Many people go through life, moving from one task to the next, marking off time. This state of existence misses the entire point of why we’re here. Those who are enlightened perform the same functions but with an entirely different consciousness. We have a choice to either move unconsciously from one moment to the next or emerge into each experience with purpose and meaning.
Enlightened people are not focused on achievements because they realize every moment is an accomplishment. They enjoy the journey as much (or even more than) the destination. They don’t race to finish something, then rush on to the next project. They do not put off what they can do now, but they also put people before busy work. By making conscious choices, they stay in a loving place instead of an anxious, fear-based state. Rather than hating what they are doing, they choose to love what lies before them. They have the capacity to be detached, non-judgmental observers of their behavior with the intent of growing and learning how to be a better person.
From the time I wake up, I focus on the beauty around me and give thanks. As I go about my day, I practice being thankful for the dislikes as much as the likes. The likes nourish my soul, and the dislikes sand my sharp edges. I stay connected to whatever I’m doing without haste or waste, mindful of only what’s on my plate now, not drifting from past regret or to what’s for dinner. I accept the challenge of life’s ebbs and seek opportunities during these times. I am at one with the here and now.
Being nice and being kind are not the same. Anyone can fake niceness, but kindness comes from the heart. When under pressure, enlightened people pull into a deeper part of themselves to set aside their immediate demands for a greater good. They bypass the urge to exert their power over others and their environment. They don’t mow their way through people’s lives since they plan their time in a way that allows patience. They don’t stuff to-do lists with too much, removing the waste so they can enjoy what’s in front of them.
Even when triggered, kind people have learned to withhold retaliation or revenge. They approach conflicts from a place of love instead of attack. They have conscious contact with their spiritual nature and listen to this guiding light instead of the voice of anger. Kindness is when everyone wins, and both people walk away feeling good about their interactions and the value they placed on one another.
I recognize that life is all around me, and there’s always an opportunity to show kindness to every living thing. Taking the time to water a wilted plant, pet an eagerly awaiting pet, or smiling at someone are simple acts of kindness. The more I realize that we are all part of a loving symphony, the more I can attune myself to harmony with life. Being kind to my environment and the people around me gives me far greater joy than living within my own mental walls. I go into each day being the love that I seek. Equally important, rather than dismissing help, I graciously accept.
Genuinely caring people take the time to make other people matter. They don’t treat others like moveable objects to meet their demands. They recognize that people will manifest their true value when treated as such. Enlightened people take the time to ask questions and show concern for the individual and their lives. Rather than only receiving, they give back in ways that are needed.
Instead of engaging with negativity, they shift the narrative to a positive note or remove themselves. Caring people see the silver lining in every cloud and are the silver lining in someone else’s moment of darkness.
As I go through the day, I realize my accomplishments mean little without showing care to others. I take the time to hold open a door, have a quick chat when I’m in a hurry, make a call to someone who’s hurting, and show appreciation to employees and loved ones. I treat other people the way I’d like to be treated, including allowing space when they need it. Instead of seeing other humans as a drain on my time and money, I see endless opportunities to contribute to one another. The more I care for others, the more care I receive.
Instead of going through life mentally blind, I see, touch, and feel.
We choose how to live our lives. We can have many values but still lack the essence of a meaningful life. To be enlightened doesn’t mean endlessly meditating on a mountaintop. It’s about being willing to practice being fully present in the moment. Also, to value those precious moments so that when all is said and done, we can close our eyes in peace and know that our lives have been well-lived with meaning and purpose. But most of all, with love.
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Dr. Donna Marks has been an author, consultant, public speaker, and psychotherapist for over thirty years. She was licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in 1987 and then certified in Addiction, Gestalt Therapy, Hypnosis, Sex Therapy, and Psychoanalysis. She currently has a concierge psychotherapy practice in Palm Beach, Florida.
She has appeared on numerous podcasts and local television. She is the author of two books, Learn Grow Forgive – A Path to Spiritual Success, and Exit the Maze: One Addiction, One Cause, One Solution (revised), and winner of multiple book awards. Her next book, The Healing Moment: Seven Keys to Turn Messes into Miracles, will be released in 2023.
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