Lately, I’ve been wondering what life advice I would give to someone if it were ever asked of me.
Advice is a funny thing, because we tend to be either entirely unwilling to give it, or way too comfortable giving it to whichever stranger happens to walk past.
It is difficult, because we often have an inclination toward helping people if we believe our knowledge is of use; however, at the same time, we (as human beings) have a bad habit of projecting our own problems onto other people.
This makes it hard to determine whether our advice is a genuine attempt to be helpful, or just another way of asserting our (likely) distorted identity; most often, it is somewhere in between.
Good advice takes much care—and I’d like to think the following advice involves the care and consideration that is necessary in presenting a meaningful perspective: Nature is much smarter than human beings.
We are always trying to control and make sense of things, organize the world according to our own inner voice, and oftentimes, all we really need to do in order to feel better about our lives and be more effective individuals is to simply let go of this need to take command over everything. Sometimes we need to take a step back from the incessant flux of the thinking mind, so that we can be more aligned with the present moment.
Let me be clear about this: I am not saying that thought or the desire to make sense of things is inherently bad. What I am saying is that there is a strong propensity of ours to become so enveloped in our thoughts that we lose sight of what is actually happening in our lives.
Our need to control things becomes more powerful than our actual experience.
Try this out—see what happens when we just try to exist in the present moment, without constantly thinking about what has happened in the past or what may come next in the future.
Slow down the voice in your head, and just be in the present moment without needing to change anything. Recognize that there is no inherent problem in the universe, and that it is the mind that identifies and seeks to solve problems.
How does this feel?
For me, this brings about a deep sense of peace within me—a quality of inner calmness and serenity that makes me feel more loving, open, and capable of dealing with whatever life throws at me. I feel like I am home when I all of my attention is focused on the present moment.
And so, my advice would be to just try to get out of our own way.
We already know what to do and how to be, as far as I can tell. The trick seems to be to let our own nature manifest itself without any interruptions. It is the ego that interrupts, that gets in the way of our potential, that attaches itself to the various forms of the world, and identifies with whatever makes the most noise.
If we can be present without compulsively thinking, without falling prey to the projections of the ego, then it seems that the right choices come to us with ease. Life seems like an endless field of opportunity. We move from scarcity to abundance. We come to be connected with a kind of truth in that we are more in touch with what is actually happening in and around us, and here we live on the bleeding edge of our own free will.
Let’s get out of our own way by being attentive to what is happening in the now, rather than being endlessly carried away by visions of the past and the future. When we do this, it seems that our greatest potential is unleashed, and our lives come to flow with an seemingly effortless finesse.
I am constantly reminding myself of this, as well as implementing some breathing techniques to help me along the way. Getting out of the mind and into the body has been crucial to me in living to my fullest potential—and the breath is the best access point to achieve this.
When we feel the breath with the whole of our being, each sensation filled with radiant energy; then, the mind comes to be quite still, and the immediacy of the present moment comes to be acknowledged. Here, we can feel the aliveness of the body and a deep sense of awareness and electricity comes to pervade our being.
The breath is the best portal to the present moment, and it’s the secret to getting out of our own way.
“Mindfulness training is nothing more, & nothing less, than learning how to show up for the moment.” ~ Frank Berliner
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Instagram @ecofolks
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Danielle Beutell
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis