Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cultivating Hope and Beingness

A question that I live with and express often is, "How can one cultivate hope?" Also, "How can one co-create hope?"
What does that mean to you?
To me it means to continue to be awake, aware, mindful, and to choose to stay informed. Yet, also choosing to cultivate peace, beingness, and focusing on self-care which involves not listening to the news or reading articles about the current political state of affairs that are beyond the beyond. It means choosing balance and setting intentions to live a balanced life. There is a time to ingest information intentionally and a time to have clear boundaries about what articles and media I'm ingesting. This can be insidious at times. This is the age of information. One is continually bombarded with news on social media and all forms of media. What I post on Facebook and social media, I aim to post with intention and awareness.

I was recently asked the question, "How can one change the world? What impact can one person have and/or make?" We can only change the world by changing ourselves. If you want more peace in the world, you can choose to be that peace. Work towards that with meditation, yoga, affirmations, healing work, slowing down and being. Doing the inner work. What is inactive is active. What is active is inactive. While sitting quietly and simply being--there is so much going on internally and in one's inner world. It is quite active. There are the external and internalized pressures to always be productive in our capitalistic society/culture in America. In the West, we've all internalized and learned this. Capitalism taught us that we are only worthy and enough by how productive we are. That we ought to only do. We have lost the value of being-ness.

Yet, one can be awake, aware, and unlearn these internalized beliefs that keep one on an unhealthy cycle of always being busy, always feeling pressured to be productive, constantly running on the societal treadmill of shoulds and oughts that is oppressive, unhealthy, and un-human. Human beings need rest, beingness, balance, vacations, time to look at expansive natural landscapes, time in nature, time to connect, space, and time/energies to live and enjoy life. This is not only reserved for affluent people or the 1 percent of human beings. One does not need to continue to live one's life in a state of overwhelm and constant busy-ness. That is a choice. One can choose to unlearn societal/cultural capitalistic teachings and re-learn to live in a more balanced way. It all begins with awareness. It all beings with curiosity. It all begins with a question. How can I live a more balanced life? What affirmation(s) can I create for myself so that I know that I'm enough? Simply by being and existing, I am enough. I do not need to do anything to be worthy, to be valuable, to be loved.


I am enough.

You are enough.

We are all enough, just as we are. By simply being and existing.


I feel that the current malaise in contemporary western society/culture is busy-ness. Everyone seems and is very busy. We are all so busy. There isn't time for this or that. I often hear statements like, "I don't have time or money for this," etc. There are so many limitations that we create as individuals and as a society/culture. I've observed housemates, friends, and loved ones run around like chickens with their heads cut off from simply being super overwhelmed, overbooked, and very busy! Yes, one needs to earn a living, deal with all of the practicalities of life, focus on self-care, maintain relationships, do laundry, chores, errands, pay the bills, etc. Yet, if one is feeling overwhelmed and very busy over a long period of time, I would suggest looking at your written schedule. Are you over-booked? Did you overbook yourself? Are you doing too much and is that a personal choice? What can you let go of and compost from your schedule so that you can carve out 30 minutes a day to simply be. Whether that is a nap, meditation, going for a mindful walk, sitting quietly in a garden, etc. Try this out and truly see what arises during those 30 minutes a day of stillness and being-ness. During this time, turn off your phone, iPad, laptop, etc. It's a time to BE not a time to surf the web or be on social media. If one carves out 30 minutes a day for intentional being-ness when before you didn't, this can be life-changing. Maybe you will realize that volunteering for 3 organizations while holding down a full-time job is too much. Perhaps it's in your highest interest to only volunteer for one and have some time to be. Cook healthy meals for yourself instead or go on daily walks or journal more, or simply be in a garden. The choice is up to you. One doesn't have to choose to be extremely busy. There is a difference between having an active and full life and a busy one.

The choice is up to you. You can begin with a small step to be for 30 min. a day with intention. From there you can re-evaluate your schedule. Where is your time and energy going? If one is overwhelmed and incredibly busy for a long-term period of time, that is an issue. Sure, one may have a work project or film project, etc. that one is working on 24/7 for a stint of time. I've done that with my own creative work. Yet, it's not long-term. Working like that over a long-term period of time is unsustainable and you will have to stop at some point. That stopping point will be illness and/or disease.

The choice is yours. May you feel empowered, happy, and live a joyous life. An active life full of the balance of doing and being.

In light and in the joy of being,


Yosemite National Park. Photos © Ewan Duarte

Blog post © Ewan Duarte