passions — a thought to keep in mind as we chase our own.

Yeah, maybe you’ve been stuck at one point, so you put it off for a while. In the mean time, life got cluttered (as it usually does). So eventually you chalked it up to being lazy, not having enough time or thinking maybe you just don’t have what it takes. But you’re not lazy, you just got good at making excuses. And you do have time; think about how much of it is wasted sleeping or watching TV. Whether you believe it or not, you’re more capable than you could ever imagine. You just need to find the motivation to keep trying — the same motivation that gave you the idea you could create in the first place.

So when all is lost and you feel like giving up, listen to that little voice in your head imploring you to  give it one more try. And this time, don’t be so concerned with hitting a home run right away; have patience, and a little faith. Anything worthwhile will take time; but it will all work out if you trust in the process of progress. It’s important to recognize and understand, that the very notion of you attempting to manifest your dreams means you’re further ahead than you would be if you weren’t trying at all.

And the beautiful part is, after a while, you don’t have to push yourself as much anymore; your vision will seem as if it’s pulling you instead.

So take a step each day towards the calling in your heart. And remember, every great accomplishment started with the decision to try.

The Hope of Summer

by Anthony Danko

On this beautiful Wednesday, the 20th of June 2012, summer has officially arrived.

For some it has been greatly anticipated; for others, such as students like myself, our break has already been in full swing. Regardless, there’s a lot to say and feel about the hope summer offers each time it rolls around.

It’s hard to explain exactly why one suddenly fills with exuberance at the dawn of a new season. Maybe it’s the warm weather, maybe it’s the smell in the air or maybe it’s just because we feel we have the chance to start fresh; whether that’s overcoming the disappointment from the previous summer, or continuing to build upon the foundation laid forth a year ago.

However, one thing is for sure, the possibilities are endless.

Simply being able to marvel at the thought of what could happen is enough to make one want to go out and create.

And honestly, what better time to try a new approach towards living and life in general than during the summer? Because there really is no better time than right now to start being the person you have always imagined yourself to be. Add to that the fact that summer is an inherently elevated passionate time of being alive —  desire to reignite the fire if you will.

So today, make the conscious decision to take control of your life to make this THE summer to remember. Make a promise to yourself that you will not only be productive, but healthy as well. Because we put ourselves in a better position to seize opportunity when we are healthy and feeling good.

Commit yourself to making this time the catalyst to bring the long-desired change to fruition. Treat it like a New Year’s resolution type of deal (which there may be more hope in this possibility because 1-It’s summer and 2-It’s difficult to just up and change bad habits after a holiday such as Christmas, one that is predicated on indulgence of many kinds).

Recuperate and reload to set the tone for the rest of the year.

Try new things, learn new things. Take a chance. And if it changes your life — let it.

Last summer I completely disregarded everything I thought I knew about life and what I wanted out of it. I got on StumbleUpon to learn about topics such as philosophy, spirituality, mediation, yoga etc., which reshaped my entire outlook towards living. Now I’m working an amazing job with amazing people influencing lives and  reaping the benefits of the seeds I planted a year ago. I created a vision of who I wanted to be and what I wanted that to look like — then I went out and lived it!

And so can you!

Just have the patience to invest in yourself and I promise that you will always reap a greater reward; especially when your heart is aligned with your desired journey. Trust in the process and recognize the “small wins” in life which reaffirm that you are headed in the right direction. And lastly, do not be concerned with reaping immediate harvests of your efforts, but rather focus on planting seeds of greatness each day — for they will surely come to fruition in time.

Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that fresh cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.” –Deb Caletti

Wisdom Wednesday: 10 Ways to Raise Consciousness

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” Henry Miller

  1. Have intention – The first step to incorporating any change or habit into your life requires one to be eager to do so. From the moment you wake each day make it a priority to be conscious. Too many people spend too much time just going through the motions; no wonder why they’re always looking forward to what is next instead of what is right now. Be alive and aware each moment!
  2. Find/Live your purpose – Life can be so puzzling, and it can be even more puzzling when we have no direction. But the only way to establish direction is to look for a  purpose that fits YOUR life, and only you truly know what your HEART desires. Once you find your purpose, stay the course and share it with the world. And the beauty of it… the more you continue to share it, the more conscious you will become!
  3. Treat yourself with respect – When you commit to respecting your body, mind and life in general, this ultimately raises the amount of love and care you have for yourself; which consequently raises your consciousness. From there a habit is created to treat yourself by the phrase, “my body is my temple.”
  4. Meditate – “Well I don’t know how to exactly.” Which is fine; there is never a better time than now to begin. Whether advanced or beginner, the benefits are undeniable. Plus, if you have access to the Internet there is more than enough instruction available. So find a quiet, safe spot and just BE. Focus on your breath letting thoughts come and go as passing clouds. Like any skill, mastery comes with practice; and the more you understand it, the more conscious you will be.
  5. Connect with nature – Bored in the house? Get outside! Go for a walk. Get lost traveling a route you’ve never traversed. Whether it be in the forest, jungle, grassy field, etc. The more time you spend with nature the closer you get to it, and the closer you get the more you will appreciate it for all of its worth; which almost unseemingly raises your consciousness. Nature can be very mystically nourishing, and if you listen closely, it has a lot to say.
  6. Spend time with true friends – Whether we admit it or not, we all have friends who add to our being, and consequently, those who detract from it.  Combining positive energy bodies automatically raises consciousness for all involved.  So spend more time with those who reaffirm your beliefs and values; because these are your true friends. I know they may be difficult to find, but once you find them…never let them go.
  7. Practice forgiveness – One of the more difficult avenues in cultivating consciousness because we have a tendency to hold onto negative thoughts and emotions towards ourselves and others. Weighing yourself down with negativity only keeps you stuck in lower levels of consciousness.   However, by letting go of these grudges we liberate ourselves in the process as we climb to higher levels of consciousness and being.
  8. Tell the truth – Constantly we contemplate why people lie. The answer: to protect themselves in lower states of consciousness. With that said, any time you do tell the truth your consciousness rises. Once you make a habit out of it you strengthen your connection of true being; because you revel in the opportunity to be true to yourself, others and humanity in the process.
  9. Pursue higher intelligence – This doesn’t specifically mean raising one’s IQ, as there are many forms of intelligence from emotional to spiritual to intellectual etc. Regardless, every one of these forms enhances your journey along the experience of consciousness.
  10. Always be open-minded – One of, if not the most important key to unlocking higher levels of consciousness is to have an open mind — willing and ready to receive. If you haven’t learned by now, the world is an extremely large place that offers an even larger variety of experiences. Therefore, when we don’t explore the diverse options, we choose to stay in a state of low consciousness. That means we miss out on the beauty of different cultures, religions and ways of thinking. However, being open-minded does not specifically revolve around these kinds of diversity. It can be as simple trying a new food, exercise routine or method of going about your day. Ultimately, the choice is yours!

Wisdom Wednesday: Embracing The Moment

by Anthony Danko

“Forever is composed of nows.” – Emily Dickinson

We live in a world today dominated by where we plan to end up tomorrow.

Constant contemplation and wondering take place about the most important characteristics of our existence; from relationships to careers to overall progression of being.

Don’t get me wrong, by nature we are hard-wired to reach beyond our metaphorical and literal fingertips to fulfill our purpose of growth.

But unfortunately, we become so consumed by the destination, that we forget to enjoy the journey.

Once we have arrived, only then  it usually feels acceptable to take a step back and appreciate the road traversed. It’s kind of like climbing a mountain; you live for that moment where you can stand humbly at the top. A sense of accomplishment is born.

What is often overlooked between the time of start and finish, is the uncertainty where we questioned our ability, and the small turning points that occur in the mean time.

M. Scott Peck put it best by saying “our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

This is where a conscious mindset will be beneficial along your journey.

Be aware that you’re not always going to feel comfortable where you are, and also be aware that these are the times when change is taking place.

They say hindsight is 20-20. So when you trust and believe in the path you’re taking, even when that journey is pulling you from almost every way possible — you will cultivate a sense of peace and joy knowing that it is all playing a part within the bigger picture.

And this is why it is so important to take care of right now, because when you consistently do your best in embracing each moment, you will more times than not enjoy where the next one is taking you.