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Would You Like To Substantially Change Your Body And Life: Pay Attention
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Do you get the sense that your personal development has plateaued? About six years ago, I really felt like mine had. This was in spite of the fact that I was doing a lot of self-care. I was working out, doing yoga, maintaining a healthy diet, I was going to a doctor of chiropractic regularly and having massage. However, it became apparent to me that I had reached a plateau.
That's when I discovered meditation. Meditation is the science and art of working out your concentration muscles. If we desire to make further leaps in our personal growth, we have to refine our consciousness, meaning we've got to be able to feel and do and think something new. If we keep replaying the exact same emotions, thoughts and behaviors, we can't expect our body and life to be any different than it has already been. In order to fine-tune our awareness we've got to work at noticing more closely what we're doing with our attention. When I began meditating, things began to change in a positive way. I understood that, as holistic as the chiropractic care was, for instance, on some level, I'd been letting it be done to me. In everything that I'd been doing, my attention was frequently elsewhere and I wasn't engaged with the reason I was doing those things to begin with; my personal growth. My body and life got unstuck the moment I chose to bring more attention to the process. So, do you feel stuck? Meditation may be something you want to take a look at. I would recommend that you commit to a bit of retreat time with yourself, alone, each day in meditation. It could be just ten minutes.
Often people have the wrong idea about meditation. People think that it means we're disconnecting from our surroundings. In reality, the objective of meditation is to invite more of the world in and have a closer relationship with it. Over the course of time, if you keep at it, it will be easy to look back and see that, definitely, your body and life have evolved.
I went on an extended retreat not long ago. I was alone in a cabin in the woods for seven days doing yoga practices and meditating. I was in this little cabin with only me to keep me company; everything I needed and nothing I didn't need. In that situation, I started to become aware that all of the aspects of me were coming to the surface at once; all trying to have their voices heard. So I gave them my undivided attention for seven days by applying the skills that I had garnered through meditation. Over the course of the seven days, there developed a much greater understanding of how I had been relating to those parts and to the World, largely unconsciously. There's a direct link between our relationship to the parts of ourselves and our relationship to the World; if there is seperation in the inner, it surfaces in the external.
There was some important integration of those parts into my being; not keeping them separate so much as I used to. As a result of entering into a much deeper relationship with these aspects of me, I recognized the realization that what matters most is our ability to be aware of our gifts and then give them. That's where it's really at. There's the surface level of happiness that we experience from having a decent job, having enough money, being in a good relationship and being relatively healthy, then there's the immense satisfaction that comes from being able to know your gifts and give them.
I highly recommend meditation, and eventually retreat, to strengthen your attention muscles and develope a deep life satisfaction. In a way, your life depends on it.
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