CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “Dealing With Never-Ending Change”

There are a lot of things in life that we can avoid and do without but change is not of them. There will always be change, in some form or the other, sneaking up on us.

That being said let us be real for a second and really talk about change. Is it really easy to accept it and adapt to whatever change comes our way?

The answer would be a resounding no. Most people do not do well with change and that is normal. If you are one of those people, breathe and keep reading because I am here with a few ways that might help you cope with change and get on with your life.

Be nice to yourself

We are often pretty unforgiving when it comes to our own selves and consider ourselves to be incompetent when we struggle but when we see someone close to us going through the same stuff, we are sympathetic and kind to them.

What we need to do in these situations is be the same to our own selves. As a human with emotions and feelings, understand that you are allowed to suffer, be sad and not be okay.

Allow yourself that time to find your footing again and be nice to yourself. A little self love can go a long way.

Observe things and pay attention

Life passes by us pretty fast when we are not paying attention but that is not the best way to live. Look around yourself and be informed about what is happening.

This way you become a better balanced individuals and balance always comes in handy. Everything around you at any given moment is meant to be there at that exact moment — these things need your attention.

Start journaling

Writing a journal every day or as much as possible is effective in many ways. It grants you a look into your innermost complexities and thoughts and helps you understand them better.

When you journal every day, you will find that you feel lighter than usual because you have let out everything that you needed to let out.

Breathe and know that you can do anything. Love yourself.

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com

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FRACTAL ENLIGHTENMENT: “Spontaneity — Why It’s Better Than Having A Plan”

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

~Joseph Campbell

 

Be born, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, have grandkids, get old, die. That’s the plan right? Well, so we think. Unfortunately so many get stuck in this cookie cutter idea of what life is supposed to look like, only to live in constant frustration and disappointment that their life looks nothing like the standardized version.

Life may drift them more and more off course, and they keep trying to control the helm by bringing it back to the life they think they should have, like the characters on TV.

Unfortunately much of their life is spent in the struggle trying to get back “on course”, or what they believe is “on course.” So much time is wasted in this struggle to no avail.

Only when a person just gives up, surrenders to the tides of their life are they able to see that their idea of how things were SUPPOSED to go was causing them a constant frustration because they were never actually enjoying anything about the present moment, or the way things WERE going.

Who says things have to go exactly like that? If things aren’t going exactly like the social norm does that means that things have gone “wrong”?

The fun and adventure lies in the spontaneity, in the suspense, in the uncertainty. Of course it’s fun to have goals and aspirations, things that we envision ourselves doing and ways that we can offer our gifts and talents to the world, but in order to become more open to possibilities and opportunities that are awaiting us, ones that we never expected were possible, the most important thing we need to do is stop planning our futures so rigidly. quote-life

We must allow ourselves to relinquish the need to have absolute control over every single situation, small or big. We must let something else take over, something that knows way more than we do….

“When I finally learned to let go of having to totally control everything around me and let my life unfold, I was stunned by the results. How could I have ever thought I could outsmart the Universe?”

~Geri Larkin

 

The problem with trying to control how every situation will go is that we cannot always see the bigger picture in every situation. We have no idea why we didn’t get the job we applied for, or why our partner decided to leave us, or why the car wouldn’t start on our way to work.

All the ego knows is that this situation was “bad”, we experienced some sense of sadness or pain, and because it does not desire to feel uncertain, or pain, sadness or vulnerability ever again, it must plan. It must control how everything in the future will go, so as to never feel out of control or open to chance ever again.

However, so much of our life is dependent upon things that we cannot control completely. The weather, traffic, how other people behave, whether or not we get the big promotion, who we meet and how we meet them, are all things that we cannot control 100% of the time.

But the question is, why would we want to? Having total control over every single situation is not only an exhausting endeavor for us but is also a stifling experience for the people in our lives. The result of this fear of losing control is that we limit the universe in being able to direct us to paths that we may not have ever thought of on our own.

As soon as an opportunity or possibility is presented to us that doesn’t fit into our box, or rather our plan of what our life is supposed to look like, we turn away from it and label it “bad idea”… bad idea because it’s not what we think life is supposed to look like.

But if we look at our life from a broader view, from the big picture perspective, and openly accept the fact that we didn’t get the job, or we were dumped by our partner, or our car breaking down made us late for an appointment, we may in fact realize a better job opening was coming along, a new healthier relationship was just around the corner, or our car breaking down prevented us from being involved in a huge accident on the highway.

So just because a situation is not what we WANTED to happen, or what we planned on happening does not necessarily mean that it was bad.

We can look at life in two different ways, one is that things don’t go as planned and that’s a bad thing, or we can look at it as if we live in a universe that always conspires for our greater good, so when something goes “wrong” or unplanned, we trust that it was for our greater good, always, even if we never see exactly why. The first option leaves us in constant resistance, and angry, bitter and stressed out constantly… and the second one leaves us grateful, accepting, and excited everyday about what that day may bring.

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey”

 ~Lemony Snicket

 

If we envision anything for our future selves it should be that we are the best version of ourselves possible. We are healthy, and happy and doing something that we love to do and surrounded by people that love us. If we make the main focus health and happiness we leave ourselves open to all the many paths and roads and trails that one might take to achieve these goals, instead of getting too attached to exactly how we think life should happen.

Think of the universe like the navigational system in the car, we know the end destination (us being the best version of ourselves), but the HOW we get there is always up in the air.

We may take a million left turns, take the scenic route or we may take the shortest route possible, only to find a happier more fulfilling destination mid-way through. The one thing that we can depend on though is that the universe never lets us get completely off course.

There is never too many “wrong turns” that the intelligence of the universe cannot re-route us back to being on track to our final destination. In fact, there is no “wrong” turns at all, there are only routes that allowed us to enjoy the view a little longer and take things a little slower, or routes that got us to our destination very quickly. Either way, we realize the fun was in the unexpectedness of the adventure.

 

~via FractalEnlightenment.com

MELISA WANDREI: “The Art of Pain — Why the Dark Times Make Life Beautiful”

“But fullness — that is deep in our soul. When we have that, it never leaves. Fullness encompasses everything. It’s what allows us to be fully human in all the raw, real ways.”

~Melisa Wandrei

 

Happiness, and the quest for it, is not all it’s cracked up to be. What I mean is that I think we’re making a mistake in reaching only for happiness, lightness, good days, and good moods.

I think that we’re restricting ourselves.

We’re fishing in an ocean of emotions, looking to only reel in one or two kinds, throwing back the ones we don’t want without even noticing how shockingly beautiful they can be in their strange, confusing way, much like the fascinatingly mysterious fish of the deep sea.

There was a long time in my life when I wanted happiness, so I avoided pain. I wanted to call myself brave, so I didn’t admit I was afraid.

In my search for joy, I pushed away the other emotions I didn’t like, thinking I’d be left with only happiness.

But something was still wrong. I wasn’t full. By denying myself the plethora of emotions and feelings we, as human beings, are supposed to experience, I was only connecting with myself on a surface level.

I spent many of my days trying to achieve a persistent state of peace and happiness, and I wasn’t being honest with myself.

How could I just be happy when my heart was broken in two? When my own dad wouldn’t talk to me anymore? When I was uncertain and afraid of the future and the path I decided to take.

Yet all I wanted was happiness, and I kept pushing away anything else I felt that wasn’t “good.”

It took me a while to realize that I didn’t feel like myself anymore. And that was because I wasn’t. I was pretending to be a flat placard of peace and joy, which isn’t very real, is it?

I realized I was robbing my soul of all the emotions and feelings and desires it should have.

Every feeling and all the changes we go through become precious when we realize they are all necessary, and they create contrasting beauty in our lives.

Would you rather be happy, or would you rather be full inside?

Happiness is fleeting. It flits in and out of our days like a bird, singing a beautiful song that we want to revel in all our life, for one moment while the sky is blue, not to be found on the days with dark clouds on the horizon, heavy winds, and gray skies.

But fullness — that is deep in our soul. When we have that, it never leaves. Fullness encompasses everything. It’s what allows us to be fully human in all the raw, real ways.

We need the contrasts that fullness, not just happiness, provides us. How else can we know true joy if we have never known sorrow? How can we feel and trust the deepest kind of love if we have never felt heartbreak?

In art, this is called chiaroscuro. It’s the play of light and dark within a picture, the idea that you need dark shading on one side in order to notice where the light is supposed to hit on the other.

I believe that art reflects life.

I think that by suppressing emotions we don’t like, such as fear and uncertainty and pain, we are taking away the shading of our own image. We’re denying ourselves the beautiful picture that needs the contrasts and shadows in order to be complete.

Sometimes, two seemingly conflicting emotions can fit together and coexist. Have you ever felt that? Maybe you have pain inside you that you suppressed, and suddenly another person finds a way to gently bring it to the surface.

That person and their kind eyes bring warmth to your heart, even while the pain is being laid bare.

Happiness can fill your chest and sadness can well in your eyes until they are entwined in a beautifully poignant harmony. This is chiaroscuro in its most desired form — the shadow contrasting with the brilliant light, creating a depth and fullness that couldn’t be reached any other way.

Don’t ever think that being so paralyzed by fear you don’t know how to take a step, or feeling angry and betrayed, or sobbing while your heart is in shreds, or feeling lonely or confused or uncertain or whatever you feel, is wrong or not good.

It’s your shading, your shadows, making up the complete, beautifully exquisite image of your soul and your life.

 

 

~via TinyBuddha.com

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “How To Keep Your Cosmic Magic In Check”

It is not easy being spiritual in a world which is so obsessed with hate and hurt. How is one supposed to keep their vibrations high when everyday so many things happen to make them feel frustrated and angry?

It can be a continuous struggle to try and be compassionate even on a daily basis. And that is just the natural state of things. What is one supposed to do on days when they are personally attacked? It is so tempting to be vengeful and angry.

And yet, you know better. You know that you shouldn’t let it all get to you. So how do you stop yourself from projecting your hurt onto others? How do you hold on to your compassion when everyday you get a million reasons not to?

Here are a few things which might help:

1. Make a resolution that you will not let mean people affect your power to love

People are mean and rude and many like to inflict hurt on others. But most of the times they are only acting out their own traumas. The reason they are being so hateful towards others is because they never had much love to talk about.

Are you willing to break that chain of hurt? Will you be able to love them, even when they are ready to tear you down? You never know, who might need your love the most.

2. Turn inward and create a sanctuary for yourself

The outside world will always be full of drama and hurt. You need to make yourself as an island which doesn’t get troubled by the choppy waters of hate. And in time you will be able to not get affected by any of it.

You know that your mission is to spread love in this world which needs it so desperately. So make a resolve to yourself that you will love, and be ready to show people the way no matter what they throw at you.

3. Teach others by your example

You know that your most important mission is to spread love. Each and every action that you do in support of this mission affects not just that person, but every other human who sees it. Your example can help a lot more people than you can personally.

So embody your beliefs. Even on days when it is hard for you to love others, chose to love yourself. Don’t judge yourself too harshly if you are not able to forgive someone. You will eventually if you don’t bring yourself down first.

4. Always be sincere to your own self

Always be open to yourself. Don’t try to hide from yourself in excuses and make beliefs. The first person you need to be honest to us yourself. Never ignore your feelings- good or bad. If you have been feeling inadequate don’t brush those feelings under the rag.

Talk about them to yourself. Confronting yourself is the only way to improving yourself. Accept that you will have good days and bad ones. Don’t let that affect your relationship with yourself.

5. Think how you can bring love in every situation

It is easy to love when people are nice to you. It is easy to love when you are calm and composed and in the sanctuary of your home. But it is not easy to love when you are stuck in traffic, the weather is too hot and someone is shouting at you to move your car when the traffic is at standstill.

It is in those moments that you need to bring love the most. It is natural to feel frustrated and angry, but make a conscious choice not to. That is how you can bring love in situations where there is none.

 

 

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com

GILBERT ROSS: “7 Secrets Of Simple Living You Have Been Made To Forget”

We are living fragmented lives in an increasingly frenetic world. Overworked and overstressed we spread ourselves thin flipping between several roles in a single day. We can be a parent, spouse, employee, organiser, blogger, expert in a field, coordinator, entertainer or whatever role we have assigned ourself or have identified with.

Society and culture have also put on us pressures and beliefs that have sucked us in all this madness. Clearly, we are living a consumeristic culture in overdrive. The expectations from our peers and the messages from the mass media and cultural icons are all set to trance us into this consumeristic mass hallucination. In moments of clarity, many have stopped to ask themselves “How do I make it stop? Where is the emergency stop button? How can I break free from all this and return to a simpler, authentic and stress-free life?” — I’m sure you have, as have I too.

The good news is that living a simpler, stress-free life is not something that is a world apart. Like anything else it comes from our will and resolution but also from making some simple realisations and keeping them present in mind. I have listed seven key ideas about simple living that our constant doing and rushing has alienated us from.

Life Purpose Is Simplicity Itself:

Knowing your life purpose is the most powerful information you can acquire in a whole lifetime. Knowing your life purpose means knowing who you truly are which in turns means doing only those things which resonate with your authentic talents and motivations. Life becomes effortless. On the other hand not being aligned with your life purpose means creating friction and wasting time and energy doing things which do not flow with you.

In my book The Art of Simple Living, I make this very important point — that knowing your life purpose does not require looking for it in some special place or doing something extraordinary. It comes from simplifying. When you start discarding all those things which do not belong to you and simplify your day to day living, your life purpose comes in sharper focus because you understand better who you are.

Your Wants Are Not Your Needs:

The consumerist culture has sold us wants as needs. As we are constantly bombarded by advertising messages on all media, we are made to believe that we ‘need’ that latest gadget or that cool accessory to be at pace with our times and our peers. The clear boundary between needing and wanting has been blurred. So we end up spending time, money and energy trying to acquire stuff or reaching goals because we believe we actually need them when in fact we only want them. As the latest fad passes away, we are only left with clutter and wasted resources.

Being sober about what are those things you really need and those which you only want can drastically simplify your life. You eliminate those things which are inessential to your core living thus opening up more time and space to fill in with meaningful things that are genuinely part of your life purpose.

Less Is More:

Another thing society has seduced us into is the idea that more is better. We measure our success partly by how much wealth, status and accolades we accumulate in a lifetime. What is not measured is the stress and strain produced as an effect of pursuing these socially transmitted goals. Not to mention how far we deviated from our more authentic goals and happiness while doing this. We have been alienated away from the practical truth that less is decisively more powerful.

When you have less stuff, work and false ‘needs’ cluttering your physical and mental space, your life is more streamlined and frictionless. With less noise, it becomes much easier to bring your true aspirations and motivations in clear focus. This is the real power of less.

It’s Not What You Thought About Thinking:

One of the greatest ways to hack into a simpler life comes from your thinking  or rather lack of it. This is another belief we have been sucked into — that we must think to figure out our way and solve problems. Counter-intuitive as it may sound, thinking is on many occasions, the obstacle to the solution rather than the path to the solution. Not because thinking is bad or futile but because thinking or over-analysing a situation can at times create more noise while blocking our inner intuition.

Masters in the art of simplicity know very well how to make use of their intuition and when to refrain from analysing a given situation. This is because while thinking is energy intensive and can complicate matters rather than simplifying them, intuition gives us instant access to information that may have been overlooked by our conscious rationalisations. It is effortless, fast and simple.

You Don’t Need Approval By Anyone:

Most of the time we are not aware how much our life is complicated by the need to be approved of by others. Some people seek approval constantly and feel the need to have their actions and aspirations confirmed by the stamp of approval of their peers or those in authority. The need for others’ approval, whether explicit or tacit, becomes in some cases a compulsive unconscious behaviour. It limits our possibilities but more importantly, it keeps us from being ourselves and living an authentic life.

The effect of all this is that our life becomes complicated and inefficient since we are putting others’ consent, approval or admiration in the equation every time. People who are completely free from what other people think of their life choices, have a much simpler and straightforward line to follow – their heart. Once you ditch the subconscious fear of being disapproved by others around you, you clear up the space to fill in with your own dreams and aspirations rather those of others.

Money Can Wait — Your Dreams Shouldn’t:

How many times have I heard people (and myself in the past) declare: “Once I will settle myself financially, I will be on my way to follow my dreams and aspirations.” The general sense to it is that “right now I am not living my dream — I have put it on the side while I try to make a living doing things I am not passionate about”.

There is a certain rationale that we believe is sane to follow but the truth is that it is partially insane at best. We limit ourselves thinking that we need to get a financial boost to jumpstart our life project. While it is agreed that some form of financial input or funding is needed to create certain projects, it doesn’t mean that you need to shelve it while you are acquiring your funds. What often happens is that you get derailed into other things while you are not actually doing your real stuff and your dream becomes only that — a ‘dream’. Other times, the financial aspect becomes an excuse to procrastinate or else we do not realise that the situation is not as bad as we fear and that for instance quitting your full-time job to get on your project is not half as financially strenuous as you may believe.

The Space Odyssey — Decluttering:

Read any literature about simple living and it is invariably tied to the idea of decluttering. It does a lot of sense of course because living a simpler life means above anything else being free from clutter that makes your life less simple to manage. My idea of decluttering spaces is a bit broader than that. While clearing physical spaces (and maintaining them clutter free) is an absolute necessity for making your practical living hassle free, I also like to emphasise that keeping our inner spaces clutter free is as much, if not more, important.

What do I mean by inner spaces? It is that space through which we listen to our innermost feelings, intuitions and reflections. It is of course not a space in the physical sense although it behaves like one because it can be blocked by clutter — mental chatter, too much information from the media, worries, beliefs, fears, etc. Likewise when it is free from such clutter, it opens up to allow more authentic things to flow into — joy, creativity, solutions, intuitions, etc. Once again, we are limited as too how much of that space we can free up (if at all) by our social demands and expectations.

We are made to follow certain social models and templates — like for instance being the self-motivated manager who is always on the ball and has little or no time for his inner life or introspection. Inner life is seen as belonging to those who are on the ‘wayside’ or have retreated from life rather than those who are on its mainstream. Wrong assumption, of course.

Dedicating no time to declutter your inner spaces through for instance, quiet time alone, meditation, play, art, relaxing, traveling, etc., is what will knock you off from life’s ‘mainstream’. Instead of giving time to listen to your inner authentic aspirations, you would have lived the life of an automaton filling in a role laid down by society.

 

This article was originally published on The Mind Unleashed in 2015.

 

 

~via SoulHiker.com