With the recent tragic and earth-shattering events that are taking place in Japan right now, I am feeling so completely helpless that my mind just keeps searching for something, anything, that I might be able to do to help make a difference. The immensity of what has happened and the future ramifications for not just Japan, but for the whole world, make the usual avenues of help (i.e sending money) feel inadequate. I’ve been praying a lot, but even that doesn’t seem to be easing the anguish I feel deep in my soul. So I am going to do something I’ve been talking about doing for some time now, but for one reason or another have put off actually doing…I am going to start a blog.
Now, this might not seem like such a big deal, but for me it is a giant leap into the unknown and one that is pretty scary to take. Believe it or not, the first time I ever even understood the whole point of blogging was when I saw Julie & Julia…up until then I just didn’t get it. But giving your soul an outlet, no matter what you’re writing about, can only be a good thing.
So in honor of Japan, and myself, here I go.
I’ve had this idea for My Consciousness Project for quite a while…ever since I read Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project (www.happiness-project.com), a couple of years ago. I considered, at the time, starting my own happiness project, but realized pretty quickly that I am actually (luckily) a very happy person. What I was beginning to question, though, was not so much my happiness quotient, but my spirituality quotient. Having gone through a couple of pretty scary health issues in the last few years, I was starting to really wonder if there was some sort of big life lesson that I just wasn’t learning. Did the universe really work that way and if so, was there something I should be doing that I clearly hadn’t figured out?
I started reading books on the whole mind, body, spirit connection which lead me to try a few alternative healing methods. One thing I noticed through all this, was that when I would talk to certain people about these ideas, a lot of them would roll their eyes saying, “Oh, you’re into that?”. Or worse, their eyes would just glaze over and they’d change the subject. Some people were nicer, but I could tell they were looking at me a little differently, probably thinking to themselves “..and I thought I knew her so well!” So the first idea for my project was to see if it was possible to practice all of these different consciousness raising methods in such a way that people who might otherwise roll their eyes could be swayed to try it for themselves. But that’s as far as I got…for some reason I just never was able to put pen to paper to get it started.
Looking back now I think that it was because the idea was more about other people than about me. Sometimes I guess the universe does know what’s best.
Thankfully, I recently came across a quote from Daisaku Ikeda, a Buddhist philosopher, and I knew right away that I had found the basis for my would-be project. Ikeda asserts that:
“A great inner revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of an entire society and, further, will cause a change in the destiny of humankind.”
Is it really possible that if I, a regular, everyday person, am able to raise my consciousness -my awareness of myself and the world – that I will actually see the change that I hope for? Given all that’s going on today – from Japan, to the Middle East, to the overall disconnectedness of the human race – it seems to me that if ever there was a time to try, it is now. There is just so much good to be found in the world, that if we could just tap into it more often than we tap into the bad then maybe, just maybe, we can turn things around.
So here’s my plan…when I googled “ways to raise your consciousness” I came across a site entitled “100 Ways To Become More Conscious: How to Raise Your Consciousness” (4Mind4Life.com). I actually laughed out loud when I saw it…don’t you just love the internet? Anyway, I am going to go down the list, one at a time, and write about my experiences…I’m thinking one a week is a good starting point. Some are easier than others, some are a bit redundant, and some are going to be very hard for me…I am guessing, however, that those are the ones that are going to spark “a great inner revolution” within me. So, for the sake of my project, I promise that I will not conveniently overlook them. In fact, just so I won’t be tempted I will list them here:
#30 – See perceived faults as a “mirror image” (I can be a little judgmental of others, so this could be an eye opener)
#32 and #54 – Face your deepest fears/Muster up some courage (I have to give these some thought…speaking in public and ocean waves are the two that come to mind)
#58 – Purify your body (I am guessing wine is out?)
#73 – Turn off the TV (I am hoping this one won’t fall during hockey season!)
You can see the whole list under “Pages” in the right hand column.
Anyway, my goal is to have the project completed by December 21, 2012 which is just short of 100 weeks from now (94 to be exact). I am figuring it will work out perfectly as some of the ideas on the list are very similar to one another (i.e #3 – Simple meditation and #49 – Take time for internal reflection) so I can double up some weeks to avoid overkill of any subject. Why that date? Well, it is believed to be the culmination of a cycle in the Mayan calendar and, therefore, feels to me like an appropriate ending point for my project as well. Not because it’s the actual end of something, at least not in a doomsday sort of way, but because it seems to be offering us an opportunity for something even better to begin. One of my all-time favorite lines from a song is, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”…I just love that.
So for me, right now in my life and in the world, the best thing I can think to do is challenge myself to be better than I am. It is my fervent hope that Daisuka Ikeda is right and when my project is done the world and I will be in a better place than we are right now.