Peak-performance for you & any organisation you work with starts with you. Your first responsibility is self-development, even if a key work priority is to stimulate the development of others. How effectively are you showing up in your key life domains such as wellbeing, relationships, career, lifestyle & finances?
What if you operated from a spring of wellbeing like a spiritual warrior, centered and calm, yet bold & effective. How about if worries that troubled most people made no impact on you at all? If you were calm, bold & worry-free, what could you achieve and how good would you feel?
Spiritual strength is an under-sold and under-rated basis for achieving greatly and living joyously. The whole idea of spirituality can be an esoteric turn-off, but it need not be. A few simple practices and understandings will get you well on your way to a more meaningful, abundant, fulfilling life.
Some people fear that if they have to develop themselves to be spiritual warriors, they will miss out on all the egoic pleasures of the ego! Nothing could be further from the truth in terms of enjoying life, albeit from a divine perspective. Indeed, breaking through the limiting chains of the ego to real freedom & peace from mind is something worth fighting for!
It's true that as an authentic spiritual warrior, ego-pursuits like keeping up with the Jones' will have no interest to you, yet you will become inspired & passionately vision-led, operating within a much bigger picture.
Just a brief explanatory note on the use of the term spiritual warrior. Gurus may be eager to point out that anything to do with war is spiritually bereft and perhaps quote Mother (now Saint) Teresa who would support a march for peace but not a match against war, or a war on war. (Some activists can be rather aggressive, unconscious people behaviorally). The word warrior is being used to signify love & passion for things of good report, for example as defined by St. Paul or other luminaries from various religions. Some dictionary definitions allow this perspective.
In Buddhism, the term spiritual warrior refers to combat of self-ignorance, the fundamental source of human suffering and this is close to the meaning intended here. In spirituality there are no enemies as such, just a realisation that we need to be mindful of our ego-thought and overcome some prior condtioning to circumvent unnecessary suffering.
Trapped in ego, life is a burden. Living as a Spiritual Warrior is an awesome adventure.
Spiritual warriors often come across as being very brave. They are not necessarily intrinsically any more courageous than others. It's just that their world view causes them to see, think and behave differently. They have trained their focus of attention to all intents and purposes on the Divine flow and this is very different from the typical human egoic mindset.
In this modern world, unless you are trapped in a war zone, it's rare to experience real fear, such as an imminent and real threat to your life. A spiritual warrior knows that any other fear or negativity arises from temporary thought forms that are illusory. It's true that your life situation will include challenges from time to time Yet these challenges are not life threatening and can simply be llisted & scheduled for attention so that your mind has no cause to remind you of them. Just refrain from scary stories or fantasies about any challenges and remain present in the here and now. A true Spiritual Warrior will never allow this moment to be disturbed by a mere thought that has no substance in & of itself.
A true Spiritual Warrior is beyond fear of death and the need for approval of others.
Cosmically speaking, a human life is less than a second - just compare with Planet Earth 4.5 billion years old or any "Big Bang" 13.75 billion years ago. The divine life that is expressing itself through you now is eternal and there is no need to be so attached to the temporary form of the human body.
A truly disciplined Spiritual Warrior is mindful of every moment and reprograms prior life conditioning to experience reality, truth, beauty and integrity. Self-mastery.
The 4 Questions of Your Existence
What on earth are you doing on Planet Earth? You might cause to wonder sometimes what it’s all about. Well I don’t claim to have all the answers but below are some pertinent questions followed by commentary on each question.
1. Where am I from & what am I?
2. Did I ask to come here & do I have free will?
3. What am I here to do & how should I show up?
4. Do I have to suffer & what’s the point of it all?
1. Where am I from, and what am I?
You are from your ancestors, from Planet Earth, from the Big Bang, from Eternity, from “All That Is” - you come from everything that preceded you. You are in everything & everything is in you. You are created perfect, whole, complete and good enough as intended. You are one with All That Is.
You are a Human Being – a survival oriented, conditioned Human and a creative, non-conditioned Being. Your Human form is temporary. There’s a distinct possibility that your formless Being is eternal.
As a Human Being you have your 5 body senses and mind processes of thought & feeling. You are not these fleeting senses and mental processes but the awareness (or witness) of these phenomena.
Your body and mind processes are largely automatic and through evolution you are equipped with a conscious mind to consider options and make choices about where and how you will direct your awareness and attention. Your neo-cortex enables you to override impulses from your more primitive limbic brain, to analyze situations & make decisions. You are life, you are the flow, and you are awareness.
2. Did I ask to come here & do I have free will?
Some people believe that they chose their parents & somehow had a say in their appearance on Planet Earth. Well it seems this couldn’t be the small self so would have to be the higher self. And, (I’m assuming), this isn’t an individuated higher self but part of the Oneness.
I prefer to think that we just manifested like other life forms, we come and go just as in nature, in the forests & jungles, yet we are all linked to the past & (any) beginning of time.
Does a tree or flower or lion have free will? It seems we show up according to our signature coding (e.g. genes, DNA), and our environment. That’s it, two variables. Perhaps, the main thing that might convince me that we have free will is the (rather unintelligent) mess that humans have sometimes made on planet Earth, albeit this may be transitional, we may learn and improve, and much good has been done too. We do feel as if we have free will as we make our day to day decisions so perhaps that’s enough & bearing in mind that our neo-cortex is considerably more developed than in any other life forms.
3. What am I here to do & how should I show up?
Since you and everyone else didn’t ask to be born, be compassionate, forgiving & accepting both with yourself and others. Would you criticize a tree or an animal or just assume that’s how nature made it? With reference to the pictorial, you are here to be a Life Experiencer as your true authentic self, not necessarily what others would want of you. Live in the present and be a creator. Make your own rules. Face fears upfront, they cannot stand your scrutiny. Be happy now, not happy when ….
Be aware of your thoughts, feelings & behaviors but do not find yourself or get caught up in them. Indeed avoid getting caught up in any sort of drama or self-authored scary stories. Be free, move, experiment, learn.
Know your strengths, values and preferences and do what you love. Learn to cultivate high vibes aided by good habits, rituals, gratitude & your limitless imagination. When you feel good you are unstoppable. Good body habits include quality exercise, diet and sleep. Good mind habits include managing the quality and intensity of your attention, (starting with your breath & inner body energy field), expressing your unique self in a calm yet truly alive manner, allowing life energy of the Universe/ God to flow through you without resistance.
Being present happily in the here and now, relaxing and meditating are essential for a good life, but never forget that you are a creator. Mankind’s creativity has moved us from caves to cities with modern facilities and communications. Create good things that bring meaning and joy to you and others and do-no-harm. And learn to live in the “vertical dimension”, which is to say in a positive State of Being, free of negativity, resistance, attachments or the need for others approval, while living your visions or purpose.
And, as advised by Miguel Ruiz in ‘The 4 Agreements’ book: “Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions & always do your best.”
4. Do I have to suffer and what’s the point of it all?
Yes, some suffering is necessary, and great, unacceptable suffering is particularly transformative because it may leave us with no option but to make a significant change in our lives for the better. Observe and do not identify with lower grade suffering and it will tend towards dissolution. Sense it as an energy field that is only temporary. ‘This too will pass’. Try reframing the condition & taking practical steps to alleviate pain or distress. You will cope better through challenges and thrive in better times if you learn to live habitually in an attitude of gratitude, awareness & acceptance and are growing or creating or contributing something.
Do not fear human death, which is really the continuation of all life. Get over this one and life will be more of a breeze! Rather, rejoice that you are alive in an impossible universe. [The universe is impossible to humans because energy cannot be created and there is no cause for All That Is, (or God), – yes the existence of the Universe defies the most fundamental laws of science]. Do not merely “pass go” as in the old monopoly game. Cherish the wondrous mysteries and beauty of life – how so amazing that you are here! What good luck! Make the most of your brief sojourn!
And, nobody will hardly remember you 5 to 50 years after you’ve gone, unless you’re especially famous, (or infamous), which gives you the license both to have fun and not take things that seriously. There is nothing you have to do, nothing so important, although engage fully if it’s to your liking. But if you’re in a situation you don’t like, learn to accept it or make a change. Be present & say yes to life.
Know that the quality of your life is the quality of your attention, awareness & choices. Don’t do yourself in metaphorically or literally! Focus your spotlight of attention wisely and learn to override any negative conditioning. So the point is to experience & enjoy this one and temporary human life form as a creator for good. Lighten up and don’t take things too seriously, especially your automatic thoughts! Life’s too short for anything else. Live, love, laugh, enjoy, know what you really want that’s good for you, and go get it with faith & without compulsion!!
Author: Alan Sullivan, 2015
I love traveling and taking pictures - here is a partial view of the swimming pool area at my beach apartment in Thailand.
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