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7 Ways We Limit Ourselves Without Even Realizing It

7 Ways We Limit Ourselves Without Even Realizing It

We make excuses.  We stay in the safe end of the pool and find ways to ignore anything that might challenge us in anyway.  We allow circumstances and our belief that we have no choices be our guide instead.  Forgetting that we can create happiness as much as we can create misery seems to become a way of life.  Stepping away from what we have been taught and allowing ourselves to make our own path doesn’t even seem to cross the minds of too many of us anymore.  And if you don’t believe me that we all forgo actions that we really wish we had the courage to take, read more here…

We go looking for failure.

Not really on purpose, but sometimes, it is all we can focus on.  We have all stumbled a time or two as we have traveled through our life and the fear of another setback is just something that we can do without.  So we expect the worst.  Every time.  We never believe we have a shot at that promotion we really want so we never fill out the paperwork, only to go back to doing the same thing we despise.  We never ask that girl out for fear of being rejected after allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.  We never take that risk.  The same risk life begs of us.

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We follow the crowd.

It is easier to never have to make a decision or take any responsibility either.  We just follow the “school of fish” never stopping to ask, “Is this what I really want to be doing?”  Falling in line is easy.  But what happens if you change your mind?  If your experiences have somehow changed your perspective on life?  No one promotes “going against the grain” because that is not what most of us do.  We take the easiest route instead of the road less traveled.  We have been conditioned that way.

We play it safe.

Growing up, we told we could be anything we want, but only if we were careful and cautious.  We could never “push the envelope” too much.  Most kids get hurt because they were not thinking about being safe — they were caught up in the moment.  Now as adults, we are missing out on those glorious moments of absolute freedom because our biggest concern seems to be one of security instead.  Our fear leaves us paralyzed as we hold out in the safety of what we know.  Our excitement of doing something new and maybe a little dangerous is just what our psyche needs.

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We have no hope.   

The world nowadays is full of turmoil, hatred, and animosity that will not diminish overnight.  And our future generations are never going to believe that any action they take will make an impact if they don’t have hope.  In order for us to take a step away from the common thread, we must understand that our purpose will stand for something, even long after we are gone.  Instead of compromising what we can’t do with laziness and justifications as why something won’t work, let’s give it a shot anyway.  What have we got to lose?

We stopped listening to our hearts.

At some, point, filling our pockets with cash, loading up on material possessions, and taking from others because we could became our way of life.  In the end, we don’t feel any more full because we have “stuff” and our regrets become almost too much to bear as we suffer through guilt and mistakes made along the way.  Our hearts beg for us to listen to them — to find what feeds our souls and to enhance the lives of others in whatever we can.  So we play in that local golf fundraiser never really taking the time to see how we can make a difference in someone else’s life.  But in order to really understand what our hearts feel, we must get “in the trenches” and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and exposed.

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We quit.

We give up on the good fight because it’s hard and long with no guarantee of success.  Looking around the crowd, we see no other participants taking up where we leave off and our efforts, although honorable, become too much to bear alone.  Walking away is simple and we can wash our hands of any more responsibility and there is always the token, “I did what I could…it just didn’t work out” answer.  Out of strength and tired, we believe we cannot find a single ounce to take another step.

We forgot our “why.”

Most of us will not commit to something unless we believe we will be successful.  There has to be a chance of accomplishing what we want to achieve.  Our reasons for being pulled in a particular direction can lose its power if we wind up on a road we never intended to take, dealing more than we imagined, or never seem to be making any head way.  Our draw towards a specific goal has lost its meaning and we forget our reasons for beginning in the first place.  Lost momentum and faded eagerness begin to take hold — whether intended or not — and our focus seems unclear.

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No matter our background, our education level, or our when we get started, holding ourselves back is a disservice to the rest of the world.  Our natural-born talents go untapped, un-shared, and hidden.  No one assigns our limits to us, we assign them to ourselves.  And in doing so, we can also unassign them.  Doing something out of the norm and unorthodox might upset the apple cart and many people will not understand your motives, believing that they are built on false pretenses.  True limits continue to grow after they have been met…as long as we don’t hold ourselves back from reaching our full potential.

Featured photo credit: Kaley Dykstra via images.unsplash.com

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Michelle A. Homme

Author, Speaker, Quote Writer, Empowerment Coach

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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