Meditation: Wisdom in the Silence

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebellion

We all need a little peace, stillness, and balance to get us through life. Sadly, this doesn’t jive with the social mold we’re supposed to fit into. We’re supposed to be good workers who value productivity above all else. This makes us incessantly tired, stressed, and anxious as we try to get through each day.

We have no time for rest, but deep down, most of us want nothing more than to stop and relax. We’d be happy to take a break even for just a day. Most of us can’t, but we can all retreat into a calm inner space – one in which our thoughts, fears, and stresses fade away – whenever we want.

Meditation can be our vacation from everything in life that drains us. We can’t pin it down to any specific practice; there are so many forms that it’s best to find one that works for you. Whether traditional or new and radical, a meditation practice will leave you feeling like life doesn’t have to be so harsh. Continue reading

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Art as a Spiritual Practice

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebellion

Some people who make art consider it a spiritual practice.

For them, it’s more than just a fun activity. It’s a way to express who they are while connecting with something profound deep within them. Being creative allows them to venture into their mind and soul, forming a vital connection that many people are sadly missing.

Creativity makes life a lot more colorful. Most artists, musicians, and writers can’t live without the fuel that being creative gives them. Although not all creators consider their work a spiritual practice, they all express something powerful and often beautiful in their art. They love it enough to devote their lives to it.

Many of us wonder what this power really is. Is creativity just a fun mental exercise that some people enjoy more than others, or is there something deeper to it? Continue reading

Blending Self-Improvement with Zen

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebellion

To me, spirituality is more than a fad or a way to appear wiser than I really am. I use it as inspiration to improve myself.

Some teachers say that trying to change yourself at all is misguided and pointless. They believe that spirituality – Zen in particular – is about accepting who you are and letting go of all ambition to be something else.

For many, spirituality is a haven from the grind of daily life. It doesn’t encourage them to confront their struggles, but rather, let go. They believe that letting go of all desire, ambition, and struggle is the only way to achieve a proper meditative state. Self-improvement doesn’t matter if this life is an illusion we must wake up from.

I disagree; spirituality and self-improvement blend well for many people. Some of us need a philosophy that discourages stagnation, pushes us to be better, and keeps us from negative thoughts that might otherwise consume us. Continue reading

Two Big Problems with Cannabis Legalization in Illinois

By Wes Annac, Editor, Canna Words

This is my first article for my new cannabis-themed blog, Canna Words. It will feature research and opinion pieces about cannabis, hemp, marijuana laws, and practically any other topic related to the plant.

Along with continuing to write for Openhearted Rebellion, I will occasionally publish an article over at Canna Words. Check it out if this topic interests you as much as it does me.

Illinois is on the cusp of legalizing marijuana.

The election of democrat J.B. Pritzker, who promised to legalize on the campaign trail, is a good sign for Illinois residents who are fed up with the war on weed. Two bills are currently being discussed that would make the plant legal to consume, possess, and grow in the state.

The first to be introduced, HB0902 sponsored by State Rep. Carol Ammons, would let businesses grow and sell cannabis, let residents grow up to 24 plants, and allow for public “consumption areas”. (1)

The other bill, which State Senator Heather Steans and State Representative Kelly Cassidy have been working on for a few years, would let residents buy and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis along with growing up to five plants indoors. (1) Continue reading

5 Profound Quotes on Meditation and Enlightenment

By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion

The word “spirituality” means something different to each of us. Some interpret it as a path or lifestyle and believe that the destination is enlightenment.

Some seekers look at the world as a school in which we develop compassion, learn to be human, and slowly become aware of things hidden from the human eye. I’m one of many who see the world this way. I think we are all students with the potential to teach each other.

In my opinion, we should tap into our potential so we can help those who are lost. Fortunately, countless insightful teachers have stepped up to help the rest of us. Some of them have gained a following, whereas others have spoken their truth quietly and stayed out of the limelight. Continue reading

A Time of Transformation

By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion

I wrote the following for the 333rd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. You can find the option to subscribe at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

With spring around the corner, I can’t help but think about our potential for transformation. I know it sounds cheesy, but this feels like a time in which we can realize our potential and, like the flowers that will soon blossom, change into something beautiful.

This might mean different things to different people. My ideal transformation involves dedicating more time and energy to making content that hopefully makes your day a little better. It also involves more outdoor activities, healthy eating, and of course, exercise.

Your transformation could be anything. Regardless, now feels like the time to go for it. Maybe I feel this way because spring is coming, and the warm weather is long overdue. Maybe it’s because spring has always felt like a time for renewal and a fresh chance to live.

Whatever the reason, now feels like the perfect time to chase those aspirations you assume are out of your reach. If you can find the time and you’re willing to be dedicated, then why not do what inspires you? Why not start now?

As easy as it may be to stay in your comfort zone, never pushing yourself to do the things you know deep down you’re worthy of doing; this feels like a time when we can no longer accept that. Now more than ever, we seem to be on the precipice of a new era.

I believe we are slowly entering a time when people are will no longer be apathetic. Fatigue will be a thing of the past, as for one reason or another, people will start to care about each other. No longer will we care solely about maintaining our own survival or comfort. Something will push us to work together for the common good.

Hopefully, it won’t be some tragedy that unites us. Something will need to happen to shake the masses free from the slumber we’ve so willingly accepted, but the last thing we need is more tragedy. We need a massive display of love and compassion. In my opinion, it’s inevitable.

Now seems like the best time to push for this personal and societal transformation. On a personal level, you can bring it about by incorporating wisdom into your life and striving to be your best self. Making it happen on a global scale is a bit more complicated.

Bringing about a global revolution of love and compassion will forever be a grassroots effort. We must start where we are with the tools available. For most of us, our tools are our words and actions.

We can spread the word while striving to be an example of love in action. We can use the internet and any other available outlet to share our truth and genuinely try to make life a little better for others. This is all we can do for now, but once it catches on, I believe it will spread like wildfire.

This may sound naïve, but I don’t think it’ll take much longer for the world to realize we don’t need war or hatred. I think that one day, we’ll all finally see how war has destroyed our species and our planet. We’ll see the dark road our blind hatred has taken us down.

Then, we’ll work to mend what we’ve broken.

In my ideal version of this future, no act of genocide, environmental catastrophe, or extinction-level-event will be the trigger for us to come together and stop acting so foolish. We need to band together before something awful happens.

I think we can avoid disaster (manmade at least) by embracing the energy of change that’s in the air and encouraging others to be compassionate. We can be agents of change in a world desperately in need of love if we embrace our potential and leave our comfort zone.

This is the best way to rebel against a society that rewards greed and apathy, so let’s embrace the changes in the air and build a new world together.

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About Wes Annac:

I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, love, awareness, activism, and other crazy stuff. I run Openhearted Rebellion, a blog dedicated to sharing wisdom and encouraging a revolution that begins in the heart.

I’ve contributed to a few awesome websites that include Waking Times, Wake Up World, Golden Age of Gaia, and The Master Shift. I can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/wesannac, facebook.com/cultureofawareness) and Twitter (twitter.com/Wes_Annac, https://twitter.com/love rebellion)

If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider donating via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com.

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Thanks for reading!

Featured image credit: Pixabay

Take the Good with the Bad

By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion

I want this to be an uplifting virtual space.

I use this blog to write about love, spirituality, and many different things I think could help the world. I try to encourage positive thinking and living your best life. More than anything, I want this to be a place you can go for a dose of light and a reminder that the world is not all bad.

My goal is to encourage the development of a balanced, authentically positive perspective. Artificial positivity that disregards the often-harsh nature of our existence has no place here.

I want to encourage a mindset that doesn’t ignore certain harsh truths but recognizes them as more of a reason to be kind, compassionate, and compelled to make the best of your life. This mindset doesn’t ignore everything bad or scary in the world, but it doesn’t dwell on those things either.

To me, forced positivity is every bit as destructive as relentless pessimism. Continue reading