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Monthly Musing: Living Authentically

December is a time for reflecting on the passing year and meditating on the aspirations of the year to come. I love this time of the year as the world is decorated with vibrantly colorful lights and ornaments, joyous parties, and spirited gatherings with family and friends. The music is upbeat, positive, and cheerful, and the celebratory sounds echo deeply in one’s heart and soul. As lovingly captured by the popular song, “It is the most wonderful time of the year,” indeed, it is a time to be joyous and grateful for waking up each day knowing that Spirit is very much alive, abundant, and omnipresent.
For me, it is about living authentically and not getting absorbed by the busyness of the holiday season but being intentional and introspective with how I spend my time and energy. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “It is not enough to be busy; so, are ants. The question is: what are you busy about?” This month’s musing is dedicated to understanding what living authentically can mean to us, our families, and the world.
In the busy lives we live in our culture it is often easy to hide behind our busyness. One of the most powerful things you can do to turbo-charge your authenticity is to banish busyness from your life so you can add important practices like meditation and create a sacred space in which to live in concert with your spirit and your true self. If you are “just going through the motions” with your religious routines, it is time to get real. There is nothing more deadening to the soul than a mechanical approach to spirituality.
Getting on an authentic spiritual path is arguably the most important task of adult life. This holiday season, begin to invest time and energy in finding a path with your heart. If you need to drop something else in your life to make time for a spiritual practice that really feeds your soul, then courageously do it! It will be one of the best decisions you ever make! As Joseph Campbell taught us, “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”
Spiritually intentional people, fill time with family, friends, meaningful work, and recreation, and banish busyness from their lives to make room for the real business of living an authentically intentional life. It is hard to avoid the manic busyness that has consumed our society. Especially now, with instantaneous shipments and constant channels of communications, things are moving incredibly fast and we are exposed to more outside influences than ever before. The need to evaluate, simplify, and listen to your inner guidance is paramount in today’s world in order to live authentically.
When you are dealing with challenges, it is essential to cut out the extra nonsense. We have all witnessed this through the last few years with the pandemic; when you are sick, you cut out all the miscellaneous aspects of life and focus on health with more intentionality.
Spiritually fragile people often mistake being busy with having a full life or being successful, but the feeling of being too busy all the time can also stem from an unacknowledged sense that they are wasting their lives. Alan Lakein, a time management expert believes, “Time is equal to life, therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” Banishing busyness is the beginning of mastering both your time and your life!
You need to pay attention to the fact that the Universe has placed an enormous speed bump in your path. Comedian Steven Wright is on to something when he says, ” I think God is going to come down and pull civilization over for speeding.” What distinguishes busyness from real business is that real business deserves your time and energy and is intentional and authentic. Here is something to consider: when you are so busy doing stuff, things you don’t really want to be doing, you don’t have any time to do the things you really want to do. You are cheating the Universe out of contributions that only the “real you” can make.
What this means to me, especially at this time of the year, is that it is crucial that your days and life are filled with relationships and activities that YOU have chosen and that reflect and nurture your authentic self. Banishing busyness is all about clearing the decks so that is possible. If you try to do everything you are “supposed” to do or that society “expects” you to do, you will not have enough time to do what your soul came here to do. Like the old Chinese proverb cautions, “If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.”
In the course of life, we all get defining moments – sometimes they are joyous, sometimes they are super challenging, or even devastating –as was the case in my tragedy. Amid the holidays, family estrangement and discord often show up for many of us. During these defining moments one must choose a new direction – making an inspiring choice at this defining moment can literally manifest a miracle. The decision might be to reconcile and forgive past mistakes made by yourself or others or the decision might be to gather with your “chosen” family so that you can be in a circle of people who support you in living your purpose and shining brightly like all the lights of the season inspire.
This is your opportunity during the holidays. Get quiet. Reflect. What does your soul need? Are you living your life with purpose? As you enter the new year, make a commitment to banish busyness from your life — even though getting on the socially enforced treadmill of busyness is the path of least resistance. But you must resist this path because it is not even a path, it’s just a machine that gives you the illusion of forward motion without true progress. Turn inward.
Living with authentic intentionality is to acknowledge you have a purpose in life. You know in your heart what’s most important to you. In fact, your mission and values are expressed every day you live – you just may not realize it. One way to know your soul’s purpose is to write your own eulogy; think about and express how you want to be remembered. This is not an easy task, we can all acknowledge, but there is a poignant opportunity during this time as we reflect on the past year and look at our aspirations for the new year ahead.
Banishing busyness and connecting with your soul’s purpose will manifest a miracle in your life! You are here to live authentically and will naturally do so when you discover your spiritual purpose. This, to me, is the gift of the holiday season.
Wishing you all a safe, joyous, and blessed holiday season, and please know you are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.
Peace and many blessings!
Azim Khamisa


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