Conscious Awareness Means We Agree to Live Focused and Present
12 Life Skills that can Change Your World
“What we hold dear can heal the world.” –Mark Nepo
Twelve-steps needn’t be limited to just substance-abuse recovery. Think about the number twelve in common cycles like the months in a year, weeks in a season or quantity in a dozen. This article is the eighth in a twelve-part series highlighting top life-enhancing practices that can make us feel happier, healthier and more alive. By focusing our attention on these integrated positive life skills, we begin a synergistic practice that leads to permanent proficiency by building a useful toolbox for greater self-mastery. Each of the skills in this series is well defined in order to give clarity, direction and action challenges that can help the curious and willing reader cultivate greater wellbeing and flourishing in your daily life. People who consider themselves to be most satisfied with their lives recognize that by constantly challenging themselves to learn, grow and expand they feel more alive connected, and joyful in the world. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to open your heart and mind in order to soar! Read on…practice makes permanent…
Spiritual Practice for Skeptics & Seekers
Lisa Cypers Kamen, MA
You have probably felt at one time another that the sky is falling, and everything just keeps getting worse. You hear yourself, ask when will this all end? Will it ever actually end? When we are in the midst of those tough times, it can be extremely difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or even believe that there is a light. Faith can be a hard topic to discuss. However, with faith we are also building up our optimism. Faith is not necessarily about the belief in a Supreme Being; it is also the ability to believe in someone, or something beyond our noisy brains and self-centered egos. At the same time, faith can even mean we learn to better trust ourselves.
“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” ― Brené Brown
Faith can be practiced in a spiritual way; it can be the way we cultivate intuition, or even the confidence that helps to promote certainty in uncertain circumstances. There are numerous ways in which we can have faith. We also do not have to pick just one way in which we practice it, since there are so many options. The thing is, for some people practicing faith can be exceptionally difficult, especially if they are going through an uncertain circumstance that is particularly rough.
Basically faith means we believe everything will be okay, and it will work out in the end. No matter how strong or weak our faith is, we still believe. For some people, faith is all that they have to look forward to, and this can be extremely comforting. Through faith we can see value and purpose in life that is truly greater than the self.
Here are some ideas that may help you cultivate and practice faith:
1. REFUSE SURRENDERING TO DOUBT: When we think negatively about a situation, it is actually easy to change our attitude. When we mire ourselves in doubt, this only makes things worse because we set ourselves up for a loss and disappointment.
– Write down 3-5 situations that you have doubts about right now. Read them over carefully. Now, write down the opposite. How can you think about this differently? Reframe the entire situation into a positive. Then, write down at least one strategy for dealing with the situation that will turn the situation.
– Experience self-reflection. Meditate on the following: “I believe in right outcomes for the highest good of all concerned.” Allow whatever feelings and thoughts to come and let them be. Journal these after the meditation. If you don’t practice meditation, then write down the ways you can nurture yourself emotionally and spiritually. Being a good person counts and is a soulful practice.
2. THINK LONG-TERM: If you are going through a time of uncertainty, it is just a period of your life. This uncertainty does not define you. Life is a constant cycle of birth, challenge, celebration, death and renewal. And the only constant is change. Do not allow fear and uncertainty to rule your life.
– Write about something that is causing you to feel uncertain right now. How do you feel about it? How can you better support your struggle and nourish your heart?
– Now, write down as many ways as you can think of that this could actually have a positive ending. Be creative and think of as many ideas as possible. Remember, many famous people, such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela experienced great periods of adversity, but found a way through to a positive outcome.
3. FIND FAITH IN SOMETHING GREATER THAN YOURSELF: I know that this may not apply to everyone and it is a touchy subject. Religion does give people a greater sense of faith. But so do activities that connect us to nature, others and our flow of life.
– If you do have a set of religious beliefs right now, find a community to join. Another idea is to write down the ways in which your faith inspires you. Keep writing down as many inspirational points as possible.
– Do you like to garden, paint, write poetry, create music, cook, dance, sing, fish, do yoga, meditate, journal, hike, walk, ride horses, camp, ski or volunteer? Any of these activities helps induce a flow state in which we loose track of time, space and our worries. When we are engaged in this way we feel at one with ourselves and the world around us. This, too, can be spiritual practice.
With BIG gratitude and HUGE support,