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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My spiritual growth journey

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I have come to the realization that we are here to serve others. We are here to look after each other and put others first whenever possible (you still have to maintain a healthy balance in life and live a decent life). I genuinely care about people and that comes through whenever I deal with anyone (aside from when I’m being stupid and sweating the small stuff) and this causes people to care in return and to help me in my time of need.

You have to give to receive. I have seen and heard about this in action. The Higher Power only wants to help us. When we show we’re deserving we get that help. Being deserving means we’re learning our lessons in life. Being a Scrooge means we’re Not learning our lessons so life heaps on another helping of pain and grief to teach us. There truly is a method to the madness; we can see this if we open our eyes.

We show people how to treat us. This sums up all my bad experiences in the past. It’s very hard to admit but I have let people treat me a certain way. When I didn’t like how things were going I didn’t walk away. I would continually give that person yet another chance to change, which never happened. One ex treated his next girlfriend quite nicely, but when he had interactions with me he went back to his old ways. She showed him she’d only allow good treatment whereas I had showed him he could be a jerk with me with no repercussions. There’s a spoken word poet I like, Suli Breaks. (He did this great video ‘So you want a degree’. You should check it out, it’s really good.) I’ve linked his ‘He’s not’ video. It gets golden at around 3 minutes. Steve Harvey says basically the same thing. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJzBtL2SKZg)

Show gratitude. Here in North America we’re taught greed and want. Chasing the next new toy or keeping up with the Jones’ is a never ending vicious cycle that will never bring happiness. We have to be able to stop and realize how great of a life we have. I try to mostly ignore marketing; that new shampoo does Not do what they say it does. That new beauty cream will not necessarily even be nice to my skin. The best beauty product is Confidence! The best thing you can put on your face is a Smile :) The best way to age well does not come in a bottle but by Stop Worrying and be able to ‘stop and smell the roses’, hear the birds, etc. At any moment you should be able to stop, look around you and see beauty and wonder. To the old angry me this was like a hidden world that I Just Didn’t See. It’s so sad that so many people still wear these blinders. When you have a calmness about you your worries take care of themselves. Recently I could have ended up homeless due to a school loan issue but I just accepted the situation and thought of ways to have my stuff taken care of and knew I’d likely be able to get a shelter bed somewhere. My calmness likely directly worked for me; my landlord allowed me to pay rent late. It’s only now that I can look back on my life and see all the blessings I’ve had along the way. I experienced the unconditional love of maternal grandparents and had a mother who, for the most part, loved me. They’ve all left me years ago but to have Had that love makes me luckier than many. I’ve had no great life by any stretch of the imagination but it has definitely been colourful/interesting and it has ultimately led me to be the person I am today. The trick is to not see the bad things but rather the good. Things are done For you, not To you. I am a much stronger person today for what I’ve gone through. I am also very gentle and kind, this seems to also be a result of ‘colourful’ lives (sandpaper that polishes us).

Be grateful that you have a job that gives you money to pay the bills, be grateful for the food in your kitchen, be grateful for your 5 senses, be grateful for your health. You don’t have to think of people in 3rd world countries who don’t have these, people in your own city don’t have these. Also be grateful for your Ability to be grateful. Again, the people around you don’t all have this ability. You can create your own happiness. That is a wonderful thing :)

Smile! An inner happiness and peace will literally make you shine :) We give off vibes and a happy vibe will attract happy people and situations to you. Be kind to everyone you meet. Never carry over anger from any past hurt, if 2 people in a row hurt you that doesn’t mean the 3rd one will. Have a clean slate for every person you encounter. Allow them to write on that slate, don’t assume for them what they would write. We all have bad or off days. It could be that you’re encountering a great person on an ‘off’ day. Mean people are usually just someone who’s hurting or having a really bad time, try to not add to their woes by being mean in return, or to your own. The smallest gestures have had profound impacts; have made people change their mind against committing suicide.

I often joke about using my powers for good vs evil. (I DO have one super power; whenever in line I tend to be invisible – both to cashiers and the people behind me in line. I’ve also had bus drivers close the door on me Three times!. I just KNOW the one time I try to make this super power work for me in a bank it will fail ;) ) We actually Do have a lot of power, each and every one of us. The hardest part about life is thinking outside of the box that we’ve grown up to believe in. The box doesn’t actually exist. There’s an experiment where fruit flies are put in a small bottle with the lid on. They try for 20 minutes to get out, then realize how futile their efforts are and stop. When the lid is taken off they actually starve to death in this little bottle because they still believe that they’re trapped. It’s easier to deal with and manage billions of people if they believe their bottle has an air tight lid. Guess what? There is no lid! It’s your choice to live life knowing all the wonders of existence are available to you or to live in a little bottle. Truly your choice. Seeing is not believing. Case in point: Is electricity real? Yes. Can you see it? No. Game – set – match.