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How Rumi Inspired Me To Live Soulfully

A journey of gratitude and love for the mystery of life.

Rumi is my favorite poet.

The man knows how to flirt with the mystery and make poetry dance with a soulful melody.

Born in Balkh, Afghanistan, this mystical man was heavily influenced by Sufism and had a deep love for humanity.

Throughout the centuries, his poems and quotes have sung to the hearts and souls of millions and millions of people… inspiring greater love, faith, comedy and humanity in the world.

His poetic wizardry has inspired and uplifting my soul many times. For instance, I remember when I accepted the call to adventure to my hero’s journey. The call led me on a one-way ticket around the world. I began experiencing serendipity and synchronicity on hyperdrive. I started to remember the magic of life and all creation. I explored spirituality and grew ever more fascinated with the organizing wisdoms that organize us from the dust. During this time, I was getting very acquainted with Rumi’s poetry. Of all the poetry I read, one of his messages stuck with me the most:

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”

This quote reminded me that we are crafted from the same Intelligence that creates the entire Universe. Around this time, I started following Neil Degrasse Tyson and others in the field of astronomy, quantum physics, and spirituality. I remembered a video I saw with Neil where he said the most astounding fact about the Universe is that the same atoms that make up the large stars are what created us. To me, it sounded like a scientific approach to Rumi’s poetic wisdom. Ultimately, this quote made me feel that we are all crafted from infinite potential…and that was a very empowering realization to have.

It also reminded me of the interconnectedness we all share. Like Bob Marley would sing, “One Love, One Heart, Let’s Get Together and Feel Alright,” Rumi’s quote made me see us all as holograms of love, with the whole within us already. This really shook up my perspective, especially growing up believing in the illusion of separateness…or what Rumi calls “the veil”. How could I say or do anything with an intent to harm another, especially if we’re all peas in the same pod? Ultimately, it inspired another level of kindness and empathy within me that’s helped me connect powerfully with anyone I’ve ever met.

Another quote that really made an impression on me is:

“My religion is love. Every heart is my temple.”

I never grew up being religious. In fact, I grew up really turned off with religion. Seeing so much polarity and hatred just because of a person’s faith, identity or creed really bothered me. And then, Rumi inspired a different take on religion for me with his quote. I looked at love as my daily ritual, as my daily prayer, and that the place to exercise love is with every person I come across. In my perspective, this is really a key point that all the great religions were guiding us to: Universal Love.

Along with love, I believe gratitude is one of the most important and powerful ways to practice spirituality. Rumi’s take on gratitude is so beautiful, I feel it embodies the experience of gratitude…not just the concept.

“Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.”

Thanksgiving is great, but I really wish there were holidays where the entire world got drunk off of gratitude all day for an entire day…even a weekend. To see all the souls light up the sky would bring a massive shift in humanity’s consciousness. Who knows, it could profoundly change the world! Actually, Dr. Masaru Emoto studied how emotions change the crystal structure of water. Seeing as our bodies are approximately 70% water…if humanity embodied gratitude together for even a day, the world would experience a big change!

On the topic of love, there is also heartbreak. Rumi has a different perspective on being heartbroken:

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

What this means to me is that your heart was not broken, your heart was broken open to feeling what truly matters: love. In fact, I did this 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat and on the final meditation, I had an insight that changed everything. I was the last one in the room, voraciously questioning what the purpose of life was. I got an answer that felt like a gong of truth: to love and be loved.

Tears dropped as I acknowledged what mattered most. After all, love is what we all want, most of us just set up too many crazy rules for how to get love. Some people believe they need to be perfect, some people believe they need to become a billionaire, some people believe they need to have big enough problems, and some people believe they need to contribute to the lives of others. All of them are looking to fulfill needs, and if they’re honest with themselves…love is at the heart of what they really want.

Your heart is the pinnacle of life; it’s what jump starts your life and when it shuts down, its the end of your life. Our heart is what connects us to all other souls and the mothership of life. And it’s ever so easy to love; they key is to let the heart be in charge, not the mind. One simple way you can do that is just to put your hands over your heart and breathe in your nose and out your mouth…focusing on the energy of your heart as you expand your chests with the inhale and contract with the exhale.

Last but not least, one of my favorite quotes from Rumi has to do with soul. He speaks about soul often, and I felt this quote really added some comedic wisdom to this intelligence we all have:

“The soul has been given its own ears to hear things the mind does not understand.”

To me, I see the soul as a post-rational intelligence. It’s a higher tier of intelligence beyond the mental intelligence, which most often develops for people after experiencing so much loss. It’s when we realize that the only things we get to keep are the things we give, and when the temporary illusion of life no longer satisfies that we end up looking for the timeless presence and intelligence that just knows.

By living soulfully, we experience intuition. We can sense the truth and just know in the moment. Often times, the mind just can’t understand. The mind seeks rational logic, facts, thoughts, and reasoning. The mind works in a linear fashion. The soul just knows truth and knows things that can’t even be described in words. The soul also recognizes the serendipity and synchronicity of life, using this as guideposts to follow its life calling. Ultimately, the soul can pick up messages that come from a realm beyond words.

This quote reminded me to trust the messages that come from soul. In the past, I used to doubt my intuition at times. What it cost me was wasted time and energy. With life as short as it is, I believe it’s important to make the most of it…and I think the way to do so is to trust the soul at all costs. Somehow, it always knows whats best for us and it will never betray or lead us astray.

If you enjoyed these lessons and would like to learn more about Rumi’s mystical wisdom, check out this episode I did on The Soulfully Optimized Life.

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com

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