First appeared in The Inner Edge, 4-5/99

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'Om' Is Where the Heart Is

Is your future sustainable? Do you take the time and care daily to replenish your own wells - or is the renewable resource called Y-O-U running on empty?

I invite you to disembark the "Stress Express" for a train of thought that takes the time not only to stop and smell the roses, but to plant and prune them as well. Walk with me through the Garden of Spirit as we gather a wealth of resources to renew your energy.

Heart Of My Energy

H.O.M.E. is an acronym for "Heart Of My Energy," with "om" as the calm center. We come "om" by creating a plateau of peace, a home within that can't be shaken no matter what's going on externally. Think of it this way: work, regardless of the form it takes, is applied energy. Sustaining your own energy means working with yourself as a renewable resource.

Here are nine realistic rituals you can adapt to your life to help you come "om" to yourself in a more contemplative way:

Rise 'N' Rhyme: I follow an indigenous calendar, recording each day's "energy signature" in the form of an affirmation. I then sing this energy into my cells as I bounce on my Needak rebounder, morning and evening. My physical and spiritual muscles get a healthy workout, and I start and complete my day with a practice that's easy, fun, fast (I bounce for ten to fifteen minutes) and invigorating both mentally and emotionally.

Tree I.D.: Get into nature at lunchtime. Trees are anchors in stillness, keeping silent council with their frenetic human brethren. Even their to-do lists are rooted in an ancient rhythm. ("Monday: 1. Photosynthesize. 2. Send stored water to branches. 3. Bud seventeen new leaves.") Emulate one. Stand tall, get quiet, be open, listen with your whole being. Sway with the winds of change so that you bend, rather than break.

Password: A college instructor likes to blow soap bubbles to relieve stress and reconnect with her child-like wonder. When she's feeling off-center, she thinks "soap bubbles!" and allows the joy of that image to revitalize her. You can use a password anywhere: in a challenging business negotiation, striving to complete an assignment by an "impossible" deadline, juggling a personal crisis with other responsibilities ... silently invoke your password, and allow yourself to come "om."

Yes To Recess: Whether it's crocheting afghans or shooting hoops, reading mystery novels or strumming your six-string, indulge in pleasurable pastimes. An hour spent in pure enjoyment is more restorative to the spirit than engaging in a practice you aren't drawn to, simply because you think it will ease stress.

Soul Food: Let workday meals become an opportunity for community. Here's a radical reframing of the old adage, "Eating us out of house and home": "Eating our way into the heart of 'om.'" Whether you're dining solo or en masse, imagine that with every bite, you are ingesting serenity, order, energy – whatever's needed in the moment. If the group is receptive, you might all join hands and express your gratitude out loud. As one colleague suggests, "The real World Wide Web is not in cyberspace. It's in the meeting of eyes and the holding of hands." A link-up of hearts and minds creates an energy loop for all participants.

For Your Eyes Only: Did you build forts as a child, secret places only you and chosen chums would share? We all crave sacred space. Turn a corner of your workspace, bedroom or living room into an altar. A few special totems can help replenish your well when you're feeling depleted. Ideas: seashells or stones you've collected; something your child made for you; a photo of your family, pet or an inspirational teacher; a candle; fresh flowers; a goblet of water. Be creative. If you're an ardent baseball fan and you retrieved the homer that won the championship, this is some power object! It'll be radiating energy for seasons to come.

Beginner's Mind: Keep a beloved children's book in a desk drawer at work, or in your car. When the going gets tough, open at random and read a passage. Some classics that bring me "om" time and again: A Wrinkle In Time, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Little Prince, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Momo.

Funny Business: We have casual dress days, but how about costumed work days – when it's not Halloween? Try this with your colleagues and enjoy the reactions of others. Distribute Groucho glasses to everyone in your group. Or crayons and drawing pads. Celebrate staff birthdays and other milestones with gag gifts, such as a singing gorilla. One company formed a "Lite Brigade" to develop and implement humorous ideas. Whatever brings you belly laughs is healthy, because laughter oxygenates body and brain, thereby strengthening your "amuse" system.

Service With A Smile: The transformational times we're living in are like a closeout sale on the mind. All of our dearly entrenched beliefs and behavior patterns are becoming cosmic compost, as we seek new models of collaboration that transcend artificial competitive boundaries in favor of the common good. One of the best ways I know to sustain ourselves and come "om" to the heart of our energy is to wholeheartedly serve another, whether with project assistance, a listening ear, or a change of attitude. The energy of the infinite flows through us when we live from generosity of spirit.

Welcome "om".

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As a "midwife for the soul" Amara Rose offers life purpose coaching, talks, CDs, e-courses, playshops, and an inspirational monthly newsletter, "What Shines." Please visit LiveYourLight.com to learn more. Contact Amara at amara@liveyourlight.com, or call: 1-800-862-0157 within the USA.

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