HJ: The universe is constantly communicating with you, every moment giving you infinitely valuable feedback on your life. However, the catch is that we are so enmeshed in the intimacy of living our lives that we lose the perspective we need to be able to see where it’s leading us at times…
Let me illustrate what I mean: everyday your car gets dirtier and dirtier until one day you finally notice, look at it and think ‘Jeez, this thing needs to be washed!’. It has actually been dirty for sometime, however, since you see it everyday, the accumulation of dirt goes unnoticed to a degree. Life works in the same way. We are living it day in and day out and so we lose that perspective of noticing when things are slowly going out of balance or perhaps leading us on a new path or trying to give us insight and feedback…
But when we stop, step back, quiet the mind, observe and look at the big picture, suddenly we see patterns and messages abound. This is in large part why mindfulness and meditation practices are so profound and useful — they snap us out of the rhythms of everyday life and allows us to look at things from a fresh perspective.
Below, you will find 7 powerful practices to help you step back and look at your life in a way that reveals the larger messages you may have been missing…
So, what is your life trying to tell you?
What Is Your Life Telling You?
By Manal Ghosain | One With Now
How are you feeling at this moment? Are you tired, stressed, anxious, or restless? Or are you relaxed, calm, and feeling at ease?
Are you in good health, or are you trying to cope with an illness or a chronic condition?
Do you get enough restful sleep? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night, or have a hard time falling asleep though you’re exhausted?
Do you feel you can’t get a break? As luck would have it, life seems to throw you one curve ball after another.
What is going on? Why do the same cycles keep repeating themselves, or get worse over time?
Beyond the mental pollution of noisy thoughts, and the demands and expectations of the daily grind, there is something deeper—an inner voice—a higher part of who you are, the part that connects you to all of life. It’s always there with you. It is the power within your being communicating with you.
The message can be a passing insight, a gut feeling, or a tiny problem. If ignored, it doesn’t go away. The message gets louder—a bigger issue, an illness, an accident, and so on.
The opposite can be true. Life might be sending you messages of encouragement and support—a flash of inspiration, a happy coincidence, an unforeseen success, or good fortune beyond your wildest expectations.
If you are getting supportive messages, good for you. Keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re dealing with anxiety or stressful situations, keep reading.
Your life is trying to tell you something. What is it telling you?
My life tells me a lot of stuff, when I choose to listen instead of reacting or drowning in mental noise.
When I’m quiet, the inner voice emerges—loving and kind. Lately the message that’s been coming up is: ease up.
The warning signs that reoccur are scattered thoughts and over-analyzing everything, creating more indecision and frustration. The physical manifestation is usually tension in my shoulders and lower back. And it escalates to stomachaches and tightness in the chest.
Maybe that’s why I try as much as possible to write about slowing down and feeling more peaceful. I’m trying to follow my inner guide, and as I write and share what I’m going through, I take one step towards ease and away from stress.
Does the tension mean we’re inadvertently bringing pain to our lives? Is our suffering part of a divine master plan that’s unavoidable? Or is it a result of our actions and thoughts?
I don’t know, and we may never know for sure. I don’t think it matters either way. What matters is how we handle the situation in a way that minimizes struggle and pain and maximizes growth and strength. Every situation we face serves as a reminder of our ability to choose how to deal with it.
A lot of people who faced terminal illness recognized that the illness was a wake up call. It was the catalyst for change.
That doesn’t mean we all need such drastic measures to awaken. There are always signs—subtle and gentle whispers in most cases. But they do tend to get louder if we continue to ignore them.
So it’s very important that we intentionally stop and pay attention, and determine what we can do differently.
How to pay attention to what life is saying
As I try to pay more attention to the messages I’m receiving, I realize very few things are required. We don’t need a new set of skills or special tools. What we need is a thought and behavioral adjustment. Here are the things I’m working with.
Stillness: This is a crucial step in reducing the effects of scattered thoughts. Sit in stillness for a few minutes and do nothing. Just be. Take a few deep breaths.
Relaxation: It goes hand in hand with stillness. Try to release the tension from your mind and body. Deep breathing helps a lot. If you feel physical pain, a few stretching (or yoga) exercises can be useful in loosening up tight muscles.
If the mind is buzzing and you can’t seem to stop a nagging stream of thoughts, take some time and do a session of free writing to clear your mind.
Feeling slightly scattered is okay, you can gently bring your attention back to the breath and that will take care of it.
Listening: Is s crucial skill that is beneficial in all areas of life.
Contrary to popular belief, we’re very skilled at listening. But most of the time we’re just listening to the wrong thing. We’re listening to ego driven thoughts or repetitive negative patterns.
When we invite more stillness into our lives, we can learn to redirect our attention and actively listen to the deepest part of ourselves.
Practice: We will get better at figuring out what life is telling us if we make stillness and listening a regular practice, ideally a daily practice.
Meditation can be a good practice that combines all of these elements, or simply having a few quiet moments to ourselves. The more we practice the better we get at noticing the signs and going with the flow of life.
Perspective: We all view the world through our own perceptions and personal lens.
When we’re struggling, in most cases, we resist and try to fight the feelings, and the situation. There is usually more than one way of looking at the same challenge. Why not look for the possibilities or opportunities for growth?
This doesn’t mean that we try to fool ourselves by pretending to be okay or even happy with something when we’re feeling miserable. We would be deluding ourselves.
Seeing the other view means we genuinely look for other meanings and assess how we can grow from the experience.
Realism: Looking for ways to learn from a challenge doesn’t mean that we want to avoid reality. It’s the opposite; we embrace reality as a teacher.
We acknowledge our limitations, and accept that challenges serve as reminders of what needs our attention.
Change: All the steps above are precursors to doing things differently. We can do more of what works, and change what doesn’t—instead of doing the same thing and expecting things to change on their own.
I can’t tell you what the purpose of life is or what life is telling you specifically.
But what I do know is that the essence of life within you loves you and will never give up on you. It will continue to communicate and send you signals. And that’s a good thing.
We can choose to listen to what life is telling us or ignore the opportunities to awaken and change. No one can strip us of the power to make our own choices. And that’s another good thing.