We are own worst taskmasters. Our own worst tyrannical oppressors. But we also hold the key to the very freedom we seek.
So I ask you, what do you want freedom from? How are you keeping yourself stuck?
Our own limiting beliefs and certainty that “this is the truth” of our life, will be. He is holding himself hostage through this ‘story’ he is telling himself. The truth is, most of us hold ourselves hostage. It is the prison of our own minds that enslave us.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~Anais Nin
It starts with just a thought or a feeling. Or maybe with a sentence spoken by someone else. And then it starts to drag you down.
Most of us interpret life based on events we have experienced in the past. It may not be apparent to you, but at the back of your mind, you are constantly comparing, judging and evaluating everything that comes through your senses with something that took place seconds, days or even years ago.
Negativity that wells up inside of you or in the world around you can quickly become toxic and hold you back from living the life you want.
While memories help us to maintain a sense of continuity in life, it can also hold us captive as we used them to build walls around us, imprisoning our mind and seeing life only through a small tinted window.
The result is, we no longer experience reality as it is. Instead, we perceive reality through memories from the past and worries about the future, creating a distorted version of reality.
Since everyone’s life experience is different, the reality perceived by each individual is also not the same. That is why two people who went through the same event can have vastly different interpretations and responses.
That is great, isn’t it? Doesn’t that make the world more exciting and vibrant? Yes to a certain extent, but unfortunately, that is also the source of most of our miseries.
If everyone knows that their reality is just a subset of the real thing, then it would not be so bad. But most of the time, we don’t.
We believe that our reality is the only right one, and we even force it on other people, who in turn see life through a different set of tinted glass. Suddenly, life is all about proving who is right and who is wrong.
How then can we pull down our prison walls and set ourselves free? How can we use memories and thoughts intelligently without being trapped by them?
The answer is surprisingly simple. Be present in this moment. Not a half-hearted presence like the way you slump on the couch and channel-surf each night, but a complete mind, body and spirit presence.
Why the emphasis on this moment? Because now is where reality is. The present moment is the only thing you have got now. The past is gone and will never come back. The future is elusive and is beyond anyone’s grasp. Whatever you can do now happens at this moment.
All your self-defeating stories about the past, and/or worries for the future are taking place in this moment. But why live in the past or future when you can live now and enjoy the spontaneity and surprise that each moment offers?
When you surrender completely to now and put all your attention on every moment, your full awareness connects you to the flow of life. That is when living becomes effortless and intuitive.
You will begin to respond to each moment instinctively without worries or anxieties, because at this moment there aren’t 101 things you need to do — there is only one thing to do, now.
One good way to learn how to live in this moment is to practice mindfulness.
Another one of my favorite ways is to create the habit of becoming aware of negative thinking. This new habit helps me prevent and to overcome my own negative thoughts but also the negativity that’s sometimes around me.
When you’re in what seems like a negative situation, find what’s good or helpful!
If you’ve had a setback, stumbled or failed then things might look bleak and so negative thoughts may start to crop up and threaten to fill your view of this situation.
To counteract that ask yourself better questions, ones that will help you to feel better and learn so you can grow.
Try questions like:
- What’s one good thing about this situation? (it’s there!!)
- What’s one thing I can do differently the next time to likely have a better outcome? (you’re growing and learning which is a positive thing!)
- What’s one thing I can learn from this? (always a lesson)
- How would my best friend support and help me in this situation? (BE your own best friend!)
When there is full awareness, mental walls slowly break down. Instead of being limited by your conditioned way of thinking, you live life spontaneously and act according to the needs of each moment instead of living in the past or future.
Actions inspired by full awareness will no longer be driven by fears, angers, anxieties or stress. Even in the face of great difficulties, instead of dwelling in a state of bitterness, self-pity or cynicism, full awareness gives you the ability to focus on choices that bring happiness to you as well as others. And that my friend, is the taste of true freedom!
What are the stories that often replay in your mind? Are they deep-seated beliefs that keep you from living life fully?
Now, you may think to yourself…
“This is really helpful information Anny. But what’s the easiest way to put this into practice and actually make a real change with the negative thinking in my life?”
Well, I’ve got something special for you…
Click here to get your free Top 10 ways we limit themselves and (negatively) distort our perception of the world…save it or print it out so you have it for your daily life and for the next time when the negative thoughts start popping up!
Love & light,