Through navigating the lowest valleys we learn to scale the tallest mountains
Living an awakened life occurs when the present moment becomes unified with your sense of self; you become the present moment and the present moment is experienced through you. This effectively aligns you to a sense of oneness, completeness and eventually purpose.
Embodying presence in tandem with consistently practicing awareness in your day to day life, opens you up to a more attuned and expansive way of living and establishes an ease and flow in, behind and through all your actions. You’ll feel reinvigorated and transformed. Your actions no longer come out of a place of fear or negativity. You release yourself from pain, recondition your perspective and recognise the potential and value of what it means to be truly conscious and alive.
Channeling this presence constructs space. This space is the playing field wherein life occurs through you and within you. Rather than living life, life lives through you, as you. You and life are one and the same and living becomes the graceful, interwoven dance between consciousness, creation and destruction.
Here are some things that help me live a balance my inner and outer realities:
It seems easier to focus on “negative” aspects within our lives over the positive ones. We give negativity more power and allow this oftentimes constructed sense of lack to guide our actions, behaviours and way of living. Negativity breeds and festers where it needn’t through our unnecessary fuelling of it by focusing on it.
Whenever and wherever possible in the day, take a moment to truly appreciate the positive forces in your life. Recognise the value that these forces bring to life; how it enlightens, enriches and illuminates all things beautiful and meaningful. It can be as simple as taking a moment to appreciate the warmth of the sun, what it brings to the earth, and the beauty of being integrally a part of it.
“Be The Ever-Alert Guardian of Your Inner Space”
In order to see beauty, one must embody it. We all have negative thought-patterns and seemingly automatic reactions and behaviours engrained within us that hinder our path towards awareness, wisdom and liberation. Take the time to map out the harmful forces in your life. A lot of the time you’ll find this negativity is rooted in self-initiated and self-destructive behaviours and thought patterns.
We like to point fingers at instances and occurrences outside of ourselves to justify our misery, which only prolongs the entire ordeal. The fact is, dwelling and identifying with negativity is a choice, and you can learn to release yourself from it and learn from it.
Move inwards, be present with yourself and even seek help with the larger aim of growth. Commit to gaining a clearer perspective on what helps you and what hinders you.
Do not dwell on what cannot be changed and what lies outside of your control. Recognise that what you focus on and feed is what you become. What you put energy into you energise, so start by treating yourself with kindness and be open to unraveling and challenging what you think you know about yourself. You’ll be surprised to find that you are your greatest teacher.
Remember to be patient- it’s not an easy journey because it takes time to rewrite pathways.
Allot Moments In The Day For An All-Encompassing Sense Of Presence
Seldom do we give ourselves the chance to remain still and simply aware of our mortal existence. One can go days, months and even years blatantly unaware of the fact that our experience here is fleeting and will one day come to an end. People are afraid of death, and rather than learning to see the beauty of impermanence, they push it away.
Impermanence teaches us the value of presence, and presence can be practiced through meditation.
Though I find there is deep value in prolonged meditation, it is not necessary to be in meditation for hours to achieve a sense of awareness and oneness.
Meditation is simply allowing yourself to be internally still, completely present and fully aware within and without. Therefore meditation can take on many forms; you can meditate with your eyes open, whilst your commuting to work, whilst experiencing the breeze of the wind, or even whilst having a conversation with somebody. Simply being aware of awareness and being is where you can find stillness, peace and presence.
So make it a habit whenever possible, however brief the moment, to immerse yourself in stillness, free from attachment, judgement and expectation. Let the moment and you become one and the same.
Presence speaks a language that transcends the physical and material world, and you are integrally a part of it. See what it shows you.
See The Light In The Darkness
It’s through trials and tribulations, navigating the lowest valleys and moving through the deepest shades of darkness where we learn how to blossom and become that which we already are.
Sometimes the truth reveals itself to you in peculiar and painful ways, but always remember that the most profound lessons are transmuted from pain. There is beauty in the face of darkness and it takes practice to be able to recognise it. Everything has something to teach us, and it takes seeing the light to become it.
It’s easy to lose sight of faith when you feel like you’ve fallen through the cracks. It’s dark down there, I know. But trust me, when you find the light within yourself, it’ll shine brighter than the sun and cradle you in a warmth you’ve never known before.
Your inner fire will grow stronger and you become the guiding light that you seek in the midst of darkness.
Pinpoint Negative Occurrences
By identifying with and becoming our problems or by directing blame onto peripheral factors outside of ourselves, we effectively energise an endless cycle of negativity. Our problems begin to feels static, permanent and unchanging because we latch on to the idea of permanence; that things can never change.
But life occurs only in the present moment, and the present moment is always free from the bonds of the past and future. It is constantly in a state of flux and exists simply as it is and not what you think it is, or what you think it ought to be. The only thing that is keeping you from seeing that truth is you and who you think you are. The only person who extends this negativity is your idea of you.
Do not tie yourself to the past or the future. Be here now.
Catch yourself out every time you feel any negative emotion in your life, however subtle it may be. Locate where it comes from, and free yourself from it by casting the light of awareness onto it through presence. Do not fight it. See moments for what they are, free from the lens of judgement and attachment. Then watch negativity dissipate. See how you grow.
Materialise Your Thoughts
Thoughts are an inherent part of human nature. Hopes, dreams, sadness, happiness- everything we experience arises from thought. But it’s easy to get caught up in endless cycles of thinking, and it can leave you feeling like you’ve run a marathon without having done anything at all. This eventually creates the perfect breeding space for negativity and frustration to manifest into your life.
Move. Make. Create. Express. Release.
However small, however silly it may seem. Everything you do is an expression of the universe experiencing itself infinitely, through you.
What you do is the expression of your inner world into the outer world that you are undeniably an integral part of. You are the seal that ties together consciousness, beauty and creation, the channel through which purpose is expressed.
So paint, run, scream or sing. When it comes from a pure place, the energy you release into the world has the potential to save people- even if it’s only one person. That person may be you.
Be Your Own Cheerleader
Stand in front of the mirror, write it out, say it out loud, leave a reminder, somewhere, anywhere, that reminds you of the infinite light and potential that exists inside of you.
It’s okay to forget your keys once in a while, or to be late in congratulating your friend for making through another year on their birthday. But don’t forget to remind yourself as often as possible that whatever you think you lack you create for yourself, and that you possess all qualities and characteristics that are needed to overcome the obstacles in your life.
In the same ways that you’ve made it a habit of brushing your teeth, make it a habit to be your own kind, gentle and honest friend whenever and wherever possible.
Listen With Your Body
I have discussed in more detail what listening to your body can do for you here.
Become aware of how your body is feeling and reacting in certain situations. You’ll find that when you’re stressed your body responds to that stress by tensing up in the hopes of protecting itself from the danger and fear that it can sense.
Equally, observe what your body does for your mind when it comes to a place of stillness. Practice this stillness when things get too messy up there. You’ll be surprised what being one with your body can teach your mind.
Listen to and with your body. Rather than allowing it to be a slave to your mind, try to turn the tables and allow your mind to learn from your body. It does not ask for more, it simply is.
A simple breath is all it takes to reveal to you the wonders and mystery of the universe. Sometimes the simplest things have the capacity to teach us the most.
“The coming into manifestation of the world as well as its return to the unmanifested – its expansion and contraction are two universal movements that we could call the outgoing and the return home. Those two movements are reflected throughout the universe in many ways, such as in the incessant expansion and contraction of your heart, as well as in the inhalation and exhalation of your breath”.
– Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
Listen and you will learn. Be still and it will be known.
The windswept trees and sunlights warmth
And shifting tides of oceans
Form rivers of raindrops
The winding vine and fallen leaves
Echo the quiet knowns
Speaking in our language
In holding gazes of silence
Of the passerby I see;
We are not strangers here
“‘Greatness’ exists in the inconspicuous and overlooked details”
– Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi
“The perishability and changefulness of the world is part and parcel of its liveliness and loveliness.”
– Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
My search to be
Of that which I am not,
Is my search to be
Of that which I am.
Our deepest discontents
Are the symbols
Of our completeness.
– Janaki Chengalath