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  • Jennifer Stafford

Leave Your Illusion: You Are Life

"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of things …" - Epictetus

The only way to handle uncertainty is to face it. How else can it no longer be uncertain?

There is an exhaustion in the air that spans the globe. Many people seem to be mentally spiraling or getting caught up in mental spiraling as they search for meaning and purpose in their lives. Society, media and entertainment, family customs, crises, culture and the most recent couture have influenced your mind and impacted your understanding of yourself. It happens to all of us, every single one of us in some way or another. So what's making you so tired? Why are you more often than not feeling exhausted? Well, it is possible that your self-operation leads you on a futile mission most days of the year.

Is this yours or anyone's "fault?" No. Can you change it? Yes.

Do you pay attention to what you tell yourself when you get up in the morning? How do you speak to yourself and does it make you feel hopeful about participating in the day? If it does not, what does being discouraging to yourself do for you? Probably nothing beneficial, which is what makes the mission for the day feel futile. It could be the reason for your procrastination or forgetting. As a human being, it is excruciating to feel stagnant, especially when there are other human beings that do not present with the perception of stagnation. Consistent discouragement can lead to despair and desperation. We can darken our experience of living in this life when we do not understand how our thoughts have been influenced or that the irrationality of certain emotionally driven pursuits can be dangerous.

There is a personal illusion governed by our minds that most of us are living in and it can create costly confusion in the operating system of a human being.

This personal illusion influences everything. How we see the world, how we see ourselves, how we see others, how we think others see us; literally everything. This personal illusion is what employs our pride and ignites our ego. How we operate ourselves impacts how we interact with others. Not reminding ourselves that everyone has their own personal illusion in their minds can make interactions with ourselves and others feel energetically depleting. If you are unaware of how you operate yourself, this lack of awareness may be a source of your exhaustion. If your operation of self occurs without your input, then it is default conditioning and external conditions that are making the decisions in your life.

We are living beings; therefore, if we have breath there is no malfunction in our existence. It is the mind that perpetuates external dysfunction. Operating ourselves as human beings once flowed naturally without thought when we were babies, then, once our intellectual abilities became amplified we became over-identified with the mind. Being so insatiably interwoven with our mind is how being in the present moment becomes challenging to define and for some, perhaps most, to experience.

Our mind makes us feel like we have control when we engage our thoughts. The present moment is the only real reality, yet most people walk around able to identify with being either anxious or depressed. We have populations of people operating themselves out of being fearful of the future and/or regretful of the past. Taking position in the present moment means finding value in what it means for you to be alive. Becoming actively aware of how we operate ourselves can get us one step closer to truly experiencing what it feels like to be life. The concept of control is an ambiguous illusion, but what we can make actionable is our execution of choice. Most of us operate ourselves without awareness in some aspect of life. Where we do not have awareness we do not operate out of choice, but out of unconsciously driven motives most often rooted in emotion and historical conditioning. Our minds take us on psychological journeys that have significant impact on how we operate ourselves. Becoming more aware of the personal illusions that our minds create is critical if we desire experiencing mental peace at any moment in time.

Leaving the mental state of illusion requires relinquishing the irrational pursuit of external control. Only in being in the present moment does the uncertainty of the unknown become known. Operating ourselves in recognition of this is how we actualize our choices in the present; the here and now.

To be in pursuit of anything else can feel exasperatingly futile. When human beings are fatigued we fight, fuss and fixate. Figuring out a better way to use our energy is essential to our overall well-being. There is nothing external that can make us feel better than feeling better from the inside. Practicing patience and disciplining our minds is part of the living process. When we do not consistently partake in paying attention to this, we can lose sight of what it means to be life. Being alive means more than what we see on the outside.

Sitting with Self Exercise

  1. Sit with yourself for 3-5mins, no distractions just pay attention to your breathing. (Think to self: inhale and exhale)

  2. Notice the thoughts that come up, do not engage them. Just notice them.

  3. Bring your attention back to your breathing every time a thought tries to gain your focus.

  4. At the end of sitting with yourself, place your hand on your heart and take one last deep breath.

*Try this exercise a least once a week to start, increase as desired.



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