Today's short post comes courtesy of The Napoleon Hill Foundation on developing a Positive Mental Attitude.
If you don’t know what you want, don’t say you never had a chance.
The people who complain the loudest about never having an opportunity in life are usually the ones who always have a ready excuse for their failures. Nothing is ever their fault; they are victims of their heritage, their environment, insufficient education, or any number of other factors that they perceive as placing them at a disadvantage.
If you look hard enough, you can always find reasons for not attempting something or not sticking with the job to the end.
Successful people, though, are not excuse-makers. They take responsibility for their actions, they set goals, and they assume responsibility for their achievement. Where others see despair, they see hope.
They approach every situation with enthusiasm, confident in the knowledge that nothing is impossible for those who have a Positive Mental Attitude.
Today's blog is a republished post from URConqueror favourite, Thibaut Meurisse, and first featured on Pickthebrain.com. We all have access to these 'super powers', let Thibaut show you the way. Enjoy:) And please sign-up to receive his FREE 'The 5 Commandments of Personal Development'
By Thibaut Meurisse
The turning point in my life was when I realized that there was only one thing preventing me from getting everything I want out of life.
That one thing was:
My mindset. Once I got that, my life took a whole different turn. And your life could too. The truth is that your mind is the most powerful tool ever created? But are you using it to its full capacity?
Because you can either:
Use your mind to consciously design the life of your dream
Wander mindlessly through life not understanding why you aren’t where you want to be. Which case applies to you?
Now, let me share with you what you can do to start designing the life you want using your the eight superpowers of your mind.
2. The power of intent
Why do you read this article? What is your intent? Most people go through life without any clear intent. They wake up in the morning with no clear intent. They go to work with no clear intent. As a result, they end up wasting their time and accomplishing far less than they’re capable of. You have the power to set a clear intent. Whenever you do something ask yourself? What’s my intent here? What am I trying to do? The more you take control of your intent, the better results you’ll get in life.
3. The power of clarity
What do you want? Where do you want to live? How much money do you want to make? What lifestyle do you want? Clarity is power. You can’t aim at a target that doesn’t exist. Sadly, most people have no clear goals. The more clarity you have, the better you’ll be able to leverage both the power of belief and the power intent to make your goals and dreams a reality.
5. The power of repetition
Do you remember the first time you drove a car? You felt overwhelmed, didn’t you? But what happened next? By practicing again and again it becomes effortless. That’s the power of repetition. Through repetition, you can transfer any task or skill to your subconscious mind making you look as if you had some kind of superpower. You can learn anything you want. Just practice!
6. The power of conditioning
I have bad news. You’ve been programmed! Most of the beliefs you currently hold are not actually yours. These beliefs were planted in your mind by your parents, society, the media, your teacher or your friends. And many of them don’t benefit you. They don’t support you in living the life of your dreams. The good news is that you have the power to reprogram your mind. Through daily practice, you can learn to be more grateful, more decisive or more confident for instance.
7. The power of patience
Anything of value takes time. Quality relationships take years to mature. A fulfilling career takes years to develop. And any major goal you have right now will take years of hard work as well. Don’t give up prematurely because you didn’t get the results you wanted. If it is what you really want, stick to it! Focus your intent on it every single day and work on it. Patience is real power. Don’t underestimate it.
Remember that success is a very chaotic process, with ups and downs. Small successes are followed by major setbacks. And major setbacks often lead to important breakthroughs.
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Why not go further in your personal development journey? If you like this article I’m sure you will benefit from my free e-book. You can download it below:
The 5 Commandments of Personal Development
Thibaut Meurisse is the founder of whatispersonaldevelopment.org. Obsessed with improvement, he dedicates his life to finding the best possible ways to durably transform both his life and the lives of others.
Check out his free e-book “The 5 Commandments of Personal Development”
Books by Thibaut Meurisse
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This month's guest post is brought to you courtesy of The Stoic Gym. One of the very best sites in the world for all things stoic. Enjoy:)
By Dr. Chuck Chakrapani
Mindfulness is not a standard Stoic term, but the concept plays an important role in Stoic thinking. For our purposes, if we define mindfulness as the art of paying deliberate attention, then we will see its critical role in moving us towards Stoic virtues and towards the good life.
Mindfulness And Wisdom According to Stoicism, we are constantly presented with what are known as ‘impressions’. Impressions are stimuli as they appear to us. Someone tells you that you are hard to understand. You may think that:
All of the above are ‘impressions’. Any of them may be correct or incorrect. Impressions often involve judgment. In the above example, let’s say your initial judgment is that the other person is not paying attention. If you accept this judgment, then your subsequent behaviour towards the other person will be coloured by this judgment. If you reject this judgment and instead think that perhaps you were talking too fast, then what you do next will be decided by this judgment.
Most of us are too quick to act on our initial impressions. In Stoic practice, this is not a good idea. We need to tell the impression:
''Hey impression, wait for me a while. Let me see what you are and what you represent. Let me test you before accepting you.'' Epictetus, Discourses 2.18.24 (Chuck Chakrapani, Stoic Choices, Ch. 18)
This is the art of choosing our response before responding. The art of examining the impression and deciding whether to assent to it or not is Stoic mindfulness. We should not mindlessly assent to the first impression that comes to us but mindfully examine it to decide whether to assent to it or not because, as Viktor Frankl points out, “in our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
The first virtue in Stoicism is wisdom. Wisdom is the art of choosing to act or not to act in a particular way. It is the art of right assent. It is the result of paying attention to impressions and examining them in a mindful way.
Mindfulness And Justice
Mindfulness is also related to the second virtue of Stoicism, justice. Justice refers to two things in Stoicism. One, to know what belongs to you and what does not belong to you so you can give everyone their due. The second is to understand that we are not isolated beings.
We are a part of a family, a society, a country, and the world. Our good is related to what is good for things we are related to. What is not good for the world we live in is not good for us.
"What is not good for the beehive is not good for the bee."
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.54 (Chuck Chakrapani, Stoic Meditations, Bk 6.54)
Whenever we are carried away by greed and try to grab what is not ours and whenever we mindlessly damage our relationships with our family, friends, society, or the world, we can pull back and mindfully examine our impulses. We may find that:
"i. This thought is unnecessary.
ii. This thought is destructive to our fellowship.
iii. This is not our true thought (it is out of place because it does not come from our heart.)
iv. When we are tempted to blame our self, our divine part is beaten by our body, the inferior and perishable part."
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Ch. 11.9 (Chuck Chakrapani, Stoic Meditations, Book 11.9
Mindfulness And Moderation
We are carried away by our desires. Some of us eat or drink mindlessly. Addictions to food, alcohol, and drugs can be the result of our not being mindful of our actions. When we are mindful, we deliberately look at our desires. Do we really want to have another drink or are we having one out of habit? Are we just eating for the sake of eating? When we question ourselves mindfully, we may moderate our desires. A mindful look at our unexamined desire may strengthen our self-control or moderation, a cardinal Stoic virtue.
Mindfulness And Courage
We have many aversions or fears such as fear of poverty, fear of illness, fear of old age, and fear of death. Such fears are groundless for two reasons. First, they are not under our control and it does not help to be afraid of what is not under our control. Second, we will have same resource we use now to cope with them when we come to them.
"You will meet it — if you have to — with reason, the same resource you use now to deal with life."
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Ch. 7.8 (Chuck Chakrapani, Stoic Meditations, Book 7.8)
When we examine our fears, we will see that we have several resources.
'Remember that, for every challenge you face, you have the resources within you to cope with that challenge … When you have pain, you have the resource of endurance. When you are insulted, you have the resource of patience. If you start thinking along these lines, soon you will find that you don’t have a single challenge for which you don’t have the resource to cope.' — Epictetus Enchiridion 10
Because we often panic when we face our aversions, we become fearful. But when we mindfully examine our fears and understand that we have nothing to fear, we develop the fourth Stoic virtue, courage.
Stoicism teaches us to deliberately examine the validity of our impressions and not accept hasty judgments but, rather, move towards Stoic virtues. This ‘pause-and-examine’ approach to a life of virtue is Stoic mindfulness.
Books by Dr. Chuck Chakrapani
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THE SEVEN UNIVERSAL LAWS EXPLAINEDTHE PRINCIPLES THAT GOVERN EVERYONE & EVERYTHING
By Tania Kotsos
Today's blog is a republished article by author Tania Kotsos. We have wanted to share with you a greater understanding of the 7 Universal Laws for a while and this is by far the greatest piece out there. Enjoy:) Though it is a longer read than we normally publish we feel its importance cannot be overstated.
There are seven Universal Laws or Principles by which everyone and everything in the Universe is governed.
To name them, they are the Laws of Mentalism, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Cause and Effect and Gender. The Universe exists in perfect harmony and order by virtue of these Laws. Ancient mystical, esoteric and secret teachings dating back more than 5,000 years from Ancient Egypt to Ancient Greece, all have as a common thread these seven Hermetic Laws of the Universe. Once you understand, apply and align yourself with these Universal Laws, you will experience transformation in every area of your life beyond what you have ever dared to imagine. The governing Laws seek neither to punish nor reward you. They are impersonal, operating automatically along unconscious lines without your conscious participation.
The Immutable and the Mutable Of the seven Universal Laws, the first three are the Higher Immutable Laws, meaning that they are Absolute and eternal. They can never be changed or transcended. They have always existed and will always exist. The remaining four laws are the Lower Mutable Laws, meaning they are transitory and can be transcended, or else worked with to create an ideal inner and outer world. This is not to say that you should ignore the four Mutable Laws or attempt to defy them because even if you do they will still govern your existence. Your aim is to understand each of the seven Universal Laws and then learn to transcend or master the Lower ones through your knowledge of the Higher Laws.
1. The Law of Mentalism (Immutable) The first of the seven Universal Laws is the Law of Mentalism that tells us that "The All is Mind—The Universe is Mental". This means that mind or consciousness is the underlying substance of the entire Universe, and that this consciousness is the Mind of The Absolute--Universal Mind. Being an Immutable Law, nothing can or ever will change it and it holds true on all planes—the Physical, the Mental, and the Spiritual Planes. ‘All is Mind’ however does not mean that everything belongs to the Mental Plane. Rather, the Mental Plane is that plane of Mind associated with what we consider to be mental activities such as thinking, imagination and your overall mental state.
All energy and matter, both visible and invisible and at all degrees of existence, is created by and is subject to The Absolute of which your God Self is a Divine Spark. Your mind is one and the same with Universal Mind in Its entirety. And your reality is but a manifestation of your mind, a projection of your consciousness. And since all is mind, this means that you do not have a mind, you are mind. This is the essence of Mind Power.
2. The Law of Correspondence (Immutable) The second of the seven Universal Laws is the Law of Correspondence that tells us "As Above So Below, As Below So Above", "As Within So Without, As Without So Within". This means that there is "harmony, agreement and correspondence" between the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Planes. There is no separation since everything, including you, is Mind. The only difference is the rate of vibration or frequency. The same pattern is expressed on all planes of existence from the smallest electron to the largest star, from the visible Physical Plane to the invisible Spiritual Plane.
The practical use of the Law of Correspondence is that it allows you to logically understand the nature of those things beyond your understanding by studying the nature of those things that you do understand and then finding the analogy.
For instance, by understanding the creative aspect of Universal Mind, you can precisely understand how your mind creates your reality. You can understand the state of your outer physical world by looking to your inner mental world. Similarly your inner mental world can be revealed to you by looking to your outer physical world.
The New Thought author, James Allen, perfectly captured this Law when he said, "Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him." And the Ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi was referring to this great Law of Correspondence in the inscription "Know thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the gods and the Universe".
3. The Law of Vibration (Immutable) The third of the seven Universal Laws is the Law of Vibration that tells us "Nothing Rests—Everything Moves—Everything Vibrates", "The Whole Universe is But a Vibration". This is confirmed by modern-day science that states everything, including you, is pure energy vibrating at different rates of vibrations. The only difference between all manifestations of consciousness or mind, be it matter, thoughts, emotions, things or circumstance, is their corresponding rate of vibration. The higher the rate of vibration, the less dense or more subtle (less physical) that thing is. And the lower the rate of vibration, the more dense or less subtle (more physical) that thing is.
Everything that you experience with your five physical senses is conveyed to your brain through vibrations. On the Mental Plane, when you think you emit thought-waves and each thought-wave has its own signature frequency albeit invisible to your physical senses.
The overall frequency of your mental nature is determined by what you persistently think, feel, imagine, believe and so on, which in turn determines the corresponding nature of your projected 3D experience. Since you can consciously choose your thoughts, you can intentionally increase the rate of vibration of your mental frequency by thinking more positive thoughts of a higher frequency.
In this light, the axiom that "like energy attracts like energy", upon which the Law of Attraction is based, is founded in the Law of Vibration. You can learn to control your mental vibrations at will by consciously choosing what you focus on, what you imagine, what you assume and how you emotionally react to outer world circumstances. Similarly, you can also change your personal belief system and reprogram your mind. This is the foundation of true thought power.
The Law of Vibration and Directive PowerImportantly, we also know that in accordance with the Law of Vibration, higher rates of vibration have directive power over lower rates of vibration. This means the higher your degree of consciousness towards the mighty I AM, the greater your directive power over the denser degrees of consciousness below it, including your Mental Plane and the 3D Physical Plane. This then explains why the 'higher' you go in consciousness on the inside, the greater your ability to effortlessly manifest your desires on the outside because the former has greater directive power over the latter.
4. The Law of Polarity (Mutable) The fourth of the seven Universal Laws is the Law of Polarity that tells us that "Everything is Dual, Everything has Poles", "Everything has its Pair of Opposites", "Opposites are Identical in Nature, but Different in Degree". It is the first of the Mutable or transcendable Universal Laws and means there are two sides to everything. Things that appear to be opposites or contradictory are just two extremes of the same thing. For instance, heat and cold appear to be opposites but in truth they are varying degrees of the same thing called temperature.
The same applies to all opposites. The opposite pairs of love and hate, peace and war, positive and negative, good and evil, yes and no, light and darkness, energy and matter are all but varying degrees of the same thing. You can transmute your emotions from hate to love, from fear to courage and so on by rising above your emotions and by consciously choosing to focus on higher emotions. This serves to raise your Mental Plane's overall vibration and hence also your corresponding 3D experience. In Hermetic Teachings this is called the Art of Polarization and Mental Transmutation.
Rising Above the Law of Polarity. This Principle of Duality may appear to be very real in your life but it operates only in the Physical and Mental Planes, not in the Spiritual Plane where All is One. As it says in the Bhagavad-Gita, "God is Above the Opposites". By always placing the All-Powerful, All-Knowing Absolute that is one and the same with your True Self, behind everything you say and do, and by endeavouring to focus on the positive even when things appear not to be going your way, while also avoiding the extremes, then in time you will come to master the Law of Polarity.
5. The Law of Rhythm (Mutable) The fifth of the seven Universal Laws is the Law Rhythm that tells us that "Everything Flows, Out and In", "All Things Rise and Fall", "The Pendulum Swing Manifests in Everything", "The Measure of the Swing to the Right is the Measure of the Swing to the Left", "Rhythm compensates." It is the second of the mutable or transcendable Universal Laws and means that all things, be they visible or invisible, swing between the opposites courtesy of Rhythm's pendulum.
This Universal Law is evidenced in the waves of the ocean, in the rise and fall of empires, in business cycles, in the swing of your thoughts from being positive to negative and in your personal successes and failures. In accordance with this Law, when anything reaches a point of culmination then the backward swing begins almost unnoticeably until such time that any forward movement has been almost totally reversed, then the forward movement begins again and the process is repeated.
Working With the Law of Rhythm. To work with rather than against the swing of the pendulum, you must become aware of the subtle start of the backward movement in any of your endeavours whether it be to improve your health, finances, relationships or any goal you may set in motion. When you feel the Law start to draw you back do not become fearful or discouraged. Instead, remember that you are one with the All-Powerful Absolute for which nothing is impossible, keep your thoughts focused on your desired outcome and remain positive no matter how far back this transitory Law pulls you. Even if your efforts meet with failure, find comfort that by virtue of this very same Law, the upward motion must start again.
Rising Above the Law of Rhythm. You can rise above the Law of Rhythm in your inner world and hence also in your outer world by avoiding the extremes so that the pendulum has nothing to correct. This does not mean to be mediocre. Rather, it means to seek balance because balance is in fact what this Law seeks. When for instance you experience mental extremes on both sides of the spectrum, be they in the way of fear, panic, over-excitement or a sense of obsession or attachment, seek to calm your mind so that your thoughts, emotions, words and actions that follow are not extreme.
In this way the swing to the one side will be so measured, that the swing to the other side will be unnoticeable. Extremes are relative and what is extreme for one person may be measured for another and vice versa. You can only gauge if what you're thinking, feeling or doing is extreme and the criterion, according to Pythagoras, is whether it's hurting or harming you—your present or future self.
6. The Law of Cause and Effect (Mutable) The sixth of the seven Universal Laws is the Law of Cause and Effect that tells us that "Every Cause has its Effect", "Every Effect has its Cause." In accordance with this Law, every effect you see in your outside or physical world has a very specific cause which has its origin in your inner or mental world. This is the essence of thought power. Your thoughts, your beliefs about yourself, others and life, and your overall mental state set in motion specific causes that come to materialize over time as corresponding effects in your outer world.
To Master Your Destiny, Master Your Mind. To become the master of your destiny, you must master your mind because everything in your 3D reality is but a mental creation—a projection of consciousness. There is nothing like chance or luck, at least not in the way we define them. They are simply terms used by humanity in ignorance of this Law of Cause and Effect. Remember always that the invisible mental world is the cause and the visible 3D outer world the effect. Do not allow your outer world to determine your inner world. Persist in the thoughts, feelings, assumptions and imaginings of the life you wish to live and the outer world will in time follow suit, in line with the conscious creation process.
Your Imaginings are Instantly Created. The Law of Cause and Effect applies on all three planes of existence—the Spiritual, the Mental and the Physical Planes. Having said this, on the Spiritual Plane cause and effect are instantaneous such that they appear inseparable. On the other planes our experience of time and space creates a time lag between the cause and the eventual effect. When you focus on your chosen desires with intention using creative visualization or other manifesting techniques, what you want to create in the Physical Plane is instantaneously created in the Spiritual Plane. With perseverance, practice and continued concentrated imagination, your desired outcome will also come to manifest in the 3D Physical Plane because the higher vibrations of the Spiritual Plane means it has directive power over the lower ones.
7. The Law of Gender The last of the seven Universal Laws is the Law of Gender. It tells us "Gender is in Everything", "Everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles". This mutable Universal Law is evident throughout creation in the opposite sexes or genders found not only in human beings but also in plants, electrons and magnetic poles to name but a few. Everything has both masculine and feminine aspects—the masculine is directive and the feminine is creative and the two must work together with harmony. In the Mental Plane, the directive masculine aspects are your conscious mind, your will and your logic. And the corresponding feminine creative aspects are your subconscious mind, your desires and your emotions respectively. Both genders are equally powerful and important.
The Law of Attraction as Part of the Equation. You will notice that the Law of Attraction is not mentioned as one of the seven Universal Laws. This is not to diminish its importance. The Law of Attraction is in fact the basic Law of the Universe which runs through all the seven Universal Laws. One could say it holds everything together.
Credit to The Kybalion and The Science of Being. This article draws largely on two sources of incomparable wisdom on the seven Universal Laws. First, on the 1908 seminal work on the Universal Laws--The Kybalion—which is a study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, based on the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus and written by the Three Initiates that we today know is the New Thought author, William Walker Atkinson. And second on Baron Eugene Fersen's 1923 The Science of Being, which is one of most comprehensive books written on the subject. My book, The Adventure of I, covers these Laws extensively with my insights and understanding with nearly 20 chapters on the subject.
"The Principles of the Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open"—The Kybalion
Today's blog is a republished article by author Tania Kotsos. To contact her or read more of her amazing work visit MindYourReality.com
We spend so much of our lives working that we must at least try and enjoy the process. Like relationships, if you let your work drift, lose momentum and focus you will never be happy or fulfilled. It takes practice, imagination and perseverance to achieve anything worthwhile.
The following 15 Practical Ways To Find Your Zen At Work by Thich Nhat Hanh, courtesy of The Huffington Post, offer a solution to reconnect with YOU, your family, your work, workplace and co-workers. And, if like many of us you're increasingly working from home, then adapt the steps to suit your day. You'll recognise instantly the steps are key for everyday you live:)
1. Start your day with 10 minutes of sitting in meditation.
2. Take the time to sit down and enjoy eating breakfast at home.
3. Remind yourself every day of your gratitude for being alive and having 24 brand-new hours to live.
4. Try not to divide your time into "my time" and "work." All time can be your own time if you stay in the present moment and keep in touch with what’s happening in your body and mind. There’s no reason why your time at work should be any less pleasant than your time anywhere else.
5. Resist the urge to make calls on your phone while on your way to and from work, or on your way to appointments. Allow yourself this time to just be with yourself, with nature and with the world around you.
6. Arrange a breathing area at work where you can go to calm down, stop and have a rest. Take regular breathing breaks to come back to your body and to bring your thoughts back to the present.
7. At lunchtime, eat only your food and not your fears or worries. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Change environments. Go for a walk.
8. Make a ritual out of drinking your tea. Stop work and look deeply into your tea to see everything that went into making it: the clouds and the rain, the tea plantations and the workers harvesting the tea.
9. Before going to a meeting, visualize someone very peaceful, mindful and skilful being with you. Take refuge in this person to help stay calm and peaceful.
10. If you feel anger or irritation, refrain from saying or doing anything straight away. Come back to your breathing and follow your in- and out-breath until you’ve calmed down.
11. Practice looking at your boss, your superiors, your colleagues or your subordinates as your allies and not as your enemies. Recognize that working collaboratively brings more satisfaction and joy than working alone. Know that the success and happiness of everyone is your own success.
12. Express your gratitude and appreciation to your colleagues regularly for their positive qualities. This will transform the whole work environment, making it much more harmonious and pleasant for everyone.
13. Try to relax and restore yourself before going home so you don’t bring accumulated negative energy or frustration home with you.
14. Take some time to relax and come back to yourself when you get home before starting on household chores. Recognize that multitasking means you’re never fully present for any one thing. Do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.
15. At the end of the day, keep a journal of all the good things that happened in your day. Water your seeds of joy and gratitude regularly so they can grow.
He said, 'Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The starting point for committing to change your life.
The Conqueror's Pledge will help pave the way for your future greatness.
The Conqueror's Pledge.
I do not choose to be ordinary, it is my right to be extraordinary.
I seek opportunities to develop whatever natural talents are borne in me.
I will not be a kept citizen, broken and dulled by having the system look after me.
I take calculated risks, dream big and am determined to build a life I will be proud of.
I know I may fall sometimes, but I know too, this is part of my growth as a conqueror.
I refuse security for its own sake, I prefer the challenges of life to guaranteed existence;
the thrill of fulfilment to the staleness of utopia.
I will discipline my mind, body & spirit; through continuous learning, good food and exercise.
I will never cower before anyone nor bend to any threat.
I will help those who too wish to improve their lives; I will not squander time with those who don't, or won't.
I will maintain discipline at all costs to stay on the path to freedom.
It is my right as a human being to stand tall, proud and unafraid;
to think and act myself, enjoy the benefits of my creations and face the world whilst boldly saying …
'I came, I saw, I conquered.'
This is what it means to be the conqueror of my life.
Download PDF version
Guest Post by Keith Claridge
A few weeks ago, I felt the urge to refresh my memory on the Magician archetype. So, I pulled out King Warrior Magician Lover from my bookcase, read the chapter, then ended up re-reading the whole book again!
BUT FIRST A CONFESSION: I’m not the manliest man in the world. I’m a sensitive soul, with quite a strong feminine energy compared to most men. It has its up sides and downsides, like anything in life really.
For someone like me, it’s about getting my balance right by honouring both the masculine and feminine in my life. Veering one way or the other, I start to act up and behave out of character.
There have definitely been times in my life where I’ve strayed too far into my feminine energy, which left me emotional and weak. I lost my sense of grounding and tumbled into depression.
Remembering to honour and tap into my masculinity is important. It's what keeps a man grounded and action focused.
So, that’s where I’m coming from as I share my thoughts with you about King, Warrior, Magician, Lover.
The Four Archetypes Of Masculinity
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover is based on the work of Carl Jung and the archetypes he created. Moore and Gillette talk about the four archetypes of masculinity that are a part of all men. The four of them create a balanced masculinity.
As well as the four positive archetypes (referred to as the Mature masculine archetypes, the book digs into shadow archetypes as well as boy archetypes (referred to as the immature Masculine archetypes).
There are separate detailed chapters on each of the four archetypes as well as examples of behaviour and mindset.
To summarise very simply:
The King is about order and authority
The Warrior is about action
The Magician is about insight
The Lover is about pleasure
Each one of these are as important as the other and complement the other three.
The goal is to develop and live in the mature masculine while having the awareness of when and how we, personally, slip into the shadows.
Understanding what is going on in our souls helps us create an intentional and more powerful life experience.
The book is very well written and a good length at 156 pages. I find some books are often a little too long and feel they could probably be 10-20% shorter. The authors make their points and move on.
Each chapter is descriptive and gives examples from both history and fictional stories.
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover will definitely give you “AHAAA” moments, as you see yourself in the different mature, shadow and immature archetypes.
There is a quote on the cover by Michael J. Meade which reads, “A bold map for traversing the Masculine Psyche” and it definitely is that.
Even though it was written thirty years ago, with the conversations around Masculinity and toxic Masculinity this book is still relevant today.
Masculinity itself is definitely not toxic, in fact it’s powerful and life affirming when we access the four mature archetypes. The toxicity comes when we live within the shadow archetypes.
“True humility, we believe, consists of two things. The first is knowing our limitations. And the second is getting the help we need.” ~ Robert Moore King Warrior Magician Lover
Should You Read it?
In a word ... YES!
It is definitely one of those books you could read every year and get immense value from as you travel through life and face its many challenges. Every time you read it, something different will jump out and speak to you.
Personally, this book helps ground me back into my masculinity and assists me in accessing fully the King, Warrior, Magician and Lover while being aware of the shadow and immature archetypes.
It helps me remember to have order and take authority in my life; to be a man of action and pair it with insight. It reminds me to take pleasure within the life I’m creating.
All men should own this book and read it at least once.
I've often been thought of as a soft touch, too easy for my own good and susceptible to the whims of others purely because of my happy go lucky positive nature. Nothing could be further from the truth. Maintaining a positive attitude and believing tomorrow will be a great day is not a sign of weakness but a skill, one you can develop too.
For those who believe that the easy going types can be manipulated and pushed around will always be in for a shock. As they do not appreciate the persistence, fortitude and strength of character required.
I have a strong affinity to the 'Golden era' of personal development and love nothing more than delving into old works by authors such as Napoleon Hill; and having just reread the following excerpt from The Science of Success I wanted to share it with you. Hope it resonance with you.
What Steps Can You Take To Develop A Positive Mental Attitude? by Napoleon Hill
Determine how great a supply of material riches you require, set up a plan for acquiring it, and then adopt the principle of not too much, not too little by which to govern your future ambition for material things. Greed for an overabundance of material things has destroyed more people than any other cause.
Form the habit of saying or doing something every day which will make another person, or persons feel better. You can do this by a phone call, a kind word in passing, dropping a postal card, or by doing some other kindness for another. A good inspirational book placed in the hand of one who needs it could, for example, work wonders in the life of that person.
Source: PMA Science of Success. Page 225.
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. There really is no magic formula to get you where you wish to go in life, but, there seems to be more doors which open for you when you are kind to others and believe tomorrow will be another good day.
Although many don’t consciously realize it, sound holds the key to soothing our souls.
The best musicians take us from the peaks of elation to the depths of sorrow. They can fire us up to dance or exercise and lull us into deep states of meditation and healing.
For that reason, a great soundtrack is a perfect compliment to any yoga practice. Whether you’re working to cultivate strength, serenity, or everything in between, the proper playlist will help you to dig deeper and get the most from each asana.
Here are a few of the best playlists on YouTube to aid in either your personal practice or yoga teaching, enjoy...
Relaxing Indian Instrumentals
If you’re in the mood for something authentic, this nearly three-hour long mix of traditional Indian instruments, such as the bansuri flute, will lull you into a quiet state of tranquillity. This peaceful soundscape is perfect for establishing stillness within.
Embrace Calm Serenity
Taking influence from all over the East, this playlist offers traditional tunes that will whisk you towards serenity. Embrace your practice as you listen to sounds from Arabia, Tibet, China, and India.
Modern Vinyasa Flow
This playlist presents the grace of traditional music with a groovy modern twist. These spacy, etheric, and almost otherworldly soundscapes presented in this collection will have your mind soaring into introspection from the moment you press play.
For those whose practice is rooted in Hindu philosophy, this mantra music will perfectly accompany your yoga sessions. From the Gayatri Mantra to Om Namah Shivaya, you’ll find everything you need for a devotional practice here.
Indie Yoga Playlist
If you’re a fan of indie and alternative music, this chilled-out collection is the perfect addition to your practice. Find deep relaxation with Balmorhea - The Winter.
Groovy Yoga Beats
For those who desire a more upbeat, sweaty session, this funk-filled collection will have you grooving your way into each new pose. Once you’re stretched out, you’ll be ready for a full-on dance session.
This blog post is brought to you courtesy of one of our content partners,
The Art of Living Retreat Center in the USA.
We hope these playlists are helpful in guiding you towards a more enjoyable practice that is authentic to both your personality and the tradition of yoga!
Want to learn more about the kind of retreats the Art of Living Retreat Center offers? Check out their calendar, or feel free to give them a call at 800-392-6870. They would love to hear from you!
Become the Conqueror of your life
The minute you were born the war was on.
Look around you today, it's still the same.
Mental wars - Physical wars - Financial wars
Battles rage within each …
goodness over evil, democracy verses tyranny, discipline against laziness.
And the weapons you've been forced to defend yourself with …
FEAR - IGNORANCE - BAD HABITS
With these weapons you will perish.
You will drift. You will succumb to your desires and those of others.
YOU will take the course of least resistance and gradually waste YOUR life.
You must confront these battles or be forever at their mercy.
Defend yourself today!
Don't procrastinate, we've all been there.
We start doing less than we're capable of.
We stop creating positive daily habits.
We compromise our own personal philosophy.
Reclaim your guidance system
Improve your attitude
Create unshakeable discipline
Cultivate your mind, body & spirit as one
You can become the conqueror of your life.
It is not too late to change.
You're not laying in a coffin.
Until then, it's never too late!
Get started on your journey, whilst the furnace of change is raging.
Don't let it simmer and cool.
Act with the opportunity you have before you and join us on your quest to conquer your life.
You can be what you want to be.
Guest Post by Keith Claridge
JUST BE YOU! can be the worst advice. Why? Most of us don’t really know who we actually are. From what our parents said to us, what the media tells us we should be and a memory of our failings.
Maybe you had parents who empowered you and gave you permission to be yourself. Maybe they always said the right thing. Most of us had parents who were mixed up, trying to be the best parent they could be, and were dealing with their struggles.
They more-than-likely projected their struggles on to you. This means that some of who you think you are is actually what you’re parents were struggling with (and probably their parents).
Some of your attitudes and struggles are not you. They are them.
What’s the Answer?
Working out who you are. Asking the questions, “Who do I want to be?”, “Am I happy with the current version of me?”, “What was I like as a child?”
Do some deep internal work. What are your values? What’s important to you?
Have some fun “trying on different things”.
You can have a period of media silence. Stay away from all forms of media. Partner this with journaling your thoughts. Look for themes that come up. What questions come up for you.
Need a little more motivation and a sense of belonging with like-minded people?
Come join our little corner of the Universe and receive our monthly newsletter, mixing mindset, life and entrepreneurship.
What self-imposed stresses are you dumping on yourself at this moment in time?
And maybe more to the point, why are you being a martyr?
You may not believe it for now, but you really can limit the negative stresses of life if you would only give yourself a flipping break and listen to the person who knows you best, YOU. And what’s more these changes can last.
Okay you might not be in the mood right now to agree, but lets ask a few probing questions and see how you respond.
Are you continuing to do what you’ve always done and expect different results to miraculously appear?
Are you doing work you no longer enjoy but feel compelled to do?
Are you stuck in an unloving relationship that makes you feel like a second class citizen? Why are you putting up with the frosty silence, rejection after rejection and constant put downs? Are you waiting for a sudden glimpse of love to string you along for another week; for now and then it will appear.
It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me anything, I’m just pleased you’re still reading, after all, the mirror says more than enough every time you dare make eye contact with yourself.
Unfortunately you feel alone and even more unfortunate you are not ready to change a damn thing with your life. You will continue to tolerate, endure and hope life will improve eventually.
The new job, or the pay rise and loving relationship will all turn up if you just endure the stress for a few more months, that’s all it will take… just a few more months. Without sounded conceited, we both know the answer.
You know you’re lying to yourself, and that’s fine if it helps, life is a constant battle of tricking that little negative voice in our heads. But we have to be realistic too, and unfortunately the lies mean you haven’t reached rock bottom, yet.
You still feel you have to keep up the pretence of being happy, after all everyone else is right? The continuing barrage of ‘happy selfies and happy couples’ pics on social media prove it!
Let me state the obvious, you really are kidding yourself if you believe denying yourself happiness and enduring a poor quality of life is the key to future happiness. I am living proof that major life changes can work out for the best, though it represents the most painful of experiences you will have to face.
Personally I am a great believer in deferring instant gratification and enduring a little more hardship for a bigger return. But sometimes we simply have to face the truth, and that is, if after years of working at a job, relationship or certain skill you’re still undervalued, unappreciated and incompetent, then it’s time to call it a day!
The sad truth is… you’ve conformed, you’re suffering from ‘have-to-itis’, there I’ve said it, someone had to tell you!
You feel you have to do this you have to do that and you have to endure years of unhappiness.
And so the pattern continues; the stress builds and builds, the debts mount and mount, alcohol feels like a solution and becomes a crutch to lean on; though it eases the pain for another day of conformity. Yet the martyr in you remains justified and resilient.
I started writing this piece to lift your spirits and fill your day with my usual positive vibe, but as I type I seemed to have strayed from my earlier preparation as I feel the nagging pain of those still stuck in a life they feel compelled to live, one where tiptoeing safely to death seems to be the only viable option.
So what is the solution?
I think I hear you mutter under your breath. Well, my diagnosis at this moment in time is… there isn’t one for you. Sorry. But come on did you really I think I can help you find your own truth. Only you know YOU.
Let’s face it, you’ve yet to reach rock bottom and more frustratingly YOU probably enjoy the wanting of a new life far more than having one.
As strange as it may sound you seem to prefer the rush of endorphins – the internal drug cocktail – that is released when you want something, to the set which is released when you achieve something! Which I guess is understandable, as change is bloody scary and your little martyr voice urges you to persist!
Of course there is hope, there always is. But you have to be ready mentally and you have to want it more than anything else in life. And until that moment when you recognise the martyr in you is actually crying out for help, and wants nothing more than to hand over responsibility and ownership of your life back to YOU, things won’t change.
Now maybe you will continue your day as much as you did yesterday and the day before. But lets just say, that maybe together we have scratched a scar that has started itching. And that itch needs a itching, right? Well if that’s the case please reach out to my friend Joe Barnes, author, speaker and life coach, he is far more qualified than me to guide you away from the path of martyrdom and onto freedom. Either dip straight into his book, Escape The System, sign up to his newsletter or join him on FaceBook. Whatever you do please do something today, that’s the key, do it now! You will never know where one little itch can lead
And finally… you're not on this earth to be the torturer of your own mind, you are not here to merely exist, you have as much right as anyone else to be what you want to be.
You are Conqueror of your world. Now listen to your heart.
By Mark Weeks
By Mark Weeks
Legendary sales trainer Tommy Hopkins first talked about The Law of GOYA, which simply stands for ‘Get Off Your Arse’.
Of course it's pretty self-explanatory. But for me in times of lethargy I’ve had to remind myself more than once to take some form of action no matter how small on a daily basis. And though I’ve sometimes let myself down, I’ve always returned to pursue my passion of self-development and helping others to realise their true potential.
As a conqueror of your own mind, you too will have to return to the fray on a daily basis, there are no shortcuts in achieving control of your life. Nothing can be achieved without self-responsibility, discipline and mindfulness to your daily thoughts.
Just find something, every single day that brings you one step closer to your goal and reward yourself for your valiant efforts, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
Without action we are destined to be lead by those who manipulate our thoughts. Without action there is no hope. All you have to do is shoulder the barest fraction of responsibility and the world could be a very different place, just go GOYA and make it your very own Universal Law!
I’ve recently found this short piece by Wilhelm Reich hidden away on my laptop and feel the timing is right to share it with you. Please take a minute to read and reflect on your own accountability.
Listen, Little Man! by Wilhelm Reich
(All links are to AbeBooks )
“It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principle.
This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don’t believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you’ll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman.
You had your choice between Freud’s elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air.
You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus’ mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx’s insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state.
You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine.
In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson.
You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo’s truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering.
Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. ‘Why so tragic?’ you ask. ‘Do you feel responsible for all evil?’ With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn’t perish, struck down by your smallness.”
~ Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
Maybe it's a little sobering to read, but at the end of the day we are all 'little men' and we all need to take our own personal responsibility.
If you feel you need a little help with accountability and in taking responsibility sign up to my regular newsletter. You'll receive inspirational advice and a steady stream of free downloads to keep you moving forward.
Excerpt from the beginning of Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier, one of my all time favourite books - Mark Weeks:)
“You can do as much as you think you can. But you’ll never accomplish more; If you’re afraid of yourself, young man, there’s little for you in store. For failure comes from the inside first. It’s there if we only knew it.
And you can win, though you face the worst, if you feel that you’re going to do it.”
~ EDGAR A. GUEST
What, in your opinion, is the most significant discovery of this modern age?
The finding of dinosaur eggs on the plains of Mongolia, laid— so scientists assert—some 10,000,000 years ago? The unearthing of the Tomb of Tutankh-Amen, with its matchless specimens of a bygone civilization? The radioactive time clock by which Professor Lane of Tufts College estimates the age of the earth at 1,250,000,000 years? Wireless? The Aeroplane? Man-made thunderbolts?
No—not any of these.
The really significant thing about them is that from all this vast research, from the study of all these bygone ages, men are for the first time beginning to get an understanding of that “Life Principle” which—somehow, some way—was brought to this earth thousands or millions of years ago.
They are beginning to get an inkling of the infinite power it puts in their hands—to glimpse the untold possibilities it opens up.
This is the greatest discovery of modern times—that every man can call upon this “Life Principle” at will, that it is as much the servant of his mind as was ever Aladdin’s fabled “genie-of-the-lamp” of old; that he has but to understand it and work in harmony with it to get from it anything he may need— health or happiness, riches or success.
When you have a purpose and a vision of a better day to come, you're ready to make the changes in your life that you crave. There will never be a perfect day to start a new venture. Today's all you have. Read the following short excerpt by Napoleon Hill, and hopefully you will start taking the action to move forward.
Just what are you waiting for and why are you waiting?
Far too many people spend their entire lives waiting for that glorious day when the perfect opportunity presents itself to them.
Too late, they realize that each day held opportunity for those who sought it out. If you have not formulated a plan for what you would like to accomplish in your life, don’t waste another minute.
When you have Definiteness of Purpose fueled by a burning desire to reach your objectives, nothing can stand in your way.
Don’t wait around waiting for life to happen to you.
When you know what you want and how you expect to earn it, life will agree to your terms, not the other way around.
By Napoleon Hill
If you're struggling to find your purpose or need a little initiative to move your life forward, get in touch with me. Leave a message below or email me at email@example.com
There is nothing like accountability to get your act together. All the best Mark:)
Sometimes we hear others say, it's okay for so-and-so, they've just been lucky. Or, if I had his luck my life would be so different! If you're as like minded as me, which I guess you are, or you would have left me sitting here by myself:) Then you too will recognise such people.
I'm the first to admit I've been lucky for the best part of my life. And, I think this is the case with most people if they could practice a little more gratitude for what they have in life.
For me the inevitable downward spirals we all face have offered me amazing life lessons and opportunities. All of which has had a tremendous influence on my view of the world. I've seen the best in people and the worst. I've had great teachers and mentors, and very bad ones. I've put too much faith in others to lead the way, when I knew in my heart, I should have made a stand.
So, how can you create your own luck?
Here's a LUCK acronym I created whilst sitting in traffic on the M20 last week to remind you that it's down to you to create your own luck...
Look at everything with fresh eyes. Your strengths, your weaknesses. Where you are today. Where you were 2 years ago. What do you want from life? Dig deep and be honest with yourself. Have you made progress in areas of your life? If so, can the progress be replicated to other areas?
Understand your customer. Never lose focus on their wants. Are you targeting the right audience? It's hard selling pet insurance to those with no pets. Are you networking? Are you speaking to 5 potential customers every day? Nothing stays the same, everything evolves, your potential customers are currently being sweet talked by your competitor.
Confidence. Your confidence will shine through, the same as a lack of confidence in your service, product or self will too. Believe in yourself, smile, shoulders back and walk as if you mean business.
Knowledge. Are you really an expert in your chosen arena? Are you seeking to constantly improve any or all of the following? Your expertise, your personality, your finances, your relationships.
Remember you are responsible for your own luck. No one else will make today count for you.
Until next time, keep conquering YOU!
If you need a little more help in conquering yourself please get in touch or leave a comment.
4 Quick Steps To Responsibility
1. You are the only person in the world responsible for how you feel. It will never be your circumstances or conditions that are the problem, it's how you react to the circumstances or conditions that will always be the real problem.
2. Don't look to blame someone or something for whatever has happened or is happening. Find the solution. You know as well as me that there are some people who spend more time ensuring there is someone to blame in case what they undertake goes wrong. I remember as an apprentice bricklayer being told to find an excuse first, just in case things go wrong, though it was said tongue in cheek by the old bricklayers, the thought never left me. And when I finally become the 'boss', I'd always look to see if there were any excuses to be made and then limit the downside.
3. Your self-responsibility will become stronger in direct relation to eliminating your negative feelings and emotions. Each time a negative emotion pops up within you discard it immediately, how? You can start by saying, 'I am responsible for the way I feel.' Use the language you feel suits you, but say it with force and believe in your words.
4. Stop making excuses. As soon as you stop making excuses you will be on the way to the top as you have taken complete responsibility for yourself.
Sounds too simple? Life is simple, but for some reason too many of us try complicating it.
Try this simple approach and don't lose sight of you.
Till next time, keep on conquering YOU:)
This post is brought to you courtesy of Relaxlikeaboss.com our latest content partner. It's an excerpt from an in-depth look at Mindfulness in all it's glory, so grab a cuppa, ignore every distraction and practice your mindfulness by reading this:)
Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword over the last few years.
But just what is mindfulness and how can you practice it?
In this guide, you'll learn why being mindful matters and how to practice the art of mindfulness.
You'll discover how you can enjoy the rewards of being mindful by integrating it into your everyday life.
We’ll also run through five quick mindfulness trainings you can practice at home.
What Is Mindfulness?
So in definition, what is mindfulness?
Well, it's basically the practice of being consciously aware in the present moment, without judging your experience.
It’s about being ‘mindful’ of every detail in the here and now.
This helps us reconnect with the simplicity of life, by living in the moment.
By achieving this state of awareness, we can enjoy a sense of peace within.
The beauty of this practice is that it can literally transform the way you experience your life.
You don’t need any special tools to practice it - and just your present moment will do.
As you’ll discover below, mindfulness is scientifically backed to help reduce stress, improve compassion and even help your performance in the workplace.
What Mindfulness Is Not.
You might be worried that mindfulness is just too ‘out there’ for you.
But despite its ties to Buddhism, you don’t need to be religious to practice mindfulness.
And you definitely don’t have to be travelling on some sort of spiritual journey towards enlightenment.
Mindfulness is really just a concentration exercise.
It’s about focusing your mind on the present moment, without worrying about the future or the past.
Plus there’s no right or wrong way to do things when it comes to mindfulness.
There’s absolutely no judgement involved.
Whilst sitting cross-legged or burning incense are often a part of mindful meditation, they’re not required.
Mindfulness is simply a case of experiencing life in the present moment.
The other thing to note is that whilst mindfulness can be incredibly beneficial, it isn’t a quick fix for stress, anxiety or any other negative feeling.
Plus, this doesn’t work for everyone.
You might not enjoy it - or you may prefer other relaxation techniques instead.
You don’t always have to feel good when practicing mindfulness.
In fact, mindfulness helps you work through challenging emotions, so that you can find comfort in them.
Can you remember the last time you relaxed without any distractions?
For most of us, being mindful might seem almost counter intuitive.
We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with distractions.
Mobile phones, social media and email notifications have become a natural part of everyday life.
It’s rare that we find a moment for ourselves.
But have you ever considered how this stops you from enjoying the present moment?
And how these distractions may stop you from fully experiencing the simple joys of life?
Whilst it may be difficult at first, practicing the art of mindfulness can significantly improve the way we experience our lives.
Sure, it takes time to hone your skills, but with practice, it’s worth it.
The other thing to note is that no-one ever really masters mindfulness.
It’s an on-going practice - and you never stop learning.
Would you like to read the complete article?
This weeks blog post comes from one of our amazing content partners, The Art of Living Retreat Centre, and wrote by the wonderful Lucia Whalen. When some people hear the word 'spirituality' they have a tendency to think purely in terms of religion, but they really are missing the point. Please read this post and then question the fact that I believe we all have a unique blend of spirituality etched within us, and it has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Here ends my sermon, amen to that. Enjoy, believe and act upon what your heart reveals, Mark Weeks:)
The word “spirituality” means different things for different people. For some, spirituality is associated with religion and is tied to concrete rites and rituals. For others, meaningful activities like swimming, making art, and walking through the woods brings on a spiritual experience. For the most part, though, the word spirituality has become as ambiguous and vague as the word “the,” and is often stigmatized by associations to “hippy-dippy” new-age philosophies, patchouli, dreadlocks, and yoga pants.
Spirituality seems to have become confused with religion, as it is common to now associate as “spiritual” or “not spiritual”. However, at its core, spirituality is a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and is not an ideology to believe or not believe in. Spirituality is, in fact, what gives life a sense of meaning and purpose.
Practicing spirituality has scientifically-validated benefits, making it important for each and every person, not just yogis in the Himalayas. If you find yourself skeptical about the necessity of spirituality, check out these 10 reasons why spirituality matters for the average Jo(sephine):
1. Be Present
The spiritual life is based in the present moment, as the present moment is the only real moment; the past and future are concepts in the mind. When living with our minds in the present moment, we function with greater focus, clarity, and spontaneity. We also feel greater levels of joy, as happiness is only accessible in the here and now.
2. Get Smart
Studies show that many spiritual practices, especially meditation, result in increased grey matter area in the brain. Among its many benefits, regular meditation leads to increased cognition, improved focus, attention, and ability to perform under stress, and higher levels of emotional intelligence, all of which contribute to enhanced work performance.
3. Be Healthy
Most spiritual paths and religious traditions recommend abstaining from behaviors and substances that are detrimental to health, such as drinking, smoking, using drugs, committing crimes, and harming others. Many paths, such as Ayurveda and Buddhism, even make dietary recommendations, which can lead to a lower body weight and lessened risk for chronic health problems.
4. Let Go of Grudges
A basic tenet of most spiritual paths and traditions is forgiveness. When we forgive ourselves and others, we are able to let go of blame, negative feelings, and anything else holding us back from moving forward in our lives. In fact, studies now show the positive health benefits of forgiveness, which include lowered risk of heart attack, lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, and reduced levels of pain, depression, anxiety, and stress.
5. Bounce Back Faster
Studies show that people who feel a sense of spirituality have greater resilience to hardships. Those with a spiritual outlook have an easier time moving through challenges by finding meaning in difficult situations. High resiliency is also a trait associated with the most successful people in the world.
6. Make Better Decisions
Decision-making is an area that many people struggle with. By simply identifying a set of values that we feel aligned with, we can make decisions that help us feel connected to the greater whole and with a sense of purpose. Spiritual paths also tend to support the development of faith and trust, which helps with stress-reduction in times of uncertain decision-making.
7. Enjoy Amazing Relationships
Research in social science demonstrates that humans are neuroscientifically hardwired for connection, and that connection is what brings meaning to life. Interconnectedness, which is at the core of spirituality, helps us to recognize the shared human experience and feel compassion for others. And when we feel compassion, we enjoy the company of others more and find it easier to find common ground.
8. Release Stress and Anxiety
When we feel a sense of connection to a higher power, we experience mental and emotional freedom. Personal spiritual practices, such as yoga, meditation, running, gardening, and other meaningful activities, are all correlated with lower levels of stress and tension.
9. Enhance Creativity
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “True art takes note not merely of form but also of what lies behind.” Many of the great artists in history attribute their creations to a higher power. When we are relaxed and in the present moment we can more easily experience the state of flow, which leads to more spontaneous ideas and greater levels of creativity.
10. Be Happily Alone
In our modern day culture, it is all too easy to never be alone. If you walk into any restaurant or cafe and look for the people sitting by themselves, chances are they will be absentmindedly eating their food while scrolling through Instagram and sending snapchats to people in other locations. People in this day and age find it difficult and even painful to be alone, both metaphorically and physically. However, when armed with spirituality, being alone is a gift, offering an opportunity to look inward and know oneself. Because, as almost all spiritual traditions teach, our Self is all we truly have. Spirituality teaches us how to ENJOY being alone, so that we can truly enjoy being with others.
Creating Mindfulness Experiences for Adolescents
Even though these adolescents’ educational contexts are very different, a couple of things are true for all of them. The adolescent years are challenging, confusing, and filled with changes to the body, their brain, and relationships. Adolescence is a tumultuous time of our lives!
Let’s also not forget about technology and the impact it’s having on our children. Most of us can probably remember what it was like to be bored when we were young and not have a screen readily available.
Our parents would tell us to figure it out, go outside, go play. Or they would assign us a chore to make sure we didn’t stay bored. These moments of boredom often led to free play, which is critical in child development.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics free play helps children develop their imagination, curiosity, and healthy relationships with the children around them and their parents.
Whether we think the advent of technology is good or bad, it is here to stay and it is rewiring our children’s minds. Many have a harder time focusing their attention and developing relationships outside of their digital persona.
The developing brains of adolescents
Myths of adolescence
1. Raging hormones cause teenagers to “go mad” or “lose their minds.”
According to Siegel hormones do increase, but these levels then stay consistent throughout much of adulthood. Its not the hormones that are causing behavior changes. What adolescents experience is primarily the result of natural and needed changes in their developing brains.
2. Teens are immature and need to grow up.
The risk-taking tendencies, impulsiveness, and high emotional sensitivity of teens is not a sign of immaturity but rather an outcome of exactly what they are supposed to be doing during this developmental stage—testing boundaries, creating their own view of the world, and preparing for life beyond the family home and school community.
3. Growing up requires moving from dependence on adults to total independence from them.
The healthy move to adulthood is toward interdependence, not complete do-it-yourself isolation. Giving care and receiving help from others is the model we should be supporting.
Pause, take a couple of breaths, and reflect on your own middle or high school experience. I’m sure you can understand why adolescents struggle during this time of their lives especially if the adults around them fundamentally misunderstand them. Remembering our own experience can help us be more understanding and compassionate in the interactions we have with teens.
Hope you find it as encouraging as I did.
The Doubts and Fears that Hold Us Back (and What to do About Them)
written by Bryan Hutchinson
Let’s have a moment of honesty.
Do you have doubts and fears that hold you back?
What if you could legitimately do something about them and achieve your goals and live out your dreams? Would you do it?
The answer, for most of us, is probably not.
The problem is that doubts and fears don’t just hold us back from doing things we want to do with all of our hearts, like writing a book, or publish in public, or telling our most intimate stories, – doubts and fears hold us back from even attempting to overcome them.
In fact, they cause even the easiest ways of circumventing them seem challenging, if not downright impossible.
The good news is that you can do it.
I used to be afraid of heights, very afraid. My therapist tried for years to get me to go on a guided hike up a certain mountain trail to face my fear. I would not do it. Hell to the no!
I told myself it was ridiculous, it wasn’t worth it, and the guided hike cost way too much. (It could have cost 25 cents and it would have been too much.)
But that wasn’t what was really stopping me. A few hundred bucks were not the big deal. No, it was fear taking control. It had a grip on me so tightly that even the mere suggestion of defeating it was threatening. I got cold sweats just thinking about the mere possibility of that hike.
It changed my life.
Somehow, I finally went and I’ve never missed a dollar of what it cost or missed any of the time doing something else. That had just been my fear rationalizing itself.
The hike turned out to be nothing less than majestic.
When I reached the Castle Eltz I was so proud of myself. The castle itself is in a Valley, but to walk there you must travel via a wide path on a mountain side, at the edge of a cliff, with a raging river below. Yep.
I was never in real danger (I hope), but it was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding walks, ever.
The moral of this story is that when something you know full well what will help you overcome your doubts and fears, but “reasons” rise up in your mind that vehemently talk you out of doing it, be it cost, time, or telling yourself you’re not good enough, or -pick something- you might want to do it anyway.
You. Are. Good. Enough.
1) Money. I give away eBooks and I’ve given away online courses that people have downloaded or joined and didn’t use. So cost wasn’t really a factor. In fact, people who pay so far seem to be the most likely to actually do something. Nobody likes to let what they spend to go to waste, but mentally, free is worth what it costs.
2) Time. There’s never enough time to do anything, until there is. It’s true, for some stuff you will need to set time aside for it. There are so many other things which beg for your attention and your time, but once you use your time to overcome whatever’s holding you back, later you’ll realize it’s the best time you ever spent.
3) It’s too hard. Is it really? Life is usually more difficult when we allow our doubts and fears to control us or what we want. It will always seem too hard, but you’re probably already facing your hardest challenges because of big D and big F. In fact, doing the work to overcome them will usually make things far easier in the long run.
You know, currently I’m offering a journaling course and I’ve received so many messages from people who want to take it, but it costs too much, or they don’t have the time, or something else is keeping them from taking the course.
That’s okay. They shouldn’t force themselves to do anything.
It took my therapist two years, TWO YEARS, to get me to start a positive journal. Of course, it cost me thousands of dollars in therapy, but to actually sit down and write my personal truths, oh, hell no! It wasn’t happening. Until it did. What a relief.
My life changed, dramatically.
I know, the outcomes all seem so ridiculously positive when you finally go against your doubts and fears and win, but what if it’s true?
Face your fears, I was told. What utter BS. Until I did. It didn’t entirely cure me the first try, but I’ve visited more and more castles over the years and those things are rarely down low, and some are even haunted (but that’s another story).
What if it is our doubts and fears that keep us from doing what could actually work to free ourselves from them?
We still probably wouldn’t do it.
In my memoir I wrote, when the student was ready the master appeared. Yeah, I stole that line, but only because it’s true. So, allow me to pass this on, when something feels absolutely right to you and internally you know, really know, it will help, don’t let doubt or fear talk you out of it. Do it. Do it with all of your heart.
The walk to Castle Eltz was the master over my fear of heights and subsequent walks. It’s a work in progress, but I’m doing it. The adventures I would’ve missed had I not faced my fear, and I’ve got to tell you, the views – wow!
My positive journal was the master which helped me make sense of my life and gave me an outlet for my writing when I didn’t have one. I never wrote every day until I started guided journaling. Since then I’ve published nearly a dozen books. Who knew?! You would not be reading this had I not start my positive journal.
What have you got to lose?
A couple bucks, a little bit of time, or something else you think you could never get back? That’s what doubt and fear want you to believe.
Instead, ask yourself:
What will I gain?
Such as: Freedom, tenacity, striving to achieve your goals, writing in public, publishing your words, making a living from your art… traveling to Bavaria to see the Disney castle. Oh, sorry, that last one is my stretch goal (Neuschwanstein).
Indeed, what do you have to gain? A heck of a lot. Right? Think about it.
I’m sure it’s a lot more than you could ever really lose; because here’s what doubt and fear don’t want you to know: you have to gain something before you could ever lose it–they just want you to think you’re going to lose in advance.
That’s pretty messed up if you ask me. But they don’t play fair and we shouldn’t expect them to.
Do it anyway. Whatever it is.
Take your dreams seriously and live out each day to your fullest potential!
Do it, because you can.
If you have any questions about The Art of Positive Journaling, feel free to email me or comment below.
Have you stood up to your doubts and fears? How’s it going? If you haven’t yet, are you ready to start looking for ways to face them?
Of course, but it does highlight the fact that within the human spirit lies unfathomable hate and selfless love. I believe these traits are within us all; the horrors of the 20th century reveal I'm not exaggerating the darkness that envelopes the human condition.
Yet, without this need human kind would not have flourished, it's also the downfall of many a great man too.
And that need is … DESIRE.
Over the past year I've given a lot of time and study to this one topic. And, in my latest fictional book Code of the Conqueror – The Journey, I have introduced how becoming awake to The Six Great Desires of life can propel your happiness and sense of wellbeing or, lead to a life spiralling out of control.
Unfortunately, our desires represent an inner conflict that will never be won. There is no end. The same is true of everyone you encounter too.
But these internal desires must be tamed and understood to achieve a fulfilled life. This is the starting point of my Code of the Conqueror. Without these essential lessons you will forever falter in your quest, to both find and master your true self.
In my opinion desires are the true drivers that emotionally charge our lives and must be the first subject to be handled if you're serious about improving any aspect of your life.
There comes a time in life when you must confront your inner voices or be forever at their mercy. That time is now.
The Six Great Desires
Within each desire there will always be a light and dark side, a yin and yang, you could say. This simply illustrates how we all choose to emotionalise our desires. Yes, it is a choice, like everything else that happens in your life, it's down to you.
No one has ever craved less power, they may wish for less responsibility but not at the sake of power. We must also remain vigilant of how others try to manipulate us. From the media, to our family and friends. Power resides in even the most unassuming circumstances. Stay observant.
Without action there is nothing. We must desire some form of action or life is pointless. But the desire for action without giving clear thought to its outcome can soon lead to self-destruction.
To be loved and to love is the greatest need of mankind. But far too often we become too agreeable and allow ourselves to be treated wrongly, simply to keep the peace. When we desire good relationships, yet put up with bullying, fakeness and narrow-mindedness, we are heading for a stormy landing. Too often we settle for less than we deserve.
No one knows everything. Submerged in our own importance, we can often see no further than the end of our nose. Only through proper knowledge and training can we open ourselves to the perspectives and wisdom of those who have gone before us. We must continually improve our minds.
Times of lust do not last long, they pass quickly. Nothing in this world can be long enjoyed, yet the harm will stay within. If you are diligent and loving, you may do whatever you wish, but a life out of balance can quickly manifest itself into pure lust and continue forever. Most ignore the lesson.
Have you ever desired less energy? I guess you haven't. No one ever has. After all, energy is the life force of man. There has never been a true leader of men who has lacked energy—at least not in the beginning of their rise to power. The problems stem from excessive energy and overly optimistic attitude, which leads to reaching further and further down a rabbit hole. For what? Many never know, but energy creates momentum which must be tamed, as with all desires.
Through Code of the Conqueror - The Journey, I echo many of the teachings of the Buddha, and he valued the notion of ridding ourselves of all desires. Which if you are in a mountain retreat away from civilisation, then maybe many desires can be lessened through meditation and solitude. For us mere mortals though, desire represents a double-edged sword, that will always present in itself in one form or another.
But I feel there is one paragraph from the teachings of the Buddha we should end with, and that is, 'Man's own mind lures him into evil ways, not his enemy or friend. The one who protects his mind from jealousy, greed, anger and infatuation, is the one who enjoys real and lasting peace.'
Until next time, stay true to you and choose your desires wisely.
Writer, dreamer and ragged trousered entrepreneur.
Just carry on as normal, so the powers boom.
Yet, off we go to fight, so young and raw.
Thus, begun my story of the Great War.
To hell with King & country,
Ain't done nothing for me.
Cousins of cousins argue,
They aren't my family.
To hell with King and country.
Home of the brave and free.
Assembling guns, humping bags,
Digging trenches and poncing fags.
To hell with King & country.
Let'em live beside me.
Through burning eyes, comes the first attack.
Shells bursting all around, yet stoically we hold'em back.
To hell with King & country.
How can I let my faith see?
In Flanders mud I tried my best.
Where now, my battered body rests.
We died for king and country.
Why? Who knows completely.
But, they said in war victory lies.
Whilst ignoring sixteen million goodbyes.
By Mark Weeks
'Your energy will not last forever.
The time will come soon enough for you to take your last breath.
And when the time does arrive, be not like those whose
hearts are filled with dread and fear.'
~ Yelu Bao-Zhi
'You have never conquered anything before,' Fear said scornfully.
'So, it will never be done in the future.'
'You are far too brash,' bellowed Anger. 'There are names for those such as yourself.'
'Maybe.' I said calmly.
'The place for those with your upbringing must always remain the same, otherwise—'
'I lived my life long before you all entered it!'
'You were young and reckless back then. You didn't know what you were doing,' Reason added knowingly.
'Maybe, but I've never lost my child's heart.'
Sniggering to themselves, Fear, Anger and Reason turn to Father Time, who raises a mirror to my face.
'Look!' Shouted Reason. 'So, you think you are still young? Your time has come and gone, you didn't make the most of your life. You are closer to death than birth you fool.'
Anxiety appeared from nowhere and pointed to the dark looming clouds. 'Now there's a storm coming, and you cannot withstand its ferocity. You know in your heart how your story ends.'
'Yes, I do,' I whisper. 'I am the storm.'
I awoke suddenly in a cold sweat. I'd never had such a vivid dream before and trembled slightly from the adrenaline rush. Was it really me confronting my negative emotions, or was it a character of my imagination?
Daylight filtered through the gap in the ill-fitted curtains and I looked over to Zhi, who still lay asleep. I quickly checked the time and saw we had both overslept. I would have to speak later of my dream.
About Code of the Conqueror - The Journey.
UNLEASH THE CONQUEROR WITHIN YOU!
Welcome to the world of Zhi, ancestor of Genghis Khan's chief adviser, as seen through the eyes of the hapless entrepreneur Alex, as he treks the Great Wall of China.
Through humour, humility and stories of the Mongolian Empire, Zhi opens Alex's eyes to the Six Great Desires.
If you're looking to change direction with your life and remobilize your ‘mojo’ this book holds the key.
The Code of the Conqueror – The Journey is filled with ancient and modern wisdom, inspiring maxims, and proverbs that will keep you returning time and time again to guide you towards success and overall wellbeing.
Desire is inevitable. Surrender is optional.
Zhi's teachings reveal what every slightly worn out adult already knows, life is littered with temptation and suffering, yet still we go on as before, hoping our lives will change by doing the same thing over and over. Why is this?
'To this point, you have been willing to change everything except yourself but change you must. Either I help you open your eyes or time will, and this I can promise … time will not be so gentle.' ~ Zhi
Are you ready to follow the mystical life of Zhi, as he unravels the first part of the Code of the Conqueror?
Conqueror's Pledge ...
Strive for excellence, control your desires, discipline your mind, speak the truth and exceed yourself. Respect your mother & father. Respect yourself. Savour friendships.
These principles will help you to conquer yourself, make you stronger, give you hope and create momentum for personal greatness.
Get your copy today and Unleash your Inner Conqueror.