Sunday, November 1, 2015

Intentional Consciousness


 * Today's article was written by Dr. Kate Siner

-- Fall In Love With Your Life -- 


Our lives are filled with lots of repetition and routine. It's common for many of us feel numb and bored from time to time.

Perhaps you have asked yourself questions like these:

Why has there been little change in my life over the past weeks or months?
Why is it that I'm no longer excited by my relationship?
Or, why to I now dread my child's birth when only a year ago I yearned for his/her arrival?

Somewhere along the way we came to believe that happiness was a place we were destined and entitled to arrive. We also came to believe that happiness came with having everything we want. These mistaken beliefs can really mislead us. If we aren't feeling happy or we're not getting what we want, we tend to feel like something is wrong. But, nothing is wrong with your life and nothing is wrong with you.

To really access the marrow of life we need to learn some skills that help take our focus away from what we don't have or should have and instead connect us with what is. Here are three things you can do today to shift your thinking and to love the life you have before you.

Look for what's amazing in your everyday life.
  • Most of us have unconscious expectations about how our life should be. At the very least, we all have hopes that our lives will turn out in a particular way. When you're preoccupied with comparing what you have against what you think you should have, you're not able to appreciate what you have for what it is. One of the easiest ways to figure out if your expectations are keeping you from being satisfied with your life is to pay attention to your habits. Do you crave a sugary snack in the afternoon? Are you dissatisfied with your relationships after the initial honeymoon period? Do you start getting bored with work after the initial newness wears off? While there can be many reasons these habits develop, one of them is a lack of ability to see what's amazing in your day-to-day. If you're in the habit of waiting for something amazing to happen to you, challenge yourself to find what's wonderful in what's around you.
Find something to be grateful for.
  • One of the fastest ways to fall in love with your life is to look for things for which you're grateful. Take time to celebrate these aspects of your life. We're the meaning makers of our life. If we don't create the meaning, appreciate the little thing, or feel gratitude for what is, then regardless of how good it really gets nothing is going to feel that special.
  • Take a moment during breakfast or dinner to turn to a loved one or friend and tell them one thing you're grateful for/ excited about/ intrigued by from your day. Or, you can keep a gratitude journal where you write down three things that happened during the day that you thought were special. Another approach is to tell one person per week how grateful you are for them or something they've done. The great thing here is that when you express your gratitude, you feel good and those around you feel appreciated and noticed. It's a win for all involved.
Be intentional.
  • It takes intention to approach your day-to-day life from a place of gratitude. While this mind-set can take a little bit of practice, more often than not it really just requires that we be aware of what we want. When we're feeling bored or checked out, that's our reminder to check back in with our intention.

  • Here are some tips to move through your day with intention. When you wake up each morning, think about how you would like to go through the day. How would you like to feel as you move through it? If there's an aspect of your day that you anticipate will be challenging, see if you can come up with a way to go through it that's ideal for you.

  • As you go forward, you can build on and develop these skills so that you can add more enjoyment to your life. But, don't worry if you have some days where you feel flat. It's normal. Remember that you can always wake up tomorrow and ask yourself, "what would I like today to be like?
"Go forth and set the world on fire." 
~ St. Ignatius Loyola

If the words above ignite your spirit - read on.

If your life goals were simply to be rich and famous, you would pursue the schooling, social circles and environments that would help you achieve this.

Yet, what if your life goals are bigger than this?

Where do you go to study and practice the consciousness skills that will help you bring compassion and healing to yourself and others?

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