Even if I do not know each and every one of you reading this article, my guess is that you have sought or tried to achieve this life mastery in some way or another whether it was a defined goal or otherwise. Perhaps you have read some books on personal development, spirituality or philosophical systems. You might have attended some workshops or seminars or tried some practices that are aimed at helping you achieve improvement in some life area – motivation, self-discipline, habit forming, coping with stress and emotions are all possible candidates. In short you have done something about it and I applaud you for your drive and effort. You have done well.
“The real path to mastering life is through non-action”
What I’d love to share with you, however, is the idea that when you distill the essentials of all the perennial philosophies, ancient wisdom and spiritual practices, you come to understand that there is a very common pattern in the tapestry and this pattern is one which tells us that the real path to mastering life is through non-action.
This is something which the western mind finds hard to reconcile with culturally installed beliefs such as ‘hard work is rewarded’ or ‘stop sitting on your butt and go out to get it’. The Taoist concept of ‘Wu Wei’ or ‘action through non-action’ has very little correlates in our action-oriented modern societies.
Yet there are simple three simple non-actions upon which self-mastery is built upon and they are the only ‘actions’ necessary since everything else is born out of them. These non-actions are: Trust, Appreciate and Just Be.
These are the only 3 things required for you to flow with life and your purpose, to be in your centre of power when everything else seems to flip on its head. They are the only thing required for being the master of your own life.
I will expand a little bit these concepts not by describing what they are but rather what they do.
Allowing: When you allow things to be even if they do not meet your expectations. Give space to situations and people to just be without judgment even if they of not reflect your values of what is OK.
Surrender: To surrender is not the same thing as giving up. When a life situation seems irresolvable, you open your heart space and surrender to a higher power behind the noise of your thinking and analysis.
Flow: When you offer no resistance you flow effortlessly with life. The mind creates pressure, damns and resistance to the flowing water of life. When you are aware you let go of this resistance and things start taking shape and fitting in with a seemingly miraculous power of their own.
Divine Will & Courage: When you are immobilised by fear and uncertainty but dare to commit yourself in taking a first step forward, a great power and courage descends on you. It is a courage that comes from trusting and allowing the divine will to act through you.
Positivity: When you trust and allow things to be, your consciousness shines through the problem which makes you see it in a new and different light. This brings hope and positivity.
Gratitude: I guarantee you that no matter how miserable your life may seem at times, if you sit for a moment to find and be thankful for those things that are working for you, you will be amazed at how many you will find! Being grateful gives energy to those positive things and shouts the announcement that you are ready for more!
Perspective: When you are grateful, you are changing your perspective by putting the spotlight on your blessings. The power of perspective is everything. It gives you the power to make the impossible possible.
Compassion/Forgiveness: Learning to appreciate does another amazing thing – it opens your heart to be compassionate allowing you to forgive others and yourself. What happens after you forgive and let go is nothing short of a miracle.
Inner Peace: If you appreciate your life and open your heart to forgive, you find inner peace. Inner peace brings bliss, happiness and stillness. You feel at home and where you should be even when a storm is raging outside.
Meditation: We think of meditation as a practice or action because there are techniques or ‘ways’ that help us meditate. In reality there is no ‘way’ that shows you how to meditate just as there is no ‘way’ that shows you how to just be. Meditation is just being without the noise and barriers of the mind. Without expectations and ideas of who you are. You connect with the simplest essence that has no form – your being.
Presence: When you are just being without doing or having, you are present. Presence means having your awareness rooted in the here and now without being transported by your thoughts and worries of an imaginary past or future. Being aware of a single breath is enough to anchor you to the present moment.
Realisation: When you practice to just be present, less and less illusions in the form of thought patterns, beliefs and emotions will have power over you. The less illusions you have, the more realisations arise because you become grounded in the only reality there is – the eternal now.
Clarity: And of course when you allow yourself to just be your life comes in greater clarity and focus. There is less mind clutter to obstruct your view.
Resourcefulness: The real limitless pool of resources come from within you. When you are being and not preoccupied with doing or having, you turn your attention from the limited resources outside to the limitless resources within. You start tapping into your inner resources and realise that you can master your life because you can call upon any resource you need to tackle any imaginable life situation.