“When we change, everything seems to change.” ~ Henri Frederick Amiel
The biggest life-changing moments in my life would have seemed unobtrusive to the outsiders watching.
At some point in my life (in my late twenties), everything seemed to look good on paper. I did a great job, lived downtown Seattle and enjoyed the live music scene. Apart from being irrelevant, I thought I had “arrival”.
The only problem was that I was miserable and hardly admitted it. Some people knew they weren’t happy, but they tried to escape from that feeling by playing the guitar, writing, and watching live music.
My other evasive tactics were working long hours at my daytime work and sociable drinking at the city’s “hip” bars.
But every time I got home, I was there. I’m still working on my feelings and trying to understand why happiness was so fleeting.
I recently broke up with someone I care about, but I knew it wasn’t healthy for me. She was a heavy drinker, and my drinking increased considerably when I was with her, as I just tended to blend in with my partner, and I (physically and emotionally) ) I felt scared.
It was a nasty ending, and it made me even more confused. I have to be very happy. “Why not me?” This persistent idea has plagued me for months.
Moment of awareness and selection
One afternoon, I came back from work and inadvertently lived my daily life. I dropped my bag by the door. I changed into comfortable clothes. I went to the fridge and opened the beer.
Then I sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. This has been my routine for several months.
Looking back at this moment, we can see that we were vaguely flipping through all the channels available in the cable box. I’m not interested at all. While changing channels with the remote control, I was pulling without tasting beer with one hand.
I was literally in a trance and wasn’t really doing anything. Every time I turned the channel, I was running autopilot without being aware of it.
And when that happened. It was as if some background noise in my mind was suddenly amplified. I heard thoughts after thinking running around in my head like CNN’s news scroll.
The shocking part for me was how negative these ideas were. “You are no good. No one loves you. You are a failure. You will never find someone who loves you. You are not worth it.”
I also noticed that I had heard these thoughts before, but chose to mute the volume by stuffing them or distracting them.
But it was here. Loud loudly. I was forced to face them again.
I was in distrust for a few minutes while some explosives of choice were escaping from my lips.
When the shock subsided, I had an overwhelming feeling that I had reached a major turning point on the road.
One choice squeezed these thoughts into where they came from and returned to unknowingly drinking beer while watching TV.
And, magically, the second option came out of nowhere. Stop everything and just sit down on these thoughts.
I just remember saying “Huh!” aloud. I didn’t realize I had a choice. I was programmed to run and hide.
I realized this was a great moment for me. I felt chills running all over my body.
The choices were: fall asleep again or just witness and experience these thoughts.
Something deep inside me knew which path to take. It was the strongest sense of knowledge I have ever experienced. I also knew that if I didn’t take this train now, I might get lost forever. It felt almost like a life-and-death decision.
It was at the moment of that choice that I finally gave up. I stopped resisting and avoiding. I chose to sit in discomfort and not run away or hide.
Choice to pursue “better”
As soon as I stayed with these negative thoughts and chose to be with me, my body took action. It’s as if someone else isn’t in control.
In a long plunge, I turned off the TV, went to the kitchen sink, and dumped the rest of the beer. Then I took a deep breath, walked into the living room, and sat cross-legged on the floor.
I have never meditated, but I have heard of it. I had a strong interest in Buddhism when I was in college, but I had never taken steps to explore what Buddhism was. I didn’t think there was a better time to give it a try.
All I knew was that at that moment I just made a firm decision to sit down and take my thoughts. No matter how fierce the vehicle was, just sitting in silence seemed crazy.
I still remember the first moment of silence. It was a bittersweet experience. The bitter side experienced all the sneaky and nasty thoughts that ran through my heart at full volume. It seems that there was no end.
However, there was also sweetness in the silence that I was exposed to. There was peace here that I had never experienced before. It was like being hugged in a warm chest, and I immediately felt that I wasn’t afraid of negative words.
I can’t remember how silent I was sitting on the first day, but it took at least a few hours. I remember opening and closing my eyes several times. I was checking to make sure I was still in the living room.
It was like wondering if you could trust playing in a lake you had never been to. Slowly, step by step. And at one moment I needed to open my eyes so that I could just feel comfortable before moving on.
There was also a moment when I felt “I” move away from my body, which, to be honest, scared me of the HE-double hockey stick. It was such a foreign experience. It was the first time I could feel some chords sticking to my body, but I could jump out and look down at myself with my legs crossed. I was intrigued and at the same time a little surprised.
But then I started hearing another voice coming in. A gentler voice. Someone who assures me that everything is okay.
I was guided to just follow the process and was told that in the end I would be comfortable and wouldn’t have to jump out of my body. And I started to relax after a long time.
Eventually, I realized that by raising my thoughts, my thoughts began to fade until a sweet silence was born, after which more thoughts came back at a lower volume. I still didn’t know what I was doing, but I felt better and that was the only problem.
I didn’t notice it, but I was just sitting down with an idea and speaking. I was broadcasting now. “I want to learn how to be happy and love more. I’m not going to run away anymore.”
From that moment on, I came back from work every day and just meditated. I removed the cable box and was able to accept new opportunities. I was guided by a friend to hire a life coach and started working on things in my life that prevented me from experiencing happiness.
For example, I realized that working in the aerospace industry, where facts and data are everything, reduced my ability to use emotions.
By taking advantage of my new friend Awareness, I began to identify emotions that I had never actually processed, investigated, or tried to heal. One special healing moment was when I visited the anger I had from attending a boy’s Catholic high school. I was one of the youngest children and was sometimes chosen.
I didn’t even know how much anger was mellow under the surface. Only when I knew it and got permission to express my feelings was I freed from the long-standing anger of being bullied or bullied.
I also faced the horror I developed after the plane crash at 19:00 and had a beautiful moment of liberation with tears flowing like the Nile. I never thought I was so traumatized and begging for liberation.
The more I realized my past and released it, the lighter and happier I was naturally. One day, after years of not doing it, I realized I was whistling and working.
I also went into Buddhism and energy healing and immersed in all forms of spirituality that I was interested in. It was a fun time to learn and challenge.
But in the end, it turned out that learning wasn’t enough. I needed to practice the ideas of love, healing, and forgiveness in the world.
“Level up” by consciousness and choice
Looking back at the moment when I finally stopped and chose the path to another world, I think it was the most decisive moment in my life.
Indeed, I attended many spiritual workshops, retreats, trainings and had a “mountain peak” experience. But if I hadn’t stopped making choices and witnessed my thoughts completely, they would never have happened.
Our minds are always inside and outside of awareness (awakening) and unconsciousness (sleeping). It takes diligence and practice to wake up and make loving choices.
Think about how much you actually perceive your thoughts and habits compared to when you’re performing tasks or zoning social media with “autopilot.”
Here are some ways to be aware and keep your choices throughout your day:
- Set goals for the day. It’s like “I want to recognize my thoughts in the workplace and think lovingly.” Set an hourly reminder on your smartphone and check in all day long.
- Place a sticky note with the words “consciousness and choice” next to the workspace or area where you spend most of your time to remind you to witness your internal experience. Place it in a place you often see.
- Schedule a meditation “date” throughout your day. See if you can do 5 minutes of meditation 5 times throughout the day. Set reminders as needed.
- Choose someone in your life that you are having a hard time with (especially at work). Talk to that person and see your thoughts. Choose to view them differently at this time (best possible).
- At the end of the day, check your thoughts on yourself and others. Let’s go back to the days when we struggled with ourselves and someone else. Replace those thoughts with what you rather wanted to say to yourself.
Consciousness and choice are powerful duos that can change your life better. You need both. Awareness incorporates the current one. Choices take steps to move your consciousness in the direction you intended.
Look where you can benefit from consciousness and choice in your life. Then set the compass for happiness and enjoy your trip!