Time Flies, Right! Letting Go Of The Struggle To Control Time

Time Flies, Right! Letting Go Of The Struggle To Control Time

For eons, people have been struggling with the concept of time. It permeates our language and influences our outlook on life. After all, time is money, time is of the essence and time flies, right!

And so, we struggle for control over time: we measure time, stretch time, lose time, kill time, and still never have enough time! It’s not surprising we feel this way. The pace of life today is far more frenetic than it was even just a generation ago.

In the struggle to control time, we’ve grown so out of touch with the natural world that it doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s day or night, hot or cold, summer or winter. We control the climate at home, in the car and at the office. We create artificial environments to extend our days. We eat food with little regard for its season or source.

These artificial life choices further separate us from the rhythms and cycles of nature, desensitizing us to nature’s seasonal indicators of passing time. When we stare into the cold screens of our electronic gadgets, we disconnect from the natural world around us and forget our origins.

In the words of author Michael McCarthy, “We need constant reminding that we have only been operators of computers for a single generation… but we were farmers for 500 generations, and before that hunter-gatherers for perhaps 50,000 or more, living with the natural world as part of it as we evolved.”

If we want inner peace, we need to learn how to coexist peacefully with the inevitable march of time instead of trying to control it. We need to synchronize with time at all levels. The sixteenth-century Chinese poet Liu Wenmin put it this way:

“To be able to be unhurried when hurried;
To be able not to slack off when relaxed;
To be able not to be frightened
And at a loss for what to do,
When frightened and at a loss;
This is the learning that returns us
To our natural state and transforms our lives.”

Time moves on whether we are hurtling through life or savoring it. We can – indeed we must – learn to remain still and calm amid the torrent of commitments, not allowing our overscheduled lives to rob us of the time we need to recalibrate and connect to the natural world, ourselves, and each other.

The simple act of spending time in nature is one such solution that has many healing properties. In Japan, this healing process is known as “shinrin-yoku” or forest bathing. Scientific studies confirm that spending time in nature can lead to decreased stress hormone production, lower heart rate and blood pressure, elevate mood and strengthen the immune system.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to return to the same place season after season, you’d recall the private pleasure of reconnecting to a special place each time you returned: becoming aware of the height of the tide, the direction of the wind, the time of sunrise and sunset, and the phase of the moon. Having a place in nature to return to allows us to reconnect where we’d left off, much like picking up an old friendship.

Sometimes we encounter the power and beauty of the natural world in one startling moment: observing the grandeur of a rainbow after a storm, or seeing the beauty of some tiny creature up close. These are magical moments when all sense of time stops and we’re caught up in the wonder of the present moment.

To connect to nature is to reconnect to our own origins. Stepping out of our man-made schedules and obligations – even if just for a few moments – to look at the clouds, smell the air, feel the breeze on our skin, helps us reconnect to the eternal nature of creation and find peace.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Chronic Worry? How To Be Happy Instead

Worry happens to all of us, but there’s a kind of worry that not threatens your success; it is downright dangerous to your health. This is chronic worry, and it makes you ruminate endlessly about anything that might go wrong.

Chronic worry about life’s events won’t change them; it will impair you. It is a tragic misuse of your imagination to worry about awful things that might happen in your future. This insidious form of chronic worry is like a virus of the mind that breeds negativity and powerlessness.

Spiritual teachers label worry a sign of ego, and for good cause:  when we worry, we erroneously take responsibility for all the things we worry about. Worriers falsely think they are responsible for it all.

How futile! None of us can worry ourselves well, or worry our way to fat bank accounts, or worry away the problems of the world.

The beloved humorist Erma Bombeck used to say: “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

You and I grew up despite the worries of our parents; we explored, failed, experimented and learned how to navigate life by doing, not by worrying. And the same holds true for our loved ones. When you worry about what will become of your child, your parent or your job, you are not helping anybody – least of all yourself.  In fact, you are assuming a false sense of responsibility for the choices of another. You may even think that by worrying, you can change events.

The bottom line is this: you are not responsible for the choices of others. Worrying about these things is not an act of faith; it is an act of fear. Author Leo Buscaglia put it this way: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

Wouldn’t it be a whole lot more practical to focus on the things you CAN do today, instead of worrying about what tomorrow may bring?

The vast majority of things we worry about in life, never happen. Worry is simply the ego’s way of conjuring up worst case scenarios in a futile attempt to prepare for whatever might happen… or not!

Chronic worry will drain your energy, sap your strength and rob you of sleep.  Over time, the impact of continuous worry presents as anxiety and a host of physical problems ranging from headaches and sleep disturbances to high blood pressure and mood disorders.

Indeed! If a problem can be solved, there is no need to worry about it.  If the problem cannot be solved or it is not your task to solve it, what is the use of worrying about it?

Worrying is a learned response that leads to negativity. Self-responsibility, on the other hand, is a learned response that leads to positivity.  And you can to meet life’s challenges with self-responsibility instead of chronic worry.

When facing an actual challenge, you’d do better by following a few clear guidelines before automatically starting to worry about it:

  • Is this situation your personal responsibility? If not, let it go!
  • If the situation is indeed your responsibility, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Accept the worst-case scenario as your baseline, and then start building a creative solution from there.
  • Pay attention to what is needed now. Ask yourself how your wise Higher self would deal with the situation. What can you do about the situation right now? Take responsibility for your life and actions, and make a list of possible things you can do, including getting more facts or information.
  • And now, take action in day-tight compartments, as motivational guru Dale Carnegie described present-moment awareness. Do what you can with what you know right now, even if it is only a small step, and let go of worry! Tomorrow may bring additional options and insights to act on, but worrying about it today will not change outcomes.
  • Avoid rumination. When you ruminate on a problem, you are not creating solutions; you are feeding the problem instead. To break this negative cycle, you need to disrupt the rumination and reconnect to the present moment every time it happens.
  • Remember that you can adapt, create, change and evolve as part of the problem-solving process. If your plan A doesn’t work, keep in mind that the alphabet has 25 more letters!
  • And, finally, count your blessings, not your troubles. Remember that whatever you focus on, tends to expand. So focus on the blessings of your life; cultivate an attitude of gratitude for little things that brighten your day, and you will find yourself uplifted.

By consciously choosing how you respond to life’s challenges, you can unlearn the nasty habit of worry and act from your happy place instead.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Befriending Problems

When we look out at the world, we see situations everywhere that appear to be broken and need fixing. What would happen if we could befriend problems and life crises as opportunities for growth instead?

There is an active intersection between our own psychological/spiritual health and the actual landscape of our life. What happens in the collective does impact us as individuals; likewise, what we do as individuals has an impact on the collective.

The way we address crises and problems has a rippling effect for better or for worse into the larger world. It offers us opportunities for positive change and personal growth. Author Tom Atlee calls crisis “the dangerous breaking of glass that opens locked windows of opportunity that require perceptiveness and courage to move through with care.”

It has been said that evolution, like water behind a dam, knows where all the cracks are, and is working on them right now with increasing intensity.

Could it be that something new is trying to happen, seeking the transformation of the whole in life? Might our out-of-balance world be an opportunity for increased spiritual consciousness seeking to awaken the values of the heart – compassion, generosity, forgiveness, and a desire to live in harmony with others?

I propose that the only way forward through times of crisis, upheaval and difficulty is to befriend our problems as the messengers that they are: highlighting the empty, loveless or meaningless places in our life that thirst for something meaningful and real.

To anxiously hold to the way things were – wanting no disruption in our lives – is to avoid evolving because our individual status quo is really closely tied to the larger malaise on the planet.

I remember being surprised years ago when I read Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. One of the chapters he titled “The Gift of Depression.” I had to think about that.

What if we learned to cope with adversity more effectively? Rather than failing to notice the opportunities that adversity offers, we could see the problem and the solution as two sides of the same coin. To get to the other side, we often are called to walk thru turbulence we would rather have avoided. But denial disempowers, whereas facing our problems empowers us to take meaningful action!

In fact, today’s heartache may well carry the seeds of tomorrow’s happiness. What would happen if the hatching chick decided that it is too much effort to peck through the shell that encases it?

Who would you be today if it weren’t for your struggles? Think back. Wasn’t there a jewel of awareness and growth offered in almost every tribulation?

It is the decisions you’ve made at each challenging point in your life that determined where you are today.

When we treat each obstacle on our path as a unique opportunity for growth, we start asking different questions.  We stop asking “Why this?” Why me?” and “Why now?” Instead, we start asking how we can navigate through the challenge, what we need to learn or do, and we accept responsibility for our part in the unfolding journey of our lives.

We befriend obstacles as messengers for deepening our faith and we dig deep to discover hidden gifts and abilities we never knew we had. We start looking for what we can do with the resources we have right now – an empowering place from where we can learn, evolve and become the powerful beings we were created to be.

In fact, I believe that when we connect to the true potential within us, we also find there the ability to help restore love, hope and unity to the wider world around us.

We could, as Tom Atlee suggests, “use our differences and our challenges creatively, not simply as problems to avoid or solve, but as signs of new life pushing to emerge – and as invitations into a new, more whole tomorrow.”

Responding appropriately to this invitation is of the utmost importance in our changing world. The waves of change that sweep through all layers of life like a tsunami, carry seeds of opportunity.

By viewing problems as opportunities into a “not-yet-known” future, instead of fearing the unknown, we can move forward gracefully.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Freedom From Emotional Pain

Emotional pain can traumatize us long after the event that triggered it. The more traumatizing the event, the more we tend to revisit memories, thereby keeping the pain alive.

We do this not because we wish to suffer, but because we simply don’t realize the power of our thoughts. We don’t recognize that it is not the traumatic event, but our thinking about that event, that continues to perpetuate the pain.

The mind does not know the difference between actual events and thoughts about them. To the mind, thoughts are as real as the events they represent, and so we keep reliving the painful trauma of past events as long as we replay these thoughts in our minds.

Breaking free from this cycle requires that we recognize the process and choose different responses to it. As soon as we stop giving our life energy to memories that seem to be overpowering, those memories lose their illusion of power. In the very moment of choosing differently, we are also released from the ongoing emotional pain of suffering over what had happened to us in the past.

Negative memories do not have an individual, independent existence. When we falsely believe that what happened in the past still has power over us, we allow ourselves to revisit the tyranny of emotional pain triggered by those past memories. It really serves no purpose now!

Think about it for a moment: in order for the person who broke up with you to still be able to hurt you now, in this moment, they need to be breaking up with you now, at this very moment. In reality, the event has passed and is no longer taking place in your present reality – yet you continue to suffer because you are replaying the details of the event in your mind, allowing the memories to trigger emotional pain each time you think about it!

Nothing, absolutely nothing can have power over us unless we give it that power. When we truly understand this principle, we can begin to free ourselves from the emotional pain of negative memories.

Instead of seeing ourselves as victims of circumstances beyond our control, we can exercise our innate power to choose what we focus on. And whatever we choose to focus on, becomes our reality.

Our perception produces what we experience. This perception is made up of many different elements, all of which are based on our subjective interpretation of reality – not the objective reality. When we view events this way, we relate to life through these subjective filters of attachment, desire, lack or fear.

These subjective filters of perception form our viewpoint of any given experience and then flavor our interpretation with emotion. It is not the relationship breakup that causes our current pain, then, but the painful meaning we attached to that memory. Our perception labeled the event as “heart-breaking” or as our “one and only chance at love” or as a “vicious betrayal.”

In reality, the event itself was simply part of the ongoing unfolding of life – it was neither good nor bad. It’s our interpretation of the event that creates the joy or emotional pain we associate with it.

If our perception causes pain, then why don’t we just let events happen spontaneously without grabbing onto them and interpreting their ‘meaning’ from our particular viewpoint? Why do we choose to continue experiencing the emotional pain?

I believe we interpret events through the filters of our perception because we’ve become so used to drama and trauma, pain and suffering that we are not sure who we are without it. As strange as it may seem, we welcome the habitual demons of emotional pain because it makes us feel alive.

But this is not our true nature. It’s always the false self – the ego – that thrives on the drama of emotional pain. At the same time, you and I are not just egos; we are spiritual beings who live in human form with the ego as our constant companion.

We can free ourselves from the false suffering of ongoing emotional pain to embrace a higher way of life! The perception of pain as evidence of being alive does not come from the soul; it stems from the ego’s attempts to resist change and maintain the status quo at all costs. All these conditions that seemed so real and painful are the creation of faulty perception as directed by the ego!

It is our misguided belief that past events have the power to hurt us that makes them continue to appear hurtful and propagates the emotional pain. Once we choose to remove our focus from the events, the energy around the memories collapses and we can move on.

We can accelerate this process by bringing fresh logic to the situation. Everything that is created has both a beginning and an end; therefore, everything we experience over the course of life, eventually passes to make room for new events and experiences. And so, even the most painful events of our lives also pass with time. We can help this process along by becoming mindful of what we focus on and staying present in each moment.

Even if we’ve suffered for years because of the way our perception interpreted what happened to us, we no longer need to suffer this pain. Now that we understand how the process works, we no longer need to be a victim of our own misunderstanding. We can inwardly say to that suffering ego state,

“Ego, you are not the ruling power in my life – you only think you are. The knots in my life that have me all tied up have no power over me outside of my own perception. It is ego’s perception that led me to interpret these events as emotional pain, but now I choose to see things as they really are.”

Then we can turn our focus away from the ego’s habitual re-runs of past traumas. We can let go of the emotional pain. Instead, we can turn toward Truth within to reclaim our peace in this present moment.

When we release the past, we become free at last to embrace our birthright of peace in this present moment.

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Your Life Is Your Message

Gandhi, that great peacemaker and inspirational leader, applied a simple motto to his life. It read, “My life is my message.”

Gandhi understood that we communicate with everyone we encounter each day; our lives are the books read by others, and our message is shared through our attitudes, values, beliefs, thoughts, words and actions – everything that drives us daily.

The message of your life consists of three very important components. Through it:

  • You guide yourself to what is possible;
  • You guide others about what is most important to you and what they can expect of you; and
  • You affect and influence the larger environment around you.

What does your life message say? Your message will always communicate what is most important to you. If you wish for your life to have positive impact, it is essential to cultivate awareness of the issues that occupy your time and attention.

You shape your life through the power of your attention. Whatever you pay attention to, think about, dwell on, talk, worry or obsess about, will increase and multiply until it affects who you become.

  • If you constantly think about what frightens you, you will become more fearful.
  • If you constantly think about how unfair life is, you will see more reasons to support this view.
  • If you believe you are worthless, your choices and behaviors will reflect that belief.
  • If you feel entitled to be angry, you will find more and more to be angry about.

Likewise, when you pay close attention to what is positive, hopeful, supportive, uplifting and encouraging, your life and sense of self will inevitably reflect that.

You alone have the power to choose what you cultivate in the inner garden of your mind. Whatever your circumstances, you can direct your attention to what will most positively affect your attitudes and actions.

Your personal attitudes and values will lift your spirits or dash them far more effectively than anything outside yourself!

You will enjoy happiness and inner harmony to the same extent that you practice self-awareness and self-knowledge. It is self-knowledge that guides your choice of what to focus on. The more self-knowledge you develop, the more self-empowered you become.

Self-knowledge empowers you to argue for your strengths instead of your limitations. It calls on you to recognize your inner strengths and capabilities, and bring them to life in the face of old habits that would hold you back.

Self-knowledge fosters trust in yourself and in the choices you make. There is no short-cut to self-knowledge; it is best acquired while in the thick of living where it grows from keen awareness and observation as your life unfolds.

Your life is your message, and self-knowledge allows you to fine-tune that message. By observing your life and actions, you cultivate the self-awareness necessary to fulfill your life purpose in the most optimal way. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

Observe your impact on other people. Put yourself in their shoes. See yourself from their perspective. Listen to yourself. Know what your moods are and how they affect everyone around you. When you don’t like what you see, change it!

Listen carefully to your own stories. Your stories shape your character, temperament and sense of what is possible, so know what your stories are. How do you habitually describe the impact of life events on you? What themes do you emphasize? Which stories do you keep harking back to? When you see the impact of the stories you tell, you can also change those stories for more optimal outcomes.

Know your strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps even more important than your strengths, is the awareness of what challenges you. Both strengths and obstacles have lots to teach you. True happiness is found by being aware of your weaknesses, yet choosing to claim the best of who you are.

Find out what matters to you. What do you talk about most persistently? Where are you focusing your time, money and attention? If it does not bring you the outcomes you desire, perhaps it is time to shift your focus.

Notice what makes you happy. What makes you feel genuinely excited and alive? What inspires and moves you? What fascinates you? Focus on these things, and they will surely expand in your life.

Notice what dampens your moods. What are the thoughts that drive your fearful thinking? When you become aware of the thoughts that drive your moods and spin you into fear, anxiety or depression, you can change them to positive ones. Moods are driven by thoughts, not the other way around.

Notice how much you learn from your mistakes. There is no failure in life; there is only learning. Cultivating this attitude will save you from repeating self-destructive behaviors. It also allows you to be less fearful and defensive because you’ll increasingly act from self-awareness instead of ignorance.

Learn from other people. It has been said that smart people learn from their experiences; brilliant people learn from the experiences of others. When you appreciate the experiences of others, you do not need to repeat them for your own learning; instead, you can avoid pitfalls and focus on optimal actions.

Get to know your inner world. You are the only companion you have for life. By getting to understand your own dreams, hopes and wishes, you’re able to support yourself in the best possible way to reach those goals while maintaining a sense of inner harmony.

Stay curious. Children are wonderful teachers because their minds are not cluttered with value judgments of good and bad. The more curiosity you cultivate about life, the more you will move out of judgment and into the field of possibilities from where magic happens.

Your life is your message; self-knowledge is the skill that allows you to communicate most effectively with yourself, others and the world around you.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

How Your Destiny Shapes You

The coming year will shape the destiny of every human being on this planet because it will offer every person pivotal opportunities for personal and global transformation.

The question each of us should ask is, “How will the forces guiding my life affect me in the next year?” Why? Because they are already doing that right now!

Whatever you’re working on in your life, is already working on you.  Over the course of time, these forces will shape your life both on the surface and from within.

Nobody’s life is the same at the end of a year – any year – as it is at the beginning. You are building your life from the inside out even as it is working on you.

What do you plan to work on in the coming year?  Getting clear on the purpose and plan for your soul is essential because it will ultimately direct where you end up over the course of the next year.

Business philosopher Jim Rohn put it this way: “If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build, will end up building us.”

These are some valuable lessons to be gleaned here.

First is that life is a process, not a destination. Every year is simply a measure of life, a slice of the big picture. Instead of falling into the trap of reductionism and reducing life to a game of basic outcomes, why not become more conscious of the process, the journey?

You are building a life, not a year. The kind of life you build is going to be determined by the kind of goals and plans you work on, because they’ll work on you as well.

And that’s the second lesson: Your choice of goals means much more than just what you accomplish. You are choosing what you become, too!

Deepak Chopra has said that the activities on the surface of our lives distract us from the deeper work of soul making. You do not need to get caught up in the distractions of life to the detriment of your soul!  This year, resolve to see your life as a sacred process of soul making. Let that Higher awareness guide your life journey. You are not meant to simply ACHIEVE something; you are here to BECOME something.  And that process happens along the way, not at some magical destination.

The third lesson is this: it’s not just the good things we build that matter, but everything we build. They all matter because they all work on us.

If you use shame, blame, guilt or fear as building blocks for your life, that’s what you’ll ultimately have. If you avoid the effort of introspection, personal honesty and spiritual alignment, you may think you’re not building anything, but you are – and you’re not going to like the result, so why even go there?

On the other hand, if you build toward your highest potential, you facilitate the unfolding of your best life yet.

Reaching your highest potential is your soul’s ultimate purpose. It is revealed to you within the process of seeking to fulfill your highest potential, service and creativity. When you seriously engage in the work of healing the wounded psyche with Truth, you enable your highest potential to radiate from your core.

These are the goals that ought to guide you, for they will reveal the true blueprint of your life. They will direct your path, your purpose and your potential to bring about the highest unfolding of your being.

If you’re going to build something in your life during the next twelve months, make it something that you love and respect. It’ll shape you into someone you can love and respect!

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

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