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 is the final article of 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…
3 Universally User-Friendly Principles that Better Humankind
Lisa Cypers Kamen, MA
As we grow up, we all harbor both public and secret dreams. Over the years, however, we often let go of those dreams for many reasons. Sometimes, we’re made to feel selfish for even having these dreams, and sometimes we chide ourselves. Have you ever said this to yourself: “Who am I to be dreaming of this? This will never happen to me. I should just forget about it, and be realistic.” It’s as if we’re not allowed to have these dreams. Here are some basic realities: Often we dream of doing things, even big things or accomplishing something, and it’s totally possible. Still, sometimes those dreams are not fully realistic; they need to be tweaked or re-worked. Perhaps, they will be realistic, but somewhere down the road. “Timing is everything.”
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
The reason these words resonate within me is because I believe in growing braver through reflection and self-growth. For me, the old adage is very true: “it’s not what happens to us, but how we react that makes the difference.” We can cower and hide away when some of our dreams fail to come true. Then again, we can sit down over a hot cup of tea and ask ourselves how we can best deal with the situation. By asking ourselves powerful open-ended questions such as, “What has this experience taught me?” or “What am I meant to learn from this?”, we can reframe and transform our perceptions. Each experience in life can teach us something if we’re willing to learn.
In order to flourish in life, we must first embrace the concept that everyone in this world is interconnected and interdependent. While we may live an independent life, we conform to interdependence and actually do better when we rely on others. This is a huge step from being independent, but it’s also less stressful, as we create a community of people with whom we can work together for many different purposes. The notion of interconnectivity is not new, of course. The “green movement” promotes the notion of a healthy planet based on the belief that we are all interconnected – all of the ecosystems, all of the different species, including humanity.
In order to live by universal principles, we must be willing to let go of the notion that we can control all the outcomes in our life. We replace these with universal operating principles for the good life such as these:
- – Honesty
- – Vulnerability
- – Forgiveness
- – Inspiration
- – Integrity
- – Passion
- – Compassion
- – Authenticity
Here are some tips to live by these universal principles:
1. CREATE BALANCE. There are four aspects that affect your life: the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical domains. As you begin to create greater balance amongst these four aspects, then you will find it possible to find greater peace and contentment in everyday life. One can begin to create balance by integrating the practice of meditation as discussed in the blog entitled, 4 Tips for a Better and More Enjoyable Journey through the Adventure Called Life. (can you hyperlink to this blog?).
–Working with the 8 bullet-pointed principles listed above. Ask yourself: “How can I bring these principles into my life?” Then proceed to list 2-3 ways in which you can fully integrate these principles in a practical way.
-Focus on letting go of thoughts, judgments and behaviors that do not positively serve you. Write down 2-5 aspects of your life that you feel you need to control, and how you can let go of that need, and work with the principle of balance.
2. CAPTURE THE MOMENT, LET GO OF REGRET & FUTURE-TRIPPING: If there is something you are very interested in then maybe you should capture the moment by journaling how you feel and pursue it later on down the road. All too often we’re either stuck in regrets about the past, or fears for the future. How would it feel to live fully in the moment?
– Write down 2-3 regrets you have about the past. Now, either take them to a large body of water and let them slip away, or burn them (safely of course!) and tell yourself quietly;| “I GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO FULLY LET GO”. Do the same with 2-3 fears for the future.
– Write down 2-3 ways you prevent yourself from living in the present. Now, write down 2-3 strategies you can create for changing this pattern. Keep them in an open space where you can see them, and connect with them on a regular basis.
3. MOVE IT OR LOSE IT = EXERCISE: You will learn a lot about yourself while you are working out as well as from others people engaged in similar physical activities. You can make friends or just simply observe other individuals. Either way this is another activity in which we connect with our bodies in health and others in community. Here are some alternatives if you feel the gym isn’t for you:
- – Swimming
- – Nature walking/hiking
- – Walking with friends
- – Yoga
- – Tai Chi
- – Bike riding
Any of these would be a healthy habit to pick up, and your heart will love and thank you for it.
With BIG gratitude and HUGE support,