Wherever we are, whoever we are with, one of the most important questions is: How to be free? I am talking primarily about inner freedom, the feeling of being spontaneous, happy and alive!! What is the catalyst for these feelings? How do we sustain them so we can have good relationships, better health, and an enlightened, free spirited life?
I have uncovered ten simple pointers from the depth of my heart. They have helped me so much as well as others whom I have coached. Each one is a life lesson, a practice to hold in your heart and make your own in your own way. As such, these are pointers towards your Inner Knowing. Some are poetic and metaphorical, others are direct and practical. But they are all fairly simple.
“You break free when you feel neither beneath anyone nor superior to anyone, when you shed the need to control other people, when you create space for others to be who they are and for your real self to be what it is.” – Deepak Chopra
I suggest you read these practices slowly, sit with them, and connect with them deeply. These are the kind of practices which can shine a light on an inner strength and happiness you have known all along, but may have overlooked….
#1 The Art of Being Present
Take a few moments to look at your relationship with time. Are you late? Are you early?
Where does your schedule originate from? Outside or inside you?
Consider that you are always on time….
The less time pressure you feel, the happier you are.
Don’t be at the mercy of clocks and calendars. Break free of them. Use them as tools for appointments and such, but don’t let them determine your inner state of happiness.
Cultivate an inner smile whether time seems to fly or crawl…
When we laugh at the concept of time, it flows like a dream. Let’s enjoy the surreal quality of time. How? By bringing our attention not just into the present, but rather into the conglomerate of past, present and future. Fuse them together. Be bigger than all three.
When past, present and future merge into each other, you feel whole again and your life becomes better balanced and integrated.
Joy, freedom and spontaneity return.
Don’t think about it.
#2: Realize In this moment you are able to have positive impact on the world.
Wait no more.
The next email you write, the next comment you post, the next sound you utter, can signal others to appreciate their beauty, strength, and marvelous nature.
In the same way that your breath is unobstructed, so too is positive energy.
…And what if you feel you cannot help others now? Then open your heart to receive….
#3 How to be Happy
Happiness is the rediscovery of the inner feeling of flight, or music, or silence, or dance, or magic.
Waking up spiritually is the rediscovery that the feeling you get from any one of those things is not separate from you. You are flight, music, silence, dance, magic.
The “doubter” in you will NEVER know this. The “knower” in you will NEVER doubt it.
Again…. Don’t think about it. Feel it.
Take a deep breath…
There is nowhere to go but here in your heart.
“Your duty is to Be, and not to be this or that.” ~Ramana Maharshi
#4 How to Be Free and Let go of Suffering
One of the most helpful realizations is this: When you are suffering (worried or upset in any way) part of you WANTS to suffer. Part of you believes it is helping in some way. The moment you deeply realize part of you wants the unhappy feeling is the moment magic and transformation happen.
I am not talking about a surface thought, such as: “Yeah, yeah, part of me wants to suffer.” I am talking about a REAL knowing: “I want this suffering.” The moment you realize this, the curtains are drawn open and the light returns.
How you do realize part of you wants to suffer? There is more than one way and many teachings point to it. Here are two I find helpful: Start with feeling. Feeling more than thinking will get you to this realization.
Feel into the crevices of your suffering (any worry or upset of any kind) and you may detect a subtle sense of “getting something” or “attempting to get something you want” from the upset. Using suffering to get attention or to get a sense of strength or control are common examples.
Again though, transformation only happens when you truly avail yourself to your wanting of the suffering. This knowing leads to a breakthrough because it makes your suffering conscious. When something is conscious then you KNOW how to stop energizing it. It is automatic. It’s easy. Your suffering pops like a bubble and you expand beyond it.
Another key is this: Part of you already knows you want the suffering. This is an easy thing to realize. In other words, when you DO realize part of you wants the worry or the upset or whatever, it is going to be NO BIG DEAL. It will be like you have known it all along.
For example, I remember walking on the beach once about ten years ago, longing and feeling sorry for myself that I did not have a relationship. “When will she get here!? Where is my soulmate?!” I kept thinking. Suddenly, I stopped in my tracks and I had the realization that part of me likes being alone. “I have not met someone yet because I like being alone.”
It was so simple and so obvious I had overlooked it. Part of me wanted to be alone. That is what it feels like to realize part of you wants to suffer.
The realization comes just by paying attention. It is utterly simple. So make peace with the fact that part of you wants whatever uncomfortable feeling you may have. Part of you wants to GET something from it. We think “pain” is a magnet for getting what we want (approval, attention, whatever it may be). But it is not. It is an opportunity to awaken.
There is always a way out of suffering. You break out of it when you realize you want it. Stand tall in this knowing. Face it head on. The realization of this will overthrow your most long-standing patterns and take you back to freedom and light.
#5 Practice the Power of Giving
There is an inexhaustible supply of healing light in the Universe that naturally flows and renews itself just by giving some away. If you send out healing energy, or simply appreciate and feel gratitude for others, you will receive more of the same. Giving creates a space for receiving.
The key to this principle is to give for the joy of giving. That is what opens you to receiving. Give without attachment to outcome.
A few ideas: You could offer a shoulder massage to a platonic friend, send encouraging emails to people, smile purposely to a stranger, donate some money, or send positive thoughts to another country. Keep the energy (chi) circulating and watch how this expands the benefits for you.
#6 The Gift of Starting Anew
Try this: Make fresh starts a foundation of your life.
Be aware of anything in your life that feels stale or old and become willing to tap the infinite well of other options.
Drive a new route, give someone a gift for no reason, buy a shirt you would not usually buy, stay outside two minutes longer than usual. Re-connect with the Infinite inside your Heart and doors you had not seen before will open.
#7 How to Get What You Want
“Hatred of war will not bring peace; only love of peace will bring about those conditions.” ~ Seth/Jane Roberts
Suggested Exploration: If you notice yourself focusing on what you don’t want, take a few deep breaths and refocus your intention.
Say to yourself this positive quote: “I focus on what I want. As I give attention to what I want, my heart opens and I am guided effortlessly, magically, and intuitively to everything I want.”
“When your sense of worth exceeds your conditions, conditions will shift to match your vision.” ~ Alan Cohen
#8 How to Fall in Love with Where You Are
Here is a powerful practice to explore: Think of a project or goal you are working on. Find the simplest, smallest action to take towards the fulfillment of this project and fall in love with that one step.
Fall head over heals in LOVE with it. Give your FULL SELF to this step. Do not underestimate its importance.
This paves the way to success and removes fear more than anything I know.
“Better than a thousand hollow actions, is one action, done well, that brings peace.” ~ The Buddha (560-483 B.C.)
#9 How to Forgive and Let Go
Don’t try to get rid of limiting thoughts. “Getting rid of” is a judgment and that NEVER works. Instead, pay attention to the truth within, the feeling of a benevolent knowing in your HEART. Limiting thoughts break apart like dried leaves when the emotional energy you spent trying to get rid of them relaxes.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Barbara Desy Wenman
#10 The Art of Self Acceptance
Acceptance of our feelings is the sweetest and simplest key to change I know.
With it, sadness transmutes to compassion, fear turns into excitement, and anger morphs into inner strength. Breath. Feel. Smile “with your heart” and you will discover the light inside every uncomfortable emotion. Resisting feelings is no solution.
De-clutch from resistance and your heart naturally surrounds every feeling with love.