Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fourth Key: Give Up Being Right

An enormous amount of energy becomes available once you give up the need to be right.

If your sole identity is about being right, then you are always under the threat of being proven wrong or having your authority taken away from you.

You must realize that you see the world as you are. Others see the world as they are, too. This insight is tremendously liberating because it makes you realize that there can exist an equality of viewpoints. You express your point of view, but give up the need to defend it. When the need to be right fades, grievances and resentments decrease and so do anger and hostility.

A beautiful exercise is recommended by Deepak Chopra. Everyday ask “What can love do? Show me. I am ready.” Say it out loud. Remember this statement for the rest of the day and be open to how life will reveal its answers to you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Third Key: Eliminate Toxic Emotions

Lack of joy and peace in day to day life is indicative of the presence of some contamination in body or mind. To regain our inner peace we need to we need to first get rid of our toxic conditioning.

There are 7 steps to get rid of the inner toxins at the spiritual level:

Take responsibility for your present response: When you take responsibility, you empower yourself. You do not depend on another person to make you happy, nor do you give another person the power to make you unhappy.

Witness what you are feeling: On experiencing a toxic emotion, increase your awareness and note where in the body the toxic emotion is residing (e.g. stomach, neck, shoulders, etc). Focus completely on the physical sensation. This increases the ability to be a silent, observing witness and without giving power to the negative emotion.

Label your feeling: Give a simple name to the sensation in your body (e.g. fear, anger, shame, guilt, jealousy.)

Express what you feel: This is a powerful step. Write down how a particular emotion makes you feel. Then, write it from the other person’s point of view. Next, write it from a third-person perspective as though you are a neutral journalist covering the event. After writing from the three perspectives, write down the current state of your feelings.

Going through the three perspectives expands awareness which is quite useful, because as a primary response most of us contract to our own single narrow view.

Share what you feel: Share your writing, or convey what you are comfortable sharing with a trusted loved one. However, use the three points of view and dont make a case for your own point of view. This will help further diffuse the negative emotions.

Release the toxic feeling through ritual: The toxic emotions can then be released by burning your writing or emitting your toxic emotions into a rock, and throwing the rock into a body of water or telling your burdens to a worry doll. You can make up one release method on your own too.

Celebrate the release and move on: The release, the freedom from toxicity is honoured through shared joy and gratitude. This can be symbolic and simple like decorating your room.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Second Key: Find True Self-esteem

Happiness comes from self-awareness and self-knowledge of your true self.

Most people confuse their self-image with their true self. This can become a source of unhappiness as people commonly base their self-image on external factors (object-referral) such as people, events, situations and physical objects.

The opposite of object-referral, is self-referral, which is turning within yourself to be everything that you need to be at this present moment. The true self is found at a level of existence that is independent of the good and bad opinion of others. When working from the true self, a person discovers inner peace and a sense of self-worth within his own being.

To bring about the positive change the most important precursor is awareness. You have to become aware of your motivations. You have to become aware of when you were acting out of ego and when from your true self.

To increase awareness, one interesting and powerful exercise is to recapitulate (in about 5 minutes) the whole day like a movie and watch it as a neutral, non-judgmental observer. This helps to identify the motivations and behaviour patterns.