“Let Go and Let God”

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We’re very much a controlling society. We want to make or force things to happen. We decide certain things should happen and we map out our entire lives accordingly: go to X school, start X career, buy a house, get a dog, get married and have 2.5 children, have 2 vacations a year, then retire and move to X city. Well…

“Life is what happens when you’re making plans.” Life gets treated like a To-Do list and it’s not.

Trying to force things to happen is Exactly what keeps them from happening. How many couples, after years of trying to have a child, give up and start the adoption process. Then BAM, they get pregnant.

We can put work into finding out ‘If I want X career this is what I need to do to get there’ but we don’t necessarily put work into finding out Who We Are. For most of us the life we strive for, the life we planned, Isn’t the life we were meant to live. We don’t realize that because we’re too busy forcing our square-peg life into a round hole. ‘It doesn’t fit now but if I Just Keep Pushing….’.

Stop pushing. Temporarily put aside your plans and aspirations and take stock. Do you actually Enjoy that career or is it all about money? Does your life have balance or is your life all about work or living for other people? Were those aspirations even yours to begin with?

Life is not do-or-die. You CAN make adjustments. And make them often. A dress may look nice until you put it on. You don’t buy it just because it’s a nice dress; if it doesn’t fit it doesn’t fit. If something in your life doesn’t fit get rid of it or change it. Who cares what other’s say? This is your life, not theirs. You have to live it 24/7. Why wouldn’t you want your life to be as enjoyable as possible?

We need to have goals and plans so that we have a direction but we shouldn’t be uncompromising in those goals and plans. If life shows us that something even better or different is in store than what we’d envisioned then who are we to argue? Life knows better.

Slow Down

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There’s one thing that enables almost Everything I’ve talked about so far. That is…

MEDITATION

I never knew much about meditation and thought of it as a hippy or monk thing. I now realize how very wrong I was!

…You’re lying in bed or on the couch. You’re So comfortable! Just about to nod off, feeling so relaxed. Your mind is quieting down. Ever done this? Of course you have! Every single day. How else do you fall asleep? If you’ve never meditated, well then You, my friend, sort-of already do ;-)

Meditation is being still, being calm, and letting All thoughts go from your mind. Thoughts are like pesky children who like to keep coming back. Close the door and keep them in the other room. If they open the door then Lock it. One way to practice being thought free is to have a focal point, something to look at. Think only of that thing. When random thoughts come along, like floating helium balloons, push them along. Every balloon that comes your way, just push it along. With time and practice you’ll get better and better at this and will experience fewer and fewer balloons.

Candle flame is a good focal point, since it’s hypnotizing.

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The Benefits to emptying your mind? I used to think it was bad to ‘not have a thought in my head’ as if that signified stupidity. But when lying down for the night I could never get my damn brain to shut up and just let me sleep! All through high school I’d lie in bed for an hour before my brain would give me reprieve – even though I had a set bedtime. As well as my sleeping problem I had poor control over my emotions or temper. I reacted to absolutely Everything.

When you are able to empty your mind you gain control over your thoughts and emotions. You are able to act, not react. You have control over your life. And meditating helps you see with clarity; you can see solutions to problems you’re currently dealing with, or see which decision you should make. You are also able to control negative thoughts, when they pop into your mind you can just pop them back out. Kind of like pushing that balloon along.

Meditation puts you in a state of balance and being balanced gives you optimum health, more happiness, better brain function (proven by studies), makes you more productive (you’re able to focus); enhances your life and career. There is No drug that can do all that!

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Be Selfish :-D

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Many of us love to help others. We go out of our way even for strangers; if someone needs something, and we can provide it, then we do. But the downside is that we can completely drain ourselves doing this. We can live our lives for others. This may seem very charitable but it’s not. If you don’t keep your own health and happiness in mind then you’re doing a disservice to others and to yourself. If you ‘dry’ yourself up for others, then how can you keep providing help and assistance? You can only truly help other people when your own tank is full. It’s not about just Doing, it’s about showing other people tricks and tools for how to live a great and fulfilling life. Giving your all to others can create resentment, not the outcome you want. Helping should make you feel Good! Once it stops feeling good stop and question why.

[If you want a visual: You are a car. Looking after yourself is the gas station that fills up your tank. When you help others you give them gas from your tank. If you keep just helping and helping then you will eventually run out of gas. With no gas left, not even for yourself, you need to get back to the gas station for a refill. But you gave away all of your gas so you can’t even get back to the gas station. This is when you have health and emotional problems, which will Persist until you figure out How to get back to the gas station.]

I finally decided to make service to others (volunteering) a part of my life last year. But I also decided to do many other things and ended up putting way too much on my plate. It all fell apart. I’ve taken some time off from the regular demands of life – catching up on sleep, only working as much as I have to, only volunteering for 1 organization instead of 2+. I feel guilty about this at times but after spending 9 years at college/university I had to spend some time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life; none of my past programs showed me that.

Passion and interest have to match up with skills and abilities. I took engineering but was never the top of any of my classes so I had to pay attention to that. I’ve always been passionate about space exploration but since my skill doesn’t match my passion that’s not a good direction for me. (Aerospace engineering is math heavy and that’s my worst subject) Thanks to that insanely busy semester (I tried tackling 2 diplomas – my 3rd year in Mechanical and my 2nd in Robotics, was working, volunteering, training for future volunteering, and started a school club) I noticed I quite enjoyed, and was good at, my club activities and endeavours. I at first thought perhaps Event Management was in my future. Upon careful consideration (the next semester I withdrew and started to just enjoy life and relax) I realized it’s the helping of people that I’m both Good at and Greatly enjoy. But to figure that out I had to leave the rat race for a bit and just spend a good amount of time pondering my life. (And yes, 3 years of engineering is a rat race. Every spare moment is supposed to be spent doing homework, studying and working on assignments. You want a life? You can have one when you graduate ;-) )

So thanks to this time of being selfish I have, for the first time ever, realistic goals for my future career. Life Coach. Holistic Practitioner. And Strategic Interventionist (Life Coaching the Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes way. It is Amazing what that man can do! I want to be able to positively affect people’s lives like that :) ) And perhaps be a motivational writer and speaker. And of course continuing and sharing my spiritual growth journey :)

That is still a lot, I’ll have to figure out what I’m best at in those fields or how they can be meshed together. But thanks to my time of self-reflection and being ‘selfish’ (by North American standards) I have started to figure out how I can best be of service to others and myself.