The biggest barrier to positive change is identity conflict.

The more deeply a thought or action is tied to your identity, the more difficult it is to change it…… The biggest barrier to positive change at any level—individual, team, society—is identity conflict. Good habits can make rational sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action….

Over the long run, however, the real reason you fail to stick with habits is that your self-image gets in the way. This is why you can’t get too attached to one version of your identity. Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.

James Clear from Atomic Habits

Living Fully in this Hour

Finding Enormous Vitality

Try it. Live for one day, one hour, as though you were going to die, actually going to die the next hour.

If you knew you were about to die, what would you do? You would gather your family together, put your money and property in order, and draw up a will. Then, as death approached, you would have to understand all that you had been. If you were merely frightened because you were dying, you would be dying for nothing. But you would not be frightened if you said, ‘I have lived a dull, ambitious, envious, stupid life, and now I am going to wipe all that totally from my memory. I am going to forget the past and live in this hour completely.

If you can live one hour as completely as that, you can live completely for the rest of your life.

But to die is hard work – not to die through disease and old age, that is not hard work at all. That is inevitable, it is what we are all going to do, and you cushion yourself against it in innumerable ways. But if you die so that you are living fully in this hour, you will find there is an enormous vitality, a tremendous attention to everything because this is the only hour you are living.

You look at this spring of life because you will never see it again; you see the smile, the tears, you feel the earth, you feel the quality of a tree, you feel the love that has no continuity and no object. Then you will find that in this total attention the ‘me’ is not, and that the mind, being empty, can renew itself. Then the mind is fresh, innocent, and such a mind lives eternally beyond time.

– J Krishnamurti

Photo by trail on Unsplash

(Contributed by Mr Balasunder)

The Flow of Abundance

The flow of abundance can get blocked at any one of six steps:

  1. Clarify your purpose. Have a clear sense of what your life is about and what you value most.
  2. Look for lessons in your areas of shortage. The aspects of your life where there is a lack exist to teach you something.
  3. Learn to be grateful for what you do have. Move beyond distorted perceptions and see clearly the parts of your life where you are greatly blessed.
  4. Give what you can. By joyfully and freely giving, you redefine yourself as someone whose life is abundant.
  5. Expect and accept the good that comes to you. Be alert to the necessary resources in whatever form they may come—expected or unexpected.
  6. Giving and receiving – build community. Be open to building or reinforcing interpersonal relations based on mutual care.

Look over the list of six points. Which one of them seems weakest in your life? That is, which one is most in need of further application?

The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Creating Your Future

Carrying our Heaven Within

Once the Sun and a Cave struck up a conversation. The Sun had trouble understanding what ‘dark’ meant and the Cave didn’t quite get the hang of ‘light’ so they decided to change places. 

The Cave went up to the Sun and said, ‘Ah, I see, this is beyond wonderful. Now come down and see where I have been living.’

The Sun went down to the cave and said, ‘Gee, I don’t see any difference.’ When the sun went down, it took its light along and even the darkest corners were illuminated. That’s why the Sun couldn’t see any difference. 

There is a quote from an old book that says, ‘The enlightened ones can never be sent to hell or pushed into darkness, they carry their heaven with them wherever they go.’

We think that heaven is a place one should aspire for, perhaps it is a state of mind which can be achieved. 

If we are full of darkness within, full of negativity, fear and doubt, we become a Cave, a dark hell inside. Instead, if we are illuminated, like the Sun, then the darkness of the cave wouldn’t matter. We’ll be able to find a blessing even in the worst of circumstances as we’ll be carrying our Heaven within.“`

– Sufi Story

(Contributed by Mr. Balasunder)

When we decide, we’re always worrying- ‘did I think this over long enough?’

“When we decide, we’re always worrying- ‘did I think this over long enough? did I take enough data into consideration?’- and if you think it through you find that you never could take enough data into consideration. The data for a decision in any given situation is infinite. So what you do is: you go through the motions of thinking about what you will do about this, and then when the time comes to act you make a snap judgment. But we fortunately forget the variables that could have interfered with this coming out right. It’s amazing how often it works.” –Alan Watts

I am the world and the world is myself

Question: You seem to advise me to be self-centered to the point of egoism. Must I not yield even to my interest in other people?

Maharaj: Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-oriented. You are not interested in others as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or enoble your own image of yourself.

And the ultimate in selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and multiplication of one’s own body. By body I mean all that is related to your name and shape— your family,
tribe, country, race, etc. To be attached to one’s name and
shape is selfishness.

A man who knows that he is neither body
nor mind cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for.

Or, you may say, he is equally ‘selfish’ on behalf of everybody
he meets; everybody’s welfare is his own. The feeling ‘I am the
world, the world is myself’ becomes quite natural;
once it is established, there is just no way of being selfish.

To be selfish
means to covet, to acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part
against the whole.

I Am That

Nisargadatta Maharaj