Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Ricard again: pursuing a happy life

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“We willingly spend a dozen years in school, then go on to college or professional training for several more; we work out at the gym to stay healthy; we spend a lot of time enhancing our comfort, our wealth, and our social status.

We put a great deal into all this, and yet we do so little to improve the inner condition that determines the very quality of our lives.

What strange hesitancy, fear, or apathy stops us from looking within ourselves, from trying to grasp the true essence of joy and sadness, desire and hatred?”

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My two cents: Do we understand what a “Happy” life looks like?

It is not the pursuit of pleasure, the avoidance of critism or the desire for approval.

Happiness flows out of an internal way of being, a way of being grateful for what you have and a desire to help others on this journey.

Happiness may not be a euphoric, blissful condition, but a moment to moment awareness of our mundane life.

An acceptance of ourselves, totally in this mundane moment, is required.

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Lonely: is lonely a judgment?

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Lonely can be a judgment. I have friends that seem to have it made, big house, nice car, money, career, etc.

They still feel lonely, emotionally unfulfilled, Lacking.

In many situations, not all, we compare our lives with others.

We may want the status and security of an executive career, that big house, country club membership or athletic skills to dominate our group.

Loneliness is a judgment in this situation. If we judge our world by what we lack, suffering will always be our partner.

Loneliness will become real.

All we have is this mundane moment. Think about that!

Nothing we can achieve or attain in the future will bring lasting happiness.

We can be happy right now, just as we are.

Happiness is a peaceful, internal way of being, living in the moment.

Equanimity is what the Buddhist label it.

Just think, we have the ability to shower ourselves with kindness.

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Thoughts on growing Gratitude

 

 

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Gratitude can not live in the midst of jealousy, resentment, worry, doubt or fear.

 

If our time is wrapped up in these negative emotions, how could we be grateful.

 

Part of the challenge is accepting all we have right now as enough. This skill takes practice and application.

 

It took me six months with a therapist to actually use acceptance skillfully.

 

That does not mean we do not strive for more but that desire is in perspective.

 

If I am resentful or jealous of others who have more, gratitude can not exist.

 

Remember happiness only happens right now, this moment, then opportunity passes on to the next moment.

 

If you believe you need to accomplish something, earn something, you will never be happy.

 

We need to accept everything about life and ourselves, the good, the bad, the neutral and the mundane.

 

Work on accepting the smaller flaws we perceive before working on things that embarrass us or we feel some shame about.
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“Ego” and Awareness


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Awareness does not involve our “Ego”.


Our “Ego” is never equal to another “Ego” and craves approval. That means criticism is avoided, denied or excused away.

 

Awareness through the “Ego’s” vision is very biased and highly inaccurate.

 

Awareness arrives when we go below the “Ego”, below all thought and emotion.
It happens when we get quiet, focus, and observe.

 

Awareness enables observation, seeing without judging.

 

This is our first step towards healing or happiness.


Our memories can be described as incomplete and inaccurate.


Memory, well trauma memory is stored in brief packets. We fill  the spaces in between.  These memories are collected when our fight or flight mechanism has hampered judgment.  

 

Survival from an imminent threat shuts down parts of the mind and stores this memory in a different part of the brain, the right amygdala.

 

In criminal trials eye witness has proved to be inaccurate unless you know the person.  Watch an old movie you viewed five years ago. See how memory is different from that movie.


Be aware of the prejudice, the childish “Ego” holds tightly.

 

 

Free yourself from the bias, see life clearly, become aware.
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Phases of PTSD (my opinion)


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My childhood abuse lay dormant until my 50’s. I knew something was different about the way I felt, however I did not understand the causes of my PTSD.


After PTSD ignites, we enter a phase of discovery and research. Hell, it took me six months to understand the basics of trauma and how abusive my childhood had been.

 

Then we need to figure out a way to heal.


Optimally we have two times to handle the specifics of our trauma. The first is this discovery phase of exploring the cause of PTSD. The second is with a therapist or healer.

 

Trauma needs to be integrated when it surfaces. If your therapist brings up your trauma during a session, triggering you, it is their obligation to integrate this trauma into present moment.

 


Early on my healing journey, I visited an intuitive healer. She would resurrect the details of my childhood and then fail to integrate those triggers. My PTSD grew with this malpractice.

 

After we explore the cause and impact of trauma, handling trauma thoughts is detrimental to our health unless it is integrated.

 

Dissociation saved us during the trauma. When the trauma is over and we understand the cause, dissociation causes suffering.

 

We will never end our suffering, if we entertain trigger thoughts, dissociating into our emotional, irrational ptsd fear.

 

You can go on a PTSD discussion board and witness suffering and little healing. Participants trade specific details of their trauma with others, then judge how they relate to them.

 

This behavior brings a momentary feeling or comfort, followed by suffering, then strengthening of PTSD symptoms.

 

This is the opposite of healing. We heal by not thinking about our trauma.
We heal by refusing to dissociate into the past or future.

 


We heal by focusing, letting go and staying present when triggers explode.
PTSD is an irrational disorder. Common sense is useless in understanding how trauma manifests in our life.

 


My trigger fears were embarrassing for me. I knew there was nothing to fear when people stared at me.


My trauma, my right amygdala did not get my conscious belief. Suffering was out of control when I consciously battled my judgments.


I tried to think my way out of PTSD. Constantly I would analyze the specifics of my dads abuse, consciously  trying to find the door to normalcy.


All that thinking, dissociating landed me in my garage for six months, unable to leave, agoraphobic.


I had avoided my triggers until life narrowed to one room.

 

Healing came with accepting, then not thinking, letting go and staying present.

 

Strength comes with surrender to our fears. Counterintuitive indeed but it is the path to healing and happiness.

 


We have to take action to heal.
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Does motivation last?

Photo by Ivo Rainha on Unsplash

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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Zig Ziglar
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My two cents: Healing and happiness are an internal way of being, a daily way of living in the moment.


Yes, we need to be vigilant every moment, the mind desires a time everyday to go slow, focused and empty of the noise (constant thought).

 

Life is a journey not a destination, not a search for power, possessions or approval.


Remember happiness only happens now, not next year or decade.

 

If you can not be happy right now, then when?

 

If happiness is in the future, what is right now considered?

 


What has to change for that happiness in the future to become reality?
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How do we motivate ourselves?

Photo by Kenrick Mills on Unsplash

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First, a positive attitude is essential. How many depressed people seem motivated? That first step is a formidable one for a seriously depressed person.


Second, an emotional purpose reigns supreme. Write down your purpose and the daily activity to fulfill your purpose. Get it out of your head, on paper with the ability to look at it realistically.


We can distort anything that remains in our minds only. Meditation allows us to let go of the judgments and stay present. In this moment, unencumbered by thought motivation seems easier.


We yearn to be free again, the ability to relax, to enjoy the simple things in life. Is that emotionally charged enough for you to take daily action?

 

Next, it is much easier to take on smaller, specific tasks, to start our journey. We eat the elephant one bite at a time, we develop great focus starting with ten minutes a day.

 

We need to realize daily exertion of energy and desire over long periods of time accomplishes much more for us.

 

Accountability is also important. Write down your day to day goals. We can commit to all out effort. I may not succeed but I will show up and practice with passion. It is half the battle.

 

Give yourself praise for your effort. Leave accomplishment alone for a while. Observe, not judge your performance.


Reward yourself, self soothe with kind words and actions.

 

Smile, your perception shapes your attitude. Believe in yourself and it will come true.

 

It is a process, a journey not a destination.

 

Remember happiness is right now, not tomorrow or ten years from now.


Act like it and enjoy the journey, the details, life.

 

Please share your motivational secrets.
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