How can you function in life without a skin?

The short answer is, and we all know this, you can’t. Unless you lived in a bubble you’d be instantly invaded by all sorts of life forms that, through no ill intent, would quickly render your body uninhabitable by your spirit.  And if you didn’t have a healthy spiritual immune system, you’d be overrun with the agendas, emotions, feelings, whims of others.  You wouldn’t know who you were or what you wanted or thought.  You would have to work much harder manifest the wonderful brilliant uniqueness that you came here to share.

Sadly, I think that this is how many of us live.  And I’m not just talking about this in an esoteric woo-woo way.  To me, the current “Occupy” movements spreading around the globe are a fantastic example of people waking up to the fact that they’ve given their power away, referring to those “in power” as being someone other than themselves.

I think that when we’re not clear on our mental and emotional boundaries we’re vulnerable to viral, fear-based ways of thinking that distort our experience of who we are.  I can think of a few major religions and civilizations throughout history that have held such thought viruses that became epidemic, and sometimes literally meant death to any who believed differently and dared to admit it.  Although many people in the past few generations have claimed a lot of healing ground for themselves and others, it can still take a lot of strength and resilience to hold your own ground.  Especially when everything is changing so much!  It is in these times, when we’re completely re-creating our world, that we need the tools and support for creating and sustaining boundaries for the infant realities that are waiting to be born from each of us.
The bottom line in nurturing a healthy spiritual immune system is beautifully expressed in the traditional Buddhist metaphor, that you can either go through life trying to pave the world, or you can put on a pair of shoes. Over the past ten years, I’ve been doing a lot of exploration and I’ve found what I call my “Spirit Walking Shoes”: three distinct things that work well for me in nurturing my spiritual immune system, a context which allows me the inner space to hold my dreams and visions intact so I can stay grounded and attract what I intend at the soul level.  I find that I personally need all three.  They are affirmative prayer; developing and giving my authentic gifts; and meditation.
Affirmative Prayer: Affirming the truth of what is already true in potential, thereby amplifying it and calling it into manifestation. 

To me, there are two places we can come from when crafting our affirmations, and each bring forth dramatically different results.  The first is when we’re hanging out at a surface level, being aware of wanting more money or a specific person to love us or approve of us or some specific Thing to happen so we’ll be happier, more peaceful, etc.  We might affirm, “I am living in the house of my dreams with my soul mate and oodles of cash.”  And there is nothing wrong with this! It’s cool when we can put our focus on something and achieve it.  Quite fun, actually.
However, when I see this kind of affirming going on in myself, I think, there’s more under there.  I haven’t touched the real longing yet.  I haven’t uncovered the deepest desires of my soul.  To me, the true power of affirmative prayer is much subtler but deeper, and ultimately more profound.
Going to the core issues: Confronting the belief in separation.  The belief in lack.  The belief that we’re not enough.  The belief that we’re inherently bad or flawed.  If we can contradict these fearful thought forms and create a constant rhythm of a prayer that reminds us who we are — brilliant love and light and peace and joy, intimate and actively participating as part of a conscious, infinitely abundant web of life — I believe that we will see massive shifts.
Authentic Gifts:  Developing and sharing what is uniquely ours to share. 

By definition, this is going to look different for everyone.  Some of us have known since we were children what we came here to do and be; others may not know on their deathbed. Regardless, I believe that our gifts are a natural extension of who we are, and that it is a very real human need to develop fluency in expressing this light within, in the way that only we can.

For me as a musician, I notice that when I’m not allowing my music out, it makes me sick and ties up my energy.  Instead of being a frivolous waste of time, exercising my creativity gives me more vitality and makes me more joyous, focused and effective.  When I’m feeling sapped by interactions with others, it is especially powerful: instead of participating in an unconscious unhealthy exchange where I’m drained and can’t replenish, when I practice or perform, I’m popped into a completely different paradigm, tapped into my infinite supply, flowing and joyful.  This doesn’t change the other person, but it completely changes my relationship with them.

I have a hunch that this is true for everyone.  This especially comes up after a performance, and often someone will come up to me with tears in their eyes, saying something about how much my music touched them.  If there is space and time, I like to ask if they like to sing too, and often they’ll come alive with telling me what they really love to do, whether it is sing or write songs, or paint, or write, or cook or . . .  the depth of passion it stirs tells me that there is a deep need to be intimately involved, on a daily basis, with our creativity.  I’m convinced that the natural function of the human being is to create — which I believe is what is meant by being created in the image and likeness of our Creator.  I wonder how many big pharmaceutical corporations would go under if more people would start giving time and importance to their unique creative expression.  No time to be sick — I’ve got a rich life to live!

Meditation: Opening to the gifts of life in each moment.

There are so many ways to meditate, and many other experts who can tell you a lot more about meditation than I can.  The important thing that I have noticed, which is what I want to share with you, is that when I give time to open my awareness, surrendering my mental agendas and survival motives: to drop into a timeless space, even for a moment:  I have noticed that when I do this, even when it’s hard (maybe especially when it is hard), there is a profound shift in my perspective.  My cup is filled.  I have more resilience.  I am more resourceful.  I have more inner space.  I get the insights and inspiration I need for my next steps.  I definitely have more of a coherent ‘container’ for my life’s garden.  If you have not tried meditation, I urge you to.  If you’ve tried it but have gotten discouraged, I understand: paradoxically, sitting there and doing nothing can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.  But the results speak for themselves, which you’ll hear from those who have been meditating for a long time.

I have a hunch that when we walk through these changing times with our Spirit Walking Shoes laced on tight, affirming good, sharing our gifts, and meditating regularly, life will be better for us personally but it will also improve for those we encounter.   And with no attempts to change or fix anyone else, we’ll be planting the seeds for a different kind of thought form, one that will benefit generations to come.
About The Author: Trina Brunk is a mother, artist and singer/songwriter whose beautiful musical works are available at Satiama.  Although she is deeply influenced by her love for her children and the Earth, she cites as her deepest influence Life itself — Living Nature, Reiki, seen and unseen friends and guides whose contact ignites something in her that finds its most joyful and powerful expression in singing and making new songs, and sharing them.