Silence

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” Confucius

When your mind is truly silent, you are left with only your senses through which to perceive life. You are once again a small child, connected to your body and “thinking” with all and every one of your trillions of cells, rather than just those found in the grey matter between your ears.

This is not a forced, deliberate silence, but a silence that comes from just letting go. That is, seeing the stupidity and harm of wayward thinking and deliberately negating it all.

It’s a place void of the desire, demand and conflict that represents our habitual thinking and that energises more of the same. You are responding to life, rather than reacting.

There is no need or want, but a curiosity and wonder about what is and a healthy sensitivity towards your body’s needs. There is a physical aliveness and a sense that this is what is real; this is reality as it is, unadulterated.

This is truly the end of suffering and demonstrates with crystal clarity that uncontrolled thinking is the source of all our woes. The sense of freedom and peace that flows over you is incomparable.

Don’t think twice, or even once! See random thought for what it is and see clearly the suffering it creates. Know this is so and, therefore, determine to drop it completely. To simply refuse to give it any attention or energy. Silence will be the consequence, rather than the goal. Now enjoy…

INPSIRATION…

“My Mind is like a bad neighbourhood, I don’t like to go there alone!” Anne Lamott

Be Responsible

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” Bob Dylan

The greatest lesson in life I got from my mum was not to be a victim. She taught me, bless her, through always playing the victim herself. As a child it confused and frustrated me, even bringing me to hate her at times, but as an adult with a broader view on life I came to understand it was a precious gift she had given me.

To take responsibility for your actions and to understand that life is not personal, are two fundamental insights to becoming a mature adult. On the other hand, victimisation is a destructive and self-centred habit that only brings suffering to yourself and those around you.

As one of 7.5 billion humans on the planet, we must all take seriously the responsibility we have to contribute to a peaceful and harmonious world. That responsibility starts and ends with ourselves, because only through taking care of ourselves first can we be of any positive influence on those around us and society in general.

Stop looking outside of you for excuses, reasons or justifications and start facing the fact that life pretty much gives to you according to your actions and your expectations. Take this knowledge as an opportunity, not a threat! It is through this same marvellous law that you can be exactly as you choose to be.

When you accept responsibility for your actions, life becomes much easier and naturally takes you to better ground as you are open to learn and adjust and therefore break the cycle of repeating the same behaviours over and over.

Life isn’t just about you, but about the bigger picture and how your thoughts and actions affect those people around you that you care about. It’s your decision to take the road of victim or victor, my opinion being life is way to short to waste time in excuses and sorrow. Find that burning flame of why you need to act responsibly and that in itself will start you on the right choices.

Inspiration

 

Consciousness

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” Zig Ziglar

Consciousness, or awareness, is the key to everything. The more conscious, or aware, you are, then the closer you are to living life as it actually is, so take Zig Ziglar’s advice and re-read this blog ad infinitum.

So, there´s a lot of literature and talk about living “consciously” with every breath and every step…but what does that mean exactly and, more importantly, can we know when we are being conscious?

I once did a group activity where 3 from the group were previously selected to observe the rest of us performing a task. As I naturally tend to take the lead in group activities I soon found myself leading the task at hand and, at least to my own reckoning, doing a good job at organising and delegating.

Low and behold at the end of the activity I was blasted on various points that the observers noted – all of which landed like a wet sock striking my face. My ego was hurt but on reflection I could not argue with objective observation and had to accept the critiques.

Needless to say, assuming I am not an exception to the rule, we are not who we think we are and we do not act how we think we act, at least most of the time. Depending on the situation we are more or less blinded by our prejudices and beliefs and interpret events through these filters, incapable of just seeing the world for what it is in that moment.

Being truly conscious means being able to “see” beyond these filters and simply take each and every moment of life for what it is in that very moment. Easier said than done! Still, the path begins once you understand this truth and determine to act according to it. It cannot be forced or programmed, only determined with absolute clarity and commitment. The seeing and commitment will bring about a natural change in awareness, as long as you relax and have faith that the change will happen.

As with all psychological challenges, you cannot ask the problem to solve itself so you are left “simply” with understanding, clarity and commitment. Yes, you can!

“What is necessary to change a person is to change their awareness of themselves.” Abraham Maslow

INSPIRATION

The Meaning of Life

Ah! If only I knew the answer to this question, I would finally live in peace. Ring a bell? It certainly rings true for me. After a lifetime of existential pondering, principal of which is the aforementioned question, there can be only one logical answer: life itself.

Our brains will insist that there must be something more. There must be some higher purpose for each of us to make this crazy life seem meaningful. Surely! But what has your life taught you? Have you found peace? Have you discovered a meaning in your life which has responded to all your doubts and taken away all your suffering?

If you have, then stop being selfish and share it with us all!! 🙂

As we have previously looked at, you will never find peace or the meaning of life searching within your own limited brain – that is, your past experiences and acquired knowledge. How can you? Your brain only knows what you have done, learnt and seen up to this moment so there is nothing new that it can offer you.

So any meaning to life can only be found outside of your past. That is, beyond the limitation of your thinking brain, and beyond this there is no “meaning of life”; the question itself simply doesn’t exist. Beyond thought there is no need to search , become or give meaning to anything.

Just live. Don’t fall into the trap of asking the cause of your problems to solve itself – that is madness. The only sane way to live is beyond thought, which is to say free of the need to ask questions at all. That will take a load off your shoulders to start with!

Thought is the cause of all your problems. Thought wants you to believe there is a meaning to life and so keeps you anxiously seeking an answer. You will likely receive a dozen possibilities and continue exploring one or many until the day you die without getting a truly satisfying answer. Because there isn’t one.

We can be free only when we finally internalise the FACT that thought is the source of suffering and therefore cannot be the source of true freedom. True peace, freedom and meaning lies beyond thought and can never be described, labeled or experienced. It just is and that can never be understood by thought.

Unsatisfied with the explanation? This is a pill you brain will downright refuse to swallow – but that’s your choice to listen to it or not. Yes, you can!

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Joseph Campbell

“Life has to be given a meaning for the obvious fact that it has no meaning.” Henry Miller

INSPIRATION…

MEMORY AND OBSERVATION

We are all caught in a very subtle trap, and it all starts with memory.

Our first memories are usually from the ages of 3+ so as a new-born child and infant we have no memory. This is important because it is memory that creates “me” and “my story” through experience, knowledge and possession. This is mine, that was my birthday, I experienced that, I suffered this…When memory begins, we are immediately isolated from the world around us as “me” and begin to see the world through this “me” rather than just as it is.

As our knowledge and experience is added to and reinforced we become more and more sure of certain things which become our beliefs. So memory (stored in the brain) forms our beliefs. We continue to accumulate knowledge and experience about ourselves so becoming more sure of our self image.

The source of our ills stems exactly from this capacity to remember. Our memory creates “me” and it creates our beliefs. With this internal framework of what we believe the world to be like and what we believe ourself to be like we create the filter with which we experience reality.

So we are always looking at and experiencing reality through our memory – that is, the past. By definition, our vision of the world is not real nor actual. It is, and will always be, limited, That is why we generally repeat the same behaviours and mistakes over and over in life, perhaps fine-tuning this or that and learning a little from our mistakes, but our fundamental beliefs and core values remain the same over time.

So we are limited by what our memory dictates to us in the form of beliefs and habits and these define our quality of life. We then look to this same memory for answers on how to change habits and beliefs to improve our quality of life. Doesn’t make sense – a problem cannot solve itself!

So, if we cannot ask the question “how do I change”, what can we do?

Observe without memory

Only when your brain is silent can the mind (universal intelligence) guide you in right action. And that can only happen NOW. Not tomorrow, gradually over time or any other moment in the future.

The only time you will ever “change” is right now, and the only way you will achieve this is by doing nothing – just observing without memory (a silent brain). Don’t ask how to observe without memory because you are asking memory about that!! Just do it 🙂

“We need silence to be able to touch souls” Maria Teresa

INSPIRATION…

 

 

 

 

Be present in the moment

8 seconds.

That is the average human concentration span. We are SO far gone from actual reality that it comes as no surprise to me whatsoever that the world is what it is. Our minds are incessantly remembering, obsessing, criticising, complaining, dreaming…basically making noise in order to avoid the dreaded silence.

We are encumbered by fear and anxiety and obsessed by desire and the avoidance of pain. We are lost in the fantastical lands of yesterday and tomorrow. A nasty cocktail indeed that manifests in a world of violence, suffering and inequality.

The ego’s sole purpose is to create its own reality and have us believe that it is the right and only one. Through the creation of time and a false “me” it keeps us trapped in the past and future. Yet time doesn’t exist and neither does this false “me” and the “story of my life”.

Time doesn’t exist because you cannot go back to yesterday and when you were there it was “today”. You cannot go into tomorrow because when it comes it is “today”. There is only today, and to be more specific, there is only a continual movement of moments that constitute reality.

The “story of me” is not real because it is a subjective interpretation of my life experiences expressed through thought. This story creates your beliefs and values which in turn determine your thoughts, feelings and actions which define your reality; a reality which in 99.9% of humans is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows.

But surely the singular purpose in life is to live in harmony and peace?

Regardless of what you have, where you are and what you are doing, if you do not feel happy and at peace your quality of life is suffering. It is stated in the practise of Buddhism that the very objective of life is to be in peace at the moment of your death.

To live happily and peacefully the majority of the time requires that you accept the present moment as the only true reality. Can you see and understand this as an irrefutable fact?

When you clearly see this it doesn’t mean you are instantly free of the burdens of the past and anxieties of the future, but it does mean you are more aware of their nature and this awareness will help you to live more in the present moment.

Living more in the present moment is about seeing it is the one true reality and understanding that real peace can only exist in that moment. It isn’t about abandoning your dreams and aspirations or forgetting your past, but about releasing yourself from attachment to your past and to your desires.

The past has happened for you to learn lessons and grow (hopefully!), so take those lessons and leave the emotional attachment behind (no amount of anger or tears will ever change it).  looking to the future to become more and achieve more is only destructive if you are attached to that vision meaning you will be highly emotional if you don’t reach your goals. It is highly unlikely you are currently doing today as you planned or thought you would be doing 3 years ago, so why be surprised or disappointed when life takes you in a different path than expected when that is the norm?

I don’t know if we were meant to live 100% of the time in the present moment, but I do know that this is where you will find true peace. It is not a bucket-list tick or goal to gradually achieve. it requires clarity and understanding combined with a firm desire and determination, but without attachment or you will once again be caught up in your ego’s story of me.

Reflect, understand, relax and enjoy the vast silence and peace that can only be found right now, and now, and now…

“Look lovingly at the present, for it holds the only things that are forever true.” A Course in Miracles

“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” Buddha

“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle

INSPIRATION…

 

ABOUT FORGIVENESS

Foregiveness

Having been through a divorce a few years back with 2 small children I had the opportunity to reflect long and hard on forgiveness. Yep, over and over…

What is forgiveness? Why do we need to forgive? Is it even necessary? Is it possible?

Although it might seem contradictory, forgiveness is fundamentally about you, not anyone else. It is about you because it is you who suffers when you carry resentment and anger inside you. It is about you because you cannot forgive without first making an effort to really understand the situation. It is about you because you cannot forgive without being really honest with yourself. It is about you because it is your responsibility to love and respect yourself first and foremost.

Forgiveness comes fundamentally from a willingness to forgive and a sincere desire to understand. You cannot easily forgive someone through just wanting to be a good person and leaving the past behind you. It requires a willingness to forgive and a clarity that forgiveness is about you finding peace.

To forgive does not necessarily mean to forget or trust again. Forgiveness is to accept what has happened and know it cannot be undone. It is what it is and the important thing now is to be happy and that cannot happen when you carry the burdens of the past with you.

Life is only lived right NOW, so the only moment that truly matters is now. You’re primary concern, therefore, should be that you feel great right now. Everything that takes you away from that should be banished. Forgiveness starts with forgiving yourself for what happened (why did I let it…how could I be so stupid…why didn’t I…) which allows you to live peacefully now.

If I don’t feel good right now, then my life is not a good one and I will just continue to live more of the same in the future (because what I think and feel today will define me tomorrow). That MUST be my priority, and if that is my priority then I must let the past go. Letting the past go is about ME being happy right now. It has nothing to do with anyone else. I am the only person who can truly understand me and I am the only person who can make my life better.

I forgive because I want to be happy right now (have a quality life) and because I know the past can never be undone. I forgive because I know that will improve my quality of life and of those around me. I forgive so that I am free from the past, but I do not forget as the lessons learnt from my experiences can be valuable in being clear about who and what I choose in my life. I forgive because I choose to be a strong person and be an example for others to follow.

I forgive because I love and respect me!

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”                    Mahatma Ghandhi

“The first step of forgiveness is the willingness to forgive.”                                          Marianne Williamson

INSPIRATION…

Quiz.001
Eleroy.com Forgiveness Quiz

FIND YOUR LIFE PURPOSE. FIND CLARITY

fullsizerender-31.jpgYou’re lying on your deathbed (bear with me!) with just a few hours left to breath on this beautiful planet…NOW what is truly important to you? What would you most want to do in those last moments? Who would you most like to be with? What would you most like to say, and to whom? What would you most like to see, taste, smell, touch, feel? What do you regret not having done? What would you have changed about your life?

Personally, I believe that a having clear mind is one of the hardest yet most-important responsibilities in life. A clear mind is a happy mind, a focused mind and a powerful mind. Clarity is absolutely fundamental for a successful life. Without clarity we aren’t moving in any particular direction or at least not focusing our energies to achieve more, faster.

it should be one of the school curriculum subjects! Certain traditional cultures around the world understand the importance of a clear direction in life. They often spend many years as a community helping young adults to discover their purpose in life and start on their path to mastery of whatever that purpose is.

Clarity is the starting point from where you become the master of circumstances, rather than a slave to it. It’s when you take control of your life through discovering your purpose and motivations. Reflect, reflect, reflect on the questions posed above (and others as they come to you) until you are crystal clear about your passions, interests and values that will guide you in your life.

As always, the spiritual before the psychological and physical. The hard work is mental and requires courage to go beyond what society, family, friends and your past dictate to you and decide for yourself what matters and where you are going. A dominant sign of all successful people is precisely the courage to believe in themselves, which is to know themselves and decide for themselves, regardless of outside influence.

You, and only you, can know what is best for you, what mission you have in life and where to start. There may be 7.5 billion people on the planet, but you are still unique and individual; we all are. How can anyone know you better than yourself if we are all unique? Be brave, be free, have clarity!

“Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.” Aldous Huxley

“I genuinely enjoy sweating out my frustrations and living a healthier life. My workouts are not all about vanity. They are about clarity for my mind and soul.” Khloe Kardashian

INSPIRATION

Quiz.001
OPRAH.COM What are you meant to be

 

 

CREATING LASTING CHANGE

change

Having spent more than 20 years reading, listening, reflecting, considering, trialling, observing, learning, attending (phew!) and a host of other things I’ve likely forgotten, I’ve come to a realisation; real, lasting change IS possible.

Not only is it possible, but it’s deceptively simple. No kidding!

Consider for a moment a time in your life when you have changed a habit or achieved a goal with apparent ease. Actually, that is exactly when you are successful. You will not achieve significant change or success when your actions are forced and you are “obliged” to do it. “Musts” generally get spat back at you by your omnipresent ego. “Really? You’re telling me I have to do it…well we’ll see about that!”

All permanent change comes from within and is relatively effortless. This is because once you have decided something spiritually, the psychological and physical just follow through. By spiritual, I mean the real you. When you have understanding, clarity, reason and make a clear decision, then your subconscious will do as instructed and almost seamlessly remove desire and create new habits.

It may sound too good to be true, but the truth of the matter is that all things brilliant in life are ingeniously simple – in fact, too “easy” and “simple” for our egos to accept as a possibility. That’s where you have to take control and guide your subconscious (the seat of habit and beliefs) to change through clarity and decision.

Start with a clear “why”. What is the reason for this change? What do I stand to gain by it and what is my motivation for doing it? Why is the change better than the status quo? What pain am I avoiding through this change? Can I see very clearly the benefits? Can I visualise myself with this new habit/s and how good they look and feel?

When you can really see yourself with the change already in place and feel how wonderful it is to be there, your subconscious will accept it as important and guide you in your new habits almost without effort. Your work is to clearly understand the why and deeply feel the need for the change as well as clearly visualising it. You are almost demanding the change because it is so clear to you why you need it. This clarity dissipates doubt and fear and empowers you forwards.

It really is that simple! If you can’t think of a personal example from your life to date I encourage you to try it out for yourself. Don’t let your ego fool you into thinking that enormous effort is required for any change or that it is just downright impossible. Bollocks! After all, most of your actions in life are just habitual so it’s simply a question of changing them.

be strong!

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.” Jim John

“Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.” Soren Kierkegaard

INSPIRATION…