by Conor Boehm, Spiritual Guru
It is very easy to see the flaws in the lives of others; it can be very challenging to see the flaws in your own life. This is why we can be very quick to judge others and yet still fail to come to terms with our own demons. Negativity comes in many forms, and in the fog of our ego, we sometimes don’t realize we are being negative, even when we think we are being positive! This is an over-generalization of course, but we have all wished things were different at times in our lives. However, becoming attached to an outcome is what screws us up most in life. Life is what it is. Let it be. That does not mean to stop dreaming or hoping for and building a better future. But in order to do that, you must accept the present as it is. Make sure you take small, positive, concrete steps each day. If you never take the first step, you remain perpetually stuck in a place you do not belong. You deserve so much better, but only you have the power to change your circumstances and your life.
Be aware that negativity impacts those around you in ways that are not always obvious. If you don’t take the time to build a positive life for yourself, your misery spills over into the lives of your friends, family, and closest supporters. Even your coworkers notice it and may start avoiding you, or they become more negative in your presence. People you casually meet in the street are no different. Negative energy is contagious. Everyone is your mirror, as what you see in them a reflection of you. If you want to find happiness in life, know that it starts as an inside job before you see it manifest in the external world. Dig deep to understand what it is in others that bother you, as it will lead you to understand yourself more fully. Also, do not let others’ negativity get in the way of creating your own happiness. Do not allow anyone to convince you it is selfish to take time to create a positive lifestyle. It is not selfish to build a positive, healthy lifestyle; it is absolutely critical you do. Remember, this time spent is not only for your personal happiness, but is also related to the happiness of others in your life as well. Positive energy is also contagious!
The most liberating aspect of life is realizing where in your story you are your own antagonist. And no one is perfect, so we must always be vigilant about reassessing our life and our actions. This is why it is so important to be present. From deep reflection or from other people you may discover things about yourself that your ego or mind does not want to hear. The best thing you can do is to listen with an open heart, rather than with your defensive ego. The truth can be ugly, the truth can hurt, but it is exactly what you need to hear. Remember that change takes time, and is a lifelong, continuous process. So do not get hung up about where you wish you were in your journey (expectations), and instead enjoy where you currently are in this moment. Life IS the journey, not a destination. Do not carry yesterday’s pain with you. In fact, leave your past behind, but only after you have learned the lessons you’ve needed in order to remake yourself into who you truly are. Remember to embrace each day anew, with a smile on your face and a heart full of love.
by Conor Boehm, Spiritual Guru
It is difficult when we experience pain and suffering, and their accompanying emotions, to be fully present with them. Too often, we try to take the easy way out and suppress our negative side. Partly, this is cultural. We are conditioned to look past the pain and suffering of others and in ourselves, and treat it as unnatural, something outside of us to be fixed with medication. We have all put on fake smiles and said “I’m fine” when we really aren’t.
Our easy way out of pain and suffering takes many forms: We blame others for our unhappiness, we seek happiness externally from others or from things, we block it out (consciously or unconsciously) by staying preoccupied with activities that transiently elevate our mood, or we turn to substances to escape being with our true feelings. Yet just beneath the surface, those feelings still remain, eating away at us day by day.
What we aren’t accustomed to is simply allowing it to be. It is uncomfortable to be present with painful emotions. Yet paradoxically it is the only way to transcend them. When we allow ourselves to be present with the bad, we are creating space for understanding and growth. When we learn to listen to our pain and suffering, it loses its grip on us. We begin to find a way through it.
Pain and suffering are a part of the human existence. Without them, however, we would not truly know happiness and love. It is only by understanding and embracing our pain and suffering that we find the strength, courage, and determination to overcome them. Everyone experiences pain and suffering. True warriors do not allow pain and suffering to harden them to life; they allow it to transform them into the caring, compassionate, empathetic, loving souls that they are.
Pick your head up because you’re not far off. Two degrees is all you need. It may be one thing, one behavior that is limiting you. It could be one change that holds the key which unlocks your universe. Don’t be afraid to test your theories of what needs to change. Don’t underutilize the power to experiment with what works and what doesn’t. Engage with the outside world by courageously failing. Revise inputs as new outputs are observed. Formulate newer, more optimal paths to accomplish your specific goals. Unlock your life by having greater focus, having a more specific plan, and taking the time to truly practice cultivating the true passion required to accomplish difficult goals. Focus brings energy to a moment, enables the ether of the air to be charged, and creates unique and magical reactions not explained by rhyme or reason.
See the PDSA cycle in detail here: Changing For Good
We all should embrace our fears of risk taking in order to meet our full potential. The problem, most people don’t.
Risk creates fear for many people because there is always something at stake, and because of that, their minds automatically go into the stage of “what if’s” and “I could fail”.
The issue with this train of thought is that NOTHING in life is guaranteed (even the safety net you may currently be in). To a degree, everyone and everything is interchangeable. You may think you are sitting comfortably in your job today but get laid off tomorrow. The worst thing you can do is be complacent — to float through life just to get by. And maybe some of you do and that’s completely fine because that’s your own decision. But for those of you who want to be great, you need to take chances … you need to take calculated RISKS. You’ll never know your limits and you’ll never know if you can succeed unless you venture out into new territory.
When you make calculated risks, you open yourself up to more opportunities, creativity, empowerment, confidence, and most importantly, break free from the average way of thinking/living (this is where breakthroughs come). Welcome fear, it’s a wonderful thing!! When you get that itch in your body from fear, it’s usually a sign that you’re on to something remarkable.
So instead of getting anxiety from taking risks, EMBRACE it. Dance with it. Use fear like fuel, and let it guide you toward some of the biggest rewards you’ll ever see…
by Chris Garafola, Founder of Stop Breathe Bump.
“Life is too short for bad music.”
Chase your passions like the moth chases the flame.
When we’ve been away from the flame for too long, we begin to die. Our daily activities become increasingly monotonous. Our lives lose its magic, and we start to shuffle through life like zombies. We go on autopilot and forget to be conscious. It is crucially important that we come back to our passions. It recharges our souls.
Distractions and obstacles always have a way of presenting themselves. The question is do you have the wherewithal, perspective, and fortitude to push through the discomfort to return to your energized state. Kids, work, money, lack of time are all real and powerful reasons we stray from the substance that makes us whole, but without cultivating an inner-peace with yourself, you are doing your entire circle an injustice. We can’t be perfect, and that’s okay.
You don’t have to go after success everyday. Some days are better spent recuperating the energy you’ve sacrificed for your family, for your friends, for your future. Always try to remember to be true to yourself. Listen to what your mind, body, and soul are telling you. The answer is written inside you. Only you know what your flame is. Never cease to find your flame.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
10 Tips to Start Living in the Present
by JOSHUA BECKER
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
One of the best, unforeseen consequence of simplifying our lives is it has allowed us to begin living our lives in the present. Eliminating nonessential possessions has freed us from many of the emotions associated with past lives that were keeping us stuck. And clearing our home has allowed us the freedom to shape our lives today around our most important values.
Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, it robs you of truly living. The only important moment is the present moment. With that goal in mind, consider this list of ten tips below to start living your life in the present:
1. Remove unneeded possessions. Minimalism forces you to live in the present. Removing items associated with past memories or lives frees us up to stop living in the past and start living in the present.
2. Smile. Each day is full of endless possibilities! Start it with a smile. You are in control of your attitude every morning, keep it optimistic and expectant.
3. Fully appreciate the moments of today. Soak in as much of today as you possibly can – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions, the triumph, and the sorrow.
4. Forgive past hurts. If you are harboring resentment towards another human being because of past hurts, choose to forgive and move on. The harm was their fault. But allowing it to impact your mood today is yours.
5. Love your job. If you just “survive” the workweek constantly waiting for the next weekend “to get here,” you are wasting 71% of your life (5 out of 7 days). there are two solutions: 1) find a new job that you actually enjoy (it’s out there), or 2) find something that you appreciate about your current career and focus on that rather than the negatives.
6. Dream about the future, but work hard today. Dream big. Set goals and plans for the future. But working hard today is always the first step towards realizing your dreams tomorrow. Don’t allow dreaming about tomorrow to replace living in today.
7. Don’t dwell on past accomplishments. If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today.
8. Stop worrying. You can’t fully appreciate today if you worry too much about tomorrow. Realize that tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. And since worry has never accomplished anything for anybody, redirect your mental energy elsewhere.
9. Think beyond old solutions to problems. Our world is changing so fast that most of yesterday’s solutions are no longer the right answers today. Don’t get locked into a “but that’s how we’ve always done it” mentality. Yesterday’s solutions are not today’s solutions and they are certainly not tomorrow’s solutions.
10. Conquer addictions. Addictions in your life hold you hostage. They keep you from living a completely free life today. Find some help. Take the steps. And remove their influence over your life.
If you can only live one moment at a time, you might as well make it the present…