I sit watching the squirrels frolic in the lush green grass. They chase after each other across the lawn and up the trees. Their playfulness fills my heart. The melodic song of the birds fills my ears. The warm glow of the sun warms my body and mind. And as I sit here on the back porch of my home in Florida, I feel a deep appreciation for my new surroundings.
Happiness has settled in my heart like an ordinary thing, not a once in a while thing. There’s a playfulness in my spirit that wasn’t there before. There’s a deep calmness that has taken root in my very center, and I realize this must be what Heaven feels like.
I always liked the idea of Heaven—a perfect place to live, perfect for me. There are no worries. There is nothing that must be done, or else. There is just peaceful existence where all the needs are met, and where the urgency to do anything is gone. A place where I know that everything will happen in its perfect time, and until then I just need to be, and appreciate all that’s been given.
I have found that. I have found Heaven—my Heaven on Earth.
I didn’t always think having a Heaven on Earth was a real thing. I believed Heaven only existed in the afterlife. I also didn’t really think true happiness could be had for more than a few fleeting moments here and there.
But I was wrong.
For a long time, I believed that a person was supposed to be miserable. That’s just how things were. A hopeless future stretched out before me, and I accepted that as a truth. We really can’t be anything we want, or live our dreams like we are taught as children. What a lie our parents told us! And it was a painful lie to discover! The magic of childhood dashed by the realities of life as we grew older.
But it is not a lie.
The real lie is actually what we told ourselves as we moved into adulthood. What the world tells us all is a truth. That “truth” says we have to grow up and get a job and pay the bills and be attentive to the thousands of different things we are expected to do and we put on ourselves to do. And in those forced upon burdens and expectations, we forget the dream, we forget our hearts’ desires. We forget ourselves, and forget that we don’t need all the extra bells and whistles that keep us trapped in a life we hate.
We forget our dreams, because we have forgotten ourselves. We have forgotten how to make our own choices. And in this land of no power and no choice there is no room for any sort of dreams. “Living the dream” only happens to other lucky souls, not us. I’m not that lucky. And let’s be honest, heaven is for dead people.
But what happens when you discover that you are already dead. Dead on the inside. There is no life. No spark of energy or creativity. There’s nothing but blackness and despair. There’s nothing but endless tasks, and never getting ahead, because the system is rigged and everyone looses. That’s what we are told, so that’s what we believe.
Would you believe it if I told you, you don’t have to die to be in Hell, and you certainly don’t have to die to find Heaven either?
How do you create a Heaven on Earth? How is that even possible?
Heaven on Earth starts in the mind. Change your mind, and you change your life. You can change your circumstances, and change your Hell on Earth to a Heaven on Earth. It’s that simple, really it is, and yet, it’s that hard.
I won’t lie and pretend it’s easy. It’s not. But then, anything worthwhile isn’t going to be easy. But if you stick it out and keep going, you will get there. Know in your heart this is what you want, and spend time everyday dedicating yourself to changing yourself so you can experience Heaven on Earth too.
Some people are under the misconception that Heaven is a place. It is not.
Heaven isn’t a physical place, though it can be associated to a place by each person. Heaven is in the mind. Heaven is a reflection of your mind. By creating a loving and accepting environment for yourself and others, your “outside” conditions can reflect the peacefulness on the inside.
Everyone’s path to their personal Heaven looks different. Some are more windy and hilly. Others’ are rocky and torturous. And some peoples’ paths are a little smoother, not quite as hard to travel. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on other peoples’ paths. It will take you from your own. Instead, focus on your path. And don’t let other people tell you what path to take either. Their Heaven isn’t your Heaven. You get to choose the path you walk—you and you alone.
I can’t tell you what path to take, but I can tell you what worked for me. The biggest help for me was persistence—a never give up attitude. I set my intention of what I wanted (of course I first had to decide what I wanted) and I set plans to go get it. Many times I only had the very next step I’d take planned out. And quite often I’d have to change my plans, and learned to become more flexible in the process. Future plans came as I walked further on the path, sometimes the things I wanted changed as I walked too. The important thing is that I walked forward, even if it was just baby steps. I kept going and never stopped.
Something else I did was to consciously be grateful. I started small by being grateful a few times a week, then I did it almost everyday. Now I feel grateful almost every breath I take. I don’t even have to think about being grateful anymore. I just am.
I also started being more positive about things. Instead of looking and seeing the negative, I searched for something good in all situations, even the bleakest ones (most especially those). That took a lot of effort at first, but now I see that every situation has a good side (a reason for being), if I look hard enough.
The other thing I did was to actively find ways to better myself and work on me everyday. This can vary for people, but for me that meant journaling, meditating, reading about different self-help techniques, reading inspirational books, and doing yoga and other exercises. But I have to say the help that catapulted me forward the most was becoming a Reiki healer. I truly believe it helped push me forward in ways I could not have done without taking many, many more years.
And, of course, the most helpful of all, has been having a strong support system to keep me propped up during my long journey.
Uh oh. The squirrels are back doing all sorts of crazy acrobatic feats in the back yard. I can’t help but laugh. The tiny green lizards want to play too; they leap over each other in daring acts of physical agility. I feel like I’m right there with them, or maybe I’m flying high in the sky touching the wide blue expanse of the sky with the birds. My heaven is smiling brightly at me today, encouraging me to spread the joy I see all around today.
It wasn’t easy getting here, but I’m here, and it’s beautiful. Every. Single. Day. Is. Beautiful. I no longer feel bound to the rigors of the world. It all slides off me like water. I am at peace on the inside and the outside. My Hell on Earth just a distant memory. But I understand now I had to live that Hell to really appreciate the Heaven that’s all around me.
And who knows, maybe one day soon all of humankind will join me in their own Heavens on Earth too. What a marvelous thought. Until then, I will do my part by reaching out a hand to help others that might want the help. And please, by all means, you are all welcome to pull up a chair and come visit my Heaven anytime you want. But I sincerely hope you can find your very own Heaven, and share it with me and others too some day.