7.5 Editor's Pick
April 8, 2019

700 Words that will make you Finally Claim your Life as your Own. 

 

Radical change takes its precious time.

It happens a little bit every day.

I am immeasurably more free than I was a decade ago, in many aspects. At the same time, I still have a lot more work to do—lifetimes of it.

I used to drive a sedan and sit in a traffic jam every morning and evening on the highway going to and coming from a gray office where I’d sit at a gray cubicle doing dull work. Now I walk or take taxis when I need to go somewhere and mostly work from my home overlooking a lake—writing! This is truly a dream come true.

I used to teach third grade in a classroom with too many students, filled with desks, chalkboards, and overhead projectors. Now, I have one student, my daughter, and our school is the world and our classroom is our home and garden.

I used to teach yoga inside smelly rooms in gyms with the accompaniment of grunts, clanging weights, and bad pop music. Now, I teach on a wooden platform overlooking a pristine lake and volcanoes, with the accompaniment of birdsong and lapping water.

I used to be unhappily single; now, I am not-unhappily married. It’s not always blissful, ’cause life ain’t a Hollywood movie. There are times of conflict and frustration, but there are more moments of contentment.

I used to be a prescription-medicated or wild-off-her-meds manic depressive living in the city; now, I am a self-medicated meditator living in the woods.

I used to watch TV; now, I watch the sun, moon, stars, and clouds traverse the sky.

I used to work for the weekend; now, every day is a beautiful day.

~

Society tells us to hate Mondays and love Fridays, to “work hard” for a certain five days of the week and to “play hard” for two. And, in those five days, instead of merely working from eight o’clock to five-thirty or whatever, most people are working much longer hours and/or zoning out on their smartphones. They don’t have to clock in anymore because they never clock out.

Society tells us to have a house and a car and lots and lots of things. Consumerism and capitalism are killing the earth. Would you rather have a bunch of pretty stuff now than a planet to live on later? Simply rejecting single-use plastic is not enough. We have to stop producing it. We have to stop raping our precious Mother Earth to create land for cows to be fed and to be butchered for their meat. We have to stop killing the oceans and all its inhabitants.

Society tells us to pay taxes, but those taxes are financing endless wars, endless terror, endless harm and pain. Those taxes are going into the wrong pockets. Most of the news aims to control and implant fear. Most churches aim to control and implant guilt and fill up those offering baskets, in the name of God.

Society tells us that our vote matters, but all the elections are rigged. We can’t revolutionize a system while remaining within that same system. We need something totally different.

And it is happening. It is happening all the time, every minute. Each moment is a choice. Each breath is a gift. Each declaration of truth is power. Each individual action matters. Each awakened mind and heart radiates out to inspire those around it.

So, please quit working for the weekend. Quit selling your soul. Quit waking up with dread on Monday mornings. Quit buying things to fill a black hole. Quit thinking you are anything less than enough. Quit believing what other people say about you.

Start now. Start in this moment. Start here.

Start doing more of what you love. Start moving from a place of love. Start seeing love in everything, everywhere. Start living from your heart.

May our minds be clear and discerning.

May our efforts be focused and balanced.

May we allow our emotions to flow.

May we honor our physical and subtle bodies.

May we bring love, freedom, and truth into everything we do.

May we be present.

May we awaken.

May we live from the heart.

May all beings be safe, happy, healthy, and free from suffering.

author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Image: Brooke Lark/Unsplash

Image: Elephant Journal on Instagram

Editor: Kelsey Michal

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Michael Carlomany May 12, 2019 5:59pm

Great article. You speak the truth. Namaste

iunesalex Apr 12, 2019 11:15am

The most potent and practical wisdom I have read here. Your words shifted parts of me I had not yet experienced.
Big love from Brazil ??

Sara Apr 12, 2019 9:37am

Thank you… Namaste ?

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom.

She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010 and has self-published inspiring books. She incorporates dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting and pranayama into her teachings and practice. A former advertising copywriter and elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer and translator. Michelle learned yoga from a book at age 12 and started teaching at 22. She met the Buddha in California at 23 and has been a student of the dharma ever since. Michelle is now approaching her forties with grace and gratitude.

Join Michelle for a writing and yoga retreat this summer at magical Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala!