This is my cat, Lulu, expressing herself after a busy morning exploring. It appears effortless and certainly pleasurable.

Sometimes that’s what expressing looks like: a nice nap.

Lulu often looks like she’s smiling when she sleeps.

Which has made me ask myself: how often am I smiling these days? Am I smiling now?

Am I paying attention to have my senses been showing me? Am I paying attention to the stirrings of my soul?

If I’m not, then I’ve got a few clues to go on. What’s really keeping me from smiling? Or laughing? Or dancing? Or singing? Am I too busy or too preoccupied to stop and see what’s right in front of me?

Now, Lulu doesn’t know anything about world events, Covid-19, climate change or so many other things happening that make us frown or knit our brows or want to hide in our closets til it’s all over.

But what she does know is the naturalness of being who she is. That isn’t an intellectual understanding.

That’s just responding to life as she sees it. 

For humans, it’s not quite that simple, because we tend to worry instead of taking constructive action (when we can) or else we project negative futures and then live into them.

So, how do we humans learn how to be ourselves with our own naturalness of being?

For one thing, we can stop crawling along the edge of our linear thinking and let ourselves drop into the intelligence of our hearts and bodies. 

We spend way too much time up in our heads, overthinking or overanalyzing or reviewing the past.

We lose touch with our deeper nature. Our naturalness. 

We stop cultivating what we love and replace it with obligation, expectation and rote behaviors.

We’re slowing draining the life out of ourselves by doing this.

Everyone loves someone who is full of life, who’s a living example of allowing the energy of Life to move through them. They are busy doing what matters most to them and sharing that with others in whatever way it feels right.

Finding what makes us happy and living from that seems to be the most important thing we can do, not only for ourselves, but for others.

When we’re inspired, it gives other people encouragement to start to live by what inspires them. 

We naturally do what we can to help those who are in need, starting with our friends and neighbors and expanding that care to the precious earth we inhabit.

Our circumstances don’t have to determine our state of being. And by saying “our state of being”  I mean the whole mind-heart-body-spirit of us.

In other words, we don’t have to be miserable. We don’t have to compromise our souls. We don’t have to live with blinders on, not tasting our food, not seeing the beauty of the natural world or ignoring our shared potential to make the world a better place.

There’s always a way out of our misery. 

Oddly enough, most of us haven’t been encouraged or shown how to do that, so we don’t know that it’s possible.

But what if we began to show eachother how to liberate ourselves?

Wouldn’t that be cool? Wouldn’t that make you light up? Not just smile, but break out into song or laughter or giggles or random acts of generosity?

We’d feel supported and encouraged and connected to one another instead of isolated or judged or dismissed.

When we stop and reflect, everyone can remember a time when they tapped into their own wisdom, their own “knowing,” whether they called it intuition, gut instinct, guidance or something else. There’s a clarity to this knowing, a lack of drama. It’s just clean and clear.

Can you imagine how much kinder you’d be to yourself? And how much more compassionate towards others?

We are a species with many shortcomings, weaknesses and shortsightedness. But we’re also a species capable of great ideas and great love when we remember who we really are and what’s already available to us.

The source of our deeper nature always provides answers for us if we take the time to check in and listen. 

Something in us automatically knows how to do this. It’s not something we have to be taught so much as notice. And then act on.

Let’s start noticing together. And then compare notes. 

I guarantee you that when we do, our lives will start to change for the better.

And better really is better!