How Many Breaths Per Minute For A 1 Year Old Reality Check – Calibrate Your Life

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Reality Check – Calibrate Your Life

Even if you know what you want in life, why you want it and you strive to achieve it, you’re likely to eventually be led astray. Every day you dive into the small tasks trusting that they’ll lead you to the bigger picture. You check up your smaller tasks with relation to your current goals to ensure you’re on track. And yet, there are times when you get derailed. Even if it seems like you are pursuing the goals you’ve set, something doesn’t feel right. You’ve lost your drive and don’t feel the passion. You can’t seem to notice what could be wrong from your current perspective.

The longer you’re in the doing, the more assumptions you make around your goals and their achievement. Soon you think you have it all figured out, and from your current perspective it sure seems so. If you would try to rearrange your goals, you’d get a similar life plan. And so you feel stuck and confused. Reality check is something more than a check-up and rearrangement of your goals. It’s a five-step process aimed to raise your awareness, interrupt the mental patterns and incorrect assumptions, bring your awareness to the true purpose in life and plan your life from there. You broaden your view and eliminate obstacles first and look around after. A frequent reality check is vital to ensure that you have chosen the right destination and you are headed straight at it.

The submarine metaphor

Think of your life as a submarine cruise towards the island of your own choosing. You need to be submerged to travel effectively but the water is murky and you can’t see your destination while underwater. You emerge just for a while and set the right course.Then you go down and swim towards it. The ways slowly push you off course. Your navigational equipment is also a bit discalibrated. You can try to correct your course while underwater, but your calculations are inaccurate in there and can deceive you. Unless you emerge and recalibrate your course, you are going to miss the island. As you look for your island above the surface of murky water, you might also notice a better, more beautiful island nearby. Then you will congratulate yourself: ‘I’m so glad I have reemerged and checked my course. Now I have found the island I truly wanted to arrive at’.

A personal story

I’m writing this post because a big reality check recently turned my life around. Somewhere about a year ago I realized that the area of relationships is strongly lagging behind all the rest. Therefore I made it a number one goal to improve it. Back then I was strongly growth-oriented, very spiritual and insanely happy guy. When I’ve fallen in love, I put relationship skills before spirituality or business. My intense education in that area followed the focus and soon enough most of my goals were circled around relationships. The number one thing I wanted to manifest in my life was an awesome intimate partner.I have linked my life’s purpose and sense of fulfillment with social success, as the highest form of adventure, growth and fun.

Three times during that period I’ve done something like a reality check. Each time I realized how much energy I’ve been putting into the relationships, neglecting the true purpose of my life, which was much deeper and broader. What I failed to do each time was to interrupt my pattern of desperation about attracting the right friends and intimate partners. I didn’t dig deep enough into the fundamental assumptions and the realignment with the true purpose of my life was only temporary. After a month or so, I went back to neglecting everything but the relationships.

It wasn’t such a bad year from the external perspective. I’ve grown a lot and experienced lots of success in every area. The problem was that I’ve linked all my sense of accomplishment and inner drive with the relationships. I assumed that I won’t be happy until I find a true friend or a girlfriend. And sure enough, I felt like a failure more and more often.

The days from February 1st to 5th I’ve labeled as my holidays from life. I joined a group trip to the comfortable resort in the mountains, far away from civilization. I asked for a single room with no roommate. I did nothing but exercise physically and meditate. There were girls I liked on the camp but I decided not to flirt with them, even though I could. I didn’t socialize, write articles or make financial plans. I was just being there, enjoying the nature. During the second day I achieved a very peaceful state in which I sometimes felt as if I had no name. I truly reconnected with my soul. There was no assumed identity, no obligations or goals – just being. Most of the thinking processes disappeared.

On the fourth day I asked myself ‘What is my life really about?’. The answer came in pieces from deep within me: ‘You’re here, in this body to have positive impact on the planet. You grow, and as you grow, you share your love and fulfillment with the world’. And that was it. That was when I realized how deceived I was for so long. There was no fulfillment in ‘Earn a living. Find a friend. Build a website.’ kind of things. How could I have been focusing on those so much, forgetting the simple reason of my existence? Growing and sharing the best of me with the world is so incredibly fulfilling that I now feel no gap that any friend or intimate partner would have to fill. I couldn’t see it before, from the low-awareness, neediness perspective. I was too caught up in my thinking. What happened on those holidays is that I interrupted the thought processes that deceived me.

I’ve changed the very foundation on which I was building my life. Does it mean I wasted a year building on wrong foundations? Not at all. The growth and external achievements are still there, but now they have a different meaning. I’m now following the right track and enjoying every step of it. If I went slightly around it in the past, fine. I’ve gone farther all the same, I’ve just needed to readjust towards where I really want to go.

As for the changes on the practical level, I still do well in my relationships. However, I found that certain actions and beliefs of mine were inaccurate of my newly discovered life’s purpose. I let go of some purely manipulative tactics for initiating relationships that were fun for both parties and successful, yet disaligned with love and truth. I spend much more time writing articles, as this is currently the best medium for my message to the world.

Reality check vs life goals check

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that reality check is just thinking over your life purpose and choosing better goals. You can analyze your life all you want, but if you keep making the same unconscious assumptions, you will end up getting the similar answers.To see through your current flaws in thinking, you need to raise your own awareness. As uncle Einstein smartly put it, “a problem cannot be solved on the same level that it exists”. You might even raise your awareness for a moment and see the bigger picture, different from what you assumed it would be. But still, if you still hold the same limiting beliefs in your mind, they will eventually lead you astray.

Look around from the valley and, no matter how hard you look, the view is more/less the same. Cut down a few trees and you can see more. Jump around and you’ll catch short glimpses of a bigger picture. Yet you can’t stay up long enough to accurately store it in your memory. Climb up a hill and you will see it all and more.

Do you know what your life is really about? I challenge you to free yourself from your current perspective verify your reality wth the bigger picture. Realign with your soul and see from that level how well your mind and body operates. Don’t follow your goals blindly, hoping that fulfillment awaits you at their achievement. You will likely end up getting there and asking ‘Is this all there is? What’s the point?’. Make sure your life’s purpose is the real purpose why you’re in this world. Make sure your goals are directly aligned with that purpose. Do the reality check!

Step one – open your chakras

This is a simple, yet extremely effective meditation practice. As a first step you want to release the energy stuck in your chakras, which is essential for getting a clear vision of your reality. I do it at least once a day. You’ll get by with it once a month. If you think it’s an evil work of satan or whatever, don’t call it opening your chakras. I’m not going to challenge your fundamental belief system. Just reframe it so you can still benefit from it. Think of it as a renovation of the house of your soul and you’re painting the different parts of your body in the right colors. Whatever works 🙂 Really, there’s no dogma, mojo or hidden truth to it. You just play with colors on the body parts in your imagination and it makes you feel better.

If you’re curious to read more about chakras, I strongly recommend Erin Pavlina’s article. Here I’ll just cover the unclogging process sparing you as little detail as you need to get by. It’s just a preparation for the reality check anyways.

There are seven major chakras in your body and each one is represented by a color:

* Root chakra – red color, in your feet, represents physical survival, sense of identity

* Sacral chakra – orange color, lower abdomen, represents emotional stability, sexual energy, creativity

* Solar plexus – yellow color, solar plexus, near the diaphragm, represents personal power and effectiveness, mental energy and focus

* Heart chakra – green color, heart and lung area, represents love, empathy, healing, connection to others

* Throat chakra – blue color, throat, represents communication, self-expression

* Third eye – deep blue, indigo, purple color, third eye, in your forehead, represents psychic abilities, intuition, clarity of thought

* Crown chakra – White or violet color, at the top of the head, represents connection with God, Universe, Divine, inner peace

Over the years the chakras became clogged, the energy got stuck inside them or whatever metaphor you’d like to use. A simple visualization exercise is enough to unclog it. For the first time it might take a few minutes per chakra, once you get good at it, it’s just a few seconds each. Remember that it’s all just a metaphor. You can imagine something completely different from what I suggest and get better results. Just stick to the corresponding colours, as there seems to be something fitting about them.

Imagine a ball of colorful light swirling in the corresponding place of each chakra. As the ball rolls, it gets brighter and brighter. A stream of energy flows from the universe through the ball. Over time it flows more and more freely and the ball gets brighter and brighter. The chakra opens. Start from the Root and end at the Crown. Keep visualizing until you get a sense that it’s clean. This feeling is hard to describe, but once you feel it, you’ll know it’s there. It’s like spending a day in the fog and suddenly stepping out of it into the clear vision. It’s like having pressure on your arm for so long that you got used on it and then releasing it. It’s like finally telling your buddy to brush his teeth more often after you put up with his breath for ages. Anyways, wait until it ‘clicks’ and move on to the next chakra.

Step two – stop thinking

The second step is to interrupt your thinking patterns. Focus entirely on the present moment and disidentify with the thinking mind and its story about who you are. You are the soul, the consciousness, the awareness beyond the thinking mind. You need to feel that intuitively before you go further. If you’ve been stuck in the conversation inside your mind for years, this may be challenging.

How do you know you are the awareness, not the thinker? it’s simple. Ask yourself ‘What is my next thought going to be?’. How could you ask yourself that? How could you perceive the thought? If you were the thought, you wouldn’t be able to do that. You aren’t the thinking mind if you can observe it. Play along with it for a while and listen to your thoughts. Don’t identify, just listen as if it was a radio transmission. Then imagine you are turning the volume knob down and hear the radio gradually die out.

Once the thoughts disappear, the awareness of presence emerges. Perhaps for the first time in a really long time you are completely in the present moment, perceiving your office without mental judgement and the usual stream of thoughts. This is the state you want to hold. Don’t let any thoughts interfere with it. You will often catch yourself striking up an inner dialogue and drifting away. It’s normal, just keep doing your best. The open chakras make it much easier to stay in the present moment. Your mental clarity is higher than usual.

Another good way of going into the now is directing your focus on the body’s energy field. Close your eyes and hold your hands in front of you without touching anything. Ask yourself: ‘How do I know that my hands exist when I close my eyes?’. Feel the subtle feeling of living warmth in your hands. Once you get it, feel it in the entire body. Don’t analyze it, don’t think about it. Just feel it. Focus on the sensory perceptions, not on the mental interpretations of them.

Never rush the second step of reality check. It’s a crucial foundation for the step three. If you’re impatient, it’s a very sign that your thinking patterns are still there. Even if raising your awareness takes you an hour, it’s totally worth it. Most often the longer it takes, the more miscalibrated you are. Some people need just a small shift and will go through this step in five minutes, while others need a complete turn-over and it will take them hours. I meditated three days for the first time but it’s not necessary 🙂

Step three – realize your wholeness

This is something your mind wouldn’t bear. Good thing that you turned it off in the second step, right? Realize that now, in this moment you are already whole. It might not seem so on the level of mind. You are programmed into the consumption ‘Give me more’ mindset. Look at the core of your being. You are the awareness, not the needy mind. As a soul, a presence you are whole in this very moment. No external event, achievement or possession can fulfill you. There is nothing you have to do first. Let go of all your social conditioning. You are already whole.

Basically you came on this world fulfilled and then people told you that you don’t have enough and you are not good enough. This realization is the essence of the third step of reality check. Don’t expect anything to make you whole. Your goal in life is not wholeness. You already have it. You’ve always had it, but the mind is deceived to want more. As you are sitting here, breathing, aware of the present moment, without analyzing anything or running through your mind-made life story – you are fulfilled.

Who are you without the mind? You are still yourself, as mind is not a part of you, it’s a tool of you. Use it as a tool and don’t seek fulfillment through the mind. The key word that you want to avoid is ‘but’. Never ‘but’ your happiness. Who says you can’t be happy if x or y happens? Does it really depend on external circumstances? Look inside yourself for the answer. Right now, in this present moment, in the core of your being, you are whole and fulfilled.

At this point, you can let go of any variation of the belief that you need to get or become something or someone in order to be happy. If you encounter internal resistance, let go of the thinking processes. Your mind will struggle with this idea. Yet don’t you sense deep down in your heart that it is true?

If you are already fulfilled, what’s the point of living? Life is not about making yourself whole, looking for lacking parts of your perfect identity. It’s all about what you do as a fulfilled being. Once you get over the internal resistance and seeking happiness externally move on to step four.

Step four – your true purpose in life

What do you intend to do with your life now that you’re already fulfilled? It’s time to ask yourself this question. You might find the answer surprisingly far from what you’ve been doing 🙂

Far too often people set need-oriented goals instead of desire-oriented ones. You may want something deeply, but restrain yourself because social conditioning tells you that one of your assumed needs has to be fulfilled first. This way you live in reaction, deprived of true purpose in life. This is all result of the conditioning that you have dropped during the first three steps. The answer that emerges now is something you truly want, something you could do for eternity and enjoy the process immensely. It can be vague, but you can just work on the possible clarifications later.

Perhaps some of the inner resistance and sense of lack is still inside you. If you were troubled about money, ask yourself “What would I do if I had all the money in the world?’. If you sought validation from people, ask ‘What would I do if I would be totally famous and liked and had the best intimate partner on earth?’. Do you get the idea? Whatever you think you need, ask yourself what would you do if you already had it. Then go over the steps 1-3 again. You will realize that you either already have, or don’t need at all, what this thing would provide you.

If the answer that comes up doesn’t seem right, just get your mind out of the way and keep asking. Write all your answers in a text editor or on paper. It’s important to write anything that comes up. Only this way you’ll sustain a constant flow of answers instead of getting stuck with one you don’t want. When you get the right answer, you’ll know that it’s your life purpose. You’ll feel a certain emotional connection with it. Your soul will move when you hold it in your mind. You will get excited and eager to begin. Now all that’s left is a one, final step. Don’t stop at the fourth step or it all has been for nothing.

Step five – plan your life around the purpose

What you probably have at this point is a vague concept of your purpose of life. Unless you integrate and interpret it, all you have are a few inspiring words in your text editor. You want a visible positive change in your lifestyle.

This one was mine by the way:

Love unconditionally

Be in a resourceful state of mind and body

Explore the most of this world

Keep the truth of my real nature in mind

Share the best of me with the world

Another similar vague concept I received in answer was ‘Live in alignment with seven growth principles’, referring to the principles described in the book book ‘Personal Development for Smart People’ by Steve Pavlina, which I find as an extremely insightful book.

What’s left to do is to translate such concept into do-able actions. You want to create a bridge between your new purpose and your everyday life. Review your habits and beliefs. Which of them have to be replaced? What would you want to replace them with? Those are the foundations of your life. It’s crucial to realign them. Think about every area of your life and consider how it relates to your purpose. What vision of each area would be a manifestation of it? Consider at least your:

* Health and fitness

* Finances

* Career

* Mental development, learning

* Any big hobbies you might have

* Relationships

* Spiritual practice

Describe in writing what does your life aligned with the purpose look like. Create a list of all noticeable shifts and actions that you are committed to do. Capture in writing anything that will help you align with the new purpose. Any kind of plan, resource, change, assumption. Just go crazy and write your butt off.

If you find your commitment low or average, something isn’t right. Spend more time reviewing your purpose and letting go of conditioning until you get totally pumped up emotionally. Then make a commitment to follow through and write as much as you can.

Why all the writing? What if you don’t like to write? Perhaps you’re too lazy and prefer to do it all in your head. Writing is a crucial part of this step. Once you get on with your life, you will be once again exposed to the conditioning. Old patterns may reemerge and new negative ones will be formed. You need a firm base to return to. You have to keep it all on writing and remember that you wrote it in a very uplifted state so it is most probably true. Doubts are bound to come and you need to capture this turnaround to have a fixed orientation point on the horizon.

So how do you like the reality check process? Eager to use it? Your mind will probably start building up reasons as for why shouldn’t you try it. It just tries to prevent you from alignment with the soul and disidentification with the mind. Why don’t you just cut off all the excuses and try it anyways? Worst case – you’ll feel slightly empowered. Best case – your life will completely turn around towards joy and fulfillment. Not a bad deal, is it?

I want you now to find at least an hour to commit to this process without any interruptions. Schedule it and cross that hour from your life in advance. Never accept any reason to move it from the schedule. It’s a done deal.

Now that you planned when to follow through, consider every minute between now and that hour as at least partially wasted. You could have been living in the fulfillment and alignment with your true purpose of life if you hadn’t procrastinated on the reality check! I hope this made your life more joyful 🙂

Ralph

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