The mind and your reality.

The world is a looking glass, it gives back to every man a true reflection of his own thoughts. We live in a world created by our own thoughts. There is no reality, but a reality created within ourselves. Rule your mind or it will rule you. There’s no point living for the future if you do not know how to live now.

This moment is all you truly have, because happiness is not a destination, but a way of life. The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment. Watch this inspired and thought provoking video:

 

Video credits: TJOP (The Journey of Purpose)

Many of us walk around beating ourselves up for the things that we did or didn’t do. We tell ourselves that we are not good enough and overtime this can affect our self-esteem and feelings of self worth. We all have this harsh inner critic inside of us and if we don’t become aware of it and change how it operates, it can be very difficult to find the motivation and confidence to go after our dreams and ambitions.

While everyone’s inner critic speaks a little differently, there are some words that you want to pay attention to. If you find yourself using these words frequently, it is time to reprogram your mind.

Here are the 4 words you need to stop using to silence your inner critic:

1. Sorry

Of course, there is nothing wrong with apologising when you have made a mistake or hurt someones feelings, but many times people use sorry to apologise because they feel like they have been an inconvenience.

Like -“sorry can you pass the salt” or “sorry for not getting back to you” or “sorry, would you mind doing me a favour”.

When you start using sorry to apologise for being an inconvenience that is when you need to step up and take notice- Are you using this word because you lack self esteem or don’t feel worthy enough?

Often people who overuse the word “sorry” need to build up their self-esteem and feel confident in taking up space in the world. Often these people need to work on feeling more grounded and secure in themselves and their surroundings.

If you find yourself saying “sorry” a lot, you may want to consider using the words, “Please” or “Thank You” instead. For example, “please pass the salt” or “thank you for waiting, I know I didn’t get back to you.”

These small tweaks can help to gradually reprogram your mind and change how you perceive yourself.

Over time, these changes will also help you to feel more confident and that you don’t have to apologise for everything that you do or say.

2. “Should”

Another word that you have to be mindful of using is “should”. For example, “I should have done this” or “I really should eat healthier”.

When you use “should” in this way it instantly creates a judgement on yourself and even others. For example, you may also find yourself saying- “She really shouldn’t have done that”. Even though that statement may feel true in the moment, placing expectations on people often leads to disappointment.

We don’t really have any control over what other people choose to do, and using language like “should” makes us defensive rather than solution orientated. Saying “should” can also put harsh expectations on yourself and can also affect your self esteem and confidence.

Instead of saying “should” simply state what you are going to do and mean it. For example, “I am going to do this” or “I am going to eat healthier”.

By removing should you remove the judgement and the expectation, which in turn allows you to take a focused step in the right direction.

3. Try

Try is another word that we have to be mindful of using. When you find yourself saying “I am going to try and do this” it often represents that you are not fully committed.

When you “try” to do something, it also indicates that there is a part of you that doesn’t believe you are capable of doing it. It may be on a subconscious level, but having this self-doubt can block you from achieving your goals.

If you really believe in something and if you really believe in yourself, there is no reason to use the word “try”. Instead, consider changing your statements to be more directed like, “I am going to do this” or “I am going to give it my best shot”.

By removing the word “try” it helps to enhance your self-esteem and boost your self confidence naturally. It also helps your energy and mindset to shift into a place of pure self-belief.

>>Watch: Improve Your Self-Esteem

4. Naughty/Bad

These words tend to crop up around food and lifestyle habits like “eating this cupcake is so naughty” or “it’s so bad I haven’t exercised in a week”.

Labelling yourself as being “bad” or “naughty” for doing or not doing something, instantly lowers your vibration and feelings of self esteem. This negative self-talk can actually do damage over time and make you feel self-conscious.

By labelling something as “bad” it also causes you to beat yourself up for it and even place blame or shame on yourself.

This is not a good mindset to have and can actually hinder you from going after your goals rather than motivating you. It is so important to be kind and loving to yourself and it is so important to watch how you speak to yourself. Eating a cupcake does not make you a bad person, so why beat yourself up for it?

Instead of using “bad’ or “naughty” to describe your actions, consider being gentle with yourself and perhaps even more aware of what you are doing in the moment.

If you know eating the cupcake is not the best choice but you feel like you want to do it anyway, own that and celebrate it, don’t beat yourself up for it.

If you are going to do it, you may as well enjoy it and think positively about the experience, rather than shaming yourself for it. Changing the way you use language and talk to yourself can have a profound effect on your energy and mindset.

By being more aware of these 4 words, and changing them into something more positive and self-loving, it will help to change your outlook and transform your life.

This article was originally created and published by Forever Conscious and re-posted here with permission.

By Tanaaz

If the ego had an engine, its fuel would be fear. Trepidation isn’t all bad, but it certainly has its time and place. Fear can render us quivering and useless, or motivate us toward change. In the study of Zen, we learn how to not only overcome our fears, but to become fearless. This is called the Lion’s Roar of Zazen.

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

~ Buddha

The lion is the living embodiment of self-possessed power. This animal has dominion over all he sees as well as the courage, speed, and might to attain all he desires. His deportment is regal and calm, though, never bullying and neither shrinking. The metaphor of the lion is used to describe how one overcomes fear in the Majjhima Nikaya, a Collection of Middle Length Discourses on Buddha’s teachings, and they are immaculate at describing the fears most of us face. Many Zen teachers describe how to become regal and fearless in their discourses as well.

Fear of the Loss of Life

Zen master, D.T. Suzuki says that fear of the loss of body is usually what we must overcome first. Following this, an internal consciousness becomes aware that we are threatening the slated, well-accepted notion of being merely corporeal, and we ‘think’ we are frightened. Suzuki says we needn’t look any further than the bodily sensations that arise when we simply ponder fearfulness. An empty feeling in the lower abdomen ensues, there is an immobility at the base of the tongue, and our breathing becomes restricted. If we were to remove these sensations, though, fear becomes a meaningless thing.

Suzuki attests that according to Zazen, we aim to keep a lower abdomen full of power, the breathing always uniform, the heart beat tranquil, and the muscles of the whole body resilient so that if emotions like fear arise, they can easily be encountered and dismissed.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasures you seek.

~ Joseph Campbell

Fear of the Loss of ‘Self’

Some fear is understandable, even – such as when we realize we must face a spiritual death in order to progress on our path. Although we may long to richer higher levels of consciousness, we aren’t always so keen to let go of the habits and crutches that have propped up our current level of awareness. As the Sufi poet Rumi once said, “No one will find his way to the Court of Magnificence until he is annihilated.”

Other types of fear make us meek and fallible. Our consciousness easily wavers, and we cannot attain Mu, or a state of Zen, let alone get on with our daily activities.  It is only by cultivating the 4 Zen States of Mind that we can ‘fill our abdomens’ with power and roar like a lion with fearlessness.

4 Zen States of Mind

  1. Shoshin or “Beginner’s Mind” (初心) is the first stage in cultivating fearlessness. Think of a time when you were excited and eager to start a new endeavor. There might have been unknowns, but you were brimming with glee over trying something new. This is the type of mind we want to cultivate with all aspects of life. Instead of begin nervous or fearful, we can aim to be eager and open, accepting all that comes our way. In order to approach life from the beginner’s mind we need to let of preconceived notions, and be optimistic. If you’ve been able to have this feeling with one thing you’ve done in life, you can translate that feeling to other areas also.
  2. Fudoushin (不動心) means you have an “Immovable Mind.” It doesn’t mean you are stubborn, but fudoushin does translate to being determined in the face of obstacles. Does a lion run away from present danger? Hardly. The animal doesn’t get angry or judgmental about obstacles either. He is peaceful like the eye of the storm until he is upon his prey. If you can develop fudoushin when you are under stress, you will be unstoppable in life.
  3. Mushin (無心) or “Without Mind.” This is a similar philosophy to the Chinese Taoist idea of wei wuwei. When we are ‘in the zone’ working on a great masterpiece or doing something we love, we’ve likely already experienced the state of mushin. When we are empty of thoughts, yet moving and acting purely in the present moment, without fear, anger, ego, or other emotion, we are a force to be reckoned with. By developing equanimity and learning how to focus to the point of no-thought, we can cultivate mushin.
  4. The last of the four states of Zen Mind is called Zanshin (残心) which literally translates to “Remaining Mind.” This state of mind contains two precise elements. It means you are both relaxed and keenly aware of your surroundings. This is the state that martial artists aim to be in so that they can react at any moment to anything that comes their way. By maintaining relaxed alertness fear cannot sway you, even in the face of a frightening opponent.

Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.

~ Salvador Dali

Fear of Suffering

The Buddha taught that self-grasping and ignorance are the root of all remaining fears. Healthy fears aside, our tendency to try to avoid suffering – the fear of failure, heartbreak, being trapped, being lost, etc. are all caused by a single root – and arise from the mind. In Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, it is said that the Buddha articulated, “The source of all our fear comes from our own uncontrolled minds or “delusions.””

In order to overcome this root cause of fear, the Buddha, and Zen masters alike, teach to strive for no-self or emptiness. This doesn’t mean a nihilistic view of life is adopted. Friedrich Nietzsche accused Buddhism of being existentialist, but the Buddha taught us to seek the Middle Way between the mundane and the spiritual, seeing objects as real but dependently originated, not-self and unsatisfactory. Instead of seeing all things as pointless and empty, we see mundane life as meaningless but recognize spiritual goals as meaningful.

As the Zen master, Sojo has said, “Heaven and earth and I are of the same root, the ten-thousand things and I are of one substance.”

After all, even once the Buddha gave up all his worldly possessions he realized he was no closer to achieving Nirvana. He discovered that exaggerated asceticism was not required to attain enlightenment.

By learning how to work through these fears, we can achieve the ‘lion’s roar’ of full realization.

This article was originally posted on The Mind Unleashed.

Photo credits: Conscious Reminder

In this modern society, we are all programmed with fixed mental patterns, from birth onwards.

Your nationality, your race, your religion, your environment, your expectations, your family’s economic status. All of these of things are mental patterns, programmed (recorded) into your subconscious mind as you are growing up.

Now these things are here for a reason. Back in the cave man days, these subconscious programs were relied upon to keep you alive. To allow you to gain an unshakeable understanding of, not only the environment you were living in but also the societal structure and any social norms which you had to adhere to, lest you be cast out from the social group!

They may have served a purpose back then but these days they are simply keeping you trapped in the same circumstances while the world moves forward without you!

Analyze how your mind works

Everyone’s mental patterns will, of course, be unique to them as an individual. Therefore, if you ever hope to break free and start creating the life you’ve always wanted, you MUST analyze your own mind and take stock of who you THINK you are versus who you REALLY are and who you WANT to become. Once you’ve done this, you can begin using the reality of these subconscious programs to your benefit.

Begin by looking at the following areas of your life and ask yourself “Is this what I want or Is this what my SUBCONSCIOUS wants?”:

  • Your Relationship(s)
  • Your Friends
  • Your Job/Career
  • Your Mental State
  • Your Feeling Of Deservingness
  • Your Idea Of Whether You Can Succeed In Life

Take a good, hard look at yourself and meditate on the above points, trying to find the root of where they came from and how they got there. Obviously, this will take some time and a lot of self-introspection, which can be uncomfortable for some people. Sometimes facing yourself is the most terrifying thing you can do, because once you know these mental patterns can be changed, you will be forced to take full responsibility for your life’s circumstances. The good and the bad. Everything is the way it is, because of you and what you have manifested or not manifested into your life.

So, take stock of yourself and your thoughts one by one. Begin to build a conscious idea of who your subconscious mind believes you are. Make a list if it helps. It is often quite startling at how different the subconscious mind’s idea of its self-image really is. You may be capable of having a good job, yet it believes you are poor so it manifests either no job, a bad interview or gets you fired soon after you have found one.

The good news is that once you have begun to notice these little mental patterns (programs) and how and why they are created, you will notice (and overcome) more and more of them every day. You have trained your mind to see the lies within it and you will have given your mind the tools to change it.

So don’t be a victim to your thoughts. Don’t be a victim of circumstances. Don’t be a victim of the beliefs of other people! Change your life today!

These are 10 life lessons from the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian text dense with wisdom.

1. Change is the Law of The Universe

“What you have taken, Has been from here
What you gave has been given here

What belongs to you today
belonged to someone yesterday
and will be someone else’s tomorrow

Change is the Law of The Universe”

Nothing is constant. No-thing is permanent. True stillness comes from embracing movement – the ebb and flow of life. The earth is moving through space. Night follows day. Each moment is completely new. To be wise is to accept change. To be enlightened is to love change.

2. Everything Happens for a Reason

“Whatever happened was good
Whatever is happening is good
Whatever will happen will also be good”

This mindset empowers you. This mindset attracts more of the good. What has happened has happened. There is nothing more to be done. The future is a picture, an illusion. It will never come. It is always now. You control the present. Live it to the fullest.

Watch: Live in the Here and Now

3. Love the Process Without Depending on the Outcome

“Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward.”

Never engage in action for the sake of reward. Do your work with love. Expect nothing. You are rewarded in the present. Do from a place of joy. Create from a place of no-mind. Give from a place of love.

4. Give Without Expecting Something in Return

“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return”

Be pure when giving. Love grows when shared. Give and you shall receive.

5. Let Go of Attachment

“You came here empty handed, and you will leave empty handed.”

Attachment to material things can weigh you down. We do not possess things, yet things can possess us. Sensory pleasures are short-lived. When they disappear they can cause suffering. The wise do not attach their happiness to such pleasures. They go beyond them. Take no possessions. Always travel light.

6. The Soul Is Eternal

“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”

Birth and death are of this realm. Birth and death are of the duality. Energy can never be created or destroyed; it transforms from one form to another. Energy is in essence non-dual. Consciousness is not of the human body.

7. We Are All One

“The man who sees me in everything
and everything within me
will not be lost to me, nor
will I ever be lost to him.
He who is rooted in oneness
realizes that I am
in every being; wherever
he goes, he remains in me.
When he sees all being as equal
in suffering or in joy
because they are like himself,
that man has grown perfect in yoga.”

Treat every being the same. Treat others as you want others to treat you. See the inherent goodness in all beings. See through labels and stories. We are all God. We are all One.

8. You Are What You Think You Are

“We behold what we are, and we are what we behold.”

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.”

Mind over matter. Think happy thoughts and you are happier. Know you can, and you can. Look for things to be grateful for. Look for the good. You will find it.

9. Meditate

“When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.”

Meditation makes you happier. It is a timeless truth.

10. Dream Big

“We’re kept from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

See it, feel it, become it. Have no fear when dreaming. Dream as big as you can. Let how you feel be your guide. Move your dream into the present moment to manifest it.

This post was originally published at Global Harmony Crew.

About the author

Vegard Paulsen is one of the two founders of Global Harmony Crew. Global Harmony Crew points you towards deep realization, and guides you towards powerful manifestation. For more timeless truths and life-enhancing material, join the crew by subscribing. You will get their video course on Inner Peace for free. Follow Global Harmony Crew on Facebook.