Today has been an extremely sad day for me, as I unexpectedly lost a girlfriend.
My girlfriend was full of life. She was sweet and kind to everyone, always up for a fun time, and made everyone’s days brighter when she was around them. She lived her life to its full potential, inspiring all of us to do the same. She was also confident, successful, and never settled for things in life – she never believed she needed to. Thus, I am dedicating this post to her, as she is a shining example of someone who never took a day for granted.
Her life is a reflection of today’s meditation, which teaches us that in order to be unstuck, we need to renew ourselves each and every day. This means actively ensuring our lives are not repetitive, that we are enjoying ourselves as much as possible, never taking anything for granted; and remaining present for our friends, family, and for ourselves.
Oftentimes, we allow ourselves to fall into mundane routines or rituals that cause us to hang onto bits of our past. Perhaps we have an old habit that we haven’t been willing to break, or we hang onto a grudge or a feeling that we think we’re supposed to; or even someone that is not good for us because we think that is how it’s supposed to be. Whatever it is, we are unable to renew ourselves in each moment, as we’re still hanging onto who we used to be – even just a few moments ago!
Deepak teaches us that it’s our perspective that causes a situation to go one way or the other, that the situation you find yourself in is always neutral. So when we develop a habit, it’s a choice we made to do it; if we’re hanging onto a grudge, based on something someone else has done, we chose to react to it the way we did; or if we choose to stay with someone we are not compatible with, we’re allowing ourselves to remain in a negative situation.
Of course, it’s easier said than done to move on from a negative situation. Many a time, we feel lost and don’t know how, or it’s out of fear. However, I can tell you first hand that anyone has the ability and power within them to move on, renew themselves, and eventually, become the happy person they want to be!
So how the heck do you tackle it? Well, my girlfriend would have said, “Woman up, f&*# them, and move on! Life is too short to care about something that won’t matter later.” As much as I loved her candor, for those really stuck in a situation, it takes a series of practiced steps to truly be free and live each day like it’s your last day on earth.
- When a negative emotional situation arises, ask yourself how you’re feeling… then show the opposite. It is definitely a great tactic to confuse people. In all seriousness, it is designed to de-escalate not just a situation, but your temper as well. The more calm energy you put to a negative situation, the more you see things differently, realizing it for what it is; causing you to respond in a manner that will leave you at peace. This conscious behavior is actual a renewal of self.
- When you feel stuck in a routine, change up at least one thing. For those that feel like life is repetitive: You get up, shower, eat breakfast, drive to work, work, go to the gym, drive home, shower, eat dinner, and go to bed (rinse and repeat). It can feel more like Office Space than well, any movie where people are having too much fun. Each day, do one thing different – drive a different route to and/or from work, get up a few minutes earlier and grab breakfast out, change up your workout routine (maybe go for a run outside), chat with a coworker you are usually too busy to talk to, etc. I’m telling you, even just one small change sparks a sense of renewal in your brain that will make you feel refreshed!
- Start to think of yourself first. We are usually moving so fast in life that we don’t stop to think about what we truly want. Instead, we seem to go with the flow of what we think everyone else wants to see for us. We take jobs we think we are expected to take, we drive cars and live in homes we think we’re supposed to have, we date and marry people we think we are supposed to be with. Then, as we get older, we start to wonder what we’ve done with our lives and why we’ve made some of the choices we did. We begin to “wish” we had done things differently, thus never allowing ourselves to renew. The truth is we can change any of these things at any time! It doesn’t matter how old we are, we always have a chance to renew, so long as we are still on this Earth!
- Take on one personal project, and go for it! My girlfriend wanted to start her own company and started to take that on as a side project until she was able to leave her job and commit to it full time. She was not only thinking for herself, but also taking on something she was passionate about. Having a hobby, or a pet project (such as the novel I’m writing), is something that no one else can influence you on because it belongs to you. Personal projects are a great way to practice self-renewal because everyday you learn something new and you grow from it!
While it is a lot of work to put this all into practice, like with anything else, it is baby steps. Each day, pick something different and commit. It takes three weeks to form a new habit so give yourself a 21-day challenge (note that these meditation challenges are also three weeks 🙂 ) to pick something different to do everyday, remain present in the moment, and enjoy it. It’s what my girlfriend would have wanted for each and every one of you!