Sunday, January 8, 2017

How to Figure Out Life Lessons – Part 1

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Do you know what life lessons you are here to learn, at least currently?

If you’re unsure and would like clarity, I here offer 8 pointers as to how you can figure them out.

Be aware that when I use the word learn, I’m not suggesting that you need to intellectually/technically learn as much as possible about areas of interest. Instead, this learning is about personal qualities, about inner-development and balancing—which is actually an unlearning.

Yes, your soul may have taken on an embodiment with the intention of learning about astronomy, but neither self-education nor a Ph.D. are going to place you on a faster train to heaven (i.e.: the realization of your true nature). What will get you on that speedier train is your conscious detachment from any internal garbage—fears, false beliefs, etc.—that drives your current life lessons. This is so because your life lessons are external reflections of your internal imbalances.

That being said, let’s now look at 6 specific pointers you can use to clarify life lessons. Part 2 will include 2 general pointers as well as notes on the necessity of brutal honesty and the process of becoming you.

6 Specific Pointers toward Life Lessons

  1. Physical Imbalance. Metaphysical Symptoms.
  2. Personally, I can’t count the number of times this awareness has saved my life in both minor and major ways, and how it continues to do so. Potentially, it could save your life, too.

    Our world culture has taught us that disease and illness and all that unhappy stuff happens to us, and when it does we must do anything we can to rid ourselves of it as quickly as possible. Even if that means, as it seems to nowadays, taking 10 medications for varying symptoms and then 15 more medications in order to offset the horrific side effects of the former 10. So embedded has this mentality been programmed, that rarely does it occur to anyone that our physical imbalances are actually typically our bodies calling our attention to non-physical imbalances.

    It’s certainly possible that a person can come down with an illness or break both legs due to an unknowable soul choice. However, as far as I’ve seen, this is not the case 97% of the time. What is the case is that a person has, say, an issue with stubbing toes as a means of their body reflecting their mind’s position of stubbornness. Or, perhaps, that someone is prone to breaking fingers because they’re a hard-ass who refuses to accept the more delicate, fragile things of life. Or that someone has heart disease, not so much because they eat poorly (which is only an external driver) but because they carry a great deal of unaddressed hatred (which fuels poor eating habits).

    This is often referred to as “metaphysical symptoms of physical disease.” This works because, as I state endlessly, the external is a mirror of the internal. Yes, your body might be really freaking close to you, but it’s still external, it’s still a reflection of your mind. And it can tell you an incredible amount about what programming is running—and probably ruining—your life. Your belongings can also tell you a great deal about the same.

  3. Struggle. Repressed Creativity.
  4. Suppose you’re a biologist. You have a master’s degree and a great job, but your every day of work is a struggle. Indeed, you’ve been struggling with bio since your first week of college. No matter, you may press on, justifying with such beliefs as, “It’s what I’m meant to do,” and, “I can’t turn back time.” Or maybe you’ve unwittingly chosen biology—the study of life—because you unconsciously do want to better understand life—your life. Or perhaps your parents are biologists and don’t-break-the-mold kind of people whom, deep down, you fear receiving the disapproval of by instead taking up a career in your creative passion of surfing.

    Which leads to the question: Are you following a personal passion, and does your life flow creatively and easefully? While some degree of stress—eustress—is healthy for growth, it is not in the nature of life to be in a constant state of struggle and distress. Scriptures and sages have told us for eons that we are God’s greatest gift to creation, and yet so many people blow off this wisdom for the sake of affirming the self-defeating ways of a world culture that is clearly fubar.

    We are each uniquely gifted with passions and talents because God loves us and wants us to be happy. Unless you’ve either got a serious life lesson to resolve or it truly is something you love doing, why would you want to spend decades of your life looking into a microscope? You’d be far better off pulling back to get a much wider perspective by putting yourself under the microscope of self-inquiry.

  5. Personal Interests, Activities, and Favorites.
  6. Because we’re born into such an unconscious world, we must necessarily, for an indeterminate length of time, live unconsciously. Then add to this that life “out there” is a mirror of life “in here.” The result is our unconscious interest and taking part in things that are not true to our deepest selves so much as guideposts from our deepest selves toward the rediscovery of our deepest selves. (Got it?)

    An example of this, one that is personal to me, is the organization of Scouting. I’d spent about 13 years of my life in scouting, ending in Boy Scouts at age 18 with the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Why did I stay in so long? Among other reasons, the Boy Scout motto is, “Be prepared.” This resonated deeply with me (though unwittingly so) because one of my greatest lessons is seeing myself as good enough as is, as being capable, as not truly being a helpless, powerless victim. I’d spent 13 years using scouting as a tool to learn how to “be prepared.” Problem was, in looking “out there” I was never able reach “preparedness.” Only when I began looking within did I begin realizing that the true self-preparedness I’d so yearned for has already and always been right here, so quietly and subtly waiting for me to see it.

    Let’s look at this in another way. Think of all the different things you’ve ever called “my favorite,” whether they be songs, books, poems, movies, or whatever. It is very possible that these things resonate so deeply with you only because of their power in revealing to you that which you really want and/or feel.

    Consider how empty, how unhappy, disconnected, and destructive humans have been. It’s really no wonder that there’s such a glut of so-called “love” songs. Yet quite a high percentage of these songs are actually expressions of a longing for love within the context of the lyricist’s perceived experience of love as conditioned in sadness, loss, abandonment, and so on. These songs become fan favorites only because they resonate so deeply with “I’m broken”-minded listeners. Should the listeners heal unconscious and false ideas of “how love is,” the once-favorite songs would probably be dropped immediately. Whatever it is your favorite things suggest to you—love, freedom, peace, etc.—there’s a very good chance this is something you crave and are being called to realize within.

  7. Hyper-focus/Preoccupation.
  8. This next area of potential life lessons regards what you spend inordinate amounts of time focusing on, especially at irrelevant times.

    For instance, say you have an eating disorder. It is likely that you will constantly judge others for the way they eat, what they eat, and so on. If you undereat, for example, you may judge even those who eat in amazing moderation in attempt to “prove” yourself correct. If you typically undereat and don’t know it (as I used to do), you might, for example, ponder for eons over a restaurant menu for fear of walking away hungry—What’s the biggest thing I can get that’s going to be a sensory sensation and [over-]fill up this [emotional] void in my stomach?

    Or you may be forever focused on food. You may finish one meal only to immediately wonder what’s for the next. You may be at work or in meditation only to be pestered by a desire to nom on the leftover steak your wife made last night. You may justify this food-focus as “natural” or “survival necessity,” but it’s much more likely that you undereat, overeat, use food as an emotional suppressant, or just generally eat poorly and so your body and mind are constantly shouting, Feed Me! even when the food is completely unnecessary.

  9. Integrity Inhibited by Discomfort. Resistance to Change.
  10. There are obvious things you may resist, such as playing hopscotch on the freeway at night while wearing dark clothing. These things are perfectly rational to avoid because to do them is utterly foolish and unsafe.

    Yet there are plenty of other things you may resist, such as telling your boss that you don’t appreciate his mistreatment of you. Your lower mind may be screaming how utterly foolish and unsafe this would be to do but, as your higher mind knows, it would actually be very appropriate and useful for a number of self-, other-, and general life-improving reasons.

    A second example has to do with your willingness to be open-minded. We’re here to learn, to discover. And although so many people claim to want the full truth, all too many of these same folks shut down when the truth is placed before them. A truth could point toward the next greatest thing since sliced bread, yet it’s off-handedly rejected because it doesn’t align with what’s already been solidified in the mind as “how things are and must be.”

    Stubbornness, inflexibility, and an unwillingness to be wrong are an excellent place to start for noticing life lessons waiting to be learned. Remember, what you resist, persists. Resistance-based difficulties are sourced from within the mind and are thus yours to personally deal with.

  11. Bad Habits and Nervous Ticks.
  12. Consciously acknowledging life lessons can be anything but convenient. On some level you may see what’s happening, but you’ll do anything in your power to ignore it. Often this “anything” you do may long ago have become a set of unconscious actions.

    Perhaps in your early 20’s you we’re so nervous about telling your partner you didn’t want to date her anymore that you began biting your nails. Now, decades later, you’re married to her, you still don’t truly love her, and you’ve got an unconsciously-acted nail-biting habit that you can neither resolve nor remember how it came to be—you do it because you need some way to express what is gnawing at you internally without ever having to think about it.

    If you find yourself with a nervous tick such as nail-picking, hair-twirling or -pulling, touching yourself in the same place over and over again, it’s really important that you acknowledge it and make the effort to heal. Such behaviors indicate inner dis-ease and are meant to help you, not hurt you; but they will hurt you as long as you continue to avoid the truth they’re presenting.

    Take note that there is no space here for synonymizing avoidance and denial with feelings of disinterest and thoughts like, “It’s not a big deal.” With the latter, an experience occurs and there is a very straightforward seeing, making healthy and appropriate choices in self-integrity, and then a forgetting or letting go. Contrarily, since repression is required, it is in the nature of avoidance and denial to drive bad habits and nervous ticks while fueling negativity such as judgment and criticism toward other people who reflect any issue of concern.

Please click the link to go to “How to Figure Out Life Lessons – Part 2”.

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