So, you live on Planet Earth and are wondering what
you can do to insure a graceful passage through whatever changes may
come your way. And, what's more, you want some advice that you can
use any time, any place, even when you aren't faced with the kind
of near-apocalyptic changes that seem to be knocking on our global
door. Here are a few practical suggestions:
1. Spend time everyday praying and meditating.
One of the most important things any of us can do
to live a graceful life on this planet is to establish and maintain
a direct relationship with God/Jesus/Spirit. Spending time daily with
God helps loosen the powerful grip this world has on us. It helps
us remember that we are more than flesh and blood and that there is
more to life than we can see with our eyes. It helps us heal faster.
Find answers and solve problems more quickly. Make changes more gracefully.
Feel guided, protected and looked after by forces greater than ourselves.
Sense the larger, grander scheme of things which helps put the drama
of daily life into its proper (not as real, dire, or all-important
as it seems) perspective. In short, spending time with God on a daily
basis provides us with a rock-solid foundation upon which to stand
and face whatever experiences may come our way.
2. Learn how to receive guidance directly from
Holy Books, friends, spiritual teachers, counselors,
advisors and gurus can be very helpful, but in the end they are no
substitute for God. Anyone who seriously wants to find their way through
the incredibly complicated jungles of this world is going to need
a direct pipeline to the Creator. We all have it, of course. But few
of us know how to use it. And no wonder. The business of receiving
inner guidance -- through dreams, visions, intuitions, inner voices,
or what have you -- is full of perilous dangers. Our personalities,
inner blocks, karmic patterns, biases, belief systems, practically
everything about us pollutes the wells of inspiration that continuously
bubble up from within. Be that as it may be, in the end, if we really
want to safely find our way through times of change (especially through
the kind of changes our world is presently facing), we've all got
to learn how to receive guidance direct from the Source. **
3. Strengthen our belief that God regularly intercedes
in the affairs of ordinary men and women (especially in times of great
There have always been stories of God miraculously
interceding in the affairs of mankind. And now, more than ever, God,
Jesus, Mother Mary, angels, various kinds of spiritual forces seem
to be on the move in the world today. The growing presence of these
spiritual forces bares witness to the fact that we are not alone.
The more we can open our hearts and minds to this truth, the more
we will be able to ask for and receive help from above. Granted, it
may not always come in the form of angels or unseen hands pulling
us off dangerous street corners. But if we sincerely ask for help,
and truly need it, help, in some form, will come.
4. Make as many good friends as we can.
It may be possible to survive completely on our own
for short amounts of time, but not forever -- and who would want to?
Human beings, in other words, need other human beings. Because we
need other people to love and be loved by, and because we need other
people for the help and resources they can bring into our lives, establishing
and maintaining relationships with other human beings should be one
of our highest priorities. We should invest in human relationships
as if our lives depend on it (because they do).
5. Help others.
All of us need to feel our lives are worthwhile.
If we don't, we lose the desire to live. So do something to help others,
to be useful, to make a contribution to life. It doesn't have to be
something big. It doesn't have to change the world. It can be small,
simple, perhaps even invisible. The important thing is that it comes
from our hearts and helps us feel that our lives have meaning; that
we are doing our part to make the world a better place.
6. Deal with our fears about death and dying.
For most of us, the fear of death is a major source
of pain, stress, and worry. Although this fear may not occupy our
day-to-day thoughts very much, in times of change, in particular in
times of change that include the death of ourselves, someone we love,
or even strangers, the fear of death can be paralyzing. One concrete
way we can deal with this fear, is to become familiar with both death
itself (what happens to physical bodies when they die) as well as
what may happen to us when we pass over to the other side. Studying
near-death experiences, tapping into our own eternal natures and internalizing
philosophies that promote a view that life is eternal are all practical
ways we can take the sting out of death. And once the sting has been
taken out of death, it will be much easier to deal with WHEN (not
if) it pays us a visit.
Philosophies that teach us that pain and suffering
are not a natural, normal part of life, or that such experiences are
only signs that one's life has gone askew, do not serve us well during
times of painful change. Whether we have, in fact, created a painful
experience in our life or whether a painful experience has come to
us because it happens to be a part of the particular change we are
going through, we need to be able to accept these experiences. Instead
of feeling guilty and condemning ourselves, we can relax, take a deep
breath, and acknowledge that pain is sometimes part of the program
down here. It's all right. We're all right. We'll learn our lesson
(we'll figure out whatever we did to cause ourselves the pain we are
experiencing) or we'll just let the pain flow through us (we'll accept
it as a part of the natural process we are passing through). Pain
comes and pain goes, if we let it. If, on the other hand, we resist
it, it tends to hang around and grow stronger, making everything more
difficult than it needs to be.
7. Remember that change is what life is all about
-- and relax.
Along similar lines, it's important to remember that
"change" is the nature of life (both on Earth and, apparently,
everywhere else). Because of this, the only kind of posture we can
realistically adopt is a posture that is always ready to change. We
need to expect change and learn to be comfortable with it. Those of
us that cling to old ways are eventually ripped loose, often traumatically.
While those of us that gracefully surrender and go with the flow are
able to adapt to whatever comes our way much easier.
8. Study the changes that other times, places
and people have passed through -- and our reactions to those changes.
Another practical way to prepare ourselves for times
of change is to become familiar with what other people on our planet
have experienced. What was it like to live in Nazi Germany prior to,
during and after World War II? What was it like to live during the
Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, or other
times of great change? What can we learn from people who survived
various man-made and natural disasters? How do these events make us
feel? What kind of fears are triggered in us? How would we deal with
Even though we, ourselves, may never experience the
same kind of events we study, if we encounter something that upsets
us in these events, then we at least have the opportunity to work
on areas of ourselves that are undone. Refusing to expose ourselves
to things that may trigger our fears doesn't protect us from them.
Nor does it prevent them from manifesting. Quite the contrary. The
more undone and unfinished forces there are roaming around within
us that we don't know about and/or refuse to acknowledge and deal
with, the more likely these forces are to eventually project themselves
onto the canvass of our outer life. Beginning a fearless inventory
of ourselves, and then dealing directly with whatever fears we find
buried deep inside, may well save us from having to externalize these
unresolved issues. And if such experiences still come our way, we
will be better able to cope with them.
9. Keep open, inquisitive minds, stay informed
and don't allow new things to send us off the deep end.
The more open and informed we are, the least likely
we will be to be caught by something unexpected. Similarly, the more
careful we are at making snap judgments, the more likely we will be
to make wise, well-balanced decisions.
When Europeans first came to the Americas, many Native
Americans were completely dumbfounded and stunned by the inventions
they brought with them. Because the Native Peoples were so dazzled
by the white man's "talking leafs" (books) "smoking
sticks" (guns) and "iron horse" (train), many Native
People's were cast adrift. They no longer knew how valid their culture,
beliefs and practices were. In the end, many Native Americans prematurely
concluded that the white man's ways were superior to their own. Some,
of course, were. While others weren't. Since I'm convinced that we
are going to be dazzled by more and more incredible events in the
days ahead, one practical survival tip is to stay open-minded, well-informed
and level-headed. More likely than not, most of us will be called
to incorporate new discoveries into old ones, rather than abandoning
old discoveries altogether.
10. Enjoy life and live each day as if it were
Our lives on this planet -- both individually and
collectively -- will be over sooner than we think. So while we're
here, immersed in a universe of marvelous experiences, let's spend
as much time smelling flowers, playing with kids, and enjoying the
ride as we do trying to understand and cope with it. Let's not waste
a single second. And let's check in, daily, to be sure we're aren't.
If we died today, what would we feel undone or unfinished
about? What regrets would we have? And what would we feel good about?
What fulfilling things would we wish we had done more often? If a
disaster of some kind laid waste to our lives today, we wouldn't want
to be carrying around the additional burden of feeling we had lived
our life poorly. As much as possible, we should, therefore, live life
to the fullest. We should keep everything up-to-date. Settle arguments.
Resolve conflicts. Maintain healthy relationships. Show and tell those
we love how we really feel about them. Keep our lives in order. Then,
if our lives are changed in the twinkling of an eye, we can spend
our time adapting to the new circumstances rather than feeling guilty
about all the things we left undone in our past.
11. Keep our bodies strong and healthy.
Strong and healthy bodies makes life easier. In times
of great change, strong and healthy bodies may do more than make life
easier. They may make the difference between graceful passages or
painful ones. Also, since dentists, doctors, and normal medical care
may not be available, we should try to take care of whatever physical
needs we have as they arise. Putting them off may mean they are never
taken care of, or at least not taken care of before they cause us
more trouble than they should have.
12. Be physically prepared.
There is no safe place on planet Earth. Some places
are, however, more dangerous than others and we should act accordingly.
Do we live in an area prone to earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions, tsunami inundations, fires, floods, and other natural disasters?
Are we located near military bases, nuclear reactors, chemical plants,
or other manmade danger zones? If we are, we should do what we can
to prepare for potential disturbances.
If our power goes out, or water stops flowing, or
food runs out for a week, what will we do? If the system we rely on
everyday to meet our basic needs has been temporarily knocked out,
how prepared are we to "wing it"?
Here are three good questions to ask ourselves: