Finding blissSo… you landed here, and sometimes wonder – “How the hell did I get here?”

The journey of life is mysterious – and filled with suffering, joy and moments of clarity.

Throughout your life, you may find yourself asking “How do I cultivate wisdom, and start listening to my inner voice in the midst of a thousand voices?” Or “how do I become more enlightened?”

 A crucial aspect often missing from a discussion on enlightenment is how to pace yourself.

Should you be ambitious and aim to reach enlightenment this lifetime, or take it slowly and be patient and accepting of your foibles?

I’ve met many who have claimed that this life is their last – or at least that’s their intention. The more I’ve gotten to know them, the more it’s been clear to me that they were not enlightened. Perhaps if they accepted themselves more, then they wouldn’t be in a rush to leave this world!

It’s natural to have some cravings and addictions to overcome, and it’s natural to strive to be more. That’s what our life is about – constantly learning more about ourselves and our role in life, bringing more light to shine on the darkness and knowing that consciousness is always expanding.

In Buddhism, attachment to Vedana (a Sanskrit term referring to sensations or feelings that occur when our internal sense organs come into contact with external sense objects and the associated consciousness) leads to suffering. On the other, concentrated awareness of Vedana also leads to enlightenment and the end of suffering.

Vedana is crucial to your growth and expansion, wherever you are on the scale or pathway to enlightenment.

All of us individually and collectively are seeking pleasure, the end of suffering, and ultimately “wholeness”. Yet, we get caught up in life’s dramas by judging others and ourselves, and crave empty substitutes for living our truth authentically.

It is not in denying ourselves that we find a pathway to inner peace. It is in the very experiencing of ourselves that we find authenticity and wholeness.

Seeing beyond the veil of illusion reveals our true selves, what is inside. The mirror of your life does not lie. In our frenetic 21st century lives, it is more important than ever to change what is not working from the inside out.

When we get out of the way of our ego, we can learn to truly experience love from the inside out as an intrinsic part of all nature.

The heart is a vessel for love. Look within and expect miracles. Heart intelligence goes beyond our understanding and reopens our childhood imagination. It softens our way of being and brings kindness and compassion to our way of life.

There is always something for you to learn and heal from, and make you understand more. But you need to forget your ego – just be still. In silence is found the true healing.

Life becomes resistant when you resist what stares you in the face. See the windows beyond the bars of separation. All it takes to break down the bars, is an open heart and courage to face the truth.

When we experience love from the inside out as an intrinsic part of all creation, we find our calling – experiencing ourselves as love.

So here are three ways to help improve your life’s journey:

1. Accept there is no escape from yourself

You cannot escape – not through drugs, sex alcohol or junk food. While you may feel like you’ve escaped – the effects will soon wear off. And once again, you’ll find yourself in waiting. Acceptance is the start of a deep inner process of personal growth, leading to fulfillment.

2. Consciously reduce your attachment to counterfeits like material comforts

 Be aware that attachment to things outside of you will not lead you to happiness – they are just an escape from facing yourself in the mirror.

As a society, we have become receptive to media messages and external comforts – non-attachment requires not chasing after these shadows and luxuries.

3. Love yourself passionately and wholeheartedly

The source of all love is within your reach. You cannot love another more than you love yourself. Loving yourself leads directly to loving choices for yourself and for others.

Loving yourself gets you to the true source of who you are. This is the start of consciously awakening to who you are. You become your own healer.

As Buddha said:

“Be a lamp unto your own feet and do not seek outside yourself.”

Positive self-esteem is an essential foundation that should be instilled in all our kids from the earliest age. Without this foundation, we are “lost” as a society, and people will always seek external methods of validation.

These are my top ways of finding bliss authentically, what are yours? Do you have your own “authentic code of honor” that you live by?