I want to go deeper into one area that can have a profound impact on quality of life: Learning to shape your mind so that happiness is a natural occurrence.
This be my vibe for today:
Thought directs energy – energy directs matter. Learn to direct your thoughts and you gain the power to create the life you choose.
First of all, you must be aware of what life you choose, otherwise you are a ship without a rudder, going round in circles.
So what kind of life do you want to live?
How do you want to to spend this blip of time you have been gifted upon this beautiful speck of matter hurtling through space that we call Earth?
If you have not yet taken a significant amount of time to stop everything to ask these kinds of questions, please pause while I give you a loving slap across your beautiful face.
Ah thats better, and you are welcome.
Now please enter into your calendar this appointment: [PONDER LIFE- all day- IN NATURE].
Get ready to stroke your chin, and anticipate contemplating these powerful questions, by yourself, with a journal. Go deep.
I ponder these questions often. The result is that I have chosen to live an amazing life, full of love, growth and sharing wonderful experiences with others and contributing in some meaningful way to something greater than myself.
The way I live, this stuff emerges- it's fun. I reckon you and I are together on this path.
So why does it get difficult achieving this goal that we all can verbalise and resonate on?
Stuff gets in the way. Theres stuff on the outside: mortgages, bills, the mother in law, wars, poverty, politics, environmental destruction.
Then there is the stuff on the inside. Fear of not being enough or having enough. Fear of not being safe and sound. Fear of not being loved, validated, supported, held. The eternal self-critic, judging everything as good or bad.
My experience is that when I deal with the internal stuff, I can see the external world through new eyes, a new level of consciousness, from which new solutions emerge.
So my theory and way of life simplifies the process of achieving this dream by focusing my attention and efforts on dealing with the fears, the internal level, and surrendering to the knowing that the new state of being I grow into will allow me to deal with the external situation in the best way.
So I want to tell you one powerful way to change your internal state, the most powerful way.
First, let us consider the Dalai Lama, a man who was forced out of his mother land of Tibet as a child, because the Chinese army were destroying and desecrating everything in their path. His whole life has been in exile, played out against the backdrop of his home being spiritually strangled to death.
Yes he probably doesn't have a mortgage to pay off, but he knows a thing or two about external challenges and threats.
And yet he retains the aura of a child, a laugh, smile or amusing story never far away. How can this be?
The Dalai Lama says:
"A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering".
Please allow this to sink it. Happiness, he says is not achieved byhaving a freezer full of Hagen Dazs, or being safe and secure.
It comes through having a disciplined mind.
What does this mean for you?
It means that whether you live an awesome life or don't is determined by you and your mind. The root cause of happiness originates right between your ears.
It originates in your quality of thinking, in your paradigms of thought. So if you want that awesome life, you must take responsibility for the quality of your mind.
Im going to give you clear action steps, but first its vital to create a new level of awareness.
SHAPE YOUR BRAIN
I have been a neuroplasticity nerd for the last decade. I did some training with a legend called Dr. Rick Hansen. (Read his books)
Over thousands of years of human evolution, in which survival has been the driving force, we have developed a "negativity bias". We look for the negative. I made this video about this a while back, feel free to watch it after reading the rest of this.
The negativity bias means that we are OVER-SENSITIVE to perceived threats. The threat used to be snakes in the grass or the tribe in the next valley. Being over-sensitive to such threats was helpful.
Over countless generations, through natural selection, those less sensitive to threats would have been wiped out while those hyper sensitive to threats would have survived.
Fast forward a few thousand years. DAH DAH! welcome to a world where mind created sickness, anxiety, stress and suicide is or soon will become the biggest problem we have, and I get fined $300 for not having a bell on my bicycle (true story, in parts of Australia).
The "negativity bias" plays out in our modern minds as a over-emphasis on the bad and an under-emphasis on the good.
You know when you look on Trip Advisor for a new restaurant to try out. You read 10 awesome reviews, and then come across the 1 star review from Gordon in Delaware, who's eggs were undercooked. You can't wait to read it! Your mind is hungry for the moaning.
We get sucked in (just like we want to grab the popcorn and read the stupid comments on Facebook posts). We give this 1 review more power than the 10 positive reviews.
Why? Because we are hardwired to veer to the negative, as our reptilian brain is looking for threats to our survival.
This pattern of the mind results in the negative, fear dominated mind-set that you notice amongst the people who bitch and gossip the most, and complain about stuff the most.
These patterns are the result of a mindset in which an underlying state of anxiety is the default mode.
It is really impossible to live that dream life we talked about earlier when this is the case.
What can we do about this?
We can train ourselves to become less sensitive to threats
We can train our minds to apply more intelligence to assessing perceived versus real threats
We can rewire our brain so that the negative tilt is balanced out
How can you start on this path?
Re-frame your present moment experience.
Start small. Become aware of all that you have right now. Practice this throughout the day. A friend of mine sets at alarm for 11.11am every day. When the alarm goes off, he goes inside his mind and thinks about what he has in abundance in his life. He takes a moment to re-wire his brain to be aware of what he has. He closes his eyes and feels into what he has.
The power here is to go beyond seeing what you have and into FEELING what you have. It can take practice, so stick with it.
Set yourself a trigger for this practice. 11.11am if you so choose. Or every time you eat a meal. Or when you wake up and before sleep. or….. when you get more practiced, do this in EVERY moment you become conscious of your awareness.
Here is the truth..
In every given moment, your thinking mind can either be tuned into what you lack OR what you have. You can't feel both lack and abundance at the same time. You can't feel both gratitude and scarcity. So what do you choose?
I choose to focus on what I have. Start with the air your breathe, the life force you have, the body you have… and move on from there.
This one practice has the power to catalyse your life into higher states of abundance and joy.
Soon, you will be in raptures of exquisite gratitude when your cappuccino gets delivered, and when the sun comes from behind a cloud you might just crack a smile that comes from your heart.
I snapped a surfboard yesterday. I loved that board. So I spent ten minutes rhapsodising in gratitude for the guy who shaped my surfboard, and for the people who taught him to shape. This journey took me all the way to the ancient Hawaiians who first made slidey devices for waves. Soon, I was laughing to myself about the awesomeness of life.
This works my friends!!
In the next post I'm going to help you take this to the next level- we're going to do some quantum time travel and use the same practice to re-frame your past and your future.
Feel free to send me a reply with any comments or questions.
Sending you peace and love beyond all understanding.
your brother, Jiro