Friday, June 10, 2022

Today’s Living Ain’t Easy: 2 Hard Ways, One Easy Solution

        Life seems relentlessly challenging these days, doesn’t it? Pandemia has still changed everything for now; corporations take advantage of it to inflate all the costs of living; media manipulators get better at pitting people against each other to manufacture power. All the while we just need to get by and provide for our families and ourselves.


        It ain’t easy, especially when we fall into a couple habitual methods of coping and constantly overlook the one big, beautiful solution that’s always staring us right in the face.

The main way we automatically deal with all the craziness is also probably the most difficult (…of course); that is, by hearing and seeing and reacting to all the information that assails us – sometimes every minute, every instant. We see something or hear something and get swept up by a fear or a desire, or a feeling of immediate need: Something bad is happening, or somebody is doing something wrong. I feel like I need to stop something from happening, or to make something important happen…or, I might immediately start to feel hopeless about something I have no control over.

In this automatic way, our well-being is conditioned by emotional reactions to perceived challenges we see or hear. Our effectiveness can be stifled, or our anxieties can run amok, simply because of the emotional state we suddenly find ourselves in. Life feels hard, when we just react to it.

The next way we deal is the way that does tend to come next for most of us – we start to really give it some thought. We get past the knee-jerk reaction and begin to look and listen less with our eyes and ears, and more with our mind, like: What is this really going to mean to me? How does it actually affect me, my interests, and my loved ones? What will it do to my plans, wishes, hopes, dreams – and what can I really do about it? 

While it’s always better to stop and give everything some serious thought, we can hit a few more potholes by doing so. We can get stuck believing that what we think is who we are. We may find ourselves thinking more about the future, and then about the past – about what we want to have happen or what has happened before – and not enough about what is happening now. Rationalizations, justifications and confirmations (the need to be right), resentments, uninformed conclusions – blind spots we’ve developed over a lifetime can rise up and prevent us from doing the next best thing. We can get trapped by our brain, with our thoughts circling madly, blocking us from any real solutions.

Fortunately, there is a beautiful, easy solution alive in every moment: Instead of getting caught up in seeing, feeling, and thinking, take a deep breath, relax, and just be. Just be right who you are, where you are, and let all the craziness fall away like a bad, poorly-fitting outfit. Don’t see with your eyes, hear with your ears, or think with your brain – see, hear, and think with your spirit, gratefully and compassionately detached from the constant human noise. 

You’ll find you’re not foolishly disconnected, but that you’ve suddenly got a different, much healthier perspective on all the craziness. Life isn’t a hard, anxiety-laden ordeal…it’s just Life. It’s just the way it’s always been, and always will be…and that’s just what we need. The horrors are still unacceptable, the celebrations are still too short, but Love, the expansion of your consciousness, your spiritual growth into your sense of purpose and belonging-to will be steady and dependable (that’s faith), and ground you in a grace that that makes you much more joyful, responsible, and effective.

If you find yourself paddling too hard upstream, turn around.

Read about this and much more in: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor  from Llewellyn Worldwide available direct on this page, or online. The first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available the same ways – but ask for it it at your local bookstore!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Why Sadness Can Feel So Beautiful (Simple Spiritual Technology is All Around Us)

 This edited excerpt is from "How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying); Part One, Perspective, Chap. 6, Compassion

If you feel too caught up in the challenges of your life (as we always can) to unlock more open-hearted compassion, there is a guaranteed way that you can find the key to unlock it; and although it doesn’t sound too good, it’s such a deep part of our shared existence that (despite being rather painful) it can often seem almost comforting. The key to finding more compassion in our lives – a key that none of us can avoid finding – is this: Sadness.

Sadness visits us all like a long-lost relative whose company we don’t always look forward to but then become grateful for in a mysteriously profound way. There’s nothing good about it to the outside eye, but inwardly it does make you wonder: Why is this sad feeling so familiar and strangely appealing?

It’s because sadness opens our hearts (whether we wanted them open or not), and in our moments of soul searching it reliably directs us toward a “secret” passage into Heaven – a small side door that insiders already know exists. Sadness is a magical ‘sixth-sensory’ key into the state of compassionate consciousness (an application of Spiritual Technology), because it causes us to resonate with structures of the Universe at a deeper level than we normally encounter here on Earth. All of us can realize that kind of deep, shared reality through sadness, and perhaps for some people only through sadness. No one will completely escape it’s insistent embrace.

Imagine these scenes: The loss of a beloved one to illness or death; the bulldozing of a favorite piece of nature; the sight of an abandoned pet; the feeling that a favorite piece of music gave you way back when, and the feeling it stills gives you when you reminisce; the look in eyes of a homeless person when your eyes meet – the entire story of a different, lost life you might have lived yourself…

Do you feel the sadness in any of those scenes? If you do, then right now – in this eternal moment – you are connected to our shared compassionate consciousness. “You let the pain of the world touch your heart and you turn it into compassion,” I’ve heard it said (by a Tibetan Buddhist), and almost nothing else needs to be said about this mysterious gateway into the realm of the heart. Sadness arises within all of us in those places that reveal a great shared meaning…and we all intuitively know that we must return it’s embrace.

“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.”

                                    Khalil Gibran

Read about this and much more in: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor  from Llewellyn Worldwide available direct on this page, or online. How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available the same ways – but ask for it at your local bookstore!