The Future of Well-Being
Well-being is a skill. And the skill can be learned just as one learns to play a musical instrument. Except that this instrument I am referring to is called, mind. Learning to train the mind to collect, contain and focus its energy is the key to well-being.
The more you practices the skills of well-being, the better you get at it.
Your body is an activity and each year all the cells are new. Did you know that how you feel changes every cell in your body and how you feel even changes your genes?
Science thinks it knows human biology and the information that it has obtained is correct. This is not entirely true because with all that we “know”, the disease rates for cancer, malaria, Alzheimer’s and AIDS has not changed.. The biggest epidemic right now is addictive behavior—addiction to drugs, reality TV, shopping, social media and the list goes on.
Science has tried to come up with the constituents that allow someone to experience well-being. Richard Davidson, from University of Wisconsin-Madison has devoted his work to studying the brain’s circuitry with mindfulness techniques. From his work, scientists have made much progress in understanding the parts of the brain the are influenced by emotions and thoughts. From this research, four constituents have been identified that strengthen neural circuits that seem to support our sense of well-being. And the premise is that if we exercise these circuits, they will strengthen. Practicing these four skills—resilience, outlook, attention and generosity— can provide the foundation for enduring change, which can help to promote higher levels of well-being in our lives.
To learn the why, what and how to focus the energy of the mind, we must take the concepts that science has provided and bring them into a practical set of habits. The result is sustainable well-being from the inside out.
Going in the Direction of Self
How an we change our future of well-being? What we need is to establish a self-directed biological transformation. You have heard me say before change your brain with self-directed neuroplasticity.
Self-directed says that your awareness —consciousness—is the most fundamental thing you have and this consciousness expresses itself as thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, memories and includes your personal relations and social information and behavior as well as how we treat each other and the planet. To be self-directed implies that you are the creator of your own universe, in this case your own strategies for well-being. Self-directed biological transformation is similar to self-directed neuroplasticity because it is under your control. In other words, it is how you direct the energy of your mind and the habits that you create for the body and mind that determine the direction of your well-being. The planet and universe are alive. You and I have good fortune of being a human being with the awareness and a powerful instrument called mind that when trained to focus can accomplish anything. We have all heard, “I can do this, if I put my mind to it”. When we focus the energy of our mind, we can direct its energy to create habits of well being.
Expand Your Awareness
Expanding our awareness is what well-being is all about. How do we do this?
We must expand our awareness to who we are by asking ourselves:
- Who Am I? (more than the body mind and senses)
- What do I want?
- What is my purpose? (dharma)
- What am I grateful for?
Live the questions? life will give you the answer, perhaps not immediately; but they will come. When you find yourself with perhaps not feeling well, or in a state of poverty consciousness, ask yourself one question? What am i grateful for? This will cure the issue and expand your awareness.
Focus Your Mind
A focused mind is a happy mind. To paraphrase the title of a very important paper that was published several years ago by a group of social psychologists at Harvard, “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind.” In this particular study, researchers used smartphones to query people as they were out and about in the real world, essentially asking three questions:
- What are you doing right now?
- Where is your mind right now? Is it focused on what you’re doing, or is it focused elsewhere?
- How happy or unhappy are you right now?
Across a large group of adults in America, researchers found that people spend an average of 47 percent of their waking life not paying attention to what they’re doing. Forty-seven percent of the time!
Can you envision a world where that number goes down a little, by even 5 percent? Imagine what impact that might have on productivity, on showing up, on being present with another person and deeply listening.
Training the energy of your mind is essential to well-being and prosperity.
Find Your Center of Excellence
To find our center of excellence we must use a method to develop our self awareness. Meditation is one such technique. Today we hear is about mindfulness coming from the Buddhist tradition, Vipassana specifically, which brings mindfulness. There is also, Transcendental meditation a mantra based meditation and comes from tradition of Agni Shankara in India. There is Centering prayer from Benedictine monks which is reflective on self-inquiry and intentional living with meta cognition. In our Master Class and Teacher Training we use Focused Awareness centering on the breath and mantra – a combination of mindfulness with concentration.
While I am partial to Focused Awareness, I suggest that you don’t get bogged down within one methodology. Since all methodologies include awareness of body, breath, relationships, our ecosystem and awareness of awareness itself.
Rewrite Your Story with Positive Outlook
Well-being results in having an energetic body and radiant mind. Those with optimal well-being are very attractive with charisma. They possess these learned skills:
- Joyful energetic body. They nourish themselves with the right ingredients resulting in a body that moves with flow and joy.
- Clear, calm and focused mind. They are not distracted they are present—present is spirit—not checking an iPhone when talking to someone or gazing at their watch. They do one thing at a time and do it well with presence.
- Loving compassionate heart. They are friendly they exude warmth.
- Lightness of being. They are independent of criticism and flattery; a very profound trait. This creates a lightness of being and a fundamental characteristic of someone who is extraordinary.
So create a story for yourself. We all love stories. In your story ask yourself,
“Where did I come from”? “Where am i going”? “How will i get there”? and “When I get there, how will life be different”?
Take 10 minutes a day in meditation and reflect on:
- Who Am I?
- Why am I here?
- What do I want?
- Where will I go?
Write this as your story.