This weekend I had a really good talk with one of my oldest and dearest friends.
We talked about “the good old days”, and the recent events in our lives.
But the conversation got serious when she asked me this question:
“You have been through so much trauma in your life, how have you managed to stay so positive and keep your faith in tact?
I wish you could condense your wisdom down into a brief little cheat sheet for me to follow.”
That was definitely one of the MOST LOADED questions I have ever been asked.
It took me by surprise, so I promised her that I would think about it this weekend and write a post that contained my answer.
There are many tools that I have used during my lifetime to remain positive, among them are:
And the most important one of all… My faith.
I know that those ideals are not ideals that I invented.
they are the basic tenants found in most philosophies, spiritual practices and religions worldwide.
But for me personally they have become the answers and solutions to many of the pains that I have experienced.
I found the power of these principles through trial and error, and once I understood their value, I adopted a dedicated daily practice where I could integrate them into my life.
They have become like breathing to me.
I have spent so much time learning, pondering, and using them that they are now second nature to me.
I think that is why I seem so calm and happy to people, and why they are so eager to understand how I manage to stay so centered when life around me rages.
It seems that there is always an opportunity to express one if not all of these in any given situation.
You can use them when you are dealing with hardships, pain or confusion.
Especially in these type of situations, it seems that there are always two roads to take –
One of faith and love
One of fear.
I cannot stress enough the importance of having a daily practice of some sort that will allow time for mindfulness, the pursuit of authenticity, and setting your intentions.
Before I understood the importance of these values, and a daily practice to integrate them, my life lacked focus and intention.
And without focus and intention in what you do, someone else will take the lead in your life.
And that is when your life gets UGLY!
In order to have peace you need to KNOW that :
You are the designer of your path.
You apply meaning,
To each and every single encounter you have.
Happiness will be found when you finally become the master… not the victim of your own life.
I didn’t figure this all out overnight.
Exploring ways to practice spirituality takes dedication and commitment to small increments of change over longer periods of time.
My first big tip for today is this:
Practicing regularly for shorter periods of time… beats longer periods of BINGE practice hands down!
Accomplish them and repeat.
Create a life that is big!
Imagine a reasonable goal and set your mark one step further.
Be imaginative, creative and powerful.
Aim to achieve high and serve higher.
Challenging and overcoming your fears produces growth.
The change you seek WILL come when you learn to
function from a place of love/faith in all situations.
My next big tip is this:
Looking at your own limitations is brave.
Exploring the depths of pain you have experienced and changing your outlook is heroic.
Do not blame.
Choosing to take responsibility for choice, action and outcome will produce liberation.
Holding contempt only produces limitation.
Painful things happen, it’s part of the ride.
Acting with valor will be extremely challenging during these times.
But if you can choose to explore the familiarity with the circumstance,
you will learn to start seeing the lesson it holds for your growth and expansion.
Find the commonality or connection that exists in this particular situation and expand it.
Forgive the situation and have compassion for the person. Remember that they are just like you…they to are struggling to make sense out of life and discover their own inner joy, so be patient with them when they hurt you. It was probably NOT their intent to cause you pain. So give them the benefit of the doubt.
The next big tip is this:
The body gives clues to understanding anything you will be asked to experience.
Be mindful of the messages you receive from your body, it is your guide.
This system is not one directional.
Your experience, lifestyle, attitudes, emotions and thoughts impact your body and mind.
Be curious about the connectivity between the body, mind and spirit.
There are glorious answers to be found there.
My final tip for today is this:
Your energy is contagious, do not underestimate it’s power.
Bring value and positive energy to all interactions.
Choose to be a force for lifting others up.
Happiness really can be found in service.
This is the way to change your perceptions of the world.
Spend time discovering your sense of meaning, spirituality or religion.
When you have finally determined your beliefs… keep examining them.
Never stop learning more about the things you believe in.
The depth at which you can explore the nature of existence is unlimited, have fun with this.
Remember your purpose.
If you have forgotten it, explore what you love.
If you have been so busy existing that you have forgotten what you love – then play.
Build your life around that invisible intersection that exists between purpose, passion, talent and experience.
Go on new adventures.
Be willing to push the limitations of your current understanding.
Challenge your expectations.
Learn the value of new and different perspectives.