Maintaining Your Inner Peace In The Midst Of Outer Dissonance

Maintaining Your Inner Peace In The Midst Of Outer Dissonance

Photo credit: Hans Vivek, Unsplash

In a world forever changed by recent events, we are challenged daily with the need to restore and maintain inner peace in the midst of outer dissonance. And dissonance is everywhere. Perhaps the novelty of staying home has worn off. Or perhaps the world we are re-emerging into, is not the same as the world we left behind and does not resonate well. Distractions we may have previously used to soothe ourselves during difficult experiences have lost their sheen.

We may try to meditate to reclaim our inner sense of peace, but once off the cushion the reality of circumstances brings us right back to anxiety or irritability. It is perfectly natural to seek relief from these dissonant conditions. And yet, true relief is found not in distraction, aversion or judgment of the outer dissonance; it is found by changing the way we respond to these.

Inner peace does not require us to resist dissonant circumstances or flee from them; instead, it lies in finding a way to coexist with the very things that do not resonate with us.

Deeper wisdom requires us to learn how to be with discomfort. To paraphrase Pema Chodron, one of the greatest misunderstandings of the human mind is thinking that true relief comes from making ourselves more comfortable. The truth is exactly the opposite!

When our efforts to soothe ourselves or avoid external dissonance fail, we are actually ready for a more lasting solution. This is the perfect opportunity to find inner peace in the midst of outer dissonance. We can indeed maintain a sense of tranquility within despite the chaos without, because we have complete control over what we focus on.

Instead of resisting or fleeing outer dissonance, we start changing our response by using the dissonance as an opportunity to become more aware within. We turn towards our internal sensations of discomfort and become intimate with them.

What does it feel like when our outer world appears chaotic, and there’s little relief in sight? What happens when we stop running and allow ourselves to listen to what lies beneath the surface? How do we feel when we move our attention away from the outer dissonance and center within instead? Asking ourselves questions such as these help us to become more present to the eternal nature of consciousness in this present moment.

As we inquire within, we’ll likely find all kinds of mixed emotions at first – our own disavowed, wounded, disenfranchised and wronged parts. These are the orphaned aspects of our being that drive us to look for an external scapegoat or a way to avenge ourselves by projecting our pent-up pain and anger onto others. These aspects may even twist the truth to reinforce our habitual narrative of wounding or victimization.

When we turn within and become aware of these wounded aspects within us, we finally touch on the potential for healing and peace. It is by acknowledging the darkness residing within, that we start to cultivate true honesty with all the aspects of ourselves. And it is in recognizing the discomfort, pain and anxiety within ourselves, that we cultivate compassion for ourselves and all other beings.

This process brings us to the realization that we are all connected at some level. Interconnection becomes a way of being and is no longer just theoretical. We start to understand the statement by Pogo the possum in the Walt Kelly cartoon when he said: “We’ve met the enemy, and he is us.” We recognize that there is good in the worst of us, and bad in the best of us. And we develop compassion for both ourselves and others.

This openness to our own experience makes us more capable of opening to others. We experience less need to turn away from the underbelly of life – both in ourselves and in others. Instead of judging dissonance and weakness while separating ourselves from it, we can look at it with compassion. We become more honest and at ease with our own disenfranchised aspects – getting to know their true nature – and so have greater capacity to meet others there, too. This is the path to true and lasting inner peace.

There are two primary ways we can develop this ability to find inner peace, regardless of outer circumstances: We can learn to remain connected to inner peace regardless of external dissonance; and we can use aversion practice to lessen our habitual reactivity.

By aligning with the deep, unchanging peace that underlies all experience, we become more resilient to the outer dissonance on the surface of life. Instead of labeling and resisting, we can learn to be with discomfort. We learn to refrain from the habit of labeling and judging everything outside our comfort zone, and to simply be with what is. Over time, we learn that we are limitless consciousness, subject only to what we focus on or hold in mind. That is a superpower!

Here is one way of doing it: In your meditation, try sitting 15 minutes without moving. When uncomfortable sensations arise (an itch on your leg, a pinch in your hip), rather than shifting to alleviate it, stay still. In this moment of discomfort, open up to the sensation and allow yourself to relax into it. Notice what happens as you do this. Observe the thoughts and reactions that arise in your mind, yet do not judge or react to them. Simply observe the discomfort and see it as an opportunity to discover something new – your innate capacity to be with discomfort and remain neutral. The more you expand this capacity to remain neutral in the presence of something dissonant and uncomfortable, the more you will be able to honor your inner peace regardless of circumstances.

The second exercise deals with desensitizing your conditioned aversion response. Think of one small thing you don’t like: A smell, a taste, a sound, or a texture. For some it may be the taste of onion, for others the booming music from a neighbor. Pick one. When it appears, rather than pulling away, turn towards it. Put a small slice of onion on your tongue and get curious about the flavor. Or sit right beneath the booming bass and allow its rhythm to play across your mind and body. Whatever your disliked issue is, see what happens when you stop, turn towards it, open up, and invite it in.

As you do that, you will discover different aspects of it to tease apart, turning your distaste into curiosity. With practice, your consciousness will be able to use the very dissonance as a portal to move deeper within until you are able to rest in your core of peace, regardless of outer triggers.

Finding inner peace in the presence of outer dissonance is a powerful practice to help us remain calm, regardless of the tumult in our outer world. It strengthens our inner ability to navigate life without clinging to or resisting the changing scenery and to walk straight ahead, no matter what shows up!

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

How To Find Freedom From Labels

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Photo Source: Tamara Gak, Unsplash

Labels are a social construct that simplifies living. We learn to label things as good or bad, right or wrong as soon as we learn to use language. We are also conditioned to react to the labels we’ve assigned by judging certain things we’ve labeled and desiring others. Over time, this process entrenches us in duality consciousness and prevents us from evolving to higher levels of being.

To evolve in consciousness, it is imperative for us to let go of labels: both the ”positive” labels we assign to what we cling to, and the “negative” labels that we resist. Everything in existence forms part of the union of life; and whatever part we resist, represents an aspect of life we reject. Over time, this process robs us of resiliency and joy.

When we label things, we step back from the totality of its essence to focus on a few specific aspects. That makes it easy for us to react to those aspects with attachment or resistance. In truth, we are not responding to the situation, but rather reacting to the label of our own creation!

Another pervasive problem with labels is the way we use them to hide truth from ourselves, and to avoid coming face to face with who we truly are. We all need careful discernment when it comes to self-evaluation and definition. Identity labels are tricky –it takes great skill to manage them with wisdom and grace. When we fail to do so, we fall into self-deception.

We are not our labels

The more attached we become to the labels of who we perceive ourselves to be, the more we split our awareness to avoid seeing labels and aspects of ourselves that don’t fit our perceptions. If we see ourselves as compassionate, we may ignore our lack of concern for another’s pain. If we see ourselves as spiritual, we may sidestep our more mundane or shadow characteristics, and neglect the necessary process of integration that makes us whole. This process of separation can also blind us to common threads that unite us with all others.

One of the solutions lies in asking ourselves why the labels we choose for ourselves and others mean so much to us. We can – and must – have the courage to question our labels, whether they pertain to spiritual affiliations, political parties, religious beliefs or social status. Granted, labels can be useful to identify allegiance in a complex world. But to the extent we invest them with significance at the cost of excluding other viewpoints, they can also rob us of our freedom.

Imagine what it would be like to let labels fade into the background for a while. How would it feel to drop our labels of worldly status, our labels of ancestral heritage so often wielded as swords of entitlement, and the habitual stories we repeat to label ourselves in ways that define who we are? Who would we be without these labels? Would letting go of our labels turn us into becoming a nobody? Would it empty life of meaning? Or would we discover a deeper, more abiding truth about who we really are?

Before we mastered the language of labels, we existed in the totality of life. Therefore, we are not our labels. The experience of a deeper self, untouched by the slings and arrows of everyday life, is crucial if we wish to break free from the limitations of a label-addicted society. It requires slowing down, becoming fully present, and daring to question our assumptions.

At this time on the planet, we are the ones who are creating the future we will experience. Will we choose fear over love? Are we going to label and judge others to make ourselves feel more self-righteous, or are we going to recognize that the shadow we see in our world exists in us too, so we can heal the shadow, relinquish the labels that separate, and embrace the totality of existence? Will we have the courage to walk our talk or will we sidestep the awesome responsibility that comes with being alive in these extraordinary times?

Many people have been traumatized to some extent over recent events. The loss of loved ones, loss of freedom, loss of financial security, and loss of social connection has had profound effects on everyone. At times, the collective shock has been palpable, reverberating through the Field of consciousness that connects us all. Fear, despair, frustration, disbelief, grief, anger – all have been present as we’ve faced circumstances never encountered before.

Challenges and high levels of uncertainty tend to polarize people. We may regress to a lesser level of consciousness where we seek some safety and reassurance. We may attempt to fight circumstances, or flee from them, or even freeze like a deer in the headlights. In the search for safe ground, we may tighten our circle and cast suspicion on those who have different beliefs. Labels are born from these behaviors, and so conflict arises. These labels separate and weaken us all.

Revealing unity at our core

At the same time, the very destruction of life as we knew it, brims with opportunity for evolution and rebuilding at a higher level. We’re all building foundations for the future, both on a personal and on a societal level. To do so well, we must solidify our own foundation first: Not the labels of who we think we are, but our core identity beneath that – the eternal Self which knows all things as one.

Our true core needs no labels; it simply is. As we connect with this core more, we are able to dissolve the labels of ourselves as “I am this” or “I am not that” to reveal the true I AM which rests beneath it all. Only from this place can we make prudent decisions and discern the wisest action. It invites us to recognize our labels and release our most cherished identities, even for just a moment, to become what lies beneath.

We are so much more than our labels! The more energy we invest in outdated labels of who we habitually thought ourselves to be, the more we will be able to let go of old identities and define who we are becoming now. The radiant and universal Presence in us is neither augmented nor diminished by labels that define ego identity. It far transcends the limitations of our minds, and that is one of the reasons we tend to push Presence outside our conscious awareness while we perpetuate ego labels and identities.

We can break free from this! To free ourselves from these limitations, we have to relinquish the need to be special and regularly immerse ourselves in the sacred field which connects us all. When life subsequently demands that we pick up some identity again – as it inevitably will – we can do so with less emotional attachment and less ego striving. We can learn to wear the limiting mask of identity labels lightly, willing to discard it at any time. We can rest secure in knowing that all such labels are but a pale reflection of the vastness of our spiritual essence. When our consciousness rests in this deeper truth, it infuses our lives with clarity and wisdom for the task at hand.

Honoring the need unplug

This work of finding inner freedom requires discipline, and we also need time to rest. When feeling overwhelmed, it is a reminder that we need to unplug, switch off and return to base. In this technological age where everything happens faster, information overload is rife and screen addiction is everywhere. We need to discern how much technology is enough and where to draw the line. It is perfectly okay to take a break: stare out a window, read a good old-fashioned book, enjoy time with pets and loved ones, sing, pray, dance, walk, run, do yoga, tai chi, or karate.

The challenges on the surface of our lives invite each of us to return to our inner core, to discover who we really are aside from the labels of our world. Notice which interactions bring peace, wisdom and clarity. Lean into these and they will expand the heart. Also notice the painful emotions and triggers that fuel the compulsion to trade inner peace for a self-righteous label or ego opinion. Inner peace is always a mere breath away – available by shifting our attention to the Source of truth and peace within.

How we change the world

By regularly stepping out of the fray, we can root ourselves in the boundless Self from which truth and authenticity flow. We can take a stand while honoring our inner knowing, and we can partake in outer commitments from that inner place of clarity. We can take outer action without losing our connection to our inner truth. We can see beyond surface differences to honor the unified Field that connects us all. Knowing this Field intimately is vital for maintaining our sense of peace, purpose and direction. During these times of unprecedented change and challenge, imagine what we can accomplish by discarding labels and living in the unified Field from which everything emerges. This is how we will diffuse the separation consciousness and change our world for better.

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

How To Apply The Four Noble Truths For A Better Life

How To Apply The Four Noble Truths For A Better Life

The Four Noble Truths represent the Buddha’s fundamental teaching that liberates humans from suffering. These four truths can be summarized as follows:

  1. Life Inherently Contains Suffering And Struggle

Life involves struggle, frustration and suffering in both obvious and subtle forms. Even when things appear peaceful externally, we do not experience permanent satisfaction in anything but may feel an undercurrent of internal anxiety and uncertainty. This is the inherent problem of existence.

  1. Craving Is The Cause Of Suffering

The cause of suffering is craving that stems from ignorance. We suffer because we tend to blame our difficulties on things outside ourselves. We resist the truth that life is impermanent and change is constant – instead, we grow frustrated when the world doesn’t behave the way we think it should and life doesn’t conform to our expectations. We try to push away some things while grasping for others. This process of attachment and resistance stems from our desire for life to be different than it is and causes suffering.

  1. Suffering Stops When Craving Ends

Since we are ultimately the ones that cause our own suffering by perpetuating the cycle of craving and resistance, we also have the power to end our suffering. Even when life is unpredictable and impermanent, we can change the way we respond to it. By awakening to the true nature of our timeless souls, we can end the chase after external satisfaction and permanence, and so end the suffering. In the awakened mind, it is not the suffering that ceases, but the craving.

  1. There’s A Path Out Of Suffering

By embracing the path of right living, we can awaken to our Higher nature. This path involves ethical living, developing wisdom and discernment, and adhering to a personal practice that supports our emerging consciousness. This personal journey of awakening frees us from suffering and ultimately leads to enlightenment.

Most of us struggle with the practical application of these Four Noble Truths. Our human tendency is to avoid all pain and suffering, which only perpetuates our struggle.

Instead, I suggest that we look at the Four Noble Truths as recommendations for right living; guidelines to help us navigate life’s challenges more effectively. By presenting the Four Noble Truths as practical guidelines for living, they become powerful tools to guide our responses to life.

I propose using the acronym AREA to remember the structure of the Four Noble Truths in practical ways: Accept Life As Is, Release Reactivity, End Grasping, and Act Appropriately.

When we respond to these Four Noble Truths in appropriate ways, they will indeed expand our inner area of spaciousness and peace, and ultimately expand the area or scope of our True nature.

  1. Accept Life As Is

When we allow conscious awareness to infuse everything we do, we become more tolerant. We no longer interpret everything that does not go our way as a personalized attack on our ego selves; instead, we recognize it for simply being a part of life. When we experience a setback, we can see it as an opportunity for learning and growth; not as something unfair to be judged or avoided.

The Course in Miracles teaches that it is the meaning or interpretation we give to things, that makes them appear as good or bad; in truth, it simply is a part of life. Embracing the very impermanence of life can foster in us a deeper appreciation for the fleeting and precious nature of each moment.

  1. Release Reactivity

Human neurobiology makes it virtually impossible for us to constantly maintain a state of inner equilibrium without spiritual awareness. Our senses are continuously providing feedback through physical symptoms, emotions, thoughts and feelings. Equilibrium requires us to be with reactivity in a different way: learning how to respond instead of to react. We stop the cycle of reactivity by understanding that sensory feedback loops are valuable messages to respond to; not interference to react to, judge, resist or avoid.

When we experience physical symptoms or pain, our innate reactivity may prompt us to either resist the symptoms with medication or to grasp for some miracle cure outside of ourselves. Instead, perhaps it would be more meaningful to first dialogue with the symptoms for a deepened understanding of what they’re trying to tell us; and once we understand the deeper message, we’ll be able to respond appropriately so the messenger can be released. This process of responding instead of reacting allows us to create more inner space for growth in consciousness.

  1. End Grasping

It is essential to learn how to respond to life’s difficulties with an open mind, free from the conditioned behaviors of judgment, fear or craving. This inner attitude of non-attachment frees us from the endless cycles of attachment and aversion to offer us genuine freedom and inner peace instead. The Sedona Method puts it this way: “Embrace that which you resist, and surrender that to which you cling.”

Relinquishing our positionalities rewards us with freedom from craving. Positionalities are in truth nothing other than learned behaviors and limiting beliefs, so relinquishing them truly opens up space for us to thrive.

  1. Act Appropriately

In shamanic traditions, appropriate action is referred to as “right living.” Appropriate action requires conscious awareness of our inner motives, beliefs and reactions. It nurtures the development of the observer/witness, or our Soul self. It is in aligning with this Higher aspect of being, that we are transformed to live from our full potential.

The more we fine-tune our responses to life appropriately reflect our Higher nature, the more inner freedom, peace and joy we experience. This is the core of all personal growth. Creating a path of appropriate action nourishes us at all levels and honors our true purpose in life – the embodiment of our Higher nature.

Using AREA can serve as a practical reminder to keep us aligned with the Four Noble Truths. The result is more inner peace, harmony and joy.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

True Discernment: Your Superpower At This Time

True Discernment: Your Superpower At This Time

Photo Credit: Michael Rodick, Unsplash

During this time of great upheaval on the planet, it is essential to tap into your true discernment – your superpower at this time.

As old structures which fed on fake values crumble, it is quite predictable that people would look for some sense of certainty. It’s equally predictable that so many are attempting to fill your imagination with scary visions, angry emotions and toxic paranoia, only to then peddle their ego-based solutions. Discerning truth from falsehood is not only helpful; it is essential for survival.

It is wise to remember that during these times, none of us will be saved by some strong leader, powerful guru or religious savior. We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for. We are on the planet now because we answered the call to lead the way forward, to embody the change we wish to see and to create a better world from the inside out. We are called to walk this path with eyes wide open, listening to the guidance of our Higher discernment as it speaks through that still, small voice within to competently lead us along every twist and turn of our true destiny.

The coming months and years will be ripe with opportunities to lay the foundation for a new world that actually honors the magnificence of the human soul. On this heroic journey, true spiritual discernment is your superpower that will not fail you.

Before new foundations can be laid, the old, dysfunctional ego-driven processes need to be excavated and removed. It is a messy time, and we are in hard-hat territory. The old is dying away with all its corruption and ugliness in full display.

That is why we need to learn how to fully embody Higher discernment and truth; allowing our truth to emerge from within and not from any of the sources operating on the astral highway of electronic disinformation. The only Source that can teach us how to fully embody truth, peace or compassion, is Presence. Aligning with Presence and learning to discern from that sacred space instead of from the ego self, is essential to surviving and thriving now.

What is important is not our mental accomplishments and understanding; it is not the number of workshops we have attended or the number of books we’ve read; it is not even about the important names we have learned from or our family pedigree; it is completely, only about remembering who we truly are as eternal souls, and operating from that core integrity.

Personal integrity is a prerequisite for appropriately functioning discernment.

What is your true nature? How well have you neutralized the stranglehold of ego and purified your beliefs? How effectively are you living from your inner truth rather than the outer dictates of the society around you?  How much of your Higher nature is embodied in your daily life to inform your choices and experiences?

If your true nature only shows up when you have a positive experience or are in the presence of a resonant group, you are not yet operating from embodied truth. You need to learn how to embody truth at all times, wherever you are. And embodied truth grows as we cultivate more Higher discernment.

Consistent, ongoing personal purification and transformation are the core principles that will transform your mind and emotions, and expand the function of Higher discernment in your life. There are no shortcuts to embodied spirituality!

Your true nature now and always is wise, pure and whole; the work lies in letting go of illusions and lies, both within and without. And that process requires inner responsibility and self-inquiry.

Self-inquiry is at the core of all true spiritual growth.

Only when we question the source of our individual emotions and drives, can we let go of what no longer serves, learn to recognize core truth and fully embody it. This work is at the heart of true spirituality, regardless of the spiritual path you choose.

Self-inquiry as pathway to embody Higher truth requires all our intention, all our commitment, and all our presence to bring awareness to the dross of social conditioning and to dissolve the dynamics of ego. That is how we become aware of what is really happening beneath the surface, both in ourselves and in the world around us, so we can make appropriate choices and embody Eternal truth in physical life. It is a continuous process without an endpoint; endless, fluid and potentially transformative. This process of self-inquiry facilitates the great work of purification which is necessary as long as we are in the body. It is a requirement for spiritual life, and an essential prerequisite for all who wish to access Higher discernment, wisdom, and truth.

I am reminded of Deepak Chopra’s words on the topic: “The busyness at the surface of our lives, are a distraction to the deeper work of soul-making.” And the range of options available today to distract ourselves from this deeper work, is endless!

At the same time, we need access to Higher discernment more than ever now! As we swim in the very waters of change permeating life at this time, we need to learn how to distinguish between truth and falsehood, between Spirit and ego, between content and context, between inductive and deductive reasoning, between our unconscious drives and our conscious choices.

Simply being against something is not enough to serve as a basis for positive change and transformation. It is necessary to identify what each one of us values at our core, and then to orient toward that by taking positive action steps.

When we orient only around our personal experience and preferences, we function in a closed universe of limitation that will eventually sabotage us or lead us astray. That is why it is so important to question our drives, beliefs and fears, even as we remain open to other viewpoints, insights and ideas.

We live in an interconnected world where separation and exclusivity no longer serves the greater good; those actions belong to the limiting specialness of the ego’s domain. We need to understand the profound truth that we are on a collective journey, and as long as we divide to conquer, we will hamper the evolution of the collective.

To thrive in this world now, we need to think inclusively: we need to balance our personal choices with the demands of the greater life flow in which we find ourselves. We need to find balance between the individual and the collective, between self and others – whenever we focus on simply one aspect of polarity, we will get sucked back into duality consciousness to find ourselves pulled out of alignment with Higher truth and discernment.

Thriving in the emerging new world also requires courage and faith. Fighting or avoiding the darkness does not work. Instead of fighting the dark or isolating ourselves in a smug spiritual blankie, we are asked to purify our minds from the viruses of half-truths and lies that permeate the astral domain of technology; we are required to embody whatever we fully resonate with, and we are challenged to embrace and embody the change we wish to see on this planet. We need to nourish an authentic vision of the world we desire to be part of, and then fully embody that energy.

To shake off the old shackles of duality consciousness and go free, we also need to forgive ourselves and the whole world around us for not being perfect. We need to search for and embrace nuggets of truth that resonate with our exquisitely calibrated inner compass, dismissing the surrounding dross without engaging in judgment or fear.

Finally, to thrive and fulfill our purpose in this time of turbulence and change, we need to cultivate true, Higher discernment.

Differentiating between fearful fantasies and authentic, accurate discernment is one of the greatest spiritual powers you can possibly develop. Take time to observe how true discernment emerges from the wise, loving core of your being like a slow-motion fountain of warmth. Fearful fantasies, on the other hand, drain your energy and cloud your judgment. They drive you with obsessive urges to run and hide or take desperate, impulsive action. There’s more to it but here is the gist: emotions that accompany Higher discernment are never alienating. They will never make you feel superior to others or fill you with hatred and terror – that comes from ego.

Higher discernment may rouse your anger, yet is not destructive: it ultimately leads to clarity and constructive action. True discernment may show you difficult truths, yet always does so with guidance on how to deal gracefully and courageously with that difficult truth. It may reveal imminent issues that compel you to make necessary changes, yet always does so in an empowering way.

True discernment is not Pollyannaish and does not indulge in spiritual bypassing. It will not cover up truth or falsely promise that everything will be fine, and it won’t mislead you to think you’ll be able to continue without making changes.

Instead, it will serve as your inner compass to alert you to changes, hidden dynamics, and where you need to embrace transformation to deepen your inner life. It speaks quietly, and therefore requires you to tame the monkey mind so you can receive Higher truth which emerges with calm and clarity, not in a cacophony of fear.

True discernment reveals the path from your soul’s point of view, not your ego’s. It is the voice of your inner guidance system, which happens to be the Divine part of you. It is your superpower!

These times require a universal leap of trust from everyone on the earth plane. Cultivate your superpower of true discernment, do your best and give God the rest; and together, we will take this leap into the hereto unknown to create a better world for everyone.

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Living With Eyes Wide Open Now

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“Without order, nothing can exist. Without chaos, nothing can evolve.” — Oscar Wilde

Amid these chaotic times, we are seeing a global awakening to higher consciousness. This process of emerging inner awareness and spiritual yearning is opening our eyes to new ways of being, removing the blindness that kept us in the tyranny of egos run amuck.

Yet it begs the question: after awakening, then what? In Buddhist philosophy there is a saying: “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”  

In other words, awakening to higher consciousness does not exempt us from doing the work; it changes the consciousness we bring to the task. We learn to live with the eyes of our consciousness wide open. There is no magical point of arrival; it is a lifelong process that continues as long as we live in physical bodies.

We cannot download awakening, we become it. We do not buy it somewhere by paying for some blessing by an enlightened being; we cultivate awakened spiritual awareness within by finding and aligning with truth. We nurture awakened consciousness by question those aspects of our self that mitigate against it.

In the process, we discover how wise action in each present moment can change the next. We learn how, by staying present to the full triumph and catastrophe of human experience, we can recalibrate and shape the course of history rather than being shaped by it.

We’re living at a historical crossroad of monumental proportions. To choose well we need to harness our emerging consciousness to engage courageous thought and nurture fresh perspectives; not to stifle debate and feed dissent.

Living with eyes wide open enables us to affirm the healing radiance and power of the human spirit because we remember who we really are – Divine in origin, even as we travel along this human journey.

The power of our true nature cannot be diminished by tyranny or lies; it cannot be tarnished by manipulation or fear. It is unassailable. We need to remember this.

The journey of global awakening is a long and winding one. This is not a time to go back to sleep!

Compassion asks us to recognize that each soul we meet along the way, is awakening at their own pace and level. Courage is needed to stay the course. Likewise, we need a sense of humor. We have to discern when to speak up and when to keep our advice for a more propitious time.

Besides birth and death, no outcome is assured in life. That can be a very good thing!

We have incredible creative ability and free will to use our awakened consciousness for good, so let’s not settle into smug complacency. None of us have arrived yet, no matter how awake and enlightened we may appear. Life is a journey and there is no point of arrival until we complete the course.

There is much we can do to enhance the process of staying awake.

We can recognize our individual limits and pace ourselves for the duration. Let’s take care of our physical vehicles and lean into the spiritual Life Force that sustains us.

And there’s more: Let’s take full responsibility for living from our inner truth and values. Let’s fine-tune our moral compass, so it can lead us toward truth. Let’s stay open to learning, changing and becoming more awake with each passing day. Let’s discard the old and embrace the call to evolve!

Each one of us is here to learn, grow and contribute to the process of life. We can choose to embrace the opportunities embedded in every challenge, instead of resisting the call to growth. I love the way Richard Moss puts it in his book The Black Butterfly: An Invitation to Radical Aliveness, ”The very forces that crush people can become profound radiance in an individual who no longer is resisting or attempting to modify life.”

By not reflexively resisting dissonant ideas and concepts, we can discover nuggets of gold everywhere. We can use our individual sovereignty to find clarity by processing external evidence through our innate wisdom and discernment. We can honor our individual truth without hating or trashing the truth of others, understanding that the higher the truth we abide by, the more unity we will experience with others.

There is no return to some romantic past. As Ken Wilber puts it in A Brief History Of Everything, our tendency to rewrite history as a romantic fairytale, is just a dream to pacify our fears of the unknown future.

Instead of looking for a place to return to, let’s focus our vision to create a bright future as our living legacy for future generations on this planet. Finding a new way forward requires courage, audacity and faith, yet we can do it.

You and I were born for this time. We have been preparing for it all along, and now the time is here.  Gather yourself!  Let go of what no longer serves and harness your courage!  Opportunity is calling. This could be a very good time for all of us!

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Losing It? Here’s How to Handle Reactivity

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Photo Credit: Nadir Syzygy, Unsplash

Life as we knew it, is going through some enormous shifts at every level. This can be uncomfortable, even scary, especially when we focus our attention on external matters.

Fortunately, the external world is the world of effects; all true change happens from the non-physical Field of energy. As awakened beings, we have the ability to direct our focus to this unified, benevolent Force Field and to let our alignment serve as a conduit for the flow of Life Force to create optimal outcomes in the world around us.

This is our privilege and our mandate. Living as awakened beings asks us to recognize that we are the culture carriers of an emerging new world, no matter how unimportant we may seem in the larger scheme of things.

The currency of this emerging new world is not money, but consciousness. It is the level of consciousness we embody, that will enable us to create optimal outcomes for ourselves, our loved ones and the future. The higher our embodied level of consciousness, the higher the outcomes we can create.

Each moment of each day, we contribute to the field of consciousness, from where possibilities and probabilities can emerge when critical mass is reached.

We can contribute to the creation of optimal realities only to the extent we embody awakened consciousness. None of us can create outcomes at levels higher than our embodied consciousness.

That means we need to discipline our thoughts, for our thoughts direct the energy flow. All creative activity starts with this inner work because as within, so without. We cannot create outside of ourselves that which we are not in alignment with.

It reminds me of a talk the Dalai Lama gave about world peace, and someone questioned how we could ever accomplish world peace with so much conflict around us. The Dalai Lama’s response was: “Today, you can have peace in the world if you commit to become the peace you seek in the world. If each one of you reaches out with forgiveness and compassion to the one person you react to the most; the one person you most judge, hate or despise, you will have laid a stone on the path of world peace.“

Peace starts with each one of us. And if we wish to build a more peaceful world, we need to learn how to control our reactivity.

Everyone experiences different triggers: for some it is the news, for others politics, or the fear of what could happen, or the demands of others, or frustration over external setbacks or events. You may simply be aware of having a hair-trigger anger or impatience, which represents your individual reactivity to triggers.

Once you recognize the triggers that get to you, you can learn to use them as opportunities for awakening more fully and disciplining your mind.

Your state of consciousness is your most valuable asset in awakening. By becoming conscious of your specific reactivity triggers, you can use those triggers to awaken more fully instead of feeding the ego with reactivity. You can use every triggering situation as part of your spiritual practice to move deeper into Truth.

Most of us don’t like conflict. We seek harmony and when there are too many conflicting triggers around, we ‘lose’ it. Yet dissonance is an integral part of life; the key to inner peace lies not in trying to avoid triggers, but in learning to use them as a way to become more conscious, more awake and more aware.

Every trigger in your life – annoying people, political infighting, COVID constraints, and even the nagging of your children or the traffic noises, offer you lessons in disguise. Instead of feeding the ego with reactivity, you can take advantage of each trigger as an opportunity for growth.

External situations teach us to focus on the one thing that matters: inner peace. Amid outer clamor and drama, we can move our awareness past the ego’s resistance and reactivity to focus on the deep inner peace at the center of everything. This is our primary work as awakened beings; when we no longer feed ego reactivity, we become instruments for peace on earth.

We transform our own reactivity with conscious awareness, awakened choice and disciplined repetition.

As soon as you recognize a trigger arising, you are already in the driver seat. You remember that you have a choice. You can choose to react or you can shift your focus to the observer within, where Eternal peace prevails.

When you recognize anger or frustration arising within, choose to focus not on resisting the present moment or reacting to it. Instead, consciously move your awareness within to find the presence of Eternal Peace beneath the surface there.

If you ‘lose it’ emotionally and lash out or react, it simply means that you momentarily lost conscious awareness and became unconscious.

When you first set about working on reactivity, you may lose it and only recognize that you had become reactive after it happens. Disciplined awareness will help you to stay conscious in the midst of triggers, and you will increasingly maintain awareness that you can choose how to respond.

Do not be discouraged when you lose it and become unconscious; some of our unconscious behaviors have been ingrained for lifetimes. This is why it is so difficult for societies to acknowledge their shadow and to work with it.

By noticing how we have turned away from truth and become unconscious, we may experience guilt, shame or fear, which simply adds another of layer of reactivity to the mix. And when we project that emotion outward because it is too uncomfortable to face, we not only feed the ego instead of the soul; we feed divisiveness and become a part of the problem.

Staying conscious requires you to have compassion for yourself. Recognize that when you choose to become spiritually unconscious, you are feeding the ego with reactivity and harming yourself. Compassion allows you to simply acknowledge when you fall short, and resolve to remain fully conscious the next time around.

Self-discipline brings incremental empowerment. The next time a trigger arises, you may notice that you remained aware for a longer time before losing it. By recognizing that you lost it, you are increasing your awareness. Each time you are triggered, your growing awareness empowers you to stay alert so you do go unconscious and feed the ego with reactivity.

Cultivating conscious awareness is the key to moving through the gamut of daily triggers without losing your peace or feeding the ego. Stabilize your consciousness in your inner observer awareness; it will remind you that every trigger offers you a choice. By choosing to align with Higher awareness within, you will gradually detach from the tyranny of the ego and remain at peace.

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