There's no need to struggle anymore. Make peace with life just the way it is, and see how much suffering you still experience.
How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:
Put aside everything you think you already know.
Open your mind and heart to receive something new.
Take your time going through each point.
Return to any points that particularly touch you.
In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.
1. Notice the Labeling
"Suffering begins when you mentally name or label a situation in some way as undesirable or bad.
You resent a situation and that resentment personalizes it and brings in the reactive me.
Naming and labeling are habitual but that habit can be broken.
Start practicing not naming with small things. If you miss the plane, drop and break a cup, or slip and fall in the mud, can you refrain from naming the experience as bad or painful?
Can you immediately accept the “isness” of that moment?
Naming something as bad causes an emotional contraction within you. When you let it be without naming it, enormous power is suddenly available to you. The contraction cuts you off from that power, the power of life itself."
~ Eckhart Tolle
It all begins with a thought about your personal preference.
Something happens and you immediately think it's good or bad, according to what you want and don't want. It's so subtle that you probably don't even notice it, but it has the power to close your heart.
What's needed here is awareness. Catch yourself - you don't need to judge yourself (that's not helpful). Just catch yourself. What have you complained about today? The weather? Politics? Someone at work? Consider the thought that started it all off: This weather is bad - I don't like it when it rains. This government is bad - I don't like the decisions they make. That person at work doesn't do things the way he should.
Take your place in the seat of awareness. Notice the labels you have stuck onto people, things and situations that cause you to see them through a distorted lens instead of just seeing them for what they are. As you let go of the labels, you relax your resistance, allowing your heart energy to flow freely again.
2. Notice the Wanting to Change Everything
"Who would I be without the thought that the world needs improving?
Happy where I am right now: the woman sitting on a chair in the sunlight. Pretty simple.
The apparent craziness of the world, like everything else, is a gift we can use to set our minds free.
Any stressful thought you have about the planet, for example, or about life and death, shows you where you’re stuck, where your energy is being exhausted as a result of not fully meeting life as it is, without conditions.
You can’t free yourself by finding a so-called “enlightened” state outside your own mind.
When you question what you believe, you eventually come to see you’re the enlightenment you’ve been seeking."
"Your energy is being exhausted as a result of not fully meeting life as it is."
You may be familiar with exhaustion and a lack of energy, but are you aware that your desire for everything to be different, your struggle against life as it is, is actually the cause of your energy depletion?
Katie ushers us into a beautiful simplicity of seeing things as they are: "the woman sitting on a chair in the sunlight." Can you make a similar statement about what's going on with you right now? A man sitting in a car, looking at his phone. A woman sitting at a desk in front of a computer.
According to Byron Katie's world, there are only ever three things going on. Without our stories, we are either standing, sitting, or lying down. No fighting with life. No drama. Just peace.
3. Notice the Judging
“When we see the world through our thoughts, we stop experiencing life as it really is and others as they really are.
When I have a thought about you, that’s something I’ve created. I’ve turned you into an idea. In a certain sense, if I have an idea about you that I believe, I’ve degraded you. I’ve made you into something very small.
This is the way of human beings, this is what we do to each other.”
“When our minds start to open, we’re no longer in a constant state of evaluation and judgment.
Naturally, then, our senses open and we can really see what is before us. Our eyes open in a different way, our hearing opens in a different way, our emotions open, our hearts open to all of existence.
We see how judging and condemning actually close our hearts and harden us to our experience of life and others.”
~ Adyashanti, Falling Into Grace
Again, it all begins with a thought. You create an idea in your mind, a judgment about another person, and your heart immediately closes. Judge and close - that's how it works.
In that closed state, you reject what life has given you. Think of all the complaints you have about the people in your life. First, you create your opinion of them, and then, believing that opinion to be true, you hold them in judgment.
Now, though, you have a choice. You can continue to live in this way, "hypnotized by the self-talk in the head," as Eckhart Tolle says, or you can start noticing, more and more, where resistance is arising in the form of judgment.
However, be careful not to fall into the trap of judging yourself for being judgmental. Simply notice, and in that noticing, your mind will open, your heart will close less, and you'll soon find that you're "no longer in a constant state of evaluation and judgment."
4. Notice the Resistance
"Whatever you resist you become.
If you resist anger, you are always angry.
If you resist sadness, you are always sad.
If you resist suffering, you are always suffering.
If you resist confusion, you are always confused.
We think that we resist certain states because they are there, but actually, they are there because we resist them."
Read that last line again. Perhaps you've heard the phrase, "What you resist, persists." It's true. Check with your experience.
When something happens that you disagree with and you fight it internally by not accepting it, what's the result? Misery. And have you noticed that when you stop fighting it and relax your struggle, your experience changes, even though the circumstances don't?
We act as if it's all happening from the outside in: it's my job, it's the recession, it's my relationship that's causing this stress. But it's actually all happening from the inside out - otherwise, everyone would react in the same way to the same thing (which they don't).
Notice what you're resisting today and breathe into it, allow it, let it be. Notice also the resistance to this guidance. I'm not asking you to stay in an unhealthy relationship or never leave your job. I'm asking you to realize that you don't need to fight with life anymore. You can make peace with it and feel all the feelings without the psychological drama. Breathe. Feel. Allow. Let the energy pass through you and gradually dissolve.
5. Notice the Deeper Perfection
"People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness, that is to say, dependent on form. They don't realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly.
They look upon the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn't have, or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have.
And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that is always already here, that lies beyond what is happening or not happening, beyond form.
Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is deeper than any form and untouched by time.
The joy of Being, which is the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person or event - through anything that happens. That joy cannot come to you - ever.
It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and thus is one with who you are."
~Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
"Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is deeper than any form and untouched by time."
Do you look upon the present moment as though there's something wrong with it? Do you believe that something happened that shouldn't have? Or that something should have happened that didn't?
If we're honest with ourselves, we all do this. We do it unconsciously. The purpose of these wisdom quotes is to wake us up to see what we're doing on autopilot mode so that we can naturally cease doing it.
This is the effortless way of awareness, of relaxing back into the wisdom and well-being you already have within you. Eckhart tells us to "accept the present moment and find the perfection..." but you can only do this when you're not arguing and fighting with life.
6. Discover a Bigger Happiness
“To allow our hearts to break, to soften them, to sink deeply into the knowing that everything will fall, everything will pass, everything will crumble, can be the great portal to awakening.
We simply stop taking everything for granted. We stop living in “tomorrow” and turn toward the living day.
We stop seeking our happiness in the future, clinging to the promises of others, and begin to break open into a bigger happiness that is rooted in presence, and truth, that allows for the coming but also the going of things, that accepts the little deaths as they happen each day, the disappointments, the losses, the shattered expectations, the good-byes.
The Unexpected becomes our friend, a constant companion. We break open into bitter-sweetness, into fragility and utter vulnerability, into the gift of every moment, of every encounter with a friend, a lover, a stranger.”
~Jeff Foster, The Way of Rest: Finding The Courage to Hold Everything in Love
"Break open into a bigger happiness that is rooted in presence, and truth, that allows for the coming but also the going of things."
This bigger happiness is the embracing of the gift of every moment, including the bitter-sweet fragility and vulnerability of every encounter.
The only question that remains is, are you ready to embrace the coming and the going of everything? Will you allow the transitory nature of life to unfold the way it does? Or do you want to continue grasping that which you want and pushing away that which you don't?
Make friends with the unexpected. Make peace with life just the way it is, and see how much suffering you still experience.