by Marcy Heller

Very often, not only do Buddhist teachings tell us, “Life is suffering,” but many of us, no matter what path we have taken, fall under that illusion and believe it really is! But the truth is, the Buddha definitely did not condemn us to unhappiness! As Robert Thurman wrote in his book, ‘Infinite‘ on the contrary, “the Buddha discovered and proclaimed that total freedom from suffering—exquisite, enduring joy—is extremely possible for every sensitive being. It is only the unenlightened, self-centered, and self-constricted being who is temporarily incapable of real happiness. Most of us have a strong yet unwarranted sense of having a fixed, unchanging, limited “self” that is totally separate from all other beings. This combines with our narrow view that our existence is random and terminal; it only starts when we are born and ends abruptly when we die. Fixed and alienated, random and terminal—together these form a vicious combination. In the end, we are left feeling bereft and slightly depressed, living a life seeming to be utterly devoid of meaning. I call this “terminal living.” We can free ourselves from such a terminal existence simply by becoming aware of our misconceptions and their impact on our way of being.”

Up until now we accepted through a limited mindset, these truths to be valid. However, going out on a limb here, once we have accepted the fact that we ourselves may be the main cause of our own unhappiness, we get to be so motivated to change that paradigm and get busy living the best life ever! Yes, it’s that simple, it just isn’t always easy!

Every person is born into life as a blank page and every person leaves life as a full book. Our lives are our story, and our story is our life. Our story is the thread of our experience, what we get out of what happens, and what we tell each other and what we remember. What story do you want to show and tell? How can we live the best life, living happily ever after? Because we are the storytellers, the ones who put life our into words. We are responsible for making it a best seller!

And, now for the rest of the story…

The evolution of the Expanded Self is not linear, nor is it for the faint of heart. On any given day even being awake, we struggle to stay conscious in a Universe that at times becomes a looney-verse!  It’s tantamount to being on a seesaw. We go back and forth trying to quiet our pain and fear. It’s a full-time job! One of the most difficult of livelihoods: perpetually waking. Certainly, we struggle so hard to be here, to stay here!

Much like with our ancestors before us, in these turbulent times we are urged to not only survive storms, but to build our infrastructures so that we can thrive in a better world. Just as a tree needs to deepen its roots and widen its trunk to endure the force of unexpected storms, we individually and collectively must deepen our roots and connect more than ever to Spirit and to one another. And how do we do this? With One word. FAITH!

FAITH. According to what Brene’ Brown wrote in her book, ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’,  “I’ve come to realize that faith and reason are not natural enemies. It’s our human need for certainty and our need to “be right” that have pitted faith and reason against each other in an almost reckless way. We force ourselves to choose and defend one way of knowing the world at the expense of the other. I understand that faith and reason can clash and create uncomfortable tensions—those tensions play out in my life, and I can feel them in my bones. But this work has forced me to see that it’s our fear of the unknown and our fear of being wrong that create most of our conflict and anxiety. We need both faith and reason to make meaning in an uncertain world.”

Here’s how Brown explains it. “I define faith based on the research interviews: Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty. I also learned that it’s not always the scientists who struggle with faith and the religious who fully embrace uncertainty. There’s a quote that literally cracked open my heart. It’s from a book by Anne Lamott: “The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty.”

This is certainly a new direction: Collectively and individually we are all the new seekers. Now bigger, better and certainly much more resilient. This isn’t just a new year, it is a whole new energetic era here on Planet Earth. Moreover, we are now adjusting to these new energies largely because we are the bridge generation who are moving through the old world order and midwifing ourselves into a whole new world.

We continue as never before to walk the incredible, diverse and severe path of the ‘eye-of-the-needle’.  Seeking to go beyond all our limitations, all that we have ever known, and taking the risk of getting out of our collective boxes at this very intense level by cracking through all that was familiar as well as the collective and ancestral codes that are implanted in our DNA. Along with our newfound freedom we now are aware more than ever that nothing can or will ever remain the same.

This is the most amazing time to start a new You ~ Especially because today we are being given a new canvas to create our masterpiece! These times are giving us so many opportunities for doing things differently now that we are beginning to believe our fate of being as the Masters of our Universe. To finally accept that you are all truly magnificent beings of love, light and magical power. Everything we do as we co-create our new world is based on our intention and our attention to our own worthiness to receive. Change your thinking, and you change your world! To paraphrase from a very wise teacher, “Give up what no longer works so you can find ways to being closer to what is sacred and does matter!”

The old world is gone and still, one candle can light many, if we work with what we’re given and resist the suffering. Choose your most beautiful, blissful, loving and most passionate reality possible. We are the dreamers!  Let your imagination soar!  From a place of love and beauty, take your light and illuminate it far and wide into the world. I promise you that your heart will expand and open wider than ever before, your divine destiny will be revealed and your soul will simply soar.

What an incredible honor to be able to share my puffy heart and give birth to a new Divinely Loving Humanity with the most courageous, conscience hearts and souls to walk the Earth.

I invite you on this very Holy day of Yom Kipper if it resonates to take pause and open your heart to the words of Rabbi Naomi Levy, from her brilliant book, ‘Einstein and the Rabbi’, “I believe that God is forever pleading with us, “Listen.” Every day we are being asked to do something we are resistant to doing: to look deep inside our own souls and do an honest accounting of where we are, and where we are going. Where am I needed? Have I strayed from the path of my life? Have I become self-satisfied? Have I stopped learning and growing and changing? Big questions. Heavy questions that require heavy lifting. And we’re all tempted to look away. But if we just take selfies all the time we might miss out on all the blessings waiting for us. And certain blessings can only be uncovered by digging deep. What’s a soulfie? It is our daily attempt to meet our souls. It’s our desire to cut through the surface distractions to get to know our own true essence. Taking a soulfie is the process that I believe is saying that we have the capacity to move beyond the self and our sense of separateness to a higher realm where we can perceive the greater whole that we are part of, the whole that unites all of creation.”