“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.” Aldous Leonard Huxley
1. Understand YOU Determine The Direction YOUR Life Takes
We are a long way from understanding the complexity and impact the mind has on our life. Our thoughts may well influence who comes into our lives and the timing. Events that change our lives may not be by chance, but rather may be called to us by our higher self. We must understand that we can become conditioned by various influences if we allow, life and its great mysteries can be glossed over. Our ego mind can drive us to distraction, into debt and make us oblivious to what is really important in life. We end up engaged in trivial activities or hedonistic pursuits as we try to distract ourselves from the deeper meaning of life.
2. Avoiding Attachment Leads To Happiness
“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I assume that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind” Albert Einstein
Why are we driven to distraction with having and wanting? Why do we spend our lives seeking satisfaction through materialism? Is it to side track ourselves from dealing with more meaningful issues? The principle reasoning behind many of our current wants is in no way practical, serving only the ego, status and ostentatious nature of the individual. Attachment is the wanting to hold onto and keep a permanent state and not be separated from a thing or person. The general principle behind non-attachment is to cultivate a mind of detachment. Once we do this we can then move towards a mind of oneness which involves compassion, an understanding of impermanence and seeing experiences for what they are.
3. Embracing Happiness
“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” Denis Waitley
Once we have let go of our attachments we start to realize that happiness is already within us. We can develop this by recognizing and allowing ourselves to be able to tap into this sacred source through meditation, silence and other spiritual practices. By filling our lives with love and practicing; internally cultivating love towards yourself, others and the entire universe we forget self and think of others. Most of our issues, problems and stress come from focusing on ourselves. Our ego and selfish desires will only bring us sorrow, longing and anxiety.
4. Cultivating Awareness
“If we are too busy, if we are carried away every day by our projects, our uncertainty, our craving, how can we have the time to stop and look deeply into the situation – our own situation, the situation of our beloved one, the situation of our family and of our community, and the situation of our nation and of the other nations?”
Thich Nhat Hanh
True awareness is being able to observe and understand life as an impartial viewer. For the most part, awareness of our physical world is about being in the moment and experiencing the now. It is not about being on auto pilot and doing things out of habit. Our ego, attachment and constant distractions are remnants of our conditioning and must be observed, understood and overcome if we are to achieve true awareness. If we can let go and drop our ideas of ownership, possession and labelling and see everything as one and everyone as connected and become more aware of our lives.
5. Understanding Fear
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Marie Curie
Fear is an emotional response to something that may or may not happen at a future point in time. Most fear is false and imagined; it exists only in the mind of the individual. Fear is a psychological construct of the mind presenting itself in many forms, these include, worry, anger, anxiety, stress, phobia, etc. Our minds are racing with thoughts of non-achievement, failure, dependency, resentment, bitterness, fatigue, jealousy, attachment and insecurity. Most of our fears come as a result of learning. We are conditioned to experience certain fear states over the course of our lives. Fear can be released if we realize we are manifesting most of these states ourselves by focusing on past or potential future events that will most probably never happen. Once we realize this there is almost nothing to fear.
6. Realize That Everything Changes
“Become totally empty. Let your heart be at peace. Amidst the rest of the world’s comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings.” Dr Wayne Dyer
When we understand and accept that nothing is permanent, our wisdom grows. This allows us to let go of everything, enjoy life and be free. We soon discover that nothing we want can give us lasting satisfaction, everything is in a state of flux and nothing stays the same. Whatever we crave or desire, the finest foods, the greatest sensory pleasure, we know that nothing in the universe can give us lasting pleasure, nothing. All will eventually come and go. Deep down we all know this but we struggle with this truth for most of our lives. Some days we are happy and some days we are unhappy. We are in a constant sphere of change. The more we fight this, the more misery it will cause us. By learning to understand that everything changes can we begin to live life uninhibited and avoid getting trapped in a rigid worldview and way of life.
Source: Excerpts from One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…