10 Tips For Staying Balanced In A Teetering World

If you are finding it difficult to make your way through the chaos and confusion that prevails in the world today as we teeter on the threshold of a major cultural shift in awareness, it may be helpful to take the following natural living tips to heart:

  1. Find the sacred today. As the relevancy and moral authority of many traditional religions recedes, folks are exploring the pathless path between these traditions and finding the right pieces that resonate with their individual needs and longings. As they create a mosaic of sacred practice, they are freeing themselves from the restrictions of dogma and opening themselves to the direct experience of the sacred.

  2. Remember the heart of the spiritual quest is to be who and what you truly are. We cannot become Buddha, Christ or anyone else. The spiritual journey is about following your unique thread of destiny woven within the threads of family and cultural circumstances. The song of creation becomes more vibrant as each person sings his or her own unique song.

  3. Embrace your fears. As you draw nearer to the door of your destiny, fears and wounds from the past will become activated. To truly embrace the power and beauty of one’s unique calling can be frightening. The dogs of conformity and mediocrity will wake up and snarl as you approach the depths of your true self. The only way to transmute the shadows cast by your fears is to bring more light to them.

  4. Follow the longing of your heart. It is the arrow of passion that will bring you home. The mind will always find a thousand and one reasons for not setting out on this great quest. It takes courage, which is derived from the Latin word cor, meaning heart, to trust the longing of your heart to guide you to the fullness of who you are.

  5. Accept the challenges of your soul. Each of us comes into the world with our own set of limitations and wounds, giving unique shape and texture to our gifts. Do not reject your shadow for that will only strengthen it. As countless folktales recount, the gold of our authentic self lies buried in the compost heap in the backyard. We have to dig through the muck to uncover it.

  6. Polish the gold of your true self. The alchemical process of transformation requires that we find ways to honor and polish the gold of our soul’s destiny, allowing more and more of our inner beauty to shine through. Often this involves a practice of some kind marrying effort and surrender so that we do not forget that we each carry a spark of divinity within us.

  7. Honor our young people on the threshold of adulthood. Our youth are calling on us to recognize and honor the quest they are on to discover who they are and what gifts they have to give to a world reeling from its imbalances and excesses. We must honor the momentous significance of the passage from childhood to adulthood, as indigenous people around the world have done for thousands of years.

  8. Practice the spirit of the giveaway. Among American Indian tribes, people are not judged by how much they own, but by how much they give away. The community elder or leader is the person who places care for the wellbeing of the tribe above his or her own personal needs and ambitions. Without care for others, community disintegrates into isolated individuals.

  9. Tend to the anima mundi, the soul of the world. The soul of the world flows through each of us like the waters from a great medicine lake. We may drink from this lake and be healed, but we must also feed it with our prayers of gratitude and our tears. In these difficult times of ecological and social crisis, the anima mundi cries out in sorrow and we must listen and respond with love and care.

  10. Revere Mother Earth. She is literally the ground upon which we stand and the sacred landscape that mirrors our souls. Without her we are lost; in communion with her we are rooted and whole; in prayer and gratitude to her we are holy.

Flynn Johnson, MA, is an author, shamanic healing practitioner and the founding director of The School of Natural Wonder, which has been offering wilderness vision quests and nature-based healing programs in Vermont and New Mexico since 1993. To learn more please visit www.schoolofnaturalwonder.org.