Life is not theory, ii is practice; and that should be practice the verb. Hence the title ‘Living Approach’, not ‘Life Approach’.
It is easy to talk, theorise and philosophise about life. But what happens on the ground, as it were, is what counts.
And yet; how we approach life influences how we live life. What is our attitude towards life? Each moment of our lives we can consciously decide what our attitude or approach to life, to living, is going to be. Our attitude or approach to living is one of the few factors over which we do have much individual control. Our life, our living wholesomely and fulfillingly, requires of us that we use this power wisely. It really is in our own hands. And minds and hearts.
Of course circumstances in our lives affect and influence us. but we have the capacity to determine how we adapt to what our current life circumstances happen to be.
Would you choose to be happy rather than unhappy? What causes you to be happy? This for another topic of discussion, but often very small things in life reward us with the greatest happiness. And such ‘small’ things as a simple smile and greeting to a stranger can afford us with maximum joy.
At this moment of reading, what is your ‘living approach’? It is your choice and your decision. And again now. And now. And…
Although the topic of energy can be somewhat philosophical in approach, in the context of this brief discussion it is a very tangible concept.
Similar to the feeling we experience when we are in a powerful car or boat or airplane, so also can we feel the presence of energy in circumstances. environments, things and people — individually and collectively.
Energy is both creative and destructive, as we witness in peace movements and war-machines respectively. As human beings we are able to consciously harness and utilise energy in its multitudinous forms for good or bad, both for ourselves and others.
We would do well to be very aware of these energies in our life circumstances. Being thus aware, we can quite dramatically affect and influence our lives — beneficially or detrimentally. The choice and decision then rests with us; do we allow negative energies to continue to reduce our happiness and effectiveness or do we take necessary steps to improve the situation?
On a personal level: we tend to attract the ‘level’ of energy that we give out. When we intentionally feed and nurture our energy ‘garden’ with wholesome input, we are likely to receive positive energy feedback in return. On the other hand, when we experience negative energy from any source we can take steps to minimise and eliminate its destructive impact. As with so many areas in our lives, the choice is then ours to make.
We really do know when we feel resonance and consonance — or dissonance and disharmony. Yet so often do we just continue with things as they are; possibly until it becomes unbearable and we are literally forced to take action. How much better to initiate palliative action early on. It then requires less energy.
Listening is an Act of Love.
Listening is a much under-utilised and under-appreciated form of therapy. Often, the very best gift we can offer a person in some form of distress — whether physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual — is listening. A special type of listening: empathic and confidential. Many peoples cries of despair go unheeded, either because they remain unexpressed or because they are not effectively listened to.
Relatively recent research has shown that the heart has its own brain, neurologically speaking, and it would seem to me that we need to listen to our hearts more, rather than focusing totally on our minds. We would do well to bring our minds to our hearts as it were.
The heart has often been described in terms of and associated with love. This now appears to be literally true as well. Our heart is possibly the seat of our emotions and our emotions play a massive role in our lives. “Its all in the mind?.” No, indeed, the heart is intrinsically involved as well. Love is indubitably powerful. If love is located in the heart, if we listen to our heart more and enact on what we hear and learn, we shall surely be living better lives, towards ourselves and others.
The major religions and philosophies teach us that LOVE is paramount. Yet we see so much in the world that bears testimony to its non-application. We are taught to love our neighbours, even our enemies; we really struggle with that one.
What to do? As Mahatma Ghandi is quoted as saying, “Be the change you want to see.” It all starts with us, with you and with me. I, Rex Hillier, am paying lip service to this if I do not at least make sincere efforts to practice this maxim. I emphasise efforts as it is an ongoing struggle to be this change. And doing is even more difficult. It is far easier to think about loving someone than actually doing it through our behaviour.
And so, as always, the best place to start is with ourselves. Love yourself. Some would say this is selfish, that we should concentrate on loving others. I suggest though that it is rather a selfless approach in that when we love ourselves as fully as we can, we are able to love others more often and more deeply. When we have more we are able to give more — Love.
If we really struggle with this love, either for ourselves or others, we can rather at least begin to like ourselves or others. At the very least we can begin from a neutral standpoint, a position of acceptance, which is much better than one of dislike or even hate. From there we can move on to liking and eventually to loving. It may be a long process, but is worth the perseverance for its beneficent outcomes.
The title is a combination of Greek and Latin, ancient languages. The message, when translated, is also ancient, yet often not practiced freely : literally it means “Living God Within.” The Living God Within; God Living Within. Each of us having, as The Twelve Step program would have it, our own understanding of God.
En Theos also is the root for the word Enthusiasm.
So: Living with awareness of God within (us and all) should in fact equate to Living with Enthusiasm.
Addiction can be a curse or a gift. There are combinations of these: only a curse or both a curse and a gift. It is how we travel through our addictions and how we approach them that is the difference. It is my experience that one can live joyfully even while being addicted, which is neither to condone the addiction nor accept it as being an inevitable permanent way of living.
I am a Personal Development Consultant, Life Coach, Author and Speaker. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.