Friday, April 22, 2011

Easy Swaps for Instant and Lasting Benefits!

The trick with breaking an unhelpful habit is to replace it with something preferable.  Here are some of my favorite swaps :). 


JUDGMENT ESPECIALLY UNFAVORABLE JUDGMENT

Swap this for the tranquility of acceptance that everything, without exception, has its place on the Ground of Infinite possibilities.  

If you don’t feel good about something, focus on the feeling that you have rather than the person or thing that seems to evoke the feeling.  

Then, choose a feeling you would prefer to have and allow that feeling to guide you to thoughts and actions that you desire!

Remember, it’s much more empowering to act from a good feeling within rather than insist that something outside changes first before you allow yourself to feel good :)
  

SELF-DOUBT

Swap this for the delirious realization that you are part of the play of Life.  On some level, at some point, you chose to be part of this play.  So play! 

Decisions and choices are experimental tools and processes!  If they don’t bring you the outcome you desire, modify them, change them or abandon them altogether.  

But don’t doubt your ability to make decisions or choices.  And don’t be crippled by false and absolute beliefs in *right* and *wrong*.  

Think instead in terms of usefulness with respect to a particular goal and most of all, consider how good it feels :).  The better the feeling, the surer you can be!


STRESS

Swap this for slow, deep breaths and gentle movement. 

One breath at a time.  You are breathing anyway, so why not just use what is already happening to give you a break from the stress that has built up in your mind and body?

The health benefits are instantaneous countering the build up of cortisol, that stress hormone that can result in things like high blood pressure, reduced immunity and abdominal fat.  (Low levels of cortisol, however, help us by enabling us to react quickly in emergencies and reducing our sensitivity to pain).

One of the best and easiest movements you can do is to bend forward from the base of your spine very slowly and gently and then relax into a rag doll.  

Just let your arms fall loosely by your sides, let your head suspend loosely from your neck and breathe gently.  If you need to bend your knees, do.

Then, slowly unfold yourself into an upright position.  You can do this anywhere and anytime.  If you’re out in public and feel self-conscious, you can always pretend you’re searching for a lost coin :).


UNPLEASANT THOUGHTS

Swap these for wild, exciting and sexy imaginings!  Come on, as a child you had no trouble using your imagination.  

Perhaps you’re a little out of practice but wouldn’t you rather be flooding your mind (and your body with all those corresponding feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin) with fun and exciting thoughts and feelings?  Of course you would!  So do!

Best part – you don’t have to act on them if you don’t want to.  But whether you do or don’t, you can still enjoy the instant benefits of taking your mind to Joy Land instead of leaving it stuck in Awfulville :)


JUNK FOOD

Swap this for half the amount of junk food you would normally consume and something nutritious like celery sticks or a celery shake made with organic milk or soy milk, a sprinkle of almond flakes and a dash of honey and ginger  :).

That said, perhaps, like me, you're not a hard core junkie and only occasionally 'lapse into decadence'.  If so, don't deny yourself such brief delights.  They're some of the experiences you can afford to have from the Ground of Infinite experiences :). 

You know, it's really not that difficult to swap unhelpful habits for truly empowering and fun habits. And once you start experiencing the marvelous benefits, you'll graduate from  Tentative Swapper to Adventurous Swapper!  Woo Hoo!!!

What are your favorite swaps?  Do share them so we can all benefit more :).  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

From the womb (or tomb) of Silence

There is no such thing as complete soundless-ness.  Even in the most remote and isolated places we’ve been, there are sounds – birds calling, waves lapping against the cliffs or tumbling onto the sand, a distant aircraft, crickets chirping, the soft hum of a refrigerator, the creaking of a floor board…

But there’s no doubt about it, these are different sounds to the ones we mostly hear during our normal, urban or suburban days.  And that difference is useful.

These sounds give us something different to attend to, a break from the usual.  And a departure from the usual can be a return to the unusual and often, the more natural.

We are reminded of the stillness within.  We can encounter it with all our senses.  We are reminded that this is how we naturally are – uncluttered, undisturbed and peaceful.

This is when we feel natural joy arise spontaneously without contrivance.  This is where and how we most long to be.  Free from the addictions of what we have learned to call ‘normal’.

It is not that ‘normal’ is bad.  It’s just that it is almost always never enough and can never be enough.  

But this space of relative silence feels enough.  It feels whole and complete.  

So complete that it sometimes scares us when it whispers to us that we don’t need anything else – neither the people nor the things that we have come to regard as essential to our survival and wellbeing.

But if we stay long enough in this silence, in this stillness, we re-encounter all of life in a profoundly different way.  

We feel our oneness with all other and we understand that there is no conflict after all between being alone and being with the rest of the world.

We feel in a very deep and blissful way how beautifully interconnected we are and how each person and each thing is a part of us.  

We watch life in all its forms dancing its eternal dance.  Each fallen leaf, each breath, every footstep, every sliver of light through unexpected cracks and every calling of the seagulls is perfectly placed and timed in this dance.

And once again, we are reborn from the womb of silence.  

May you experience Silence this Easter and celebrate the wonder and promise of your rebirth from its womb!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Are you Choosing Freely or being Governed by the Given?

 If you limit your choices only to what seems reasonable or possible, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise       Robert Fritz
Have you ever felt dissatisfied with the options available to you but then, somewhat reluctantly, chosen from them?

Let me give you an example of what I mean.  It may seem like a trivial one but it will serve to illustrate an important principle.

I enjoy changing the look and feel of my blogs from time to time in response to the way I’m feeling and/or the new and emerging impressions I wish to create and convey to readers.  

Just yesterday, I decided I wanted a different background for this blog.  I went through the range of options available in Blogger’s Design backgrounds and had a lot of fun trying on several of them.  But none of them felt completely satisfactory.

It was then that I realized (and remembered) that I wasn’t making a free choice. What do I mean?

Well, you see, I had limited my choice of backgrounds to what was available i.e. the given

When I realized and remembered (because I’ve been in this kind of space many times before with other decisions I’ve had to make) that I was choosing from a given set of options, in other words, a limited set of options, I decided to take a different approach.  

It is one that I use increasingly and which always delivers the most satisfying outcomes for me, whether over *trivial* or *critical* decisions.  (In fact, it’s because I have experienced such profound results with the more *critical* decisions that I tend to forget to use it with my  less *critical* decisions!)

I shut my eyes and began to imagine how I wanted my blog to feel and what that feeling looked like.  That’s when I began to see certain colors and shapes and forms that seemed to really capture that feeling.  I then opened my eyes and began looking through my library of images – pictures that I’d taken or drawn.

I found two that I liked.  The first one, although beautiful in my eyes, proved a bit too distracting when I tried it on.  The second, however, which is the one you see, was what matched my desire fully.  (Perhaps you might like to give me your feedback on it which I’ll be thrilled to receive :))
  
An Important Observation

I’ve observed that when we choose from a limited set of options, we often end up ‘settling for less’.  We make a compromise that we feel forced to make and the dissatisfaction that such a compromise leaves remains and festers within us, mostly unconsciously. 

In the short term, we may experience a degree of relief which we may mistake for satisfaction.  In truth, we’re just relieved that we’ve put that one decision to bed.  At least for now.  

Over time, however, that dissatisfaction that we’ve ignored or tried to rationalize away continues to gnaw at our spirit, mostly subconsciously.  Consciously, it may express itself as doubt or a reluctant act of tolerance.  

How Life Unfolds
Our lives unfold in a series of ongoing decisions most of which are made unconsciously because they are set on autopilot.  In fact, we hardly think of them as decisions.  Instead, we consider them habits or routines.

Our morning cup of coffee, the brushing of our teeth, getting out of bed, working at our computer, having three meals a day, grocery shopping once a week, answering the phone when it rings and paying our bills are such routine events that we perform them with hardly any variation and with unremarkable consistency.

And, let’s be clear, it’s mostly a very useful thing.  We don’t want or need to be deliberating over the same decision day in and day out, or every week or every month when we’ve already established that they work very well for us.  They keep us moving efficiently through life most of the time.

However, there are many more non-routine decisions that we are called upon to make that potentially have a great and far-reaching impact on the quality of our lives and the degree of happiness and control we experience.

These are the decisions that we don’t wish to set on autopilot and which we want to experience the greatest degree of freedom about.  

We do not want to make these decisions from a limited set of options that we’ve constructed from unhelpful beliefs, fears and limitations.

On the contrary, we want to make them from an infinite field of options!

To do this is much, much easier than you might think.  Just as I did with my choice of backgrounds for my blog, you too can do the same with any of the decisions that you consider important and meaningful to you.

Before I continue, I want to make something clear. 

There are three things that are at play here:

  1. The willingness to see beyond the given and finite/limited and into the unexplored and infinite
  2. The courage and faith that you are choosing what you truly desire even when the shape and form of that choice is not immediately clear to you
  3. The possibility that what you finally and freely choose may be something within the Given field of options but one which you now see and experience differently.  In other words, you genuinely see and experience it as a free and joyous choice rather a compromise or ‘the lesser of two evils’.

Note: That third one is something you may need to think about a bit more :).  It may be useful to reflect on the fact that the final choice is not what determines the quality of the outcome and its sustainability.  Rather, it is how the choice is made and the motivation driving it (eg whether from fear or freedom)

When you step into this *zone* of choosing freely, you’ll find it exciting, exhilarating and liberating.  It is as if you’re being buoyed on the unstoppable stream of life or floating above a lush and vibrant field that has absolutely no boundaries!  

The best part is, this is something that you can experience everyday and right now if you choose to!  And why wouldn’t you???

When you’re not Governed by the Given, life becomes fantastically more interesting, exciting, fun and truly and deeply satisfying!  

Let me put it this way: Joy, rapture and delight are available to you right now, without even having to leave your seat! 

Choices are made in your mind, by your heart and inspired by your Soul!  Would you have it any other way now that you know?

Before I show you how easily this is done, let me suggest the kinds of choices that you could be making with complete freedom.  In other words, the choices that you could be making consciously and freely from the infinite field of options, but which typically, you make from a limited set of options.  

  • What to wear
  • What to eat and how to cook it (or not)
  • How to spend your weekends or holidays
  • Whether to pamper yourself and how
  • Whether to have a life partner and who
  • Whether to watch television and what
  • What to believe
  • How to enjoy yourself
  • How to spend time with your favorite person or animal
  • What to read
  • Whether to cultivate a new interest and what
  • Whether to get married/divorced and why
  • What to do with your money

As you can see, these are choices about things that range from what appears to be trivial to ones that we typically regard as life-changing.  

The fact is, every choice we make is potentially life-changing if we remain open and attentive to the possibilities it reveals.

So, how do you enter the *Zone* of Choosing Freely to make your choices?

Please don’t be underwhelmed by the simplicity of what I’m about to share with you.  Simplicity and elegance underpin the most profound, elaborate and intricate creations including the *simple* typing of words in the creation of a novel, the *simple* motion of a needle and thread in the creation of spectacular fashion and the *simple* brush strokes in the painting of a masterpiece :).

8 SIMPLE AND ELEGANT STEPS FOR CHOOSING FREELY:

  1. Remove yourself from the given options by closing your eyes, focusing on your breathing and allowing your mind and body to relax completely
  2. Imagine being suspended in space or floating or standing on an infinite ocean.  Enjoy the feeling of freedom and lightness.
  3. Remind yourself:  I am an expression of Life, one from a field of infinite possibilities
  4. Remind yourself:  I am choosing freely according to what I truly desire and what feels perfectly joyous and peaceful to me
  5. Ask yourself:  What do I truly desire?  How do I really want to feel?
  6. Wait for the good feelings to rise and flood your mind and body
  7. Be guided by these good feelings as you open your eyes and take your first step in the direction of these feelings
  8. Continue to act (or not act) according to these feelings
I suggest you try this first with a decision about something that you regard as ‘not so critical’, like choosing what to wear when you meet your friend for coffee. 

Instead of being Governed by the Given, go through the eight steps and see what you come up with.  More importantly, take note of how you feel

Did you find yourself exploring a wider field of possibilities?  Did you end up wearing something you wouldn’t have thought of wearing?  Or putting together a combination that you’d never have thought of?  Did you feel a little excited about it, even bold and daring? 

Imagine how this could change the way you approach what you consider the more *critical* choices in life, like choosing a career path or life partner. 

Options that you wouldn’t have seen suddenly and *magically* appear when you take yourself to that Zone of Choosing Freely.  

You don't have to make compromises and settle for less.  And you certainly don't have to cramp your style by being Governed by the Given!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Sadness came calling

The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the Joy.  Jim Rohn
This last week has been disturbing.  I witnessed a sudden turn of events that resulted in the manager of my store being told that her part-time position was to be made redundant.   

She was given the options of a full-time position which she has not been willing to take as a result of family commitments, or a part-time position as a sales assistant with no loss of income, something that she felt she could not ethically justify.

J has been the store manager for five and a half years and in that time has seen the store move location twice, cultivated a loyal team of volunteers and helped build the wonderful reputation that the store currently enjoys.

She was the person who took me on as a volunteer and almost instantly recommended and secured my position, first as a casual and more recently as a part-time sales assistant.  We are the only two paid staff at our store.

J also jumped in and gave me a loan when I first joined the store.  She’d overheard a conversation I had over the phone with the people who receive my rent and, without my asking, put a couple of hundred dollars into an envelope and quietly told me to use it.  You see, I was unable to pay my rent in time and that would have put me in a precarious situation.

Although our working days rarely coincided, in recent weeks, we had been working together for two or three days a week.  During that time, with great patience and competence, she has broadened my scope of responsibilities by getting me to take on more of the store’s operational duties. 

On the day that she was told about the redundancy of her position, J and I had spent the morning working through a number of tasks while singing away some of J’s frustrations with the direction and national management of the store.  

 Just as well, for in the afternoon, upon her return from her meeting with the national manager, she left abruptly with tears in her eyes and lips quivering.  She could only manage to tell me that she’d call me and talk to me about the banking.

I spent the next hour or so in a bit of a daze, wandering aimlessly through the store and, at one point, crouching behind the counter so that I was invisible.  I just needed to try and let events sink in even though at this point, I did not know about the redundancy.  But, like most trained pessimists, I feared the worst.

This marked the beginning of the visit by Sadness who arrived from somewhere, perhaps that vast dungeon of sad emotions that we humans know only too well. I can tell you that she hasn’t left yet although I do feel that, today, about a week later, she may be starting to pack her bags.

Yesterday, again somewhat suddenly and following a phone call, J was told that she could wind up at the end of the day with the assurance that she would be paid for the few weeks leading up to the annual week she was scheduled to take at the end of this month.

When she told me the news, I knew instinctively that, sudden as it was, it was the better thing for J.  She would not have to endure a slow and painful few weeks of handing over to whoever it was who would be taking her place. 

She had, in fact, spent the last few nights with little sleep and a churning stomach, one of many such nights she’d had over the last two years since the new national manager and new business directions had kicked in.

Despite the turmoil that she was going through, J had sought reassurance from the national manager (who was on the other end of that phone call) that I would be supported adequately in the running of the store. 

When we had finished talking about the few remaining operational tasks and procedures that I needed to know about, J allowed herself to talk a bit more about her years with the store.

At some point, I asked her what was causing her the greatest pain just now, and watched as she tearfully told me that she felt it was moving away from its original mission to support economically disadvantaged women throughout the world.   

She had felt for some time now that the corporate model being pushed by the new manager was increasingly overshadowing the stories of these women and their need to live with dignity and greater freedom of choice.

I cried too as I saw and felt the pain that J was stoically trying to contain.  In the end, I suggested we sit down and meditate for a minute.  I guided our little meditation, first by bringing us to our present moment, our breathing, our physical space, both internal and external and finished by giving thanks for all the blessings we have encountered in our lives and the continued blessings we have received and shared with all our customers and the women throughout the world who are supported by our work. 

I also gave thanks for all the kindness, sweetness, joy and care that J had brought into the store over the last five and a half years.

It was a beautiful way to *end* and we both felt better for it.  As I walked home, I felt that I was walking home with Sadness.  There she was, right within me, leading the way, stirring vague memories of feelings that I’d felt on so many other occasions when she’d visited – times of relationships ending, goodbyes at airports, news of someone’s illness or death, the end of a job and moving house.  Painful times.

I would be lying if I told you that I was entirely at peace with these feelings.  There was a part of me that didn’t want them.  I would have been quite happy if Sadness had left as suddenly as J had. 

I woke up earlier than usual this morning.  Much earlier.  And there was Sadness.  I think she must’ve stayed up while I slept, waiting for me to arise.  Having spent some time meditating and reading from one of my favorite books, Anam Cara ('friend of the soul' by John O’Donahue, I now feel able to write and allow Sadness to say what she has to say, if she has anything to say.  Perhaps all that I have written is what she’s wanted to say.

But there’s more.  In my meditation, I realized a few things that I would like to share with you:

1.  I can extend the hand of friendship to Sadness

In fact, when I do, she is less threatening.  I also realized that in the same way, I could genuinely offer the spirit of friendship to the national manager, who admittedly, I have thus far not really cared to have any kind of relationship with other than that of someone taking directions from a manager.

2.  I can have a really good relationship with anyone if that is what I want and choose

Now, this is not something new.  But I was reminded of it in my meditation.  It is something that I have made use of on many occasions in the past with relationships that had been difficult and almost toxic. 

What I’d discovered was that a relationship, first and foremost, exists in our mind.  It is how we think and feel about someone that determines how we interact with them in person. 

So, if I can have thoughts and feelings about someone that enables me to feel joy, peace and power, then I know that joy, peace and power will flow through whether or not I am in physical contact with that person.

Establishing the relationship that I want in my mind first has resulted in all my unhappy and painful relationships (all three of them) to be healed completely, long before contact and communication was re-established. 

This is truly powerful stuff.  I have seen years of distrust, anger, hurt and mean spiritedness dissolve in relationships when I first allowed them to dissolve in my mind by redirecting my focus on what I wanted instead.

3.  I am not obliged to feel sad or angry as a demonstration of loyalty towards another person

We are conditioned to react, often with anger and indignation, when we believe that someone, especially someone close to us, has been wrongfully treated.   

We tend to align ourselves almost rigidly with that person and declare our *loyalty* towards them while denouncing the offending party.  It’s probably because we’re reacting as if we, ourselves, were that person.

To some extent, this may seem helpful to the person we care for.  But I’ve discovered as a result of being on both sides of such a situation that it’s generally unwise and unhelpful to react in this way.  

 Sure, our friend may feel comforted by our response but I don’t think it helps them move forward towards greater peace and joy, which is after all what they (and we) want most.

We're conditioned to want some kind of revenge or at least some recognition of the hurt that’s been caused.  Revenge is clearly no ticket to peace.  Recognition of hurt, however, is useful.  

If we can acknowledge the hurt that someone is feeling, it’s a wonderful thing.  We can be with them and be there for them.  But engaging in recrimination or blame games really does not help anyone.

Being with someone i.e empathizing does not require us to act out their anger or hurt.  It does not require us to pledge loyalty toward them by condemning others.  If we sincerely desire a peaceful and joyous outcome, then we must think, feel and act in peace.  And not just for some but for all concerned.  There is no such thing as *partial peace*

If you believe, as I do, that whatever we give our attention and emotion to, we manifest or manifest more of, then it only makes sense that anger and condemnation will only manifest more of the same.

On the other hand, by giving our attention and emotion to a peaceful and joyous outcome for everyone involved, we are likely to see that manifest.  

4.  You cannot expect a good outcome if you don’t truly desire it.  

This may seem so obvious, yet it is something that most people don’t seem to take seriously enough.  Most of us claim we want a good relationship but we tend to say that with our heads rather than our hearts.  

We know intellectually that it makes sense to have a good relationship whether it is with our partners, children, bosses or colleagues.  However, we assume that just thinking it is sufficient. 

Without sincerely and wholeheartedly desiring it, the way we would desire a glass of water when we are desperately thirsty, for instance, we lack the full intent and commitment that is required to make it happen.  

However, when we do intend it with our mind and heart, we can be sure that nothing will get in our way of turning this intention into a reality.  After all, a relationship exists, first and foremost, in our hearts and minds.  Whatever we say or do physically is merely an outflow of what is in our hearts and minds.

As I said, I had thus far not wholeheartedly desired to have a good relationship with the national manager.  I had not really seen it as necessary. 

I certainly did not want to have a *bad* relationship with her but it didn’t really cross my mind that it might be a good thing for both of us if I actually wholeheartedly desired to have a good relationship with her.   

And there is a difference.  A big difference between indifference or mild caring and caring fully.  

I have now intended this and I am certain that we will have a good relationship.  Perhaps, in time, I might desire to have a great relationship with her.   

In fact, what’s stopping me from desiring that right now?  Yes, that is exactly what I shall do!  Now!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In case you forgot, You are in Charge!

The highest manifestation of life is this: that a being governs its own actions.  A thing that is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.  Thomas Aquinas
Here is the general thesis of this blog in a nutshell:
We live on the Ground of Infinite Possibilities.

We exercise only a very minute number of these possibilities routinely.

Consequently, we end up feeling stuck, bored, disenchanted, frustrated, doubtful, fearful and resentful.

We seek ways to overcome these negative feelings mostly by relying on things external to. our mind and body.  Things that can only provide momentary relief such as television, consumer goods including food, sex and superficial communication.

Change is movement which  keeps our soul on fire, igniting the flames of its passion.

Passion is the energy that moves you into excitement, joy and expansion.

Playfulness is the manner in which you create joyful, memorable experiences.

Purpose is the choices you make with what you do with your life, determining whether you live it with Passion and Playfulness or some miserable alternatives.

The bottom line is this:  Your life is up to you.  

Now, for some people that can be scary.  So scary that it may cause them to revolt against it.  

‘That’s bullshit!’
‘There are things that are not in your control’.
‘You can’t argue with human nature, genes and history’.

Well, to them I say, ‘That’s your choice.  You are free to believe whatever you wish.  No one is pointing a gun at you demanding that you believe it.  No one but yourself.

For other people, however, that thought can be liberating.  

‘If it’s all up to me, what am I waiting for???’

You, my friends-in-spirit, are adventurers, forever exploring and discovering. You know deeply that you are the artist of your canvas of life and you can stretch it as far as you like.  You create your masterpieces.  You choose your tools.  You seek the inspiration that you desire by moving in circles where others inspire and support you, cheerfully leaving behind all the naysayers.  You follow the path that you dream of.  You live life on your terms.

For those of us who get excited and thrilled by the fact that it’s really all up to us, we take steps in the general direction of our dreams, our desires and our aspirations.  

Sometimes, however, we may find ourselves floundering in our belief and commitment.  There’s nothing *wrong* with that and certainly nothing to be afraid of.  

All the same, we might find ourselves feeling stuck and despondent, as if the fires of passion are fizzling out.  What can we do?

I could give you a long list of things you could do but in this post, I’d like to focus on just one, simple thing that you can do without leaving your seat.  

Think a new thought everyday.

We’ve all heard the saying attributed to Einstein:

 ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

When it seems like the flames of passion are dying, our immediate response is to feel concerned, which is actually a mild form of fear. 

But instead, we could entertain a new thought such as these ones that I have used:

What part of me would l like to express more?

How can I express something differently?

How can I use this feeling to inspire me?

Questions are thoughts that open doors to fresh possibilities.  

Use them often.  Invite yourself to ask new and different questions everyday.

Alternatively, you could entertain a different kind of thought that describes your desired state or condition such as the ones that I’ve entertained:

I am a superlatively wealthy person. 

I write posts that shake people out of complacency and fatalism.

People smile and feel encouraged when they talk to me and they cannot seem to get enough of what I have to say.

I live my life on my terms and I am having the time of my life.

REMEMBER:

You are in charge of your thoughts.  

You can choose the thoughts you find useful, inspiring and fun.

You are here to enjoy life which is fully available to you.

Now is your moment and space of choice.

What are you waiting for?

The Power of Pause and Pausing for Power


Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency   Franz Kafka

When I began meditating consistently over 15 years ago, I began the conscious journey of discovering the immense power and potential of my mind. I also realized how poorly utilized and badly managed it had been!

I’d heard and read, as I’m sure you have, how little of our mind and its power we routinely use, leaving the bulk of it i.e. infinity – 10% untapped.  What a colossal waste!

I had to ask myself:  What would my life be like if I began using even 5% more of my mind's potential?

My answer:  Staggering!

I remember a sense of awe as I contemplated this possibility.  Over time, I began exploring ways by which I could start using my mind more creatively, more powerfully and more enjoyably.

One of the key things I discovered was the Power of Pause or the practice of Pausing for Power.  It’s an incredible power that you can tap into immediately and its benefits are gigantic.

What is the Power of Pause?

Quite simply, it’s the power that your mind defaults to when you make it pause.  

As you’re quite aware, your mind is forever engaged in thoughts.  Most of these thoughts are repetitive.  You think them several times a day, everyday to the point that you’re mostly not aware that you're thinking them.

Just think of all the attention and energy that you’re directing to these recurring thoughts, consciously or unconsciously, everyday and ask yourself if they are actually moving you ahead or keeping you circulating in the same field of experience.  

Are you saying anything particularly new or different?  Are you doing anything new or different?  In other words, are you moving outside your current field of possibilities?

Moving within the same field of possibilities is limiting and  it gets boring after a while.  In fact, it doesn’t take much for your mind to feel bored.  And these days, with the vast array of *entertainment* (or distractions) so readily available to us, it’s even easier to look *outside* our minds for some kind of relief.  

So, you go shopping or switch TV channels or eat when you don’t really need to or check your email for the tenth time in ten minutes or send a text message in the hope of receiving one back or post another comment on Twitter in the hope of getting some responses or… well, you and I know what our methods of escape are :)

And while these things may give us some measure of relief, it’s only temporary.  Before too long, we’re looking for relief again!

BUT…

What if you could start to move out of your field of repeating experiences?  What if you could do this without leaving your seat?  What if you could do this while having a conversation?  What if you could do this when you feel stuck or overwhelmed or powerless?  

This is where the Power of Pause comes in.  By simply pausing your mind, you can immediately stop that insane and uncreative circling within the field of familiar experiences and step into the Power and Potential of your crystal clear, illuminating and creative mind!

How do you Pause?

The easiest and quickest way to pause is to breathe consciously.  It’s really that simple and you can do this anywhere and anytime.  When you’re on the toilet, having a chat, watching TV, preparing dinner, washing your face, walking to your car…anywhere, anytime!  After all, you’re always breathing, so what could be easier than just paying attention to your breath for a little while?  

Start with one breath, then two, then three.  That’s all!  Just try to give it your full attention.  When you do that, all the other thoughts and mental preoccupations automatically filter out from your current point of focus which is your breath.

Effectively, you’ve taken your mind into a new field of experience which is free from repetitive thoughts.  This is how you tap into the Power of Pause.  

Focusing on your breath is like pushing a mental Pause button.  It’s simple but its effects are immediate and wide-ranging and, if you keep using that Pause button, you’ll discover potentials that you’ve never tapped into.  

The following are 7 Powerful Benefits that you will experience when you tap into the Power of Pause.

The Benefit of Remembering Essential Truths

When you’re running on the Power of Pause, you can use it to remind yourself of some truly remarkable and passion-boosting things such as the fact that

  • I’m infinitely more than my body and my personality
  • What I think and do now are the forerunners of what I experience in the future
  • I am the creator of my life experiences
  • I arise from the same Ground of Infinity as everyone and everything else (I usually think of the people that I most admire)
  • Without my conditioning, I am a free being able to enjoy every bit of life
  • Right at this moment, I am no longer experiencing the boredom or hurt or fear or restlessness that I was experiencing just a few seconds ago (this realization continues to fill me with awe and delight and confidence!)
The Benefit of Re-viewing Events

When you’re running on the Power of Pause, you can re-view any situation with clarity and without bias.  Anything that has been a cause of regret, hurt, guilt, anger or helplessness can be RE-VIEWED i.e. seen with fresh eyes and a fresh mind, without the *benefit* of your learned preconceptions and beliefs.

For instance, I have re-viewed many past events (whether distant or recent) with the realization that

  • I did the best I could at the time
  • I now can choose and mentally rehearse what I would prefer to do should this kind of event happen again
  • Hindsight is a rather unforgiving judge. Awareness is all I need to make choices that I actually want and enjoy
The Benefit of Relaxing Your Mind and Body

When you’re running on the Power of Pause you’re allowing your entire mind-body system to relax and expand into the Field of Infinite Possibilities.  You can literally feel your muscles relax and the aches and pains that had collected in them dissipate :).  This is, in fact, a time of healing, or restoration - restoring your mind and body to their natural, free, unconditioned and limitless state of perfect wellbeing.

The Benefit of Interrupting Your Thoughts, words and Actions

When you’re running on the Power of Pause, you’re interrupting the interminable cycle of repetitive thoughts and giving your mind (and body) a fresh start with fresh possibilities.  This is how you can choose more calmly and carefully (lovingly), your thoughts, words and actions.  This is when you can actually hear the voice of your intuition and inner wisdom.

The Benefit of Empowering Yourself

When you’re running on the Power of Pause, you’re empowered by your awareness that you do not have to endure anything that you do not desire.  Why?  Because there are infinite other possibilities to replace the things that you do not want.

This is the time to ask yourself:  What do I really want right here and now?  

This is also the time when you have the most power to say to yourself:  What has been is history if I choose to make it history.  Right now is a fresh moment for fresh choice.  What shall I choose?

The Benefit of Renewing Yourself

When you’re running on the Power of Pause, you’re renewing your entire mind-body-spirit system.  You’re consciously on Ground Infinity.  You’re no longer spinning in the killing fields of recurring, disempowering thoughts, words and actions.  You can choose new thoughts, new words and new actions. 

I often find myself moving in new directions such as learning something new in song-writing or guitar riffs or photo-editing or audio-editing software, substituting common clich├ęs with my own expressions in my speech and writing or even *channeling* people that I admire or am curious about, whether living or dead :)

These are just some of the benefits of the Power of Pause.  If you haven’t tried tapping into the Power, consciously and routinely, I suggest that you do, right away!

You know, you could keep switching channels, sending text messages, checking your emails, eating another Tim Tam, Twittering or any of those things you habitually do to escape boredom or dissatisfaction or fear or a lack of motivation.  Or you could….

Discover the Power of Pause by Pausing for Power!