The quote is also, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” by Plato or Aristotle or some guy like that. Either way, let’s consider the divided life…
You say one thing, you do another. Gee – that sounds like a perfect recipe for an unsettled mind and disturbing the Peace Within.
Spending time writing a book about inspiring people to take action in their communities and get more involved in serving the underprivileged is one thing…but then if that same author goes home each night and spends 2-3 hours in front of the television and with the newspaper, semi-mindlessly soaking in the drivel that’s piped out to the masses…what’s that all about? Is that really inspiring? Sure the author wrote some inspiring words, but if anyone was to see the day-to-day actions, would they be inspired?
The number one way to inspire is by example! A living testimony is best. The same goes for leading and teaching. We lead and teach by example! It’s not what we say, but what we do.
Personally, as much as i like to detach from dogma and be completely open, if there were some behavioral changes i’d like to inspire in people they’d include: a morning and evening sitting/meditation practice, hatha yoga, laughter yoga (schedule laughter in your day and laugh for no reason!), sing or chant (use that beautiful voice), dance (jump around! play :-)) prayer before meals, mindful eating (chewing food, in silence, in gratitude, enjoying thoroughly :-)), spiritual reading, journaling, mindful walking, hugging trees, hugging people, juggling, playing with and enjoying the company of babies and children and pets, sharing love and gratitude with people, performing random acts of kindness (door holding, pay for tolls, clearing plates/trash for people, “small acts with great love” :-)), and a vegan diet (Mostly raw foods, because raw is totally abundant!).
There you have it…a pretty hefty list of behavioral changes it’d be fun to see in people, including myself! Yep – that’s right – as much as the above list is a general prescription i’d recommend for greater health, happiness, and wholeness, it’s not even a list that i fully abide by. Hence, it’s so much easier to write about these things than actually practice them and live them 🙂 That’s why 30 day challenges are great – committing to develop 1 new habit at a time, for 30 days, just to test it and see if you find that it enhances the quality of your life. If it does, stick with it! If it doesn’t let it go. “Take the best and leave the rest.” Also…”Take it easy, but don’t be lazy!” Abundance!
Back to the divided life…
The 30 day challenge i’ve been practicing sporadically recently is dedicating every activity to God / the Lord / Truth / the Highest Good of All. The idea is before any activity, you either think or say aloud, “I dedicate this to God.” That’s it. Boom. And then the activity is purified in a sort of way, or rather you can imagine that the activity is pure to begin with, because whose going to go doing this experiment and dedicate alcohol and drugs and illicit sex and gambling to God? So simply by keeping this dedication in mind, it naturally leads to pure actions.
Looking back on this day, i remember many activities that i undertook that i forgot to dedicate, although some already seemed pure to begin with. The key though is to remember! Remembrance of God always works well 🙂 And also, some activities earlier today, like eating an excessive amount of bread – yikes! – was over the top and if i was conscious enough at the time might not have been able to dedicate it to God because part of me knew it was a bit too much. Looking back, I’m so glad it was bread and not cocaine 🙂 (that’s a little trick i learned from The Art of Happiness, a nice way of placing things in a positive light by comparing it to how much more negative it could possibly be…ha!)
So then…the whole life, the undivided life, is much the same as the fully dedicated life. It is the focused life. The life of no excuses. The life of full integration. The life where every activity is consciously geared towards realizing your major definite purpose in life, your ultimate goal, your highest good; self-actualization / self-realization. This is the kind of life we all want to live. So we don’t go through our days regretting some poor behavioral choices we made, but instead we embrace our activities, knowing consciously that they are moving us in the direction of our abundant dreams.
“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.”