Creating Opportunity

When we only see our problems as problems, we suffer. What I have noticed is when I begin looking at a problem as an opportunity my experience changes. The sooner I do this the less I suffer and the quicker I find my way out. To see how true this is, look back at your life and see what your problems have taught you about living life more fully.

If you cannot see this, then you are suffering now. You point to your unhappy situation to prove your feelings. This is the easy way out; it takes very little effort to feel victimized. Your thoughts are concentrated constantly on the negative, to the point where you cannot see anything else. From this place, you will not find your way out. However, there is hope from here if you are willing to make a different choice, right here and now.

To find your way out, you must bring awareness to the very thoughts that are keeping you trapped. Begin to notice how these thoughts only focus on the problem; notice how negative they are and unsupportive. Just the act of bringing awareness to these thoughts will begin to release your suffering.

Remember each time you notice that you have been distracted, bring your attention back to your thoughts. In the beginning, you will fall back into your negative thinking out of habit. Do not be hard on yourself when this happens; just gently bring your attention back to your thoughts. At the same time, begin looking for an opportunity to present itself, if you cannot see one, start by imagining one.

Things to remember:

  • Bring your awareness to your thoughts and just notice
  • Remember to come back to watching your thoughts when distracted
  • Keep your attention on the lookout for opportunities
  • Use your imagination
  • Whatever you do, do not give up
  • Be gentle with yourself when you slip into old habits

Be patient and persistent in your desire to live life more fully and opportunities will begin to show up. Even with a little effort, you can make a big difference in your life and this world.

 

Real Freedom and Hope for a Better Future

With an attentive nature to our thoughts and beliefs, we will begin to awaken to how others have influenced the direction and choices of our lives. Hope lies in the action we take. We do not feel hope when we let life pass us by; it does not come through resistance, only pain and suffering happen when we make these choices; life becomes dull and there is an inability to live life to its fullest.

How much of your life has been influenced by the conditioning of family, society and the people around you? You will never know unless you start being attentive to your thoughts and beliefs. Your freedom lies in the exploration of your inner world, it will never come by blaming anyone or anything out in the world.

We are like the Rose

When you look at a rose what do you see, are you looking at the entire rose? Where is your attention, only on the colorful petals? Part of the rose is its thorns, but how often do you look closely at them instead of the petals? Do you take in the whole plant or are you distracted by the colorful petals?

We are often distracted by what we perceive to be the colorful petals of others and do not see the whole person and yes we are like the rose in many ways. We have thorns, periods of flowering and times we are dormant in this life. Where we differ from the rose is that we often try to hide our thorns and do not want anyone to see them. This is because if they do, they may not like us or worse, not love us.

When our life is dormant, we can feel as though things will never blossom again. However, does the rose stop blooming because it has thorns or because winter came and went? Of course not, and our lives will bloom again if we stay true to who we are and do the best we can at each moment. It does not matter how many thorns we have because that is part of who we are in this life. Resisting our thorns, trying to hide them from others and ourselves only creates more pain. Embrace the entire you, because without the thorns you would not be you.

FEAR

As an individual, a country and a planet that is becoming more connected than separated we must learn from our deepest fears. Otherwise, we will continue to inflict suffering, pain and even death to others, and ourselves instead of compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love. When will we learn? When will we face our fears instead of acting out from them? When will we have the courage to do the right thing?

“What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.”

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

 

THE SHIFT

Beginning to Take Right Action

When we act from our True-Self, it is impossible to hurt another human being. The True-Self is our authentic self; we act from divine guidance, unencumbered by social conditioning. Social conditioning is the process of training people in our society to have certain beliefs, behaviors, desires and emotional reactions, which are approved by society in general or by a certain group within it. We all have social conditioning to some extent. Therefore, do not assume you are above it.

It is only when we act from this conditioning or the False-Self that we hurt others. The False-Self is the person we have become from this social conditioning. In addition to the social conditioning or because of it, we have created a persona to show the world that we are OK, strong and without problems or human frailties. We put on a good face in the midst of our troubles.

After reading this, the next time you lash out or take the wrong action, there will be a moment when who you really are, the True-Self will speak to you. It may happen during or sometime after the event, but it will happen. It will be up to you in that moment to hear the message and to then take the proper action going forward.

This will begin a life-changing chain reaction, it will gradually strengthen your connection to who you really are, the True-Self, and eventually your only choice will be the right action.

The challenge here is to have the desire to live from the True-Self and to break free from the False-Self through awareness. To live a life of right action, instead of continuing to live in your current state of habit, hardened conventionality and for many, a form of self-imposed hypnosis created by your social conditioning.

Social Media Syndrome

Social media syndrome has several symptoms, however today I am only writing about one symptom, not listening.

When it comes to politics and other societal issues, social media has become a platform to champion our views. Unfortunately, many no longer listen to what others have to say and only use the platform to express their beliefs in hopes of convincing others that their views are right.

Many times these opinions are based on long-held beliefs that no longer hold true, were acquired out of social conditioning, or they are based on false information. We will also often disseminate false information without verifying or questioning the information because it falls into alignment with our beliefs. We make comments out of anger and frustration only because someone else does not have the same beliefs. It is our way of saying that what I believe is right and what you believe is wrong.

This kind of thinking only leads to greater divides in our country, which is very evident today. This is how tribal (like-minded) thinking works: if you do not agree with the tribe then you are ostracized from your tribe. It has nothing to do with being right or wrong most of the time; it is about whether your views agree with the majority views of your tribe. If they do not, then you are wrong.

We can look back through history and find many examples of this happening in the world. For example, anyone who disagreed with the world not being flat was considered crazy, as were the scientists and explorers who went against conventional thinking in their time. Approximately 77,000 German citizens were killed for not being part of Hitler’s tribe. In today’s society, we have Global warming: which tribe are you a part of on this subject?

If we ever want to reach a consensus, we must be willing to listen to one another. We can no longer just espouse our views and expect to find our way to peace. We can no longer just repeat the reported facts because they fall into alignment with those beliefs. We must ask questions, investigate and find the facts for ourselves, and we must we must call into question the truth or validity of our own beliefs, instead. Where did they come from anyway? Do you know? Do they still hold true? This is not only true for social media, we must become the listener in everyday life as well, which means at home, work and in our relationships.

The cure for social media syndrome requires each one of us to have the willingness to look at our beliefs and question them, to question what we hear as fact and to become a listener first. Have you ever noticed that you are practicing what you are going to say in rebuttal as soon as the other person starts talking, without even hearing their complete thought? This is not listening, it is an unconscious way of living, we continually repeat the same things and ideas without any thought, and it becomes automatic.

The next time you get the urge to post something on social media, be sure to fact check what you are posting. Do not share it just because it falls in alignment with your beliefs. Monitor your own thoughts about why you are posting or commenting about something. Notice how you are feeling: Are you posting out of anger or frustration? Is what you are about to say or write bringing people closer together, or does it create a greater divide? Does it lift someone up or are you trying to tear him or her down? Is it kind or unthoughtful?

Remember that when we respond out of anger or fear we are not listening, we are ignoring the symptoms of social media syndrome. Remember to fact check your own thoughts, question them and take a breath before posting or commenting out of anger, fear or the idea that you are right and the other person is wrong, stupid or ignorant. Saying nothing in these situations is more self-empowering than speaking out from the wrong state of mind. Holding onto a position to make yourself feel powerful or to make YOU FEEL RIGHT will only lead to sickness in the mind, body, and world. If you look at the world today with an open heart, you will see that this is true.

 

 

Seeing the Actions of Others Differently

Why is it as adults we have no patience, endurance, steadfastness or love for other adults when they take actions or say things that we do not like? Yet usually, we can find these qualities for children when they are being difficult in abundance. Why does every action by an adult have to be perceived as they should know better or they should not act that way? If they knew better, wouldn’t they do better? Perhaps we need to see them as the child and treat them with some understanding. If we did, maybe our world would be a little better for it.