I get addicted to the peaks in life. I want EVERY MOMENT to be some sort of exotic, thrilling, heart-pounding excitement. I hate the boring parts. The sadness. The daily irritations. But that's half of life! There will always be contrast. Even during major manifestations, there are plenty of "This is nice but I wish it was _______" moments. So instead of resisting the punches, I want to learn how to like them. Just like lucid dreaming and passive income streams satisfy the doer in me by allowing me to be "productive" even in my sleep, learning to embrace contrast gives my spirit the "learn to be happy for 50% more of your life!" guarantee.
1. Start a blog.
A friend on Facebook tagged me in a post where she listed all the blogs she follows. She mentioned me, "because I started blogging because of her." What an amazing compliment! If anyone else reading wants to give me a compliment, the best way to show your love is by starting your own site! I haven't talked up the School of Life Design lessons in a while, but they still remain true and exciting every time I re-read them. Here is the first lesson, and here is the second, about designing the digital you. One of the best parts of lifestreaming (putting yourself online in any way) is that it helps you see the silver lining of all your experiences. Even when bad things happen, sharing them both "makes light" of them and "brings them to light," helping you laugh and understand more about life.
2. Embrace contrast.
If you think you're having a bad time, sit with it. Observe it. Get curious about it instead of resisting it. When you resist it, you just keep creating more of it. What you focus on, expands. This radical self love blog has a great explanation of what happens when you embrace the lows in life:
When we get real and get honest with ourselves we begin to notice a really magical transformation occur. In the face of accepting whatever experience we are having we set ourselves free from the shackles of fear. As we do this our energy relaxes, we become lighter, and our vibration begins to increase.
3. See the flies in your life as flower petals.
A new friend sent me this short animated film that really shifted my perspective when I needed it. If you need a quick fix for embracing the contrast in your life, watch this.
4. Observe your feelings instead of trying to avoid them.
I try to remind myself of the Buddhist way of "facing, & then separating ourselves from our painful thoughts/beliefs, until they have no control over us," but haven't been very good at it since the first time I attempted it. The first time I tried, I used the mantra, "I'm observing." It helped me become more aware of what I was thinking, but it didn't help me feel any better. Recently I tried the mantra/awareness activator, "I noticed you're feeling _____. That's ok." It has helped me sit with feelings of irritation, boredom, and lethargy much longer than usual. Once I allow myself to feel the emotion, it usually passes right away.
5. Be your own painkiller.
I'm always trying to avoid pain and discomfort. I attempt to cover up my anxiety and unease with alcohol, food, Facebook, etc. A couple days ago I remembered something Eckhart Tolle wrote: "There is no pain in the Now." Using that as my mantra, I can be more present and less frantic about trying to find something to cover up my feelings.
6. Be god instead of play god.
One of the main things people want in life is control. You want to control your weight, your growth, your career, your health, your relationships. What if we could get what we want by letting go of our need to control all those things? What if we let what we want come to us, instead of trying to control the chaos of life? Claudia Altucher's solution is simple: "The question is not so much 'How do I surrender?' But rather: 'Where Am I Playing God? And can I release the need to control?'"