Living in a busy place is a spiritual test. Cities are full of distractions, pushing and pulling us in every direction. “Do this! Buy that! Listen to me!” It’s a challenge because there are so many things fighting for our attention.
“Energy flows where attention goes” – James McCrae.
When you are focused, your power grows stronger. When you are distracted, your power drains.
But there is good news. Mindfulness is like a muscle. If it does not face pressure, it weakens. When it is exercised, it becomes stronger. The city is the pressure that allows your mindfulness to expand. Think of it as a spiritual boot camp. The more difficult the challenge you face, the greater the lesson to be learned.
There are two ways to approach life – with force or with flow. The biggest mistake you can make is trying to fight the city with force. Engaging with force will only bring more force against you. Instead of fighting, move with flow. When you engage life with flow, the city flows with you and aligns with your intentions. Traffic stops to clear your path.
Living in the city is an opportunity for growth. Don’t hide from the challenges; embrace them. If you can be mindful here, you can be mindful anywhere. But it doesn’t come easy.
Below are ten survival tips for staying mindful in the city.
1. Don’t walk so fast.
Nothing is as urgent as you think it is. Even when the people around you are rushing, practice walking and living at your own steady pace.
2. Forgive rude people.
It’s never personal. Rudeness is a form of protection from pain. Instead of getting upset by rudeness, forgive them. Practice empathy because there is most likely pain in a rude person’s life that is causing them to act that way.
3. Be narrow-minded.
Don’t be distracted by too many options. Your power is in your focus. Discover what you love most and dedicate your life to it. Ignore everything else.
4. Create an energetic force field.
There is a lot of negative energy in cities. So it’s important to create a force field to protect your thoughts and energy. Be hard on the outside but remain soft on the inside. Don’t let the negativity of others affect you. Remember, the problems of the city are not your problems. Project light, refuse to absorb darkness.
5. Be a good guest.
Respect the quirks and customs of the city, even if you don’t understand them. Cities have a unique personality based on hundreds of years of history. You are a guest in a home that has been around much longer than you. Act accordingly.
6. Break your routine.
Remain curious, look around and keep exploring. When you have free time, explore neighborhoods you have never been to before. The more you see, the more you will understand the city. The more you understand the city, the more you will love it.
7. Little things matter.
So much is beyond your control, so control the little things. Make your bed every morning, eat well every day and read something uplifting every night.
8. Make kindness a habit.
Hold doors for strangers, help mothers carry strollers down staircases and let other people enter public transit before you. Be of service to the city. What you give comes back to you.
9. Trust the moment as it is.
There is always purpose in what appears to be chaos. Every struggle is an opportunity for growth, so look for the lesson in every challenge.
10. When in doubt, breath deeply.
Meditate in small 30-second spurts throughout the day. Simply close your eyes, find your inner presence and breathe deeply. This practice can transform your whole day.