I love to meditate on flights.
On a recent excursion, I decided to meditate specifically on the thought of Aum for the entirety of my three hour flight; I did not succeed in completing the meditation, but out of that failure, this essay was born.
In the Hindu and Yogic traditions, Aum, is the Sanskrit representation of the universal, the vibration/sound of all things, the string that binds us all together. It is thought that surrendering to Aum can help us tap into universal consciousness.
Today is my thirtieth birthday, and towards the end of this meditation, I was bombarded with many ideas that have become life lessons during my brief thirty year stay on Earth. Though I don’t always abide by them, they each hold significant meaning in my life. The lessons were accompanied by a message to share these with all who chose to read them.
I am sure that many of these lessons will appear to be trite or cliché, but that’s OK with me. Ideas often become cliché because they are true; however, they need not be ignored for this reason alone. I haven’t reviewed the list since writing, but just wanted to let the words flow. I resisted the temptation to use quotes from my heroes or mentors prior to writing; I wanted this to be an exercise in the internal expressing itself outwardly.
Some of these lessons have come only in the last few weeks, but they already feel vital — perhaps because they are simple expressions of deep-rooted truths that I have only recently been able to understand & integrate into my day-to-day.
Anyone at any time can be your teacher and all relationships have something to teach us. If we view all individuals as teachers, we will never stop learning and will continue to march towards the truth.
Those who have taught me these lessons include my family, friends, business partners, “enemies”, complete strangers, yoga teachers, the great religious & political leaders of history.
Thank you for these gifts, I am forever indebted to you all.
Life is a choose your own adventure novel
2. The universe rewards decisiveness and greets indecisiveness with chaos
3. If you don’t think, act, speak, or choose for yourself, then someone will think, act, speak or choose for you
4. Trust your intuition; it may be your greatest teacher
5. As within, so without
6. Opportunity is all around us, but we’re often too distracted by our problems to see it
7. Trust, but verify
8. Staying centered in yourself will help to cultivate more meaningful relationships
9. Commitment does not mean, “I give myself entirely to you”
10. Share — God gave you a brain to think, hands to write, and a tongue to speak
11. Listen — But God gave you 1 mouth and 2 ears, so that you listen twice as much as you speak
12. There is no distinction between the spiritual and the real; integrate spirituality in all that you do
13. Experience, more specifically failure, is an invaluable teacher
14. Failure is not a reflection of your inadequacies
15. Very few can see the world for what it really is; even fewer still understand it
16. Avoid being good for goodness sake
17. Have fun
18. Take risks, but learn when to bow out
19. Humility is confidence that we are not the doers, but instead the vessel through which things are done
20. Hold onto the gold; honesty does not mean you share all things with all people all of the time
21. There is a great difference between understanding something at an intellectual level and really knowing it to be true
22. Don’t treat yourself more harshly than you would ever treat someone else
23. Thoughts and words are subtle vibrations that can create real outcomes; the process by which this happens may be indescribable, but the most logical explanation I’ve seen is this: thoughts lead to ideas, ideas lead to action, action leads to habit, and habit leads to character
24. Softness is not weakness
25. We worship rationality, but there is no proof that logic is superior to feeling
26. It is nearly impossible to change someone’s beliefs once they have placed a stake in the ground
27. Treat people fairly, including yourself
28. There is a difference between polite gratitude and a deep feeling of appreciation; the latter can be cultivated through regular practice
29. “Yes” will open you to new opportunities and experiences
30. But “No” can be the most powerful word in your toolbox
31. So set boundaries
32. Seek internal satisfaction over external approval
33. The role of the teacher is to destroy the ego of the student and help him/her put it back together again
34. The role of the student is to surpass the teacher