I am often asked what can I do to better my life, here is my response. Below is a mindful guide of best practices that you may choose to utilize to UNSTUCK your life and be more mindful, boost your energy, and be more heart centered.
Set aside a small amount of time (20 minutes or less) in the morning to meditate and or pray. Include a practice of Gratitude, such as maybe three to five things you are truly grateful for. Make sure these are heart centered, meaning you can feel emotions such as love & joy when you contemplate on them. Be careful not to pick the same things every day, make them different, heart centered, and specific. Please note that small things can be extraordinary as well. Starting your day in this way sets you up for great success.
Keep Your Body Clean:
Your Body is Your Temple and “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.” A body that is clean emits better and more pleasant vibrations. Keeping your body clean also programs your mind to the fact that you have respect and reverence for life and your spirit. Notice the theme, Mind-Body-Spirit.
Bless the Food You Eat:
Thoughts are things, and your spoken words carry vibrational energy. The energy of the spoken word or blessing enters the food you are consuming on a psychic level and removes or neutralizes any negative vibrations in it. By blessing the food with love and respect it is more readily digested and nourishing to your body. Also ask your body to digest and accept the food and nourishment with love. This is also a practice of gratitude as well.
*Dedicate Each Day to God & The Universe, or Yourself:
Disclaimer: We All have some form of spirituality within us. The purpose of this specific practice is not to indoctrinate anyone to any belief at all, but to focus your efforts to live life to the fullest each and every day. Be MINDFUL that at any moment it could be your last, so make the most of this NOW moment, and seize the day with zest for life and enthusiasm for living.
This is a sample of what I use, from Paramahansa Yogananda’s Life Lessons, which I recommend for those so inclined. “Divine Father, Heavenly Mother, Friend, Beloved God (or Universe/Higher Power, Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Mahavatar Babaji… and the Saints of All religions)… May the Light of Your Love Shimmer forever on the sanctuary of my devotion, and may I be able to share thy love and fill the hearts of all men and women.”
“This day shall be the best day of my life. Today I will start with a new determination to dedicate my devotion forever at the feet of God.”
“In the stillness of my soul I humbly bow before thine omnipresence, knowing that thou art ever leading me on onward and upward on the path of self-realization.”
Or you can affirm from these more secular examples.
“I claim my own power, and lovingly create my own reality, I trust the process of life.”
“I live a life Full of Magic, The Universe and its contents constantly conspire in my favor.”
“May I FLOW with Life.”
“When I nourish the inside, the outside will flourish.”
“Nothing scares me anymore, nothing can stop me from achieving my goals.”
Love Your Body = Movement IS Medicine:
Everything in energy, and your body is no exception, it is the conductor of your energy and so it is vitally important to take care of it and love it. Move it. Nourish it. The stronger your body is the more capable you are to utilize your intelligence, creativity, and ability. It also does wonders for your mental and physical health, including longevity. With Gratitude to my friends at Recharge Modern Health and Fitness in Ellicott City, MD.
Don’t Feed Your Mind Negative Thoughts:
Go look up the story of The Two Wolves. Most people aren’t aware of this fact but our brains are hardwired to detect threats, it is our alarm system. When this system is in balance it can help us stay alive, but out of balance we can excessively worry, catastrophic thinking, or get caught in negative stress reactivity cycles in which negative thoughts, vibrations, and energy accumulate. By bringing Awareness to this cycle we can begin to clean up the clutter and take out the trash. Don’t let negative thoughts infiltrate your mind and allow the negative wolf to win. Let the thoughts if they arise, pass by, and LET THEM GO. As Shunryu Suzuki taught, “Leave your front door and back door open. Allow your thoughts to come and go, Just don’t serve them tea.” Another way is to turn BLUE thoughts (negative) to TRUE thoughts (neutral to positive) to create a more balanced perspective.
Be Mindful of Spoken Words:
This is a personal challenge for many, including myself, but I can accept it. The Buddha’s Eightfold Path includes the concept of Right Speech. Think about it from an energy psychology perspective, words articulate thoughts, judgments, and emotions, and if you are speaking negativity into existence then you are compounding negative energy in your life. Remember, how you think about and treat others is a direct reflection of how you think and feel about yourself, so speak kindly to yourself and to others.
Understand Yourself As Well As Others:
Try to always be mindful of the hidden ideas motivating your actions and those of people you encounter in your life. We all have motivations, some obvious, and some hidden, so it is wise to get to the heart of the matter in every moment so you can adaptively cope with yourself and others in all situations.
This practice of discernment is invaluable. For example, a question I ask myself sometimes is “What are the lies I am telling myself?” Now, your first impulse might be, well, that is not something I do, I don’t lie to myself, but that is a naïve statement. As you look inward into your thought landscape certain things will reveal themselves to you that are valuable to take a look at for your personal growth on a deeper level. Remember there is no need to judge yourself harshly, but simply to be curious and honest with yourself about you and your motivations and behaviors and relationships.
Break Away From the Veil Of “MAYA”:
In Hinduism and Asian Thought, “Maya” means illusion. Don’t let the temporary illusions of lack, want, or the meaning of your present circumstances distract you from the inner truth that you are a miracle, and you have the universal or God given power to rise above all seeming problems and conditions in your life. There are an infinite number of possibilities if you will open up to them, you are never stuck. Also, do not allow the collective cloud of negative news on the internet, television, and news to blind you to the fact that this universe is good, and it wants you to thrive for your highest good as its Ultimate Purpose.
Give Gratitude For ALL GOOD:
There are many studies now that confirm these practices as being immensely positive for your mental health and wellness, but practice giving thanks to God and the Universe for your life and the Planet we live on. This world is truly amazing and filled with wonder and beautiful people. Go find excitement and adventure in your life.
Have An Accepting Attitude:
Acceptance is a foundational attitude of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. See if it is possible to allow yourself to accept that GOOD is a natural part of your life’s experience.
Read/Consume Inspiring Literature, Videos & Messages:
Carve out time, at least 5 minutes or more to read and consume inspiring material in your life during various points in your day. There are so many amazing people who have overcome so much adversity in their lives that willingly share their message of hope, courage, and resilience daily. Much of it is even free, although the cost of any of it is an amazing investment in yourself.
While this may seem obvious many people’s attention is fixated on social media and news consumption that tends to make us dumb, frozen in fear, anxious, and depressed while imprisoning our minds and nervous systems in fight or flight mode in a continuous stress reactivity cycle. To be mindful is to intentionally SHIFT into a more inspiring way of being, such as this example below:
“In the Infinity of life where I am,
all is perfect, whole, and complete.
Each one of us, myself included, experiences the richness
and fullness of life in ways that are meaningful to us.
I now look at the past with love and choose
to learn from my old experiences.
There is no right or wrong, nor good or bad.
The past is over and done.
There is only the experience of the moment.
I love myself for bringing myself
through this past into this present moment.
I share what and who I am, for I know we are all one in spirit.
All is well in my world.
Forgive As You Would Wish To Be Forgiven:
Perhaps your “Sh*t” doesn’t stink, but if you are like the rest of us try to be empathetic, and understand other people’s pressures, stressors, and strains in life. In the mind of a master understanding can also replace forgiveness. But forgiveness is a high form of love. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting that someone wronged you or hurt you dearly, but it can give you the POWER to recognize that hurt and heal it with love so you can move forward with strength in life. Forgiveness is a superpower.
When I started practicing with this concept I consciously forgave anyone and everyone that ever hurt me, and I also prayed and asked for forgiveness from everyone I ever hurt knowingly or unknowingly. They will never know this, it is done in private, but it can release you from the bondages of anger, hurt, and being a victim. Again, this is done from a place of empowerment.
The beautiful practice and spiritual and mental cleansing of the Hawaiian Ho’ Oponopono Mantra & Meditation:
I Am Sorry
Please Forgive Me
I Love You
Be Peaceful (Ahimsa):
May your heart be peaceful, safe, and flow with life. When your thoughts, actions, and behaviors are aligned with peace your inner world will reflect your outer world. If we all did this world peace would happen in moments. We all have the power to manifest peace in our hearts, it is our natural state. Ahimsa means nonviolence.
Associate With Evolved People:
Work to cultivate relationships with people who see the big picture and are highly evolved or aspire to seek truth and wisdom in life. If you do not have such friends and community we live in a world where it is possible to find. One study found that sitting next to a high performer boosted performance by 15% while sitting next to lower performers decreased performance by as much as 30%. If you want to evolve seek out people who are aligned with peace, wisdom, and love for themselves and others, and you will benefit.
Fulfillment in life is doing what you were made for. Community helps foster strength, support, and encouragement. Whether it is a church, gym, professional, or other spiritual or meditation group find a place that will support your growth with positive and enthusiastic support.
Be Mindful of the Evolvement of Others:
Be aware of the evolvement of others. Find people who act for the good. Also, be aware of how they affect you, whether that is for the good or ill. Be aware, and act accordingly.
Keep your plans and desires to yourself if you can. In my own experience when you announce you have plans to do something, quite often, the people who are closest and love you the most will through shade and be negative about your plans. Sometimes this is done out of their own anxiety to protect you. Sometimes it is a projection of their own fears or jealousies. Remember what we said earlier about people’s hidden agendas. To keep your thoughts and desires free from interference keep them private as you work tirelessly to execute them.
One example I recently heard that I liken to this principle is this: Some of the most famous athletes like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, or Kobe Bryant worked very hard to be the best at their craft. There were a million little things that they did to prepare for the big championship moments on and off the court. They weren’t lucky, they worked very hard. Nowadays whenever I hear a young person aspire to play professional sport I encourage them, yes, it is good to have a backup plan, but don’t let others opinions dissuade you. So often in life and in my clinical practice people have lived lives chosen for them by their parents or others. Don’t be afraid to live your life fearlessly. One way you can do so is to keep your goals close to the vest.
Get Proper Sleep For Yourself:
Common sense tells us that getting proper rest is nourishing for our health. Sleep allows us to DREAM! When our minds are sleeping, we are connected to the divine and our subconscious mind, or our higher self. We don’t need to remember our dreams although it can be interesting to keep a dream journal. The seeds of our dreams and inspirations are already implanted in our minds to hatch in our waking moments.
It is a tremendous skill to see the good even in the darkest of temporary conditions and circumstances. Every crisis has opportunity for growth.
Good Times Create Weak People
Weak People Create Bad Times
Bad Times Create Strong People
Strong People Create Good Times.
Remember Who You Are:
You are a miracle, a spark of the divine flame, and heir to the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven/ Universe. The essence of your true Selfhood is ONE with God/ The Universe and Eternal Life.
Believe in Yourself. You are Loved. You are Worthy. You are more powerful than you may realize and deserving of all that is good.
As with anything you seek and have read in this post, take what feels true and right for you. Don’t accept my word as truth, see what resonates as true in your own wisdom, and trust yourself, and leave the rest. I hope that this serves your highest good in some way and I wish you well on your journey.