As published in the Huffington Post, May 29, 2015
I was sitting with a new friend at a popular local coffee shop in Austin talking about the truths of life when my friend threw me a curve ball: Are you keeping up with your life now that you’re brand new to Austin?
Hold on a second! How did we get from moving beyond religion to me keeping up with my life?
The idea that I had to think about keeping up with my life never occurred to me. Was it possible that I was leaving my life behind me every day I lived my life?
No, that was too existential an idea considering we were talking about more spiritual matters — more in the subjective experience and psychological growth outside the bounds of a religious context.
Or maybe my friend was referring in a general sense to any kind of meaningful activity or blissful experience, and he was asking if I was consciously mindful of the creative process called life.
Each person comes to the table of life with differences that make you unique and genuine. Those differences define how you live your life, how you hold yourself accountable for your potential and how effective and productive your life will be. Out of these differences change emerges and happiness follows.
How much are you a part of your life — 50 percent, 70 percent, 100 percent? And how much are you responsible for your wholeness as a human being? Are you keeping up with your life and not the lives of others? How good are you at keeping up with the nitty-gritty of life instead of buying into the distractions that take us away from core beliefs and values?
While I enjoy the existential moments of life, I am more inclined to favor the following 5 ways to successfully keep up with your life:
1. Recognize that you are consciousness.
Your thoughts have a rippling effect throughout your body. Therefore, what you think consciously creates who you are. So focus on abundance of health, love and prosperity, and that is what you will receive. Be opened to thoughts of kindness and that is what you will receive. By acknowledging that your mindset has the ability to change, you will successfully keep up with your life.
2. Find peace within the chaotic sequence of life.
The last two weeks, my Austin family has experienced one chaotic moment after another, culminating in their beloved dog having to be put down. My daughter in law and I talked about turning the chaos around and finding peace within daily happenstance. In every chaotic moment, the intuitive instinct for find peace presents opportunity in your journey to connect the mind, body and spirit into an integrated and well-balanced person. That’s when you successfully keep up with your life.
3. Get mastery over self.
When I began my yoga practice over 20 years ago, I heard a mantra from my teachers about the importance of gaining self-mastery. Over the course of my yoga practice, I began to understand that self-mastery asks you to gain control over your mind and emotions by eliminating fears based on limiting beliefs and distractions that constantly get in the way of staying 100% present in your environment. Self-mastery is not only a path to successfully keeping up with your life, but it is also the path to happiness.
4. Give gratitude daily.
Gratitude is an awareness that what makes your life creative and loving will inspire you to give more of yourself. Gratitude says: I am sufficient unto the needs of my own life. And gratitude builds your dreams and establishes the foundation in life and work. Give gratitude for your gifts, talents and blessings – not once a day, but many times throughout the day and you will successfully keep up with your life.
5. Be kind to yourself.
Before others can be kind to you, you must be kind to yourself. Kindness to self reflects your core beliefs, and these values identify your life’s path. The ability to be kind to yourself comes out of the practice of self-reflection. If you are secure in your authentic self and if you embrace the abundance you possess, you will not only give the gift of kindness to yourself, but you will also extend your kind energy to others in your environment. Then, everyone successfully keeps up with life!
If you are truly connected to your life in all manner of your existence, you will successfully keep up with your life. Living is a creative expression of what makes you who you are. Think of the joy when everyone sits at the table of life without fear of being judged or labeled, living freely, dancing freely and giving freely.