Whether the future will be the same as the past, or bring an entirely new paradigm, remains to be seen.
Whatever the future holds, the present uncertainty is both an opportunity and an incentive to build inner strength. Now is the time to develop those attitudes and habits that will enable us to face, with calm acceptance and joy, whatever comes.
Here are five tips to stay balanced:
Relax Upward: Don’t think only in terms of “down time.” Think also of “up time.” There are two ways to relax. One is to shut down awareness with things like television, beer, or excessive sleep. The other way to rejuvenate is by expanding awareness. Build into your daily or weekly schedule spiritually centering activities. Learn to meditate. Read uplifting books. Attend classes on life-enhancing subjects. Listen to calm, inspiring music. Be out in nature. Get to know yourself in solitude and silence.
Be Original: To be original does not mean doing something that has never been done before. It means to act from your own point of origin. Don’t allow yourself to become a dull reflection of the world around. Think deeply. Act consciously. Be sincere in everything that you do. If circumstances require you to accommodate yourself to the needs and demands of others, concentrate on inner freedom. See yourself as a single thread in the vast, unfolding tapestry of life. Through love, compassion, and generosity of heart, make yourself into a thread of gold.
Be Creative: The secret of prosperity is creativity. This will become especially important if times get hard. Whether you define success as all the things that money can buy or all the things that money can’t buy, a creative person never accepts failure or limitation as the final decree of fate. If one approach didn’t work, then go after the same goal from another angle. See every day, every situation as a fresh opportunity to discover some yet unknown possibility. Be on the lookout for new and improved ways of doing even oft-repeated tasks. Be mentally active. If your work leaves your mind free, then sing, pray for yourself and others, memorize and repeat poetry. Creativity in itself brings joy. And sooner or later, the positive magnetism of your creative attitude will bring you whatever you seek.
You Are What You Eat: Think in terms of life force. Fresh, natural food is filled with vitality. Devitalized food makes, not only a heavy body, but also a heavy mind. In these uncertain times, you can’t afford the extra burden. There is so much life force in an apple, for example, that, if you bury it in the ground, the seeds can sprout, and one apple becomes an apple tree. Bury a “Big Mac,” and nothing more will come of it! The net result of consuming too much over-processed foods is less than zero. It takes more energy to digest such foods than they can ever give back to you in life force. Trying to right the balance with more caffeine is not the solution! You don’t have to be a fanatic and change your diet overnight. Just gradually begin eating more foods in their natural state or close to it, and your own experience will be your guide.
Strength in Numbers: You have to walk the path yourself, but you don’t have to walk it alone. In times of stress especially, the presence of like-minded companions can make all the difference in whether you keep going or give up in despair. If you don’t have supportive friends, then go out and find them! Group spiritual practices are especially beneficial, giving you the experience and power you need to go deeper on your own as well. Visit meditation centers, churches, and spiritual groups of all kinds until you find those people and practices that resonate with your own inner self.
Listen to the show with Asha here
Asha Praver is a lecturer, teacher, counselor, Spiritual Co-Director of the Ananda Palo Alto Community, and author of Swami Kriyananda as We Have Known Him. Asha has been trained in yoga, meditation, and spiritual living by Swami Kriyananda, who was a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. Since 1969 Asha has been a disciple, a meditator, and an intentional community member. Contact Asha at www.ashapraver.com.