From Horace to Dr. Oz, numerous medical and psychological studies have proven that a daily practice of quieting the mind and transcending day-to-day survival adds years (worth living) to our lives.
So, why do most of us try to live our lives without it?
- It’s much easier to focus on what is in front of us?
- What we do seems more important than what we are?
- We believe we are the general manager of the universe?
- We have forgotten the unfathomable mystery of our existence and how utterly dependent we are on the force behind that mystery?
The only way out of fear, confusion, anger, negativity, disappointment, exhaustion, and pain…is in.
Don’t wait until it’s over to discover there was no shortcut.
Resist the urge.
Resist the urge to spout blame, shame, accusations, and comparisons.
To do so is as common as oxygen but as toxic as cyanide.
Trying to balance the scale by bringing others down is often driven by guilt and always steals your gravitas.
Noble people know their own value and do not have to defend it.
It’s a magic vaccination; when I give the benefit of a doubt, when I refrain from accusations, when I invest my emotions in showing mercy instead of in judging others, gradually (and suddenly) the sting of criticism loses its power. I am able to say, “It’s okay. Forgive them for not understanding” to my own amazement!
How it works is a mystery
(But it just does)
Kindness somehow crawls into my soul
As malignancy had done before
But now it is love that calls the shots
And keeps the score
Let my mind
Immune system prepare for sweet relief
Of a quality it could never know before
(Original post October 2014)
When we are overtaken by inexplicable tragedy, radical change, or unexpected news, life shrinks to only that which is serious and imperative.
The only way to avoid total disillusionment and complete debilitation is to be wide-awake to the serious and imperative before we are forced there by circumstances.
How to do that without sinking into depression and joyless living is the secret.
This has worked for me:
- Priority time to center before I hand my life over to the day.
- Ongoing acceptance of my own fragility and the precarious nature of survival.
- Constant “neighbor identification” with those who suffer in war, natural disasters, loss, and disease.
- Gratitude for every life-breath to combat entitlement.
- Intentional rejection of the superficial as true sustenance.
Photo Courtesy of ABCNews-Go.com
- Fully notice. Genuinely appreciate. Sincerely compliment.
Ego-less authenticity is so sexy! And…
Most people are so tied up with how others are seeing them that they are unable to be present enough for someone else.
When I meet someone focused outside of their own ego in this manner, I cannot forget them. (For proof of this, guys, watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KitywWcaEI&t=314s
2. Be generous…with your time and your resources.
Don’t worry about what you will get in return. Don’t be picky about who deserves what, either.
Especially, since none of us would be here if we had not received so much from others.
3. Then, be confident.
Be you, without apology. Your authentic and generous presence has always been enough.
Some days I am unsure about everything.
Should I work toward a goal or let it go?
Should I feel good about myself or bad about myself?
Should I be kind to someone or let them have it?
Should I care?
On those days (lately) what works:
- Talk it out with a trusted friend who will listen until you ask for their advice.
- Don’t argue with the help they offer. Listen. Appreciate.
- Have confidence that clarity will come when I need it.
- Be kind while I wait.
Yesterday a book came in the mail that I had ordered several weeks ago. It was exactly what I needed to read. (Anything You Want, Derek Sivers)
The ambivalence brought important questions to the surface.
Ambivalence didn’t kill me.
And she balanced in the delight of her thought
A wren, happy, tail to the wind
– Theodore Roethke
Or, I can just see a wren on barbed wire.
When I am irritated, hurt, annoyed, or pin-balling from emotional state to emotional state,
I can be aware and change my thoughts to delight.
I can use the barbed wire.
I can balance, I can fly.
I Think I Am Enough = Happiness
I Think I Am Not Enough = Unhappiness, Pain, Boredom, Anger, Anxiety, Hatred, Jealousy, Depression, Fear, Despondency, and all other forms of Lack
In my experience, believing I am enough involves:
finding the courage I have inside and untapped
rejecting jealousy and comparisons to people who I think are cooler than me
accepting myself and my circumstances (especially the things I do not like)
saying nice things to myself when I screw up
changing my self-talk to forgiveness and understanding versus judgment and shame
You always were enough.
Ninety percent of our problems are not caused by someone or something else.
Ninety percent of our problems are caused by our own stubbornness and unwillingness to adjust what we think about someone or something else.
Hope lives…even though our “changeometer” may be broken.