The Journey of Enlightenment, Part III; The Flow of it All

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One would think that flow is all anyone ever really does, as if we have a choice. But that is the very nature of Flow, we do have a choice and yet so few seem to exist there within it.

First, a practical look at the definition and how we apply it to living in the Present Moment.

The dictionary definition simply states that Flow is simply the “moving along or out steadily and continuously in a current or stream: “from here the river flows north” and “The action or fact of moving along in a steady, continuous stream.”

There is another definition to flow that many words are not given and that is from a perspective of psychology.

Flow, in this instance, is defined as the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.

Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.

According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.

To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow.

The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task, although flow is also described as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one’s emotions.

Colloquial terms for this or similar mental states include: to be on the ball, in the moment, present, in the zone, wired in, in the groove, or owning.

What is important to note from the standard definition of moving along or out steadily and continuously in a current or stream and the flow of complete focused motivation, the single-mindedness of it all, is the the principle of advancement in a natural and creative expression of nature. The river flows as it does and when we embark on a Flow within ourselves, we become a joyful creature, a true force of nature that moves at a constant and ever-evolving persona of love.

Flow becomes who we are and embodies our journey. There is nothing that determines how we flow or the way we should flow; We Just do in a way that is natural to us.

Here is where flow is interrupted, and it is at the core of the three step process of Release, Let Go and Flow. At the very heart of the process, there is a Dam that has blocked flow. Something that you have allowed in your life. For what ever reason that it has served you at the time, your Dam has stopped you from your true nature; the very art of Flowing into each new Now Moment.

As a kid, i witnessed the awesome power of the Mississippi River as storms caused it to leave its banks most every Spring. You see, the government, in its infinite wisdom, devised a series of dams along the river to “contain” the flow of the mighty Mississippi River.

Not so much.

When nature would intercede and the river would leave its banks, i was often amused as to the news reports of the damage that was caused because of the river doing what it was supposed to do, the very act of flowing. All of a sudden the river is a destructive force, but it was the very act of the government trying to control nature that was at the core of the destruction.

When nature decides to do what it does, we are simply in the way. Such is the nature of flow and the self-imposed Dams of life are at the heart of anxiety, worry and fear.

You see, we are creatures of flow that are supposed to have a natural rhythm, an ease to the way of living. If you have Dammed up your flow, then you must undo the unnatural aspects of your nature and return your life back over to you.

You must Release by forgiving.

You must Let Go by truly forgetting and deciding that you are the only one responsible for you; that no one else has input unless it is from a mentoring point-of-view that guides, but never insists on its own way.

You must then let nature, the very nature of who you are as an individual, allow Flow into each Present Moment alone, for therein lies your eternity.

Life truly begins when you have learned that the nature of Flow allows the very truth of who we are as eternal beings to enter and create our reality. For we are Love and from Love, all extends outward. Love is the creative force for all that we are and for all that we are to become.

Flow is Love and it is our nature to live free within the Flow.

Let me know your thoughts below, get on the newsletter list HERE, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is a Strategic Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for coaching directyourownlife@gmail.com

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Enlightenment, The 3 Steps, Part II: The Letting Go

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Have you ever heard anyone say, I forgive such and such but i will never forget it?

It is like going to a family function that most dread during any holiday season. You have grown and matured and maybe even have a larger view of the Universal Way than most in your family, and this is not an egoic statement, but a journey that you just understand that you have taken.

But you get home and all you hear from your family is how you failed at this as a kid or did this stupid thing or that stupid thing. You know, the natural process of growing up and learning what works and what doesn’t for yourself that we all go through, but somehow has not been branded on you as an anchor against moving forward.

It is as if your family, no matter how much you have grown and developed, can’t “let it go.” Family members and old friends, (but it seems that they are sometime a bit more progressive) are hell-bent on keeping you forever that little snot-nosed little kid that couldn’t do anything right.

Even Jesus said as much when it was discussed about when he went home when he was on his earthly mission. The townsfolk said, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Come on, nothing good has ever come from our town.” Which led to the saying that a prophet is neglected even in his own home town.

The point is, as was discussed in the last post about releasing, the forgiving of those parts of your past that have kept you tied in the past, might have been the easy part.

Even though the emotions of forgiveness are not always easy and must be dealt with, how can you truly know if you have been successful in completely forgiving?

That is the essence of step 2; Letting Go.

We began with the picture of a family reunion and most understand as they have been there. Families have a pecking order and no matter how much you achieve, you always will be that kid who did the thing that everyone talks about to keep you forever reminded where you came from.

To really move forward, to find that enlightenment that must become your Now Moment reality, you must Let Go. You must Forgive AND Forget; You must Let Go.

At the core, Releasing and Letting Go seem to be very similar in nature but they are a continuation upon one another. You can’t Let Go if you have not forgiven yourself, first, and then the person or situation second.

There is a great quote from Tina Turner where she says, ““Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”

The process of Letting Go is really just that; purging of all that has held you back and at the core of that is, indeed, forgiveness of yourself and others.

This is the truth of allowing joy to come into your soul.

Accept responsibility for yourself and don’t be a victim to anyone’s idea of you and who you should be based on a now-gone past that has no barring on this Now Moment. Yes, it existed but it was as is the wake of a boat, it merely shows you where you have been, it should never be an anchor to keep you there.

In the end, it as as the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu says, “He who knows himself is enlightened.”

You must Forgive and you must Let Go, for here is the beginning of all understanding. Then, as we will discuss in Part 3, Flow, will become your natural state of being

Let me know your thoughts below, get on the newsletter list HERE, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is a Strategic Personal Development Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for coaching directyourownlife@gmail.com

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Enlightenment: 3 Steps to See the Beginning of The Journey (Part 1)

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There is an interesting show on HBO, by the very name, Enlightened. In this show, a once high-powered executive, played brilliantly by Laura Dern, has a breakdown and is committed to a rehab clinic where she has an Enlightened moment of Supreme Consciousness.

Supreme Consciousness is as if, for a brief moment, (and that is what these moments are many times) a peace and serenity comes over your being. Your every waking moment from that point onward then becomes a re-creation of that moment in your expression of living.

Unfortunately, as Laura Dern’s character comes to find out, everyone is not on the same path as you, and it is unfathomable how anyone could not understand the journey as you are living it. I mean, it is very clear that enlightenment must be something that everyone desires, right? How is it that your new found place in the Universal Stream is not something desired by all?

This, then, becomes the disconnect. This, then, becomes the reason your ego steers you clear from “those” types, for it is not normal, this “enlightened” nonsense, and you certainly don’t ever want to be seen as “not normal”.

Right?

It has always fascinated me how the media paints “normalcy.” But here is the thing…it is a moving target that changes by the shifting sands of time and societal nuances. The normal of today becomes the old-fashioned thinking of yesterday, and sometimes virtually overnight. If you want to see that really played out, look at computer magazines from merely five years ago. Heck, go back two years, that should do it. The computing world has changed so dramatically that simply having a cell phone two years old makes you outdated.

The same goes for normalcy as we define it. What does this have to do with enlightenment and the steps to begin the journey?

Everything, for you see this is a journey that leaves the boundaries of normalcy behind, for you are desiring a state of joy. Joy has no boundaries and is never out of fashion. Enlightenment is that journey that always begins within and creates change in a way that becomes your normal, without.

But many fear this journey because of the ego. In your attempts to reconcile even a fraction of enlightenment with your world, you must deal with the egoic world around you and that is the arena that the ego so delights in taking charge for it has had so much experience with it.

So there is this constant battle between the ego, future-based, whats-in it for-me thinking, and enlightenment, the serve-humanity-become-a-creature-of-love-in-all-circumstances thinking. This is definitely two words that cannot coexist in any way and to delude yourself into thinking that you can make them “play nice” together is a thinking that shall not bode well for you.

There is a fork in the road and no part of one can go with the other. Enlightenment and the ego are not partners, friends or symbiotic entities that could serve one another.

So the three steps, as alluded in the previous post, are a simple easy-to-remember trio of Release, Let Go and Flow, but living them is not so easy to do.

Step 1: Providing you have dealt with the ego, if nothing else but to acknowledge the fact that you have let it be the CEO for far too long, this is the easiest and yet, at the same time, the most difficult step. Again, the ego will really rear its ugly head here, but push onward. Release is really an act of forgiveness; of yourself, of the events, people, places and things that may have deposited you in this Now Moment.

There is no judgement here. It is as it is supposed to be and there is no desiring anything else to have happened. There are no “should of’s”, “if only’s” or “what if’s”. There is only Now and it is the moment that all is well.

Release and forgive all.

In the spiritual realm, forgiveness is the key for really moving forward. All spiritual doctrines have at their core the very concept of forgiveness. It is only when they attach some sort of gain or punishment that it becomes deluded and watered down as an ineffective vehicle for enlightenment.

But this is the step that begins the journey in earnest. This is the basis of the allowing the truth about yourself as a true child of the Universal Way. Once you have taken this step of forgiveness, true release can be the only truth that you know. It is as if you take from your eyes the “rose colored glasses” that people say when they (their ego) determines that you are living in some “la-la land” that is the journey of enlightenment. You now see in full color and the beauty of every Now Moment comes cascading to you.

For the clients i serve, i use the analogy of the hit program and movies, ‘The Highlander.”

In the series, there are those who are immortal, except for one small exception, other immortals can make them not-so-much by taking their head and gaining the one who lost their head their soul’s power. The liner from the show was, “There can be only one” meaning that only one Highlander was to remain at the end.

This is the process you must undergo in your path of forgiveness.

Metaphorically, you take take the “head” of all the situations in your life that have held you tied to the past or that has kept the present from advancing you into the glorious Now Moments that make up your future Now Moments. You take back the power you have allowed them to have.

Yes, part of the forgiving is that understanding that you cannot be a victim here. Yes, things may have happened that you did not desire, but you are not a victim, but one who overcomes; one who forgives and moves into the next step of Letting Go.

In the next post, we will see how the blending of these steps set you up to set your foot on the path of enlightenment, the Flow of it all.

Let me know your thoughts below, get on the newsletter list HERE, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is a Strategic Personal Development Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for coaching directyourownlife@gmail.com

Enlightenment – How Do You Begin The Journey

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Enlightened souls are sometimes so out of step with the seeming existence of everyone else. One often wonders how they get along in this world. It is as if, then, enlightenment is reserved for a privileged few and, at best, the enlightened are a bit quirky.

However, it is this very quirkiness that draws us to enlightened souls, is it not? But upon closer observation, it is the world in which everyone desires to “fit in” by being as normal as possible is the one out of step. The enlightened actually live in a realm where their normal is that eternal state of joy that comes with the connection to Source, the very ebb and flow of the Universal Consciousness that we are all connected to.

Now, before you decide that enlightenment is just some head-in-the-clouds escapism, let me assure you it is anything but. You see, to truly exist in joy, you must be ready to rid yourself of certain assumptions that will forever bind you to the normalcy that exist in the commonality of a daily existence.

You must be willing to go deep within yourself in a way that completely rids yourself of the egoic-nature than binds you to a world that has kept you in a fog, of sorts.

One might say that enlightenment is a journey, first, and an awareness of the greatness of love from which all life derives. This is not a romantic love, of course, but a love for the humanity of the souls you travel with. Love is the vehicle and the place of joy that you see all who you come into contact with is your journey.

There is a release when you lose yourself but here is the journey most don’t seem to desire to allow themselves. There are so many, the ego with tell you, that will think this or that of you and you certainly don’t want to disappoint anyone. There are responsibilities that must take precedent to pie-in-the-sky thinking. There is life that must be dealt with and you certainly cant do that in this eternal state of bliss.

You see the disconnect here?

It is as if becoming an enlightened thinker, then, is solely the pleasure of academia, the artistic elite or one who would escape the masses by becoming a hermit on a mountaintop. Enlightenment is just not something “responsible” people do.

There is turmoil here between the egoic nature within and the eternal stream of consciousness. However, there can be only one. There must be a losing of ones self so as to live in another realm, the ones we were designed to be within from the beginning.

So, how do you begin your journey?

As stated before, the first step is to really look at the ego that drives you. How are you serving it, feeding it? (yes, you are serving it, not the other way around.) This is a real state of self-awareness here as you become honest with yourself. Unfortunately, many have become so intertwined with their ego that to even think of losing it is almost sacrilegious. It has been heralded as that driving force for success, but really has nothing to do with passion at all.

So, number one is the release of the ego.

You must think of the ego as an employee of the company known as “You, Inc.” This company seeks to serve the common good, does it not? However, the ego has made itself CEO, President, Top Dog, or whatever title you relate to. Essentially, it has deemed itself in charge of you and you do whatever it says to make sure the company stays afloat, no matter what the cost to “You, Inc.”

Here is the thing…the ego is not in it for the long-haul and has no interest in the common good or eternity. The ego cares not about this Now Moment as it uses your past against you as a way to worry about your future. Good thing it is around, isn’t it?

Probably not.

So, you must take back your company. Relegate the ego to the mailroom of “You, Inc.” if you are unable to fire it completely. Maybe you just have to do it in stages.

This is the beginning and, beware here, your ego will tell you that it is needed as CEO, of course, and that you have too many counting on you to not for it not to be in charge.

Essentially, the ego is the Borg…

”Resistance is Futile!”

Release, Let Go and Flow, which we will cover in the next post, will get you to that place where you can truly begin the process of enlightenment.

This is the only place where joy lives.

Let me know your thoughts below, get on the newsletter list HERE, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is a Strategic Personal Development Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for coaching directyourownlife@gmail.com

Enlightened Souls And The Enlightened Journey

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Enlightenment is one of those concepts that seems to be a place that many seem to venture carefully. I mean, what is it anyway? Always the image of Buddha comes to mind, meditation and other things “those” people do, but not “average” people, right?

I’ve used humor in my life as a way of shelter me from the storms of life and to get close to people so as to reach into their souls wherein lies enlightenment.

What do i mean? Well, as an actor, i loved comical roles, for one, i seemed pretty good at them because of the very reason that depth of soul is more compelling in making comedy work that drama. When i started directing, It never failed that I would have a lot of people try our for comedic plays because people thought they were more attuned to doing comedic roles. I mean who doesn’t want to laugh, right, and who doesn’t want to make people laugh. It is a way to connect.

But you see, comedy, the best comedy, has a soul about it that really reaches to enlightenment. Think about your favorite comedians. The ones that really make you laugh are the ones that make you think as well. They are, in a sense, enlightened and yet, they understand that they must use comedy to portray that aspect of themselves that thinks on a deeper level, that part of them that really speaks to the human condition.

What, then, is enlightenment?

It is the state of being enlightened, essentially, the attainment of spiritual knowledge or insight. Here is where many fall down. The mere word “Spiritual” in our society elicits such strong emotions, but at the core of spiritual pursuits are seldom a religious dogma. Instead, it is the very act of seeing and desiring to become a vision larger than your ego desires you to be.

Enlightenment, then, is that perennial state of growth and expansion. You should be desiring this state as you journey from this Present Moment into the next.

There is an old sales expression that goes, “When you are green you are growing, when you are ripe you are rotten.” The way it was explained to me by a sales mentor i once had was that many sales people get to a point where they think they have seen every sales situation there is They seem to know everything about sales and people in general. “Usually,” he would tell me, “these people get to a point that they stagnate and become disillusioned with the joy of sales. They blame everyone who they come into contact with, but seldom look at the real reason in the mirror.”

What he was telling me was that they thought they had become enlightened when it came to their profession, but, in reality, they had stopped growing, learning, and appreciating the journey.

They had become “ripe.”

This is a journey you must take, however. Don’t become “ripe” in your situation. Don’t allow the ego to tell you that it has everything under control; that you should just continue on the way you have been, in the rut that seems well traveled, but safe.

Let us journey together as we go deeper into enlightenment and joy, for they are indeed synonymous. In this series of posts, we shall look at ways to become enlightened and live at an exceptional level for, therein, is where life begins and thrives.

Let me know your thoughts below, get on the newsletter list HERE, and be Social with this Post, for the more people we have living successfully in this Now Moment and discussing the value of doing so, the higher we lift all others around us.

*******

directyourownlife@gmail.comDA Southern is a Strategic Personal Development Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for coaching directyourownlife@gmail.com

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