Ask friends and family too. You will learn something new. A friend said she’d get on the first flight to Hawaii. Another friend would finally try psychedelics. My son would fly to Japan. I’d hug everyone I love, eat something delicious, look at something beautiful, listen to beautiful music, read and meditate. Oh, I’d also take shrooms 😊
When you find yourself in a predicament, see it from a different point of view. “Happiness is sorrow, sorrow is happiness. There is happiness in difficulty, difficulty in happiness”.
If it’s so bad it’s impossible, know it too shall pass, everything is impermanent. Change is your best hope.
Buddhism teaches to be present with what is, even if, especially if it’s suffering. Don’t try to escape it – face it, sit with it. This is your path. “When we are in difficulty or distress, there we have enlightenment”.
Being a perfectionist or having an ambition, a plan is a tough way to live. “We make plans, God laughs”. Letting go and hearing your way (dharma) is easier. Go for an easy option, align with your heart/ intuition.
When you find yourself in a happier place, appreciate how many people are suffering (all of us), remember to give back, help others (empathy). Enjoy every bit of it but don’t get attached to it.
Happiness is unattainable because change is the only constant. It helps guide the way. Ultimately go beyond happiness, go beyond joy, find meaning, true understanding. Who are you? What is all this? Why are you here?
Then peace, calmness become more important than happiness or joy. If you find true understanding and practice calmness in everyday life, you will see challenges and difficulties differently, as a “passing show”. This is resilience.
And if I were to summarise this into 3 tips:
1. The game is called Levels and Lenses. Shift perspectives until you find peace. Take a step back and see blue sky around the grey clouds (Ram Dass). Keep reframing, shifting perspectives until you find joy amidst suffering.
2. Practice complete surrender (radical acceptance). Give up everything. You are not in control and actually giving it up is very liberating. Trust the process = cultivate faith.
3. Self centeredness = suffering. Step outside of you, think of others, help others. Look up Buddha stone story (he only escaped suffering when he stopped focusing on his own and helped a suffering person next to him instead).
I am going to talk about resilience and some of the challenges I had to deal with/ overcome and how I did it at 12.30 BST on May 11th. I will talk about my corporate burnout and mini retirement (1 planned year of being out of work, then 1 unplanned pandemic year on top of that), how I healed my #mentalhealth, dealt with anxiety during that time and growth that it all led to. I will talk about Buddhism and spirituality. If interested, register for free here.
What does loving awareness feel like? I had no idea before. It was just a concept. Like one of my spiritual friends says, all you need to do is meditate and answers will come (or rather questions will dissolve but he left this one out).
Whatever the situation that vexes you the most right now, let go of the vision of how it ought to be. Surrender every shred of expectation. Do what needs doing but do not expect a reward. Do not dread the pain and suffering. Let go of the outcome. Offer it to the Universe/ God and trust.
“When you arrive at non-action, nothing will be left undone. Mastery of the world is achieved by letting things take their natural course.”
How is it going, fellow nomads? What are you working on at the moment? I’ve got so tired of the drama that I noticed I tend to trigger in myself and others that I concocted this challenge. Mind you, day 11 is when I had an anger outburst at work – another area that I am working on at the moment – and so I had to start from scratch again. I am determined to get to a 30 day mark.
This is also when I realised that “no drama” in my case is equivalent to “catch your klesha” (klesha is a sanskrit word meaning negative mental state, such as anger), or “notice your anger.” So “no drama” challenge became “catch your klesha” challenge. How are you with drama in your life? Are you the drama, like me? 😊 Are you on top of your kleshas? My work continues.
I am tired of the mainstream self help advice. I am tired of being told I need goals, better goals, different goals, more commitment, more discipline, more faith, more trust, better routine, better structure, new framework. I am told to keep it together, to lean in, to do, to become, to change. Action, action, action.
I’m here to tell you it’s okay to stop and get stuck. To fall apart. To descend into darkness. To feel no ambition, to feel lost, numb or empty, to not want to take another breath. It is okay, necessary even, to give up all goals, to cancel all plans, to forego routine and just do nothing. To come to a halt. To stop. To be, or rather cease to be. Dissolve into nothing. Merge with the void. Dive as deep as you can. Hit the rock bottom. Lose all faith. All hope. Disintegrate completely.
When you stumble on a loose pavement slab and nearly fall, what do you do? Swear? Kick it? Write to the local authorities and complain?
How about thanking the slab and the Universe for putting it there, smiling and saying the name of your teacher, “Wow!” or “E MA HO!” (a Tibetan expression that means “How magnificent!”)?
This practice is recommended for training one’s mind to be relaxed and open should they die suddenly. Because in dying we react subconsciously just like when we stumble on a loose slab or stab our toe. As Pema Chödrön puts it, we die as we live.
When unexpected happens, how do you react? Does your vibration jump up or down? How do you want to react going forward? I will try and remember to smile at the slab next time.