At the outset, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read and comment on my article which appeared on InspireMeToday.com and outlined what I felt were the key learnings in my life to date.
The comments that I received touched all four key areas of learning. To keep my post organized, I thought it might help to combine my responses to each of your comments and discussions below each of the four points made in the article.
1. The solutions to all your problems are within you.
Several people over the last couple of years have shared with me that the PIG and the APE provide a tangible name and face to identify and become aware of the forces that tend to drive our decision-making. They tell me that it makes it easy and fun for them to keep track and pause for a moment and ask, “What that my PIG or APE?” Between stimulus and response, there exists a gap. Creativity blossoms in the gap.
My intention is to make mindfulness and awareness concepts accessible to all, especially busy people. We are all running around in our lives and have trouble devoting time to be centered. My hope is that we can accomplish it together by making it simple, clear and fun — no tedious regimen or serious practice.
2. You are NOT your Ego.
From what I have experienced and from listening to many people who see themselves as much bigger that the identity their mind created for them, which I refer to as Ego, life becomes more vibrant and the energy level, in fact, increases tremendously. This is something that I needed to experience, since my mind could not accept it at all, in the beginning.
Like anything else, we need to make this a habit and it comes from practice. But this practice is simple and easy to do. Just watching your thinking mind and being aware of your thoughts is the first step. Being clear that they are just thoughts and that they don’t define you is the next step. Together, they make magic.
3. Live life meeting the needs of others without ignoring your own.
To distinguish between needs and wants is always a challenge, especially when we start rationalizing. The way I try to separate them is based on the where the desire is coming from while paying close attention to the role the thinking mind is playing at that time. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the confusion starts when the Ego gets involved.
Also, when guilt is viewed or used as an objective evaluator of deeds, it does not drain your life energy. Unfortunately, guilt is often used to either manipulate or make people feel bad. I have noticed and read that self-guilt or laying guilt on others generates a lower form of energy and outcomes. There are more productive ways of accomplishing your objectives.
4. Live Two Days at a Time.
Living one day at a time has been suggested and practiced successfully by many. I found it very difficult to practice as a dreamer and a planner. So I struggled vacillating between the future and the now and noticed that I got stuck in the future most of the time. So I came up with the concept of living “two days” at a time to create a balance between the future and the present moment.
I would also like to clarify that planning for the future is not something to be avoided. We need to absolutely have a vision and plan for the future as far as we can foresee it. Once the plan is formulated, however, you can live two days at a time, while keeping the vision alive.
It is all a process of learning and all we can do is get more aware of the things we do and the choices we make. Sometimes, it is not fun, but the lessons learned are well worth it. For example, an incident that left me in bed for 6 months, wasn’t fun but helped me learn some of the things that I share today. It was the best thing that happened to me.
Peace and be well,