perspective

Awareness – ask yourself?

Does this support the Life I'm trying to create

OUR CHOICES CREATE OUR FUTURE.

Too often we make life altering decisions without giving them any second thought or consideration.

We decide what to say, think, believe, feel, eat and do without taking a moment to truly reflect on the consequences of our decisions, only to be left wondering how our life got so out of control or ended up the way it did.

ALTER OUR CHOICES ACCORDINGLY

To create lasting change in our lives, we need to begin to look at what we do that prevents it, and alter our choices accordingly. It couldn’t be spelled out any plainer than this.

Personally, I’m thrilled to have the power of choice at my finger tips. What I have learned over time is that this power needs to be used wisely.

Look at all your options, because once you make the choice, it’s your responsibility to deal with the consequences. Good or not so, there are always consequences!

EFFECTIVE WAY TO DO SO

One rapid and effective way to do so, is to STOP and ask yourself, “Does this decision truly support the life I’m trying to create or is it a habitual behaviour that limits me?” Awareness can help you reclaim your power and your life.

The way I like to think about it is with a simple analogy. Imagine watching a horror movie alone, at home, with the lights off. We’ve all done it. The movie owns you. It’s terrifying. It’s all you’re aware of and so it has complete control over your emotions.

Now contrast that with watching the movie alone, at home, but this time with the lights on. It’s the same movie; you’re still alone. But with the lights on, you have more context. You can see that the movie is playing on a TV. You can see other things in the room that remind you you’re at home watching a movie. It’s still scary, but it’s not as bad as it is with the lights off because you have a bit more perspective.

So awareness of our thoughts is like having the lights on while we think – we’re still having the same thoughts, but with a continuous awareness of them, We’re not totally owned by them because we can see them for what they are. We have more perspective. They come, they go. They’re just thoughts.

When the lights are off, it’s very easy to get sucked into believing that our thoughts represent the absolute truth. We make a mistake and think, “I’m a bad person,” and it has the corresponding emotional and psychological impact. But with the lights on, we see the thought, and although we might notice that when we make a mistake we think, “I’m a bad person,” that thought doesn’t make it the truth.

Psychologists call this ability to step back from the content of our thoughts “cognitive defusion,” and consider it a much healthier mode of thinking than its opposite.

What I find interesting is

That this awareness seems to arise almost as a side-effect of practising meditation. By repeatedly focusing on the breath, and noticing when our mind wanders, we naturally start to develop awareness of where our mind is and where it’s going. And, of course, Andy encourages us to practice being aware during the day, as well. The more we practice, the more we become familiar with being aware of our thoughts, and so it starts to become second nature.

And that’s a defining moment. The psychological benefit is profound. Sure, life still happens, and things will still distract us, but when our default is to be aware of where our thoughts are, we’re more balanced, psychologically healthier, and very much less at the mercy of them.

Have a good day Wishing you health, peace and empowerment.
Xxx ~J.W~ 🙏🏻💙

Copyright © 2020 joannewellington.com

Self-Improvement ~Two Basic Principles.

From a high level perspective, most self-improvement knowledge can be summarized as two principles below:self1

  1. Love yourself, work on your self-esteem. Take responsibility for how you feel/think/act. Work on reducing your ego. Do not let people/situations hurt your ego, and if hurt, do not act on the thoughts when hurt. Center your mind before you act.
  2. Love others. Boost their self-esteem. Do not intentionally hurt other people’s ego.  Keep developing people skills so you will reduce the probability of even unintentionally hurting others, and increase the chance of making others feeling good about themselves and hence you. 

Let us look into these in further detail:

Principle #1:

Our ego is the single reason why we experience all the negative emotions and all the suffering.  Our ego is just a thought of who we think we are in terms of what we do, what we own, and what others think of us. The entire spiritual path is about reducing our ego. As our ego’s reduces, wisdom naturally increases, and our life gets better. Loving ourselves is very Important. Self-esteem is the critical component that determines the quality of our lives. The core teaching of self-help is that we are responsible for our lives, and that no matter what happens around us, we are responsible for how we feel. The meaning that we associate to events is what creates our feelings. By consciously assigning empowering meaning  to events, we can always control how we feel. Wisdom is in knowing that it is never others that hurt us, but we choosing to hurt ourselves by the thoughts we think.

Principle #2:

The other side of the the core self-help knowledge is to love others and make them feel valued. Although it would be great to have people around with no ego, practically speaking, all people around us have egos, just like we do. Wisdom thus lies in boosting people’s self-esteem – to make them genuinely feel good and appreciated. While it’s clear that intentionally hurting other people’s ego is not a good idea, what may not be that apparent is that we unintentionally hurt people thanks to our lack of skills in dealing with people. Much of classic self-help knowledge such as ”How to win friends and influence people” and most books on “relationship skills”  are about learning skills so that we become a master of dealing with people. There is a psychology for every situation, age group, sex, and profession. Our ignorance of human psychology leads us to untold pain in dealing with people. Becoming more and more skilled in dealing with people the right way so we do not violate principle #2 is a great asset. This part can take a long time to master, as life always leads to new situations/people in which we have not yet learnt the  proper psychology for the situation. For example, many people struggle with marriages simply because of ignorance of psychology of the opposite sex.

Many relationship problems are a result of not following these principles

Most of the relationship problems between two people, whether at home or work, happens due to people violating either principle #1 or principle #2. The patterns of all friction between two people A and B happens in one of the following ways:

1) A violates principle #1 =>  B violates principle #1

Example:

A gets angry at B due to an expectation B did not meet, and his ego is hurt. B in turn is hurt by the negative energy A is sending him, and reflects back the anger in some way. He may become hurt, depressed, sad or send back anger.

2) B violates principle #2 =>  A violates principle #1 => B violates principle #1

Example:

B unknowingly hurts A, due to some ignorance, perhaps lack of people skills. A takes that action personally, gets hurt, and sends some negative energy towards B. B in turn retalitates with negative energy.

Solution to many relationship problems lies in simply following these principles

The solution to avoiding friction between two people happens in one of the following ways:

  1. A follows principle #1 => B has no problem.
  2. B follows principle #2 => A has no problem.
  3. A violates principle #1 =>  B still follows principle #1 => no problem  (i.e B does not retaliate)
  4. B violates principle #2 =>  A still follows principle #1 => no problem  (i.e A does not retaliate)

Apply these principles on yourself, not others

The interesting thing is that even as we break one of these principles, we expect our counterpart to follow them! For example, we knowingly/unknowingly hurt the other (principle #2), but yet expect our counterpart to not act out as they do when hurt (principle #1). Or, we hurt ourselves by giving disempowering meaning to events related to what the other did (principle #1), and expect the other to make it right ( principle #2) Wisdom lies in applying these principles on ourselves, and not on our counterparts. We can only control ourselves, not others. Expecting others to comply only leads to disappointment.

 The reason we are creators of our life is that regardless of whether people around us are following these principles or not, if we follow them, we are able to completely direct the experience of our life. Not following these principles leads to negative, disempowered and painful situations, and following these leads to positive, empowered, and happy experiences.

Posted by Joanne Wellington for Mediums World

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