My inspiration for this month’s blog is one of my favorite bands from New Orleans, the Rebirth Brass Band, who I recently saw perform at the DC Jazz Festival. Witnessing the live music of Rebirth Brass Band is always an experience of joy for me. I have seen them perform on many occasions over the years, often at times when my soul needed uplifting or my spirit just needed to dance. Over recent years, many of their performances coincided with significant, pivotal moments in my own life, which led me to contemplate upon the idea of rebirth.
We are continually being “reborn,” even within our current lifetime. Often these rebirths are marked by specific ceremonies and rituals, such as the celebration of a birthday, graduation, marriage, baby shower, or retirement. These major life events signify obvious rebirths as we transition into different phases of our life; however, we are also given the opportunity to be reborn in more subtle ways each and every day. In fact, it is our daily practices, rituals, and decisions that contribute just as much, if not more, to our rebirths than the seemingly more significant life events. It is our daily practices that build our character; our character determines our actions; and, our actions lead to specific results. In other words, it is through our daily practices that we sow our own karmas.
In my own experience, I went through many significant life transitions over the past few years, but it is my daily practices of yoga and meditation that led to subtle shifts in my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual states over time such that I am now a very different person than I was a decade ago. In fact, it is said that most of the cells in our body turnover within every 7 to 10 years, so that we quite literally are a different person every decade. In recent years, science has also proven the concept of neuroplasticity, that we actually have the ability to change and strengthen our neural connections simply by practicing mindfulness and meditation. It is no wonder then that these are the very practices that have led to my own transformation.
This month, I invite you to reflect upon the concept of rebirth within the context of your own life experiences. What are the major events and milestones that marked turning points in your life? What are the more subtle ways in which you have been “reborn?” What are your daily practices and thought patterns; how have they contributed to where you stand in your life at this moment?
I offer you this time to reflect. As you reflect, let go of all judgment; instead, take time to honor, celebrate, and embrace all of the experiences that your soul has journeyed through in this lifetime and past. Hold optimism and hope for all that your soul has yet to experience as it continues to evolve and transform in this life and the next. And, through it all, know that you are always exactly where you are meant to be.
Reflection leads to self-awareness;
Self-awareness leads to the realization that we are all One;
Realization that we are all One leads to compassionate living.