Realizing how small you are in the Universe leaves you feeling BIG

In looking at the way of the world and how it works, we can consider a time gone by when the world was heavily influenced by God. God helped explain our actions and drove our choices. We needed God to help explain the mystery of life AND death. We needed God to explain why the world worked the way that it did, and we needed God to help us work out where we were headed as a world.

You see, we used religion and God to help explain the framework of how life operated, so that we could have a sense of control and a feeling of safety in this chaotic world. This, however, lead to some interesting and questionable choices by religion in order to protect the stability of its framework. Religion declared war on those around them that spoke of a different framework of life and thus, provided alternative arguments that may endanger the stability found in the current framework of life. Time and time again we read of people doing unthinkable and amoral actions in order to protect the mental framework that affords them so much security about the way life works.

As the world gained in its wealth of cumulative knowledge through the Gospel of Science, people found more concrete and reliable answers about the framework of life that appeared to supersede even God. Slowly but surely, as information became the ever-greater currency, God was no longer needed to help keep our reality concrete. With each passing generation humanity moved further and further away from looking to God and the dogma of religion for answers about how to be in this world.

Whilst people have found a great freedom in Science that allows them to let go of some of the antiquated rituals of the past, unfortunately many of those rituals included guides not only about the way things worked but about how people worked. Without many of these ideas from religion, we were never taught about life being so much bigger than who we are, about not taking things so personally, or about the fact that dreams are possible simply by will. Without the values of religion we were never taught about sanctities of friendship, about mutual respect, about living with appreciation and wonder. Without religion we were thrown into a world of chaos and isolation that left us no sense of continuity of life and death and life with other life.

When we left the education of our values to sensationalized and pop media, no wonder we are left to see children with guns and drugs, people with the full gamut of unseen and unknown mental illness as well as the shameless exploitation of the world we live in. When we did away with religion, we through the baby out with bath water and left no moral grounding for our highest values to grow from. In the modern world we may have gained a stronger framework for reality but lost the framework for being human.

Whilst the role of religion degraded and money pervaded, there had been a simultaneous new framework that grew out of the decline of the old religious dogma. The hippy movement, while too extreme for the times, began to trial ideas of high values taken from many of the great religions from around the globe. They synthesized these ideas into a place that required no regiment to control with, no positions of power to be abused and no codes to punish with. A sense of personal responsibility was incited and personal freedom was highlighted.

Unfortunately when you give a child matches when they have not properly learnt how to handle the responsibility of the power in their hands they will inevitably get burnt. However, slowly over time, the populous matures with more and more people learning about their own personal responsibility, their symbiotic connection to the world around them and the gift and majesty that life is. This new framework is one without dogma, a more free-flowing construct that embraces the highest ideals of who we are and who we can be for each other and the world. This new framework, we can call “Spirituality”. We can be religious and not spiritual, we can be both and we can be spiritual without religion.
I offer you these following elements as a place to begin opening yourself to your spirituality:

Everyday for the next two weeks, start your day by giving thanks for ten things in your life and end your day by giving thanks for the best thing that happened to you that day. This begins to open you up to the wonder of your life that you are so lucky to experience.

Meditate for ten minutes, by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes and focus on your in and out breath. When you lose your mind to turmoil, catch your thoughts and bring your mind back to your breath. By meditating, we create a space separate from the world, where we can see that there is a peace within us. We create a buffer from the chaos and randomness of life, and with patience learn to let it blow over us like a storm. We teach ourselves to slow down and simplify our lives, that all we need to feel good is to breathe.

Finally, walk in a park, go on a hike or walk in nature. Really pay attention to all that you are a part of. Notice that this is one moment, in one place, on a world that is filled with unimaginable amounts of such beauty and moments in a Universe that is infinitely larger than what we could even try to understand. Truly think about how big that actually is, and you can see within all of this exists that you are one moment in the mix of many. Whilst that may be overwhelming at first I offer that you can simply be glad to know that you have been given the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to the workings of the Universe, and know that you have the ability to leave this place better than when you found it simply by smiling at your neighbor, helping out a stranger, and hugging someone who you love.

Your Expectations Color and Create Your Reality

If our experiences have asked us to look at the world as a sad and dangerous place, full of hate and malice, would we not perpetuate that and thus invite more of this chaos into our lives? It makes sense that it would. We so often learn by example. And then this would become the natural and automatic flow of your life. Action – Reaction. Thus chaos begets chaos and we head down the ever slippery slope towards an entropic resolve in which our lives cease to function in harmony.

This seems like the way that life actually operates, and more often than not it is. But thankfully there is also another process of life that exists that allows us to nullify the first. If you add more energy into the system, the system being the natural order of your life, you can actually change the downward direction of it and have it begin to swing in your favor. Instead of the natural and innate downward cycle that exists in life and the Universe, we can redeem ourselves and begin to build up again along the spiral staircase of self by giving more energy to that which serves and inspires us and makes us feel good about our lives.

This new perspective asks that the introduction of energy needed, that results in positive growth, requires you to focus on the good in the system of your life. By giving positive energy and believing in the best in people and those things surrounding you, you may actually create a different perspective and invite a different experience into your life. Actively give thanks for your surroundings and visualize the beautiful world that you want to experience and you will prep your day and life to notice those opportunities and subtleties that will make your dreams come true. In a single scene in your life you will see many things but you will miss many more. Just in that one scene more things than you will register in your entire life is occurring right in front of you but you will only focus on the things that you are expecting to see. Our minds do this so that we can actually give a good amount of cognitive energy to those things important to us otherwise we would be completely debilitated by the infinite stream of information that bombards our brains. Therefore, it is so important to prime your mind because what you expect to see your mind will already be looking for in your life’s scenes.

This has been shown time and time again that our mood and our expectations have us see our preconceived notions and typically miss out on many obvious things that are right there in front of our face. The truth of the matter still holds that we create our own reality, which is a blessing and a curse, because if you have always believed life to be bad, and therefore your next experience to be bad, then your brain is naturally looking to see those things that prove that it is bad. Instead, if you focus on the things that are beautiful and joyful that you are grateful for, your mind will naturally look to see those things and that is your blessing. Your expectations create your reality, however you have the option to change and recreate your reality simply by changing your feelings and thoughts about your life. Hence your experience of life will follow the expectations you set your mind to see. Please watch this video as a demonstration.


The trick to this is not that you should ‘believe it when you see it’, but instead focus on the fact that you will ‘see it when you believe it’. The change in perspective comes from an active role taken to change, and not from the sitting around waiting for it to be shown to you. You have to go out and make the change. You have to be the change. You are a Human Being, not a Human Waiting. We must be active in our change otherwise we will fall down the natural slippery slope to chaos and despair.

So go out and smile with the world and the people around you. Think about all the wonderful things that surround you in life and you will set your expectations to see them. You will be happier and more joyful, when you see that you are surrounded by the things that make you grateful for your life. Even in the darkest moments if you focus on things that make you happy, your mind will more likely be able to see the brighter side of these typically unforgiving situations. Be vulnerable and know that you may get a bump or two, because if you are willing to learn, you will realize that these bumps are teaching you how to walk without hurting yourself. Then much more often than not the world will smile back at you and you will realize that there is a whole bounty of things and people waiting to show you that your life is a beautiful place indeed.

Understanding the Truth of your Roller-Coaster Life

“Life is a roller-coaster”. Like we’ve never heard that before. But there is more to this roller-coaster ride than meets the eye. Yes, there are the ups and downs. That goes without saying. But there are also the subtler qualities that we don’t normally look at. It is these parts of the ride that I am more interested in.

Life is relative. Our great Einstein showed us this truth. This means that things depend on the perspective from which you look at them. I met a man, who told me about the passing of his son a few years ago. He conveyed his story with such a wealth of wisdom and profundity that I was curious how he gained so much from such trying times. He told me that he learnt to appreciate the small things because sometimes that’s all you have. It is from this idea that I learnt about the relative quality of the roller-coaster we call life. When we are reaching a peak time of our lives we feel great. We continue to feel elated, like a balloon ever rising, however without us even being aware, within a blink of an eye, we have stopped and we are on our way down. Arms up in the air, hearts filled with terror we plummet downwards screaming. None of this would feel all that different from the typical roller-coaster story, except when we begin to think about what happens when we finally reach the bottom. We more often than not, don’t reach our impending doom. We inevitably go up again.

There is always an upside that comes from every down side. We often forget that there is always an ‘up’ again once we reach a ‘bottom’. Instead we become overwhelmed by the idea that we will be going down forever. However as quick as everything can turn bad, so too can we find unexpected joy amidst the darkest moments. The slightest upswing and we can feel as joyful as if we were millionaires. When that glimmer of hope of fortunate possibilities can be seen on the horizon, we immediately feel better and notice that emotional lift again as if we had never been through the past turmoil.

We have been given a gift of respite, a flotation ring, in which an order has washed over the world that felt out of control. Order is emergent, it comes over time and we often just need to find patience to allow a change of fortune. Think about the chaos that existed in the entire evolutionary history of the Earth, it was over a great deal of time that successful strategies eventually emerged to create the order that we know today. This is the relative world that we live in. This is indicative of the relative creatures we are. My friend who lost his child, and himself, in the pit of despair, eventually found that with time, hope and faith his life got better and as he began again his upward trajectory he gained many new joys from the small things that he had in his life. It is so often what we lose that gives us the most because it provides to find just the smallest things that we took for granted. These small things eventually lead to bigger things and finally we find new ways of experiencing life and happiness even amongst all that we had been through and lost.

We can find these relative joys by changing our perspective, or in Einstein’s words, our speed. We are often moving too fast, trying to reach some far out goal as fast as we can, trying to be some ideal version of ourselves now. However, our stress and despair comes from the resistance we feel between the relative distance of where we are and where we think we ought to be. We must endeavor at these times when we feel overwhelmed to break our goals up into smaller parts in order that we can find them more manageable. My friend, who lost his son, endeavored to remember to appreciate the smaller things in life. That just being able to share time with someone you love can literally be the greatest experience in life.

Many spiritual traditions have found great joy in the simple life. By removing the complexities that lead to unnecessary overwhelmment, both physically and mentally, they were able to find a joy from vast discrepancies that exist from who we are to who we want to be. This doesn’t mean don’t aim high, instead it means give to your task in a way that doesn’t highlight the limiting discrepancies of focusing elsewhere but the present moment. Like the great the roller-coaster there is always more than one loop, bump or obstacle on the ride but each one is dealt with as it is presented. Terror is a fleeting physiological but despair lingers as it is made from the mind. Despair on a roller-coaster or great journey arises when we consider how much further is left to go and this is the truth for all experiences in life.

A great saying from a Buddhist monk states, “When you are chopping the carrots, chop the carrots. When you are peeling the potatoes, peel the potatoes.” This highlights that you must be present with what you are doing, wholly and completely. Give everything to the task and you will give your best. When you set such high goals for yourself and hold high standards, the only way to get there is to put one foot in front of the other and don’t focus on the distance between you and the top of the mountain. Know your goal and that you will reach it and that is all you need with it. It is important every once in a while to stop appreciate where you are on your journey. Even in your darkest hour, when you think you are going backwards, find patience and acknowledge how far you have come. With time order, and answers will emerge. Trust in life to present you with an opportunity and yourself to continue managing your obstacles effectively. You will make it and champion your dreams; all you have to do is make sure to enjoy the ride.