How would you define Heaven?
Historically, Heaven is this mythical place where we may go to when we die. It has been used by many religions as a source of motivation to encourage people to be decent human beings. The idea is that if we live a life devoted to a higher calling, doing only good, and never sinning (or at least repenting when we sin), then we will be accepted into Heaven, as an angel, or some other spiritual creature. I don’t know much about the afterlife, in fact I know nothing about it at all. It could very well be true that there is this magical place with a gated entrance made of gold, filled with winged beings (or 72 virgins), bouncing from cloud to cloud. I guess that’s something we’ll all discover when we get there… if we get there.
What I do know is that I am a living, breathing physical being, expressing myself on this planet called Earth. I don’t claim to know the meaning of life, in fact I contemplate that question daily. Is life about having experiences? Is it supposed to be hard? Should it be relaxing? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Are we all one? Are we individuals? I don’t know. I can only guess based on what my life has shown me so far. Through all of the good and bad moments in my life, one thing has proven true. When I radiate with positive thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, my life is filled with joy, love, peace, and wonder. Alternatively, when I used to dwell in an angry, hateful place, I was miserable. That tells me that my life is what I make of it. Do you follow?
So, what if Heaven existed on Earth? Shouldn’t it? Is it possible to experience Heaven on Earth? Personally, I think so. In fact, absolutely! Since Heaven can not be defined, described, or shown to us on a map, it’s sort of left up to each of us to decide exactly what Heaven means. For me, Heaven is this place that resembles the Caribbean. The weather is tropical. There are clean, sandy beaches touching turquoise waters. I’m surrounded by exotic wildlife and wonderment. Everything is in abundance and I never go without. In my Heaven, I am able to easily express myself as an artist – every tool I would ever need is available to me. I have all the time in the world to do whatever it is I want to do. I am recognized for my worldly contributions and I inspire thousands. That’s my Heaven.
Hmmm… I might actually be living in Heaven right now. All of how I describe my Heaven is in existence in my life! It wasn’t always though. In fact, this Heaven I describe is something very new to my world. I grew up in the northern Midwest where 75% of the year the temperature hovers around freezing. There’s no beach in my hometown, the flora and fauna strut their stuff for a very short period of time. My childhood was painful and anything but bountiful – imagine: single mom with four kids! I thought that the snow, the cold, the hunger and pain was my life and that I didn’t have a choice. This must be my destiny, right? Because this is where I was born and what I was given. I hopelessly thought that there was nothing I could do to change my unhappy situation.
“There are practices that allow us to stay in this progressive dimension of consciousness. Those particular practices, when focused upon will allow us to be in Heaven all of the time…” ~Michael Bernard Beckwith
Something happened after my mom passed away from cancer when I was 25. Looking back, I think it was a realization that life is too short to spend time feeling sorry for myself. More importantly, I realized that if I wanted that tropical lifestyle of a freelance artist, I had to make it happen – no one was ever going to hand it to me on a silver platter. Of course, it wasn’t that easy. I didn’t just snap my fingers and “voila!” here I am… My mom passed away eight years ago and it is just now that I can say I have found my Heaven on Earth.
To get here, I had to take my dreams seriously. I had to shout to the world “My Dreams Matter!” I had to define my own Heaven, find it on a map, and get myself there. I attracted a support group of people who had similar desires. I surrounded myself with inspiration, motivation, and examples of others who have made it. I ignored the fears that came along with big decisions (like moving from Chicago to Los Angeles). I had to make a conscious effort to make decisions, on a daily basis, that lead me to my Heaven. Now that I’m here, it seems so simple. Thankfully, I remember the long journey it took, the lessons I learned, and the discoveries I made. More importantly, I’m here now, helping you find your own Heaven. Let me be the example of proof that Heaven on Earth exists. I’m a poor, hungry, neglected child from Wisconsin making it in Los Angeles as a writer and artist, surrounded by beauty, love, and abundance of all the things that are magical. Start believing in your purpose (which in my opinion, is to live life to its fullest expression as your true, authentic self.) Go now! Get busy!
This post is inspired by Michael Bernard Beckwith’s inspirational song “One Day In Heaven“. Dr. Michael Beckwith is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Agape International Spiritual Center. He is also one of the featured speakers on The Secret. Listen to the song (or the entire TranscenDance album) for free, here: