Have you noticed – anytime you meet a new
person they ask you to tell something about yourself – who you are, what you
are doing and basically … what’s your story.
Why is a story so important?
We need to navigate through life through images, words, sounds and tastes. In order to orientate we need something to guide us, a compass that shows us our journey from where to where we are moving. A story is made out of impressions – of what we have heard, seen, tasted and experienced. Once we have recorded those impressions in our mind we have made them our qualities and ultimately our business cards. The story you tell is your business card. People want to know what you have in order to process you as a person.
But your story is not all for others either. Most of all it is important which story you are telling to yourself, because honestly … all stories are eventually made up … and if you can make up any story why not make up the best story?
If you make a simple experiment and write down
the story of your life but first focus on all the things that have gone wrong
and you didn’t like – all the could haves, should haves and “I didn’t want this”.
Tell the worst story ever you can and then see how it makes you feel.
Does it make you happy? Does it make others happy? Does it bring the sunshine
in your life?
And notice how does it influence your outlook on life, what decisions and
actions it makes you take? Happy ones, wise ones?
Now give it a second try but this time tell the
best story of your life – all that you loved and you are grateful for, all that
made you the person you are today, all that you enjoy and appreciate. Tell a
story of joy and happiness and see how it makes you feel. Is it different? Do
you notice the change in the air? What decisions and actions it makes you take?
Better ones? How does it make others feel and what does it make them think?
The story you tell to yourself has great power because it influences your whole life – your moods, your feelings, your decisions and finally your actions. When you realize it you start to notice how often you have sabotaged yourself in focusing on negative stories when you could have really focused on all that’s good and right. But the worst is when we start to tell those stories to others and instead of making their lives a bit more bright we try to convince them in our own made up fears and doubts.
Stop and examine who you believe you are.
Creating a conscious life is really about
bringing more light into what’s going on in the dark corners of your mind. When
we don’t pay attention we often tend to indulge our thoughts in worst case
scenarios, anxiety, fears, judgments and regrets and this can go on and on
making it the unquestionable story of who we are.
But why not question? Why not question if that story is right? And if it’s not quite so could we not make it right or at least choose one that makes you feel right?
A situation always has at least two versions – the one of what’s bad and wrong and the one of what’s good and right and to tell you a secret we are really the ones who choose which side of the coin will stay up.
And a story is much more powerful than that. It
can create your personality, your friendships, your business and your life.
But I am not here to tell you to create a completely false story, no. I am
telling you to see your own already amazing story! We all have a really
fabulous, award-winning story when we choose to see.
All those unique things about yourself can be real gems when you pick them up and
If I would leave you with any message it would
be to look and see all the good things you have and have had. And maybe all the
difficult things that brought you wisdom and strength. And all the silly things
that made you keep your innocence. All those little things are your real gems. Don’t
throw them away but see how beautiful they’ve made you look today.
“A stressed businessman reaches a state of awakening during a … talk over a coffee with Mila Buchelli.”
This is how an article in the march issue of Magazine 8 (a popular science and spirituality magazine in Bulgaria) starts.
It is a bit more than a year ago that I met Plamen – a business owner from Bulgaria living in Austria.
I remember that day that I waited for him. I was told he is into a lot of stress and needs to urgently have a talk with me and somehow restore his balance. I didn’t know him at that time but I agreed because he was a friend of some relatives.
Little did I suspect what a profound and beautiful talk was about to unfold.
Long story short – he got kind of … enlightened. Yes, he discovered that state that some great masters over the ages have pointed to. And much to my surprise something in him powerfully shifted after I pointed out a few things and he started speaking like a real Buddha.
So from a stressed businessman he turned into … an awakened being. Who would expect? We’ve always thought that to reach such a state of awakening and self-realization you need to spend lifetimes in spiritual seeking and ascetic living but here he was – he never even had the slightest idea of aspiring for liberation, enlightenment … not even a yoga class.
Needless to say he was supremely happy and grateful for his unexpected discovery and even a year later he still speaks from that place of peace, wisdom and oneness.
I went to Bulgaria and told this story to my friends who were a lot into spiritual seeking, yoga and meditation and they were astonished. Then Magazine 8 got super interested in the story and asked me to interview Plamen for them and see how his life has changed, how this discovery affected his business and what’s going on in his life now, does he still experience the same state of purity or did his mind come back and beat him up?
Well, here are some of the things he shared with me. Read for yourself.
Who was Plamen before discovering the state of Buddha?
P: Before I lived in constant tension, on the brink of a nervous crisis. I had a lot of problems, too much work, too many questions that bothered me. I was a slave for my own goals and projections about life – how should I look, how should I live, what should I have. As a business owner with more than 140 employees, I was constantly under great stress, with constant problems and things to solve.
How do you feel now compared to the above description, is there any difference?
P: Now whatever happens around me, it cannot really affect me. But this is only after my realization. I became calm and balanced. Now I live in a completely different way and my attitude is totally different. Now I see there are no unsolvable things. There is nothing to be afraid of. Before I took everything way too serious. Now I don’t because I see that these are external events and they do not affect my essence, they are just things that happen, come and go. Everything is transient. When a difficult situation arises, I know that I will find the solution over time or when the time comes. Everything comes at its right place when one looks from a slightly different place, from their essence, not from the ideas and projections they have about themselves.
Everyone imagines that when one wakes up to the truth of themselves, he will wave goodbye to the world and retire into the forest or a cave. That obviously did not happen to you. How does a modern Buddha live his life?
P: Leaving the world after your awakening is one of those ideas and projections, that people construct in their heads. Why should there be a frame? Why should it be in the woods, in the mountains, in the city? Buddha can be anywhere. Wherever he wants. If you are enlightened, you should not run away from anything because you just accept everything as it is. There is nothing to escape. If I would go anywhere, it would be because of the fresh air, not because of the idea that I have to turn my back to my present life. It does not matter to me, the place, it has no meaning, I am free. I live in peace. When you empty your mind, you can be happy wherever you are, and you can always find a place of solitude. For example such a place for me is my car. 2-3 hours I just sit in it, I do not do anything. The modern Buddha can find a secluded place everywhere.
What would you say to everyone who is now on your old place – stressed and exhausted by thinking of profits and deadlines?
P: You just have to really see how unimportant, meaningless and transient these things are. Problems will be solved, they will come again, they will be solved again, and so on. If one can realize this and look back – work has always been done, something has always changed and nothing has been final or fatal. There is nothing to be afraid of! There is just one material encompassing world, but it does not define our essence. And if one understands this, he will never be stressed and exhausted. Because there is nothing that can take away what you are. I know that even if I end up naked and broke on the street, I will still be fine. I’ll find clothes again and make some money, build a business, and build something. But no one can take away what I am. If one thinks … he’s here, he’s always here. All things happen, come and go, new things happen, new things are changing, but he’s HERE. When he realizes that his essence is here and not there, not in those things, then he will forget what stress and tension is. I sleep very peaceful now. Because I know there is always a solution. You just have to give time for it to reveal itself, and some things are not in our control, and we just have to accept them. As I said, one has to try to look from a little different place at these things and if he can see from there, he will be another person. He will not be another person, in fact, he will be himself – the true self. “
Image by Dilyana Hezhaz
Have you ever had the thought “If only … something was different“, “It could have been … different.” … “It should have been … in another way.” …
Should have, could have, if only … meet the thoughts that steal your happiness!
These little thoughts and words are often our everyday companions. We don’t realize but so often we imagine and mourn over how things could have been different than they are and how much better it would have been this way. But guess what? Those thoughts are exactly the thoughts that steal your peace, your joy, your happiness.
Why? Because things are as they are! They are not supposed to be different than they are right now … and your wishing and imagining them to be in another way simply distracts you from being at peace with them and seeing that they are just perfect as they are!
Could have is rarely a solution to any situation, it is rather a waste of time and a sure way to make yourself unhappy. Rather accept and see the reality of the moment as it is and see if apart from your imagination something is really wrong here.
Often it is not life in its expression that is wrong but rather the ideas we try to enforce on it that are not quite fitting. Whenever we indulge in the could or should have we are just unnecessarily bringing ourselves down.
Much better way is to simply be with the situation, with life as it presents itself in this moment without interpreting, judging, comparing and criticizing.
If we can really see life in this way fresh and empty we might be in for a big surprise – nothing is really missing! Nothing is really wrong! Nothing really needs to be essentially different than it is. Because guess what – Life is much more wiser than your thinking!
So, throw those should haves and could haves away and let life lead you the way. See what peace and rest come from letting go of wishful thinking, judgements and regrets and enjoy again your natural state of being open, trusting and loving to life as it unfolds always in the best way when you have the heart and mind to see and appreciate its wisdom, grace and beauty.