Photo Credit: Photo by Nadir sYzYgY on Unsplash
There are three common ways we tend to deal with difficulties in life: we may attack, or distract ourselves, or deny the reality of the situation.
Attack is especially popular in modern society. We use attack as a form of defense. We may jump to our individual assumptions and interpretations of what has been said, and then take offense at what we interpret as a personal attack on us, our values or our truths. Instead of stepping back for objectivity, we launch into an attack of what we think happened or what we imagine the other saying. This hooks us into an endless cycle of conflict, both within and without. When some truth manages to penetrate our defenses, we may even deny the existence of actual evidence that contradicts our assumptions. We may even harden our stance by seeking revenge or justification and so fueling the flames of conflict.
We humans are very good at distracting ourselves whenever we do not know how or do not wish to face the truth. In modern society, the temptations for distraction are endless: we may overindulge in binge-watching television, overeating, indulging in addictive behavior, playing games, or even exercise. We love to justify and feed these habits of distraction: we skew truth to find reasons to indulge our addictions, or to justify our behavior. And while we may be haunted by self-doubt within, we push that away by invoking the actions of others as justification for our distracted – and destructive – behavior. Often, it is not until we hit bottom in this cycle that we realize the high price of distraction ourselves from truth and accountability.
The third way we perpetuate struggle is something every addict knows well: we go into denial. We deny everything that appears dissonant to our own make-believe reality construct. We avoid people and situations that call into question the shaky reality construct to which we cling, and we avoid taking responsibility for our choices and actions. Instead of dealing with unpleasant issues, we may deny our part in it and project blame on someone else. When we do not want to come clean or confront discrepancies in our own value system, we opt to disassociate instead. We avoid, ignore, deny or pretend we did not hear or see what happened, while we try to tiptoe past the truth. By denying truth, we slip into a form of self-hypnosis that traps us in a repetitive, destructive cycle of attacking, distracting or denial.
There is a better approach to life’s challenges available to all of us. It is the pathway of awakening, which requires the willingness to practice personal honesty and accountability. True awakening asks us to surrender our ego stance to which we so desperately cling, and to open our hearts and minds instead to seek the deeper Truth that exists in all of life. It is by aligning to this deeper Truth that we find the grace to surrender our hero worship at the false feet of egoic self. In the presence of Truth, our false gods and beliefs are laid bare for the shabby fakes they are, and we surrender our false attachments to right or wrong, to judgment and blame, to justification and shame, to avoidance and projection.
Higher Truth is available to all of us at all times. The price for entry is simply this: we need to drop the ego’s cloak of duality and self-righteousness, and be willing to strip ourselves bare from all the limiting habits we’ve been hiding behind. Beyond the false identity of ego our souls await – ever pure, ever whole and ever peaceful. In that Presence, the illusion of struggle and competition dissolve to reveal the eternal Oneness of All that Is.
Our souls are not stirred by comfort and denial; it is upheaval that throws us out of our comfort zone into the uncertainty of life and awakens us. The goal of life, then, is not to avoid discomfort and the unknown; it is to lean into these times without holding back. The loss off our former safety net can become the opportunity to fly if we can stay present in the moment and stay open to the opportunities revealed by upheaval.
Are you feeling anxious because your world is coming apart? Do you feel as if you struggling on alone, without support, stuck in misery and confusion?
When upheaval comes, it is very helpful to remember that you are experiencing it because the cozy predictability of your life has just been addressed somehow. It may feel as if the rug has been pulled out from under you and you are falling through mid-air. This very sense of groundlessness invites you to stay present, and to see this is an invitation to deeper awakening and growth.
When we stop resisting fear of the unknown and stay present to our experience, we discover more and more freedom. We learn to lean into the Permanence that exists beyond the solid world of senses, and to surrender our attachment to the impermanence of the created world.
We are invited to discover the limitless freedom of Infinite Awareness manifest in us, and to recognize the timeless nature of Being. As we let go of our narrow identity as bodies, we can expand into the spaciousness of our true nature. We are expansive enough to stay present in every experience as it unfolds.
There is no need to defend false ego constructs: no need to attack, distract, or ignore what is unfolding in our lives. We can step back from drama and align with the Presence in which all possibilities exists and from where all creation emanates.
This letting go of our attachment to comfort and security, allows us to align with the Source of all that is, instead of the limited creations of ego. It restores us to ultimate freedom. From here, we can create a better world by focusing on what is truly meaningful, truthful, and inclusive.
©Copyright Ada Porat. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached. Ada Porat is an energy kinesiologist & pastoral counselor with extensive international teaching & clinical experience. She uses body/mind/spirit techniques to help clients make optimal life choices. For more information, visit https://AdaPorat.com
Photo Credit: Rachel McDermott, Unsplash
Is there a difficult situation in your life that you’d like to turn around? Learning how to use the power of focused intention can turn things around and draw in amazing outcomes! Here is how:
The vibrational power of our words and intentions powerfully affects our experience of life. Research by the Institute of Noetic Science and others shows that all mental states are accompanied by vibration and each vibration attracts to it external conditions that resonate with its inherent frequency.
Japanese researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto took this information further by showing how water molecules respond to the emotions and intentions projected onto them. Both our positive and our negative emotions carry great power and can become enormously effective tools for change when we learn how to focus them wisely.
Every emotion, thought and word we engage with, sets into motion energy ripples that deliberately attract resonant outcomes to us from a field of infinite probabilities. In fact, everything that has been created, started with a thought: “I think I’ll plant a garden” or “I think I’ll go back to school.”
That thought acts like a blueprint; it creates an image of the intended form, which then through emotion attracts resonant energy to flow into that form until it eventually manifests on the physical plane.
When we focus on a thought with intention and visual imagery, we set into motion a laser beam of focused energy to attract the desired outcome. Top athletes often use intention, fueled by visualization and affirmation to focus their minds and improve their performance.
Some people tend to focus their attention on the outcomes they fear most in life: illness, loss of income, or the loss of security. Other focus their attention on the positive outcomes they desire in life: healthy relationships, joyful work, and so on. Both approaches work because thoughts become things. Wouldn’t it be so much better to focus on the thoughts that would bring us the intentions we desire? When we understand that thoughts become things, we become motivated to focus our intention on positive thoughts!
Does this mean that we should deny or resist the presence of the opposite outcomes we don’t want? Not at all! In this world of duality, polarity is necessary for us to exercise our freedom to choose. Denial is a Pollyanna-type process of bypassing reality.
There is no need to resist anything either; resistance actually pulls us away from our innate state of loving compassion and traps us in judgment. And as we’ve all experienced, whatever we resist, has a tendency to persist!
Instead of resisting what we don’t want, the pathway of true personal empowerment invites us to harness our intention into clear focus on the chosen outcome. In so doing, we set into motion the creative power of intention to bring about any change needed so there can be harmony between our intentions and our actual experience.
Intention is a powerful force for both healing and manifestation. The creative power of our intention ripples out around us to attract people, situations and synchronicities to actualize the desired outcome. Imagine using that powerful intention to attract clients that can benefit from your skills, friendships you are ready to enjoy, and opportunities where you can be of meaningful service. This principle can turn your life around!
Intentions need to be fine-tuned to increase the power of the process. If you don’t like the results you are getting, then refine your intentions to match exactly how you want the outcome to look. This dynamic process will ensure that the resulting experience matches your evolving thoughts, intentions and actions.
You are much more powerful than you know. Your thoughts, attitudes and beliefs have an immediate, scientifically provable, effect on your world. Because the body is electrical and each cell in the body has a positive and negative charge, you are continuously, magnetically charged with the energy vibrations of your thoughts.
Thoughts ultimately magnetize a resonant energy field around us. We can tap into this power consciously. Instead of existing in a frequency of fear, lack and limitation, you can interrupt habitual, negative thinking with, “How would I prefer things to be?” or “What would be a better way to respond?”
With practice we can strengthen the power of intention as well. By identifying and releasing blockages that keep you stuck in limited thinking, you can choose to focus your intention on more appropriate thoughts positively creative ways to attract optimal outcomes.
Intention is a powerful tool that lets you consciously focus your mind on the outcomes you choose, rather than the ones you fear. Life will respond in turn, creating the outcomes you intentionally focus on as you harness the power of your intention for positive unfoldment.
©Copyright Ada Porat. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached. Ada Porat is an energy kinesiologist & spiritual counselor with extensive international teaching & clinical experience. She uses body/mind/spirit techniques to help clients make optimal life choices. For more information, visit https://AdaPorat.com
Photo by Vyacheslav Shatskiy on Unsplash
Are you feeling the strain of being bombarded by paradox and mixed messages everywhere you turn? The boundaries between light and shadow have become blurred. What is true and what is not? What should we choose and what decline? Welcome to the act of finding balance between paradoxical paradigms!
Not only do we have the capacity to navigate through this time, but we must learn how to do so effectively. Our future depends on it!
To thrive in a world awash with paradox, requires learning how to cherry-pick optimal choices for each of us individually. We also need to apply discernment to determine what is appropriate for us, because the solutions for loved ones or friends may not be optimal for us.
Truth can be fluid, twisted, and modified. It looks different from different levels of consciousness, and so the truth for each of us is about what is appropriate for you and me at each of our individual vibrational levels; what is harmonious with our individual levels of consciousness right now.
There is no need to fear the paradoxes and anomalies around us. Each one of us is constantly connected to our souls, and thru that, to the Creator energy beyond to sustain and protect us. Whenever we take in information or substances consciously, that Creator energy within empowers us to transmute what is not helpful, and to embrace what is.
Thriving in this paradigm requires us to evolve into higher levels of function by leaning into our spiritual identity. It requires us to step out of the limiting box of groupthink. Optimal choices are made when we bypass the ego noise and choose from our hearts. We need to become inner-directed, self-regulating beings who receive our guidance and discernment from within to lead and keep us safe. We must funnel information thru the true filter of our hearts to determine what is appropriate for each of us individually, and to select what resonates with our unique energy field.
The potential for spiritual evolution for everyone on the planet is enormous at this time. As cosmic radiation and photon light penetrate the planet on its journey through the photon belt, everything is speeding up and evolving faster. We can tap into that energy through our heart connection with Spirit, our consciousness and our present moment awareness.
Our heart connection is a powerful, sacred tool. Each one of us has the ability to focus inward and to access the wisdom within to guide us on our sacred journey of individuation. We have been given the freedom to choose; let’s choose wisely. This inner wisdom is not to be applied to defend our egoic stance or to judge others; it is a sacred tool we can tap into to transform our choices, outlook and ultimately, ourselves.
When we take back our power from externalized loci of control, we become self-regulating, empowered beings who navigate without fear. Technology is not our boss; it is merely a tool that can be used in service to our truth and level of consciousness.
Likewise, substances we are exposed to or ingest, do not necessarily have power over us. The body is uniquely resilient and calibrated to keep us safe. To function best, it needs to be guided by our consciousness and aligned to our inner life Source. When the body is aligned with our consciousness, it will find ways to create the reality that we focus on.
Becoming conscious of what we focus on, is important because whatever we focus on, becomes our reality. To thrive at all levels, we need to focus on that which is true, harmonious, and resonant with our inner truth. Over time, we will become what we focus on. That is why it is so important to discipline our minds and focus on things that are congruent with our level of consciousness and understanding – our survival and thriving absolutely depend on that.
Navigating these times calls for discipline and maturity as well. It takes commitment, repetition and discipline to bring our minds into alignment and keep focusing on our inner truth. Distractions are everywhere! Yet learning to manage our individual consciousness with maturity and self-discipline, is essential if we wish to effectively navigate the brave new world emerging around us. This is a core truth that needs to be practiced by everyone who wants to thrive in the coming years.
This disciplined training banishes all fear. When our inner truth filter guides us, we become fearless. We can embrace the future, the new and the unknown without anxiety. We stand strong and navigate with confidence, because we filter, choose and navigate from the heart.
Navigation from the heart is the way forward. It will draw to us not only what is necessary for our individual journeys, but it will also guide us to higher levels of awareness and empowerment. This connection asks us to step away from outer chaos and to connect to the Source of truth within. It transforms us into inner-directed, self-regulating beings.
We also need to wield the power of focus effectively. We are on the cusp between two very different paradigms, the old and the new. Even as the old paradigm is being laid bare and seen for its limitations, new options are emerging. There is no need to continue entangling with the old, whether through judgment or resistance. It is helpful to remember that whenever we resist or fight something, we’re actually entangling our own energy with that field. And what we resist, persists! We need not obsess with destroying the old; the power of our aligned intention will simply continue to expand what we focus on, allowing old, abandoned constructs to shrivel up and die. Whatever we focus on, grows; whatever we withdraw our Life Force from, will drop away.
The more we tap into the power of our alignment with the Life Force, the more effectively we’re able to focus that creative force in us on what we desire, align with and are harmonious with. As each of us, at our unique levels of consciousness, embrace this practice of alignment and discipline our focus to embrace what is desired now, the rich tapestry of our emergent world will thrive.
Our thoughts become things, so let’s choose wisely. To let our light shine more brightly, we must maintain our balance within an ever-expanding universe, and replace judgment with curiosity. We can become curious about possibilities instead, and embrace that which brings peace, harmony and joy. This is a time to avoid the temptation to vilify, judge or criticize ourselves or others, for it serves no positive purpose. Instead, we need to catch ourselves when defaulting into old habits and bring back our focus to this present moment, where all possibilities exist.
The more heart-connected we are, the more access we have to channel our Higher wisdom and discernment. When discipline is practiced, it brings mastery. Collectively and individually, this is how we create new habits, new structures and a new world.
We are called to become lighthouses for consciousness. The more light – representing higher levels of consciousness – we hold in our intentions, the quicker the old will drop away so the new can emerge.
It is time to marinate our hearts in lovingkindness and truth. We need to sterilize all negativity with kindness as we breathe in calm, and breathe out all conflict, dissonance and pain. This is how we let go of what no longer serves, so we can remain perfectly aligned with our unfolding potential in the Field right now. Yes, we are the co-creators of our emerging new reality, so let’s stand in truth and trust the unfolding path!
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.
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.
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.
Photo credit: Daniel Sessler, Unsplash
When we droop with fatigue, overwhelmed by the relentless pace of change, yet yearning for a better life, it is helpful to turn back to basics – hopefully a little wiser. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the heads up on a few things we may encounter along the way?
I sure could have used a few pointers along the way to smooth out the kinks! However, a huge range of life experience taught me some valuable lessons, and I am happy to share them. Here are eight insights from my personal playbook on surviving in this world of marvel and change. May it encourage, embolden and inspire you!
- You will pass from this life leaving an unfinished To Do list behind.
Shocking, isn’t it – and that despite your very best efforts every day! Today more than ever, there’s no reason to assume any fit between demands on your time – all the things you like to do or feel you ought to do – and the amount of time available. Thanks to capitalism, technology and human ambition, these demands keep increasing, while your capacities remain largely fixed. It follows that the attempt to clean up your To Do list is doomed.
The upside is that you need not berate yourself for failing to do it all, since doing it all is structurally impossible. The only viable solution is to make a shift: from a stressed-out rat race trying not to neglect anything, to a life intentionally lived and consciously choosing what to neglect in favor of what matters most.
- When stumped by a life choice, choose enlargement over happiness.
Jungian therapist James Hollis said that major personal decisions should be made not by asking, “Will this make me happy?” but “Will this choice enlarge me or diminish me?” We’re usually terrible at predicting what will make us happy: the issue quickly gets bogged down in our narrow preferences for security and control. Yet choosing enlargement elicits a deeper, intuitive response. You tend to know when leaving or staying in a relationship or a job, even though it might bring short-term security, would mean cheating yourself of growth.
- The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower.
It’s shocking to realize how readily we set aside even our greatest ambitions in life, merely to avoid any level of unpleasantness. You already know it won’t kill you to endure the mild agitation of getting back to work on an important project, initiating a difficult conversation with someone, asking somebody out, committing to a workout routine, or checking your bank balance – yet you can waste years in avoidance! This is exactly why social media platforms flourish: they provide an instant, compelling distraction from reality where we can escape to at the first hint of unease.
Instead, you can truly empower yourself by gradually increasing your capacity for discomfort, similar to doing weight training. When you expect an action to bring up feelings of irritability, anxiety or boredom, you can stick to your commitment; let the feelings arise and fade while doing the right action anyway. Once you experience the rewards of tolerating discomfort, it will reinforce this path of walking straight ahead as a more appealing way to live.
- The advice you don’t want to hear is usually the advice you need.
I spent years fixating on becoming hyper-productive before I finally started wondering why I was staking so much of my self-worth on my productivity levels. What I needed wasn’t another personal goal, but asking more uncomfortable questions instead.
Yes, it isn’t fun to confront whatever emotional experiences you’re avoiding – if it were fun, you wouldn’t avoid them – so any advice that could really help is likely to make you uncomfortable, too. And that is okay! If you can muster up the courage to go where you really don’t want to, you may just break through to a deeper level of personal truth.
Be especially wary of celebrities offering advice in public forums: many of them pursue fame to fill an inner void, which tends not to work – so they are likely to be more troubled than you are and by the time you buy their snake oil, they’d have already moved on to the next gig.
Here is a bit of reverse psychology that does work: ask yourself what kind of practices strike you as intolerably cheesy or self-indulgent. Is it a gratitude journal, mindfulness meditation, or seeing a therapist? If you feel resistance rising, it might well mean that the very issue your ego is resisting, is the one worth pursuing.
- The future will never provide the reassurance you seek from it.
As the ancient Greek and Roman Stoics understood, much of our suffering arises from attempting to control what is not in our control. And the main thing we try but fail to control is the future. We want to know, from our vantage point in the present, that things will be OK later on. Yet we never can!
It’s wrong to say we live in especially uncertain times. The future is always uncertain; we’re simply very aware of it in current times.
No amount of fretting will ever alter this truth. Accept that certainty and it will set you free.
While we live in uncertain times, it is still useful to make plans. Make your plans with the awareness that a plan is only ever a present-moment statement of intent, not a lasso thrown around the future to bring it under control. The spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti said his secret for peace was simple: “I don’t mind what happens.” That does absolve you from trying to make life better for yourself or others. It just means not living each day anxiously braced to see if things work out as you hoped.
- The solution to imposter syndrome is to see that you are one.
In the current era of incompetent leadership, it is not possible to ignore corrupt governments and egocentric self-indulgence amid global threats of destruction to the point of extinction. Yet the way forward lies neither in complaining nor in passively accepting that we are all doomed.
I believe the answer lies in recognizing that you – unconfident, self-conscious, insecure, and all-too-aware-of-your-flaws – you potentially have as much to contribute to your field and to the world as anyone else.
Humanity is divided into two: on the one hand, those who are improvising their way through life, patching solutions together and putting out fires as they go, but deluding themselves by arguing for their limitations; and on the other, those doing exactly the same, except that they know it. It’s infinitely better to apply yourself and accept your failures and successes both as intrinsic parts of life.
Remember, the reason you can’t hear other people’s inner monologues of self-doubt is not because they don’t have them. It’s simply because you only have access to your own mind!
- Selflessness is overrated.
We respectable types, and women especially, are raised to think a life well spent means helping others – and plenty of self-help gurus stand ready to affirm for a price that generosity and sacrifice are the way to happiness. There’s truth here, but it generally gets tangled up with exploitation of deep-seated issues of guilt and self-esteem.
If you think you should be doing more, that’s probably a sign that you should direct more energy toward your true passions and ambitions. As Buddhist teacher Susan Piver said, it feels radical to ask how we’d enjoy spending an hour or day of discretionary time – yet the irony is that you don’t actually benefit anyone else by suppressing your true passions anyway. Instead of being disciplined about hating on yourself to get things done, try being disciplined about remaining close to what brings you joy. It takes a lot of courage, actually.
- Know when to move on.
And then, finally, there’s knowing when something that meant a great deal to you has reached its natural endpoint. All things in life come to an end, both the good and the bad. Your most empowering response is not to bewail the ending or unfairness of it all, or to hang on for dear life until your claw marks scar the very thing you loved most as life pulls it away from you. Your most creative choice in the face of endings, is to let go and to turn to what is next. The rest of life awaits, both for you and for me!
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©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.