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Did you have any cherished activities you left behind because you had to let them go to grow beyond where you were? What were these beloved pastimes and what about them did you cherish and now miss? What was the deep change that took place in you between the time you let go and where you are now? What have you replaced these activities with and do the longings for them still reside in your heart?  What’s the energy of them you can fully live into?

When I was a boy growing up I wanted to be an aquanaut, a cowboy, a mountain man and a adventurer sailing the seven seas. When I left the Great Lakes area I chose to leave the water life for the mountains. After experiencing the mountain man journey I became a cowboy managing a eight hundred acre ranch that I eventually left to become a professional in a totally unrelated field. Over time I got back into ranching, scuba diving and sailing part time.

What I loved about these cherished activities was the adventure, the freedom I felt living close to nature and the Source energy I experienced in the vastness of the mountains, the depths of the water and the breadth of the plains. The change that took place in letting go of these lifestyles took me more deeply into my Self. It wasn’t easy for me to experience the amazing power and energy of the universe in the city life but it was a choice I made to continue growing.

I was able to engage these activities partially into my late fifties but have now been away from them for the better part for a decade. It took this entire time for me to dive deep enough, climb high enough and sail far enough to rediscover the inner peace and prosperity I had with my  animals and physical surroundings. The Source and substance I found in my outer environment I have now found in my inner being. The gift has been discovering both in the here and now.

The exercise here is to look at what has brought Life to Life for you and what can now bring it to you. The longing for what was hindered me so I began to cultivate the inner garden to grow what could be from within. Everything you want and long for is within you. We’re ordinarily so focused and enamored by the physical reality that we keep courting that and ignore the inner realms. We have to live with ourselves so having an inner focus is key to love, joy and peace.

Thomas Merton wrote that “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.” I never thought of life as a problem until I couldn’t live the mystery. When I finally figured out that the mystery of life was as much inside as outside everything shifted. Even though I’d done a lot of ‘inner work,’ it hadn’t become primary. When I lost all the cherished outside activities there was no where else to go but inside. It proved to bring more Life to Life than I ever knew. . .

  • Breathe deeply and recall the cherished activities that have brought Life to Life for you. Then reflect on the inner Life it touched and how you can bring this same aliveness to Life from within. Become aware of the feelings it stirs. Envision this Life and allow it to bubble up into the life you are now living. Give thanks and be receptive to how you can live into it today.

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