How to Stay Strong When Things Go Wrong

How to Stay Strong When Things Go Wrong

Do you wish you could stay strong when setbacks hit and things go wrong? If so, you’re not alone! Setbacks and disappointments are a part of life, but learning how to effectively deal with them, can help to strengthen us from within.

When faced with setbacks, disappointments and stagnation, the first thing to do is not to fight back harder, but to step back and regain perspective before proceeding. This may feel counterproductive at first, but it is vitally important.

When we get so focused that we see things as black and white, good or bad, we can get boxed into rigidity. Truth is, life consist of an entire spectrum of possibilities, rather than just two choices. Stepping back and refocusing opens our minds to more ways of seeing and acting in life.

It does not always require a major shift; even a small tweak can make a difference. Just step back and shift your perspective enough to include one more way of looking at that situation. Is it really true that you are the only actor responsible for creating a desired outcome? It may be more accurate to say you represent one of many conditions that need to come together for something to unfold.

Even when we put our best into something, the outcome might not be what we expected. There may be very strong messages from inside and around us telling us that the outcome is the most important thing, yet that is a limited perspective. The outcome is less important than cultivating our capacity to be with whatever is, even when it is not at all what we have wished for.

This means learning to be okay with not knowing, with not being able to control the outcome. We continue to practice and train our ability to at peace within, and we don’t take the outcome personally.

This is at the heart of authentic spiritual work: it includes both being and doing; awareness as well as the discipline of application. What keeps us pliable in this often challenging process, is the attitude of gratitude.

Gratitude is not dependent on external circumstances. We don’t feel gratitude just because everything is going great, although that’s important to acknowledge. We especially need to practice gratitude when things are not going the way we want them to. It’s when things go wrong, that we are faced with deeper attachments and desires that often masquerade as needs.

To stay flexible, we need to practice gratitude anyhow; similar to the concept of “hallelujah anyhow” that is often heard in black churches; giving thanks and finding gratitude not because of our circumstances, but despite them.

The challenge is to stay in a receptive, open place, not fighting against what’s happening, but digging deeper within to live from our core values, to be the difference we wish to see in the world, and to lead by example in making a difference despite the setbacks we may face. It requires us to dig deep and keep showing up, doing our best with the resources and gifts that we ourselves have been given to make this world a better place.

And when our best is not sufficient to change things around yet, we entrust the outcomes to a Higher hand and we stay the course with compassion for ourselves and others. Once conditions are appropriate, the outcomes will be sure. In the meantime, the work remains because living from our true core and purpose is the only meaningful way to live. Even when conditions are not yet appropriate for optimal outcomes to show up, we can say “hallelujah” anyhow, and stay the course.

Setbacks and delays are part of life’s reality, and they are fully workable. Our practice is to not pull away from the dissonance, not to withdraw from what we are faced with; and in that place where commitment and discipline meet the obstacles, our souls learn resilience and strength.

This is true especially when you feel outnumbered and alone. Don’t get locked into the duality of blame and shame! You cannot be successful by feeding what you are fighting, so when you reach this point, step back and regroup!

Do something good instead. Recognize that we need the shadow to show us the light, and navigate by forgiving the limitations of the shadow and finding a way to shine the light.

One of the biggest pitfalls in our society is the way in which personal preferences are mislabeled as needs. People often attempt to manipulate others by presenting their emotional preferences as needs, and then demanding these “needs” be met. Listen to individuals for a day and you’ll notice how often this is used to manipulate: “I need you to be quiet now,” “I need you to listen to me,” “I need you to do this right now,” and the list goes on.

In reality, these statements confuse emotional preferences with needs. They are indicative of misappropriate use of the limbic brain, where needs and preferences are often confused in early childhood. Adults who get stuck in this dysfunctional behavior, create a lot of chaos for themselves and others.

An emotional “need” is not the same as the biological need for oxygen, food and shelter; it is simply a preference. In fact, psychologist Steven Stosny identifies only one valid emotional need for adults, and that is to act consistently on deeper values.

When we consistently act from our deeper values, all the emotional preferences that parade as important needs, will either be satisfied as a byproduct of meaningful living, or they will drop away as unimportant in the bigger lens of living a purposeful life.

The best way to attain the life you want to have, is to approach it from the perspective of living it in alignment with your deeper values and meaning, not from emotional preferences masquerading as “needs.”

When you do that, you will find your roots digging deeper so you can stay strong when things go wrong.

About The Author:

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://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 to Restore Passion For Your Life

How to Restore Passion For Your Life

When was the last time you felt truly passionate about something? Felt good, right? And so it should! Good thing is, you can learn how to restore passion for your life.

Passion is most evident when body, mind and spirit work together to create, articulate or manifest feelings, ideas and values. Passion is ignited when all of you work together. It is the presence of your soul combined with the totality of all you’ve experienced, and it empowers to live at optimal levels.

Passion your natural state. When what you do is in alignment with who you are, it increases your energy. Passion is like water flowing along its natural riverbed, gaining momentum from its course – unlike many work environments, where it feels more like trying to force water up and over a mountain!

Passion creates resilience. It enables you to overcome obstacles and to look beyond current setbacks to the infinite potential that’s yours to claim. The passionate soul discovers nuggets of potential in every situation.

Passion transfers vibrant energy to every person or situation it touches. You can’t fake it. Anyone can spot a phony by sensing lack of authenticity and depth in their actions.

And yet, many people run from passion because they’re afraid of being burned. They hang on to the pain of betrayed trust and misplaced confidences as a reminder to dampen their own passion, lest they be hurt again. Perhaps they held the bucket for soulless greed and overzealous egos disguised as passion. Consequently, they’re afraid of taking the risk to live life fully, openly and passionately. They may have even vowed to never go there again.

Instead, they opt for a more predictable, monochromatic existence. Rather than taking exploring the endless possibilities of life, they insist on hiding inside a safety bubble; giving up on adventure to exist in a sanitary, colorless world where nothing new happens.

What they really need is a return to passion!

If you want a juicy life, you need to open your heart and mind to the multidimensional experience of passionate living every day.

Can you imagine how much more meaningful our roles as parents, lovers, business owners, employees, teachers and leaders would be if all our actions were predicated on our true passion? There is no limit to how far your influence can reach! To tap into your potential, you must engage life with passion. By bringing passion to what you do, you express every aspect of your creative being.

Here’s the secret to living a passionate life: Never try to throttle down your passion for fear of what might show up! You cannot selectively suppress some part of your being without also suppressing the rest of your energy. When you suppress your passion, you also suppress your Life Force.

Truth is, every activity you engage in expresses the whole of you – much like one part of a hologram reflects the whole in its entirety. Even if you pick a narrow skill like running a marathon or cooking, your whole sense of self is expressed through that activity when doing it with passion.

When living from your passion, you bring your entire identity to the party, not just an isolated part. This may sound daunting, but actually it’s the most natural way to approach anything.

When you hold some part of yourself back, you deny it exposure to life; you repress its energy and keep it from learning what it needs to know. Imagine a baby who wants to learn how to walk but has these reservations:

  • I don’t want to look bad.
  • I don’t want to fall down.
  • I don’t want to fail.
  • I don’t want to expend all my energy.
  • I don’t want any pain.
  • I don’t want to suffer.

It would seem absurd! If these thoughts prevail, the chance for mastery could never present itself. Yet as adults we resort to such reservations all the time – and deny ourselves mastery as a result.

The minute a situation arises, all the negatives around that situation will arise in the mind along with all the possibilities. The key is that you have a choice about which to focus on!

When you choose to focus on negatives, you yield to subconscious fear to shut out understanding. Do that often enough and you become a victim, subject to bewildering fears that can threaten to overwhelm you. These fears aren’t coming from blind fate or misfortune; they simply represent holes in your awareness, the places where you haven’t dared to look yet.

To break free from such self-limiting behavior, try looking at an issue that has kept you from totally engaging in life. For instance, if you are worried about what others may think of your effort, then that is the issue you need to challenge!

When I launched out into a solo practice, well-intended friends questioned whether I would make it in a highly demanding field. I chose not to listen to the voices of apprehension; instead, I redoubled my efforts because my passion is to help people.

At the time, it was the scariest, riskiest, most challenging thing I could think of doing with my life. It was also the one thing that kept me dreaming and working against all odds. Today, I can look back at decades of amazing outcomes and success.

Choosing to follow my passion took me to the edge of my comfort zone and stretched me in every way possible. It also brought growth, joy and fulfillment into every area of my life. I wouldn’t trade what I’m doing for the world, because I get to use my innate gifts daily. I love living in alignment with my purpose and my passion!

What is that one, wild dream you have buried deep within? Is it time to let it emerge into the light where you can nourish it into a passionate path to fulfillment? How will you know unless you try?

You can restore passion for your life!

Start voicing your inner dreams and passions. Face down your fears, and treat your dreams like tender threads of gold, for they are every bit as precious. They form the fabric that fabulous lives are woven from!

About The Author:

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://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.

20 Proven Ways To Make Optimal Decisions

20 Proven Ways To Make Optimal Decisions

Decisions feature hugely in our lives – and optimal decisions are invaluable. At this very moment, your life is the product of every decision you’ve made along the way – both big ones and small ones.

Since you navigate life by the choices you make, you can substantially improve your outcomes by making more optimal decisions. Here are twenty proven ways to enhance your decision making.

  1. Take appropriate ownership. Recognize that some decisions that are not yours to make. Life flows more smoothly when you accept responsibility for your own decisions and give others the freedom to accept responsibility for theirs.
  2. Avoid oversimplicity. Making an optimal decision is a process of selecting from among various alternatives; it is not just choosing between right and wrong. Avoid over-simplistic black and white thinking, and you will find many additional options in between.
  3. Use the OAR approach in your decision-making. Consider the Objectives you desire; the Alternatives that are available and the Risks of every alternative you are considering.
  4. Do your research. Learn how others have addressed similar issues, expand your awareness of options and open your mind to possibilities you may not have not considered.
  5. Take time to be thorough. Consider all the alternatives and write down the pros and cons of every line of action. It clarifies your thinking and makes for a better decision.
  6. Avoid snap decisions. Move fast on reversible choices and slowly on irreversible decisions.
  7. Respect the value of timing. Choosing the right alternative at the wrong time is no better than the wrong alternative at the right time, so an optimal decision will ideally happen while you still have time to refine it.
  8. Never let decisions accumulate. Make step-by-step decisions as you go along – a backlog of many little decisions can bog you down mentally and lead to overwhelm.
  9. Take time to ponder. Review all the facts as soon as you are aware of a decision to be made, then set it aside. Let the options incubate in your subconscious until it is time to make the actual decision.
  10. Avoid decisions based on fear. Base your decisions on positive values and goals that are important to you, not on people or circumstances you want to avoid.
  11. Consider others. Your decisions may have a huge impact on other people, even though you are ultimately responsible for those decisions. Whenever feasible, ask for input from people who may be affected before you make your decision.
  12. Don’t wait for guarantees. Often, it is impossible to have 100% certainty that your decision is correct because the implementation and outcomes are still in the future. It is enough to do due diligence and make a choice now; you can fine-tune your decision later.
  13. Avoid analysis paralysis. Remember that not making a decision is actually a decision not to take action!
  14. Keep an open mind. Every decision is a learning opportunity: you have the right to make poor decisions as well as excellent ones, and you have an opportunity to learn from them all.
  15. Keep perspective. Don’t waste your time making decisions that do not have to be made – focus on essential decisions instead, and the others will fall into place.
  16. Consider practical factors. As part of your decision-making process, always consider how you would implement your choice.
  17. Assess the risk. Before implementing what appears to be the best choice, assess the risk by asking “What can I think of that might go wrong with this alternative?”
  18. Don’t waffle. Once you’ve made an optimal decision, don’t look back! Accept that you made the most appropriate choice given the information and options you had to work with and focus instead on your next move.
  19. Commit to your decision. Once you’ve made a decision, banish doubt from your mind; instead, commit yourself to making your choice an optimal decision.
  20. Celebrate optimal decisions. Commend yourself for the optimal decisions you have made, and you have more confidence the next time you are faced with a choice.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://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 To Apply The Four Noble Truths For A Better Life

How To Apply The Four Noble Truths For A Better Life

What are the Four Noble Truths? In short, they represent the Buddha’s fundamental teaching that liberates humans from suffering. These four truths can be summarized as follows:

  1. Life Inherently Contains Suffering And Struggle

Life involves struggle, frustration and suffering in both obvious and subtle forms. Even when things appear peaceful externally, we do not experience permanent satisfaction in anything but may feel an undercurrent of internal anxiety and uncertainty. This is the inherent problem of existence.

  1. Craving Is The Cause Of Suffering

The cause of suffering is craving that stems from ignorance. We suffer because we tend to blame our difficulties on things outside ourselves. We resist the truth that life is impermanent and change is constant – instead, we grow frustrated when the world doesn’t behave the way we think it should and life doesn’t conform to our expectations. We try to push away some things while grasping for others. This process of attachment and resistance stems from our desire for life to be different than it is and causes suffering.

  1. Suffering Stops When Craving Ends

Since we are ultimately the ones that cause our own suffering by perpetuating the cycle of craving and resistance, we also have the power to end our suffering. Even when life is unpredictable and impermanent, we can change the way we respond to it. By awakening to the true nature of our timeless souls, we can end the chase after external satisfaction and permanence, and so end the suffering. In the awakened mind, it is not the suffering that ceases, but the craving.

  1. There’s A Path Out Of Suffering

By embracing the path of right living, we can awaken to our Higher nature. This path involves ethical living, developing wisdom and discernment, and adhering to a personal practice that supports our emerging consciousness. This personal journey of awakening frees us from suffering and ultimately leads to enlightenment.

Most of us struggle with the practical application of these Four Noble Truths. Our human tendency is to avoid all pain and suffering, which only perpetuates our struggle.

Instead, I suggest that we look at the Four Noble Truths as recommendations for right living; guidelines to help us navigate life’s challenges more effectively. By presenting the Four Noble Truths as practical guidelines for living, they become powerful tools to guide our responses to life.

I propose using the acronym AREA to remember the structure of the Four Noble Truths in practical ways: Accept Life As Is, Release Reactivity, End Grasping, and Act Appropriately.

When we respond to these Four Noble Truths in appropriate ways, they will indeed expand our inner area of spaciousness and peace, and ultimately expand the area or scope of our True nature.

  1. Accept Life As Is

When we allow conscious awareness to infuse everything we do, we become more tolerant. We no longer interpret everything that does not go our way as a personalized attack on our ego selves; instead, we recognize it for simply being a part of life. When we experience a setback, we can see it as an opportunity for learning and growth; not as something unfair to be judged or avoided.

The Course in Miracles teaches that it is the meaning or interpretation we give to things, that makes them appear as good or bad; in truth, it simply is a part of life. Embracing the very impermanence of life can foster in us a deeper appreciation for the fleeting and precious nature of each moment.

  1. Release Reactivity

Human neurobiology makes it virtually impossible for us to constantly maintain a state of inner equilibrium without spiritual awareness. Our senses are continuously providing feedback through physical symptoms, emotions, thoughts and feelings. Equilibrium requires us to be with reactivity in a different way: learning how to respond instead of to react. We stop the cycle of reactivity by understanding that sensory feedback loops are valuable messages to respond to; not interference to react to, judge, resist or avoid.

When we experience physical symptoms or pain, our innate reactivity may prompt us to either resist the symptoms with medication or to grasp for some miracle cure outside of ourselves. Instead, perhaps it would be more meaningful to first dialogue with the symptoms for a deepened understanding of what they’re trying to tell us; and once we understand the deeper message, we’ll be able to respond appropriately so the messenger can be released. This process of responding instead of reacting allows us to create more inner space for growth in consciousness.

  1. End Grasping

It is essential to learn how to respond to life’s difficulties with an open mind, free from the conditioned behaviors of judgment, fear or craving. This inner attitude of non-attachment frees us from the endless cycles of attachment and aversion to offer us genuine freedom and inner peace instead. The Sedona Method puts it this way: “Embrace that which you resist, and surrender that to which you cling.”

Relinquishing our positionalities rewards us with freedom from craving. Positionalities are in truth nothing other than learned behaviors and limiting beliefs, so relinquishing them truly opens up space for us to thrive.

  1. Act Appropriately

In shamanic traditions, appropriate action is referred to as “right living.” Appropriate action requires conscious awareness of our inner motives, beliefs and reactions. It nurtures the development of the observer/witness, or our Soul self. It is in aligning with this Higher aspect of being, that we are transformed to live from our full potential.

The more we fine-tune our responses to life appropriately reflect our Higher nature, the more inner freedom, peace and joy we experience. This is the core of all personal growth. Creating a path of appropriate action nourishes us at all levels and honors our true purpose in life – the embodiment of our Higher nature.

Using AREA can serve as a practical reminder to keep us aligned with the Four Noble Truths. The result is more inner peace, harmony and joy.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://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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