change

The Mindful Family Unit

For those interested in the pursuit of a more mindful, enriching experience for this short lifespan we are awarded on this planet, it is inevitable you will face scrutiny and ridicule by those who do not want to witness you reap such enjoyment. Sometimes, people withhold insecurities like extra baggage and feel compelled to lash them upon you. This is unjust and cruel, but we cannot blame those individuals; we must rise to a higher level and lead by example. Perhaps you could show those in such circumstances that via an iron will and unbreakable character, they too can blossom if only they put their best foot forward.

All of us are at different stages in our lives- maybe we recently graduated high school, or finished college; we could be a decade in at our corporate job, or approaching middle-age. Either way, it's never too late to begin the journey toward self-betterment. As the saying goes, "the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today."

This post will delve into maintaining a healthy relationship with those who try to bring you down; specifically, your family unit.

First and foremost, we never asked to be born. Your parents decided to reproduce offspring. In some situations, they were forced to, with little or no warning. For those of us fortunate enough to be in good health, we truly won the ultimate lottery ticket. There's a 1 in 40 million chance of us being human beings on this planet, and somehow we drew the lucky straw. This simple fact alone should inspire all of us to make an impact!

We have this perception of a family, and how it should be maintained and operated. In an ideal world, everyone in the family would be loving, happy, and supportive. Realistically, this is not the case; all families deal with their fair share of drama, dysfunctional habits, and unhealthy tendencies. Such is life. Again, you don't necessarily pick and choose your family, so at one point it is certain your ideals and viewpoints will clash. It is about learning how to stand your ground even when your loved ones try to bring you down. Just because they're your family, doesn't mean these individuals are exempt from supporting you. They've known you your entire life, and are comfortable with you staying put and not risking everything. You must firmly, but respectfully, stand your ground- like any situation in life, really. It goes without saying, the degree of your resistance is 100% individual and unique to your upbringing. If, after you state your purpose, and affirm you are to uphold yourself to loftier standards, and still encounter opposition, there are a few options.

Use Doubt As Fuel

This is fitting for those still living in their parents' residence. They might be too young or unable to move out just yet, so this is the most appropriate coping practice.

Hate and love are the 2 strongest emotions we have. If you're not getting the love and support you require, it is crucial to use those powerful emotions that fester below the surface, and transform them into good, productive habits. This is easier said than done, as a lot of people turn to self-destructive and self-defeating habits. The mind is a powerful tool and you can make it work for or against you. Again, if you are pissed off for greatness, this might prove to be advantageous. Put the hatred and anger into the fire of passion.

Create A Culture of Change

Why not invite those nearest and dearest to you to accompany you on the journey toward a more fruitful life? If they are willing to learn and grow, it is sensible to support one another along the way. They say if it ain't broke don't fix it- and while your family may not be broken, per se, it is a solid idea to announce your concerns and ideas before they become real issues. We are creatures of habit. Your parents run the family the best they know how; however, this doesn't exactly mean the most efficient way to do so. Sometimes we pick up bad habits, and these habits rub off on the people we associate with most. Our idiosyncrasies blend and fuse together, compounding into a culture of bad habits and unhealthy tendencies, if we don't monitor them regularly. Our mind is like a garden. Bad thoughts and habits are like weeds, and positive affirmations and a healthy lifestyle are beautiful flowers. We are the gardeners, and we must continually pick the weeds and monitor the garden if we hope to see one of vibrant, luscious variety. 

Agree to Disagree

Your family might disagree with your lifestyle change, but this doesn't mean all hope is lost and you abandon them entirely. As long as they don't strive to bring you down, and the feeling is neutral, you can make amends and agree to disagree. Stay in your own lane, and focus on your goals. Clear up the confusion if necessary, but don't conform to other's ideologies when pressured. You are old enough to cultivate your own opinions and take responsibility for your actions, so don't let someone else decide how you're to live your life.

Cut the Dead Weight

This might be a hard pill to swallow for some. If after countless times trying to resolve issues and you are still receiving ridicule and no support, it's time to cut the dead weight. Yes, your family loves and cares for you, and we feel obligated to have a blossoming relationship with our parents and siblings. But this is your one and only life. If you're not satisfied, cut the dead weight. This is a last resort option, but for some it might come to this. No reason to keep forcing something that isn't meant to be. Bid your adieus, tip your hat and carry on smartly. 

Self-Renewal

Our idea of self improvement is recaptured as self-renewal, and we'll go into specifics herein. The betterment of oneself in this case can be viewed in three disparate ways: indulgent, generating, and self renewal.

Self-Indulgence

Efforts made to improve oneself and oneself only. This focus radiates its strength in independence. Bringing attention to what one is doing, thinking, and feeling, allows one to observe themselves at a distance. Impersonal and detached in ones viewing, they discover themselves from inside out. This is the first stage of our being. As a default we monitor only our role in the flux of life, giving no thought to the outer world in its seeming unconnectivity. What we do gain, is a harmonized consistency. Always on the lookout for what's relevant to our closest needs, we continue a cycle of temporary fulfillment. Limited in scope by not fully embracing the world, the object of this stage is protection. In the end, self-indulgence leads into isolation. To move into the next stage one must escape their own limitations and move from isolation into the real world by internalizing an open mind for indifference.

Self-Generating

The second stage is the time in our life that we shift our thoughts into action beyond ourselves. By overcoming our short sightedness, we create and bring joy to our interaction with others. The object is to cultivate a gradiation between the inner and out worlds. Instead of a black and white palette, color breathes life into our pursuits. Every step and action is taken with a reference for totality. We bring with us the capability linked from our indulgence and translate results for others. Driven to see a new horizon of perception, we experience the plethora of indifference to ourselves and adapt to new circumstances. Ultimately the stage of change and connection. What is generated springs forth from personal involvement in the livelihood of another. Not of self-indulgence but other-indulgence. In causing the development of the outer world, we often ignore ourselves as a self-sacrifice. Amending to external events, we reshape ourselves to fit into shapes unknown to us. It is here where we lose connection with our core and values, becoming a mix and match of myriad choices that push us astray.

Self-Renewal

With this, we suggest a third stage. After one indulges into themself, and steers into the outer world to generate results for others, we come to the act of self renewal: the continual process of inner change, gifting ones learning to others, and remaining within the scope of this process. It's a commitment to change, forward thinking, and gifting our greatest strengths for the benefit of all (ourselves included). Any moment is a time for our attention. We act on the best interest of all, encompassing values beyond ourselves. Into this sacred place we persist towards the pursuit of changing our mindset to remain open and aware. It's in our fixation for positive experiences, and avoidance from the negative that we forget our real intentions in striving for an ideal. We must rise to every occasion with balance, and intent. Henceforth, let us declare to commit to go all the way and gift ourselves, and reach our ideals in the process.