The Search For A Perfect Life

The Search For A Perfect Life

Of the many things that cause us pain, our expectation that life should be perfect, is one of the primary causes. The idea that there exists a perfect Shangri-La somewhere that we can somehow locate, is a form of magical thinking that sets us up for false expectations and disappointment..

It creates dissatisfaction with the life we have and pulls us out of the present moment into an unending search for perfection out there somewhere. It also leads to frustration when our efforts fail to create the perfect outcomes we think we need, deserve or desire.

If we truly desire inner peace, we need to trade this magical thinking for a more accurate version of truth.  Zen teaches that to find peace of mind, we need to “think of life as a series of imperfect facts.”

I have used this helpful reminder in countless ways in my personal practice.

This phrase reminds us that our reactions and outrage often stem from an unconscious belief that life should be perfect – or that our individual lives and outcomes ought to be perfect for us to have peace.

Because this limiting belief operates beneath the surface, we may be unaware of it. If I were to ask  you, “Do you expect your life to be perfect?” you would almost certainly say no.

And yet, we get upset when our lives do not match our idealized dreams! This process is known as cognitive dissonance – the conflict between what we want and what actually shows up.

It is worth checking how often you become angry or frustrated when something relatively minor goes wrong, or when events don’t turn out the way you wanted.  You may even feel outraged when life refuses to follow your commands!

With some mindfulness, we can turn such moments into Zen moments: we can think of life as a series of imperfect facts. And know, too, that sometimes those apparent imperfections are really blessings in disguise.

In the same way that we can become outraged when life “goes wrong,” we can sometimes react very harshly when people let us down, or when our expectations are shattered by some very human behavior.

Our relationships do best when we can accept that people sometimes will behave badly, inconsistently or thoughtlessly. Sometimes they will let us down.

As long as this doesn’t happen all the time and does not put us in danger, it is healthier for everyone when we can see these behaviors as part of the big picture and get over the smaller disappointments.

When we focus on let-downs and disappointments, our relationships weaken and may even disintegrate. By choosing instead to see others as flawed as we are, yet generally doing their best, our relationships with all of life become easier, more relaxed and far more rewarding.

Mother Teresa reminded us of that when she said:
 “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

When we can see the perfect unfolding of life as a series of imperfect facts, our acceptance of what is, brings freedom and joy.

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.

A Love Letter From Your Soul

A Love Letter From Your Soul

Dear one, there is something you need to know. This love letter comes to remind you of what really matters. And it is this: You are not a mistake. You are eternally, irrevocably loved.

Yes, you are dearly, utterly loved. You are deeply loved by good people in this world. Most of all, you are loved by the infinite Creator whose love is without beginning and without end.

You are worthy of being loved because of who you are. There is nobody else just like you, and every outrageous detail of your existence is a treasure that is yours to savor and to share.

You come from Love, you are love and therefore you can choose love.

On the days when you want to hide from the world and bury yourself in misery and self-pity, remember this: you are not broken. You may be discouraged, wounded, overwhelmed or afraid, but you are not broken.

Within you, your eternal soul burns bright as ever, and as you peel away the surrounding layers that you built for protection, that inner flame will light your path once more. It will burn through every obstacle on your way, for that is your purpose and your destiny in this life: to let your light shine!

You were not created to play small or to argue for your limitations. You were not born to be broken. Your life offers so much more!

Yes, you are not a mistake. You were given life by Divine decree, and you embarked on this journey with courage that left the angels in awe. You freely chose this wild, tumultuous journey to experience, and learn, and grow. You came here to embody the Presence of the Divine Source in a world shrouded in spiritual slumber.

And these things you can do at any time: you do not need a million dollars in the bank before you learn to lean into the stillness within; you do not have to attain any social status before learning to discern the voice of Spirit within; you do not need to strive for popularity to validate your soul’s worth. Your worth is intrinsic, eternal and unchangeable.

Perhaps you feel a bit dull and tarnished right now, like a diamond that had been dropped in mud. And yet, when the external dirt is washed away, your intrinsic beauty continues to radiate.

Your light is shining through all the layers that obscure it, so open your heart and hands. Let the light within you expand in ever bigger circles to hold this entire world in its embrace. Let your love reach out to embrace all the forms of life around you: two-leggeds and four-leggeds, feathered and scaled ones; all of nature. It is by embracing the beauty of what already is, that your love will call forth the highest good in yourself and others.

You are magnificent and powerful; a co-creator endowed with the privilege of being the Creator’s hands and feet and voice in this world. This is your purpose and your calling.

Life is fleeting and fragile and sometimes utterly awful. At times such as these, the light within you is needed more than ever.

Never let the shadows around you discourage you. Instead, let your light shine so brightly that it dispels the shadows and illumines your path.

You came into this life to realize the Presence of the Creator in you and anchor that in physicality. As you do that, the Creator Presence radiates into the world around you to heal, transform and renew. That power is in you right now, right here!

You alone must discover the full potential of what is possible in this life. You already have the power of becoming within you, for you have the power of choice.

And as you nestle into the Presence of Spirit’s peace at the end of each day, may you feel the pleasure of the Creator resting on you, and the loving embrace of your heavenly support team.

You are never alone. You are Divinely loved and supported, now and always.

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.

Cultivating Peace Within

Cultivating Peace Within

Some people possess a very special gift: they embody the presence of peace within. When we have a chance to sit close to someone like that, we also feel calm. They radiate inner peace in a way that deeply touches us. The presence of their inner peace stills our wandering thoughts and calms our anxieties.

Whenever we have a chance to be with a soul who lives in the eternal Now, we can feel this subtle source of peace and joy. Through their presence, we’re able to connect to that source as well. Their inner tranquility calms the turbulence in the world around them, and they teach us by example how to find peace within.

You too can learn to live this way. Living from a place of inner peace is not reserved for gurus and spiritual masters only. It is a learned behavior, just as constant worry is learned.

You can shed your learned ways of hurry and move through life as if there is no need to be somewhere else in this moment. You can move through life as if you already are exactly where you need to be — as if you are arriving with every step. Every moment of your waking consciousness can bring you closer to that perennial peace within —embodied in the presence of Now.

When you choose to move through life this way, you dissolve your sense of isolation in the world. You start remembering that you’re not a separate individual rushing about to avoid bad and reach for good. Instead, you start feeling again your connection to the whole, like droplets remembering they belong to the ocean. The drop of water does not need to do anything – it simply feels the embrace of the ocean and lets itself be carried along by the current in each present moment.

That inner current of peace is your spiritual core; the inner voice that whispers to you whenever you tune out the brassy loudness of the material world. To truly feel alive and at peace, it is essential to learn how to tune in to the presence of one’s spiritual core in each moment, and to live from that inner presence instead of reacting to the outer chaos.

When we forget this, we act in ways that cause pain or separation between ourselves and others. We become reactive; we may misunderstand others and lash out in fear or anger. And afterwards, we beat ourselves up with guilt, shame and regret.

You cannot change the past, but you can release its hold over you. The power of healing the past lies in this present moment. From this place of mindfulness, you can choose forgiveness and reconciliation to clear away misunderstandings, anger and grief from the past. It is exactly in this moment, Now, that the work of healing must be done to set you free.

No matter how difficult the challenges of the past were, they are over. You are here Now, reading these words. You are alive Now! Treasure the fact that you are alive in this moment and embrace the opportunity for healing it offers. Sit down quietly and go within: meditate to look deep and sweep away the woundedness, prejudice and mistakes of the past. Accept the opportunity offered by the presence of Now, so you can be free.

This present moment offers a gift. It allows you to forgive, to heal and return to peace within, which is your natural state.

Life is present in this moment, waiting for you to choose what to do with it, and your choices determine the quality of your peace within.

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.

A Vibrant Inner Life: The Secret to Resilience in a Changing World

A Vibrant Inner Life: The Secret to Resilience in a Changing World

Are you feeling rushed as you read these words right now? Welcome to the modern world of constant connectivity! And the faster our pace of life, the more essential it becomes to nurture our inner life for resilience.

We’re living in an amazing age, every bit as futuristic as the Jetsons or Star Trek sagas some of us grew up with. I love being able to connect face to face with clients on the other side of the world, or download a song in a second. Yet this continuous connectivity also poses a challenge: many of us have trouble disconnecting from all the intensity for some peace and quiet. Our inner life can silently wither even as we chase the outer holy grail of success.

The thinner we spread ourselves, the more we skitter across the surface of our outer lives, never going deep. And technology can track us down just about anywhere, anytime, it seems there is literally no escape!

Trying to keep up the pace can take a huge toll. That stress shows up in suppressed immune systems, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and digestive ailments.

What is needed is more resilience: the ability to rebound from setbacks and challenges, similar to the elasticity of a rubber band returning to its original shape after stretching.

Resilience can be developed with practice, just as you can develop muscle strength by exercising.

The process of developing resilience starts with a reminder that our true nature is eternal and not time-bound. We literally need to disconnect and remember that our souls exist in timelessness.  Poet E. E. Cummings put it this way:

“How fortunate are you and I
whose home is timelessness:
We who have wandered down
from fragrant mountains of eternal now
to frolic in such mysteries
as birth and death
a day, or maybe even less…”

By connecting to the soul’s eternal nature, we regain our inner sense of poise. We can learn to not push into the future, nor run from the past, but to walk our path in this present moment with unhurried grace.  Lama Surya Das calls this place of the eternal present “Buddha Standard Time.” In his book with the same title, he quotes Liu Wenmin, an early sixteenth century poet, making peace with time:

“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.”

The busier we are, the more we need time out of the rat race to regain perspective and renew ourselves from within. It is our inner life that ultimately sustains us, and not the outer bells and whistles.

Honoring your inner path of truth is essential for a meaningful life. Research by palliative caretaker Bronnie Ware showed the number one regret of dying people is wishing they’d had the courage to live a life true to themselves, and not the life others expected from them.

How do we honor our inner compass amid the frenetic demands of life so we can live without regrets? Three concepts come to mind: Stay true. Stay present. Follow the energy.

  1. Stay True:

A commitment to truth, at all levels, is automatically a commitment to freedom.  It is always truth that sets us free. And where Higher truth prevails, why would anyone need to lie?

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius advises his son Laertes:

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Any “security” gained through loss of inner freedom actually submits to fear at the cost of integrity and truth.  A nation that puts national security above personal freedom has lost its true power base.  In saying this, I am not suggesting that a country should suddenly lower its guard against all enemies (both real and imagined). I am saying that addressing the outer issue before addressing the inner conditions in consciousness that created it, will simply not solve the problem.

This is why politics is not the answer to what plagues the human condition. Politics is like a trainer who seeks to harness and train the collective energy so it will function for the good of all. It will ultimately succeed only at the lowest common denominator.

True freedom is an inside job that starts with elevating consciousness at the individual level by aligning to Higher truth. That alignment fosters confidence, resilience and trust.

  1. Stay Present.

Stay in the Now.  Past and future are always adjuncts to that.  Don’t let the busy-ness of the world rob you of this priceless gift of NOW.

That means you need to make peace with your past so you can live without regrets. It also means you need to release the need to control the future because that is an illusion causing unnecessary anxiety.

You and I do not know what the future will look like because it is not yet manifest. There is no other human who can accurately predict how life will play out, because the future is created through a myriad possibilities and individual choices that ultimately manifest when conditions are favorable.

There are no veterans or pros for where humanity is going now – it is new to all of us. The choices you and I make in each present moment, will collectively decide the future that unfolds for us. So let’s nurture our inner resilience and stay true to our path right here, right now!

  1. Follow The Energy.

Let your body be your barometer. It will show you what you really need.  You always create the perfect scenarios to get what you really need.

There are no good or bad energies.  All people and things are just energy… which is, essentially, neutral.  Energy is as neutral as the electric current that lights up both a cathedral and a drug lab.

Some frequencies of energy may seem particularly useful and attractive to you for where you’re at in your individual consciousness right now. Other frequencies can repulse for the same reason. That does not make them good or bad; they are simply useful to your journey at this particular time or not.

Pay attention to the things that attract or repel you; they are clues to what you need to do, choose or say in order to move forward on your path.

Together, these three principles can help you cultivate a richer and more resilient inner life, no matter how much turmoil you face in your environment.

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.

Challenges and Gifts of Change

During times of change, we often experience an instinctive desire to control or direct the process. If we could only control the process, we would feel more comfortable with it – or so we think!

And so, we try to retain a sense of control by attempting to manage the pace, direction and volume of change in our lives. We attempt to shift the unfolding realities of life from one outcome to another to feel more secure. Sadly, these attempts keep us looking at external outcomes for happiness or security, rather than looking within.

Our attempt to control life keeps us identified with the content of the process instead of the context. In so doing, we miss life’s true blessing: the perfection of each moment as it unfolds. There is a more effective way to navigate through change!

Identify With The Contextual Field

One powerful solution for inner peace lies in learning to identify with the contextual field, and not the shifting content, of life. We can choose to focus on the larger picture or context of life, and allow the shifting details of life’s content to flow past us without attachment or aversion. As each wave of probabilities show up, we are free to select which aspects to focus on and which ones to ignore.

When faced with a job change, for instance, you can focus on attracting a new opportunity that would bring you into more alignment with your core values. This choice aligns you with the context of the Field, not the myriad tiny details. Then, allow this contextual focus to bring you specific opportunities to choose from. By identifying with the Field, you can trust the law of resonance to bring you opportunities that are aligned with your intentional focus, and you do not need to micro manage the process.

Really Letting Go

Change can take many forms as we grow into new ways of being, leaving the old behind. We may need to leave behind relationships, jobs, friends, homes or other vestiges of the old that no longer serve us. To really, really let go of the old, there is a certain amount of grief that needs to be acknowledged.

By facing the feelings of loss and grief, we are freed from the ties to circumstances and people we have outgrown, and we are free to move on. It is very important to acknowledge these emotions, for it is in their expression that we find freedom and healing. Emotions that are suppressed never go away – they simply resurface further down to road for us to deal with!

Flying Blind

In shamanic cultures, the bat represents powerful medicine. Bats do not have sight, yet dart about with incredible accuracy and speed because they trust their inner radar. In the chaos of sudden change, it may feel as if you’re flying blind, too. However, this is an opportunity to connect with and trust your inner radar.  When you connect to your inner guidance, flight through the unknown takes you to higher ground.

 

Flying blind also challenges our preconceived concepts of life. Fear may prompt us to resist change, yet faith calls us to surrender to the process, trusting the Divine guidance within. As soon as we let go, the current of change can carry us to new perspectives with grace and ease.

Turbulence and Cross Currents

From an energy perspective, any choice or action can be observed as a wave form that ripples outward in all directions. In quantum physics, this phenomenon is known as the Lorenzo Effect. Energies we’d set in motion through previous choices may continue to ripple out and back like waves for a while afterwards. As we make new choices, the old and new wave forms can clash, resulting in turbulence known as standing waves, cross currents and even collapsed waves. We may experience the turbulence as mental fog, confusion or overwhelm.

Don’t let this temporary turbulence throw you off course. It’s part of the process of shifting directions! If you can stay focused during change, the temporary turbulence will give way to a new current of greater clarity, ease and understanding.

Remember Why

Overwhelm and confusion only arise when taking our eyes off the goal. When feeling overwhelmed by the process of change, simply bring your focus back to the reasons why you chose change in the first place.

The very nature of change embodies a sense of upheaval. Clashing beliefs, crashing hopes and the looming unknown may bring into question many values you’d blindly accepted before. This is your great opportunity to choose differently. It is a call to revisit your values and to bring your life into higher alignment with your soul’s purpose.

Fine-Tune Your Compass

Each one of us creates our own reality, moment by moment. When we set our intention unwaveringly on reaching our highest potential in life, we become unstoppable. Our very being starts emanating the frequency of what we hold in mind, thereby drawing resonant outcomes to us every moment through our continuous intention.

Is change rocking your world? This is a very appropriate time to ask yourself whether you are living the life you really want. Are you doing what your heart desires, or are you compromising for the security of a job, social status or acceptance? Are you joyful?  Is dissatisfaction nibbling at your bones, causing you to blame others for your circumstances?

Remember, your experience is your choice!

To change your life, you need to change your mind about things first. If life doesn’t serve you well, you can change it! It’s as simple as that.

The more consciously you participate in creating your reality, the more you’ll resonate with the outcomes that follow. Every thought, emotion, fear, desire and choice influences what you attract in life.

If your life doesn’t reflect what you had intended, it is not too late for change. More than 90% of the motivators that drive or sabotage us, are in the subconscious. By clearing out limiting emotions and beliefs from the subconscious, you can pave the way to reach your highest expression of being. This process of fine-tuning and growth is the ultimate gift of change!

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.

Six Steps To Tame Your Inner Critic

We all have one – that inner critic that spews forth endless criticism, judgment or disapproval about our efforts. It might lead with critical questions like “what were you thinking?” or self-blame like “what’s wrong with you?” or “you’re such a loser!” And since our thoughts hugely influence how we feel and behave, the inner critic’s negative self-talk can become downright destructive.

This critical inner voice was formed out of painful early life experiences where we saw or experienced hurtful attitudes toward us or others close to us. Over time, we unconsciously adopted and internalized this pattern of destructive self-criticism, allowing it to continue the internal monologue even when there is no need for it.

When we fail to separate from the inner critic, it can run rampant in our lives, creating conflict and sabotaging our success.

Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron has said, “If we want to make peace with ourselves and with the world at large, we have to look closely at the source of all of our wars.”

Both war and peace start within us. If we want peace in our lives and in the world, we need to learn how to stop this internal violence and abuse. We must learn how to proactively address our negative thoughts and develop a more productive dialog within.

Here are six steps to tame the inner critic:

  1. Develop awareness of your thoughts. Awareness precedes change, and taming the inner critic is no exception. Become aware of the voice of your inner critic; recognize that it is merely an aspect of your psyche and not all that you are. We get so used to hearing our own narrations we can become oblivious as to their source. Pay attention to your inner narrative; recognize that just because the inner critic says something, doesn’t mean it’s true.
  2. Allow yourself to observe the inner critic. Become aware of when your inner critic shows up, and what its negative messages are. Notice how its messages are often exaggerated, biased, and disproportionate. Its power to control you lies in its ability to operate unchallenged. Typically, the inner critic’s judgments and accusations may not be fully truth-based. Allow yourself to see this inner bully for what it is, so you can take appropriate action.
  3. Examine the evidence. If you are thinking in terms of absolutes (“You’re never going to make it” or “nobody loves you”) ask yourself if that statement is true. Looking at evidence on both sides of the argument can help you look at the situation more rationally and less emotionally. The evidence of insight empowers, while the condemnation of the inner critic always tries to diminish.
  4. Identify the truth. Ask yourself what advice you’d give to a friend struggling with self-criticism, failure or doubt. Now, give that same advice to yourself with kindness. If you’ve made a mistake, having a decent regret and resolving to learn from it, is usually enough – you don’t need to condemn yourself for life.
  5. Replace overly critical thoughts with more accurate statements. When you find yourself thinking, “I never do anything right,” replace it with a balanced statement like, “Sometimes I do things really well and sometimes I don’t.” You are allowed to make mistakes! Each time you find yourself thinking an exaggerated negative thought, respond with a more accurate statement and move on; don’t ruminate on your mistakes.
  6. Balance acceptance with self-improvement. There’s a difference between always telling yourself that you’re not good enough and reminding yourself that you can work at improving. When we resist our flaws, they persist. Instead, accept your flaws for what they are today, and commit to work on improving in these areas. Acknowledging your weaknesses for what they are today doesn’t mean you are doomed to stay that way. It simply reflects your baseline today, and you can use that information to strive toward becoming better. That way, you use the input from your inner critic to motivate you instead of to bully you.

Your inner dialogue with yourself is a critical part of your psyche. It will either fuel your success or prevent you from reaching your full potential. Taming your inner critic and silencing the excess negativity will empower you to live more effectively and to develop your full potential.

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.

Pin It on Pinterest