While finding yourself (sounds cheesy, I know but stay with me here) and asking the tough life questions can be uncomfortable as hell, it’s really an essential step in our evolution as spiritual beings having a human experience. So, last November I decided to make a few changes—nothing too crazy, just things that moved me in the direction of change. I wanted to align my life and goals with my passions.
What have I found along the way? Well, I think I’ve found myself. Sounds hokey, I know, but it’s really the best descriptor I can think of.
While my journey is still unfolding, here are a few hacks I used along the way on my quest to unearthing my dharma. You can do it too. And I highly recommend that you do! You never know where the efforts will lead you or who you may find on the other side.
- Make a “bliss list”
What do you love doing? What inspires you? What activities did you get lost in as a kid? What are some of your unique skills? If you could choose any job in the world, what would it be? How would you spend your days if you didn’t have to worry about earning an income? Sit down and just write down whatever comes to you. Try not to think too much about it. Just start writing. What comes out may surprise you.
- Set Goals
It’s much easier to focus on what we want when we set goals for ourselves. They don’t have to be too big. Try setting a few short-term goals. Ones that can be achieved within a few months are best. Choose goals that will move you in the direction of your dreams, using the “bliss list” you made.
You’ve probably heard that what you focus on expands. This is basic physics. What you direct your attention to grows and expands. Think of your dreams as a garden. The garden won’t flourish if you don’t tend to it. The same is true when we’re setting goals. They can’t grow if you don’t give them your full attention and nurturing. Set your priorities, and try not to get distracted by negative thoughts or feelings. When you feel that resistance telling you that you should give up, that’s when you really need to dig in and persevere, because success is waiting on the other side of that resistance.
- Lose what’s not working
Break self-limiting habits that don’t align with your goals. My weakness was flopping down on the couch at night after work, binge watching HBO and Netflix. While I still enjoy a good Game of Thrones or True Detective episode, I restrict the amount of time I spend in front of the television in favor of activities that are in line with my desires. Find out what time-sucking habits keep you from realizing your full potential, and restrict or eliminate them.
I can’t stress this one enough. It is likely the single most important thing you can do to change your life. These days most of us know we should meditate yet most of us can find all kinds of excuses not to. My meditation practice has literally changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. Find a technique that works for you, and stick to regular daily practice. I use a mantra-based technique that I find works best for me, and I meditate twice a day, every day for 30 minutes each session. I am so passionate about meditation that I’m currently becoming certified to teach it!
- Move in the direction of change
Take baby steps. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want, moving in the direction of your passions will eventually reveal the path. Simply asking yourself the questions, “Who am I?” “What do I want?” “What is my purpose?” is enough to start the conversation necessary to support change, and movement in the direction of the fulfillment of your life’s purpose.
- Ditch that job you hate.
I can’t stress this enough. Don’t stay in a soul destroying job. I get that people have bills to pay (I have my share of them as well) and you need to bring in income, but with a little “intention” and “attention” to the things that move you, you will begin to attract experiences and opportunities that are in alignment with the best version of yourself. In my case, I was spinning my wheels trying to advance in a career that wasn’t in alignment with my higher purpose. I knew I had to make money, but needed a break from the stress of trying to compete with other (sometimes more qualified people) in a very crowded space, so I created a small business that made me happy, and also (eventually) paid the bills.
- Keep it positive
Don’t share your dreams with people who are unsupportive or who don’t get it. Surround yourself with people who support your vision, and want to see you succeed. Having a network of supportive friends and family is integral to your success, so choose carefully who you allow into your circle.
- Don’t give up
It’s so easy to give up when doubt sets in, but things always get tough right before the big breakthrough. Don’t listen to that critical “ego” voice that’s tempting you to give in. Often our lower self doesn’t want us to become more enlightened because to do so would be to threaten its very existence.
- Listen to your inner voice
Just as it’s important not to give in to your inner critic, it’s equally important to listen when your inner voice is telling you something isn’t right. You should always listen to how your body feels. If you get a real feeling of discomfort in a situation, then you should pay attention to that. Your higher self will always guide you away from what isn’t right for you. Always move towards comfort.
Photo Credit: 123RF
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