I get addicted to the peaks in life. I want EVERY MOMENT to be some sort of exotic, thrilling, heart-pounding excitement. I hate the boring parts. The sadness. The daily irritations. But that’s half of life! There will always be contrast. Even during major manifestations, there are plenty of “This is nice but I wish it was _______” moments. So instead of resisting the punches, I want to learn how to like them. Just like lucid dreaming and passive income streams satisfy the doer in me by allowing me to be “productive” even in my sleep, learning to embrace contrast gives my spirit the “learn to be happy for 50% more of your life!” guarantee.
1. Start a blog.
A friend on Facebook tagged me in a post where she listed all the blogs she follows. She mentioned me, “because I started blogging because of her.” What an amazing compliment! If anyone else reading wants to give me a compliment, the best way to show your love is by starting your own site! I haven’t talked up the School of Life Design lessons in a while, but they still remain true and exciting every time I re-read them. Here is the first lesson, and here is the second, about designing the digital you. One of the best parts of lifestreaming (putting yourself online in any way) is that it helps you see the silver lining of all your experiences. Even when bad things happen, sharing them both “makes light” of them and “brings them to light,” helping you laugh and understand more about life.
2. Embrace contrast.
If you think you’re having a bad time, sit with it. Observe it. Get curious about it instead of resisting it. When you resist it, you just keep creating more of it. What you focus on, expands. This radical self love blog has a great explanation of what happens when you embrace the lows in life:
When we get real and get honest with ourselves we begin to notice a really magical transformation occur. In the face of accepting whatever experience we are having we set ourselves free from the shackles of fear. As we do this our energy relaxes, we become lighter, and our vibration begins to increase.
3. See the flies in your life as flower petals.
A new friend sent me this short animated film that really shifted my perspective when I needed it. If you need a quick fix for embracing the contrast in your life, watch this.
4. Observe your feelings instead of trying to avoid them.
I try to remind myself of the Buddhist way of “facing, & then separating ourselves from our painful thoughts/beliefs, until they have no control over us,” but haven’t been very good at it since the first time I attempted it. The first time I tried, I used the mantra, “I’m observing.” It helped me become more aware of what I was thinking, but it didn’t help me feel any better. Recently I tried the mantra/awareness activator, “I noticed you’re feeling _____. That’s ok.” It has helped me sit with feelings of irritation, boredom, and lethargy much longer than usual. Once I allow myself to feel the emotion, it usually passes right away.
5. Be your own painkiller.
I’m always trying to avoid pain and discomfort. I attempt to cover up my anxiety and unease with alcohol, food, Facebook, etc. A couple days ago I remembered something Eckhart Tolle wrote: “There is no pain in the Now.” Using that as my mantra, I can be more present and less frantic about trying to find something to cover up my feelings.
6. Be god instead of play god.
One of the main things people want in life is control. You want to control your weight, your growth, your career, your health, your relationships. What if we could get what we want by letting go of our need to control all those things? What if we let what we want come to us, instead of trying to control the chaos of life? Claudia Altucher’s solution is simple: “The question is not so much ‘How do I surrender?’ But rather: ‘Where Am I Playing God? And can I release the need to control?’”
Art by Bridgette Wolleat
You are more amazing than you know. You are god in human form! You have the power to do or be or have ANYTHING. Sometimes our thoughts get in the way of these truths. This week, practice believing in your divinity, and let the miracles unfold.
1. Look great in photos!
As lifestreamers, we want to look great on camera. Check out these posing tips from petapixel.com. My favorite: “Create separation between your limbs from your body,” which avoids that smushed-arm-fat look.
2. Say your mantras with enthusiasm!
Sing your truths, because they’re true! The more joy you can muster up while repeating your mental programs, the more effective they will be.
3. Believe in yourself!
Kelly mentioned to me that the more she believes in herself, the more fun she has and the more she wants to be out in the world doing things. I adopted the mantra, “I believe in myself,” and felt my life instantly transform! I now see how so many of my self-destructive behaviors (e.g., overeating, drinking to excess) come from not believing in myself. Countering the thought of, “I might as well eat this ice cream, because I don’t believe I can reach my goals anyway,” with “I believe in myself!” gives me a burst of energy and self-control I didn’t even know I had!
4. Let yourself feel safe.
This Problogger article on Top Tips to Let Go of Fear suggests that “feeling safe” is the key to success. When you send a signal of fear, others can sense it. Who wants to buy something from someone who is afraid they can’t sell it?
5. Be happy to pay.
When you’re happy to pay for things, people will be happy to pay you.
6. Be present by keeping your attention off of words.
David Cain at Raptitude has been experimenting with being present by putting words aside and observing everything else. When you’re out in the world and hear yourself thinking, say to yourself, “No words,” and keep your attention on the current moment. Without the constant chatter in your head, life turns into a playground and gets a lot more interesting.
Welcome to Tuesday Tips, the weekly digest of life design tricks and techniques. All of my suggestions come down to practicing the same idea: don’t worry, be happy! As Alan Watts says, “Basically, there is simply nothing to worry about, because you yourself are the eternal energy of the universe.”
1. Make art just to make art.
What if you could make any art you wanted, but couldn’t share it online? Is it still worth making if you can’t get likes and favs on it? Try creating something for the pure pleasure of it. Imagine the act of you making art as a one person show with a one person audience–you.
2. Make your art better.
When I was a kid, I would frequently win the coloring contests at my local grocery store. My secret was simple: just use something a little more creative than crayons. Cotton balls for clouds and bunny tails always seemed to do the trick. When making your own art, ask yourself, “How could I win the coloring contest?” Inspiration will come.
3. Try this mantra: “I love myself, right now.”
I made a nice meditation about this one. If you can repeat it over and over eventually you’ll train your mind into manifesting circumstances in which you actually do love yourself right now. It’s really neat!
4. Remember your power. Every thought is a prayer!
If you haven’t checked out E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality yet, please do! It explains so many concepts of conscious creation with humor and ease. Here’s a little testament to the power of your mind: “The only reason Jesus could walk on water was because 100 percent of his thoughts (prayers) believed he could. He had overcome the world’s thought system that says Only an idiot would be stupid enough to step out of the boat. There was not one doubt–not a single thought (prayer) in his consciousness that didn’t fully believe it.”
5. Read David Cain’s blog, Raptitude.
I was going to pile a bunch more tips in this edition based on David’s articles, but you should really just go read them yourself. First: Why most problems never have to be solved. To summarize: write down each problem as it occurs to you on a post-it. Then go through your post-its at the end of the week and prove to yourself how many things do work themselves out. Then read The First World’s biggest addiction. David explains how every time we reach for coffee or alcohol or food or our phones, “we are training ourselves to be needy and dependent on circumstances.” Finally, check out 15 unexpected side-benefits to living in the present moment to convince your mind to try it out, right now.
6. Examine your anxiety.
I came across this tumblr post about the long term effects of anxiety: shortness of breath, rashes, headaches, and fatigue to name a few. I’ve had all of those symptoms and it suddenly occurred to me that my inexplicable asthma and allergies are likely just caused by anxiety. Again and again I remind myself to relax and stop worrying. Now that I have made the connection between my thoughts and physical symptoms, I can be more conscious of my triggers, and more devoted to chilling the eff out.
7. Find your muse: channel desire into creativity.
You know when you want someone so bad it drives you crazy and you can’t think of anything else? You can tap into that energy and use it to drive your creative work. From Think and Grow Rich:
The energy must be transmuted from desire for physical contact, into some other form of desire and action, before it will lift one to the status of a genius…The salesman who knows how to take his mind off the subject of sex, and direct it in sales effort with as much enthusiasm and determination as he would apply to its original purpose, has acquired the art of sex transmutation.
8. If you flow, you’re a flower.
I found this gem by Forest Sage in the Universal Geometry Spirit Science video. “If you labor, you are a ‘laborer’. If you work on a farm, you are a ‘farmer’. And if you flow, you are a ‘Flower’.” Finally, an answer to, “What do you do?”
9. Be a joy for yourself to watch.
This reality you’re seeing is for your eyes only. You are the performer, and you are the audience. Don’t let what other people think influence what you do. Just do what delights you, right now. Sing while you do the chores. Type with a flourish. Sit up straight and smile for your camera. The only purpose this moment has is for you to enjoy it. And when you take pleasure in being yourself, others will too.