SELF-MASTERY FOR THE DAY ~ Eric Raines on Triggers

What are your triggers? What sets you off?

 

Breathe into that feeling, inhale in your smile, exhale out what does not feel good, including your reaction to the trigger.

 

Train yourself not to react negatively to the trigger, then put it into action the next time it appears.

 

Magic.

 

~Eric Raines

 

~via Unleashing Natural Humanity

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “If You Want To Keep Something — Let It Go!”

The biggest revelation was to find out that the only way to keep something or someone, is to let it or them go. It’s such a paradox.

The most important thing is to do it in your head. Really let go. Allow something to happen regardless of your strong will and desire.

Give someone the right to act the way he or she wants and do what he or she considers necessary. Feel it happening inside. Accept it and just go with the flow. Simply put, continue to live your life.

As I once, a long time ago, read in the books of Carlos Castaneda: “Never get attached to anything or anybody.”

I could not understand, how? And why? Because it is so good to have that heart-warming tight-knit connection with the person that means so much to you. How do we go without it?

And I just realized now: that’s the only way you can be free. More often than not, attachment becomes addictive.

And somewhere along the way, you lose yourself. You make somebody else’s life your own and, eventually, you stop living.

This applies to all sorts of addictions: cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, sex, a man, a woman.

The moment you realize that you can’t live and breathe without it, that’s when you truly need to let go. That’s the only way you will be yourself.

Give everybody the right of free will and choice. It’s not in the fashion of “so be it,” or “in spite of the enemies!”.

It’s a serene, pure belief that with or without the thing or the person you feel so attached to, you will be fine on your own.

It is important not to bind to the outcome. Because no one is obliged to agree with you. No matter how bad, unwise, and stupid someone else’s choices look to you, it’s just your judgement, your perception.

It’s your unwillingness to give the other the right to have their own opinion, feel their own feelings and take their own actions.

You are not have to agree with what they say or do, or even how they live their life.

On the other side, you shouldn’t feel responsible or obliged to justify their thoughts or actions, even less to explain why they are wrong.

The only thing you can change is to continue living your life. That’s exactly what you need to do. nothing more and nothing less.

Just live your own life without trying to take control over everyone and everything. Let Go!

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com

DEJAN DAVCEVSKI: “Be You”

When you hear someone say ‘just be yourself’ you might want to throw up. I know I get really irritated by this watered down garbage of advice.

What does even ‘just be yourself’ mean? You want to be successful, how does ‘just be yourself’ can help you? What does it really mean? For most people nothing, it’s cliche.

But as with most cliches, when you get the real meaning behind this overused advice, it’s probably the best advice anyone can give you.

What does ‘Be Yourself’ really mean?

It means to drop all attachments you have to certain personality, to certain characters, to certain traits and ideas you need to identify yourself.

It means to drop all labels you put on yourself!

Just be yourself, the thing most people say as a biased reaction, means to stop caring who you are and let this responsibility to others.

It means to stop trying to define yourself!

You don’t need definition. You are a constant process of becoming. And these labels and definitions just limit your potential. Be yourself means to let go of these limits.

It means to free yourself to become who you were meant to be!

By not having limits and definitions you continue your unfolding and becoming into the truest version of yourself!

You don’t depend on any of the world’s molds that other people created with their uniqueness.

Being yourself, you become unique, irreplaceable, your own archetype!

We try to control and customize how other people perceive us, we edit and cut parts of ourselves to fit the idea we have for ourselves, the mold.

But you have no idea who you can become!

You cannot possibly imagine your true potential!

You cannot possibly know your uniqueness!

Controlling how other people perceive you, creating and editing your character to fit into a mold, that’s not your business.

Let other people perceive you as they perceive you. Don’t try to fit into any mold, instead, strive to create your own mold.

So stop controlling, your business is nothing more and nothing less but to be you!

You don’t have to design your character, you don’t have to identify with the work you do, you don’t have to label yourself with your passions.

Stop trying to define yourself. Stop trying to find yourself. Instead, strive to be yourself most of the time.

Just let yourself be who you are without a care!

Be yourself unconditionally!

 

~via LifeCoachCode.com

MATEO SOL: “11 Traps That Sabotage Spiritual Growth”

“No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain.”

~Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

 

Spiritual growth is an experience we all go through once we have experienced the spiritual awakening process. As we begin to awaken to the truth of who we are, we develop a connection to our authentic essence, higher nature or Soul.

As we progressively advance on our paths, our spiritual essence begins to blossom like a luminous flower deep in our heart. And the more we clear away the dead, gnarled and overgrown beliefs, perspectives, and emotional baggage within us, the more clearly we feel our divine essence. When we maintain our inner garden, we feel more and more love, wisdom, peace, and wholeness as our True Nature is revealed slowly to us.

Yet, like any garden, our metaphorical inner landscapes can be consumed by weeds, plagues, and forms of pollution that strangle anything beautiful we have been nurturing. Sometimes, we even sabotage the growth occurring within us ourselves, without knowing it.

What is Spiritual Growth?

“This isn’t a journey about becoming something.  This is about unbecoming who we are not.”  

~Adyashanti, The End of Your World

 

Spiritual growth is the process of awakening to your true nature, purpose, and potential. When you undergo spiritual growth you experience an expansion in awareness and insight, also known as higher consciousness. All spiritual growth has one objective: to help you embody your Soul, Higher Self or Atman. Once you are able to unite with your Soul, you will experience what is understood as enlightenment, “heaven,” Oneness or moksha.

The problem with the spiritual journey is that it is often laden with traps of many kinds. These traps are not physical, but they are instead mental and are often referred to as anti-awakening forces.

As we process life primarily through the mind, we also tend to approach spirituality with the mind. The issue with this is that spirituality cannot be contained by the limitations of thought. Once spirituality is captured within a thought, it ceases to maintain its true essence and instead becomes a constricting belief or dogma. In other words, spirituality loses its alive, ever-flowing essence once it is compartmentalized within the mind.

Think about it this way: have you ever felt immense awe and wonder in the presence of something beautiful and enchanting like a sunrise? The moment you stop immersing yourself in the feeling of the sunrise, and start taking a photo of it or describing it in a text message, is the moment you are no longer truly present with the sunrise. Instead, you are filtering it through your thoughts or through a lens of some kind. The same can be said with spirituality.

The more we use the mind to approach our Soul, the further our Soul feels. But the moment we drop our thoughts and allow ourselves to purely feel our Soul, suddenly we feel at home once again. Think of it like this: when you chase the sun on the horizon thinking you will reach it, you never will, because it is an illusion. But when you stop and feel the sun’s presence shining on your skin already, you will no longer chase anything.

It is difficult for us, as mind-oriented beings, to become conscious of our thoughts, as we have been conditioned to identify with them since a young age. But once we can observe our thoughts and how they tend to sabotage our happiness, we will experience true spiritual growth.

11 Traps that Sabotage Spiritual Growth

Below I want to share with you eleven of the most common traps that we fall into on the spiritual path. I have personally experienced these pitfalls many times, and they have resulted in a lot of pain and struggle. See how many of these traps you can identify with:

1. The trap of spiritual bypassing

Spiritual bypassing is the practice of using spirituality to avoid, suppress or escape from certain emotions or situations in life. Common types of spiritual bypassing include:

  • numbing one’s emotions through “spiritualized” repression and avoidance
  • unhealthy obsession and attachment to the positive (e.g. positive thinking) and adopting a passive-aggressive “nice” mask
  • debilitating judgment about one’s negativity or shadow self
  • anger-phobia
  • weak personal boundaries
  • blind or excessively tolerant compassion (to the detriment of oneself and the other)
  • forcefully trying to “kill” the ego and condemning it as “bad/evil”
  • exaggerated detachment
  • getting stuck in theoretical spirituality and dogmatic beliefs about “truth”
  • denial of self-responsibility by placing it on another higher being (e.g. spirit guide, angel)
  • delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being
  • using spiritual practices to escape unpleasant emotions; for example, using meditation to dissociate from emotions, rather than transmute them

2. The trap of superiority

This manifests as the tendency to “look down” upon others who are not as “consciously advanced” or “awakened.” The trap of superiority can be seen as a subtle feeling of “being better” than others who aren’t “spiritual.” In more extreme cases, this trap can appear as the tendency to lash out at people who are still “asleep,” “blind” or “sheep” of society. This kind of reactive behavior can often be seen in people who have just “woken up” to the state of the world, yet have undergone minimal spiritual growth. We need to remember that everyone is doing the best they can at their level of consciousness. When the time comes, they will awaken too.

3. The trap of forcefully trying to wake others up

Once we have awoken out of the “matrix” it is common for us to desperately want our loved ones and fellow peers to awaken. We can see how much pain and delusion other people are in, and that riles up in us the intense desire to “show them the truth.” However, often our attempt to forcefully awaken people misfires quickly. Even though we have good intentions, our desire to “save” others causes them to backlash in ways that infuriate both them and us. The less responsive they are to our pushy attempts to “wake them up,” the more frustrated and alienated we become. Eventually, trying to force others to wake up ends up harming both ourselves and others. Not only that, but this trap generates a lot of anger and misunderstanding, which results in further ego ensnarement, sabotaging our spiritual growth. Let people wake up when they are ready.

4. The trap of wanting to help others

This trap is closely entwined with the previous trap except it is more geared towards giving others advice. There is nothing wrong with wanting to help others, as long as you respect their boundaries. But sometimes developing an expanded spiritual perspective gives the ego an opportunity to feel more “knowledgeable” than others still trapped in illusion. When unsolicited advice is given to others, the results can be disastrous (think anger, upset, offense etc.).

Wanting to help others can also be used as a way of escaping our need to help ourselves. Under the guise of being “spiritual” and compassionate, helping others can be just another form of spiritual bypassing.

5. The trap of wanting to revolutionize the world

Once we wake up to the lies and corruption present in our current societal structure, many of us want to desperately change society. We fall into the trap of thinking that freedom, honesty, and justice can be created by changing the external system. As a result, we buy into the “us versus them” and “divide and conquer” mentality that is a product of the ego’s tunnel vision. We don’t realize that we’re actually fuelling the corrupt system which depends on anger and chaos to thrive and survive. Instead of understanding that all true change comes from an internal revolution, we get caught up in the pursuit of external revolution which is fragile and transient.

6. The trap of meaninglessness

Once we experience divine and transcendent states of being in which we become One with all, we can fall into the trap of spiritual nihilism after the experience passes. In other words, once we realize, from the perspective of the Universe, that nothing we do ultimately matters because all is passing, we can fall into a depressive mindset. Using truths such as “All is an illusion,” the person who falls for this trap tends to filter life through the mind. By mentally clinging to these truths, they become beliefs that the ego uses as an excuse to paradoxically feel separate from existence.

7. The trap of avoiding everyday responsibilities

Some people get so infatuated with the spiritual path that they avoid dealing with ordinary, everyday affairs. This form of escapism can lead to leeching off others, not paying bills, evading taxes, obsessing with “living off the grid,” etc. When avoiding everyday responsibilities is worn as a badge of being consciously elevated or “more spiritual” this too is a form of egotism in disguise. Avoiding ordinary responsibilities which are not perceived as being “spiritual enough” can also be a form of distraction that the ego uses to limit spiritual growth. The more concerned and obsessed you are with living an outwardly “spiritual” looking life, the more distanced from your inner work you become. Sometimes we need to feed the sharks to keep the calm and live balanced lives.

Remember the old Zen saying: “Before Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water; after Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.” We need to be humble and recognize that ordinary daily life is the perfect place to spiritually grow and mature.

8. The trap of self-victimization

Soon after we experience a spiritual awakening and wake up to the insanity of the world, it is common for us to get stuck in self-victimization. We may start to perceive the world as a “prison” and other people as the “captives” or even “capturers.” The shock of awakening may send us spiraling into anxiety and paranoia. Inevitably, we may start feeling like victims resulting in us blaming other people and the higher powers for how we feel. The spiritual trap of self-victimization can be seen a lot on social media which often tends to become a pity party for spiritual fledglings. At the end of the day, we need to see that it is actually our thoughts that cause us to suffer, not other people or situations. Once we can take self-responsibility for our perspectives and beliefs, we can become empowered once again.

9. The trap of the Savior Complex

This trap is related to the previously mentioned trap of wanting to help others. The Savior Complex is adopted by people who feel a sense of superiority to the rest of humanity. Their sense of being “different” and more “spiritually elevated” can make them feel as though they are destined to fix the world. The Savior Complex can most often be seen within the “lightworker/Starseed/healer” circles who tend to put themselves up on pedestals, believing it is their cosmic duty to “save the planet.” This perception aligns with the belief that there is something “wrong” with reality and that other people are “broken” and need to be fixed (which is an ego perspective). This perception also reinforces the ego’s sense of “specialness” and self-importance.

The Savior Complex can go one step further and evolve into a Martyr Complex. Martyrs believe they must “bear the burdens” of others. Obviously, this is an extremely unhealthy way of living which is based on Christian conditioning (think of the story of Jesus). By “carrying” other people’s pain, Martyrs bypass taking responsibility for their own happiness and enable other people’s immature behavior. Read more about the Martyr Complex.

10. The trap of attachment

After experiencing profound and expansive mystical experiences which often come after significant spiritual growth, it is common for us to attach to the experience. It can be painful to come down from these experiences and return back to usual, unenlightened reality. We can also attach to our “stories” and beliefs about spirituality. Because the mind tries to make sense of this transcendent experience, it will often latch onto various ideas as a form of control. But the more we attach to our beliefs, stories, desires, and mental interpretations, the more we suffer. We forget that everything passes, even transcendent experiences. Enlightenment isn’t a destination, it is a complete surrender; a fundamental shift in the way we approach life.

Attachment is perhaps the most common trap that sabotages our spiritual growth. On one hand, attachment to ideas helps us to grow, but ultimately, those ideas that we are unwilling to let go of end up stagnating our growth. When ideas become protection blankets rather than catalysts for our growth, there is a big problem. We need to realize that freedom cannot be experienced through the mind. Freedom is felt when we can be liberated from attachment to our thoughts.

11. The trap of relying on external answers

As we progress through our spiritual paths it is normal, and beneficial, for us to seek out external support. Reading books, attending workshops and seminars, going to retreats, practicing holistic techniques, and getting a personal guru all help us experience spiritual growth. However, after a while, it is common for us to become too dependent on external answers for our freedom and happiness. This pitfall can be seen in many spiritual seeker’s obsession and glorification of their gurus (in other words, projecting and disowning their divinity onto another).

Eventually, as we become accustomed to constantly searching outside of ourselves for answers, we forget the presence of our own Souls. We forget that our ultimate source of guidance and wisdom comes from within us, and instead, we keep chasing things outside of ourselves that we believe will “enlighten” us.

We need to stop, pause, and reflect on our spiritual journeys. Are we seeking out first-hand experience or second-hand experience given to us by others? Don’t forget to look within for your answers as well because it is by connecting with your Soul that you will ultimately experience freedom.

Final Thoughts

In order to see through and extricate ourselves from these traps, we need to be radically honest with ourselves. We need to be willing to see that we have indeed gone astray and have fed into the ego. We will also immensely benefit from exploring our Shadow Selves and exploring our mistaken beliefs.

Don’t worry if you have fallen into any of these traps. We all become ensnared by the ego. It can be particularly difficult for us to see clearly when the ego “spiritualizes” certain beliefs and ideas. The more open, humble, and honest you are, the more you will be able to see through these tricks and liberate yourself.

Finally, don’t be afraid of the dark. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. Everything, no matter how painful, is a learning opportunity. At the end of the day, your Soul is everything you have been searching for.

If you have any extra thoughts or insights about traps that sabotage spiritual growth, please share below. I would also love to hear your own journey.

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

FRACTAL ENLIGHTENMENT: “The Art of Value Without Attachment”

Spirituality seems to have a stigma attached to it that has undoubtedly turned many people in today’s modern world off from exploring it in more depth.

Even for those who have embraced some sort of spiritual practice in their life, they may find themselves unable to reconcile their modern day life, filled with the latest phones, and laptops, and clothes and the need for money with this certain “image” one thinks of when they think of someone who is ‘spiritual.’

The stigma I am speaking of is the concept of being completely un-attached — not relying on material objects, personal belongings, and relationships as the source of our identity.

When we think of some of the spiritual teachers that shape what we think of as spirituality today, such as Jesus or Buddha, we see seekers who have given up all personal belongings, left their homes and their families, and survived on meek rations all in hopes of seeking and or spreading the ‘truth’.

So of course, in our modern world where it is pretty much imperative that one needs some sort of money flow coming to them in order to survive, one may turn away from delving too deep into any spiritual practice for fear of having to do the same, meaning, give up all of their belongings and be ok without, their, gasp, phone.

It’s almost as if one thinks to themselves, “yes that spirituality stuff seems interesting and there is definitely something to it, but I’m not going to, like, sell all of my stuff and move to a cave in India somewhere and meditate for the rest of my life or anything.”

The good news I am here to share with you however is… drumroll please… no one is asking you to!

It’s about time we re-visit the age old teaching of not being “attached” to anything and explore how we can extract the purpose of this teaching while also marrying it with the fact that in today’s world, stuff is kind of required, money is kind of needed, not to mention we enjoy our clothes and our families and going to the theater and shopping and posting on instagram… so why do we have to stop?

What value does the material world hold for the spiritual seeker?

 

~via FractalEnlightenment.com