Check it out: we are living in unprecedented times where business as usual is being called into question.
When there’s no such thing as normal, circumstances can act as a springboard for our personal development because there is less left to assumption. While there are no true life hacks or quick fixes for years of accumulated karma, there are many ways we can invest 15 minutes to change the long-term trajectory of our lives. Here are a few:
Reign in negative self-talk.
Find some kind of safe way to take an honest inventory of beliefs that are holding you back. Limiting beliefs can often be confronted simply by “catching” and correcting thoughts when they happen during fleeing moments of self-awareness. When you hear negative self-talk, make a conscious effort to go back and make a more empowering and truthful affirmation.
Give yourself a do-over.
Past traumas can be re-examined in meditation, and with minimal voluntary direction of your thoughts, you can re-imagine situations with a better outcome. Your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between the reality you’ve lived, a dream you’ve had while asleep, or something you’ve imagined via daydreaming or meditation. It all gets processed on a deeper level as though the experiences are real. What’s even better is it doesn’t have to make sense. If you’re confronting a childhood bully, you’re allowed to re-imagine the scenario with you having more social literacy and mental faculties than you actually did at that age. Make it happen the way it should have happened in your mind and feel it as vividly as possible. Over time, the impact on your psyche will become less as the exposure is neutralized.
Cut out relationships that aren’t empowering you.
If there’s a person with toxic behaviors in your life, let them go. You don’t owe your time, talents, and energy to psychic vampires, even though they may not be trying to have that effect on you. Social distancing provides a wonderful platform to let this happen naturally. If you’re not in a situation where you can physically remove yourself from a toxic person, you can establish meaningful boundaries. The toxic person will definitely notice your new disposition, so be ready for the pushback. However, remember you don’t owe them an explanation, and, in fact, it’s much better if you don’t attempt one.
Commit to the relationships you want in your life even if they’re imperfect.
If you have relationships that aren’t what you would like them to be but you are unwilling or unable to cut them out of your life, you can work on accepting what they are. Much of the strain in participating in the relationship will diminish if you can stop wishing it was something other than what it is. We can avoid wishing away a potentially meaningful relationship by removing our expectations of others and instead working to see them as whole and complete as they are.
Summon an observer.
Be the way you would be if someone you admire was watching you. How would you act if your actions were under the scrutiny of a sympathetic, but inspiring audience? On my long runs, I imagine that I am running with the spirit of a beloved deceased dog. When I go through difficult parenting moments, I imagine my mom is there, silently cheering me on. If I get caught at the corner store in my pajamas by someone who previously only knew me in the most professional capacities, suddenly, I’m with the “Big Lebowski”. A more advanced version of this concept is to become your own observer, as described by Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now. This level is when you become the watcher.
Give yourself permission to let life unfold easily.
The control we crave to feel security can be absolutely immobilizing. After putting in our own initiatives to get our wheels of manifestation spinning, there must come a time where we step back and let things sink in. If we are constantly hovering and waiting with baited breath to see each small increment of our day take off, we lose the opportunity for novel experiences and the voice of the universe to play into our lives.
Each of these activities can be completed in small increments of time. However, these small, momentary steps have the ability to dramatically transform our cumulative life experience.