Listen to the Intuition

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

I wrote the following for the 311th 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).

If there’s one thing about spirituality I can be sure of, it’s the intuition – the voice within that guides you and helps you make the best possible choices in life. For those who look at life in a less metaphysical and more scientific way; it could just as easily be a psychological mechanism we use to guide ourselves onto the right path.

This is one possible explanation for what in my experience is a very real thing.

I couldn’t say what exactly it is, and the word “voice” is inaccurate. It’s more of an inner knowing or a nudge to the right thought, expression, or action for that moment. Many who follow their intuition say that it feels like they have an internal guardian angel helping them through even the most mundane parts of their lives. Continue reading

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I Know Nothing

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

I used to love complicated ideas. I used to believe all kinds of things and entertain myself with grandiose concepts. If it was in the fringe category, especially in regard to spirituality, I loved it. The more detached it was from what we think is reality, the more it became my reality.

This isn’t a bad thing, because life is too short not to spend pursuing your interests. If you love tea or coffee, then enjoy them while you can. Run a mile every day if you love exercise. If you love the paranormal, new age spirituality, or anything society would make you feel crazy for, then dive headfirst into it.

I’ve long been unafraid to put my weirdness out there for everyone to see. Despite this, lately I’m not as interested in complicated ideas. I want simplicity. Everyone else can have their big ideas about angels, extraterrestrials, ascension, cities of light, 12th dimensional rainbow merkabas, etc. I’m not criticizing it – it’s just not for me anymore.

I’ve become aware that I know absolutely nothing. I cannot say with 100% certainty that I know how the universe functions, what happens when we die, or what the state of consciousness we access in meditation really is. Humanity as a whole knows very little about all this. Who am I to say I have the answers?

It’s humbling to realize you know nothing. To see that like everyone else, you’re feeling around in the dark grabbing at ideas that appeal to you. It’s easy to think these ideas are the truth. But if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the dark backdrop behind them. This is the inescapable void of nothingness and uncertainty.

No matter what we believe, the reality of death and the possibility of nonexistence plague us. One day, we’ll either leave this world for something new or blink out of existence entirely. Just as there’s a probability that consciousness continues after death, there’s a probability that it doesn’t. To me, that’s the scariest thought of all.

When you start thinking in this direction, you realize how starved for truth you really are. It makes you see everything in a new light – including the beliefs you once subscribed to. This leads some people to become atheists and others to become more spiritual or connected with themselves. I’m somewhere in the middle.

I am by no means skeptical of spiritual ideas, but I approach them differently now. I’m more discerning and willing to question an idea before letting it in. Generally, I approach spirituality more objectively than before.

I have no interest in proving any of the spiritual or paranormal stuff I write about. If I write about ghosts, it’s purely for entertainment. Not truth. The purpose of the spiritual writings is to search for truth via metaphysical outlets. But I know that I can’t prove karma, kundalini, or other concepts are real.

We can measure the effect meditation has on the brain, but nobody has proven that it gives you access to other dimensions. Most spiritual concepts have not been proven, as by nature, they run against the materialist mindset that dominates mainstream science.

Although I’m not a skeptic, I no longer take any idea at face value. Along with this, I’m no longer on a quest to prove spirituality is legitimate. I’ve torn down my beliefs and peered into the void behind them, realizing death is inevitable and looking for something real beyond this world.

From scratch, I built a new, simple philosophy.

This is where karma yoga, and by extension, the new Karma Yoga Daily blog come in. Obviously, I did not invent karma yoga. But I take inspiration from the idea of service (in my case, writing) as a way of life and a way to progress spiritually. Even if “progress spiritually” just means to become a better person, I’m onboard.

I love the simplicity of karma yoga. Be kind, work hard, help others, and include yourself in your service. Take care of yourself by doing good, healthy things that help you feel better. Appreciate your opportunity to spend your days helping others, and beyond that, enjoy your life while it lasts. Treat every breath you’re fortunate enough to take as a blessing. If you believe there’s a creator and other worlds we will one day inhabit, thank them for the gift of life.

My path has not been easy, but neither has anyone else’s. I’m grateful that I had to tear it all down and start anew not as an atheist or skeptic, but as a person with a simple philosophy that works for me. You can believe whatever you want, as I have no interest in making you think you’re wrong. It feels great to admit that this is all I need.

About the author: 

31287220_1930589003619961_7591073383912046592_nI’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, the environment, activism, music, and other awesome stuff. I run Karma Yoga Daily, a news blog dedicated to sharing daily wisdom.

This personal blog I run is pretty great, too.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, Karma Yoga Daily) and Twitter (Wes Annac, https://twitter.com/love_rebellion)

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5 Ways Meditation Helps the Mind and Body

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

We don’t hear as much about the physical benefits of meditation as we do the spiritual. Fortunately, the scientific community is interested in it and has done a fair amount of research on it.

Scientists don’t see it as something that will enlighten you or fuel a spiritual journey; they see it as a simple effort to calm the mind using certain mental techniques. They’ve found that this helps the mind and body in notable ways.

In this article, we’ll learn about the physical and psychological benefits of meditation. Specifically, we’ll learn how it can help with creativity, dementia and Alzheimer’s, stress, anxiety, and addiction.

We’ll start with something the scientific and spiritual communities agree on: meditation can make you more creative. Continue reading

5 Pitfalls of New Age Thinking That Can Actually Help You

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 273rd 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. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

The new age movement has produced a lot of interesting ideas, many of which have been criticized for being zany or outrageous. But beyond the zaniness, some truth exists in new age philosophy that can help us if we choose to see it.

How we approach these ideas will determine what we get out of them, and here, we’ll look at five common new age ideas from a different perspective.  Continue reading

It’s All Within

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 268th 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. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

The answers you seek live within you, in the consciousness that comprises who you are as a human and spiritual being.

We tend to search for fulfillment everywhere but the one place we find it in abundance: in ourselves. We accumulate external things in hopes that they’ll fill the void within, unaware that true fulfillment comes from exploring that sense of emptiness.

Spiritual seekers are no different, as we also avoid the emptiness with external things we believe will increase or enhance our spirituality. Crystals are a good example. We convince ourselves they help our spiritual growth, which they can if we don’t use them to avoid doing the difficult inner work that leads to evolution. Continue reading

This Reggae Song Reminds Us to Love Life

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

Open My Eyes is a song from American reggae group Soldiers of Jah Army, also known as SOJA. Featured on their 2006 album Get Wiser, the song’s slow, smooth reggae groove is infused with a powerful message about loving life no matter how rough it gets.

SOJA is a Grammy-nominated reggae band hailing from Arlington, Virginia. (1) On the band’s website, guitarist and lead singer Jacob Hemphill states that their goal is to speak for the voiceless, the defenseless, and the human race as a whole. (2)

“Our goal as a band is to stick up for the human race. We see the world and we try to make it better in the limited time we have here.” – Jacob Hemphill (2)

Continue reading

Awakening in Action (Repost)

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

Reposted from August 22nd.

I wrote the following for the 263rd 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. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

Spiritual awakening is the greatest gift you can receive, as it makes you aware you are a multidimensional being with a foot in all worlds. It helps you to see that the world is far more surreal than we like to think. Spiritual awakening is a treasure not to be discarded or misused, but cherished.

To “wake up” isn’t enough on its own, however. Once we’re awake, it’s up to us to do something with it. The universe doesn’t hand out enlightenment; we must pursue it and any opportunity for evolution our awakening provides.

We must do something with the gift we’ve been given.

The first question, then, is what to do with your awakening. Do you want to dive headfirst into the pursuit of a higher consciousness, or do you want to use what you’ve learned so far to help others? You could choose to forget about your awakening altogether, but why discard something so valuable?

You’re better off choosing one of the other options. Personally, I choose both.

I use writing to share what I’ve learned with those walking a similar path, and I use music and meditation to grow closer with the inner spirit. Writing also brings me closer to this part of myself, serving the dual purpose of expanding my mind while helping me to help you.

Although writing is undoubtedly a stern mental discipline, it feels good once you get the hang of it and the words start to flow.

Once awake, you can use writing, music, meditation, and plenty of other similar activities to become more aware while helping others do the same. With writing, you can research and share what others have said about the spiritual path or you can go straight to the source: your own mind, heart, and intuition.

The same can be said for if you pursue music, as creativity comes from the heart. The mind certainly has its role to play, but the heart lays the foundation.

In my opinion, the greatest thing you can do with your spiritual awakening is to return to the heart. Let your awakening redefine love as you know it. Awakening makes you aware of love and the importance of sharing it with a world that doesn’t know what it truly is.

Let the heart take center stage in your life. Share love with all, and let your love inspire compassion. After an awakening, your heart will break when you see how many people are suffering across the world. Don’t fear a broken heart. Let it fuel you to change what you cannot tolerate.

War, famine, and poverty are unacceptable. Tyrannical governments and dictatorships controlling, watching, and killing their own citizens is unacceptable. The suffering of the innocent angers and saddens the heart. In this way, you can see compassion as a source of power. Use it, and use it wisely.

One aspect of spiritual awakening people avoid is that it leads you to embrace what makes you uncomfortable. It led me to start exercising, for example, and to become a writer in this community. Despite that these things make me uncomfortable, they’re important to the path I’ve chosen.

My awakening has blessed me with a clear understanding of why I’m here and why I should pursue the path ahead of me. This doesn’t mean it’s always comfortable or I’m always satisfied, but it’s worth all the trouble.

Whether you want it to or not, spiritual awakening will take you out of your comfort zone. It will lead you to things you never thought you’d be comfortable with, like meditation or creative work in service to humanity.

Whether you cross that threshold willingly or unwillingly is up to you. But if you stick with your path after awakening, you will cross it.

Spiritual awakening is a gift, a blessing, and a pain. It’s not all sunshine and flowers, but if you can get past the hardest obstacles on your path, there will be plenty of sunshine to come.

Embrace all aspects of your awakening – especially what forces you to leave your comfort zone – and you’ll quickly go from awake to transformed. To be awake is great, but to transform is to realize the goal of the path on which your awakening sets you.

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About the author: 

I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.

I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, https://www.facebook.com/openheartedrebel and Twitter (Wes Annac, https://twitter.com/love_rebellion