I have always felt that a calling of mine as a guide/therapist/teacher/student was to discover enlightenment in every day living, in everyday ways, with everyday people. I realized early on in my spiritual journey that being incarnated as a human being wasn't a mistake or a hardship or some kind of karmic punishment, but rather a soul choice that was meant to lead ultimately to experiencing the fullness of physical life in a joyful, pleasure-filled, loving, creative expression of my true self.
Seeking self-actualization as a human being is a challenge, yes, but in the way that climbing Mount Everest or running a marathon is, in the way that composing a musical piece or a screenplay is, in the way that falling in love is. It requires that you strive for your highest excitement with a "whatever-it-takes" attitude, that you accept full self-responsibility as a privilege, not a burden, that you move through life's events alive with passion, that you stay awake.
Here's an excerpt from Interesting piece on the Huffington Post entitled: "WHAT IS ENLIGHTMENT?" by Natasha Dern:
"This state of beingness is easy to attain or maintain in an ashram, monastery or somewhere up in the mountains far removed from the challenges of modern life. There's nothing wrong with pursuing a monastic life or dedicating your life to simplicity and seclusion; this has its time and value on the journey. But how much of that pursuit is authentic, versus escaping the demands of the world? When you live in seclusion, you bet it's easier to maintain a consciousness of love and compassion. So what is enlightenment? How about coming down from that mountain and putting your unity consciousness to the test amidst mortgage payments and credit card debt, divorce lawyers and aging parents, nasty bosses and health problems, wars and poverty?"
So, get into it, folks. Do some laundry and have some fun!