Emotional Manipulation

It is only immature people who believe, “I am separate; therefore, I can manipulate you, even exploit you, to ensure my own happiness.”

-Eknath Easwaran

We see this play out with internet trolls, even so-called friends who like to send us things or post things to get a rise out of us. Do not let someone else’s misguided immaturity steal your peace. See them and their tactics for what they are; notice what arises in you when they attack and let it go.

This will take practice at first and take time to reverse a lifetime of habitual thinking, but you can do it and in much less time than you think.

Remember that no one has any power over how you feel. Your upset comes when you identify with what is said or seen; mission accomplished said the troll. No matter what enters your space or thoughts, remember you have the power and control, not them, and not your mind. No one can take that away from you, except the one who thinks it.

Finding the Middle

Most things that happen in life are not good or bad; they are good and bad. Where do you put your attention? Do you have enough awareness to see them both? Do you only see the bad, which leaves you anxious, angry or depressed? On the other hand, do you focus only on the good, convincing yourself that nothing is wrong? Seeing life either way will only lead to suffering and the continued loss of our humanity.

Remember life is not about getting, it is about giving. Too many have forgotten this, and have fallen into a trance. Their focus is too narrow, and they can only see the good or the bad. This forgetfulness creates a more significant disparity between those who have and those who don’t, leaving our world in war, hunger, poverty, and turmoil.

We must awaken from our trance, or we will continue to spiral down. Our lost humanity will not just be something we gasp at in the news; it will become so regular that we will grow numb to our inhumanity.  This has already begun to happen in the name of peace and safety. Can you see it?

Will we find a way to wake up or will we continue down our current path? Each one of us must ask this question of ourselves. We must be willing to take an honest look at our beliefs and perceptions so that we can uncover the truth. Otherwise, we will continue to parrot our conditioned views and judgments out into the world, and that will only strengthen what we most dislike about it.

When we can stay in the middle, a balanced life is lived, and happiness becomes the norm. We learn to appreciate the good and have the strength to take action to improve the bad. Can we find the middle or will we continue to fight for what we think is ours and ours alone?

Today’s Choices Will Cause Tomorrow’s Suffering

We live in a world that says our happiness comes from what we get in life, the money we have, the power we attain, and the control we have over others. Then we realize we must maintain this power and control so that we can keep what we have acquired. Only the lost man or woman thinks and lives this way.

The awakened person realizes that this path only leads to suffering for every human being on this planet.

Even when the lost human being thinks they are happy, they suffer from within; this is the trickery of the mind. It fools us into believing otherwise, and we ignore our suffering. This lack of awareness fuels the creation of more suffering for everyone around us. If we look, this is very easy to see all around the world today, in every country. If you do not see it on a global level, then you may see it happening to a relative or friend who is suffering in their personal lives because of their lack of awareness.

What then is the awakened path? Every religion and spiritual teacher teaches us to love and to give, yet we do not always follow these teachings even when we know they are right. We take the words we read and hear and mold them to fit the way we think instead of letting the teachings enlighten us. These teachings say nothing about taking; they tell us to give. Give our love, patience, and tolerance even when we do not agree with someone.

Giving is the key and essential because we are all part of creation. This is where the wisdom in our oneness becomes clear. Each one of us donates our energy to this oneness every second of every day, through our thoughts and deeds. If we do not invest wisely, then we will all pay the price.

This is especially true when those in power choose to continually take and cause suffering for those who are less fortunate. It is always easier to steal from someone or become angry than to offer love. It is easier to hate, become impatient and cause pain than to provide empathy. It is always easier to ignore a problem than to face it and this becomes abundantly clear when we begin to wake up and see the truth of who we have become.

Our hope lies in who we are, not in who we have become, and it is up to each one of us to pull the weeds from our garden. We cannot think that someone else will do that for us if we want to be happy and if we are going to live in a world where we all get along even when we disagree. Compromise will never happen when our way is the only way. When all we want to do is to get our way, then we all suffer.

Equilibrium

Fulfillment

Finding Lasting Happiness

The problem is not the problem. This simple, yet truthful statement opens the door to radical change. Yes, we THINK the problem or obstacle is the issue, but it is not.

Can you let go of your problems and all the things you THINK you have to do or get to be happy long enough to see the real issue? If you can, then you can find your happiness right where it has always been patiently waiting for you. Happiness is your birthright, it is a natural part of who you are, and your problems never keep you from being happy. Why, because when you connect with authentic happiness, you know that nothing outside of you can keep you from feeling it. The only thing that does is your resistance to what is, caused by old beliefs, perceptions, and thoughts.

Awareness is the key to releasing these old beliefs and perceptions, which leads to transforming your life. Paying attention to your thoughts and actions will allow you to notice these patterns of behavior. This sounds simple, and it is, yet there are times when it becomes challenging. Our thoughts are masters at distracting us.

You must have a clear and unbending intention, be vigilant in your quest and continue to let your thoughts go and reframe them each time they show you one of these old beliefs or perceptions.

With continued effort on your part, you cannot fail because who you genuinely are lies beneath your conditioned-self, you know the person you have become because of those old beliefs and perceptions. Be patient, aware and awake because this will always bring you closer to your real self and the happiness that resides there.

The Apple Tree

“The apple tree does not bear fruit all year-long. Like the apple tree, we are not always going to be productive; things are not always going to go the way we want. This does not mean that we will not bear fruit or be happy again; it only means that we have to tend to ourselves with love and patience until the next fruit-bearing season arrives.”

When Tragedy Strikes in America

In America when tragedy strikes or when a large enough part of the population sees and understands that something is wrong or something needs to change, we get up and move forward making the change necessary to keep people free, to keep people safe and to do the right thing. There are always those who want things to stay the way they are out of fear, out of misguided thinking or out of ignorance. You only have to look at our history to see this fact; there are many examples like the woman’s right to vote, segregation or slavery. Holdouts never get their way because in the end what is moral, compassionate and right always wins.

Yes, they make it hard for those people who see what will be, who see what is moral, compassionate and right and needs to be done. Remember that these people are lost in the past, they want things to stay the same, they resist change in their lives and this world, and they will fight to keep the things as they are. Remember, that they need our compassion and understanding, not our anger and hate. Why, because they cannot see what the right thing to do is at this moment.

You waste your time trying to change their minds, and it is only an exercise of your ego to be right. The energy that you lose with this futile course of action could be used for creating the change you seek instead of falling into a dark hole of wasted time.

Drop down into your heart and know that if you let go of your anger, frustration, and fear that you help them heal and let go of theirs. Take action like voting, running for office, supporting a candidate or doing whatever you feel called to do that follows your passion. Through this action, you will be helping to heal yourself and everyone on this planet. The change will come because that is inevitable. Remain hopeful, confident, passionate and enthusiastic because these qualities have the power to create what you want. You will never create the future you want out of anger, fear or any emotion that does not make you feel good. When you notice upset in your body or life reach for good feelings, find your passion and let us create a peaceful world where we can coexist with all its diversity and beauty.

The Perfect Life

Does the perfect life exist? Are you still searching for it? Can it be found? If we change our perception of what we are looking for we might just find it.

We find it when we stop looking for it and change our perception of what it really is. Each one of us has the potential to live our own perfect life. I am not talking about the one you think you can find without pain, without feelings that make you uncomfortable; the one that you think will be free from all suffering. Life is not meant to be lived without feeling and some of them will be uncomfortable.

We find our way when we let go of searching for this illusionary perfect life and we stop living in the future, thinking I will be happy when… In addition, we must stop living in the past and be holding onto emotions that are ready to be released. We must stop reliving the stories that do not allow us to move forward in life.

We begin to find our way when we learn to navigate uncomfortable times because we all experience them. We begin to find our way when we learn to be with our uncomfortable feelings and release them without being stuck carrying them around for years. We begin to find our way when we stop beating ourselves up for not achieving this imaginary perfect life. We begin to find our way by bringing our attention back to the present moment and loving ourselves just as we are; the imperfect, perfect human being that we have become. Wake up to who you have become. Now begin to uncover the perfect life you have hidden underneath that persona.

 

In Times of Uncertainty (Part 1)

It is easy to be upset by someone who is doing things that we do not agree with and many of us could probably name someone like that now. They make us feel out of balance emotionally, physically or both. For instance, emotionally we might worry, feel angry, frustrated or fearful. Physically we might get a headache, feel nauseous, become ill or even experience pain in the body. Each one of us experiences these imbalances in different ways. Have you ever noticed or thought about how you experience an imbalance in your life?

It is important to recognize that when this happens it is not what the other person is doing that causes us to be this way. It is how we are reacting to what that person is doing. Our reaction is formed from our experiences in the past and other factors that influence how we experience and operate in this life.

If we are not aware and awake to these feeling and sensations, we will feel like we do not have control over them. Please remember that being aware and awake to them is very different from just experiencing them or being absorbed in them. We all have the right to feel our feelings. However, being awake and aware of them means that you able to be with them, not overwhelmed or controlled by them. You must come to a higher understanding of what you are experiencing for this to happen.

A different perspective is to know that no matter what someone is doing, that person is doing the best that he or she can do in that moment. That does not mean that what they are doing is okay or right. It just means that they do not know any better. In life, when we know better, we do better.

Look at your own life. Most of us have done something that we regretted or that was wrong. Once we finally realized it, then we made every effort not to do it again. If someone is still doing terrible things it is because he or she cannot see or does not understand what they are doing is wrong. In their minds, it is perfectly OK and they feel they do not have a choice, even though others see it differently.

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and is about learning how to stop reacting and how to start responding so that you can take proper action when needed and stay more peaceful in times of uncertainty.