Giving attention to what is and not giving attention to what appears to be, is the key to opening the prison door. (Wu Hsin)

Take a closer look at your ability (or inability) to interact with the world around you. If you are living life compulsively then your interaction will be limited. If you are living life consciously then you are open to the whole of life and you have the capability to meet life as it presents itself.

If you are caught up in psychological suffering, if you find life difficult, if it lacks meaning, then there is work to be done. Are your thoughts dictating play? The mind will control your behaviour if you allow it to (know that you are not your thoughts), the mind thinks it is protecting you but actually it can be your worst enemy. Remember, you do not have to believe everything you think.

To live a harmonious life, first you have to meet yourself in truth. If you live in a state of perpetual turmoil and/or disappointment it’s because you are setting yourself up for failure, think about it…how many times do we measure happiness? ‘…..I will be happy when…..’  ……’I am unhappy because…..’  these are all make-believe stories that we live by, they only keep us separate from life. If we continue to live compulsively and unconsciously, slaves to our negative thoughts then we will remain slaves to suffering. If we can live consciously, everything will change for the better.

Think for one moment about the enormity of the cosmos. Everything is working perfectly well in the universe without our emotional turmoil and everything we require is provided for us (even if it doesn’t seem like it) yet we are still miserable because of ‘this or that’ ….. because we are not living consciously. If you have experienced terrible things in your life, it doesn’t have to define who you are.

Accept life as it is, without judgements, prejudices, fears, anxieties etc. All of this is within your capability. Or you can stay stuck with your misery and suffering, it’s your choice. Ask yourself, how do you want to live? You will suffer for as long as you wish to suffer. When you’ve had enough, it can stop.

If you want to live a pleasant life then be pleasant, no ‘ifs or buts’ it starts with you…not with your parents, your friends, your boss, your neighbour, your children, not with self pity, or your current circumstances, not with your past (which is all just memory by the way) and certainly not with deep routed attachments to suffering…..it starts with YOU, here, right now.