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Finding Paradise in the Jaws of Hell

Lately I’ve been gratefully experiencing more moments of Nirvana: “a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self.”

I’m certainly not at the end of my journey… So much still to learn/remember and so much to let go of… Yet my life experience is reaching new depths of joyful peace, even though very little has changed on the outside — there’s still slow growth in my business and right now I’m living at my mum’s place to save money (definitely not ideal! haha) and I miss my kids terribly (who I haven’t seen for 3 months) and I have had another seemingly serious health complication (a heart issue) and … well, there are other things I could focus on too but just don’t feel the need to.

It could be hell, but it feels like paradise.

So how did I get here? Let’s take a look…

10 keys for finding paradise in the jaws of hell:

  1. Seeing that challenges are here as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  2. Knowing that there is a curious, loving, intelligent force at play (and that we are, ultimately, an aspect of that force).
  3. Letting go of what doesn’t serve us (that can be something as simple as excessive caffeine and alcohol, or as complicated as abusive relationships, and everything in between).
  4. Ensuring I don’t externalise my happiness (“I’ll be happy when…”) — knowing that real bliss is what is left when we let go of desire/need, judgement and rigidly fixed constructs around our self, others and the world in general.
  5. Staying present: now is all there is (and the only place we can access transcendence and Divinity) — pretty much everything else leads to fear and fantasy.
  6. Just saying “yes” to whatever presents itself (and then letting it slide on by if it doesn’t serve us — ask me for my “rock in the stream” meditation if you’re having trouble with this).
  7. Looking after the physical body — this body is our temple and our experiential home, so to start with (as Michael Pollan puts it) Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” and keep active.
  8. Understanding that our stories about life are just that; stories, judgements, perceptions and projections — not reality (see this article for more about this).
  9. Daily meditation.
  10. Gratitude.

The result? … Bliss.

I almost feel bad talking about how good I feel (for no reason at all other than my embodied beliefs and a willingness to let go of any thing or thought that restricts the flow of good that is always and ever available to us all) — even when things seem to fall apart on the outside — because so many people are having a challenging time around me right now….

But at the same time I have this growing compassion, deep love and drive to find a way to help more people awaken to their inherent bliss as much as I can, so part of that is showing how it’s possible with my own story I guess. So here we are!

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” —Lao Tzu

Which step will you take today?

Note: this is a pretty simplistic post, so please check out the rest of my articles to get a broader perspective on some of the topics covered here.

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