art informs life: what the beijing opening ceremonies can teach us about living large

Politics and athletics aside, the opening ceremonies in Beijing were an off-the-chart feast for the senses and the spirit. (Not to mention, a primer in how to take your personal journey of expanding consciousness to Olympic heights!)

Whether you watched the hours-long extravaganza or not, the ceremony was filled with exhortations to live large, go with the flow, dance with fairies, honor your past, release your inner warrior drummers, be present in every moment, adorn yourself in beauty, sing!, adopt a co-creative consciousness, look to the light, twirl!, explore worlds beyond your own, and (my personal favorite) never hesitate to make a dazzling spectacle of yourself now and again.

The Universe is winking and nodding to you at every turn. Are you paying attention?

Don't hide your light under a bushel!
Don't hide your light under a bushel!

Live Large! Bust out of whatever chains have held you back, and go the extra mile (or twelve). Why nibble at the crumbs when you can have the whole cake? Why hide your light under a bushel?

Marianne Williamson said it best in this timeless passage:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

(From A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Harper Collins, 1992, Chapter 7, Section 3)

"Celebrate every twirling, swirling moment of your history."
Celebrate every swirling, twirling moment of your life.

Honor your past! Who among us doesn’t have a boatload of suffering and victimhood, missteps and outright failures, bones in the closet, and repeated blows to the heart and soul behind us? By the same token, can you honestly say your personal history does not also include inner and outer accomplishments and achievements worthy of honor? Isn’t it time you rolled out the red carpet for those moments where you were bowled over by an all-too-fleeting instant of connectedness, when you harnessed an unstoppable wave of inner courage, when you rose above your own perceived limitations to experience supreme joy, or, in an epiphany of goodness, glimpsed the face of Creation peeking out from behind the veil of planetary muck and mire? Who you are today is an amalgam of every single event that has heretofore transpired: Why not unfurl the flags and focus on the good stuff?

More flowing, less fighting. Be a CHI-huahua!
More flowing, less fighting. Be a CHI-huahua!

Go with the flow! It’s not just a cliche; it’s a nugget of deep ancient wisdom. Stop slapping at unseen enemies or struggling to swim upstream. Align yourself with the flow of life (Yes, be a CHI-huahua!) and be carried along gently. Stop banging on doors that never open – and recognize this: Not only are the doors unlocked and swinging wide-open: There are no doors at all! You can grunt and groan and push the stone up the mountain for eternity — until you reach the summit, let go, and allow momentum to offer up the follow-through and carry your dreams the rest of the way. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

Shift your perspective, shift your world.
Shift your perspective, shift your world.

Change your channel! Glide beyond the static and the noise, and hone in on a bright, shining, abundant vision of your own reality. Pan out for a more expansive view — or zoom in to the sub-atomic level. Turn your world upside down or turn yourself upside down and inside out and you’ll never view things the same way. Walk in the shoes of another; feel from deep within the beating and bedraggled heart of another; and bask in the glow of another’s bliss. Choose your own multifaceted, multidimensional, multitudinous reality, and populate it with the sights, sounds, smells and experiences of your own creation. And when it starts to feel a little tight around the edges, re-create a new reality that befits the newly expanding you.

Today, light up the sky!

PS: I didn’t link or credit these photos individually; they’re easy enough to find through an Internet search. Kudos to the photographers for their wonderful images!

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