Unity and the Family
By Annie Burnside
Unity. Unity. Unity. It is a word that we hear over and over again touted as the path to freedom, peace, and non-violence. It is a concept that is easier to understand than Oneness for as human beings it seems more possible to be united with others as one while maintaining our individuality than to be actually one with them. And yet still, while many appreciate the theoretical implications of Unity in our world, very few fully integrate this beautiful universal truth into a full-blown, life-altering, changes everything type perspective. But if more of us could do so, we would find that a deep interior understanding of Unity coupled with a daily exterior expression of Unity in our thoughts, words, deeds, choices, focus, beliefs, and priorities would indeed provide much of the energetic juice needed to propel our planet and species forth on a higher course. The key to this shift is that Unity not remain only a mental concept. Unity must be felt--felt on the inner plane where one truly resides.
The first step in experiencing deeply felt Unity with ALL is a total understanding that YOU are an eternal, divine, creative, infinite spiritual being who is an integral part of All That Is. Like a facet of a beautiful diamond, you reflect light in your own individual way while remaining always a purposeful aspect of the whole diamond. Even if the diamond is cut into smaller diamonds, the essence of the whole diamond--all of its attributes--remains within you, the smaller version of the diamond entire.
Utilize the natural world to demonstrate for your children the individual/divine whole paradox of which they are very much a part--ocean/wave, leaf/tree, turtle/shell, hand/body, letter/word, sugar/cake, paint/canvas--let the beautiful paradox BE the perspective. The second step in realizing Unity is to create the spaciousness in your everyday life to FEEL it. Model for your children stillness, quiet, dancing, gardening, tinkering on a car engine, watching a sunset--whatever it takes to be with yourself for the sole (soul) purpose of joy. It is here in the space that you create to joyfully and gratefully be with yourself that you will pierce an inner dimension where Unity and Self-Love merge in ecstatic waves of love, peace, connection and freedom.
Conscious spirit-embodiment, once perceived, can become a WHOLE new life perspective that permeates all life choices. In this state, Unity is no longer an ideology, but rather an interior knowing. As a parent, it is important to make the realization of conscious spirit-embodiment a priority for both you and your children. It doesn't take changing your life completely, but simply an expanded perspective of your place within it. This can most easily be done by shifting your focus from an over-active chumminess with all things external and into an enlarged focus of your own vast interior. Find out what brings you joy, makes your eyes sparkle and lights you up from the inside out.
Likewise, uncover what holds you back within your own belief systems, habits, paradigms, and unhealed wounds from your past. Crack yourself wide-open to see what's really there--let the inner work begin NOW. As you move towards yourself, you can more easily move towards another. As you feel for your own interior texture, you can more easily feel for the interior texture of another. As you come to really know yourself, you can more easily come to really know another. As you allow your own authenticity, you can more easily allow the authenticity of another. And so it goes--the world begins to truly change when we first discover the change within ourselves. Unity in our world begins as Unity within. Truth in our world begins as Truth within. Peace in our world begins as Peace within.
Our greatest offering to our beloved children is to light the path to traverse their interior by first lighting our own path. The integrity needed to create lasting change on our planet can only stem from enlightened interior belief systems that match enlightened external expression. While enlightenment is a continual process of internal uncovering that lasts a lifetime, as parents our primary job beyond keeping our children safe, fed, clothed, and loved is to assist them in truly knowing themselves. Invite them to live in conscious spirit-embodiment where universal truths such as Unity, Oneness, and Freedom can be deeply felt within and then offered up and out to the world at large rather than remain mental concepts that are never fully activated by the voice of the soul.
As we all know, the fastest way to teach children anything is to model it first. Take the time now. Create the time now to open to your own interior in a way that you never have before--the light, the dark--all of it. This is where the journey begins. You have everything to gain for you, your child, and the world at large, and nothing to lose. The kind of Unity that changes YOU first and then changes the world is a state of being that begins deep inside each one of us. It's time...
Annie Burnside, M.Ed., is a soul nurturer, author, public speaker and teacher specializing in conscious relationships and spiritual development. Her book Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family (Wyatt-MacKenzie, June 2010) offers everyday mediums and universal, life-affirming themes to those families seeking to expand spiritual awareness. Annie resides in Chicago, IL with her husband and three children.