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AUTHOR: JEFF FERRANNINI

Spirituality in Troubled Times

If ever we were in need of a source to turn to that would help ground us and give us hope in these troubled times, it is now. I believe it rests within each of us to seek within ourselves that which has long lain dormant. The beauty of spirituality is not just the simplicity of no rules/no regulations, but like that unmistakable feeling of home, you know when you arrive and nothing else feels quite like it. In these troubled times, what we are all in need of is grounding, a return to the familiar stability which feeds us, nurtures us and above all, makes us feel safe. For me that grounding connection comes about with the presence of nature, the natural world, which I sometimes refer to as my “church” without walls.

Listen to how a bird’s trilling melody brings forth the purest vibration, resonating warmly within the chambers of my heart. The babbling brook whose rushing waters collide against scattered rocks, ushers in a choir of discordant sounds from hard slaps to ethereal angelic tones. A sacred place where the unstoppable meets the unmovable. Where icy torrents of cascading waters are tossed haphazardly, amidst the winding froth of a freely flowing country stream. Now, if I close my eyes and listen, I can almost hear thousands of wagging tongues speaking in unknown languages, attempting to impart whispered secrets as if to tickle awake my drowsy ears.

And what of the trees? Those fully leafed branches being bounced about by strong breezes, swaying in rhythms and meandering gyres of ancient dance, whose steps are orchestrated from the invisible breath of a clutching wind. It feels like magic is afoot when I come upon any of these extraordinarily ordinary moments, where murmurs of ancient songs or long forgotten messages are brought to my ears in hopes of restoring me to a greater wakefulness. Maybe it is simply my imagination playing tricks and conjuring mountains from molehills within the deafening currents of a wildly free, tempestuous wind, careening blindly about?

These are some of the ways I find communing with nature to be a calming influence in such a topsy-turvy world. It is here where the breath, within the midst of nature’s cacophony of silence, forms an invisible cocoon, woven from the natural world’s chorus of varied voices. Here the body knows when it is safe to rest and relax. Within the comfort of this peaceful place of refuge I can focus solely on the breath and pay attention to the rhythm of my breathing. Once in nature, letting go of the fast-paced hustle and bustle, becomes less a task and more a surrender, to a loving embrace. Perhaps it is here where I can find gentle space to regain use of that all-access pass that returned Dorothy home, home to a part of myself I may have lost sight of or even forgotten existed. Here, in the natural world, is where I go in search of a touchstone my soul recognizes, despite feeling disconnected from my mind’s conscious awareness.

Nature is one of the places I choose to bring me to a deeper connection. You may find the safety of your bedroom or a comfortable chair or a certain corner of you home, serve to invite deeper exploration for what lies within. The invitation is to explore, to start the process to make connection to the greater Self. Get in touch with that sweet peace found in letting go, feeling not separate or alone, but a deeper connection to myself and perhaps, all of creation? No longer will I feel separate from the stones, trees, grasses, winged creatures, the beetles, the birds, the fox that just scampered by, all of it brings recognition for a deeper connection. Once in that state, the world transforms from a place of mayhem and chaos into a deeply held feeling of sacred trust. Despite all appearances, all is exactly as it needs to be or put another way, all is in Divine Order. An order which perfectly unfolds for the highest and greatest good for all concerned, despite my limited understanding.

Let me say, I would be careful who I shared this type of truth with. I would certainly not say this to someone who just lost a loved one by accident or due to an unseen medical condition that swept over them with shocking ferocity. Anyone suffering from an unspeakable loss would not be the right person or the right time to share these ideas. No, and to be clear, I’m speaking more on a soul level, what our eternal soul needs to grow and evolve from each experience it takes part in. It is my belief there is wisdom gained from every experience, whether good or bad. All of our experiences are grist for the mill. Each new experience teaches the soul lessons leading towards it’s evolution, resulting in higher level of conscious awareness or soul growth.

What has served our planet in the past is not what is needed now. Instead of using my head to think my way out of the confusion and turmoil currently keeping humanity locked inside familiar cages, we once called home, now we must look beyond how we once viewed the world. I believe now is the time to make use of this seclusion by turning within to search for heartfelt wisdom that awaits our discovery. It is time to turn inside to access my higher Self and listen for it’s wise counsel. Wisdom, which once realigned with, can guide me to make new choices in all areas of my life. Choices like setting time aside each day for quiet meditation to reconnect to the silence within. I believe the tranquility we seek, seeks us and there is a part of me wanting to re-connect to my greater source of wisdom and longs for reunion with the sweet peace found within.

In these uncertain times, now more then ever, we need to to pay attention to our hearts.  Why, you might ask? I would submit that our world is hovering on the brink of destruction, because for too long we have allowed our heads to rule and paid scant attention to the wishes of our hearts. This simple but fundamental change must take place or I fear our planet may not survive. Everywhere we look we see the results of having been guided by our head and how that has turned out. The greed, the corruption, the desire for power at all costs is everywhere present. It is time we prepare for planet altering, momentous change. What is needed now are new paradigms, radical ways to re-envision our world to build bridges capable of carrying us over troubled waters to higher ground. Once there, we gain greater perspective for how to chart our best course to navigate our world. Learning to let the heart lead brings our world closer to spiritual realms, unlocking possibilities the mind cannot begin to imagine.

Attuning ourselves to the way of the heart leads to new beginnings and a closer walk with the ways of spirit. I believe the survival of our planet depends upon our courage to see the world with fresh eyes. Taking time to learn how to listen to emerging voices within and trusting them to guide us is what our world needs now. Coincidentally, many of us have all the time in the world,  right at this moment, so why not do it… now? Find a comfortable place to sit down, relax, focus on your breath, your breathing, letting the cares of the day fade away. Allow a glimmer of hope to come into view. Love is calling and we must answer with all our hearts. Our world is in need of billions of small changes which lead to the beginning of a new world being created.

When the many, openly declare, this newly envisioned world is the only one I wish to live in, then a world of possibility unfolds and transformation begins. It begins with… you! See it, believe it and manifest it. A new world awaits our ability to dream it into being. Dream strong to make a new world where all of us share equally and have the opportunity to make full use of our gifts. It is within our grasp to claim it. Maybe now with everything falling apart, we are ready to to dream new dreams once thought impossible and remake our world into the paradise it was meant to be. Love is calling. Love is calling you… home.

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