As we progress through the process of ascension, several stages occur. Among them is a shake-up which inspires an initial awakening, then the full realization of truth, followed by the development of discernment to ascertain a correct course of action. We wouldn’t try to ride a bicycle before building one, nor would we attempt to sail an ocean without a boat. When things get challenging in life, we can check to see if we are practicing Wu Wei in order to refine our actions. This is the art of effortless action as described in Taoist teachings.

1. No Action Doesn’t Mean ‘Nothing’ Happens

The Tao does nothing and yet nothing is left undone.” – Lao Tzu

Wu Wei or 無為, translates from Chinese pinyin to mean “no-action” or “actionless action.” This is considered the ‘natural’ way to do things, as opposed to striving, opposing, and forcing, as well as lollygagging, or succumbing to complete inertia. When we are in alignment with the Source, or as Taoists call it, simply, the Tao, then we don’t have to ‘work’ at anything. This is not to be confused with doing nothing. The state of Wu Wei doesn’t give us an excuse to sit on the sidelines, observing life and critiquing others’ actions. Instead, it describes the inspired action of a person who is brimming with life energy, and that has dedicated their actions to a purpose which supports Oneness. This person does not waste energy, though, and moves only when the time is right, and then, with magnificent acumen, and seemingly magical support behind them.

The ancient ideograms and symbols used in the Chinese language and culture offer the most simplistic way to describe Wu Wei. We can observe this is the simple Yin Yang symbol. One side is active, or masculine, representing the energy of extending oneself into the world, and the other side of the symbol is passive, or more accurately, receiving, or feminine energy that causes an inward journey.

All Chinese medicine, martial, and internal arts from Tai Chi to acupuncture to meditation aim to help balance the masculine and feminine energies, the doing and ‘not-doing’ you might say, as a way to achieve Wu Wei.

2. The Cosmos is Not Working Against You

We aren’t sandwiched between heaven and earth, we ARE heaven and earth. To practice Wu Wei, we must first realize that we are connected to the Oneness of all things. Though we should have clear boundaries, like children given free rein to run and play within the confines of a beautiful park, we also should remain open to vulnerability and the lessons this may teach. Once we are open and protected we can begin to observe nature and embrace universal energy as it ebbs and flows. From there, we learn when to move with that energy – ebbing and flowing with our own actions in accordance with the Oneness of all things. An immense sense of freedom comes from knowing we don’t have to fight against the Cosmos, and understanding that it is never working against us – only we can choose to work against it’s flow.

3. Physical Action Isn’t the Only Action

Another principle of Wu Wei involves quieting the ever-busy mind. Even if we aren’t ‘doing’ anything physically, often our minds are busier than ever. Wu wei means that we not only quiet the body and its actions, but that we aim to quiet the mind. Otherwise, we will have no idea if we are in Universal flow, or simply acting ‘busy’ out of the needs of the ‘ego,’ we so obsessively align ourselves with.

Even with our meditation practice, we are encouraged not to ‘try too hard.’ Perhaps you’ve seen a mind game that has been installed at several museums around the U.S.. Two people sit across from one another, and attach headbands equipped with electrodes to themselves. Between the players are a group of balls that can only be moved with the brain’s waves, measured as electromagnetic currents through the headband. If a player maintains a state of relaxed calm, essentially a combination of alpha and theta waves produced by the brain when it’s relaxed, then a ball moves up a tube and is placed in a bin. The player with the most ‘balls,’ wins after a certain period of time commences. Those who try too hard, fail, as do those who don’t try hard enough. The combination of alpha and theta waves created by a Wu wei mind is what wins the game every time.

Lao Tzu advises that we must be quiet and watchful, learning to listen to both our own inner voices and to the voices of our environment in a non-interfering, receptive manner. This requires a calm, but astute mind.

4. Being at One with the Tao Means Accepting Change

A key principal in Taoism, and the practice of Wu Wei involves the realization that there is an unceasing flow of change in nature. This change is governed by laws which are unalterable, and rarely perceived except by the most consciously evolved individuals. Fighting these laws of change would be a sisyphean task. Would you try to to stop the changing of the season or the rise and fall of the sun to the horizon? Once you observe this flow of change in nature, you can apply principles of Wu wei to your own transformation. Since you are a part and parcel of nature, you will change accordingly. Why not move with that change instead of fight against it – perhaps you can even welcome change the next time it arrives at your doorstep.

5. True Wu Wei Involves Purposeless Wandering

Zhuangzi refers to a type of being in the world that many of us have never considered. He calls it flowing, or more poetically “purposeless wandering.” Most of our cultural values frown upon this type of being. If we have ‘no purpose’ we are often deemed pathological in the context of modern day living. Yet, it would be difficult to maintain that our current values have promoted harmony and balance, either environmentally or for each individual.

In Zhuangzi’s Basic Writings, he states, “ you can use the analogy of an artist or craftsman. The skilled woodcarver, the skilled swimmer… does not ponder or ratiocinate on the course of action he should take; his skill has become so much a part of him that he merely acts instinctively and spontaneously, without knowing why, and achieves success.” He further describes an enlightened person as being one who wanders through creation enjoying its delights without ever becoming attached to any one part of it.

This article was originally appeared at The Mind Unleashed.

About the author

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and *See the Big Picture*. Her blog is Yoga for the New World . Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing The Body And Mind Through The Art Of Yoga.

Are you on the right path? Are you walking the path that is going to lead you to realizing your highest purpose?

There are a few things to understand about the journey of life before you can answer this question.

Firstly, there is no such thing as the wrong path. All roads are ultimately going to lead you to where you need to be, but like all great navigators will tell you, there are easier roads than others.

Some roads are smoother, some roads are bumpy, some roads are well lit and others are dark. Whatever road you ultimately end up choosing is the best road for you and for where you are at your current level of consciousness.

So ultimately in a bigger picture sense, you are always on the right path. But if you are curious if you are walking your highest path, that is the path that is going to help you reach the fullest expression of your being, here is how to tell:

1. You Just Know

If you are questioning if you are walking your highest path or not, you are probably not quite there just yet.

When you walk the right path you can feel it. There is a certain feeling that comes when you start walking this path that allows you to feel purposeful and fulfilled.

A lot of people think that their highest path is going to be some big grand pathway, but it can be subtle and gentle as well.

Walking your highest path is an unmistakable feeling, so get out of your head and into your heart and listen for the answer.

2. You Are Not Compromising Yourself

When you are walking your highest path you give up doing things to please others and instead start doing things that feel good to you. This doesn’t mean that you don’t compromise to get along with others, but these compromises come from a more conscious place and are met with equal respect.

When you walk your highest path you are completely aligned with your soul and what your soul has come here to achieve and so there is no way you can compromise this and still be on your highest path.

3. You are Equipped to Handle Life’s Curveballs

Just because you are on your highest path doesn’t mean you are not immune from challenges and hurdles.

When you are on your highest path however, there is an underlying feeling of understanding and acceptance. Even if things are difficult, when you are on your highest path it allows you the awareness to see the bigger picture and to view things from a more purposeful place.

When challenges do come, there is also an underlying faith that everything is working out perfectly.

4. You Are Not Afraid to Be You

When you are on your highest path there is a general feeling of confidence and acceptance of who you are and the gifts that you need to bring into the world.

You may also feel passionate about what it is that you are doing and fulfilled by the decisions you are making in your life.

When you can fully appreciate and acknowledge yourself, it allows you to make decisions from a higher level of consciousness which then allows you to walk the path of your highest self.

5. You Believe in Something Bigger Than Yourself

Those walking their highest path often feel a connection to something bigger than just themselves.

When you walk your highest path you are in sync with your soul and the vibrations of the Universe. This also allows you to access other Divine realms and be in constant contact with your intuition.

When you believe in something bigger than yourself it also allows you to feel supported on your journey and that your journey has a bigger vision than you can fathom for yourself.

6. You are Always Learning

When you are on your highest path there is a curiosity for life and to continually learn, grow and expand. Often those who are on their highest path are always learning and desire to develop new skills.

When you are on your highest path, you may also feel the desire to travel, volunteer or dedicate your time to learning about other people or cultures.

7. You Feel Grateful and Connected

When you are on your highest path, there is an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the experiences and people that cross your path.

When you are on your highest path you are also able to see that we are all connected and that your energy is part of a bigger tapestry that all living creatures are working on over several lifetimes and incarnations.

8. You are a Witness to Miracles

When you start walking your highest path, miracles start unfolding around you. Your intentions and thoughts manifest very quickly and your life may be full of synchronicities or “coincidences” that are just too mysterious to fathom.

Your intuitive senses may also be very strong and your body may be able to heal a lot faster than normal.

When you are on your highest path you are also more aware of miracles occurring in everyday life, from the simple blossoming of a flower to seeing your wildest dreams manifesting before you.

9. You Meet Soulmates and Twin Flames

When you are walking your highest path, you are more likely to meet soulmates and twin flames that are there to support you on your journey.

These special souls may come in the way of teachers, lovers or even friends. No matter how they manifest in your life, when you are walking your highest path the people around you start to also reflect that.

Old friends may shift away and new people may come into your life that are more aligned with where you are at vibrationally.

10. You Keep Growing in Consciousness

Just like you are changing, so too is your highest path. If you don’t keep up with the changes of your highest path, it can knock you off course. This is why some people may feel that they used to be on their highest path but got lost somewhere along the way.

This is very normal, and it will take time and a new level of consciousness and growth to find your highest path again.

Your highest path is a feeling and not so much an external destination. No matter what is happening in your life on an external level, walking your highest path is a feeling that we can all achieve when we start to realize our own potential.

This post was originally published at Forever Conscious and used here with permission.

It’s easy to get caught up in the worrisome nature of the everyday human life.

We’re conscious, and because of our powerful brains, we tend to utilize our unique gift in all of the wrong places. Like stressing out and losing sleep over all of the little things that keep us up at night.

A recent story I wrote told the tale of a man who was helping build tiny homes for the homeless folks in his local community of Oakland, California. One of his main observations after helping people who had nothing to their name was that they had less to complain about and were generally funner people to spend time with than those who seemed to have it all.

What truly matters to you in this life? Do you even know? Many of us spend hours and hours in deep self-reflection hoping to find answers that will give us peace, but it seems that once your entire being becomes jeopardized, the answers become all too clear.  We’re only on this planet for a blink of an eye.  Lift isn’t about how long you live, it’s about what you do while you’re living.

Read this letter of a dying 24-year-old man, internalize it, and realize that you want your life to be shaped by the choices you had the courage to make, not the ones you didn’t:

via Reddit

“I am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.

The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions . The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.

Before, there were so many things that occupied my mind. When I learned how much time I had left, however, it became clear which things are really important. So, I am writing to you for a selfish reason. I want to give meaning to my life by sharing with you what I have realized:

  • Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.
  • It’s stupid to be afraid of others’ opinions. Fear weakens and paralyzes you. If you let it, it can grow worse and worse every day until there is nothing left of you, but a shell of yourself. Listen to your inner voice and go with it. Some people may call you crazy, but some may even think you‘re a legend.
  • Take control of your life. Take full responsibility for the things that happen to you. Limit bad habits and try to lead a healthier life. Find a sport that makes you happy. Most of all, don’t procrastinate. Let your life be shaped by decisions you made, not by the ones you didn’t.
  • Appreciate the people around you. Your friends and relatives will always be an infinite source of strength and love. That is why you shouldn’t take them for granted.

It is difficult for me to fully express my feelings about the importance of these simple realizations, but I hope that you will listen to someone who has experienced how valuable time is.

I’m not upset because I understand that the last days of my life have become meaningful. I only regret that I will not be able to see a lot of cool stuff that should happen soon like the creation of AI, or Elon Musk’s next awesome project. I also hope that the war in Syria and Ukraine will end soon.

We care so much about the health and integrity of our body that until death, we don’t notice that the body is nothing more than a box – a parcel for delivering our personality, thoughts, beliefs and intentions to this world. If there is nothing in this box that can change the world, then it doesn’t matter if it disappears. I believe that we all have potential, but it also takes a lot of courage to realize it.

You can float through a life created by circumstances, missing day after day, hour after hour. Or, you can fight for what you believe in and write the great story of your life. I hope you will make the right choice.

Leave a mark in this world. Have a meaningful life, whatever definition it has for you. Go towards it. The place we are leaving is a beautiful playground, where everything is possible. Yet, we are not here forever. Our life is a short spark in this beautiful little planet that flies with incredible speed to the endless darkness of the unknown universe. So, enjoy your time here with passion. Make it interesting. Make it count!

Thank you!”

Original source: expandedconsciousness.com

There is a stillness and a peace in the early morning which is unlike any other hour of the day.

Between the time of 5am-6am there is a calmness that when observed, can really change your life.

Only a year ago I was between jobs, unsure of what to do next and uncertain of my path.

During this time in my life I heard the calling to wake up early in the morning and mediate in order to find clarity on what to do next.

Every morning at 5.30am I would drag myself out of bed, wrap myself in a blanket and retreat to my mediation space. Some mornings were easy, but other mornings I found that sitting in stillness was just not working, which led me to create my own morning rituals.

After just a few weeks of doing these rituals every morning for about 30 minutes per day, I started to gain clarity and receive clear and strong messages about my purpose. I also had a lot more inspiration and confidence throughout the day.

It was actually through my morning rituals that I decided to devote more of my time to this website and get it to a point where I could do it full-time. Now, just 9 months later running this website sustains me enough to make it my full time job.

Whether you are looking for clarity about your purpose, a relationship or even your life in general, adopting these 5 morning rituals that changed my life will also help to change your life too -If I can do it, you can too.

Here are five morning rituals that will help you discover your purpose and change your life:

1. Awaken Early

Depending on where you live, getting up just before the sun is about to rise is the perfect time to start your rituals. For most, this means getting up between 5am-6am.

The timing you choose to do these rituals is important because the energy that is present in the early hours of the morning is said to help stimulate creative flow, harmony and also peace.

All of these factors are going to better help you tap into your purpose and clear out any mental clutter that may be blocking you.

When the world is still quiet and calm there are also less distractions and less things stopping you from stepping into the work.

Trust me, once you see how fun and amazing the work is, getting up this early will not feel as bad!

If you are already an early riser, aim to rise about 30 minutes earlier than usual, while it may be a lifestyle adjustment the rewards are well worth it!

2. Meditate

Don’t worry, if the thought of sitting in lotus is not appealing to you, there are other ways you can do this.

While some mornings you may feel compelled to sit in silence, other mornings it may be beneficial to do a guided meditation.

There are plenty of free guided meditations available on channels like YouTube. Some of my favourite guided mediation instructors include: Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Abraham Hicks.

You can also download sound bowls/gongs, healing music or inaugural beats and have them on a playlist ready to go for the morning.

You can sit up in lotus position, lay down or sit up with your back against a wall or propped up on a cushion. You definitely don’t want to fall back asleep, but being comfortable is also important.

If you are just getting started out with the practice of meditation, start with 5-10 minutes and work your way up from there.

You want to aim to meditate for at least 15-20 minutes, however also go with the flow of the morning, some days you will want to do more or less.

3. Journal

Once you have completed your mediation it is time to write. I like to free flow write, which means I just start writing and allow whatever needs to come out, but you can also try these techniques:

  • Write a letter to your younger self, friend, parent or partner, basically anyone that you want to get a message across to but can’t for whatever reason.
  • Tap into your Spirit Guides and ask them to send you Divine intervention or guidance surrounding a particular issue.
  • Channel your Guardian Angels or Archangels.
  • Make a list of all that you feel grateful for as well as the things you want to change in your life and how you are going to change them.
  • Vent all your worries, stresses, anxieties and then visualise your writings being given to God to take care of.
  • Create positive mantras or affirmations for your day ahead.
  • Write abstract poems, thoughts or ideas.
  • Draw, scribble or doodle.

As you can see there are many ways you can express this part of the ritual, the trick is really to get your thoughts or “head funk” out on the paper so you don’t have to carry it around with you all day.

If writing is not your thing, you can also tape yourself speaking into a recorder or you can simply talk aloud to yourself (it’s not weird, I promise).

Aim to journal for at least 10-15 minutes depending on your time commitment. You can also try writing first and then mediating if that works best for you.

4. Set an Affirmation for the Day

Write your own, or take a favourite quote or affirmation and sit with it for just a few moments. Maybe even write it down and pin it to your work desk or car, wherever you will see it often.

Reciting affirmations help you to raise your vibration and put you in a more positive mood for the day ahead.

During the day, make it a point to recite your affirmation as often as you can. Also feel free to re-use an affirmation for multiple days, especially if you are noticing strong benefits.

Here is a list of affirmations you can use.

5. Stretch and Breathe

Getting the blood moving and flowing in your body is a great way to clear out stagnant energy and to recharge your batteries.

Take just 5 minutes to stretch in any pose that feels good to you. If you are familiar with yoga you can also do some sun salutations.

Remember to breathe deeply through your stretches and to really focus on inhaling in the good and exhaling out anything that no longer serves you.

Once you get familiar with these rituals you can then start tweaking them or changing them up to suit your own needs or lifestyle. But one thing is for sure, these rituals for at least 30 minutes every day for 30 days will absolutely change your life.

Do you have any other purpose-discovering morning rituals to suggest? If yes, comment below!

Credits: This article was originally published at foreverconscious.com.

Everyone wants to live life to the fullest, in fact that is what life is all about. We are here to experience life to it’s fullest potential – the highs, the lows and everything else in between.

Many of us however, are short changing ourselves by believing certain values or constraints. These beliefs hold us back and prevent us from living our best life.

The top 5 beliefs that prevent us from living our best life include:

1.) It’s Not Important to Love Yourself

Loving yourself is one of the most important and fundamental things we can do in order to live life to it’s fullest potential. Loving yourself doesn’t just mean that you superficially pamper yourself with material items or a day at the spa, loving yourself means that you wholeheartedly accept, appreciate and express gratitude for being in your body every day.

So many of us put ourselves last, or service others before ourselves. While its ok to give, putting yourself first is the most important, healthy and conscious thing that you can do because in order to truly give, you have to be what you are giving first.

“Love yourself like your life depends on it, because it does” – Anita Moorjani

2.) I am punished for making the wrong choices, and rewarded for making the good ones

The notion of “good” and “bad” is purely a judgement or an illusion that we use to justify certain things in society.

God, the Universe, the Source (whatever you want to call it), does not judge but merely responds and reflects back to you your own vibration.

“The Universe is not punishing you or blessing you. The Universe is responding to the vibrational attitude that you are emitting” – Abraham Hicks

What this means is that it’s not so much what you do in life, but your energy behind it. Whatever energy you are reverberating out into the Universe is what you are going to get back. Forget “bad” and “good” as they are just labels, more often than not we respond from the core place of either fear or love. When we respond with fear, the Universe responds back with the same, when we respond with Love, the Universe responds in kind.

3.) I am Not Enough

We are always our own worst enemy. In fact, if half of us paid attention to the abuse that we tell ourselves on a daily basis we would be shocked. Thoughts such as – “I am so fat” or “I can’t do that” or “I am not good enough” can often go undetected, but we subconsciously hear them, and they effect us whether we realize it or not.

Understanding and coming to the realization that you are enough, and that you are perfect exactly as you are is a very freeing feeling, and one that will help you to live life to the fullest.

You already have everything you could possibly need, want or desire- it all lives in you and then expresses itself outwards.

“You are enough. You are so enough, it’s unbelievable how enough you are” – Sierra Boggess

4.) I Will be Happy When….

Putting your happiness into the outcome of an event or situation will cause you to forever be chasing happiness rather than enjoying and living it every day. People who are happy are the ones who have learnt to be happy in the present moment, rather than waiting for something to happen.

Watch: Live in the Here and Now

True happiness stems from within, no physical situation can bring it to you. Focus your energy on the present moment, and find happiness in everything that you are- this is the only way to be truly and eternally happy.

5.) I Must Go in Pursuit of My Purpose

Your purpose is not waiting for you at the top of a treacherous mountain, your purpose is already within you and the more you align with the true essence of yourself, the more your purpose will unfold. Discovering your purpose is one of the most rewarding things we can experience in life, however it’s not something that requires a map.

Instead of pursuing your purpose, focus on being as true to your true-self as you can. Focus on being who you truly, purely are without fear of judgement. Through this, your purpose will automatically be revealed to you.

Living life to the fullest truly starts with appreciating the fullness of your being and who you truly are. Learning to love yourself, honor yourself, and know that you are enough is all it takes.

Original Source: foreverconscious.com