Decision making in our individual lives can often be fraught with difficulties at times. We hesitate, delay, dismiss, ignore, plunge in, pull back, all in the spirit of getting the right decision made. And in this process uncertainty always seems to accompany us. So what should we do? How can we ensure that we make the right decisions? With the complexity of our lives and the sheer number of different decisions ( macro and micro ) we make in any given, narrow time frame we could be forgiven for thinking there is no one, simple yardstick , one set formula to use . And yet I think there is. In my experience I have always entrusted my decision making ( especially at the macro end of the scale ) to asking one simple question : Is this choice of mine for my growth or my diminishment? This has always served me well. If we take the growth choice we are reaching out for our full potential, living the life we are meant to live and in the process we blossom, we bloom into the fullness of our being. Whereas the diminishment choice (whether intentionally chosen or not) is reductive, it limits and stifles our growth. It restricts our potential and prevents us from becoming who we really should be.
After a church bell is cast in a foundry it is tapped with a hammer for a positive, clear ‘ ringing ‘ noise then the bell can go on to the next stage of progress. If it sends off a ‘ thud ‘ noise, a deadness, then it tells the foundry caster that the bell is cracked somewhere, in other words it isn’t true – then it is rejected. This is the same process we must use in our decision making, constantly tapping in to ascertain the validity and truth of our judgements. And if the feedback is positive then we can proceed with confidence.
MORE REFLECTIONS ON THE PATH
Awake to your own life – the potential and opportunities it has to offer. These lie deeply within you, often dormant and asleep but real nonetheless. Explore………
We must avoid getting distracted and mislead with all the superficial things in life for the seeds of new becoming lie deeply buried within us awaiting our attention and if we allow them to blossom a more meaningful and valued life could burst forth.
Our journey in life is to realize our full potential, to push our innate talent as far as we possibly can to ensure that on completion of our lives we can finally say we have lived well, lived deeply, lived in the wholeness of our full being.
We have to be prepared to abandon our routine, habitual thinking when it no longer serves us. That’s what creativity and flexibility are all about – opening us up to the possibility of change in order to renegotiate a different, better path.
Always invest your time and energy in people and you will reap rich rewards in the most unexpected ways.
Try to distance yourself from the problems in your life by creating a space of forgetting. This allow the subconscious mind to be activated so that things can get played out on a subliminal level, away from the worrying, rational mind. In time solutions will surface, ones that are creatively and imaginatively different from what you have hitherto been exposed to and these will inevitably be pointing you to the way forward.
We have explored something of our depth, our stories, if we have known a sustained presence of peace and serenity within them.
In our ever increasingly complex and rapidly changing world we are obliged to assess and reassess our position, our place in the overall scheme of things. And if we fail to undertake this task we run the risk of being left behind; cut off from the flow of this dynamic world. So, keep up and keep in.
Try to be tolerant to those around you for we all make mistakes and we all do things that we later regret. Recognize that your personal growth will be impeded with your inability to apply tolerance and understanding to others. Qualities we so easily apply to ourselves.
Preoccupation with the self can only diminish us for we are not big enough to fill the space constantly demanded of our egos. Real personal growth can only stem from a process of self forgetfulness where we become other centred to serve a larger, more valuable role in society.
Often our over active, our anxious minds will ignore the needs of the body until pain surfaces to alert us. Being body present, relaxed, able to filter out stressful anguish is a meditation practice rejoicing and celebrating wholeness. Pursue it as a priority.
Make a committed investment in yourself and your future. What better investment could there be? Don’t pull back, don’t stand in the shadows, give 100 percent of your efforts, nothing else will do. Success will then inevitably follow – it has no choice.
There is only one rule in life, and that is – there are no rules. Everything we face in life is open to interpretation and negotiation. The world we inhabit is constantly changing so our responses to it must be continuously evaluated and re – evaluated in the light of those changes.
We must cultivate the practice of resting the mind, laying down our heavy weight of thinking in order to find a personal place that will nourish our days.
We must risk ourselves in order to maintain ourselves.
Every morning wake up with the thought of how you can change. That way you keep your life fresh and updated.
We must never allow ourselves to trade in our authenticity for security. Engaging with our one, unique individual life, living it to the full is the choice we must make. To swap this for a safe, boundary defined existence that doesn’t really belong to us, would be a diminishment that would undoubtedly restrict and stifle our personal growth.
Opening up your heart to those that are close to you, in whom you are trusting – sharing your story, your plight, your pain can be a catharsis experience. But it must be recognized that they are deserving of this trust. To offer this up to others, who have not earned that status, could be considered foolish or even dangerous, so be careful.
It’s unlikely that we ever truly know what others think of us so therefore it’s best not to overly concern ourselves with these obvious projections. Providing we are true to ourselves, living our real authentic lives, then that’s all we need be concerned with. It’s all about choice – do we let go of what we think others are thinking about us or do we let go of our feelings and experience that tells us this is the real path of our life? Disappointing others is disappointing but disappointing ourselves can be disastrous.
Practice sincerely and committedly to be the best parent you can. We must work hard, at all times at being the adult we really would like our kids to be.
You have a choice – you either take command of your life, your story and assume responsibility for it, or you stand outside of it and allow it to organize you.
The call to life asks us to be brave, to face, with courage and fortitude, all that it offers up. And how can we withdraw from this challenge, how can we afford to pull back into diminishment and darkness?
Pay attention to people because they do come with a sign over their heads saying: “ I’m a real person, I need to be acknowledged and recognized.”
Always try to remember this in your dealings with people.
Faith is firmly situated in its home of mystery. It asks us to trust, to seek out the courage to believe in that which cannot be seen or heard in any objective, measureable way.
The lives we lead are often dependent on the scripts we follow, the directions we take from others. This can be a conscious or unconscious process of assimilation that fixes our lives in one mode of operating that excludes all other alternative modes that could offer us real rewards in terms of genuine, authentic personal growth.
Sometimes we have to stand up alone for what we believe in, a firm position to hold and defend despite all the apparent lack of support from others or worse, the confronting challenges that they throw up for us. Never forget that in following the herd we lose our individuality, our own validity, the affirmation of who we are.
Life is about taking risks and in not taking risks we are taking a risk!
Too much engagement with nostalgia can trip over into a hazardous type of comparison where we compare and measure ourselves against a false memory of reality which never really existed in the first place – a ‘ reality ’ that has been so tampered with, so edited that it now contains too much falsehood.
Forget all about seeking out perfection, as if that’s the only show in town and – providing you are putting in your very best efforts – embrace imperfection. This isn’t about accepting second-best, or worse some sort of acceptance of failure but rather a reasonable adjustment to a balanced life that knows nothing really of perfection bot knows everything about hard committed effort.
Happiness is not only in other people’s lives for us to notice and recognize, it’s also right inside our lives if we have the mind to seek it out with an engaging practice of gratitude that brings it close to our chest.
When we have had enough, when we cannot take any more, when ‘ we are sick and tired of being sick and tired ‘ we are in a position of transformation and healing change.
Take up a writing practice- tell your story with all your heart.
Implicit in nostalgia is comparison which is rather a false view because the rose tinted recollection of the past is an illusion that never really existed in the first place and we need to recognize this inherent bias. Whatever your own personal view of the present is, it’s the only one we have available now, the only one we are grounded in at the moment so it’s incumbent on us to work with this, forgetting the past, and allowing our engagement with this presence to take us to where it needs to go.
Failure isn’t a negative thing that we must necessarily concern ourselves with providing we learn from it. From failure creativity and innovation can develop and grow. From failure growth and advances can come. View failure as part of our continuing education there to get us back on target.
Positive thoughts create positive outcomes but only if we act on them.
“ The answer is that as unpleasant as failure may be, it has one redeeming feature. Failure often terminates responsibility, whereas success tends to generate new responsibility. If you fail at a task, no one is likely to make more demands on you and even your own expectations of yourself diminish. If you succeed, you may well be expected to continue to perform.”
“There is a feeling which is much more important than happiness, success, or any other sense of achievement in life. It is the feeling of being at home with yourself.”
“ He was a poet and hated the approximate.”
“ Poetry – emotion recollected in tranquillity. “
Pablo Neruda, near the end of his life, stopped while travelling at the Lota coal mine in rural Chile. He stood there stunned as a miner, rough and blackened by his work inside the earth, strode straight to Neruda, embraced him, and said: “I have known you for a long time my Brother,”
“What I like to do is treat words as a craftsman does his wood or stone or what – you – have, to hew, carve, mould, coil, polish. and plane them into patterns, sequences, sculptures, figures of sound expressing some lyrical impulse, some spiritual doubt or conviction, some dimly realized truth that I must try to reach and realize.”
“ I should say I wanted to write poetry in the beginning because I had fallen in love with words. The first poems I knew were nursery rhymes and before I could read them for myself I had come to love the words of them. The words alone. What the words stood for was of a very secondary importance. […] I fell in love, that is the only expression I can think of, at once, and am still at the mercy of words, though sometimes now, knowing a little of their behavior very well, I think I can influence them slightly and have even learned to beat them now and then, which they appear to enjoy. I tumbled for words at once. And, when I began to read the nursery rhymes for myself, and, later, to read other verses and ballads, I knew that I had discovered the most important things, to me, that could be ever. “
“ The real thing creates its own poetry.”
The world may be much bigger than our understanding, more challenging than we initially thought but that is no excuse to refuse the challenge, the summons to attend. We are called to explore and develop a growth route through life that will enlarge us beyond measure, if only we solidly and robustly give of our best. So show up, move beyond any self-limiting restrictions and concerns that you may have imposed on yourself and meet the change in your life that you are deserving of.
Relaxation is the key to a better life. Breaking the bonds that keep us shackled to anxiety and worry, stress and distress. Relaxation can allow a much calmer life to filter through making us more balanced, giving us a healthier perspective on life. At times of your busiest moments, when stress appears through the cracks, pause to find some peace and inner calm. Become aware of your breath and stay mindfully with it for a few moments. You won’t be disappointed with the results.
When we experience long-term, persistent pain that refuses to be categorized, diagnosed as an ‘official’ illness we must drop our tendency to continually pathologize it – wrapping it up in a ‘clinical’ content that we think we can understand and deal with. Instead we should just open up ( in a non-judgemental, allowful manner) to its mystery – to what is happening in our bodies, and then rest. Suspend any thoughts about ‘fixing’ or ‘healing’ and just allow yourself to be mindfully present, fully alive to the mystery of it all. Then, in this surrender, this allowfulness we might just see some progress.