Tag: LifeHacks

Loners Are Some of the Most Intellectual and Loyal People You’ll Ever Meet

loners can be most intellectual and loyal
Loners Are Some of the Most Intellectual and Loyal People You’ll Ever Meet
In fact, their intelligence makes them capable of being content in solitude. That’s why I grow weary of all the negative talk about those who wish to enjoy time alone, away from the multitude.
Being a loner doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. If you think this way, you’re wrong. It’s not my opinion, it’s fact. You didn’t write the alphabet and you didn’t make the rules. There are many ingredients in the soup! Let me sort this out for you. I believe a little snatching up and rearranging is due.
First off, I’m not attacking anyone, I’m standing up for the little man, the one in the dark corner and the one whose been bullied far too long. In fact, I would love to help you get to know the loner, the introvert, the confident and quiet intellectual. Hopefully, you are no longer offended and maybe even a little curious about the loner. First, I need to clear something up.
There are two types of loners
The loner isn’t always an introvert, actually. Sometimes, the loner has a perfect ability to make friends, socialize and even get loads of attention. It’s just that they prefer to be alone. They have friends too! Loners have the ability to make top notch friends because they choose to choose carefully. Their friends are usually in a small group as well. Extroverted loners are picky about their time, selfish even, meaning they love to learn about themselves and continually learn things about life as well. And no, that doesn’t mean they are self-absorbed. I’m not positive because I am a rather introverted loner, but extroverted loners probably don’t have time for small talk either.
Jonathon Cheek, psychologist at Wellesley College, said,
“Some people simply have a low need for affiliation.”
On the flip side, the introverted loner is a little different. They have issues with large crowds of people, it’s not just a choice. Introverts feel safer alone, there is no risk of social awkwardness or rejection. Although they might choose animal friends over human counterparts, as many of us do, introverted loners still care. They are intelligent and find ways to socialize a bit through online communications rather than events or concerts, which can be devastating to their peace of mind.
Some think being an introverted loner is unhealthy. They feel that enforced alone time is close to anxiety. I can understand this personally, as I have endured panic attacks when experiencing the chaotic environment of an amusement park. This is because introverts can be victims of stimulus overload! Introverted loners need more time for meditation and pampering the senses.
I hope this helps, both you and me, because there are so many reasons, to be honest, as to why someone would choose more alone time. It could be heredity, the desire for privacy or even the result of not having many friends as a child. And don’t forget, being a loner is not the same as being lonely. I, for one, spent an entire year as a single mom with joint custody. I missed my children when they were away but it was not because I was alone. The weeks that I was by myself, I met myself. I got to know who I was and what I liked about myself. This was invaluable time that I used to learn that I needed no one to tell me who I was or how I should feel. I spent time with me and found some solid foundation on which to stand my ground, as needed. I embraced being a loner.
Loners are some of the most intellectual and loyal people you will ever meet. They can also be dangerous. Why, you ask. Because they already know what they are capable of and they no longer have to pretend. Knowledge, to the loner, is not intimidating. It is simply another opportunity to realize the strength of solitude.
Never look down on the loner. And loners, never look down on the social butterflies either.
It’s better if we work together and appreciate our differences. That’s where true intelligence and loyalty lie.
Author: Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.

The Science Behind Why Love Is A Powerful Drug. – Thousand Thoughts

There’s a certain type of love we all crave and chase. We want it to be all-consuming. We want to think about our partners all day and night. We want to be love sick to the point of nausea. We’ve seen that type of love on television, and we’ve been moved by songs written about it.

The Science Behind Why Love Is A Powerful Drug

Once we experience love our desire for it only increases. We remember the euphoria of being intimately tied to another human being, and we want to recapture that feeling. It’s difficult to articulate what, exactly, that feels like.

Well, it’s almost as if love is a drug, and you want another hit. That sounds crazy but, believe it or not, there’s science to back it up.

Falling in love stimulates the same part of the brain as an actual drug.

In the moments immediately following the use of an illicit drug like cocaine, the brain’s levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine skyrocket, causing feelings of euphoria. The ‘high’ of the high. Yet it seems that the initial stages of love offer a similar (albeit legal) kind of high.

Helen Fisher, an anthropologist whose work focuses on relationships, hasstudied this phenomenon. Her research has found that, when you fall in love, serotonin lifts your confidence levels, norepinephrine boosts your energy and dopamine enhances feelings of pleasure.

In simpler terms: You feel like you’re on top of the world when you’re falling in love.

In addition to stimulating these brain chemicals, new love also plays tricks on the amygdala, which acts like the brain’s fear center. Think about how stressful those beginning stages of a relationship are — they tap into your deepest insecurities because you can’t really tell if your partner is on the same page.

These stresses stimulate the amygdala, which then signals your adrenal glands to produce adrenaline, making your heart flutter. Noradrenaline makes you sweat. Cortisol sends a wave of excess energy to your muscles. Sounds like the physical reaction to a drug, right?

Some scientists think that love used to be one of the only highs people experienced in ancient times. Only in the modern age have we felt the need for anything else.

Can love actually help manage pain?

Now that we’ve established that love alters the brain like a drug, there’s another question to consider: Does that mean its effects can actually help when you’re in pain?

The hypothesis was there for researchers Arthur Aron, PhD, and Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, of SUNY Stonybrook. They hypothesized that since the brain’s reward system is critical in pain management, and love targets that reward system, it must have an overall impact.

They tested this hypothesis by having volunteers undergo MRI scans while they were experiencing pain. When patients were holding pictures of their loved ones dopamine spiked in their brains. The reward center took over and reduced their pain, the brain scans suggested.

But if love can help manage pain, does that mean it can also cause pain?

Recovering after a breakup is like detoxing after drug use.

We’ve all been through a terribly painful breakup. Can’t breathe, can’t sleep, can’t eat — it’s one of the worst kinds of pain. You start jonesing for your ex the same way you jones for coffee at 3pm.

That’s because you haven’t just broken up with someone; you are literally detoxing from the feeling of being in love.

Fisher has also studied the effects breakups have on the brain through experiments in which she recruited college-aged men and women who were reeling from the recent end to their relationships. When the participants looked at photos of their exes, the parts of their brains that lit up in scans were associated with physical pain, distress and attachment. Those are the same areas of the brain that are stimulated by drug dependency.

And, just like someone suffering from drug addiction, people who are suffering through a breakup are prone to obsessions and reality distortions.

This revelation seems to prove that going “cold turkey” to quit your ex is the best strategy. That means no emails, texts or phone calls.

Love may be intoxicating at first, but when it turns sour, it can get just as dangerous and insidious as cocaine. Think about that the next time you flirt with the person next to you at the bar and you feel yourself falling.


Author: Blair Thill

Source: Elite Daily

The 6 Major Benefits Of Being An Empath. – Thousand Thoughts

Is it hard for you to see any benefit in being an Empath? Do you feel being highly sensitive is a problem for you? Most people feel that their heightened awareness or sensitivity is a burden that they want to shut off and quiet. It’s really important for you to hear how valuable you are as an Empath, and how many wonderful traits you have that set you apart and give you an advantage because you are highly sensitive.

major Benefits of being an empath

When you get a better understanding of your true nature, realize you are not alone, start accepting your heightened sensitivities and then learn the practicable methods in going to share with you, you will be able to gradually identify and release all those pesky internalized false beliefs you have about how there is something wrong with you.

What if what you believe is wrong about you was your greatest capacity for changing the world and you just don’t yet know how to use your natural abilities yet?

As most of you, or maybe all of you have concluded at one time or another in life, being highly sensitive can be tough. You may feel like no one understands you and no one gives you the sympathy you require when something is difficult for you.

There are actually some great benefits of being highly empathic. Most people put all the focus on the difficulties and don’t get far enough in their self-discovery on their own to realize the enormous benefits.

Here are the major six reasons being an Empath is a gift:

  •  We are natural healers and can gift healing energy to others through our hands, voices or even by playing a musical instrument.  Many Empaths choose to pursue energy healing as they feel an inner calling to heal themselves and others.


  •  We will sense potential dangers before other people and are more in tune with our sixth sense.


  •  While many people who are not so empathic feel deeply uncomfortable being alone with themselves, Empaths actually crave a lot of alone time and require it to balance and de-stress. We need alone time to recuperate, and that’s not a bad thing as we are more self-aware because of this time with ourselves.


  •  Empaths are unusually very creative in life with not only art but also experiences, situations, and possibilities. We think differently and see things that others would not be able to conceptualize as easily. This creativity of thought and processing can often be mislabeled as wrong, but it’s actually a capacity of yours.


  •  Sensitive people are good at sensing all kinds of nonverbal communication and indicators of physical needs and emotions. This gives us a talent for intuiting the unconscious mind and for sensing the needs of those who cannot speak, such as animals, plants, infants, and the human body.


  •  People can not lie to us without us knowing. Even when someone tries to tell us they are ok but they are not, we see though the facade they put up, and we can feel what’s really going on under the surface.

Your heightened sensitivity is a gift and not a curse. Remember that your thoughts are things, and what you think is what you create. So, next time you curse your heightened awareness or sensitivity level remember some of these benefits that you’ve just uncovered.

By putting your focus on the benefits of being an Empath, you will be creating a life where your gift is contributing to you instead of draining you.


4 Reasons You Procrastinate With Daily Tasks. – Thousand Thoughts

You have a task that you know that you need to do. It sits there, staring you in the face, or lurks just around the corner. It weighs on your mind, causing stress and anxiety.

Why procrastinate



So often we wait for inspiration to strike to help us get started on a difficult task. The important task nags at your mind. You know that it needs to get done, but you are waiting for just the right time to do it. You need some sort of spark of motivation to get you started.

The problem is, that sometimes inspiration doesn’t strike.

Where does the motivational spark come from? How can you kindle it, and gain control over your life?



Here are four reasons why many people don’t get started, and what we can do about them:

1. You don’t have a strong reason why

Not having a strong reason to accomplish a task in the near future allows many tasks to slip to the back burner. Without a strong reason, it is easy to postpone the task, over and over again.

Search your mind for the reasons why a task is important. Think of your values and life goals. How will accomplishing this task help you a year from now, ten years from now, and in the overall context of your life?

Set a deadline for yourself, with intense personal reasons why you must meet that deadline.  Be sure that you are committed to the deadline. An attitude of “I hope to get that done this year” won’t get you very far. You need an attitude of “I definitely will get that done by March because (insert important reason). In order to reach that deadline I need to complete this small step today.”

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay

2. Lack of commitment

Lack of commitment can cause us to never start many tasks. Make a commitment to a time and a place, where and when you will do the task. If you tell yourself that you will do a task at 10:00 this morning from your desk, rather than a vague “I will do it today”, it will become more real in your mind. The more real it is, the more likely you are to actually do it.

Time acts as a trigger to get you started. When the appointed time rolls around, you will be thinking, it is 10:00, I must start the task now. Now is an important word. The only time you can actually start a task is now.

Setting a place where the task will be done helps to satisfy the “S” in SMART goals. Knowing where the task will take place makes it more specific. At a minimum, you know that in order to get started you must be in the proper place.


3. Fear

Fear may be holding you back. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear that the result of completing the action may make you have to face up to bad news. But ignoring fear does not make it go away. Fear needs special treatment to be overcome.

Realize that by completing the task and facing the consequences, you are almost always better off than if you hide your head in the sand waiting for the problem to go away. Usually, ignored problems only get worse. And even if they don’t get worse, living long term with the stress of the undone task hanging over you is not good for your health. Face a fear enough times and the fear reaction will nearly be gone.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

4. A task may seem overwhelming

A task may seem overwhelming, making it hard to imagine getting it done. Your big goals in life can be like that. You have strong reasons why you want to accomplish the goal, but it is so big it is hard to see the end from where you currently stand.

Find small steps to get started. I love the term “baby chunks”, from Steve Robbins, the self-proclaimed Get It Done Guy. He uses the term to refer to a small chunk of time, say 10 minutes, in which we focus 100% on the task, makes getting started much more manageable.

However, I often think of the phrase as meaning a small piece of the task. I used that technique as a child when cleaning my room seemed overwhelming. I looked around the room and found one toy that I could pick up and put away. That was okay, so I looked for the next one, and the next, and so on.

Nowadays I usually break down any daunting task into small steps to get started. Look up the phone number. Set the time that I will call. Plan what I will say. At the appointed time, pick up the phone.

You can get your motivational spark by having strong enough reasons, by making a commitment, by overcoming fear, and by breaking the task down into manageable chunks.

When are you going to stop procrastinating with your daily tasks? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!


Declutter Your Mind With A Minimalist Approach – 3 Benefits

I am walking outside to the rubbish bin for the third time today. It’s freezing outside, but I have to keep clearing the junk. I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and the floor to my bedroom again, hooray!


A few days later I get sucked into buying two more pairs of shoes. Do I really need them or was it the scarcity mindset kicking in to tell me that I may not be able to get the same look or price again, so I better buy them now.

I’m in the car off to buy some camera equipment. Tim, isn’t this the second camera you have brought in two months? It’s easy not to be happy with what you have brought when it comes to technology because there is always something better.

After a long days work, it’s time to relax. Now I’m on gumtree again, but I can’t bring myself to buy second-hand cameras. What if it breaks? Don’t I want something no one else has messed with?

Apple iPhone and iPadThat week I look at my office and wonder why I have three computers, two iPads and three phones. I am only one person and I can’t use all these devices at once. I make a commitment there and then to think before buying any more of these personal electronic devices.

While I can’t resist the temptation right now not to want a new phone, I can, at least, commit to selling my old one first before buying the new one. Too late, I have already got the new phone. Oh, how shiny it is!

Not a problem, I will sell my old phone on eBay when I get a chance. Two months have passed, and I still haven’t sold my iPhone. I will get to it one day.

That day arrives, I have holidays, and I now spend three hours taking photos of the old phone and posting a red hot description so I can get the maximum amount of money to use towards my next holiday.

Maybe it’s time for a new car. I mean my current one has only done 40,000 Km but its petrol. It would be cool to have a hybrid instead so that petrol would be much cheaper. Yes, it would cost a lot up front but think of all the long-term savings!

I’m at the fresh food market. There are people everywhere, and it’s 6 am on a Saturday morning. I have worked a long week, but I have to get up early so I can get lots of fresh food. You don’t want to get sick do you and then not be able to deliver on your vision?Apples In A Basket

I better get an extra bag of organic apples you just never know if they will have any leftover when I come back.

A few days later, the bag of organic apples has gone off. Better throw them out as they taste yuck when they are off. Next time I won’t buy as many.

It’s been a long week, time to relax and go to a friend’s house. When I get through the door, the floor is covered in shoes and other miscellaneous items. Better help clean up as just the thought of this mess is making me feel stressed. I can rest after all the mess is clear.

I’m back in my office. Time to write something I am feeling inspired about. Hold on, there are business shirts all over the floor. Better iron them and get them off the floor otherwise, I will have nothing to wear next week.

Once I am done, I will get back to my writing. You can’t write in a messy room can you?

What you have just read are my own thoughts over a week told as self-talk to my brain. I may sound like a mad man, but these types are thoughts are perfectly normal in most of us. I should add that I am already fairly minimalistic in my ways so imagine how much crazier they would be for the majority who are not minimalist in their ways.

Three benefits of becoming more minimalist


1. More time to work on your vision

One of the points above was me attempting to sit down and write an article just like this one. While I had the motivation and the goal of writing an article that week, all the shirts on the floor distracted me from fulfilling my deepest desire.

It’s something so simple, but what if I got rid of some business shirts so that instead of having sixty, I just had five? Five shirts are more than enough to last me a full workweek and some of the most successful people in the world like Mark Zuckerberg already do something similar.

Many of us don’t consciously think about who we are trying to impress with a new outfit or clothing combination every day.

“People are so caught up in their own lives; they don’t even notice what you are wearing” – Tim Denning

Now we don’t all need to take this extreme approach and just have five shirts, but what if we had 50% fewer clothes than we currently had? I suspect we would have less to iron, plenty to wear and feel much better.

By having to go off and iron, the clutter of my material possessions got in the way of what I really wanted to do. Sometimes all we want to do is just sit down and write something or read a book. Adding some minimalist concepts to your life can really get you back on track and closer to your vision.


2. Less day to day stress

If you reread by self-talk again, you will notice that I sound a bit on edge. This is what not having enough minimalist qualities to your life can do. All of us to some degree want to come home to a clean house of some description before we start doing what it is that fulfils us.

Too many possessions can easily become a roadblock to that way of life. In can become a self-fulfilling pattern of never been happy with the hear and now. Our thoughts get anxious, and we always want tot think of the next best thing.

When we can be comfortable with what we have, and we don’t always need to go out and upgrade everything we already have – which already works fine – we can remove some of the daily stress we experience.


3. More money to compound further

The overarching theme to my self-talk was that I was constantly thinking about how to spend more money. For most, it’s money that we don’t have. This is where crazy credit card debts and lack of cash flow in our personal lives comes from.

By putting a minimalist touch to our life, we can have more money without having to go out and work more hours, or sell more goods and services in our business. The money that we save can then be put towards meaningful things like travel, or even money generating possessions like property or stock for our business that can help us create even more abundance.

The initial shift from your current ways to being slightly more minimalist doesn’t need to be much. Don’t try going straight to a life of two t-shirts, no car or TV, and a one-bedroom apartment; it won’t work. Instead, just try being more conscious of how much you are consuming and whether what you are buying is a necessity.

This small change in thinking will get you well on the road to a more minimalist life with much more money. Don’t forget to use some of these increased resources to give back and help others.

Image Credit: Getty
Image Credit: Getty

Are you already using some minimalist habits? I would love to know in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook.


Source: Addicted to Success

19 Psychological Life Hacks That You Must Know! – Thousand Thoughts

Life is simple with hacks, they get us through the day. We keep searching the internet trying to find new hacks to add to our arsenal. We have a couple that you can add up your sleeve. You can thank us later after you read these Psychological Hacks, that are mind blowing. Let’s get started.


1. If you ask someone a question and they give a short response; Just wait, keep quiet and remain eye contact. They will usually pick up where they off from.

2. Ever in your group of friends and you all share a laugh? And then you catch yourself looking at the person you’re closest to? That ‘s because people by their instinct look at the person they’re closest to.

3. If you make yourself joyful, and excited to see someone, they will return the vibe. Maybe not the first time, but the next for sure.

4. If you get nervous from public speaking or get butterflies before a roller coaster, try chewing some gum. If you’re eating something, it tricks our brain to think “I am not in danger because I wouldn’t be eating right now.”

5. If you’re joining a conversation, look at the person’s feet. If they don’t turn their feet and just turn their torsos, they don’t want you to join in. In the same way, if talking to a coworker, and you think they’re invested in the conversation. If their torso is turned towards you and not their feet, they probably want it to end.

6.If someone is angry at you, just stay calm, it’ll tick them off more, and they’ll ashamed about it after.

7. Take someone on a first date that gets their heart pumping. For example like a roller coaster or a horror movie. This spikes their adrenaline, and tricking them they enjoy spending time with you, but it was probably an adrenaline high from the activity.

8.People will remember you not by your words, but how you made them feel. Also, people love talking about themselves, so just ask lots of question about them.

9. Always tell the truth. when you have to tell a lie, people are more likely to believe you.


10. If you smile big, you’ll instantly feel happier. Just don’t do it while staring at people. You’ll likely come off of as creep.

11.When you just meet someone, refer them by their name, people love hearing their name. It will build up trust, and a friendship right away. If your friend introduces to his friend Mike, when it time to say bye, don’t say just bye, but instead say “Bye Mike”.

Related Post : Top 16 Psychological Life Hacks Your Brain Needs To Know

12.If you’re learning a new language or something of that assert. Try to teach a friend, by teaching something you’ll understand it much better.

13. Most guys in a fist fight will try to end it with right hook instinctively.

14. If you want really want something for someone, disguise it as an offer than a request.

Did you know when Teddy Roosevelt was running for president, his campaign team printed out 3 million leaflets with a picture of a Teddy. His team realize that they didn’t retain the rights for the photo. They twisted around as an offer for the photographer by saying the studio will pay 250 for the rights for the photo, and you get a lot of publicity throw the campaign in return. If they had explained their problem. The photographer will have a lot more leverage, and will probably ask for a lot more money.

15. People are extremely in tune with their sense of touch. If someone mistakenly rest their knee on yours, they might pretend it didn’t happen, but they knew it was there the whole time.

16. When you have you have an interview, ask your interviewer as many questions as you can. Ask them about what they do for work, really listen to them. They will walk away from the interview feeling like a million bucks because they got a chance to talk about themselves. They will think the interview went well. It’s a psychological thing.

17. Your chances increase for success in a relationship if your parents and your friends get along with your special someone.

18. Jokes tend to be less funny when it have to be said again. Well, use it to your advantage when a jerk makes a joke at your expense. Play deaf, make them repeat it, by the third time the joke will hearing crickets.

19. You can judge a person characteristics by seeing how they treat people who they don’t know.

Source: MensXP


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The Importance of Loving Yourself. – Thousand Thoughts

What is Love? Wikipedia says, “Love is a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that range from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”). It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment.” The funny thing about loving other people, is that we need to love ourselves before we can love anyone else.


What is Self-Love?

Self-love is a combination of self-acceptance, self-possession, self-awareness, kindness, and respect for ourselves. Believe t or not, some people find that they are the hardest person to love in their lives. We know everything we have done, good or bad, so it makes sense that we would judge ourselves more harshly than anyone else will. But is it so hard to love ourselves? Not really. No one is going to love you if you don’t love yourself, so learning to love yourself is critical. Here are some tips to help you love yourself, and more importantly, to be more confident about yourself.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Simple Tips for Love Yourself:

* Forgive yourself (if you don’t nobody will).
*Stop criticizing yourself.
* Praise and appreciate yourself.
* Find ways to support yourself.
* Appreciate your body and tell yourself you are beautiful. You are more than just your appearance.
* Do something simple that makes you happy.
* Go after your dreams.
* Smile, it creates happiness.
* Celebrate your successes.
* Pamper yourself.

“In order to love yourself, you must behave in ways that you admire.” ~Irving Yalom

Overcome Negative Thoughts About Yourself:

Many people have trouble letting go of negative thoughts that they have about themselves. Focusing only on the negatives in your life is a bad habit we all tend to slip into. It is impossible to love yourself if all you have is negative thoughts about who you are and what you’ve done. Negative thoughts are inevitable at times, but we have to stop supporting those negative thoughts. They have a huge impact on your mindset.

Appreciate Yourself:

Appreciating yourself is a wonderful thing and is a practice we all should adopt. Start appreciating yourself for who you are and what you have. This allows you to realize your true worth. Once you realize your worth, you won’t settle for anything else. When you start to appreciate your talents, beauty, and brilliance you will be able to love your imperfectly perfect self.

Find Positive Things About Yourself:

Try to find positive things about yourself and make a list of your positive attributes. When you feel down, take a look at the list of your positive attributes. You will realize that you deserve love and respect. Let those positive attributes run through your mind.

Be Confident About Yourself:

What other people think of you doesn’t matter, as long as you are confident about yourself.

Do Things That Make You Feel Good:

Start doing things that make you feel good both physically and emotionally. Do things that you wanted to do in your childhood. Read that book you’ve been meaning to read. Spend more time outside.

Spend Some Time Alone:

Before you can be happy with someone else, you truly need to find happiness within yourself. One of the best things you can do to accomplish that is to spend some time alone, doing things you love. Take action and create a beautiful life for yourself. Trust in yourself, do good work, and you will see results. Spending time with your partner is not the only thing that brings happiness, you have to realize that you can be happy, by spending time alone too.

Source: “The Importance of Loving Yourself,” from iheartintelligence.com



This is good for you, and it’s good for others! Practicing Stillness – Thousand Thoughts

As you sit quietly and immerse yourself in the peace and stillness of your own centred being, you will gradually begin to experience yourself in an undistorted manner. You will sink below or rise above your usual sense of self and instead come upon the undistorted, clear conscious experience of Being–your Being. You will experience yourself as the specific conscious expression of an infinitely expressive Consciousness, Mind, Presence, or God. You will thereby intuitively know that you are more than physical and human, that your spiritual existence is guaranteed, immortal, eternal, and true, and that your Original Nature is absolutely good. You’ll know that you are creative energy, Spirit, a unique expression of God’s infinite Self-Expression, and that at your core is Goodness. This is what you’ll experience because, in some mysterious and uncompromising way, this is what we are. We are all made of God Substance, Consciousness, Love.

Moving into stillness

As you sit in stillness, experiencing the energetic feeling-tone of “you” (Level One), you will invariably begin to feel exquisite inside. You will begin to feel at ease, deeply relaxed, natural, perhaps for the first time in a long time. And as you relax, and as you feel the energy you are made of, you will begin to feel loved. You’ll find yourself feeling this way, inevitably, eventually, as you relax inside and allow yourself to become increasingly in touch with the loving goodness that is already in you–and it is already in you because that is how you were built. Love is the all-constituting substance of Being. It’s what you are made of. And you did not create yourself.

When you sit quietly and let go of every false self-definition, of everything you think you know about who you are, and then be what’s left, what remains is the untarnished presence of who you’ve always been and still really are. This untarnished presence manifests–shines–as pure, clear awareness and unconditional love. When you experience your essence, you will feel this natural lovingness within yourself without having to do anything!

When you feel the loving goodness inside yourself as yourself–as who or what you really are, you will acquire new self-appreciation. You will realize there is no basis for being self-critical or self-condemnatory, or for harbouring guilt for some known or unknown transgression in the past, and that you have done this until now simply because you have accepted as true certain erroneous ideas about yourself. It’s obvious to you now that when you wipe the slate clean and take a look at yourself for yourself, when you experience yourself as you actually are, you encounter a very different you from the “you” you thought you were. It now makes sense to disbelieve what was never true and embrace the new self-appraisal. You are You; God’s specific Self-Expression.

You will then no longer think of yourself in self-deprecatory terms, and you will, as a natural consequence, loosen and release every remaining tendril of self-condemnation and self-hate. It will be reasonable to do this, though not always easy. It will no longer feel sane, however, or true or realistic, to be self-critical. And since your behaviour has always been a by-product of the way you feel about yourself, you’ll notice in yourself an effortless, behavioural change occurring in response to this new self-evaluation. You will become more loving, more understanding, and more truly compassionate naturally. This is a vital stage of personal maturation and is of utmost social value.

Difficulty arises, however, because we are afraid to let go of what we think we know and be what’s left. We’re reluctant to ease up on the tight sense of control we exercise over ourselves because life is hard enough as it is. We don’t want it any harder. “If I stop controlling myself to be one way rather than another, who knows what might happen! If I let go of every pretense and instead be genuine, things might get worse. Who knows what devil might be lurking in my depths?” But it’s also beginning to dawn on us that we have blindly believed false and inaccurate concepts about who we are, and have been ignorant of our true nature until now simply because we have been taught otherwise, and that maybe we’re different from how we’ve thought ourselves to be, and that it’s time, now, to experience what’s really true once and for all, come what may.

It requires tremendous courage willingly to release all of our firmly held beliefs and face ourselves directly. Courage is required because we don’t know what we’ll find. We’re afraid our worst suspicions will be confirmed, or that we’ll uncover aspects of ourselves we’d rather keep concealed. And we may! But underneath it all, or surrounding it all, embracing it all is the creative energy of Consciousness, Identity, or Presence that we really are grounded in love and goodness.

But at first we don’t know this. We don’t know that goodness is at our core. We don’t know that happiness is the natural state, that this is what we’ll find. So we feel trepidation. We’re suspicious. And we’re likely to think all this talk about love and goodness is nothing but, at best, pure fantasy. But, in actuality we’re not absolutely certain this isn’t what we’ll find. We don’t really know whether it’s true or false. We don’t really know whether goodness or evil is at our core, or if we are some blurry mixture of the two.

Therefore, we need to courageously desire to know the truth, and then we need to go within and experience ourselves directly. Therefore, want to know the truth, once and for all. Want to knowyour truth. Let go of everything you think you know about who you are, suspend every idea you now have about what’s true and what isn’t, and open your mind to what’s actually so–to the living truth of you.

This is the most logical, important, life-affirming thing you can do. You’ll be glad you risked experiencing yourself with clarity. But it can be frightening, unnerving, unsettling. However, if loving goodness is both at your core and is the surrounding all-pervading presence of Consciousness that you are–and this is something you will only ever know by experiencing it within yourself as your deepest truth–then the more clearly you experience yourself as you really are, free of any overlay of conditioning and in spite of your fears, the more love you will experience. If love is what’s in there, then love is what you’ll find when you go within. But you won’t be convinced of this until you go within. Therefore, take the chance. It’s worth the risk. And it’s inevitable. You’re bound to succeed. You will no longer be so afraid to know what else is true about you, which will further encourage you to relax deeper, trust more fully, and genuinely be yourself without inhibition or pretense.

You will discover and know that love, goodness, and creative consciousness are what constitute your being because you will experience these attributes within and as yourself. You will simultaneously realize that you did not put them there because you did not create yourself. You were created by the creative God Force. The inherent creative goodness within you is not a mental construct that you attempt to adopt, not pretense or self-deception, not something you conjure up. It’s something you discover. You go in empty-handed, not knowing, and this is what you find. And when you allow yourself wholeheartedly to experience the core feeling-tone of the love that you are, you will spontaneously feel happy. You won’t have to lift a finger or change yourself in any way. It’s the way you were built. It’s what you are. The emotional feeling-tone of love and goodness is happiness.

There will be an overwhelming sense of authenticity about this experience. You will have no doubt about its truth. You will be convinced. You will also realize that it is not egocentric to be appreciative of the creative energy that you are. Nor is it arrogant, presumptuous, or conceited to feel good inside about yourself, or to be happy for no apparent reason, or to acknowledge that you are a perfect creation of the God Force.

You understand instead that it is egotistical and arrogant to believe anything else, for you are not a self-created separate energy. It is not any more narcissistic (in the pejorative sense) to experience self-love or self-appreciation than it is to appreciate a lovely flower or a spectacular sunset. The wonder and beauty of you is not your doing, and appreciation will be the natural response of anyone who realizes this truth. What a relief! You are not who you thought you were. You are the infinite Oneness in specific Self-Expression. How wonderful to be affiliated with the great God Force.

In order to experience the natural joy of Being–in order to be happy!–we do not have to fulfill any conditions that are contrary to our original nature of loving goodness. We especially do not have to be other than the way we are. In fact, it has been the lifelong attempt to be some way other than our natural being that has made us frustrated and unhappy. You cannot be anything other than you. Therefore, let yourself be yourself–be you!–and live your truth without inhibition. Discover the truth by letting go of old concepts. Make space for the new. Release every idea you have about who you are, and then be the you that remains. Being you is not a substitute for what you can never be. It is the gracious acceptance of what you have always wanted and have never been without.

Think of it like this: The farther you are from knowing your truth and experiencing the love you are, the unhappier you will be; the closer you are, the happier. Keep it simple. It works like this because goodness is at your core and because happiness is the feeling-tone of your original nature. But, really, whether you are “close” or “far,” you are always only a thought away. Your original nature is not, in fact, far away from you. It is not elusive. It is not someplace other than where you are, nor is it something you evolve or transform into or earn. It’s right here, yours, already.

Become your already-existing naturally happy truth by spending quiet time alone every day to meditate. At least once a day sit down for a few minutes by yourself, stop moving, stop thinking, and just be. Deliberately be still. Close your eyes, relax, breathe, be aware, and consciously experience your present moment of conscious awareness. Immerse yourself in your own unique feeling-tone. Feel you. Bask in the exquisite experience of being alive, of conflict-free high-energy peace, and become thoroughly familiar with the core tone of who you are.

This is like dipping cloth into dye. Each dip of the cloth strengthens the cast of the dye and enhances the color. Here, however, you are dipping yourself into you. You are experiencing you. Each time you do so, you become more you; that is, your sense of the authentic you is enriched. Each dip into the silent experience of you washes away more false ideas, which enables the real you to shine forth more clearly to yourself and others. As you do this, something new and very interesting will gradually begin to happen. You’ll find yourself becoming more intuitive. Your mind will seem to expand, and your inner voice will start talking to you more clearly, guiding you, telling you what to say, what to think, where to go, what to do with your life. As you will discover, this is the source of right action. I will say more about this later.

Therefore, as you directly experience the living truth of who you are, two wonderful aspects of being become apparent. First, you come upon the core of goodness. This will promote a new, expanded, and truer sense of self. It will give your life new meaning, and you’ll find yourself feeling happy for no apparent reason. Of course, there is a reason. Happiness and love is the stuff of which you are made. You can obscure your awareness of it, but you cannot get away from it. You cannot actually change it.

Second, the inner feeling–or inner voice–starts speaking to you with more clarity. Or rather, it’s not that the inner voice now speaks with more clarity, but you’ll start hearing it more clearly. It will become more obvious to you, and harder to ignore. This internal communication from the deeper regions of Being can become, if you are willing, your new guide to appropriate action in daily life. You will feel good inside about who you are and be increasingly effective in all your actions.

Let’s move now into a practice mode with regard to all that has been said so far. We’ll continue with three more exercises. These have been specifically designed to help you experience the loving goodness truth inside you.

One of the first things you may notice as you sit in stillness is that your body vibrates or hums. The center of this hum is in the area of your heart and throughout the length of your spine, your core. This is where love vibrates most obviously. The purpose of the next two breathing exercises, then, is to direct your conscious feeling-awareness into the area of your heart and core and thereby increase your sensitivity to the vibratory hum. You’ll feel the love vibration inside yourself that will cause you to feel profoundly loved and profoundly safe, and you will thereby spontaneously become more loving–more of a pleasure to be around. This is good for you, and it’s good for others! These exercises are worth a few minutes of your undivided attention. Enjoy them.

Heart breathing

Lie on your back with your eyes closed and palms flat on your chest. Begin by gently breathing in and out, aiming the breath into the chest so that you feel the wishbone at the base of your sternum expanding with each breath. Do this for a minute or two.

Then allow your breathing to flow in and out naturally, effortlessly, without any intervention on your part, and simply station your awareness in the center of your chest at the base of the sternum–where your hands are–and feel what you feel. Feel yourself breathing. As attentively as you can, note the changing sensations in the area of your heart that accompany each breath as it flows in and out.

Breathe in and out of your heart, lie absolutely still, be relaxed, and allow your breathing to flow freely and easily. Make no attempt to regulate your breathing or control it in any way. Some breaths will be deep, others shallow. Every breath will be different. All you do is remain aware of the ever-changing sensations that accompany breathing in the area of your heart.

As you practice this technique, let each breath remind you to stay centred and present in the now. When your attention strays, notice it has done so and then bring it back to the feeling-awareness of the ever-changing sensations in your chest. Do not think about the breath, nor about the meaning of love. Simply experience what’s actually there to be experienced. Stay with what’s happening. Shift from thinking mode to feeling mode, and experience your unique feeling-tone emanating from your heart center. Be especially on the look out for pleasurable sensations of warmth, expansion, or spaciousness, and notice how the movement of breath seems to fan and increase these sensations. Willingly give your undivided attention to this exercise for ten minutes.

Expanded heart breathing

Sit on the floor with your spine straight and eyes closed. If you are unable to sit on the floor, use a chair. Be comfortable. Take a moment to become quiet and prepare yourself.

When you are ready, begin with ten or twenty fairly deep, gentle, continuous breaths, endeavouring to achieve full expansion of your chest and rib cage. Allow the sternum to rise and swell forward as you breathe. Go ahead and exaggerate it, but be very, very gentle.

Then inhale fully, again lifting upward with the sternum and expanding your chest. Hold the breath for a comfortable length of time, somewhere between five and twenty seconds, and as you hold your chest gently open at full expansion, feel the sensations in the area of your heart.

Feel the obvious sensations–the physical sensations of stretch and fullness accompanying chest expansion, the feeling of satisfaction, of air-hunger being satiated, and of air-hunger arising again as the seconds go by, your heart beating, your desire to exhale–but feel the deeper, subtler energy as well. Feel the energy of love in the area of your heart as you hold your chest open. Then exhale quietly, releasing the breath at a comfortable pace and relaxing deeply. Do this twelve times.

With this technique you are increasing your sensitivity to the vibratory feeling-tone in the area of your heart. Think of this as a vortex of energy in the vicinity of your physical heart but not your actual physical heart. You will be able to feel this vortex of energy with increasing clarity with practice. Do not attempt to hold the breath as long as you can. Hold the breath only as long as is comfortable. You should still be able to exhale smoothly, quietly, without panic. There should be no strain whatsoever. Exhale when you receive the inner cue to do so and keep the breath soft, strain-free, and peaceful. This is not a contest. It does not  matter how long you hold the breath.  Use the technique to increase your sensitivity to the inner feeling.

When you have completed the twelve breaths, sit absolutely still for another minute or two and simply be aware of how you feel. Station your awareness in the area of your heart and core and feel what you feel. Stay aware of the changing sensations that accompany breathing in the area of your heart, the sensations throughout your core and body, the space around your body, and especially the overall energetic feeling-tone of you. Willingly let go of everything you think you know about who you are, and allow yourself to experience you with clarity.

Who am I?

Sit with your spine straight or lie flat on the floor on your back. Close your eyes and take a few moments to become quiet and still. Relax your body and allow yourself to become intimately aware of your breathing. Observe the natural flow of breath in and out of your body.

Then put aside everything you think you know about who you are and ask yourself the question, “Who am I?” Ask the question but do not answer it. Instead, feel the answer. Feel who you are. Feel the energy of you. Answer not in words but in the direct experience of the energy that you are. When your attention wanders from this very personal self-experiencing and you notice yourself thinking other thoughts, ask yourself, “Who is thinking this? Who is having this thought?” The answer will always be “I am.” Then ask yourself again, “But who am I?” Then again immerse yourself in the feeling-tone truth of you.

When you notice yourself suddenly aware of a particular sound or sensation, your attention pulled away from the feeling, ask yourself “Who is hearing this sound? Who is experiencing this sensation?” The answer will always be, “I am.” Then again ask, “But who am I?” And again blend with the feeling-tone truth of you. Find out who you are through direct experience. Keep bringing your conscious awareness back into the conscious experience of you in the now.

There is no adequate mental answer to the question. The vibrant silence is the answer. And so, be still and know.

Erich Schiffmann is an accomplished American Yoga Master widely known for his award-winning video, Yoga Mind & Body. He is the author of a best-selling book, Moving into Stillness. At age 18 Schiffmann was accepted by Krishnamurti and was accepted to study with him inEngland. He deepened his practice of yoga with Desikachar and Iyengar in India, and with Dona Holleman and Vanda Scaravelli in Europe. He is married to fellow yoga master Leslie Bogart, daughter of film actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and currently resides in Santa Monica, California. He can be contacted through his website Freedom Style Yoga.

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