What now? (The only spiritual practice you need)

All spiritual practice leads you to this basic routine:

1) Ask the body, "What now?"

2) Recieve an answer

3) Act on that answer

The mind is there to help us work with the body. It's not the source of knowing. It's the facilitator. 

It's the tour guide to the greatest wonder in the world: your body.

Your body processes reality. It stores every good, bad, nasty, joyful thing you have ever experienced. 

And it knows what to do right now.

It knows what you must do to live the life you're meant to live. The problem is that we seldom listen to it. But it's always ready to work with us once we're ready to listen.

So ask it. Listen. 

Then, do what it offers you. 

Try it as an experiment. See how your mind protests. But follow through. Always follow through.

Consider the body's directives like divine commandments given to you as blessings to guide you through this life.

Treat them as holy. Because they are. And so are you.

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What does this want to integrate into?

The next time you feel a really strong feeling, I want you to ask yourself this question:

What does this feeling want to integrate into?

It might feel odd to ask your feelings a question, but when you do, you'll receive a "signal," a subconscious thought, image, or feeling, with an answer.

So, if you ask your "anger" what it wants, notice what comes back. In most cases, it is trying to point you towards some action you need to take in your life.

It's even odder to think that your feelings have wants. But they do! They want:

1. To be noticed

2. Help integrating so that they can help you

3. To be loved

The strong, painful feeling is a "scary mask" designed to get your attention.

And once it does and is honestly, sincerely, and impartially seen by you, with as much detail as possible, it will transform into something completely new.

Your "anger" turns into "action".
Your "grief" into "gratitude".
Your "shame" into "love".

So, again, the next time you notice an intense feeling arise, don't fight it, don't be scared of it, don't run from it, pay attention to it, ask the question, and give the feeling what it wants.

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Stop writing about your problems

Journalling advice is dangerous.

Be careful of people who tell you to write about your problems. It's usually well-intentioned, but there is a hidden result that often bites you in the ass if you follow it.

By writing about your problems, you're solidifying them, reinforcing them in your brain. And you rarely find any solutions.

What usually happens is that you start writing in circles, finding more and more details about the problem that you didn't notice before; it may feel "productive" or "helpful," but it doesn't do anything.

It just keeps your problems going. Writing about your problems gives you more of the same problems.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. By writing about them and feeling the negative emotions associated with them, you are just telling your brain that this "problem" is important. There is not a lot of processing happening at all. No healing whatsoever. Which means there is no resolution.

Instead, write about what you want.

If you have a problem and want to resolve it, don't waste your time writing about it; instead, write about its resolution.

This will tell your brain that resolving the problem is important and will bring you closer to a resolution.

Some tips for doing this:

  • Avoid negative language (stuff like "I can't do this", or "It's way too hard to do this")
  • Use positive language instead ("I want to feel relief from this situation," "I can't wait to figure this out."
  • Have compassion for yourself (everyone has problems; beating yourself up just creates tension in your body)
  • Write until you feel a release (keep writing until you feel your emotions shift)


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Own your wants

Be very honest and clear about what you want. 

This builds trust. 

If other people don't know what you want, they will make assumptions about what you want. There can be no miscommunication if you are clear about what you want. And often, as a result, people will open up to you about their wants.

The same is true for the parts within you. They have wants. Often conflicting.

So make sure to tell those parts what you honestly want for them. 

Tell them that you honestly want them to be loved. 
Tell them you want them to be healed. 
Tell them, from your very core, what you want for them.

In return, like with people, those parts will notice that you're being open and honest with them about your wants and may feel comfortable enough to tell you theirs. 

Mutual exchange of wants is leadership in action. It's healing. Wholeness.

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Relax all day (and still get stuff done)

Relaxation

What if it was easy to operate life from a state of relaxed ease?

I believe tension from stress doesn't get tasks done more easily.  It's a bad deal because stress and tension:

a) Makes you miserable
b) Fatigues you quickly
c) Constrains your attention

Relaxation works better because you can access more internal resources to solve problems and move forward. It doesn't tire you out. And it's far more enjoyable.

How do you encourage relaxation?

1. Regular, cyclic, deep breathing (no pauses between inhales <> exhales <> inhales)

2. Muscle relaxation (use your awareness to relax muscles, imagine them melting)

3. Taking walking breaks that are nourishing

4. Not sitting for longer than 15 minutes

5. Writing out the resolution to problems and tasks so that the brain doesn't need to work on it

6. Doing a short yoga nidra every 3-5 hours

7. Going into Hakalau (utilizing your peripheral vision)

What if it was possible to be relaxed most of the day? The prevailing belief is that going into a stress-like state is better for getting things done than a relaxed state. It's very black and white. Relaxed means you don't get anything done. Stressed is when you do. But this doesn't seem right. Why would we be subjected to this duality? The truth is that we aren't.

Here are some beliefs powering reliance on stress:

1. Nothing will get done if I am not stressed

2. Stress is the path to success

3. Relaxation isn't effective

4. Relaxation means I can't focus

5. I can't have both

If you go through each and contemplate whether they are true, you may be surprised to see that many of them are BS.

You can relax and do things. It supercharges your performance. Don't believe me? Try it out.


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Excessive scrolling works because of emotional avoidance. (and how to stop it)

What's interesting and dangerous about a "feed" is that it is a powerful avoidance mechanism that keeps people in avoidance.

For example, you notice a painful emotion in your body, so you do what you always have done: reflexively reach for your phone and begin scrolling.

When you scroll, attention is removed from your body and invested in the feed or whatever content you consume.

This offers "relief" from the emotional pain in your body, yet it doesn't do anything about it; it just postpones the emotional integration.

So, the emotion is still there. But when you start scrolling, you'll encounter different micro-triggers on the feed, which create more small reactions you want to avoid feeling, so you scroll even more.

Which leads me to the conclusion that:

Avoidance is the engine that powers excessive scrolling behaviour. And the business models of the largest social companies.

The solution?

Stop avoiding your emotions. Before scrolling, ask yourself, "What emotion am I avoiding right now?" and take a few breaths to welcome it. Often, you'll notice the desire and need to scroll go away. 

Scroll because you want to, not because you need to.

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Starting my journey

There are too many tools to choose from -- hopefully this will be the last one I need to pick. 

Attention is our greatest, most valuable asset. And it's something that we can't help but spend. All we can do is choose where to put it.

Reduce the things tugging on your attention, save it for the important things, like family, love, friends, and life.

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