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9/30/10 at 10:15 am | 18 comments
Doesn’t everyone dream at one time or another about just taking off, about hitting the road for an indefinite period simply to travel? Maybe your fantasy is about backpacking through the mountains, visiting new cities and countries, checking out new cultures, or simply wandering aimlessly like the bear who went over the mountain “to see what he could see.”
Think about how the wandering instinct manifests in your life. There are many ways you can wander, travel, or explore. You can do it on foot or in a scuba-diving outfit, through a microscope or a telescope, a history book or a natural-history magazine. You can do it in your own town, in the jungles of Africa, or on the surface of the moon. It can lead you to discover the lost city of Knossos or a great Hungarian restaurant in the next block.
Take a few minutes of every day to fantasize about how you would wander, travel, or explore if you could. If you find this hard to do because you are telling yourself that it is irresponsible to want to wander around on this planet, stop! Remind yourself that heeding these instincts is important for your personal fulfillment, as vital as eating or sleeping.
Take your exploring fantasies seriously. See which of them you can follow up on. Maybe you can’t take a spaceship around the sun just yet, but you can go camping, or you can drive down a country lane until you run across a barn where the farmer is pressing cider from a new crop of apples. You can make up your mind to take another ten minutes and drive a different way home from work or to take a vacation at a new location this year. If you use your imagination, you will find that your fantasies of exploration and your possible experiences of it are literally endless.
Remember that exploration means being open to all kinds of variety in your life as a whole. New foods, new friends, new hobbies, athletic pursuits, music, art, or whatever, all will indulge your instincts for wandering, traveling, or exploring and give you a more well-rounded and abundant idea of what human life is about—fuller almost than you can imagine.
I have never met a person who wasn’t at least secretly excited about the prospects of traveling and exploring. But sadly, I have met a great many who squelch or deny their wandering instincts. If you find that you have been fighting your nomadic instincts, perhaps because you equate any indulgence of them with irresponsibility, you are cutting off that one set of instincts for which all of the others may have been made—your opportunity to move out into the world and discover it in all of its limitless glory and mystery.
FILED UNDER: wayne dyer, travel, exploration, wanderlust, life experience, imagination
9/22/10 at 12:15 pm | 31 comments
I am often asked, “How do I know whether it is my ego or my higher spirit beckoning me at any given moment in life?” At any given moment, you are choosing between two pictures or evaluations of yourself. Your choices include the one offered by your soul, or higher self, which I think of as the voice of God, and the one offered by the ego, or your false idea of yourself. The answer to the question above is, “If it brings you a sense of peace, then it is your higher self at work.” Your higher self is always nudging you toward a resolution of the conflicts that you experience in your life, so that you will have room for serenity and harmony. If you are living with inner turmoil, continually quarreling with yourself and feeling anxious and fearful, then you are allowing ego to dominate your life.
In every moment, you have the option to choose peace for yourself. Your false self thrives on inner anxiety because that is what it thinks it needs to stay alive. Ego promotes thoughts like these: I cannot be happy or content; I must be a bad person; If I am feeling peaceful then I will simply vegetate; I must constantly look at how others are living and performing in order to assess my value. The ego wants you in a constant state of turmoil. It convinces you that if you are not always on edge, you can’t grow. Keep in mind, though, that experiencing this inner turmoil is a choice you’ve made to allow your false self to dominate your life. When you make the choice for peace, you are literally allowing the Divine into your life. And rather than vegetate, you will discover that you can be busy, purposeful, blissful and still have peace. Just knowing that peace is always an alternative is a significant awakening. Replacing the turmoil you feel is then a simple matter of allowing your higher self to take over in any situation where you are about to allow turmoil to enter. Your ego will push you in the direction of the fight. You must be ready to see it as it is about to happen and invite your higher self to send your ego a not-wanted-right-now message. Know within that you always have the choice. When you opt for turmoil and anxiety, you allow your ego to take over. You can instead be a home for peace.
FILED UNDER: wayne dyer, ego, peace, anxiety, purpose, competition, higher self, life choices
9/13/10 at 10:15 am | 32 comments
No one has ever seen the face of ego. It is like a ghost that we accept as a controlling influence in our lives. I look upon the ego as nothing more than an idea that each of us has about ourselves. The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego-illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self. Ego, the false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backwards way of assessing and living life.
You’ve probably noticed the word AMBULANCE written backwards on the front of a vehicle so that a person seeing it in their rear-view mirror can read it. When you look into a mirror, what you see is backwards, too. Your right hand is your left, your eyes are reversed. You understand that this is a backward view that you are seeing and you make the appropriate adjustments. You do not confuse reality with the image in the mirror.
The ego-idea of yourself is very much like the mirror example, without the adjustments. Your ego wants you to look for the inside on the outside. The outer illusion is the major preoccupation of the ego.
The ego-idea has been with us ever since we began to think. It sends us false messages about our true nature. It leads us to make assumptions about what will make us happy and we end up frustrated. It pushes us to promote our self-importance while we yearn for a deeper and richer life experience. It causes us to fall into the void of self-absorption again and again, not knowing that we need only shed the false idea of who we are.
Our true self is eternal. It is the God force within us. The way of our higher self is to reflect our inner reality rather than the outer illusion. The description given by Sogyal Rinpoche in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is a wonderful explanation of this discovery: “Two people have been living in you all of your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to.” He refers to this hidden spiritual being as our wise guide.
When we learn to transcend the illusions sponsored by the ego, we can access this wise guide. We can invite in the higher aspects of ourselves to function in their natural, loving, and integrated design.
FILED UNDER: wayne dyer, sogyal rinpoche, higher self, ego, illusion, false self, spirit
9/8/10 at 9:00 am | 22 comments
When teachers and parents ask what they can do to help young people get off to a healthy start in life, I say, “Set a good example.” Let your respect and love be seen and felt. It works for children just as it does for all of us. Everything depends on what you believe about yourself. If you want to change your life, you have to change your self-concept. If you want to move to a higher place, you need to change your belief about what is possible for you and elevate your beliefs about yourself. Young people are forming their self-image every day—based largely on the examples of self-respect and self-esteem they see in the important people in their lives. What they believe about themselves and their lives is shaped by what they see and feel. We can make sure they see love.
Of all the beliefs that each one of us own, none is more important than the ones we have about ourselves. Our beliefs about ourselves are the single most telling factors in determining our success and happiness in life. A child’s self-image is a direct result of the kind of reinforcement he or she receives on a daily basis. Do they have the confidence that they can successfully complete any task before they attempt it? Do they feel good about the way they look? Do they feel intelligent? Do they think of themselves as worthy?
As you think the self-esteem of children, keep in mind that the barriers we erect to our own growth and happiness almost always are internal barriers. The lack of love in a person’s life is the internal fear that he or she does not deserve love. The absence of achievement is most often due to a genuine belief that one could never achieve at a high level. The absence of happiness stems from the internal sentence that “Happiness is not my destiny.”
Motivating children to have great aspirations for themselves is essentially the task of working on their self-portrait. Once you see a child’s self-image begin to improve, you will see not only gains in achievement, but even more important, you’ll see a child who is beginning to enjoy life more. You will see happier faces, more excitement, and higher expectations for themselves. The only authentic barrier to a child’s own greatness (or yours) is fear of his own greatness.
When a child grows up to love himself, to be self-confident, to have high self-esteem, and to respect himself, there are literally no obstacles to his total fulfillment as a human being. Once a strong self-portrait is in place, the opinions of others will never be able to immobilize a child. The young person who feels confident as he approaches a task will not be undone by failure, but instead will learn from it. The child who respects himself will respect others. The young person who has learned to love himself will have plenty of love to give away.
FILED UNDER: wayne dyer, school, teach, self-esteem, self-love, happiness, success, respect
9/4/10 at 11:45 am | 39 comments
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
— The Prayer of St. Francis
You can become an instrument of peace in any given moment of your life by deciding that you are not going to use your mind for anything other than peaceful thoughts. This may sound extreme to you when you take into consideration all the difficult people you have to deal with, your financial picture, the illness of a close relative, the inconsiderate boss you must face, the taxes you owe, as well as outrageous traffic delays, and on and on. Try taking a breather from your habit of continuously looking for occasions to be non-peaceful. Go to that quiet, serene peaceful place within you that is covered by the outer layers of your material life. It is here that you know what being an instrument of peace means. Here, your emphasis is on giving, rather than receiving, peace.
When you are an instrument of peace, you are not seeking anything, you are a peace provider. You do not seek peace by looking into the lives of others and wishing that they would change so that you could become more peaceful. Rather, you bring your own sense of calm to everyone you encounter. You do not go about viewing every circumstance of your life in terms of whether it meets with your standard of peace. Rather, you bring your peaceful countenance to the chaos you encounter and your presence soothes the outer turmoil. Even if the turmoil continues, you have the freedom to choose a peaceful thought, or to quietly remove yourself from the immediate scene. How do you do this? Repeat the words of St. Francis that appear above. Chaotic moments are times to remember that you will not gain your peace from anyone else and that you choose to bring peace to every life situation you encounter.
The most important moments for cultivating this awareness are when you find yourself right smack in the middle of a tumultuous exchange, when someone is argumentative, surly, or irrational and you sense yourself falling into the pandemonium. Usually, in such moments your inclination is to blame all of the external forces for your absence of peace. Begin to look at these situations in a totally new way, one that will help you not only become a delivery person of calmness, but will make you a more reliable and steadfast instrument of peace.
FILED UNDER: wayne dyer, st. francis, peace, prayer, calm, instrument of peace, serenity