Meditate.

 

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Meditation is not hard to do, confronting your truth is.

When you close your eyes, just allow your truth to rise to the surface.

Just remember, no one can hear you.

And as your truth unfolds, your mind will develop clarity.

As your mind becomes clear, it’s then free to roam this conscious space you’re in.

As you roam free, like a curious archaeologist you’ll uncover more truth,

until eventually, you discover a door.

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How to Measure Happiness

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

happy

Happiness isn’t exactly the easiest emotion to grasp; I used to believe that people were either happy or not, I used to think that happiness was as clear as night and day. However, I’m learning that happiness is a development just like every other emotion that we experience, we have to contribute to our own happiness and it lies within the choices we make.

I’ve found those that contribute more to their own well-being and work on developing a purpose, tend to be happier than those who work to accumulate things to define their value. When we start to free ourselves from conformity, we begin working with our own emotions rather than against them and as a result, we live life more truthfully and with less compromises.

When I gave up trying to conform and began following my own desires, I also realised that it was easier to communicate and understand others. I also began connecting with like-minded people who actually appreciated my identity and my own pursuits, and vice-versa. I had inadvertently created a positive environment for myself that stimulated the courage and confidence to pursue a life worth living.

When I think about the happiest moments in my life, I’m reminded of liberation and feelings of complete detachment, I feel like I can take on the world and there’s not much that can keep me from blissfully embracing the present moment. Contemplating these memories and feeling untethered to my everyday responsibilities, I began exploring ways to measure happiness in a world where responsibilities command our lives, impact our emotions and often cause us to overlook our own well-being.

Psychology and Spirituality teach us the importance of maintaining balance… Even the cosmos need to maintain a certain balance to ensure we continue to exist on this planet. Most of the problems we face in our lives can be a rooted back to some sort of imbalance: when we’re overworked, overindulged, lacking empathy, emotionally numb/sensitive, over thinking and even struggling to sleep, these problems and many others stem from an imbalance within our own psyches.

Measuring happiness is to assess our lives in terms of imbalance, to assess how much of our lives are being spent satisfying our responsibilities (super-ego) versus, how much of our lives are spent indulging our inner desires (id). Too much of one or the other will lead to and fuel misery, therefore sustaining happiness is to ensure both parts of our psyches are equally valued (ego), if not, then we must work to restore balance in order to feel happy.

Delving into this Freudian theory has made me realize why so many of us struggle with the lives we’re living, and why many often feel overworked and underappreciated. In a society where we schedule our lives around work and responsibilities, I started measuring happiness by asking my clients the following question?

“If you could make a decision for yourself, consequence free, what decision would you make?”

If answered honestly, I found this question allows us to gain insight into our own imbalances. It allows us to essentially measure and restore happiness by understanding how much of our inner desires are being fulfilled, or rather how much we restrict this significant part of who we are. It also helps us understand the difference between setting goals and mindful goal setting. If our inner desires aren’t expressed nor fulfilled, the less happier we’re likely to be.

For example, if you have a deep desire to travel someday, but your current responsibilities restrict this desire, then you’ll probably find that you’re not that happy with your current life, because your life lacks direction and purpose and a significant part of who you are is being suppressed. However, if you allow this desire to filter into your life, you’ll begin to navigate your life to fulfill this desire. Your responsibilities will have purpose as you’ll set your goals accordingly. Furthermore, you’ll also find that you’ll gravitate towards connections that echo these desires, from obtaining the appropriate skills to meeting like-minded people. You’ll ultimately live a lot happier knowing that your life isn’t being lived in vain, and that you’re staying true to your identity and what you want from life.

Just imagine living life with a little angel (super-ego) and devil (id) on your shoulders, if you predominantly listen to the angel you’ll run the risk of losing sight-of-self. If you let the little devil have rule over your life, then you run the risk of losing touch with the life you’re trying to build.

Measuring happiness is understanding which one of these characters you’ve allowed to govern the majority of your decision-making. Let them both share equal amounts of control and you’ll live a much more balanced life, and a much happier one.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

The Courage Found in Creativity

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Our imagination can take our minds to places we never thought possible. We all have this beautifully engineered component which gives us the capability to, safely and securely, explore alternate realities and ideate to our hearts content.

It’s through exercising this ability we’ve been able to progress and evolve as a civilization. Many of the things we take for granted today, are the result of someone courageous enough to pluck an idea from an obscure reality and make it real.

One of my favorite pieces of advice to share with people who lack courage – is to create. Creativity is the key to unlocking our minds and understanding our own identities. It’s the opportunity and freedom to be ourselves as we explore the world within.

Being creative; that first brush stroke or note, that first idea or theory,  that first movement or moment…it’s like switching on an engine, shifting into first gear and beginning that journey towards courage.

Engaging in our creative abilities allows us to confidently explore the truth within and explore the depth of our potential. As we shift into higher gears and really begin to indulge our identities, as we navigate through the limitless multiverse that is our imagination, we’ll begin to see sense in our creations and stimulate a unique purpose for our own lives.

We all start our lives living on instinct and raw emotion. As children we have that confidence and courage to explore and be open and expressive. As children we yearn to be understood and accepted, yet as we grow older, the paradigm shifts as we climb into a box and try to fit in; in fear of being different.

As we nestle into these boxes, a dilemma soon arises when we become increasingly aware, of how lonely it is living life boxed in by perception and the classification of normality. They limit creativity and curb our opportunities to innovate and express ourselves, because we continue to play within a space which we naively consider to be harmless. Yet it weakens courage and dwindles confidence.

They also limit our connection to others. They restrict how much we are willing to share and how much others have available to explore. Eventually, stepping outside of our proverbial boxes becomes a nonsensical notion, as we deem those living blissfully free from these restraints: brave, inspiring and/or foolish.

So if you’re sitting there reading this with hopeful desires, wishing and waiting for that one day, that one opportunity to lead your life into greatness. Then let your imagination soar and express your creativity and as you continue to create, you’ll find the courage to step outside of your box and showcase your identity.

VanCity

How to Discover your Passion and Purpose

How to find your purpose

If you want to live passionately with purpose and reason, then you need to access the traits of your very own being. You need to listen to and respond to your emotions, as you navigate your way through different experiences in life.

The journey into fulfilment begins with mindful experiences. You must be and feel fully engaged, in each and every experience you encounter. You must be completely invested and emotionally present through every experience, to determine what speaks to your identity and what doesn’t.

I’ve come across too many irritated individuals living life on auto-pilot, complacent in routine and living numbly. I know this feeling because I used to live this way; a life not worth living, lacking fulfilment and wasted potential.

We’re all beings with untapped potential and within us is the determination and drive to become all that we aspire to be. If you’re noticing that life seems to be passing you by, then you just need to regain control and pay attention to what your emotions are telling you.

Throughout my life, the one lesson I’ve relied upon to stay on track with my aspirations, is to listen and pay attention to emotion. Emotions indicate your truest intent and genuine desires, therefore ignoring how you feel will only lead you into an unfulfilled life and further away from discovering your passion and purpose. A deception that will blur your identity and cause you to drift away from what you truly desire.

Thought vs. Emotion

You can change and manipulate thought, even if a negative thought enters your mind you can counteract it with a positive one almost instantaneously. To demonstrate: if I ask you to think of a Lemon, you can do that without effort. Now if I ask you to think of a Red Lemon, you can also do so instantaneously and change the perception of reality within your own mind.

As thoughts can be manipulated, altered and misdirected so easily, what you think you want, may not necessarily be what you truly want. This is why it’s incredibly important to pay close attention to emotion in order to maintain control over your life. Your emotions are like truth-tellers, they can help you navigate your life towards the bliss you’re in search of, and into the fulfillment you desire. I can’t tell you to be happy because we’re not really capable of altering emotion like we can thought. If you want to change your emotions, then you may have to change your reality.

In Summary

To discover your passion and to find your purpose in life, you must pay attention to emotion. Your thoughts may rationalize a negative experience, however we cannot fully trust thought as our thoughts can easily be manipulated and influenced. However we cannot deceive emotion, therefore as you navigate through life’s experiences, pay attention to what you’re feeling. If you find that an experience contains no emotional fulfillment, then move on and keep experiencing until you discover the fulfillment you seek. Until you uncover your passion and define your purpose.

VanCity

Meditation, what a trip!

Meditation

I’ve been meditating on and off for many months now and I’ve recently become more disciplined. I’ve been dedicated every day for the last two months and I’m noticing an increased sense of peace of mind and I’m finding it easier to maintain a positive mindset and focus.

I feel that I enter a semi-conscious state when I meditate, a place where extreme reality meets extreme wonder. My troubles and difficulties dance with my hopes and dreams, until the two realities co-exist and become one, which I define as truth. When I arrive at this truth, balance and serenity is achieved, relinquishing fear and doubt. Meditation allows me to pick myself up and confidently continue work towards my aspirations.

It sounds beautiful and poetic ‘n all, but I’m still eager to experience this “awakening” that I keep hearing about. However, I think last night I came incredibly close to experiencing something I can only describe as sensational.

Last night I prepared as normal: my clothes were warm and loose, I sat crossed legged and began breathing deeply, in and out. With the amount of practise, I’ve gotten closer to perfecting a technique that settles my mind quickly; I tend to focus on the sound of my breath.

After the serene dance between two realities, I experienced something very different and I couldn’t feel my body. It didn’t feel like I had lost the sense to touch, it was more like that feeling you get when you hold your hands really close together, without them actually touching. Maybe it was brought on by sitting crossed legged for such a long time, but it wasn’t a numbness, nor did I feel the tingling of pins and needles. It was very bizarre.

I wouldn’t call it an out-of-body experience, I’m still skeptical of that, but I did sense that my mind was lost and trying to navigate itself somewhere. I felt as if a veil or layer of something had been dropped and it caused my physical senses to weaken and my thoughts to escape rather than silence.

Was I experiencing awe?

A moment frozen in time?

Was I awake in my sleep?

I had no idea, but I reckon it could’ve been an experience of complete and genuine detachment. It felt like I had officially let go of something, more accurately, I felt I let go of everything and that I had finally accepted some sort of peace. Needless to say it was comforting yet peculiar.

When I awoke, I awoke with an incredible awareness of consciousness. I seemed to magnetically re-attach to everything I had let go of: the fear, the hope, the good, the bad, the sadness and joy…I felt like I was a giant electro-magnet surrounded by an assortment of metals, which had been switched back on.

I’m still unsure of what this all means, but it’s definitely contributing to the case for meditation and its role in awareness and positive impacts to mindset. It’s a personal, self-driven influence over your own identity, it’s taught me more about myself and it’s helping me better understand my place.

I highly recommend it to you all.

Image Credit: digitalbob8

VanCity

How to Master Your Own Mind: 5 Ways to Maintain Control

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Mind

Over the last few weeks I took a break from writing and I spent time with family whom had visited me from England. I wanted to be present during each moment as they were only here for a short while. I didn’t want to escape a moment to experience gratitude. Life is about balance and prior to them arriving, I had spent most of my time working towards my own passions and building my career; I had severely separated from a crucial part of my identity and neglected the very support that kept me grounded. My family visiting me was an opportunity to reconnect.

The last time I had spent this much time away from my writing, was when I suffered a severe case of doubt and fed the belief that I wasn’t really good enough. The difference this time, I was in full control of my own mind, I mindfully stepped away from work because I knew what I needed to. When you become so passionate about something and push through the negative infiltrations, fear transitions from not feeling good enough, to the fear of losing what you’ve built. Spending the last few years developing my own mindset and pulling myself out of unprogressive thoughts, has taught me that I can’t live life motivated by fear. I can harness it to trigger motivation, but I cannot allow my life to be driven by it. Today I proclaim to live life awake, aware and in abundance; I’m learning to master my own mind.

#1.  Objectify your Thoughts

A habit I’ve been getting into, is evaluating and reflecting negative and destructive thought. Whenever my thoughts turn sour, whether it’s about myself or negatively towards others, I dance around it with thoughts of understanding. I’m not simply replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, as far as I’m concerned, there’s a long line separating the two. What I choose to educate myself with to interpret thought, is what keeps my mind balanced and still.

When a thought enters my mind that causes me personal conflict, I acknowledge it. I make myself fully aware that I’m experiencing some sort of disconnect with my own identity and it’s time to evaluate and reflect. I personally externalize the thought, put it on a piece of paper and begin to understand how I came to such a negative assumption. When you decode these thoughts, you begin to weaken their impact, almost like repeating a word over and over again, until it no longer sounds like a word.

We often give certain thoughts more power than others, usually the negative ones get the most attention; like how a baby gains more attention by kicking and screaming. By making yourself aware of thoughts, you begin to question them, you’ll circle around different thoughts with questions; theories and ideas, until you stumble on the truth. And you’ll know when you’ve reached this “aha” moment, because you’ll feel very much empowered.

#2. Conceptualize Perception

Nothing feels more real than entering a flow state. When working on something you’re passionate about, the world around you seems to flutter away as you engage your inner genius, as your heart, mind and body is working in full synchronicity. If you regularly engage a flow state, you’ll become increasingly aware of how blurry perception can be. This is my 123rd blog post, I’m 7 chapters into writing my first book and I have invested countless hours a day talking about what I’m passionate about. Each time I come out of a state of flow, the world around me seems that much more distorted.

I’ve learnt to conceptualize perception, for one, I don’t waste time on what people think. It’s impossible for me to know what thoughts are motivating other people’s perception of the world, without spending time to get to know and understand them first. When you’re negatively impacted by others, you’re often focused on one recurring, internal thought. You’re boomeranging your own thoughts as you convince yourself that everyone shares it.

Don’t be naïve, focus more on doing the things that engage your passions and fill your life with bliss. If at every moment you’re engaging in an activity or thought that doesn’t fulfill you, you blur your perception of reality even more. Life becomes complicated and you’ll find yourself scrambling to understand why you don’t fit in.

#3. Experience Detachment

For the longest time I’ve been trying to understand the term detachment, that I failed to practise it. It’s not letting anything have rule over your life that’ll steer you away from truth. In my opinion, detachment is more of an experience rather than a practise, it allows you to experience liberation like never before. Imagine; complete and utter freedom and no rule from thought, desire, emotion, people and even your own possessions.

I always say detachment feels the same as taking your clothes off in public, you have nothing left to hide as you strip away everything you’ve ever held onto, that kept you from exposing the most vulnerable part of who you are; your truest form. Detachment finally allows you to exist, uninterrupted nor influenced. Detachment guides you to peace of mind.

To start experiencing this today, begin to understand your relationship with everything you give meaning to, starting with your material possessions is the easiest way to begin. Evaluate your desire for these things, ask yourself why? Question the very purpose of how things define your life, not your lifestyle. The more rule you have over your life, the more rule you have over your mind. The more you latch onto things, people, desires, and thoughts and so on, you weaken your mind because you deter from what’s truly meaningful.

#4. Awaken your Imagination

Ever had a crazy thought, idea or put together an insane, out of this world theory and shrugged it off as silliness because you’d think people would think you’re insane, paranoid or just stupid? Yeah me too, but there is so much fun to be had if you just let your imagination roar. Regularly exercise your mind by freeing it from the shackles of reality, I always note down my “insanity” and store it in a folder called “Chaos”.

Your imagination is vital to unlocking your potential, eventually one of your ideas, or crumbs from several ideas will guide you to self-actualization. If you let your mind regularly do its thing, you’ll eventually stumble across something you’ll feel confident expressing.

Why compartmentalize your imagination to fit in with the current trends and ideologies when, the advances we have in the world today came from the individuals often once thought to be insane. The world isn’t flat, the earth revolves around the sun and society is finally coming to terms with the fact that, we may not be the only ones living in this universe.

Imagination leads to discovery.

#5 Open your Mind

Last but not least, be curious, because when your mind opens up, you give fear the opportunity to escape. Connect with engaging stimulus; read more books, listen to more people and accept more fact. Try new things daily and test old practises rigorously. If you want to advance your mind, you need to stimulate it with something new. Expand zones of comfort and never be afraid to understand something by asking questions.

I grew up around warped cultural traditions that caused prejudice and inequality, the moment I moved away from it, was the day I began to discover my identity and my place in the world. And never hold anyone else back either, especially if you haven’t gained the experience or exposure to conceive any genuine opinion. This is your life remember, it’s up to you to discover what it’ll be about.

VanCity

The Mindset behind Creating a Healthier Planet: Routes of Change

Routes of Change

“I’d like to see our species come together and use our amazing potential to live in harmony with all life on this planet. If I had to leave an impression, I’d like it to be a smile.”

 – Markus Pukonen, Founder of Routes of Change

On 3rd Ave. and Main St. Vancouver B.C. is where I last saw Markus Pukonen; a man on a mission to “circumnavigate the planet without a motor.”Markus Pukonen

Founder of Routes of Change; a registered non-profit organization, with the intention of raising support for organizations that are creating a healthier planet, Markus began his adventure around the world on foot. Since then, he has already hiked, skipped and danced his way through the first few kilometres and according to his live, online GPS, he currently appears to be canoeing down Lake Ontario towards Prince Edward, ON.

I first got introduced to Markus when I gate-crashed his fundraiser during my recent visit to Tofino, BC. An intimate event, I spoke to several people who knew Markus personally and from what I had learnt, I was eager to understand the mindset of this man with an ambitious goal, derived from noble motives.

Markus loves our planet and “all of the beings on it.” He found himself burdened by the unfortunate state of our planet six years ago, when he lost his beloved father to Leukemia. Around the same time, his sister was pregnant with his niece. This cycle of death and new life caused Markus to wonder what type of future his niece would have, if we continue to pollute and ruin our planet. It also caused him to question the legacy he’d leave behind, if he were to face the same fate as his father. “It was time for change” and it was during this poignant time in Markus’ life, which jolted him to act upon one of his ultimate aspirations.

Over the last six years, Markus has been carefully planning, fundraising and generating awareness and support for his organization. Now that ‘Routes of Change’ has officially launched, he’s beginning to feel both the positive and negative impacts of this mission.  The pressure is definitely on and as deadlines loom, the reality of his aspiration is settling in.

To keep himself motivated and focused, Markus doesn’t overlook his emotions. He realizes that they are a key component towards navigating himself towards success. He also practises communicating openly for others to understand him better, especially during moments of high stress and anxiety.

“I’m planning on dancing every day to make things happy and positive and keep the silliness of everything in focus. I practice belly breathing, moving meditation, and yoga as well.”

Also, Markus occasionally finds himself “nervous and stressed.” On top of raising funds to support himself throughout this 5 year mission, he’s set himself a “huge goal” of raising 10 million dollars towards supporting positive change. So naturally, he’s finding himself questioning how it’ll all “come together.” Furthermore, Markus has been pretty independent his entire life and for the first time, he’s asked for support from his community in a “big way,” causing further thoughts of concern and uncertainty as he doesn’t want to let anyone down.

“I overcome these concerns and doubts by focusing on the positive, on the fact that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing. I know that things have a way of working themselves out if you move confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

Markus has also become mindful of the fact that not everyone understands his mission, nor can everyone empathise with his passion. He’s learnt that staying true to himself and standing by his own identity, will guide him towards the success and fulfillment he desires. He adds:

“I also remind myself that I was willing to do this trip without any money.”

His strength and encouragement also comes from gratitude, he genuinely values community, oneness and family. Even though he’ll be without his nearest and dearest for some time, he only has to think about them to trigger motivation.

“I think about the love they have for me. I think about doing my best in order to make them proud. I don’t focus on the fact that they aren’t with me, I focus on the fact that they ARE with me. I feel their love and support and I gain inspiration and strength from it. I focus on that overwhelming feeling of gratitude.”

Markus sets a great example of how to use your identity towards bigger aspirations. He’s combined what he loves to do (his passion), with what he has to do (his purpose) and as a result, he’s well on his way towards reaching levels of self-actualization.

There are many lessons to be learnt from Markus and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to meet with him. He’s confirmed that staying true to our own identities, engaging in what we’re passionate about and maintaining gratitude for the very things many of us take for granted, will steer us towards a life of bliss and fulfillment.

Have a great time Markus and thank you for raising awareness to make our home a better place to live.

To learn more about Markus Pukonen and ‘Routes of Change’ check-out Routesofchange.org. You can also support Markus along the way, by sponsoring a ‘penny per kilometer’, joining him during a leg of his trip or simply by offering him words of encouragement, advice and support.

Routes of Change

VanCity