Living Lighter

What is truly important to you? What couldn’t you live without? What could you get rid of that is causing unnecessary stress/clutter? How can you bring yourself to get rid of all these unwanted items, thoughts, or emotions? I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do know that there is a way to get yourself in a state of joy without succumbing to complexity and stress. You can live a simple, yet fulfilling life, filled with the people who care about you and the things you treasure most (e.g. my laptop). You can pretty much dump the rest. All the negative relationships, all the things you own that do not contribute to your goals or bring you joy, dump them. I believe everyone strives for happiness. In my world, happiness is abundant and I do not go looking for it. I possess the ability to access it from within and spread it out throughout the world. It is my gift to you.

We all possess this ability. I am just someone who found the access code in one of the file cabinets up in my brain. Soul searching is a very enlightening activity and you all need to realize that it is a choice to be happy. It is a choice to be depressed. These emotions do not rely on external circumstances. You can be flat broke and happy, or you can be a billionaire and sad. Or, if you are an idealist, you can be a happy billionaire (my personal choice). Part of being filled with unconditional joy is letting go of any attachments you have to anything. You need to acknowledge that everything, even your physical body, is temporary. Once you fully grasp that, once you really, really know it, you can show gratitude for everything you experience, but no longer be attached to it. You will no longer fear change because no matter what happens, you still retain joy. It is a remarkable state to be in.

When I started decluttering my home, I actually felt lighter and lighter each time I threw some unwanted item away. Same with my negative and limiting beliefs. Each belief thrown in the proverbial wastebasket allowed me to open up to more abundant happiness. I did some things I never thought I could do. I finally started to live freely, without limitation. The only limitation is your own mind. This is true on so many levels. There are no words to describe the feeling of lightness unless you experience it yourself, but once you do what it takes to get there, it will fill your days with joy. And it’s good on so many levels.

Spending time in nature really helps, too. Be amazed at the wonders of the forest, the desert, and the jungle. The ecosystems are so complex, so beautiful in their own rights that it saddens me how much we’ve destroyed them. I am grateful there is still some left and I strive to encourage others to live a simpler life, a life that does not damage the world, a life that is so fulfilling once you commit to it, there will be no going back. It’s the whole concept in rooting yourself in what is permanent, not what is temporary. All your material possessions will end up being dust. Your physical body will be dust. But your spirit, your marvelous and virtuous spirit is eternal. And raising the consciousness of that spirit, moving beyond unconscious consumerism and evolving to a state where you no longer look towards items to fill a void in your life because that void is already filled with unconditional love, joy, and acceptance.

I wrote something on a message board like this, “The lighter you are, the closer you are to ascending into the heavens.” I believe this rings true, at least in my life. I hate when I see people weighed down by debt, by personal problems, by bad situations. I can try and help, but some people are stubborn. They deny that there is anything wrong, they are attached to the very things they loathe. It gives them identity. It is part of their ego. Once you let go of the ego, let go of the past, let go of everything and embrace right now, really feel it, you can move into a whole other state of being. Your ego melts. Your problems go away. You are here and you are now. And allowing yourself to just allow the present to be and not letting past or future worries interfere is the best thing you can do. Show gratitude for each and every morning you wake up. Isn’t it wonderful how you get to live? Isn’t it great to be alive? I am starting to feel this way more and more every day. I wish the same for you. Wouldn’t the world be such an amazing place if everyone was like this? Just sit back and wonder…

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Blogging from Campus

Today is my first blog post from the college campus where I am attending: Coastal Carolina University. I figured I would blog to take up a little time before my next class. Here are my impressions so far of the campus:

  • The campus is hot! And I say that literally. I am dying walking back and forth all over campus, especially with a bookbag that weighs at least 25 pounds. It is almost as if I gained 25 pounds and was forced on a tortuous exercise program that runs all the way through until December.
    Getting up early is not as easy as once thought. It’s more of the time shift and the being awake so early that is getting to me. I am certainly not used to driving at 7:30 in the morning, nevermind going to class and actually retaining what I learn. I suppose I should approach this problem from multiple perspectives. Maybe I should drink coffee in the morning. Or maybe I should do some sort of physical activity first thing so I am geared up for the amount of walking I will have to do in the course of a class day.
    Classes seem easy The classes do not seem to be too difficult, but I have to assume studying will be involved. Finding time to do homework and study for tests will be something I’ll need to work out in the near future. I have some time off, but I do not want to spend all that time doing schoolwork. I will have to work on time management, and probably make a religion of it.
    Bag lunches From what I’ve seen, I cannot afford to be wasting money on buying prepared foods here. They are way too expensive for my current salary and if I can make these things myself, at a fraction of the price, then why not go for it? I just need one of those cold packs to keep everything fresh.
    Get here early This is one that will be a necessity. If I get here after 8:30 am, I might as well not even go at all. It will take me forever to find a parking space. So this means I will have to wake up around 6:00 or so in the morning, get ready, and be out of the house by 7:30. This is not only to ensure I get a good parking spot, but will also cut down on the stress I experienced yesterday, showing up at a time I thought would be early, but ending up late due to the lack of parking spaces. I do not want to be the person who is always late for everything. If I can arrive 10 minutes early to each of my classes, I’ve done a decent job.
  • While these are just primary observations and they are not as detailed as I wished, I am tired and need to relax for a bit. I also have a bit of studying to do and need to work on math problems. And believe me, they are problems. The toughest thing is coming up with a solution. Good day.

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    Fervent Anti-Materialism

    When I got sick a few years ago with brain cancer, it totally changed my perspective on life and all it encompasses. When I found out I was completely cured, I was so joyous that I started to do things I was previously afraid to do, things I would have never attempted as a pre-cancerous human. When you look death in the face and see it clearly, and survive, it totally changes the way you think. You acknowledge the trivial as trivial, like the accumulation of useless merchandise. You also acknowledge what is truly important from a permanent perspective. You realize what is worth living for and what is not. You no longer have to get the latest gadget, like an iPhone or whatever else is coming out. You are content with life itself, minus all the things that supposedly make it so great.

    I know that if I were born in a different time, an earlier time, I would be dead right now. My brain ventricle would have exploded and I would no longer be here. But for some reason, I was lucky enough to be alive in this amazing time where having a brain tumor near the brainstem was not only operable, but compleely curable. I am eternally grateful for that and no matter how terrible my life gets on this end, I can always say, “At least I am not dead. At least I survived.” So, to me, accumulating things that do not place me in a higher state of consciousness is a worthless activity. If I can find something that is truly useful and will help me in my mission, then I will buy it. But I will not waste my time or money on items that contribute nothing to society, the world, and the universe. It just does not make sense.

    Have you ever been out in public and you see one of those magazine stands with all that celebrity gossip on it? I think everyone at least looks at the cover of these magazines. Everyone acts like they hate how others obsess about celebrities’ lives, but deep down, they want to know, too. And they are mostly negative stories about topics like rehab and divorce. I feel compassion for these celebrities, who are put on a pedastal by society, and every misstep they make, they are hounded. I mean, when the photographers start showing up at rehab to catch a shot of the newest intake, it is getting out of control. This is one of the things I no longer watch or pay attention to. I know that we are all human and no one is perfect. I accept people for who they are. If they make mistakes, fine. It is expected. It does not make them bad people, and the tabloids should examine themselves before crticizing another. What I tend to find is people who criticize others have an inner critic about themselves and the only way they can hide their self-loathing is through projecting it outward onto someone else.

    Realize that making life more complicated than it already is gets in the way of living your goals. If you fill your home with items that do not reflect who you wish to become, then how do you expect to become that person? Just think of a goal you have. Think, “What would a person who has already accomplished this goal act like? What things would he/she own?” Get rid of anything that does not align with your goals. Also, eliminate all behaviors that do not align with the person you are striving to become. Why waste time on the unimportant when you can spend that time on the important? Why read tabloid magazines when you could spend time reading up on whatever career you want to get into?

    It is tough to make a decision about what to commit your life to. It really is. But the most difficult part is actually facing what you feel you should do. Maybe you don’t think you can accomplish it. Maybe you feel it will be too much work. Maybe your stable job and routine is too hard to change. Well, I never heard of a saying, “Stagnation is the spice of life.” In order to get where you need to be, a solid contributor, you must change things about yourself, but for the better. These changes will be resisted at first, but once you overcome the intial resistance, you can move on to growing with ease. Part of this resistance is fear of the unknown. Educating yourself about whatever you wish to accomplish should assuage some of those fears. Work from your strengths and build up your weaknesses. Practice what you preach. Become what you know you can.

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    The Truth, Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

    Accepting the truth of your life and not denying the truth or escaping from the truth is something I learned the hard way, although now I see things much better. I can’t help but think of a quote from (I believe) Fight Club: “We all lie to ourselves to be happy.” I believe it has some truth to it. If we are dissatisfied with a certain part of our lives, sometimes we say, “It’s not that bad,” or “It’s fine. No, it really is. I swear.” But fooling yourself is something that will only lead to more suffering. If you pretend you are having great finances or in great physical health when you do not possess these qualities, it will eventually blow up in your face. I know from experience. You can intend to be at those levels of perfection, but do not pretend you are there. Do not lie to yourself. Denying what you currently have is lowering your awareness. If you view your reality in the most positive way possible and put out the intention for greater things, you will make strides towards where you need to go.

    When you do this lying to yourself, you may get into a state of relief, but in the back of your mind, you know what the truth is. And do not pretend to be ignorant of the truth. Some may say ignorance is bliss, but I don’t buy into that. If ignorance was bliss, then we would all deny every fault we have and try to pass ourselves off as some perfect being, one who has it all together. And it would be easy. And it is not. It is not easy pretending to be someone you are not. And the lies catch up with you, eventually. If you kid yourself and say you are not in debt when you are, try saying that to the credit agency that keeps calling your house, looking for the money you owe them. “Sorry, you must be mistaken. I am not in debt.” Come on.

    Part of this is acceptance. Accepting the truth and moving on from there. It can be scary facing the truth, which is why so many people live in denial. Some people say things like, “I have this lump on my leg, but I am too afraid to go to the doctor. What if it is cancer?” Well, if it is cancer, don’t you think the doctor would help? But it’s the very fact you need to face this truth, this terrifying truth, that you shy away from reality and lower your awareness. Even if the truth is painful, you will feel grateful for building up the courage to face it. And it will definitely make you a stronger person.

    Here is something I notice. Whenever I eat meat with someone, anyone, I bring up the fact these animals are raised in concentration camp-like conditions, fed their own excrement, and killed in the most inhumane way, I get this response: “Oh, come on. I don’t want to hear this while I’m eating. Let me enjoy my meal.” Human beings cannot bear very much reality. I guess it is the easy way out to deny such things. It allows us to live in a state of semi-awareness, but we never really get to the point of really understanding ourselves fully. And we end up lagging far behind in the self-acceptance department. It is only after you completely and fully accept yourself that you can move on to bigger and better things, at least from a spiritual perspective. It does not seem intelligent to ignore certain facets of your life and just let them stay that way, convincing yourself it is “not that bad.” Accept the fact that your life is not perfect and truly accept the truths in all areas and move from there. Once you really know where you stand, there is an accurate foundation for improvement.

    Understand that this will not happen overnight. But it is totally worth it, at least so far for me. The closer I am getting to unconditional acceptance, the better off I am. And you do not have to put negative labels on the current state of anything. You can always view things positively. Take the facts, the objective facts, and view them getting better subjectively. Ten thousand dollars in debt becomes “I am working hard to get out of debt and progressing on to financial abundance,” or “I intend to work out of this debt and accumulate money to live the life of my dreams.” As the old proverb says, the truth shall set you free. Good luck.

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    Accepting Your Current Self-Discipline Level

    Every now and then I take a look in Steve Pavlina’s archives for some articles that helped me in the past. This one
    really got to me on self-discipline and seeing where you truly are. I know myself all too well to pass this up. If I keep denying where I am and acting like I live this life of awesome productivity, I will be lying to myself and others. Although my life is getting better every day and I am accomplishing much, I still find I waste a lot of time doing ‘nothing.’ It’s not really nothing, but it is not something that will get me closer to my goals, my goals being vague enough already. I would love to pursue a career in comedy, in some facet or another, but my intuitive side is saying that I can contribute more. I guess maybe I am shying away from it because I realize the intense commitment it will take for me to do so. My mission is to show people how to live more fulfilling lives and mark the trivial as trivial and start living for what matters. Show people the interconnectedness of everything on this planet, everything in this universe. And, to me, this makes sense on every level, but it takes time to really grasp the extent of it, and that will take quite a bit of self-discipline.

    Here are some questions Steve decided to put out there for digestion into the acceptance of my level of self-discipline:

    Do you shower/bathe every day? No
    Do you get up at the same time every morning? Including weekends? No
    Are you overweight? No
    Do you have any addictions (caffeine, nicotine, sugar, etc.) you’d like to break but haven’t? No
    Is your email inbox empty right now? No
    Is your office neat and well organized? Yes
    Is your home neat and well organized? Somewhat
    How much time do you waste in a typical day? On a weekend? 90-230 min
    If you make a promise to someone, what’s the percentage chance you’ll keep it? 55%
    If you make a promise to yourself, what’s the percentage chance you’ll keep it? 10%
    Could you fast for one day? No
    How well organized is your computer’s hard drive? Very
    How often do you exercise? Hardly ever
    What’s the greatest physical challenge you’ve ever faced, and how long ago was it? Brain cancer, five years
    How many hours of focused work do you complete in a typical workday? Maybe one
    How many items on your to do list are older than 90 days? What’s a to-do list
    Do you have clear, written goals? Do you have written plans to achieve them? No
    If you lost your job, how much time would you spend each day looking for a new one, and how long would you maintain that level of effort? Honestly, I would probably try and start a home-based business.
    How much TV do you currently watch? Could you give up TV for 30 days? Very little, if any
    How do you look right now? What does your appearance say about your level of discipline (clothes, grooming, etc)? Not much
    Do you primarily select foods to eat based on health considerations or on taste/satiety? Usually health
    When was the last time you consciously adopted a positive new habit? Discontinued a bad habit? Not too long ago
    Are you in debt? Do you consider this debt an investment or a mistake? I will be in debt very soon. An investment
    Did you decide in advance to be reading this blog right now, or did it just happen? Yes, I did decide in advance
    Can you tell me what you’ll be doing tomorrow? Next weekend? Working tomorrow, the same next weekend
    On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your overall level of self-discipline? 3-4
    What more could you accomplish if you could answer that last question with a 9 or 10? I could become an amazing stand-up comedian, writer, speaker, etc.

    Part of me lagging on the self-discipline and really going after my goals is I have this tendency to always worry about what others close to me will think. If I were to dive into some sort of spiritual quest, I don’t want people I care about saying things like, “You’re crazy,” or “You need a real job. Think about security.” And I blame myself for holding back on these things. Those irrational fears and stress only exist in my mind and if I keep holding out on this, I will be denying the whole world, even the universe, an amazing gift I have. I really need to do some serious work on my beliefs about the world and people in general. I have to open myself up to others and accept that only through tackling a goal like this head-on will I be able to acccomplish it.

    This will require an insane amount of self-discipline. I need to be able to take the appropriate action regardless of how I feel. I am not always going to be motivated, but if I can discipline myself to take action regardless, I will be much closer to where I need to be. I’ve started to see this blossom, but I am nowhere near where I need to be. But I will not rush myself. I will get there when I get there. But even at work now, I am starting to write out little sayings on pieces of register paper. My favorite so far was: “The belief that you need a job exists only if you choose to believe it.” If I were to tell that to my family, my belief system says that they will debunk it, saying that if you do not have a job, do not take the secure route, you will never succeed in life.

    I am going back to college for the experience of learning with like minds. When you put out the intention to meet people who are on the same vibrational level as you, you need to act on anything that will bring me closer to this ideal. Upon visiting the campus, I found some people there that are obviously vibrating at a high frequency, people I can learn from, people I can give to. I truly believe, in a way, that we are the sum of all our experiences. We become what we experience. If we learn from every experience, we take that knowledge with us to tackle the next one and the next one. And this is how I am hoping to build this self-discipline. Start out small and work my way up. It’s so easy to use the avoidance behavior, but challenging myself to really push myself into the realm of getting things done is going to be rewarding.

    Upon unearthing these Pavlina articles, the Do it Now article comes to mind. I used to think about building self-discipline, but I neve really took that step towards doing it. I would think about how great it would be, getting some sort of emotional high off that, and then sink back down to my low-awareness living. In a way, I was what you would call a self-help junkie. To my credit, I have made significant strides in the past year-and-a-half, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. I remain patient with myself and keep working towards where I see myself. These things do not happen overnight and I accept it. But actually (and I do mean actually) taking steps in the right direction is something that will become easier the more I do it. And I just need to think of the benefit it will have on everyone in my reality. It will lead the world and the universe towards great changes. It will offer solutions to common problems we now experience. And if I do not do this, I know I will have wasted my life.

    This is something I am truly passionate about, something many people may have a hard time understanding, but there comes a time in my life where I need to pursue the goals that are right for me, no matter what others think. And what I am doing is such a noble purpose that if anyone has a problem with it, they resist the idea themselves. Maybe my ego is getting involved a little, hoping there are some profound quotes with my name at the bottom in the future (and always in italics). But I know I have the ability to make some significant strides and the first step is to build a comepetency for what I am doing and how to make a living doing so. And then, the fun begins. Wish me luck.

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