Are you trying to attain a higher state of mind? Are you searching for the secret that unlocks the best you there is to be? If so, here are 10 steps that will help you on your journey towards self realization.
1.) Realize you are not your thoughts.
Are you listening to that little voice in your head? For better or worse, do you believe what it is saying? Do you think it is “you” in there? If the answer is yes, then we have some work to do.
One of the biggest steps in attaining enlightenment is realizing that you are not your thoughts. If you were actually everything you have ever thought about yourself it is likely the result would be quite contradictory. Disassociating yourself from the mumbles inside of your head will be very helpful on your journey to higher knowledge. Let each thought come and go as it pleases and only react to what you wish to.
Remember to try and be optimistic, no matter what is going on inside of your mind. How you perceive your thoughts is completely up to you.
2.) Know your ego.
Do you know your ego? Do you know when it’s coming into play and how it effects you? A huge step in attaining this golden state of mind we call Enlightenment is knowing your ego. Your ego is largely associated with the last step we discussed. It is, in essence, that voice in your head.
Your ego will tell you when you feel you are doing well, and it will also tell you when you feel your doing poorly. The thing about ego, is that it is a highly inaccurate representation of the self and if you are listening to it unconditionally you are going to run into many problems.
One of the hardest things to accept for many in the spiritual community is the fact that the ego is not going anywhere. There is absolutely nothing you can do to be completely rid of it, despite what many people might think. What you can do, although, is be aware of your ego and realize when it is coming into play. The realization that your ego is not you is very powerful. There is no need to be rid of it, just simply keep it in check. After all, it is completely okay to feel proud of your accomplishments, and feel disappointed in your failures, as long as you do not let these things define you. Disassociation is key.
3.) Believe in yourself.
This one may sound pretty obvious but i’m going to go into what believing in yourself truly means. When I say you must believe in yourself I don’t only mean have faith that you can achieve anything, I also mean that you must trust yourself and the knowledge that you already have within you.
This is extremely important on your journey to Enlightenment.
While studying things others have to say in videos or written works can be very helpful, at the end of the day you do not need any one else’s information but your own to become Enlightened. This is why it’s so important to trust, and believe in yourself, because if you do not trust yourself, you will never believe your inner self when it truly starts speaking.
4.) Be exactly who you want to be.
Do you sometimes act differently than normal around others because you feel they wouldn’t like you as much? If so, this is something you need to cut out immediately. I’m not talking about minor things like not swearing around your boss or kids. I’m talking about behaving differently because you aren’t comfortable expressing yourself fully.
There is no easier way to kill your soul and individuality than being untrue to yourself.
At every moment you should be doing your best to be the best you, you can be. No one can do it like you do, and no one should be able to. We might have different ideas from others and we should. Don’t be afraid to express how you’re feeling even if it is in the opposition of your fellow human.
5.) Stop letting what’s outside affect you inside
This is one of the trickiest things to master. You have to realize that you cannot control the external world. Trying to do so will very rarely result in satisfaction and almost always result in frustration. Traffic is slow? That’s okay. Your boss didn’t give you that promotion? That’s okay. You choose what you do and do not react to, and in the end you are the master of your emotions.
Nothing in the world can force you to feel a certain type of way.
You are in complete control of how you feel whether you believe it is so or not. How you react to the things going on in the physical world is 100% up to you. That said, this is not to contradict manifestation, which can prove very useful. Instead, it is the acceptance that external life is not completely within our control.
6.) Don’t treat everything as positive or negative
Start looking at everything you go through as an experience.
Don’t focus so much on what you think is good or bad, instead look at it as a situation you were meant to go through, an experience you were meant to have. If you start treating every emotion you have as neutral, something you’re meant to feel regardless of if it’s happy or sad, you will experience a beautiful acceptance in knowing that what you thought was a bad day is instead just an experience that you have allowed yourself to have.
Many people in their quest for Enlightenment begin to believe that in the enlightened state of mind you won’t experience sadness or have any negative thoughts but, nothing could be more untrue.
Enlightenment is acceptance and balance.
It’s learning to accept and balance your positive and negative emotions. It is a realization that negative and positive are man made conditions. After all, some of the best things in life can come from a “negative” experience.
7.) Stop reading about it.
It sounds hypocritical, I know.
I don’t mean that you shouldn’t ever pick up a piece of literature that has to do with awakening again, I mean that the expectation that comes with knowledge can sometimes put you further behind your goal than it does bring you closer. The thing is, spiritual awakening differs incredibly depending on the individual experiencing it. Reading about others accounts and experiences isn’t always a bad thing, but it may put false expectations into your mind of what must occur in order to be awakened.
Expecting an awakening or what it may be like is just like taking 10 steps back from your destination.
I can say with most certainty, that when you do have an experience, it will be totally unique to you, and there is absolutely nothing you can read that will describe how you feel.
On the other hand of this same topic, is experience.
You cannot watch or read your way to spiritual awakening. Literature and media can be helpful, but they are only tools when used correctly. Just like a tool, they only work when physical action is taken. You can read all day, which is great, it really is, but at the end of the day you need to put down the book and go experience the world with all it has to offer. Go see the mountains, take in the fresh air. Go on a hike, or even go see that friend you’ve been meaning to visit for awhile. In life you are meant to have many experiences, with knowledge gained in mind, go have them.
Which leads us to our next tip..
8.) Try everything.
One of the most life changing things you’re going to realize on your journey to Enlightenment is that there truly is no self.
Who you think you are relative to the world does not exist.
No one out there views you like you view you. This being the case, there is nothing in this world that you can do that is “unlike” you. A friend asks you to come snowboarding and your response may be “I’m not really a snowboarder..” even though you’ve never set foot on a board before. The reality is, if any other human on the planet has accomplished something, you can as well. It’s time to try that new thing you’ve been putting off for the past few years because it’s probably just not for you. Don’t be silly, you’re here on earth, and everything is for you.
9.) Golden Rule.
Realize that perception is completely unique to the individual perceiving it.
Ever heard the phrase one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? This is a perfect example of individual perception. In one person’s world, an item is useless trash. In another person’s world, it is worth gold. How you perceive life is completely and 100% unique to you. No one else on the entire planet see’s it quite like you do.
The reason this is so, is because each of us have different experiences growing up on planet Earth. No single individual has had the identical experience here as another individual. Deep down inside, somewhere, there is a reason or experience as to why you view every single thing the way you do. Why you love the things you love, why you hate the things you hate, and every bit of it, is individual to you.
That makes you one of a kind. We’re special little snowflakes after all aren’t we?
Now you might be saying, “If our experience reflects our perception then how is it possible to change a bad perception?” and the answer is complicated, but easily explained. In awakening you realize that there is truly no self, no entity in existence that defines who we are. In this realization, in this golden experience, it is known that there is no experience that defines who we are, thus enabling us to control how we wish to perceive the world at will. Before our eyes are open, we are the way we are because of experience. After awakening, we realize the self we’ve associated with all of these experiences doesn’t exist, it’s like breaking the shackles and we are free from what many call Maya, the illusion.
Does your brain hurt yet?
10.) Don’t stress it.
At the end of the day, just do the best you can to not worry about it so much. Your awakening will come when it is meant to, and there is little you can truly do to speed up the process other than just going out there and living your life.
Be kind, love strong, breathe deep, and pursue every one of your passions until you are unable, and then keep trying anyways.
Enlightenment isn’t something you should be desperately chasing after, and likely all that will do is put you further away. Enlightenment is right now, it is a beautiful remembering of what you really are. It is not some mythical fairy tale that is impossible to achieve, it’s just here waiting for you to truly notice where you are.
So for now, worry less about Enlightenment, and worry more about being the best you that you could ever be.
Eventually, everything will fall into place, just as it should.