"The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mandala design by Joanne Fink, www.zenspirations.com. Creativity and color by Shearin Lee
The beautiful thing about unity is that it can be cultivated on many different levels in our lives. We can create unity within a family, school, community, country and even to the grandest scale of the world. On every level it is beautiful-bringing people together, changing lives and creating harmony. But the most powerful form of unity is also the most personal and starts with unifying with ourselves.
The first known use of "unity" dates back to the 14th century and comes from the word "one." And although it has been used in many different ways to express the states of being in full agreement, coming together or harmony, it isn't commonly seen as something we approach within ourselves. Yet, as Ralph Waldo Emerson states with exceptional insight in the quote above, it is difficult to unite our world when we as individuals are not united within.
So how do we do this? How can we unite with ourselves and ultimately change humanity? Looking at it to change the world may feel a little intimidating, and really, who needs that kind of pressure? So let's start right here, in this moment, with you reading this blog. The time you are taking to read this blog, thinking about unifying with yourself is a step in the right direction.
Taking time to listen to yourself when you want to take a break, read a book, see a friend, paint a picture-those are times you are taking a step in unifying with yourself. Whenever we get out of our heads and live from our hearts, we work on unifying ourselves. Your heart may want to write a book or take a new dance class you have been dying to take. Your mind may caution you about the "what ifs" that can happen if you do so. "Why am I wasting my time writing a book? There is so much competition, who would want to buy what I write?" "I can't dance if my life depended on it. There is no way I can keep up with the class. I am just going to humiliate myself." When we start to let the mind run our lives based off of fear we disunite with ourselves and our essence that is yearning to express itself. That excitement to express ourselves and be creative gets squashed and we lose a little bit more of the connection to who we really are.
The truth is, we won't be great at all that we do, and we may not succeed in the way our egos say we have to, but just doing our best to trust ourselves, listen to our hearts and give ourselves a chance, is all we need to unify more with our true self and actually do what we came here to do: live! And what if your book does end up on the New York Times Bestseller list? You would have never known have you not united within and let yourself live from your authentic self. When we deny who we really are and try to hide away our past and fears and keep ourselves caged in, that is when we are being our own worst enemy and disuniting with ourselves.
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”
Winston S. Churchill
The best thing we can do is look at our fears and pain and walk through it, accepting it is there for a reason, but know it isn't who we really are. Don't fight it, because ultimately you would be fighting yourself. As Eckhart Tolle says, "whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists." Trust and unite with yourself and life and accept that you will get through the pain and fear and come out the other side more like you than ever! United and joyful and more open to the world's possibilities than ever before!
A Tip from Joy: A great way to practice unity within is by watching young children and how they authentically live their lives. As a young child, there is little to no self-judgement involved with the way they live. If they want to play, they play. It doesn't matter if they have the best toys in front of them. If they want play and express their imagination they will play with whatever they can find and let that energy flow through them. We can learn a lot from our kids and observing them just being who they are and taking delight in that process is an opportunity to for us to unite with ourselves. Here are 5 hands-on activities from Moments A Day that you can do with your children and students to practice unity.
As kids get older and begin disuniting with themselves, seeing their parents live with authenticity, and not at war with themselves, will help remind the child of how they used to live. We must unify the internal if we are to successfully unify the external.
But we would love to know what you think....
"What do you think can unite our world?"
Share your response with us in two ways:
Comment on this post below.
Until next week, hope you take some time to YOUnify with yourself and embrace the moments to feel at one with yourself.
Have a great day!