Of life and how we live it

From the moment we are born, we are subjected to endless and persistent ‘education’. Schools, families, media – all bombard us with tons of information. We are told…everything. And we are taught nothing. What this so called education does, is shape us and fit us into a mould, that defines for us what is and isn’t acceptable, what we should and shouldn’t do, say, eat, wear, what dreams to dream, what goals to chase. It defines for us success and failure, happiness and unhappiness. And we are brainwashed into thinking that there are things we have to do/have/possess, in order to feel the way we want to feel and see our lives the way we want to, so we can be who we should be. This way of thinking and living creates nothing but misery. We try our entire lives to obtain that which we are told we need, we strive to change or control our physical environment. And we foolishly believe, that if we can control everything around us, we will feel better about ourselves and we will become the person we are supposed to be. But we can’t control it all. We will never have it all figured out or put together as we want it. So we spend our lives fighting life itself, and then we wonder why we’re unhappy, unfulfilled and downright depressed. Something is missing.

Now here’s a thought, that some of you might find…well, ridiculous. What if life is supposed to be lived the other way around? What if we change who we are, so we think a different thought, so we can feel about life in a different way, and as a result experience life differently? Thoughts leading to feelings leading to actions leading to changes.

Nah, I hear you say. How am I supposed to think differently, when everything around me prompts a completely different response? The answer is simple, yet profound. And it’s not the first time you come across it. Do not react, rather create. Easier said than done? Think of it this way. Whenever exposed to or confronted by something, do you react instinctively, do you do or say the first thing that comes into your head? Most of us do exactly that. The response is formed without us even being aware of it. It is calculated and created by our subconscious mind based on everything it holds – memories, past experiences, hopes, doubts, fears, ‘education’. It takes shape, it comes to the surface et voilà, the reaction is unleashed upon the world. Sometimes followed by satisfaction, but quite often by regret. We’ve all been there – “I shouldn’t have done that, I could have reacted differently, Now why did I do or say that instead of something else….”.

What it really comes down to is choice. Choice to speak, act and choose differently. And that begins with deciding, first and foremost, who we are, and more importantly – who we want to be. To decide what kind of life we want to live, what kind of world we want to see around us. And then make the choice as if we already are that person. Decide to be kind and act out of kindness, decide you are generous and display generosity, decide you are at peace and shine that peace onto others. For we all carry within us a spark of divine light, a grain of the universal goodness. It is ingrained in us, in fact, it makes us us. Years and years of fear-based ‘education’ will make us think of us and them, dividing us from the world around us and closing us off to all the goodness we could experience. We choose to act out of fear, where we are here to express and experience nothing but unconditional love. It is within that duality, that contradiction, that all of life’s choices arise. Do you live your life from a place of fear, or do you live it from a place of love? All other thoughts and emotions are a byproduct of these two.

Fear makes us hate, control, envy, imprison. Love sets us free, inspires, motivates and expands our souls. To live out of love is to live the highest life of all. But how do we learn to live that way? It’s nearly impossible to consciously condition ourselves to do that. The solution, as always, lies within. We must make the expression of love – towards ourselves and towards others – our highest priority. And to do that, we have to open not just our minds but before all our hearts, to pure unconditional love. And the best way to do that is through meditation.

When we close our eyes and sit in silence, when we shut off the world and go within, we open ourselves up to the very source of love, and of life itself – our divine nature. We let in the light, energy and unconditional love of the universe and allow it to settle deep within us. The more we do that, the more of it we have to give. And the more of it we give, the more of it there is in our world.

So start your every day with a pat on the back, congratulate yourself for making it to another day. And looking at your reflection in the mirror, declare to yourself and to the world who you are today. Not tomorrow, not a year from now. Today. Smile at strangers, help an old lady cross the road, give small change to a homeless person. Say Thank you and Please. Do this and you will have a totally different experience of your world. And you will feel happier. Because you are not here to please anybody, to impress the crowd, to win it all. You are here to become, each day and one moment at the time, the best version of the highest vision you can possibly have of yourself. The most important thing you can give yourself and the world is that, which you have always had and what you always were – unconditional love and light.

Get up, go forth and shine…

Namaste.

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Frustration and how to deal with it

There are times in life when things are beyond our conscious control. There are situations, which fall just a bit out of our scope. When faced with a challenging situation, we often fight and we struggle, either with ourselves, or with the people around, depending on our personality. But no matter how hard we try to regain control, this is to no avail and we don’t seem to find the right solution. This consumes a great deal of effort and causes frustration, which is at the least frustrating. 🙂

Driven by emotions, we often lose it and go off at half-cock, making all the wrong decisions. We speak and act, before we even think about it. And most of the time, after the dust has settled, we regret it. It might be due to anger, or to desperation, but it usually ends up bad. We fail to overcome the increasing frustration and finally we are left emotionally drained, having said and/or done things we wouldn’t normally say or do. But what is this desperate need to control everything around us? How do we deal with it?

Sadly enough, as much as we are given the freedom to make our own choices, we seldom are the masters of our lives in the sense that everything happens as we want it. Trying hard to control anything on the outside, however, often leads to rage and inner struggle. Everything that surrounds us lives a life of symbiosis. We form an integral part of that symbiosis, being one with the whole, but still existing independently. We are both free and yet interdependent and that very contradiction is the reason why we sometimes find it hard to deal with circumstances that we cannot control.

Sometimes in life, however, it’s better if we just let go. People, things, sometimes even our fondest hopes. And once again, it’s all about balance. Pursue your dreams, but never sacrificing your highest values. Hold your ground, but not by all means. Some people for example (including me) find it hard to accept their own flaws. They live by that inner conviction that they were born perfect and there is no way they could have done wrong (Yeah, I know. :)). They always fight to be right, no matter the price. But here’s a different perspective. A dear friend of mine once said: “You can either be right, or happy, and I choose to be happy.” So there it is, pure and simple as it can be. You cannot always win, you cannot always be right, for sometimes this is not what matters the most. What matters the most is that Universe is talking to you. Anytime, anywhere. All you need to do is get that message right. And if you do, you’ll see how everything just flows with ease without putting any particular effort to that end.

My practical advice in times of anger, great disappointment, or frustration, is to just take a few minutes to calm down. If you’re feeling that you are just about to say or do something that you might regret later, just take a moment to stop and take a deep breath. If you’re not alone, it might be a good idea to leave the room and take a few minutes on your own. Give yourself a moment to reflect on the situation not through the eyes of anger, but through the eyes of the person concerned. When overwhelmed by rage, we often fail to hear anyone else than ourselves, so take the time to see the big picture. Are you being fair to them? Is it really that bad? Is there anything you could have done to avoid this situation? And if there’s something to say, remember the wise rule of three: always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind? And if it is, then speak ahead. But if not, it’s quite possible you regret it later.

This covers communication struggles. As for inner struggles, things are a bit more complicated. Let’s say you can’t get something done. Or not exactly in the way you wanted it to be. Or you wanted to achieve something, but there are impediments present, which hinder your success. It happens. But do you honestly believe that everything is under your control? Because it’s not. Nor it will ever be. But that’s good news. Life is beautiful in its entire unpredictability. It may be wise to make plans, but definitely wiser to remain flexible in terms of any surprises life has got in store for you. And if you allow yourself to go with the flow, your soul would certainly find the right path more easily. You may wish that life would always go according to your plans. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen. You may wish to control each and every situation you are facing. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen either. So what do you do in times of frustration?

First of all, remember that by rule those moments don’t last for long. They come and go like a storm. What you should do is give yourself a moment to be aware of the situation. Analyze it as clearly as you can. A serenity prayer you’ve probably heard of goes like this:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.”

So basically, take a deep breath and ask yourself: Is there something I could do about it? Is it within my power to change it now? Should I wait for a better time to do so? Is this the time and place to act? And if so, do what you can. If not, just try to remind yourself that Universe knows better. If for some reason, there is something you can’t have or achieve regardless of your efforts, then remember that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Maybe it is not that good for you as you might think. Maybe it would bring you more harm than benefits. Maybe it won’t really be how you imagine it to be. And maybe a time shall come when you’ll get something better, something that will do you more good and you will appreciate it higher. Whatever the case, if you struggle and you fight for it, if you put efforts and energy into it, and it still won’t happen, then be glad about it and just trust her. She knows better.