Thursday, September 20, 2018

Is Self-Help Right for You?

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

Do you ever feel that your life could be better?

Do you ever feel that maybe there's something you need to do to make it better, but you can't quite place a finger on it?

Self-help could well be what you're looking for, though I understand if you've not known this or have chosen to keep at a distance. After all, the kind of self-help that actually offers lasting and positive change isn't exactly the rage of society.

Whatever the case, if you're coming at this fresh, I can empathize with any reluctance you may feel about getting started.

But that's why I've written this blog post: because I want to offer you some introductory thoughts about self-help as a general life tool that will help you to make an informed decision.

To begin, I suspect that...

Self-Help May Not Be What You Think It Is

I want you to know that to do self-help you don’t have to be a “self-help” kind of person. Nor do you have to be into the “New Age” agenda (plenty of which is crap). Don’t get caught up in labels.

Similarly, if you don’t have the draw to spirituality, enlightenment, self-realization, or whatever such names and paths that have commonly been associated with self-help, that’s perfectly understandable. A lot of people don’t.

But self-help, either literal self-help or working with a healer of some kind in order to resolve any number of life struggles, can be a useful, if not necessary, means toward fulfilling our natural human drive to be better today than yesterday—whatever this may mean for any given individual.

You don’t have to reach for anything particularly “big” or “special.” Maybe you'd like to tone down that voice in your head a little bit. Maybe you'd like to feel more purposeful. Maybe you’d like to be happier and healthier, or for your friends to treat you better, or for money to flow to you more readily.

Conscious healing is the path to all these things and more.

If You Want To Go Forward, Then Go Forward

For most people in the “developed” world, life carries with it a degree of unnecessary struggle—often a moderate-to-large one. For example, even for many people who have things aplenty, they still live in perceptual pain. Although they may be sufficiently above the poverty line, they still cry poverty.

In this instance, there is no poverty—and yet there is poverty. Because regardless of the contrary external situation of abundance, or at least enoughness, there exists a strong perception of lack within the mind. It’s thus not the world that’s responsible for lack but the perceiver thereof.

There is a saying: If you meet one jerk per day, such is reasonable. If you meet two jerks per day, such is cause for wonder. But if you meet three or more jerks per day, then you’d better take a look in the mirror.

In whatever areas of life that something or someone is being lousy (or whatever other less-than-positive value), nothing is truly going to change for the better because external life is only mirror of the inner.

Even when it looks like things are turning up, it’s often just an effect of the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality. So people go shifting their religions, jobs, cars, spouses, houses, and whatever else, but nothing truly brings satisfaction. There’s a lack and a yearning, but all they essentially do is move laterally, or backwards.

This occurs because the nature of life is an onward and upward evolution. When we remain stagnant internally—even though we may perceive ourselves as moving on and up externally—the seas of life become rougher and rougher until either we freely choose to change, or our suffering breaks us and forces an alteration of course… or as often happens, we get really unhappy and sick, jack ourselves up on all sorts of meds and addictions that heal nothing and bring about their own troubles, and then we die.

Doesn’t willingly changing even one small step at a time therefore seem like the obvious, sensible, least painful thing to do? Doesn’t it seem better than avoiding self-help work altogether, especially when we know we’re avoiding our problems as well as avoiding our avoidance, until (“It can’t happen to me.”) there’s some crisis that kick-starts it?

Possibly the Biggest Blockage of All

For all the hardships that people regularly experience at a personal level, I think the biggest initial obstacle that stands in the way of healing is self-righteousness.

I don’t mean this in the sense of the utter arrogance we may often think of self-righteousness as being. Rather, this is about peoples’ general need to be “right”; the need to believe self-protectively that “I already ‘know.’” Kind of like the Big Banks being “too big to fail,” only here it’s people whose egos persuade them to believe that “all is personally well” in order to avoid the fact that they’d do well to change.

You—whoever you are, because we all do it—must therefore be willing to take down your defenses. You’re a human being having the experience of a human being. This means you make mistakes, you carry internal pain, you learn falsities and call them “truth,” and so on. It doesn’t and can’t happen any other way.

You must come to terms with this form arrogance if you wish to truly improve your quality of life because this issue shrouds everything. If you can just say of any given thing, “I’m wrong,” and then ask, “Is there a wiser alternative?”—without making expectations as to how you will be answered—life will show you a better way.

Stepping beyond this obstacle, I think you'd find that general self-help really isn't that big of a deal.

Take It Easy

The majority of the time, taking it bit by bit isn’t that bad at all. (I regularly find the process of self-help to be enjoyable.)

Yes, sure, this processing can sometimes get intense if you near core issues and emotional blockages. But such is something that, in nearly every case, you will slowly work towards and thus be better prepared for if and when it arises.

Generally speaking, a basic self-help activity could be the following:

Every night before bed, write down:

How simple is that? How easy?

And unless, say, at some point you feel that to heal a past hurt you must apologize to someone's face, you don't have to tell anyone about any of this. Whatever you think or say or write or do in private can remain private. If you see a healer, then yes, there are things you'll have to speak openly about. But there is so much self-healing work that can be done without anyone ever knowing.

How much better might the quality of your life be after just one or two years of this?

It’s Your Call

If you want lasting, positive change, you must be the one to actively improve your life—from the inside out.

Consider this message as me reaching my hand out to you. If you're ready to begin but my methods aren’t to your liking, that’s fine: go look somewhere else. There are many approaches, many teachers, and many writers and speakers and whatevers and whoevers out there that can potentially provide services in ways that suit you better than mine.

Make your choice as you see fit. I make no judgment either way.

So why not give it a try? See what happens. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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