How does one actually keep their life simple? I began a life of self inquiry many years ago when challenging life situations forced me to really stop and ask the ultimate question ‘What am I doing here and what is my life’s purpose”? At some time or another we all come to a certain crossroad in our lives which is when many of us begin the journey of discovering what is truly important to us.
I’ve read many books, attended numerous workshops and silent retreats, meditated religiously and hiked one of the world’s most spiritual mountains in Tibet asking the questions and seeking the answers. What I discovered throughout this search is that it doesn’t matter where you go, or what you do, the answers we seek are always here within our own hearts.
When you are experiencing challenges begin to observe and feel the emotions that are present in your life. Many people put walls up to protect their hearts as a result of past experiences and never take the time to really check in and feel their emotions. It is part of our healing process to acknowledge our emotions and have compassion for ourselves and others. Make a conscious decision to allow yourself to be in the moment; don’t worry about what is going to happen one hour or even ten minutes from now, just stay in the present moment. We can manage anything that arises in our life for a moment, but it’s when our mind is projecting into the past or the future that problems seem to appear.
Pay attention next time you have a problem and notice if your thinking is geared towards events from the past or something you are expecting to happen in the future. And if so, just bring your attention back to the present moment. The past has already occurred and the future is not here. The only place for us to live from is in this moment.
The amount of energy we put into resisting our life challenges is exhausting. It’s useful not to resist what is occurring in your life, for what you resist persists and what you embrace you erase. Your energy and awareness are best focused towards accepting the situation and then moving from that place if any action is required.
When life becomes too much, simply stop, be still and let the mind settle. Go for a walk in nature, meditate, focus on the breath, turn off the radio and television, be in silence. If you practice living in the moment with awareness you may notice that challenges become easier to move through. The Dalai Lama says,”If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”
Challenges help us to grow as individuals, they teach us to let go of judgements, expectations, anger, hatred and move towards developing patience, understanding, forgiveness and compassion. How many of you can reflect on times that were challenging in your life and recognize that you did you learn something about yourself and as a result you now share that wisdom with others? Some people would even go so far as to say the challenges in their life have been a blessing.