Don't take this the wrong way - but I deliberately do things to make myself feel AWESOME. At the risk of sounding like a new-aged hypno-zealot, I present the things I catch myself doing almost every day. Interestingly, I never "tried" to do these things - I simply prioritized my experience of a high level of consciousness and have witnessed the results over time.
Any perspective we adopt - either deliberately or accidentally - has an immediate, tangible, and direct impact on our capacity to deal with reality. Although there are countless situations we face which are beyond our control, we remain autonomous solely because of our ability to change our perception of these circumstances. A lengthy commute turns into a tremendous opportunity to memorize a piece of music; the loss of a job or end of a relationship becomes an opportunity for reflection and a refreshing change in direction. It's not that bad things don't happen to good people; it's that good people respond to changing circumstances to the best of their abilities.
Every individual is capable of making positive changes to their lifestyle. By prioritizing a state of inner silence and authentic joy, our lives become a continuous celebration. Although many people experience success on an external level, there are many intelligent, loving people who are not aware of the importance of their perception. Because every event that happens to us must pass through the filter of our mind, we can control our responses to environmental circumstances.
In fact, even individuals who exist in low levels of awareness always take the best actions they can conjure up. As an extreme example, a murderer believes that they're "justified" in their actions, for one reason or another. The difference is that a person in higher states has an increased capacity for stepping outside of their immediate circumstances to analyze the consequences of their actions on a deeper level. In the highest states of consciousness, one experiences a distance towards oneself and perceives the activity of thought in the mind as an external observer. This sensation - just like any other state of consciousness - is indescribable and can only be understood through experience. However, witnessing one's own intellect is sort of like watching a child - thoughts and their resulting reactions are seen as a temporary consequence of past memories triggered by environmental circumstances. Although the techniques vary significantly, the practices taught in any form of meditation will help create this distance and inner clarity.
But, there is much more we can do to raise our psychological state than just meditate. In fact, there are many simple things which can be immediately implemented without any necessary practice, skill, or patience. It is true, however, that using the strategies below will only be maximally beneficial if they are repeated to a point where they become effortless and natural. As we progress into higher states of awareness, these practices begin to happen without thought or intention.
1. Clean Your Work and Living Environment
Cleanliness and orderliness in our external environment is reflected in our inner states of consciousness - and vice versa. Have you ever seen a successful and happy person who is dirty, unorganized, and chaotic?
2. Interact with a Person Who You Look Up To
Ideally, we surround ourselves with others who are also pursuing higher states of awareness and self achievement. Even a short conversation with one individual who you find to be inspiring can change the dynamic of your entire day. If you are pursuing a new skill, working with a teacher is very powerful. Simply watching video of a person who you find inspiring can change the tone of your day.
3. Ignore A Mistake
Whether it's you making the mistake or somebody else in your life, let it go. Don't dwell on it or banter on about its ramifications. Simply take action to respond to it in the most effective way you can conjure up.
4. Listen to a Good Song Absent Other Distractions
Let the content of the music fill your entire mind by deliberately setting aside other input.
5. Take 20 Minutes to Rest
Turn off your phone. Sit or lay down comfortably. Close your eyes and even fall asleep if you would like. You will be surprised at how much more you will accomplish once you restore a state of restful alertness. There is no good reason to keep pushing when your mind is telling you to rest. You're more likely to make mistakes or perform in a sub-optimal way when you are tired.
6. Help Somebody Solve a Problem
This doesn't even have to be too involved. Help a kid solve a math problem, or carry groceries out of the store for an elderly lady. They will be appreciative, and that will trigger a powerful positive sensation within you.
7. Become Aware of the Content of Your Media
Immersing our awareness in fictional stories - which are usually tragic, violent, lustful, or sad - leaves an impression on the mind. Even if you are watching the news, you are involving yourself in situations which you cannot control. The mind's natural response is to become upset. Pay attention to how your media makes you feel.
8. Read Some Good News
Good news makes us happy - that's hard to argue with. Don't just read it - tell other people about it! Idle chatter can easily be twisted into an uplifting scenario of mutual gain if we just take the topics in the right direction. Here's a great example.
9. Watch Animals
Watching animals is extremely uplifting. There is something uninhibited about the way animals behave which makes me feel free and alive. I particularly like strange creatures which live underwater, because I'm always blown away by the adaptation which has taken place in these strange environments. Ideally, watch them in real life, but you can also get a great effect from video footage.
10. Give Compliments and Provide Positive Feedback
Not only does giving a compliment uplift the receiver, it requires that the giver speak from a space of true appreciation. It is very encouraging to be told that you are doing something well, or that you are on the right path - especially if you hear it from somebody you respect. When a person has invested a large portion of their life to a profession or skill, sincere compliments have a tremendous positive impact on their state of awareness. But, this works both ways. When a person actively looks for opportunities to uplift others, they bring themselves to a level in which they see the positive things happening around them. This is EXTREMELY powerful and can solidify a space of inner joy and compassion throughout the day no matter where you are.
What are your favorite strategies for maintaining higher states of awareness? Leave a comment and share!