Stillness

Stillness is not a dead pond,

But a flow of energy you can cultivate.

 

A Buddhist might call it upekkha. A Muslim might speak of aslama. In Hebrew, the word is hishtavut. And in the second book of the Bhagavad Gita, the epic poem of the warrior Arjuna, it is samatvam.

Regardless of the word, stillness is the idea of that calm that comes from a balanced mind; a peace that never wavers.

For many stillness brings to mind the calm, reflective surface of a pond. But how far down does that stillness go? We all know that just beneath the surface run currents of water that gently feeds the pond and carries away whatever troubles have sunk beneath the still surface above.

For me that is a wonderful reminder that for a pond to be alive there is always something going on beneath the surface. There is some kind of activity that either provides freshness or removes the impurities from its depths. Without this flow beneath the surface the pond would just be another dead or dying body of water.

It is no different with people. Beneath the calm exterior there is always some kind of activity. There is a transfer of energy that proves the body and mind are still alive.

Each breath acts like a fresh stream that feeds and purifies the mind and body. There is a flow that breathes in nutrients while eliminating the negativity that inevitably builds up from day to day throughout life.

How deep that stream runs is different for each of you. But without some level of disturbance there is no life.

To find stillness is to act and think without frenzy. It is found in your ability to observe the circus that spins around you without feeling the need to join in the madness. It is to hear only that which needs to be heard, to speak only what needs to be said, and to think the thoughts that are relevant in that time and place. It is the focused calm of a serene mind.

The truth of stillness in the human mind, body and spirit is to be mindful and observant of everything as it speeds past free from attachment to any of it. It is to possess a sense of serenity that allows you to be you like the calm surface of a pond. Knowing that your stillness goes as deep as it needs to in that moment and that its depth changes every moment of every day.

Know that on the surface you are calmly smiling while inside you are accepting the raw data of your world as the stream of energy keeps your heart pumping and your mind clicking.

To be still is to be able to hold the silence as it arises around you. That silence is your buffer to the world. Free from the distractions of the busy world you live in is where you are free to explore the world within you, and within you is where your inspiration is born

When you still your brain, your mind is free to search through your memory for the right answer instead of just an answer. Within your stillness your mind is able to sift through your thoughts free from the physical distractions that your brain is so often drawn to.

Stillness makes room for gratitude and joy. It is the spiritual center of your energy. That energy can be one of the most powerful forces on earth once you learn to harness it.

We all talk about the need for stillness but so few are able to attain it. You are told from an early age that you need to charge ahead of the pack if you are ever going to amount to anything. Which, as you learn later in life, rarely works.

Finding the stillness within does not just happen. It takes training and an incredible amount of work to cultivate the stillness that is within you. There are very real ways to bring about the stillness you so want to feel in your life.

What follows are several exercises to explore on your own. Take a moment for each when you need. Practice them one by one and be mindful of the process rather than focused on the outcome. You will arrive at the outcome but only when you are not obsessed with it.

 

Write.

I am not a fan of journaling in the traditional sense of the word or of keeping a diary. The idea of either reeks of needing to do it every day. If you miss a day you grow filled with remorse, regret and a sense of failure for not keeping up with such a simple task.

So, don’t journal, but do put pen to paper. Write when something needs to be written. Do not force your feelings or observations. If something big happens in your life, then write. If you have a stroke of inspiration then write, but do not force your ideas. That is the quickest way to make waves in the pond of your own stillness.

I think it was Anne Frank who wrote “Paper is more patient than people.” It is true. Pen and paper are a door to your inner spirit and your inner mind because they require time. They have a way of helping you explore your inner self without being an intrusion.

Take small steps toward self-exploration through writing rather than typing or speaking. Just make sure you are not searching for issues that may not be ready to be expressed. They will come in time which is why the slow process of putting pen to paper is so much better than sitting in front of a computer screen or speaking.

 

 

See the World as an Artist Would.

Beauty is everywhere. You simply have to slow down to see it. Beauty is in the big picture. It is also in the details. No two artists see the world or express their visions of it in the same way.

Each learns to express their impressions in their own way. Learn to do the same. Slow down enough to give your mind the opportunity to translate what your brain has processed.  Stay in the moment and observe the raw data as it arrives. Give your brain time to translate that raw data and for your mind to create from that raw data in whatever way works best for you.

This is why some people create music or art or write beautiful literature after seeing the same event. Each artist translates the information that they witness in their own way. Let go of all your preconceived notions of how you should see or hear the world. Clear your mind and just allow your heart to be filled by whatever energy comes to you. See the details and the big picture. Notice the colors of the vista before you. Be aware of the aromas from your world. Let your taste buds awaken to the flavors. Allow your ears to come alive to the music. Let your fingers explore the textures of a tapestry. Then smile at the stillness that comes to you from each.

 

Do not allow raw data to overwhelm you. 

I describe raw data as the most basic input your senses send to the brain. You live in a world gone mad with it.

Napoleon taught his secretary to wait a week before opening any letters. He had that ability in this time. Churchill refused to look at any idea that had not been reduced down to a single sheet of paper. It was their way of making sure that whatever ideas were being presented to them had been well thought out and distilled so that neither got overwhelmed with irrelevant information.

The same is true for you. In the contemporary world you live in it is important to allow your brain to rest and be still so that you can focus only on those things that are most relevant. Do not allow your energy to be drained on the meaningless facts and figures that do not apply to your life.

Keep your buffer fresh so that you always have a space between your inner self and the circus that will forever spin around you.

 

Enjoy A Long, Slow Walk

I don’t mean take a power-walk or go for a run. I mean take the time to enjoy a slow, leisurely walk. Allow the inner-working of your unconscious mind to come alive as your brain is distracted with the details of balancing your body with every step and of the world around you as it tries to keep you safe.

Hemmingway was famous for getting through his writers’ block by taking long walks along the rivers of Paris. Nietzsche said that his best ideas came to him on his a long walks. Nikola Tesla developed his idea for his rotating magnetic field on a walk through a park in Budapest. It is arguably one of the most important inventions of all time, and this was in 1882.

 

See past your limitations. 

One of my best martial arts masters was Grand Master Bong Soo Han taught me that when trying to break a board, do not stop at the board, but punch through the board – at a spot beyond it. “Do not think about the outcome, simply punch into your future, after your outcome has happened. It is not the board you break but your limitations,” he would say.

Do not only focus on the what is in front of you. Learn to let go of your immediate world so that you can look up and see what is possible in order to see the opportunities of what can be.

 

Follow Your Simple Truth. 

Discover your life purpose so that you can live a purpose-driven life. When all of your decisions are aligned you will stop chasing after the distractions that your brain thinks will end your suffering through momentary distractions. Instead apply all of your energy in the natural direction of your mind and spirit. Your mind will lead you in a direction that supports your very being. You will feel fulfilled with every decision you make and with every step you take. The calm stillness you will find in the choices you make without even thinking about them will become second nature to you as you become the being are truly meant to be.

 

Break from the News. 

If you want more stillness in your life filter out the news. It really does not move as quickly as the media makes it seem. Stay uninformed with the facts, the raw data. The moment it changes from facts to opinions, turn it off and spend your time making your own decisions.

Being informed is important but being indulged is foolish. Watch the news to learn what has happened. But when the newscaster brings in talking heads who give you their opinions it is time to reflect on what you have learned so that you can form your own opinions in the of stillness of your mind.

Be well and I hope this helps.

 

Jeff Cannon

Are you a humanDoing or a humanBeing?

Human Being not Human Doing

If you are like so many people out there you have spent your entire life doing instead of being.

  • Doing is safe.
  • Doing is living your life remotely.
  • Doing is acting out the life you want without ever fully committing yourself to it.
  • Doing is living in fear at what people might think of you without ever pursuing your purpose-driven life as you were meant to.

Start Being your life.

  • Being means committing yourself fully and completely to your life’s purpose.
  • Being means actively living the person you have always dreamed of being.
  • Being means owning your life for better and for worse.
  • Being means living fully, awake and aware of who you are every minute and where you are vividly and in living color.
  • Being means living a fulfilling life every minute of every day.

Are you a humanDoing or are you a humanBeing?

You can repeat the mistakes of your past or you can learn from them to own your future.

Start right now, during your time alone. When there is no one else around.

I can help you discover your life’s purpose so you can begin to live your life as the person you have always wanted to BE.

You don’t have to DO this alone.

I can work with you so that you can begin to live a purpose-driven life and BE the person you were born to be.

I have learned how to transition from Doing to Being ten times over. Let me coach you to be the same.

This is my Life’s Purpose, it is what I am.

 

 

Is your character driving your choices or is your brain driving your life?

Victor Frankl once said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one: the ability to choose his attitude in any given circumstance, to choose his own way.”

Perhaps you never realized it but you are choosing your own way right now, in the middle of this pandemic. You are choosing to shelter in place. You are choosing to wear a mask when you go out. You are choosing to sacrifice your freedom for the betterment of everyone. I see this pandemic as a trial of epic proportions.

You have always had the freedom of choice, to choose your own way, each and every day. Yet only now is it so visible to everyone and most important to yourself.

This is nothing new. The Christian faith has always talked about free will, choosing between good and evil. Buddhism talks about choosing to follow the 8-fold path or to live a life of suffering; suffering through the guilt or shame or regret from your actions or at the end of your life when you realize it was a life left unfulfilled.

Funny as it may sound, this pandemic is your opportunity, the opportunity to discover what you naturally fall back on instead of actively choosing your way. And that is the real question at hand. Are letting your brain choose your way for you or are you allowing your character to speak through the little choices you make every day, often without even being aware of them?

If there is one thing to come from this pandemic, perhaps this is it. This is your awakening. To realize how you naturally default so that you can understand how you handle yourself, and if you are comfortable in that default.

Do you naturally run in fear to save yourself and your belongings? Do you dig your heels in to stand and fight to protect what is yours, or do you turn to help those around you? And, if so, how far does your empathy go?

Perhaps your empathy stops with your family, or with your friends. How far are you willing to reach out and help those around you? How close of a friend does someone have to be in order for you to help them? Are you comfortable with that distance and with what you see in yourself, with how far you’re willing to reach out your hand?

You have little choice in this situation. We are all coming face to face with our true nature. The decision to self-quarantine, the choice to social distance, the choice to wear a face mask. You are actively making choices; you are actively choosing how you make your way through this.

Your freedom to choose is no different than what is at the core of every religion. Free-will is something we have all been imbued with. Free will is at the core of my own belief system, to choose to follow your own simple truth or to fight against every cell in your body, jumping from distraction to distraction, wasting energy and living your life unfulfilled and suffering for it.

Are you wandering aimlessly, letting your brain drive your choices or are you living a life of purpose? One path leads to unhappiness, shame and regret. The other to satisfaction, balance and a life fulfilled.

It’s actually very simple. Every cell in your body is aligned to live by your own simple truth. No matter what you do, the further you get from your life’s purpose, your simple truth, the unhappier and less fulfilled you become.

If you wonder why you keep asking yourself “what am I missing? Why am I so unhappy?” that is the reason. Your heart, mind, and spirit keep moving forward to reconnect with your own simple truth, but your physical self, your brain is constantly  driving your body to run off in pursuit of whatever distraction it has decided will ease your suffering.

Whether that is in pursuit of greater security, in search of Love, or some form of recognition. Security, Love, and Recognition. Those are what all of your physical decisions are based on. And yes, your brain is part of your physical self. Unless you know what your Simple Truth is, what your life purpose is, you will continue to waste your time and energy running against what you innately know to be your life’s purpose.

After all is said and done, will you spend your time following the distractions of your life or will you embrace your life’s purpose and enjoy the fulfillment your journey offers?

One path allows you to find comfort in your discomfort with grace and dignity. The other will lead you to weep and cry out at the indignity of it all. Will you learn to find comfort as you check in on your emotions and your responses to them, or will you let your auto-responses manage your life? Will you eat your way through the discomfort of this pandemic, or go on an online shopping spree, knowing you will suffer the consequences when it’s all over? Or will you accept the madness spinning around you as you breathe and return to your core values to follow your life’s purpose?

Only you can decide this. Only you have a window into your inner-workings, your thoughts and your emotions. Your own Simple Truth.

The choice is yours, and yours alone to make.

I wish you wellness and safety. And I hope you will always be pleased with the person you truly are?

Your Simple Truth is all that really matters. Anything else is simply a distraction that will eventually lead to a life lived in pain and suffering.

A life unfulfilled. Be safe and I wish you well. I truly hope this helps. Jeff

Future Mindfulness

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”

Unfortunately for us, hockey is played in a small rink with a very well defined goal. Better still, only half the people on the rink are aiming for. In life the possibilities are endless and your distractions aren’t wearing the other teams jersey’s. If you don’t have a clearly defined goal for yourself you can waste a lot of time and energy shooting at distractions that will lead your further and further from the goal you actually want to reach.

Imagine how different your life would be if you had an image of your goal so deeply ingrained in your gut that you couldn’t help but maintain your focus on where you wanted to end up.

You would be living the life you truly want to live right now. Imagine what you could do if you were able to maintain your single minded focus on a single objective day in and day out, month after month, and year after year.

Visualization may be great for the hockey rink, but if falls embarrassingly short when it comes to the real world you live in. Out here you need to create a fully immersive experience that your head, heart and gut will follow no matter how large the distractions in your life loom.

This is what Future Mindfulness is all about.

Future Mindfulness goes beyond simply visualizing where you want to be. It creates a full 360 degree, all consuming experience of what you want for your life. This is the only way to break through the distractions of your life so that you can actually keep your resolutions and fulfill the promises you make to yourself and those around you.

[Click here to register for a free consultation on Future Mindfulness]

In today’s world unless you fully impress what you want into your heart, brain, gut and mind you hardly stand a chance. Unless you go to this level of deep commitment you might as well throw your old visualizations out with the first distraction that will inevitably come along.

Similar to Present – Day Mindfulness, you use all of your senses to bring a calm sense of abiding into your world. This level of actualization is the only way to draw your brain away from the distractions the world throws at you every minute of every day. Future Mindfulness uses the power of a mindful exercise to do more than paint a picture of the goal you want to reach or the world you want to live in. It creates an emotional model for your mind and body to put itself into. And this is what will keep you focused on your objective no matter what the world throws at you.

Simply seeing what you want is like looking through a keyhole and then trying to describe the world on the other side of the door. Until you have had the chance to see, hear, smell, taste and touch what is out there, you will only have a tiny one-dimensional experience to draw from. When you try to set your goals like this you are just setting yourself up for failure. Visualization using only one sense to set your goals. Inevitably that one sense is never enough to maintain your focus when going up against today’s hourly news cycles, gigabyte downloads and minute-by-minute interruptions.

It is why so many resolutions are quickly forgotten once the new year takes off and why so many goals are left unfulfilled. Your brain and mind simply do not have a complete, 360 degree experience to follow. Now, ,just imagine what would happen if you opened up all six of your senses to create an experience so full, so real of the life you want to live. Instead of limiting your goal to a keyhole, you will open the door and allow your mind to step through the door.

Imagine how strongly you could imprint whatever it is you want to reach in your mind if you could see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, and physically feel it, as well as know exactly what emotions you would have within your heart once you actually arrived at your goal.

The foundation to working with Future Mindfulness is to rely on your sixth sense, your heart, and understand your emotions as they arise. When you witness the world that you will create be aware of the emotions that will run through your body, heart and mind and remember them. This is not the same as judging your emotions, it means to simply bear witness to them as they come up in the future that you are creating for yourself. Be aware of how you will feel.

Do more than simply acknowledge everything that comes in through your eyes, ears, nose, mouth and fingers. Feel the raw data as it enters your senses, then ask yourself how you will feel about it. Because until you understand how you will feel about it, you may as well fold it into a paper airplane and send it flying out the window.

Keep that emotional attachment alive as you move forward. This is being mindful of how you will feel about your future.

Tell your mind about the joy, the excitement, the unbridled happiness and the sheer pleasure you will experience when you get there. This is what will make a lasting impression and ensure your brain and mind do not forget what you are aiming for.

Future Mindfulness applies all six senses to ensure that every part of you is aligned on what you want to see, hear, smell, taste, touch and yes how you will feel about it in the future. That idea will be so deeply entrenched in your future reality that you will not be able to do anything else but achieve whatever it is you set your entire being to.

Future Mindfulness is about creating such a powerful experience for yourself on every level, physically, mentally and spiritually, that it will become real. Once ingrained you will no longer be distracted by those things that have prevented you from reaching your destinations in the past.

So don’t just resolve to lose ten pounds or to find the love of your life by simply visualizing what you want. Take the time to scroll through all of your six senses and truly feel what it will be like once you have achieved your resolution or your goal.

As a Whole Life Coach I can help you do more than just dream about what you want. I can help you turn your dreams into reality so that you can become the person you actually want to be.

It is far easier than it may seem. All you have to do is take that first baby step to BE that person. It all begins with an easy session in my Future Mindfulness program.

Click here to Sign up for a complimentary session and you can take the first step to creating the life of your future today.

Be well and I truly hope this helps.

 

 

Jeff

 

Stillness in the Modern World

Stillness:

It is that wonderful quality of being fully present no matter where you are. It is a pure mental state cultivated on the Buddhist path to nirvāna
A Buddhist might call it upekkha. A Muslim speaks of stillness when they use the word aslama, in terms of submitting to Allah’s will. In Hebrew, the word is hishtavut. In the Bhagavad Gita, the epic poem of the warrior Arjuna, the word is samatvam. The ability to be Still – is the ability to be truly present without feeling the need to do anything. It is the focused calm that comes from a balanced mind— and to at peace with yourself and the world around you. The ancient Greeks spoke of euthymia when they contemplated that state of stillness.

The concept of stillness, to be centered as the chaos of the world spins around you, and, as one master once taught me, to observe the circus as it spins around you and to act only when it is necessary. “A true warriors never acts out of anger,” he would say, “be still and let them come to you. Simply hear only that which needs to be heard. Speak only what needs to be said and possess the quiet that comes from being still.

Stillness is that quiet moment of inspiration from which to draw your best words and ideas as you need them. It is when your inspiration comes from within. To be able to reflect while being an active part of a conversation or to be able to search through your memory in order to have the right answer when it is called for.

Stillness is that ability to step back and reflect while others scramble for an answer.

Stillness is also the art that allows you to make room for gratitude and empathy. Most important stillness is the seed from which your spiritual center of energy grows. It is one of the most powerful forces in creation from which to draw when you need it most. Those of you who charge ahead with big plans and even bigger dreams will find both dashed to pieces before your true battles really begin.

To those unfamiliar with it, the idea of being still can be a little ephemeral, but it doesn’t need to be. Stillness does not just happen it is a virtue that can be developed over time. It comes from hard work. It comes from sitting in meditation, practicing in order to access the focused calm that is within you. When you train your mind to be still, it is like muscle memory. Your mind remembers how to find the pathway to the stillness that is within you. What follows are some exercises you can perform to bring stillness into your life and to make it easier to access when you need it most.

Write. I am not a fan of the word or idea of journaling, or keeping a diary. The idea of it just reeks of the need to do it every day and if you miss a day you are filled with regret and a sense of failure, just because you missed a day of writing down your thoughts when you had none or when nothing of note happened.

So don’t journal. Simply write when you feel the need to write. Write when something big happens or when you feel the need to express something that upset you when dealing with an issue, or that made you excited or unbelievably happy.

I think it was Anne Frank who wrote “Paper is more patient than people.” It is, because it allows you to watch as your own thoughts unfurl and whatever issues and opportunities roll out in front of you as your pen moves across the paper. Both are a door to your inner spirit and your subconscious mind. They have a way of helping you explore your inner self without it seeming like an intrusion. With each word you become more willing to take the baby steps of self-exploration in writing than through speaking.

See The World As A Monk Does.

Beauty is everywhere, you simply have to slow down to see it. The beauty of the world you pass through is in the details. It is also in the grand design and in the interconnections that become apparent when you slow down to notice them. No two people see the world in the same way. Everyone has a different perspective that is born from their situations and their personal histories. Each has learned to interpret what they see in their own way. Learn to see the world as it appears to you. The important part is not how you see it, but that your slow down to enable you to see it, smell it, hear it and feel it however you want to.
Simply remind yourself to stay in the here and now, in your present moment without the need to follow your ego into the next moment by anticipating what will happen next.

Remind yourself to stay in the moment and observe everything as it arrives to you. Be aware of the raw data that you are receiving before your brain has the time to layer its own issues on top of it.

Every monk translates the raw data, free from interpretation and in their own way. Stop and observe the world around you, as it truly is. Let go of the preconceived notions of how the world should be and accept it as it is. The same things that prevent you from seeing the world as it is prevents you from finding your inner stillness.

Clear your mind and allow your heart to be filled by whatever comes to you. See the details and the vista. Be aware of the colors. Be aware of the aromas from a meal as you savor your way through it. Let your taste buds come alive as to the flavors wash over them. Let your ears follow the individual notes of the music playing, and give your fingers the freedom to explore the textures of a garment or a tapestry.

Reduce Your Inputs.

After ten brain surgeries and six weeks of radiation, I have to be careful with the level of input I allow in. Even if the raw data from those inputs are good, they can still overwhelm me. When that happens my brain gets flooded with information and I go into a seizure. So its very important for me to monitor my brain and mind so that I know when to leave a loud restaurant or a theater performance as both can overload my brain and send me spiraling. It’s just as important that you do the same. You simply have a higher level of tolerance than I do.

We all live in a world that is overloaded with noise and activity. Your brain uses energy to evaluate each of the sights, sounds, smells, and touches you take in. With every step you take, your brain is monitoring the firmness of the ground beneath you, your balance, the risk of danger, and many other factors that go into your ability to maintain your balance and your gait.

While your brain represents just 2% of your body weight, it accounts for 20you’re your body’s energy use. That means during a typical day, your brain uses about 320 calories just to think. Different mental states will affect the way your brain consumes energy.

Napoleon taught his secretary to wait a week before any letters. Churchill refused to look at any idea that had not been reduced down to a single sheet of paper. It was their way of making sure they were not overwhelmed with information.

In both cases they wanted to limit their input so that they would not be overwhelmed. In the contemporary world you live in, it’s important to allow your brain to find its stillness, so that you do not let your energy be drained by meaningless facts and figures that are not relevant to your life.

Enjoy A Long, Slow Walk

I don’t mean take a power-walk or go for a run. I mean take the time to enjoy a slow, leisurely walk. Allow the inner-working of your subconscious come alive as your brain is distracted with the details of balancing your body as you walk and of the world around you as it tries to keep you safe in the world.

Hemmingway was famous for getting through hi write’s block by taking long walks along the rivers of Paris. Nietzsche said that his best ideas came to him on his a long walks. Nikola Tesla developed his idea for his rotating magnetic field, not in his laboratory, but on a walk through a park in Budapest. It is arguably one of the most important inventions of all time, and this was in 1882.

Remove Yourself From Outcomes.
My best martial arts master was Grand Master Bong Soo Han taught me that when trying to break a board, do not stop at the board, but punch through the board, at a spot several inches beyond it. “Do not think about the outcome, simply punch beyond it. The broken board is simply proof of where your fist had been.”

You must not focus only on the what is in front of you. You must learn to let go and focus on what will be.

Weekly News Is Enough.

The news-cycle just doesn’t move that quickly. I know some people think it’s a 24 hour cycle, but when is the last time you saw something completely new and unexpected happen in a 24 hour time period?

Nightly news just isn’t news. Take a break. Give your mind and body a break from it. Read a book, enjoy a dinner out. Dive into a conversation with abandon. Don’t worry the news will still be there for you when you’re ready for it.

You can still be informed by the news without being saturated with it. Besides if you spend all your time and energy watching the news, you will never have enough to process it and to create real change in your world because of it.

People Are Your Answer to Stress

Your life is filled with stress. Between your work and personal life, bills to pay, the occasional flus and aches, even getting access to a wifi hotspot at your favorite cafe, all add stress to your day-to-day life. In fact anything that takes you out of your run of your daily patterns with increase your stress and anxiety; like discovering that the wifi password was on the receipt you just threw out.

You know it’s all good in the end but it just adds a layer of self-judgement onto that ever-present tension that you’d just rather not have in your life. “Should I dig through the trash for that password, or embarrass myself by asking for it again?”
Stress isn’t just your issue, it has become a very real foundation in everyone’s life. It’s almost laughable that we now stress about how much stress is affecting our sleep, our blood pressure, our health, our performance, and it is a very real factor to your living a shorter life.

I’m not going to mention meditation or deep pranayama breathing, instead I’m going to give you a few ways to change your perception of stress and how to release it through some common actions you already do every day.

What if I told you the answer lies in something as simple as opening up to the people in your life? I say people in your life rather than friends or family, because for many of us the people you trust and hold your confidences are not always the friends and family you spend your evenings and holidays with.

That’s okay, we all live in a new world defined by online conversations and digital relationships that simply never existed before. So why not update your social circles to acknowledge this fact? Why not expand your social circles to include friends, family, confidants, associates, and those online confidantes that may just be people passing through, or may be real people you have grown to trust and rely on?

Being able to simply talk and release whatever you have bottled up inside of you is an obvious way to destress. It’s even better when you know that person will hold your confidences in their own little vault or is a certified professional who knows when to speak and when to just hold the silence up and listen without judgement or their own need to “help”.

For those of you who are stewing in stress and looking for a way out, innumerable studies have shown that your perception of stress is more positive when you have friends around and hugely more so when you have someone outside your circle of friends that you can simply open up to, knowing that whatever you have said will never be shared with anyone, ever.

Let me ask you a very simple question. How do you feel right now, just knowing that there is a way out? Do you feel just a little less stress and anxiety, or more?

Life doesn’t always schedule itself at your convenience.

So, when you find yourself in the middle of one of life’s transitions, learn to break free of the fear you may be feeling so that you can find a safe place to land and begin to plan your next chapter.

There are two core fears that will keep you frozen in time; the thoughts of a) losing what you have, and b) not getting what you want.

The key to breaking free of your fears is not to fight them but to acknowledge them so that you can let them go as you learn to enjoy the life you have always wanted to live.

I know it’s not always easy to practice this in the real world. Your mind is using logic to find a  safe place for yourself to land while your primordial brain is screaming to find the safety of solid ground as quickly as possible.

Guess which one wins every time. That’s right, your primordial brain. Your mind and brain will always give your primordial brain the room it demands because it is there for one reason only – it is there to keep you alive, and your life is far more important than any amount of logic ever could be.

Don’t worry though, there is something you can do to break out of the loop you feel trapped in. You can do what you do when you sit in meditation. You can breathe slowly and deeply to quiet the noise of your primordial brain. You can acknowledge that you are in the middle of a transition, and even label your discomfort as just that, discomfort, then you can let it your panic go as you press on.

Allow yourself to find comfort in your discomfort, because until you do, you will never find that space for a soft landing so that you can begin to write the next chapter in your post-transition life.

It may not be as easy as it sounds if you don’t already have a meditation practice. Which is why I encourage everyone to start a meditation practice that works for you before you actually need it. Don’t get caught up in what lineage to follow. Build your own that works on your terms. Whether it’s a ten minute here and there practice or a deep seated practice that runs over an hour, it is a way to train your mind and brain to see beyond the here and now, to find a place of calm, and to focus yourself for the space and time ahead of you.

If you want to learn more click here to my new mindful life coaching website at jeff-cannon.com.

Just remember, do not wait for your panic to set in before you create a small practice for yourself. In the end, this is your life. So why not start living it your way?

I hope this helps

Walk With Me

When you walk somewhere you have a destination in mind. Your entire walk is spent anticipating your arrival or looking back at the place you just left. So little time is spent just being present and enjoying the experience of walking or driving.

How many times have you driven somewhere and spent minutes driving with absolutely no idea of what you just drove past? How many times have you walked somewhere and had the same experience?

With walking meditation, every step is your destination. Every time your heel touches the ground is an experience all on its own.

Why not use this exercise the next time you need to clear your mind or to take a break? It’s simple and easy and a great way to start your week, or even better, to start your vacation so that you can actually enjoy your time away from the stress and anxiety of your work?

If you’re in New York City join me as I step into each week with a series of walking meditations every Monday morning. I created this program with the Rubin Museum to celebrate Meditation Month and the launch of Walk With Me – a film that explores celebrated monk Thicht Nhat Hahn’s spirituality. Click here to find out more.

Learn more here: https://simple-truth.com/thicht-nhat-hahn-walking-meditation/

The walk is free and attendees will receive discounted admission to the Rubin Museum’s screening of Walk With Me.

If you’re not available for the walks you can learn more about creating your own Walking Meditation by clicking here.

https://simple-truth.com/walking-meditation/

 

 

Stop competing against yourself

Here’s a newsflash you may not want to hear, all of those challenges you won and all of those opponents you bested were not real. You were never really competing against anyone else you were really only competing against yourself.

Your urge to win and the competitive spirit you have always been so proud of were never about beating everyone else, your need to win was always about filling an empty space within yourself.

If you really want to find a place of calm then the real question you should ask is not how many people you have to beat until you are satisfied, but how big is the hole within you and where did it come from?

No matter how many trophies you line up you will still have that itch to step up to another challenge. The empty hole within you will still need to be filled, and after you are finished with the last opponent what will you do then?

No matter how many people you beat your need to win will still be there. Even the applause that once excited you will begin to ring like the empty clapping of people you don’t know because that is what it has always been, and that will never fill the empiness within you.

The only way to overcome your need to win is to recognize it for what it is, to come to terms with it, to accept it as a part of who you are, and then to work on filling the empty space with the love and empathy that you truly yearn for.

Whether your need comes from a parent who never gave you the attention you deserved or whether it stems from being the poor kid at school who you thought never measured up; those are the real issues you need to resolve if you are to findthe calm within you. Why do you have to take generic cialis every time? Winning is your stigma to carry around until you are ready to address the root issue that it stems from – and that my friend is far easier said than done. Growing up is easy, maturing is not.

You see, society places a constant pressure that forever pushes you to fit in. Your parents and siblings push you to be the person they wanted to be, never realizing that person is the person they never were.

Nobody ever tells you that their idea of who you shoud be is simply the person they were never able to become. Each is a delusion that you think you have to accept as you struggle to find yourself and fit in. The shoes they want you to fill come from a long line of failed lives.

Just as you are trying to fill the expectations of your family and friends, each of them is trying to fill the expectations of those around them. Everyone turns to “winning” as a way to do this never realizing they are just perpetuating an endless cycle of trustration and dstriving to measure up.

If you follow this cycle as you grow and mature you will forget about who you are as you try to satisfy the people around you. In the end you will lose yourself to the crowd of empty admirers trying to fit in to their own cycle of frustration. Their failed dreams become your reality. Their lost lives become your actuality and that empty need to win will trap you within yourself.

It is why so many stars of the entertainment and sports world have very empty and lonely lives in the end. The positive thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

You know the saying about loving yourself before you can love anyone else? The same is true for knowing yourself before you know anything else. If you don’t know yourself then everything you think you know may not be as real as you think it is. More than likely it is just a series of delusions that you created to protect yourself as you grew up in the world as it really is.

Knowing yourself is not as easy as you may hope but it is essential to your well-being. 

As you mature you change. The way you speak changes, your mannerisms change, your tastes change, your needs and desires change. Just look at yourself, you wear different clothes than you used to, you think different thoughts, you want different things, and all of this is good. I pray it never stops as long as it leads you to find your authentic self. It is far too easy to follow someone else’s ideas of who you should be without question. The problem with doing that is that sooner or later you wake up and discover that you are not who you want to be. You are who they want you to be and that you have strayed from your path without knowing why.

Finding yourself is a lifelong process. Every time you learn something about yourself it changes who you are. But at some point in time you lost your true self to those changes. Was it a slow slide down a slippery slope as you adopted someone else’ identity? Or was it a sudden shift like when you started your first job and realized your clothes and your mannerisms were no longer right for where you wanted to go?

The answer is different for everyone. It is not easy to figure out. It takes a life time to find the answer if you ever do. But what did you expect? It took a lifetime to get to where you are, and yes, it will probably take the rest of your lifetime to get to where you want to go.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give away everything you worked so hard for or run off to a monastery to live the life of a monk. You can still go about your work and your family life just like always. It will be a gradual shift as you slowly learn to recognize the delusions you thought were real as you begin to live in the real world right here and right now.

Ask yourself some very straightforward questions.

Just take out a slip of paper and respond to these questions as honestly as you can. Make a note of which ones make you slightly or even fully uncomfortable.

  1. What does your ideal day look like?
  2. What did you want to be when you were younger?
  3. Who are you most inspired by? Why?
  4. Who would you love to meet? What would you ask?
  5. What habit would you most like to break? What habit would you most like to start?
  6. Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like about that person?
  7. How do you like to relax?
  8. When was the last time you did something you were afraid of?
  9. What are you most proud of?
  10. What are you most afraid of?
  11. If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing?
  12. Who would you like to connect (or reconnect) with? Why?
  13. What qualities do you admire in others?
  14. What practical skills do you wish you had?
  15. Imagine you’re in your 90s. What memories would you like to have? What stories do you want to tell?
  16. What is your favorite book/movie/song? Why?
  17. If you could make one change in the world, what would it be?
  18. What do you love to do for, or give to others (not an object – something from you personally)?
  19. What excites you?
  20. What do you wish you did more of?
  21. Pretend money is no object. What would you do?
  22. What area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? Which area makes you feel the worst? Why?
  23. Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year?
  24. What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?
  25. How do you want to be remembered in life?

Want to learn more? Reach out and let us guide you through the process of a Strategy for Happiness

 

Are you on the boat or staying at the dock?

The duality of being human is that we are caught between our divine spirit a and our very physical self. Our physical self is driven by fear and the desire to stay alive at all costs. Our divine spirit reflects our desire to reach for the stars as we seek more from the human experience we exist in. We are caught between the two with our physical brain and metaphysical mind paying the price. It is so often why we feel such stress and anxiety in our lives.

Today we are at a cross roads. Some of us are ready to reach upward, to seek more from our existence while others are too scared to reach beyond their own self interests. They are more comfortable retreating back into the swamp that we have spent the past hundreds of thousands of years clawing our way out of because for them it is safe, to them it is familiar and our brain loves “familiar”.

We all know it is not safe. It never was. We have slowly evolved beyond the days where brawn beat intellect. We have evolved beyond flatworms and alligators, beyond our collective awakening that occurred 40,000 years ago.

The moment we picked up a stick to defend ourselves against the wild, the moment we discovered fire and eventually the wheel, or when we begin to paint on cave walls was the moment we locked ourselves onto a path of evolution beyond our physical selves.

Today, you rely more on your cognitive skills than on your muscles. Tomorrow you will rely more on mind and less on your brain. If you stay with your feet planted firmly on the ground you will be forever tied to the earth and to your physical self. If you reach beyond your physical self and into the metaphysical realm you have a chance toward divinity.

Humans created the computer to lift the data processing from our shoulders so that we could ponder the larger thoughts and ideas swirling around our heads. We created the internet to connect us in a larger community so that we could network our thinking and speed up our own evolution. What we did not know we were doing was mirroring the way our consciousness is linked, connecting our points of consciousness with threads of energy so that we could become one and mirror the way existence works.

The collective of computers we created has a purpose. It does more than empower our minds to grow, it empowers our collective humanity to expand further than anyone of us could grow alone.

It has doomed those who would rather stay in the swamp to a life of irrelevance, and that is where we are today. The people who retreat into the physical have also backed themselves into a corner irrelevance. For the first time, they see where the world is heading, and that is a world that no longer needs their muscle, except to protect our collective selves from others who have nothing but muscle. It is why they are fighting so hard to remain relevant, to be a part of the modern world they  know is coming.

It is sad, but that ship has already sailed. They are standing on the dock, watching as the future forms without them. They are left to watch as it becomes a dot on the horizon. I can only imagine how it must have been like when the last Cro Magnon realized that homo Sapiens, modern humans, surpassed them. Yes, we still carry a few of their genes with us, but that is all.

Where are you?

Are you on the ship? Watching the past fade into the horizon, or are you on the dock, watching the future slip away, feeling safe and secure, but also sad knowing that you refused it?

Are you forever locking yourself into the present, rather than the future?

It is something to think about, contemplate and act upon.