The Zen of Now

“The Pure lotus growing in muddy water is a metaphor for enlightenment. The lotus arises from all its impediments.  It actually needs the impurity of the water for its nourishment.  In the same way, in our personal development, we can’t just work with what we like about ourselves.  We have to work with our muddy water.  We have to work with our problems and our hang ups because that’s where the action is.”  – Bernard Glassman, Instructions to the Cook

Lessons sometimes repeat themselves.  Ever felt like you are DONE learning something?  You might say something like, “I never want to feel that again! I know now!”  Or “wow, glad I learned that, never fool me again.” or perhaps in the area of personal growth you think, “well, I am certainly past that hang up”.

In the area of personal growth that we often have layers to sort through when seeking the growth we crave.  We might deal with the superficial stuff and feel like we can declare victory.  We overcame the fear, or resistance or pattern.  And then we are confronted again with it!  What the <insert your favorite expletive> is going on?!  I mean seriously, we thought we evolved past this right? We think ourselves beyond the muddy water referred to in the quote, when in reality, we need to keep using the muddy water to grow.

Depending on your personality type an life’s circumstances, you may react a few different ways: depression, competition or acceptance.

Depression:  when you get own on yourself, letting your inner bully take over.  You beat yourself up and have a hard time wanting to keep pressing forward in your growth.  This could be temporary or long term – it depends on you. Here you are not using the muddy water – you have become the muddy water, abandoning your lotus energy.

Competition: your inner warrior bursts forth and refuses to accept defeat.  You battle the idea that you have more to grow, or that you somehow didn’t get it all the first run through.  A bit of denial can show up with the warrior, an impatience to simply be victorious.  Here you are trying to be all things: the water, the mud, the lotus, the sun…forcing all of them to do what you want.

Acceptance: where the Zen of Now kicks in.  In this energy you can be exactly where you are.  You acknowledge the growth you have achieved and don’t discount it, but also see with clarity the exact place you find yourself in: you see what is, not what you wish or want.  With acceptance, you allow all to contribute as it needs to in order to thrive.

In the Zen of Now you can work with what you have, what you are and see where you are in the universe.  In the Now there is no past and no future, you are the culmination of what has happened, using it to always be in the Now.

You have heard the stories and seen the action of fighters – they find their physical center and operate from there.  The physical power comes when they are most centered. any speaking of fighting from their center not just physically, but also spiritually and mentally.

I recently went through a prolonged period of low energy. I felt disconnected to things I was previously inspired by and I found myself continuing to reach back, alternating between the warrior and the depression modes of response to the lessons appearing.  It was super frustrating and I kept banging my head against a spiritual wall wondering what the heck I needed to do to shake it off.

Throughout this I kept being drawn to the concept of Zen.  Zen is simply Zen.  It is the current reality, just as it is.  I kept finding myself drawn to simply being: to enjoy the moment, to be where I was, to not fight what was happening, but to immerse in it.  I resisted on many an occasion.  I wanted things to be different.  I kept ignoring my in the moment intuition and then found myself regretting missed opportunities.

I found this sense of resistance shifting on my travels in July.  Our plans changed, they shifted around, we encountered delays and obstacles, things didn’t go as we have envisioned it.  But I found myself relaxing into the current reality and resisting it less and less as the month went on.

It had been easier to shift my energies away from home – the physical difference allowed me to see with more clarity what was happening with me and just be.  We followed our desires, allowed the  moments to happen, we didn’t plan much – even going so far as to book hotels on the fly as we traveled through Colorado.

I came back from our travels much more open and a couple of weeks later I really felt that sense of oppression lift.  Being able to find clarity sometimes requires us to step away physically in order to bring the mind back to the present – like a spiritual slap in the face.

I love to read and a few books showed up during this time you may enjoy experiencing as well.

The first is a short book of quotes, readings and stories, only 188 pages divided into 8 sections.  A good “flip to a page and get inspiration” kind of book I have found myself referring to it daily since it showed up in my life.  “The Wisdom of Zen” from One World of Wisdom is a great addition to your reading list.

The second is a book from Thich Nhat Hanh called “The Miracle of Mindfulness”  It’s focus is on the practice of meditation and truly focusing on where you are.  140 pages of wisdom, direction and ideas for focusing on your daily moments.

Wherever you are, be there right now.

 

 

How do you Define Living Dangerously?

 Take a moment and consider what feels most dangerous to you: is it physical, spiritual, intellectual or emotional in nature?

Conventional wisdom would suggest all kinds of radical options.  As I have asked this question in workshops and discussions I have heard a few!   Things like:

skydiving

motorcycle racing

speaking in public

falling in love

climbing a mountain

swimming with sharks

parenting (that got a good giggle)

 

There were a ton of other physical risks that have come up in response to this question.  And yes, these things are risky…but if you notice, most people head right for the physical risks with the exception of falling in love.

These are easy answers – pick something with the potential to inflict bodily harm and we can all agree that it is dangerous.   Right?

Yes.

There is another way to think about it though and that is what I want to focus on.

The Art of Living Dangerously creates the path to you skydiving, moto title winning or swimming with sharks. This path fires your emotional, intellectual and spiritual body – more than your physical.   What if we think about living dangerously in these terms:

  • Being afraid and doing it anyway
  • Knowing there is more and going for it
  • Trying new things – taking the leap
  • Seeing new perspectives
  • Experiencing instead of Existing
  • Living by your values
  • Never settling
  • Transcending expectations
  • Having faith in limitless possibilities

Imagine you lived in opposition to any of those thoughts…let’s take “Having faith in limitless possibilities” first.  What would it mean if you have faith in limitless possibilities?  Consider an area of your life you feel stuck or trapped in, it could be anything from a relationship, a job, a volunteer commitment or a belief.

For example when I was wanting to become a life coach, I was very locked into the idea that I couldn’t leave my 6 figure job and the obligations it had created or my life would fall apart.  There were a lot of trapped and stuck attachments there:

  1. I had accumulated debt directly correlated to the amount of money I had: cars, houses, lines of credit, etc.
  2. I did enjoy my job and did well at it. I loved the people I worked with and generally enjoyed seeing them.  Yet I didn’t feel inspired by my job, I didn’t see how my role was really serving others in the way I wanted to.
  3. I had an idea of what people expected me to be and I was fearful of disappointing them.
  4. My family had become accustomed to my salary, my schedule and my life the way it impacted them; and I couldn’t let them be affected by my desires – they needed to always take first priority.

When my life coach suggested that it was possible for me to create the life I wanted if I dedicated myself to figuring out what it was, I resisted at first.  I was so focused on the narrow range of options I had decided were available that it was a good year of coaching with her before I was able to really open up to all of the things that could be if I allowed them into my life.

I had to do a few things to move past my self-created opposition to possibilities:

  1. I had to decide what an ideal day for me would look like.
  2. Sorting out what was important and what wasn’t to me then taking action to get free of what wasn’t.
  3. Realign my time to support what I wanted instead of what I felt like I “should be” doing.
  4. Starting to create that Ideal by pulling elements from it into the life I was living then.

On a daily basis I would ask myself “is this getting me closer or farther away from the life I truly want?” as I encountered challenges and opportunities.

I learned that not everything is worth the fight.

Over the next few weeks I will be tackling each of those Living Dangerously ideas as I prepare for my 2016 Art of Living Dangerously Creation Experience here in Cedar Rapids Iowa on September 9th and 10th.  You can take a look at the agenda here and then grab early bird registration before August 15th.

I hope you’ll stay tuned to this blog and follow the steps to both the idea of living dangerously and the way I overcame my opposition to it!

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with the closet creatives, aspiring adventurers, and repressed rebels to move beyond expected success to create the kind of fulfilling life they crave.  To learn more about Jennifer and her team visit www.nolimitslife.guru

The Interview by Don Marlette

What would the conversation consist of if the you you want to be interviewed the you were were or are right now?

I am a HUGE advocate for making choices and never looking back.  Much like driving down the road, the minute we start to look into the past, we often start to drive in circles and eventually crash.  My motto has become that of the 19th-century monk, Boniface Wimmer:  “Forward, forward.  Always forward!”

 I also believe that where you are now is always at the perfect time.  Every choice, decision and consequence we experience in life create a blend of experiences and attitudes, with their share of challenges to make us perfectly suitable to life at the present moment.  Even the work we feel an inner pull to follow in later life only makes sense with the bumps and bruises of our earlier self.

 With all that said, I am going to look back at my younger self, and pose some questions – complete with their answers from the less-experienced me.  What would it be like for me to coach my younger self?

 My history is rather involved, so here is a quick description to get you up to speed.  I became Catholic in high school, went off to college seminary then joined a monastery for four years.  I was sent to complete my Master’s degree, and then I left monastic life just before ordination.  After leaving the monastery, I chose to work as a full-time parish worship and music director.  At the time of this interview, I’m doing very well.  I’m well-known as a musician and composer, making a high salary, and I’m quite successful.

 May this interview be a teachable moment for me…and for you.

–Start Interview–

New Self:  Are you happy?

 Old Self:  Honestly, no way.  I dread coming into work each day.  This work has become an albatross on my back for years, stemming from when I started doing it.  You know, I really didn’t want to do this work to begin with, even though I’m becoming well-known for being good at it!  I just needed a job when I left the monastery, and this seemed like a good fit for what I could do.

I’ve felt nothing but frustration, even anger.  I don’t fit.  I don’t feel supported.  Everyone loves what I’m doing, but I hate it.  I get migraines before every rehearsal, and I rejoice on  the days when I’m sick and can’t come to work!  Quite frankly, I feel very disillusioned in all this, and I want out in the worst way.  The problem is that I feel trapped.  I don’t know what else I could possibly do. So I guess I’ll just keep plugging away, put up with the personalities and politics, and look forward to finally retiring.

 New:  It sounds like things aren’t what everyone thinks they are.  Truthfully, I can feel the frustration in your voice, the choices of your words, and even your hunched body posture.  You honestly don’t seem happy, so it’s good that you can be honest about that.

 You also sound like you’ve condemned yourself to this work out of a sense of entrapment.  You say there isn’t another way out of this.  That you are going to just put up with everything until you retire.  But from my end, I think when you retire, you are going to be one bitter old man!  You’re already there, in case you haven’t noticed.  You do know you’re going to die one day?  Is this how you want to be then?

 Old:  No way!  I’ve thought about that a couple of times.  I know that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to just get worse and worse, and I’m going to end up at my deathbed, wishing I had done something different.

 New:  Like what?

 Old:  I have no idea!  I just want to do something that gives me joy, that makes me happy, that helps me to spread that happiness to everyone else.  I guess I could entertain people, but that’s a hard life.  And it’s too late for me to go back for another degree and start over, though.  I’m married with two children already, so I can’t make time to do all that.  I can’t afford it.  That’s why I feel so trapped.

 New:  What do you like to do, though?

 Old:  I like to entertain people, like I said.  Of course, I also like to talk with people one on one.  I always liked doing that.  I guess I could say that I really like to help people.  That’s all I do here at the parish office: help the staff people with their own problems and stresses.  I usually know what’s on the mind and heart before they say anything, so it’s easier for me to get to the bottom of things.  They like it, and I feel so much more alive – really alive! – afterwards.  But, like I said, I can’t get another degree so I could do that for a living. 

New:  I noticed how you perked up just now.  Did you?  What’s holding you back from doing it – from helping people for a living?

 Old:  I told you already!  I don’t have the time or money to get another degree.  That’s why I’m still doing this job.  I can do it, and it pulls in the money.  True, I never see my family since I work seven days a week – even on vacation!  But that’s the sacrifice I have to make.  I don’t like it, but it’s all I can do.

 New:  Do you really believe that you can’t break out of this?  I don’t think it’s true.  You’ve got some talents you haven’t owned yet, like….

 Old:  Just stop there.  Those “talents” you’re talking about are wrong around here anyway.  No one will ever accept them.  It’s fine to entertain people with, but that’s it.  It doesn’t feed a family.  I can’t do that.

New:  So you’re just going to stay stuck…by choice?

Old:  I just don’t see any other way.  I’m stuck.  Period.

–End Interview–

 I would love to end this interview on a positive note, but it doesn’t.  I chose at the time to remain stuck, to refuse to think outside the box, to live a life of real misery.

 Living my dreams was not an option.  All that changed later, after a lot more suffering, anxiety and intense frustration.  I waited.

What about you?

Don Marlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spiritual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

From Passenger to Driver

The moment we give power to ourselves, crossing over from the passenger’s seat to the driver’s seat, we can never go back. I spent most of my life in the passenger’s seat: creating by default and wondering what was around the corner that I needed to protect myself from. In fact, I would say that all of my life was dedicated towards avoiding the bad, expecting and enjoying good things never crossed my mind.

It was a big bad world and people were out to get me. My first real job was in a call center. Those of you who have ever worked in one can relate to those people who were so terribly rude. I never knew how I was going to feel, I was a dumping ground for everyone else’s bad days-it wasn’t unusual to be yelled at and called names. I’d leave work feeling miserable, sad and defeated. I felt helpless and at the mercy of others, stuck in a vicious circle of blame.

It wasn’t just isolated to work, I could blame others for making me feel bad at home and in the general public too. I remember vividly wanting a lip ring in my early 20s, I thought it was the coolest thing ever and the day I got it I was so excited to show my family. I was really, really excited, I felt so confident and cool. I’ll never forget the look on my grandpa’s face when he said I “looked like crap”. My confidence and joy plummeted immediately, I began to question my own judgment. How could I have possibly wanted that?! I went from shear excitement to sadness in about 5 seconds.

In those days people made me feel things. If they told me how stupid I was, I felt like shit and surely they were right. They had the power to make me feel bad.

One day I woke up. I woke up to the concept that I own how I feel, no one else has the power to make me feel anything, it’s all my choice. Just because someone had a bad day and called me stupid because they weren’t getting their way, didn’t mean I had to feel bad. I jumped over that middle console right into the driver’s seat. With that jump I was empowered to experience life in the way that I wanted to.

It was an amazing concept that I was able to experience stability in my emotions. The ups and downs I experienced from reacting to everyone else’s behavior simply didn’t exist unless I allowed them to. It is a great power to have back in my hands, control. This power comes with accountability though. In having the power to choose my feelings I still had bad days. I’d catch myself slipping back and blaming the jerk who cut me off in traffic for sending me into rage and I had to push myself to be aware and take accountability for how I feel.

Don’t waste another day living in the passenger’s seat, own your emotions and know that you are the only one that can make you feel anything. You are unique with your own perspective that is just as valuable as anyone else’s.

 

Abby

Abby Wickersheim is a life coach on the No Limits Life team.  Her focus is working with people to align their personal energetic vibration with the vibration of what they truly want to create.  She uses her personal coaching program “Positive on Purpose” to guide people from frustrated and blocked to open and positive. Learn more at www.nolimitslife.guru

 

What is at the Core of You?

A few things got lost along the way as we coaches plunged into the realm of saving all of ourselves from ourselves. Our self righteous battle cry of “listen to me! I can save you from the stuff you are tired of doing/need to overcome/are overwhelmed by” rings true, but wow there is a cacophony of crows crowing it from every treetop. And you know what they call a group of crows right? A murder.

This got me thinking about what we are doing in this exploding industry. Are we murdering the self help industry with our online courses and big ticket coaching programs and formulas and lists of ten things you need to stop or start doing now. I know I get overwhelmed and I have gotten to the point where a lot of that stuff is just noise. And that got me thinking about where I fit in all of this, where No Limits Life fits.

I don’t want to Periscope or Hangout. I want to connect. I don’t want to get so bogged down in dogma, scripts, pipelines, autoresponders and templates that I don’t have time to talk to you. I can’t be that person, and I can’t run that business.

In June I have a strategic planning meeting I am facilitating and a speaking gig at a large corporation here in town, both on top of celebrating the fact that we just passed the 5 year mark of being in business as an integrative life coach seeing clients. I am more excited about those two events and the energy of clients I have been attracting than I am about spending another 5 years putting together online courses for you – courses you all tell me your biggest fear about is that you’ll buy it and not finish it. And guess what – you are right! You don’t finish it! Then you feel guilty and don’t want to connect with me or my team because you fear the judgement. Oh. My. God. That is so not what I want for you.

I want to speak to you. Yes you – the one sitting in the energetic corner knowing he or she wants more and scared of what might change (or God forbid not change) if you go after it.

  • I want to tell you that whatever idea you have brewing within is worth the investment in you.
  • I want to tell you that you deserve to be thorough in your analysis, and you deserve to be bold enough to do it without having all of the answers.
  • I want you to know that you deserve time that is just yours and that you don’t have to wait until your retirement years to do you. Live your life for you.

At my last corporate job I was a strategic development manager. Part of that role was to look at what we were doing, finding the opportunities to make it bigger or better or more profitable and then develop the business case to prove or disprove our idea. It was also about knowing our markets and where we played best. As the company flexed in and out of spaces of growth an oft used phrasing seemed perfectly appropriate for what I am feeling in this coaching business: I want to pull back into my core and do what I do well and do it the best out there.

And what is that? What do I do well?

I inspire you to believe in you, to find your inner warrior and to partner with him or her to kick ass and give you all you deserve in this life. I partner with you to shed the mantle of expectation and unleash your repressed rebel, closet creative or aspiring adventurer upon your life and to let your innermost desires out to play and become your reality. This isn’t fantasy, this is your blessed life. No one will love it like you can, and no one will make it the dream life you want except you –it’s all you babe.

At the very first workshop I did at my former employer after I began coaching full time I shared a technique I call “Aligning Priorities” and over a year later I learned of the impact that workshop had on one of the participants. She shared that part of the way through the workshop as she inventoried what she was doing in her life and what was working and what wasn’t, she found herself in tears. She found herself faced with the reality that life wasn’t what she wanted. Fast forward 12 months and she was thriving in a new job, living a very different life that had her smiling and happy to be her. And I had no idea. I sent her a note on Linkedin after noticing the job change and only then did she share her personal evolution and went on to thank me for the nudge that the workshop gave her.

I will gladly take 100 stories like this over 1 unfinished online course.

My team and I talked about this and we agreed, no more formulas, no more online courses that lack interaction, and we turn our focus to interacting with you live: in person, over webinar and the phone. Because your problems aren’t solved by formula and simple self discipline. If so, you would have solved it already. Your opportunities aren’t explored with a yoga class every week, if so you’d have already set the world on fire with them. These challenges are overcome and opportunities seized when you are inspired and supported through the fear to the action.

For you: What is your core? Some might call it your purpose, your calling or your truth. Whatever. You decide to call it, are you waking up and thinking about it, creating it and doing it every day?

There are two pieces to this evolution:

  1. Identify your core.
  2. Think, create, do everyday.

Start with number 1.

Create a list of the things you are doing and what you love about them. Find the common thread. This is leading you to your core. Keep digging until you find the heart of it – the feeling of being home.

Move to number 2.

Ask yourself every moment, is this aligned to my core? If yes, go with gusto. If no, question yourself.

I am not sure how to make it more simple than that. But what I can say is that if it were easy, you’d have already done it. I wish you the best my friend and I can’t wait to see how you core looks shining brightly to the world.

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with the closet creatives, aspiring adventurers, and repressed rebels to move beyond expected success to create the kind of fulfilling life they crave. To learn more about Jennifer and her team visit http://www.nolimitslife.guru

 

Two Small Shifts to Use Social Media For Good

Oh the joy to be able to see your long distance friends and families on Facebook, follow the stars on Instagram, Twitter and make funny faces on Snapchat.

We have the opportunity to engage with our favorite stars now more than ever before. We get to see the excitement of the birth of a new song or new child. We get to see the rise of stardom. We get to see in real time the lessons of young football players. We get to see it all by looking at the screen of our phone or computer.

The joys of technology… or is it really?

The social media era is one that my children have the opportunity to be a part of more than I ever was.  I have even joked to say if social media was around when I was younger, oh how different life would be. My consistent lesson to my sons and all that engage in social media: Tread Carefully. You can use the opportunity to engage to land a job or lose a job. You can meet a friend and also lose a friend.

It is important that we remember that we are all more than our screen name, or our posts. We can see how others are going on vacation, getting married, eating yummy meals, and enjoying life.  I am a firm believer that less is best, it is nice to be able to share, but not at the expense of you being your authentic self. Don’t post things based on need to be seen.

We have to remember that we are all on journey. Things may appear so glamorous that you sigh, “I wish that was me”. Then, on the other end of the connection, they are looking at you with the same wistful eye wishing it was them!

Why? Because we are not grateful for NOW.

That is the misconception and the danger of social media. It can be a tool that festers envy and jealousy to grow like bacteria. It would be great if the outlets were used to support each other, uplift each other through quotes of positive encouragement and sincere admiration. Could you imagine how little the news will be littered with reports of headlines “Started with Facebook dispute” instead it would read “Started with Facebook Likes and love”?  How nice if we can consistently use media in a way that allows us to be a better person each and every day.

Here are two ways I strive to do use social media for good in life:

  1. I start each week with a podcast through motivational speaker, Dr. Eric Thomas,TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday) segment that is used to invoke messages of encouragement to motivate you to accomplish all that you can through the day and the upcoming week. His message is powerful: you may have Average Skill but you have Phenomenal Will. This podcast, his voice, his passion is so strong that it makes you feel like you can achieve every goal you set your mind to. This gives me a start to tackle what so many refer to as the “Dreaded Monday”.

What can you tune into to start your week or day off the way you WANT to live and love?

  1. I try to limit my own intake of social media as much as possible, but if I am on social media my list of “friends” includes those that want to make a change through their words or their actions. I have made a decision many times to disengage with those that choose to see the world through a clouded lenses of negativity and disgust. Even though you are not there with them, if you continue to read and engage with that vibration, you will tune to it.

Instead, focus on quotes and stories that are uplifting, watch a video of the dog and the baby playing, or the story of the cop helping a homeless man giving the shirt off his back. I believe there are more people in the world that want to help than hurt. Let’s start showing this in our everyday posts, have the intention of showing love to your fellow followers and not disgust. Make the choice to engage in those things that will only energize you and not drain you.

Where do you need to detox your intake on social media?

Most importantly remember who you are authentically and the blessings that you see. What one person may celebrate, you may have an alternate celebratory act. Be grateful for who you are and not what you think you should be based on the social media posts and surveys. Be YOU unapologetically you and do not define you by who someone else is or has.

 

eilynnEilynn Dixon is a life coach on the No Limits Life team.  Her focus is supporting people wanting to make big change through small actionable steps every day.  With her contagious smile, infectious enthusiasm and pure joy for life, she motivates, inspires and shows you how to love YOU through your biggest changes! Learn more at www.nolimitslife.guru

 

 

Spiritual Lessons from Screenworld

I’m a hopeless romantic.

There!  I said it!

I dream of having a life in which the hustle and bustle of modern life is brought to a screeching halt, in favor of a simpler, quieter, slower lifestyle.  So, whenever there is a discussion about computers, technology, phones, or other tech-related subjects, I easily move into my grumpy mode.  I am not a fan of technology, and try to use it as sparingly as possible.

And I’m writing this on a computer!  (Okay…so I’m not a consistent hopeless romantic.)

Back in my monk days, I was taught that everything is useful, if used in moderation.  From pens and paper to books and computers, I was encouraged to discover the meaning of moderation and how it translated into daily life with anything and everything.  This approach startles me out of my grumpy mode to shake me out of a false idealism, and engage everything around me with moderation and wisdom.

I firmly believe that technology has lessons for us with regard to the spiritual path, if only we stop, attentively observe, and uncover those nuggets of wisdom.  Below are a few of the lessons I have gleaned from the “screen world.”

  1. The world – the universe – is HUGE! Yes, this is a “no-duh” thing to say, but technology has really made this a tangible reality.  The sheer amount of information, data and people we can access and influence is truly incredible.  Nearly anything can be understood or studied in depth, with very little time or effort.

The spiritual value of this is sheer awareness; we are part of an immense reality that we are barely conscious of.  If we allow our conscious awareness to expand through mindfulness and meditation, we can begin to see how the immense complexity of life knits itself together into a profound simplicity.

2. We are capable of miracles, once we focus and set our mind to it. I was watching a TV show that first aired when I was a kid, and realized that everyone on the show had corded phones and no privacy.  What a difference a few years made!  Now you can talk, text, email, you-name-it, from anywhere.

 And all of this was possible because of people who dedicated their mental, physical and spiritual energies toward solving problems, and helping the human community become more informed and connected.  If you sit and think about it, these devices we take for granted are truly the stuff of miracles.

 Our own lives are also capable of miracles.  Every time we decide to serve the needs of others; when we choose to change our career path because we desire lives of meaning and value; when we finally leave a toxic friendship or close relationship, in favor of life-giving interactions, we are making a miracle happen.

 3. Comparison kills. Social media is a wonderful way to stay connected to others, and it also contains a potential trap in the mind of the user.  One can compare oneself to others, noting weaknesses and shortcomings in themselves, or in the person they are focusing on at the time.  The result is either a much lower self-esteem, or an elevated, exalted ego trip.

 Regardless of the direction, the ego becomes the primary focus.  Rather than focusing on letting our own heartsong be a guiding force our life, we suddenly become slaves to public opinion and popular trends.

 Rather than spend endless hours in the comparison game (and yes, it does add up to hours!), we can choose to use social media as a tool of connection rather than comparison, and let our heartsong be the driving fire in our lives.

 4. Have quiet spaces, mystery places and eyes for living beings. The technology we have today is wonderful, but it does have its limits.  There is no substitute for silence; not just physical silence, but visual and mental silence as well.  Making time to simply be quiet and alone, unable to be found through the phone or computer, can help us reconnect with our core values, beliefs and attitudes that tend to fall by the wayside in the din of modern life.  We can become fully present to ourselves.

 Make time for other people, too.  When we choose to mute or turn off the phone, decide not to multitask on email while we’re on the phone or talking to someone in front of us, we are making a decision to be fully present to others.  This sheer presence is deeper than any words, and lasts forever.

 5. Tech is a tool, not a life. I can’t tell you how many stories I hear from people who have either lost their phone, or had their phone go berserk, only to discover that they go crazy without the tech with them.  They literally go through withdrawal symptoms!

If you want to lose the “tech DT’s”, choose to look at all of your tech as tools.  They are essentially tools for your self-expression and connection; not internal organs.  Make time every day to simply fast from any technology.  Write a letter.  Go for a run.  Do some yoga.  Meditate.  Be proactive and take charge of your life, rather than be a slave to checking emails and texts every time the phone dings, squawks or plays your favorite music.

You have a life.  Live it to the fullest!

Don Marlette the “Metro Monk” is a medium, coach and teacher on the No Limits Life Staff. You can Learn more about Don, his services and more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru