Rule 1: Be open
The universe constantly brings people and opportunities into your life, and teaches you lessons. That’s why it is important to be open and accepting. I have a philosophy: never close doors. I never close them for two reasons: because I trust the universe and hence feel safe and open to accept whatever/whomever comes into my life. I also believe that everything and everyone comes with a purpose.
Rule 2: Trust.
There is a Buddhist parable which states that before any soul is reincarnated it meets the souls of all the other people it is going to meet during its life journey, and makes a pact with all of them to bring them both good and bad experiences in order to learn, and obtain the required experience to attain higher consciousness. So there is no need to be worried. Simply meet people, and accept whatever they bring with gratitude. Even if they bring you pain and suffering you have to remember: there is nothing you can’t go through and that everything happens for a reason. Learn. Learn and be grateful each time.
Rule 3: Be grateful
Appreciate and value everything you have at this moment in time. Never forget that there are far worse scenarios. Many people in the world couldn’t begin to imagine what you have, yet do not value. A while ago I met a lady who was very angry at her mother. She kept a childhood memory of when she had a toothache. At the time, her mother was young, single and insecure – both financially, and psychologically. To boost her confidence, she bought herself a necklace instead of spending the money on taking her daughter to the dentist. My acquaintance carried that sad memory for more than 20 years, that deep-seated anger with her mother. Her mother died of cancer, without the issues between her and her daughter being resolved . Very often we take things, people, and opportunities for granted. What often happens next? We lose them. So, be grateful for everything, even for tough experiences.
Rule 4: Be attentive
When you have something – be attentive to it. It could be a new book you are supposed to read, or new person you are supposed to learn from or teach, or even just a moment with someone special. Be attentive; listen, feel, and utilise all your senses. Very often we are only partly focused on the reality around us. That is why we miss those little miracles that other more attentive people (talented artists, photographers, writers, or the very lucky!) can grasp and transform into something wonderful, or obtain priceless knowledge from. Everything we experience carries information and messages. Some of these are more immediately obvious, whereas some insights are more deeply hidden. But all these messages are sent to us with a purpose. They will continue to be sent until we learn a particular lesson, or get the information we are meant to acquire. Every subsequent message will frequently be harder and more painful than the previous one, in order to make you listen more carefully and to wake you up. Have you ever noticed that before something unpleasant happens in your life, you may experience a series of events that give you a hint that something bad will happen? Those are messages. Possibly the unpleasant event itself is a message, but by that point it’s a kick rather than a nudge as a result of your ignoring it.
Being attentive to events and people is not the same as overthinking things. It’s all about awareness and being conscious of your surroundings. If you are truly awake you will know what is worth paying attention to, and what is just background noise.
Rule 5: Everything is temporary
People and opportunities, pleasure and pain… these things come to us, enter our lives, and then they pass. It is part of the natural cycle – nothing is permanent. Even tattoos and scars will disappear when the body dies. Everything and everyone will eventually go away. We do not possess anything really, and the weakest form of attachment is to the ego. We should accept the fact that everything is transient, and life will become brighter and better. After every end, a new fantastic beginning will emerge and the new experiences it brings will be both exciting and disappointing. There is always a shadow on a sunny day.
It today’s world we crave excitement, which is often a good thing: It can make our life sparkle and worth living. (I’m not speaking about pathological cases when people look for pain and drama.) But we are very bad at having no expectations. Our tendency is to create unrealistic aspirations and expectations, and consequently to be disappointed after they are crushed. We often fail to see clearly, our consciousness number by the churn of conflicting thoughts, sensations and feelings that we continuously experience.
We are dreamers. But every dream has a chance of being realised. The secret is just to accept from the outset that the pursuit of our dreams may be fraught with difficulty, and that those aspirations and ambitions may even dissolve. But never stop dreaming. It makes us go forward.
Rule 6: Learn to let go, and have no regrets.
When we get something great, we tend to think it belongs to us forever. But it is not our property at all. We possess nothing: we are guests who are, on occasion, treated very well, but those experiences inevitably disappear in time.
Rule 7: Don’t resist
Just relax, breathe, smile, and be grateful for everything you’ve got – people, feelings, experiences – and learn to let them go at the right time. Keep yourself clear from possessiveness, worries, jealousy, and sacrifice.
Rule 8: Don’t sacrifice
Nothing is worth it. Sacrifice is betrayal of who you are. You are a part of the universe – in fact you are the universe. By sacrificing yourself you betray the universe, as doing so has no positive net effect. No one will be happy at the end of the day and any sacrifice always brings suffering, drama, resentment, recriminations, and hatred. Sacrifice is a form of collective madness. Some theologists say that holy scripts teach to sacrifice. No one can deny the proliferation of fiction books devoted to various forms of sacrifice, declaring it as a good thing. But it is a lie. It is the biggest lie, based on a fundamental misinterpretation of who we are as human beings. Jesus taught: “Do not let your heart be troubled…”. For me, that means a happy heart radiates happiness out into the world, making it a better place for everyone. Carrying the burden of a sacrificed heart leads to resentment, and the poisoning of everything around you. This is why our principal mission in life should always be to bring light and positivity into the world. Our duty? Simply to be happy. And it really is easy when you know the rules.