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Enlightenment

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

Sheila J. Highland

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The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

While a spiritual awakening is often considered a journey, it’s not necessarily a journey of physical travel or pilgrimage; it’s a process of going beyond your boundaries and taking the next evolutionary step.

In the course of a human life, few experiences can be as profound and transformative as those of a spiritual awakening. Identifying with and directly experiencing your divinity represents a paradigm shift of the highest order. A spiritual awakening has the potential to rip apart the fabric of reality as you’ve known it and pull you forward into a new life of conscious growth and evolution.

As the term implies, you “wake up” from the dream of everyday, mundane material-level, ego-based awareness to a higher reality of spirit. And as if emerging from a deep sleep, you can see the dream for what it is—an illusion to which there can be no going back.

 

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

 

Escaping Ignorance

A spiritual awakening represents the lifting of the veil of ignorance or avidya, which in Sanskrit means “incorrect understanding.” This ignorance shrouds your true nature and keeps you operating in the dark of lower levels of consciousness. This is a state of not knowing what you don’t know.

At the heart of this ignorance is tamas, one of the three gunas, or primary qualities of the universe. Tamas embodies darkness, dullness, inactivity, and entropy and binds you in the physical, mental, and emotional quicksand of inertia. Fortunately, though, the process of spiritual awakening runs directly counter to the currents of avidya in your life.

The evolution of consciousness generates a forward pull, a momentum toward growth, transformation, and change that is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Like a spaceship achieving escape velocity, spiritual awakening punches you out of the limiting gravity well of ignorance and on toward the ultimate destination of cosmic self-realization.

But how does this happen? Well, if you accept that all human beings, and perhaps even all sentient beings, are hardwired for evolution, then it stands to reason that spiritual awakening is your birthright—something you are destined to achieve. And if this process is mapped into your consciousness and your body, then there must be clues or steps to indicate you are on the path to awakening.

The Vision of Your Spiritual Awakening Journey

One of the most useful metaphors for describing the stages of spiritual awakening is that of vision. In this model, five different qualities of sight represent unique steps on the spiritual journey:

  1. Glimpsing: The call to adventure
  2. Closer examination: Choosing a path
  3. Seeking: Following the path
  4. Loss of sight: Losing the path
  5. Seeing: Merging with the path

Let’s explore each of these stages in greater detail.

1. Glimpsing Spirit: The Call to Adventure

The celebrated mythologist Joseph Campbell defined what is known as the hero’s journey, an evolutionary path of growth and transformation woven into all great myths and stories: “When we quit thinking about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”

At the start of any hero’s journey is the primary pushing off point known as the call to adventure. The call to adventure represents a break from everyday life, a signal that bubbles up from the subconscious, catches your attention, and leads you in a new direction. A call to adventure is the spark that triggers a spiritual awakening.

Every life has a moment, if seized, that will change that life forever. The call to adventure is an awakening incident, a new perception that compels you to look at life differently. This spiritual experience can take countless forms—a trip to a faraway land, the loss of innocence, an illness, a challenge, the death of a close friend, a near-death experience, or the loss of a job.

Regardless of the particulars, the experience shakes your worldview and you see the world with new eyes. You are called to live the ordinary life in a non-ordinary way.

At this pivotal point, Joseph Campbell teaches that you face a choice, to either accept or refuse the call to adventure. In reality though, refusing the call truly isn’t an option, because at the deeper level, your own soul is beckoning you to transform.

If you refuse the call, thanks to your unique karmic influences, the opportunity will only recycle itself like a skip on a record, patiently waiting for you to accept the call to a new life.

In addition, once a transformative and deeply awakening incident has been experienced, there can be no going back. Your eyes have been opened and you can’t un-see the vision of the higher reality calling to you, no matter how much you might want to deny it.

Once you have answered the call to adventure, you step into a larger world. You become a conscious participant in your spiritual growth and evolution. Responsibility becomes the operative word as you begin to navigate your life toward opportunities that further expand your awareness. A subtle shift in perception has taken place and everything feels the same and oddly different simultaneously.

 

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

 

2. Closer Examination: Choosing a Path

Faced with the realization that your limited worldview can no longer contain your expanding awareness, you come to recognize that your life is on a spiritual journey, an awakening of your consciousness.

While it can be an exciting time, this stage can also feel unsettling and unfamiliar. Everything you once accepted as fixed and stable (ideologies, worldviews, sense of self and others, relationships) can be called into question. You are in search of answers—a means by which you can repeat or return to the glimpse of spirit that initially shifted your perspective.

At this point, you may set out to find a new way—a new philosophy, a different tradition, or practice that will help to contextualize or re-map your worldview. This is when many begin spiritual exploration in earnest.

Often marked by a period of information gathering, self-study, and delving into world religions or psychology, you are drawn to practices and methods that align with your unique personalities and dispositions. According to Vedanta, there are four paths or yogas back to the unity you seek:

  1. Bhakti Yoga: The path of love and devotion
  1. Jnana Yoga: The path of science and the intellect
  2. Karma Yoga: The path of action and selfless service
  1. Raja Yoga: The path of meditation and all its related disciplines

Each path provides a distinctive vehicle for self-discovery and realization. Some may choose one, others may explore multiple paths simultaneously; there are no absolutes or set rules for discovering your path.

What matters is that it feels right for you and serves as an appropriate vehicle for growth. No one can or should tell you what path to follow; only your own intuitive heart can guide you to what method or vehicle will suit you best.

At this stage you would do well to remember the wisdom of the Hindu proverb that states:
There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.

3. Seeking: Following the Path

The next stage calls you to be a spiritual seeker. Having found your path, regular practice, study, and discipline serve to take you deeper toward the greater vision of expanded awareness. The Sanskrit term for the discipline of spiritual practice is sadhana.

Sadhana is the spiritual routine that takes your practice from an isolated exercise to a way of life. You are dedicated travelers on the path, familiar with its twists and turns, up and downs. As your practice deepens, you become increasingly more adept and more knowledgeable, not only of the tradition or practice you follow but also of yourself.

This stage is marked by the birth of self-referral, the process in which your identity begins to shift from external references (such as positions, possessions, and ego satisfactions) to the internal reference of stillness, intuition, and higher guidance. You know yourself as a spiritual being living a human life while fostering the progressive growth of your consciousness.

As you travel their path to expanded awareness, there are two markers, two clues that hint spiritual progress is underway.

  1. The first is an increasing sense of lightheartedness. With consistent spiritual practice, happiness and joy become your ground state. You take life less seriously. Hysteria and melodrama have less influence over you. Carefreeness and detachment flow from you spontaneously and you feel much more at ease in life.

2. The second marker of spiritual progress is the ease in which your desires are fulfilled. Regular spiritual practice removes mental, physical, and energetic blockages that obstruct the manifestation of your desires. As these obstacles fall away, life becomes easier; you step into the flow of life and experience synchronicities, little miracles, and experiences of grace that lead you closer to your life’s spiritual purpose.

4. Loss of Sight: Losing the Path

The spiritual path is not without struggle, however. By its very nature, the path of awakening confronts you with your shortcomings, self-deceptions, cognitive biases, and resistance to change. Growth can be an uncomfortable process at times.

As your chosen path challenges you to change thoughts, emotions, speech, or behavior to be more expansive, compassionate, forgiving, or kind, it is not uncommon to struggle with being in this world but not of it. Worse yet are the external influences that assault the spiritual seeker with temptations to give up the quest for awakening and return to a conventional life.

The most formidable challenges on the path come in the form of what Joseph Campbell called threshold guardians. Threshold guardians are the barriers (literal or symbolic) that stand in the way of important turning points in your life.

They can be enemies, rivals, life circumstances, limiting beliefs, or setbacks that block your progress forward toward a higher level. These antagonists can repeatedly knock you down, test your resolve, and make you question your chosen path. Such setbacks make you doubt yourself and your commitment and may even persuade you to give up the quest.

At this stage, you may feel lost or helpless, as if you have succumbed to spiritual blindness. However, what you often don’t realize is that this blindness or challenges are the subterfuge of your ego—your small self that fears its own extinction in the ever-expanding field of spirit.

Seen in this way, your spiritual challenges, or dark nights of the soul, become as spiritual teacher Ram Dass would say, “grist for the mill of enlightenment.” Every setback then becomes an expression of your inner doubts and fears—trials and hurdles on your personalized and self-made obstacle course.

Undoubtedly, this stage requires both fortitude and courage to stay on the path as you remember poet Robert Frost’s words: “The only way out is through.” Fortunately, it is from this darkness that you can emerge fully into the light, continue your spiritual development, and become awakened.

 

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

 

5. Seeing: Merging with the Path

At last, the seeker breaks through to a new stage; visionary, transcendent, and sight beyond sight. At this level you have gone beyond sadhana; you have become the practice. No longer striving to see, you exist in a state of unity in which seer, scenery, and that which is seen merge.

A permanent shift has taken place and you awaken fully to your true identity—the infinite, immortal, unbounded, God-force existing everywhere and in everything. You wake up fully to being the divine observer—the ever-present witness-self of the entire universe.

In this stage, you come back home to yourself, but surprisingly, the process isn’t one of accumulation or gaining more knowledge or experiences. Instead, it’s a process letting go, of continual decrease.

Like peeling the skins of an onion, the “you” gets smaller and smaller until only pure being-ness remains. It’s a journey of insight from here to HERE. This is the sign of spiritual awakening.

The path of spiritual awakening is the grandest adventure you can ever undertake. You are deeply privileged just to recognize the truth that such a journey stands before you. And embracing it is nothing less than following the heroic call of your life purpose and destiny.

Original article by Adam Brady.

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Enlightenment

What Enlightened People Do

Sheila J. Highland

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enlightened people

In this article, we’re going to look at how enlightened people put their wisdom into action.

The mark of truly enlightened people is in the actions they take to help put an end to suffering throughout the world.

enlightenment

 From my studies about spiritual figures in history, and my experiences with people well along their path, I’ve identified some general activities that enlightened people engage in to bring more peace and harmony into the world. Keep in mind that their activities will vary according to how enlightened they are.

The Extinguishment of the Ego

To say that their work is selfless is not entirely correct. You see, the enlightened person has realized that he is interconnected with the rest of humanity—more accurately with all that exists—and has lost the sense of a separate self.

Keep in mind that the loss of a sense of separate self is not the same as a loss of self. The enlightened person has lost only the notion that human beings are characterized by an individual and independent living entity. In other words, it is the extinguishment of the individual ego. Since the enlightened person is an integral part of all of humanity, everything that he does to help others also benefits him personally.

Listen to Eckhart Tolle talk about enlightenment and the egoless state. Video lasts about 8 minutes:

         

One day a friend of mine tried to point out to me that I derived a personal benefit from the work I do to help others on their spiritual path. I had to concede that he was correct. And since I am not yet fully enlightened, some personal gratification is still involved, though I hope that motivation is diminishing as I progress in my spiritual development.

With these things in mind, let’s look at how enlightened people put their wisdom into action:

They Teach, and Don’t Preach

The enlightened person wants others to have the peace and serenity they have found. To that end, he dedicates his life to teaching others how to put an end to their suffering. He understands human nature and the most effective ways of transmitting his insights.

He also understands that people who are truly interested in greater insight don’t respond well to preaching and lecturing. Instead, they prefer to be guided down the path of enlightenment.

Generally, people who prefer to be lectured are those who are not inquisitive and prefer to simply accept a particular spiritual doctrine without questioning. They don’t want to put in the effort it takes to finding the Truth within themselves. I should point out that we are all susceptible to getting set in our views. It takes work, courage, and humility to continuously question our own views.

The enlightened person understands that his role as a teacher is to show others how to become less dependent on him for their enlightenment. He wants his students to understand that all the wisdom in the world is within them, and his job is to show them how to reach it.


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They Lead

The enlightened person leads people down the path to inner peace. She works tirelessly to reach more people with her teachings. She knows that in order to reach more people, she must develop a following. But she doesn’t do it for personal gratification.

The enlightened person is also not interested in being idolized. On the contrary, she realizes that once someone begins to idolize her, they stop looking within themselves for peace and serenity.

People follow her because of who she is and what she stands for. They also follow her because they know she can show them the path to enlightenment. However, once her followers progress in their spiritual development, they too begin to realize that they must now become leaders, and abandon their roles as followers.

They Practice

Enlightenment

The enlightened person practices what he teaches. He not only talks about love, compassion, and understanding, but he practices these principles more diligently than his followers. He has an unshakable faith that his spiritual practice will lead to peace and harmony within himself and in the world around him.

The enlightened person is committed to his own daily meditation practice. He is also continuously looking for ways to improve it further. He is a student of life. He knows that in order to improve his effectiveness as a messenger, he must improve his understanding of the path to enlightenment, and the interconnected nature of all existence.

He is not looking for the right way of doing things, but rather for a more mindful way of doing things, because he knows that more mindfulness leads to less suffering. For him, this process never ends.

They Serve and Protect

The enlightened person is committed to being of service, not just to humanity, but to all life. She has a deep reverence for all living beings, no matter how big or small. To her, it is not necessarily about having a right to life, but rather about having compassion for the inherent ability of living beings to suffer. She, therefore, works to protect all life.

She also knows that many people, as well as many other living creatures, are not fully capable of protecting themselves from the unmindful actions of others. She is aware that in our ignorance, we all do things that harm ourselves, other people and living beings, so she strives to protect us from others and ourselves.


Looking to Grow  – How to Be Your Best Self on This Life-Changing Journey


They Change Their Occupations

These are some of the general ways that enlightened people work to create harmony and goodwill in the world. They come from all walks of life. They may be doctors, lawyers, or teachers. Or, they may come from more humble professions such as factory worker, restaurant worker, or even trash collector.

Whatever their background, they generally transform their livelihood into something related to helping others find peace and serenity. The specifics depend on their skills and opportunities. They are not afraid to make a career change, because they realize the importance of helping other people.

To them, this path is not a matter of choice because they realize their duty. However, given the choice, they would still choose to help others because they simply have compassion for all suffering beings. It also contributes to their own peace and serenity.

Is Enlightenment Possible?

I realize that to some of you, achieving enlightenment might seem like an impossible goal. I can assure you, it’s not. From what I’ve described, there are real people among us with these qualities. You may even know one of them. I figure that if they can do it, then so can I—and so can you. My purpose for writing these 3 articles on enlightenment was to give us a North Star to guide us. I hope they help guide you on your spiritual journey.

This article is written by Charles A. Francis and republished from https://mindfulnessmeditationinstitute.org/ under Creative Common license. Read the original article.

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Personal Growth

7 Simple Ways To Find Micro-Moments To Take Care Of Yourself When You’re Low On Time

Tara Christie

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7 Simple Ways To Find Micro-Moments To Take Care Of Yourself When You're Low On Time

5 Ways You Can Stay Positive and Be Nicer to Yourself

 

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Personal Growth

5 Ways You Can Stay Positive and Be Nicer to Yourself

Tara Christie

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5 Ways You Can Stay Positive and Be Nicer to Yourself

Be nice to yourself especially during hard times. Here are ways to stay positive at all times…

Most of us have an inner voice — the one that usually shames us when we mess up at work or forces us to replay arguments from 7 years ago while in the shower. Even though it’s super common for us to critique ourselves (far more than others critique us), we can also use this inner voice to build ourselves up.

Enter positive self-talk. Granted, it can be weird to compliment yourself in your head — it’s like writing a cover letter (which I hate). But I swear it really works. My therapist and my eating disorder specialist both co-sign that our inner voice can be a powerful tool to help us feel better about ourselves.

P.S. I promise it’s normal to talk to yourself. You never question whether it’s weird when your inner voice says mean things about you. So why question it when the voice is nice?

Let’s talk about some ways to give yourself a little extra grace and compassion.

 

5 Ways You Can Stay Positive and Be Nicer to Yourself

 

Start by recognizing the negativity

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many types of negative self-talk. Here are four examples and some particular ways you can use positive self-talk to combat those intrusive negative thoughts.

Personalizing thought: “My partner must be mad at me because they didn’t answer my text.” Positive self-talk: “My partner is probably too busy to talk right now. It’s great that they know their boundaries. They’ll respond when they can!”
Filtering thought: “Ugh, I didn’t finish this assignment on time. I’m such a failure.” Positive self-talk: “I got a lot of things done and was able to rest. Work isn’t everything!”
Catastrophizing thought: “If I don’t get this job, I’ll never be employed.” Positive self-talk: “It’s OK if I’m not a fit for this role. I want to work somewhere that values me and what I can bring to the table.”
Polarizing thought: “I slept in 2 days in a row. I’m so lazy.” Positive self-talk: “Wow, I must have been tired! I’m glad I could prioritize resting.”

It’s OK if you have things to work on (Lord knows I do), but it’s hard to make positive changes in your life if you give in to the negativity. Reframing every negative thought that comes into your head may seem like a lot of work, but it becomes much easier with practice.

  • Guided meditations: These can teach you how to use positive self-talk in the beginning stages, when it might feel a bit awkward or unnatural. When you have another person guiding you through the process, it can feel affirming.
  • Sticky notes: Every day for 30 days, write a positive thing about yourself, your life, etc., on a sticky note and put it somewhere you look often. Mirrors and the refrigerator are popular sticky note locations.
  • Journaling: Writing things down can be a more engaging way to practice positive self-talk. What’s great about journaling is that it’s a tangible way to get negative feelings out onto the page and then work out new, positive framings on the same page.
  • Daily mantra: This works through the power of repetition. Pick a new mantra biweekly or monthly and repeat it every morning or evening or in times of stress or sadness.
  • Questioning: Use this tactic to interrogate the negative thoughts that pop into your head. Are they true? (No.) Why aren’t they? The answer is usually a positive affirmation.

5 Ways You Can Stay Positive and Be Nicer to Yourself

 

The power to stay positive and positive reinforcement

As much as we might wish it would, positive self-talk doesn’t work overnight. Think of practicing positive self-talk like training for a marathon. You’re teaching your brain and its neural pathways to handle negative thoughts better and for the long haul. The point is that repetition and reinforcement are keys to becoming proficient at anything.

If you play an instrument or practice yoga, you likely remember the very first time you tried. It felt totally unnatural! But as time went on and you practiced, you were able to get into the habit of doing yoga or playing an instrument until it felt natural. Same goes for lifting weights, rehearsing for a play, or engaging in positive self-talk!

Ideally, positive self-talk becomes second nature once you make it a habit. You’ll be able to nip harmful thoughts in the bud by naturally engaging in positive self-talk.

If you need a bit more structure but can’t necessarily afford professional help, there are other resources to explore.

If you want more personal accountability, try leaning on friends or family. Being transparent with people you trust can be helpful, particularly in the positive self-talk reinforcement stage.

Bottom line: You’re not in this alone. But during the times when you’re by yourself, you can still be your own best source of support through consistent positive self-talk.

when times are tough, it is important to always stay positive. Be happier with life. Stay positive to have a positive outlook. When you stay positive, you become calmer and can focus on what are the most important things. So stay positive at all times.

Original article by Reina Sultan. Reina is a Lebanese-American Muslim woman working on gender and conflict issues at her nine to five.

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Personal Growth

10 Powerful Strategies for Reinventing Yourself These Days

Tara Christie

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10 Powerful Strategies for Reinventing Yourself These Days

Reinventing yourself is not that difficult. It is really about the desire to change, discovering a new path to follow, and having a curiosity about life.

Reinventing Yourself

It’s Time. It is time to mix it up. You are feeling stagnant, or things are not going the way you’d hoped. Now is the time to start your new beginning.  You are probably thinking, “do I have to move to another city and change my name?”  “How am I going to reinvent myself if everyone knows me?”

Everyone may know one side of you, but perhaps they have not met your creative side or your wild side. Maybe everyone knows you as being defined by your job, where you go, or what you do. But they haven’t met the “new you.”

Some people reinvent themselves all the time. They do this by changing their way of thinking, following an interest, or going back to school.  Companies do this all the time, as well.  They change the packaging of a product, reinvent a new name for an old product, or restructure their entire business purpose.

Reinventing yourself is not that difficult. It is really about the desire to change, discovering a new path to follow, and having a curiosity about life.  Here are ten sure-fire strategies for reinventing yourself.

 

10 Powerful Strategies for Reinventing Yourself These Days

 

1. Change your posture:

I could sense your body change as you read this. Yes, lift your head, pull your shoulders back and down, pull your abs in, and push your hips forwards. The minute you realize you have been walking around in the shape of a banana, you will understand that you’ve been in a “hiding position.”

It happens to all of us. We go through our day, not wanting to be noticed or taken too seriously. We tend to get wrapped up and involved in our “phone life” or just not caring.  This is the hiding position.  The minute you decide to stand tall is the minute, and your life will start to change. Feel that energy coming out of the top of your head to heaven.

Feel your feet grounded, yet your body pushing forward in the direction of the life you desire to go towards. When you change your posture, you change your life. Your body language expresses a desire to pay attention and move upward. You tell the world, through your attitude, that you are conscious, aware, and engaged with life.

2. Change your mind:

How many times a day do you emotionally beat yourself down?  How many times do you tell yourself you are not good enough, or you can’t do anything? Better yet, how often do your actions alone express this?

The minute you take control of your thoughts is the moment your life can change.  Change your mind, change your life. Instead of wishing, start doing. Instead of berating yourself, praise your actions.

We have to make a conscious decision to be the best we can be. You have everything you need to make your dreams come true, so don’t fool yourself with excuses.

3. Change your outlook:

Positivity is the only outlook you are going to have. When you see yourself as what you wish to be, it is the most powerful visualization and affirmation you can give yourself. It is the stepping stone of growth, as well as becoming that “new person” you are going to be.

Your outlook must be a nourishing, self-loving, and self-respecting reinvention of the person you currently are coping with. When you project your new self forward, other people’s perceptions of you will also change. Those who are savvy and forward thinkers will see this in you.

They are the role models and mentors you should believe in. Avoid the jealous, salacious ones who hold you back. Remember, pride is just the flip side of envy’s coin.

4. Change your inner programming:

When we decide we want to reinvent ourselves, we have to start with our inner beliefs or how we perceive ourselves. It can be a process that takes a long time because we need to restructure how we look at something. Are you judging the situation?  Are you self-opinionated, arrogant, stubborn, or obstinate in holding to your own opinion?

If you want to reinvent yourself, you have to let go of who you were and start looking at life through the eyes of humility, trust, wonder, and an open mind. You are pulling away from your comfort zone to reach new heights. Bumps in the road are inevitable. It’s how you choose to deal with them that manifests your positive inner programming.

 

10 Powerful Strategies for Reinventing Yourself These Days

 

5. Change your style:

What is your style? A new beginning starts with a new wardrobe. Go in another direction. Take on a different persona. Cut your hair. Get a facial. Commit to having fun with it. Sometimes styles emerge.

The more you get to know yourself, the more comfortable you become with your new look or image of who you want to be. Your inside reflects your outside persona, but your outer persona or look can help you to “get into character.”

6. Learn something new:

A critical factor in reinventing yourself is following the passions you yearn for. Remember, there will always be a learning curve to overcome. Learn to embrace and understand it.

You may remember the feeling of accomplishment when you have mastered a new procedure or process in the past. It makes you feel better about yourself and shows you that there is so much more out there for you to comprehend and enjoy. Your ability to do anything is proportional to the amount of love and commitment you give it.

7. Follow your train of thought:

When reinventing yourself, it is important to follow an idea that has presented itself to you. It has come up for a reason. Perhaps it’s your subconscious telling you what you want, even though you don’t think it’s possible. Go down that road without fear. This is often your intuition chiming in.

It is great to have a plan, but be flexible. Listen and act on your gut feeling or intuition. This unfolding of your journey may not always be smooth. Following that, daydream could be a (perceived) nightmare. But in reality, it is just steps you have to take into the unfamiliar, to get to the side of knowing.

8. Control what you can, the rest will follow:

Factors such as motivation, will-power, and enduring emotional stress will ebb and flow. You may not be able to control these ups and downs, but what you can control is how you cope with them. You are going to face adversity.

You can make yourself mentally ready for these challenges each day, by starting with a little “me time.” We all have commitments to meet and daily life to pursuing. Schedule your “me time.”

Make the time to prepare yourself. Some people meditate, do morning yoga, or just take a more extended shower. Whatever your process, create an extra 15-30 minutes to prepare your mind for the day ahead.

9. Support is something you manifest:

If we look long and hard enough, we find what we want. In the meantime, support can be just what you need when you fall off the positivity train or need direction or guidance. You can find support groups in your local town or on social media.

Consider finding reinforcement from books or articles. One of my favorite support tools is journaling. This is a daily or weekly expression of your journey on the road to reinvention.

Create a journal that you can express your joys and fears. Be sure and fill it with positive reinforcements such as ideas, images, colors, scents, or anything that inspires you to go on.

 

10 Powerful Strategies for Reinventing Yourself These Days

 

10. Don’t forget to improve what you have now:

Improve your strengths, better your weaknesses. If you look at who you are now, you will see what you are best at doing. These traits are your strengths, and they are there for you to build a better foundation on. We also know what we may not be the best at.

This is where there is room for improvement. Where there is room for improvement, there is room for growth.

Reinventing yourself is like a caterpillar emerging from its cocoon to become a butterfly. This process is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences you can put yourself through.

The effort it takes to do this will challenge your mind, body, and spirit. What is most rewarding is when you look back on your old self and see those stagnant patterns you have overcome. It is when you realize just how much work it took to find your new self, as you reap the rewards you have truly deserved.

Knowing how to improve makes yourself better. Reinventing yourself during these times will help in your personal growth. You can start reinventing yourself with the help of these powerful strategies.  Start reinventing yourself now.

Original article by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac

 

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Enlightenment

3 Powerful Ways to Have A Break From A Busy Life

Sheila J. Highland

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3 Powerful Ways to Have A Break From A Busy Life

Try to slow down and have a break at life…

For many of us, life seems to dash by at breakneck speed. Like a game character jumping through hoops, solving puzzles and facing challenges, it can sometimes feel as if we are being propelled forward with little agency or control, thoughtlessly rushing from one thing to the next; then realising that months have disappeared and we’re not entirely sure what we’ve done with them.

Luckily, however, we don’t have to rely on someone else to press pause and give us some much-needed breathing space – we can do it ourselves.

These are just a few of the ways we can empower ourselves to put everyday life on hiatus, and enjoy a moment or two that’s entirely our own.

 

3 Powerful Ways to Have A Break From A Busy Life

 

Meditate at least once a day to have a break

Meditation has an extraordinary number of benefits, and is recommended for everything from alleviating anxiety to improving our creativity. A hugely important yet often overlooked benefit, however, is that at the most basic level it gives us some time to ourselves.

By committing to 25 minutes where we simply aren’t allowed to take phone calls, sort out lunch for our kids, get stressed reading the news or scroll through emails, we are giving ourselves much needed “time out.”

While benefits like reduced anxiety and improved performance are key to a meditation practice, it also gives us the discipline to not constantly engage with whatever flighty worry our brain throws at us.

And what’s more, it teaches us that it doesn’t matter how urgent something seems or how busy we think we are, there’s always time to take a breath and withdraw from everyday cares – which is an extremely powerful lesson.

Plan periods of rest

In the past and in many cultures, a “day of rest” was codified in religious law. While this can still be surprisingly strict in small pockets of society (for example in traditional Jewish communities), somewhere along the line the idea of setting aside a day to rest was lost to the majority of us. Work takes up a huge amount of our time, and once that’s finished, we have everything else to contend with.

The result is that it can be surprisingly difficult to slow down, because there’s always another chore, commitment or social engagement to attend to.

The best place to start is to plan periods of rest – even if it means putting them in your diary a week in advance, and deliberately turning down invitations or obligations during that time. You may have to call in support to make this possible, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

For example, if you plan to rest on a Monday afternoon, you may arrange for a family member or partner to take on the responsibility of picking up the kids from school on that day, and return the favor another time.

You also have to be strict with yourself, to make sure you don’t find yourself thinking “oh, I’ll just sort out a couple of things on my to-do list.” If you find it difficult to switch off, try leaving the house and going somewhere you find relaxing, like the beach or cinema; or commit the time to a restful task you really enjoy.

You might love cooking, and could spend that Monday afternoon leisurely preparing an elaborate meal. Or perhaps you could spend the time journaling, walking or painting – as long as it’s something you love, but don’t usually get enough time for.

 

3 Powerful Ways to Have A Break From A Busy Life

 

Remember that not everything needs to be productive

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves, in a world where our day is so dominated by the idea of being on the clock, that not every action has to be productive. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable to while away time doing things that aren’t productive at all.

We place so much value on efficiency – to the point where even our sleep needs to become “optimized” – that we completely miss the main point of life: to have a nice time, and try to make sure other people are having a nice time as well.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have goals, of course, or want to achieve things. But it also doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be busy 24/7, and work flat out all the time. We’d still be ploughing fields with oxen and working 16 hours a day if we hadn’t invested thought in how to make our lives easier, and fought for our right to leisure time.

Rest isn’t only important; it’s completely necessary to our wellbeing – and you could argue, when you look at all the repairs our body is busy with when we’re at rest, that being unproductive is actually a very productive way to spend the day.

While there is value in hard work and pushing yourself, there’s equal value in saying “you know what, today I’m doing exactly what I want to do.” Getting over the mental block that tells us there’s always something we need to be stressing about is a vital factor in hitting the pause button. And with rest at the top of our to-do list, life in general will suddenly feel just that little bit more chilled.

 

When life seems so fast and noisy, you deserve to have a break. Following these powerful ways here will help you have a break in your busy life. Do not be afraid to have a break. You also need to re-charge. your body needs to refresh.

Original article by Holly Ashby. Holly is a wellness writer who works with Beeja Meditation, a meditation centre that teaches a form of transcendental meditation in London, and has written extensively on the benefits of meditation.

 

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Personal Growth

3 Ways to Emotional Cleansing You Need Right Now

Tara Christie

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In need of an emotional cleansing? Here are three ways to cleanse yourself of stuck emotions so you can be free to process your feelings in a healthy way.

Emotions are one of life’s gifts; they offer us a way to experience the full spectrum of what it means to be alive. When we have a healthy relationship to our emotional experience, we can appreciate what each has to offer—from sadness to joy.

If you find yourself overreacting to situations or withdrawing, you may want to consider an emotional cleanse.

 

3 Ways to Emotional Cleansing You Need Right Now

 

Emotional Cleansing: Where to Begin

You don’t have to look far to find directions for a cleanse. Generally, these are based on cleansing the body: eating clean, taking herbs for digestion, sweating, and drinking lots of water.

An emotional cleanse includes many of the same principles, with some important additional steps. Sherianna Boyle, a psychology professor and author, offers a detailed path in her book Emotional Detox. 

What Is Emotional Cleansing

The idea behind an emotional detox, according to Boyle, is not to rid your body of what you may consider negative emotions, but, rather, to clear out the ones that have stagnated and gotten stuck, leaving you free to be able to process and experience all of your emotions in a healthy way.

Just as a physical cleanse can help you digest food better, an emotional cleanse can help you digest your emotional experiences. Emotions can get stuck due to trauma, unhealthy attachments, or resistance to certain emotions—usually because we don’t have the tools to handle them.

“Interestingly,” Boyle writes, “as a we digest our whole emotions, our ability to empathize with others without moving into reactivity improves.”

Three Steps to Cleanse Your Emotions

Boyle suggests preparing for an emotional cleanse by supporting your physical body. Things like daily movement, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, eating clean, and limiting alcohol and caffeine are offered as important steps.

Once you have done the prep work, Boyle offers this three-step process and practices on how to detox your emotions:

Clear

This is about making space so that we can more clearly work with our emotions. An important part of this step is to notice what triggers you, and where you become especially reactive in your life. Once you notice what sets off your sympathetic nervous system (that fight or flight sensation), you can begin to find ways to calm yourself down.

Practice: Boyle suggests stimulating your vagus nerve through exercise, yoga, prayer, hugging, or laughter.

Look Inward

Boyle describes the difference between self-reflection and self-awareness in this step, with self-reflection being a mental process, and self-awareness being a sensory process. She describes a space between the two as an important place of which to be aware.

“The looking inward process,” she writes, “is about bridging the gap, standing up to your inner bully (ego), and letting yourself feel the quiver while allowing yourself to receive the blessing of your raw emotions.”

Practice: The way to create a bridge between the two is to create a healthy dialogue with your body, noticing the sensations of your body as feedback to respectful self-inquiry.

Emit

This step is about creating a relationship with the present moment, releasing fear, and creating internal boundaries. Boyle writes, “The emission process is not about getting rid of reactivity, but, instead, transforming it into something new.”

Practice: She offers the sound “hum”—released in a long, slow sound—as a way to let go of reactive sensations and create “a sense of safety, stability, and strength.”

 

3 Ways to Emotional Cleansing You Need Right Now

 

How to Enhance Your Emotional Cleanse

“Emotional detoxes are enhanced by increasing access to emotions,” writes Boyle. The key here is to be open to them.

Boyle insists when you lower your levels of reactivity to emotions and experiences, you will be more willing to experience the depths of your emotions, which will allow you to have an authentic experience of your life, and a deeper connection with the people in it.

Kalia Kelmenson is the editorial director at Spirituality & Health. She founded Maui Mind and Body to support women’s health, and is the creator of Mind Body Booty Camp.

Kalia loves to explore the fascinating intersection of fitness and mind-body health, and to share inspiration for your movement practice from the research emerging from this intriguing field.

Life can sometimes be harsh. We all need emotional cleansing during our lifetime. Emotional cleansing keeps us going and makes our focus clearer.

 

 

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