Books have, since I was young, stimulated my mind to understand concepts beyond what the words on paper state; allowing me to acquire abstract thinking and be educated on numerous subjects. In this sense, books to me are a gift; a true, literal blessing!
Recently, through recovery, having sufficient time to accomplish tasks, I have re-discovered my adoration and passion for reading, as well as writing. It is peculiar how, as mere humans, we have a propensity to not indulge ourselves in the pleasures of life, due to societal and life pressures. Only making such our endeavour when we have adequate time, energy and undivided attention to do so. Isn’t time an illusion and demands beyond our control?
I have voraciously been reading some wonderfully empowering, thought provoking and insightful books, written to pique one’s interest. The most recent to my in-built wardrobe library collection, is the “Way of The Peaceful Warrior” written by Dan Millman. For those of you who have perused the contents will understand and appreciate how fantastic this book is! For those of you whom have not been graced the opportunity to read the brilliance of the words contained amongst the pages, I eagerly implore you to do so at some stage in your life.
Every page promoted a newfound concept, idea or practice to better one’s mindset. Below are some of the lessons, albeit existential questions and pondering, which resonated with me, but sentiments that I genuinely believe are necessary for all of us to reflect upon, consider and contemplate.
– As humans, our preconceived ideas, assumptions and expectations overflow to the extent that the knowledge that we possess, becomes redundant, as we fixate and direct our attention towards others; inhibiting us to allocate time to understand our true, authentic selves. Before we can learn about ourselves, we first have to empty “the tank” of all preconceived notions and prejudice we hold close.
– Our lives are purely arranged by us, whether consciously or subconsciously. We must take responsibility for our individual lives, as opposed to deflecting comments of others, which will aid our improvements or progression forwards. An analogy for this is as follows:
*A young man was exhausted and complained of having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day for his packed work lunch. He would vociferously proclaim his distaste at the top of his lungs every lunch hour, to the annoyance of his work colleagues. One day, one colleague said to the young man “Why don’t you ask your Mum or whoever makes your lunch, to make a different type of sandwich?”. The young man whom was complaining every day stated that he himself made his own sandwiches daily and continued to sit sullenly, sulking and delicately picking his sandwich to pieces.
~ You see, in life, we all make our own sandwiches. It is our onus and own volition, to be assertive and take control of our own lives. We must ask ourselves, is the sandwich a peanut butter and jelly or jelly and peanut butter? You decide.
– “Only the supremely wise and ignorant do not alter.” ~ Confucius. Change is one of life’s uncomfortable difficulties, as why disrupt life when one is comfortable? However, at times we must confront our anxieties and fears to grow, mature and self develop; stretching us beyond our limits as without challenging our capabilities, we will never truly know how great life could be? It is the mind which resists change, not the brain or the body. Let us not be ignorant but sagacious!
– The brain is a separate entity from the mind. Of course the brain is a physical aspect of the human anatomy and physiology, whilst the mind is not reality; it controls one to the depths of infinite despair. Therefore, if we do not understand how to appropriately utilise our minds, the mind can deceive us; proving a dangerously demanding, demeaning, debilitating and a deluding tool that does not serve us if left to it’s own devices.
– Use one’s words wisely. Say what you sincerely mean, not in a way to retaliate to negativity, but in honesty and light. Words mean absolutely nothing or very little, unless one realises the importance of whom one is as an individual. Accepting oneself first is priority and then all else will make sense. One will be liberated as a result.
– Watching soap operas, reality television, television, movies etc. are all forms of entertainment in which we are all guilty of immersing ourselves in every so often. However, why do we do so? To escape reality? To relax? Why must we direct our attention towards discovering the imperfections, faults, insecurities and difficulties of other’s lives to be distracted from what is occurring in our own? Focus on you and your life only! That is where comparison will slowly disintegrate.
– We often live our lives seeking gratification; sustaining our happiness through our triumphs, victories and self professed accolades. However, do these successes fulfil us? We have a propensity to be on a constant treadmill to simply achieve and impress others of all statuses, as opposed to enjoying life for what it is. We seek happiness through this but do we ever genuinely discover happiness? Thus, happiness is found not in seeking or acquiring achievement, but in one’s capacity to establish the profound ability to enjoy less in life. Less is more after all!
– We must be happy now as if not now we never shall experience the essence of happiness. We each have a terminal illness and that was assigned to us at birth. That is our terminal illness as life is short, so why make it dull or lived with considerable disappointment?
– Happiness although a feeling, extends beyond just a feeling. It is who we are! Act and be happy for no reason at all. Do we need a reason to be happy? Why can’t we just be happy? Spread one’s happiness in this world and the love, appreciation and what one desires in this world will prevail abundantly. Receive what you provide.
– Happiness is similar to a car being filled with petroleum. Happiness is a full tank. Why consider happiness as an empty tank? Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty person?
– As we mature we undoubtedly lose the gift of appreciating all surrounding us, due to a plethora of reasons. Conversely, children discover delight, pleasure and happiness in the smallest of tasks, items or acts, as all is sensed and experienced in a light liberated from the grips of thoughts, beliefs, interpretation, analytical notions and judgements. All is as if it is observed and experienced for the first time. Look around to your environment and be content with what you observe, just as an innocent child would having never encountered such previously. Embrace your child within and delight in life!
– The time is always now. Not the past or the future. We live in the now as we cannot, despite having a desire to, alter the past, nor can we exactly manipulate the future to eventuate as we truly desire. Seize all opportunities as the time is now; now is the time.
– Every positive and or negative situation has a positive and a negative associated with it. Something I have always stated, especially when living through an ordeal. No matter how difficult the circumstance, a light shall always be shone. As Dan Millman states “For every strength there is a weakness and for every weakness a strength.”
– We are each trapped in the confines of our own minds; a dark, imprisoned cave, believing what the darkness of our minds informs us. We are veiled by a lingering shadow, which can envelope us completely to the point where we lose sight of our existence; becoming myopic in rationality, logic and reason. If we can break free from the gruelling manipulations of our minds, we will encounter the reality that is beyond the consuming shadow.
Finally, remember to love those whom love you. Respect your fellow man and appreciate all that each of you do. However, never allow yourself to not be acknowledged, appreciated or loved by others or yourself. For “I call myself a warrior – a Peaceful Warrior – because the real battles we face are inside us.”
We challenge our thoughts and minds daily, a lifelong struggle. Although I am yet to accomplish all of the above successfully in life, such has promoted an essence of reality to confront me. If we can arrive to a state of calmness and acceptance with whom we are and the life we have been magnificently been gifted with, a sense of peace and happiness will ensure and any additionally heavy burdens shall be alleviated from our beings.
Be kind, calm and loving. Live in hope.
All of my love, thoughts and hugs always,