What does it mean to have oneness with Life? What does it feel like? What does it look like in everyday life?
During a conversation with my brother, he argued that it is difficult to recognize oneness in our everyday lives, because often we SEEM to be so disconnected from others who are not around us.
Sure we know that we are connected to the people that live in the same house as us. That’s the easy part.
It’s simple for me to see that my actions directly affect my husband and children. But when it comes to me seeing the effects of my actions on people “out there” it’s much harder to see.
Nonetheless, if we are all in deed one (and I believe that we are) then what I do really does have an effect you, even if only in a small, unnoticeable way. AND what you do also affects me.
So the question becomes –
How do I recognize our oneness with Life on a regular basis? How do I experience and live this oneness?
1. Start in prayer.
There is something incredibly powerful about affirmative prayer. That is to speak something as if it already exists.
I call this affirmative prayer because when I do this I’m NOT speaking of something that DOES NOT exist. In prayer I am speaking words of TRUTH as I know it.
I know that all there is God. I know that we are all one. God expressed in various forms.
So when I pray affirmatively I am calling forth this truth to my awareness.
I say “I know that God is all there is. And because God is all there is, then I am one with all there is.”
This truth exists now. Not in the future, but NOW and I draw my consciousness to it in prayer.
2. I notice the little things and not so little things.
My kids and I were shopping for strawberries when I asked my son to pick up a container of berries to put in our cart. He reached for the conventionally grown ones and I redirected him to the organic strawberries a few feet away.
Of course my inquisitive little boy asked me why we don’t buy the conventionally grown berries.
I told him that those are sprayed with chemicals that can make us sick and make the water, air and soil dirty.
In other words, what we choose to spend money on effects the way other people take care of (or don’t take care of ) the Earth’s resources.
This is just one small example of the fact that the little things we do really does have an effect on so many other people.
The mean words we speak to a child may seem insignificant but can lead to the fight that child starts with a classmate in school.
Likewise the kindness we show to a homeless person may seem insignificant, but may lead to that person developing a program to help thousands of other homeless people later.
We can never estimate the impact we have on other people, but we must be aware that we do impact the world around us.
3. Go to church….
Or temple or mass or whatever spiritual teaching “place” that resonates with you.
For me, I log on to Agape International for their services to be reminded of our oneness with life.
Sometimes there is nothing like the power of repetition to get a lesson to sink in.
And I believe that church service (and other spiritual rituals) are meant to remind us of the truth of our being.
4. Put yourself in their shoes.
An awareness of our oneness with life breeds compassion.
Sometimes though, learning to be compassionate makes us even more aware of our oneness.
I recently had an incident where the president of my son’s PTO demanded (not so nicely) that I not contact her anymore.
I thought her request was odd. But I honored it. I could have gotten upset and defensive and called her names (even if only in my head) but I looked passed that.
Certainly NOT because I thought her behavior was appropriate.
But because I could see her side.
How would I feel and respond to someone who I thought was trying to “trump” my authority?
How would I feel if I was in a position at work where people did what I told them without question, but outside of work (like in PTO meetings) people seemed to have no regard for my authority?
How would I feel if it seemed like every member of the PTO was against me?
My first instinct would probably NOT be so kind either.
The point I’m getting at here is this:
It is wonderful to have a lovely, intellectual understanding of our oneness with life. But experiencing it and living it on a regular basis takes practice.
For me, there are days that I have profound experiences of the truth of oneness. There are other times when I’m too angry or frustrated to care.
But with patience and persistence, perhaps we’ll all be able to get there and experience this wonderful truth.
How do you recognize your oneness with life?
PS: This month we are working on our meditation practice and your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to take the 21-day meditation challenge offered through the Chopra Center. This is one of the affiliate programs that I promote and an amazing resource for all things spiritual. You can click here for more information and to get your copy of the guided meditations for each of the 21 days.