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Lightheartedness in Times of Hardship

“Ser Feliz Es Una Decision” is the graffiti tag on a concrete wall in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood in Cancun, Mexico. “To be happy is a decision.” A phrase that ripples with deep wisdom in #TimesOfHardship. It echoes Buddhist philosophies about “Life as all forms of suffering.” and Vedic Scriptures, “The pain is inevitable, the suffering is optional.” Statements like these may seem empty and myopic to an individual overwhelmed with emotional, mental, and/or physical #hardship but are they really naïve philosophies? Is all of life #suffering when #laughter, #excitement, #creativity, and #success are existing possibilities? Is pain truly inevitable or is it one’s perception of pain that is inevitable? The #choice to be happy in the face of #loss, #failure, and divisive #conflict throughout life, requires the will to differentiate circumstances from a personal and impersonal viewpoint and to gain perspective from emotional subjectivity and mental objectivity, in order to strategize the steps for #resolve, #healing, and/or success. To move #BeyondTheTurmoil of hardships the practice of #acknowledgment and #gratitude for the teachings of change and co-creativity must be balanced with the experience of oppression and demotivation. Herein lay a doorway to #UpliftTheHeartAndMind, to release the energy of consumption and direct one’s attitude and intention for creative solutions, founded in worthiness and appreciation.

#Lightheartedness is an invocable experience of feeling and thought. The science of meditation and attention to positive moments, #affirmations, and actions such as smiling and laughing, even when the day or life feels heavy, activates brain chemicals that augment emotional states. How does it feel when you are lost in thought, walking down the street, and look up to smile at someone passing by who returns this smile of acknowledgment? How does it feel to push laughter out of your body when you are alone? Does it feel silly or empowering? If it feels silly you are still experiencing a lighter state of witnessing self than being caught up in the weight of cycling thoughts and emotions. It is important to engage that silly inner child during hardship because that is where the vitality and passion we seek dwells to help us break past demotivating and judgmental blocks that come with processing life conflicts. It can provide a way back to a flexible mindset. #BeingFlexible is how one bends with the #WindsOfFate or the consequences accepted by #choices made of an individual’s own #FreeWill. This opens the perceptive possibilities for creative solutions that expand one’s vision for direction, to move beyond a predicament and enable graceful acceptance for the trade-offs that come in every choice one makes, as they navigate their own personal narrative.

Other considerations to shift mood include cathartic music in alignment with emotions for honor and release followed by reflective or uplifting music that inspires positive emotional states. Spending time with people, animals, or in nature that create opportunities to share the comfort of stillness and/or feel loved and appreciated with thoughtful offerings, or comical entertainment that can help redirect entrenched judgments about one’s experience to gain reprieve and objectivity. Reading or watching comedy can also be very soothing to a depressed and depleted individual if they are still above the threshold of apathy. When an individual is navigating their personal narrative with apathy the opportunity to move through life with curiosity, gratitude, and an open-hearted mind is deferred. Apathy is the antithesis to #passion and #receptivity when an individual is depleted to the point of uncaring or choosing #apathy to resist affectation. The point is not distraction. It is about intentional receptivity to the many shades of life and welcoming in the differentiation of an individual’s personal and impersonal perceptions, helping to cultivate a reflex for the practice of uplifting.

#LifeIsAPractice. All the way through we meet challenges again and again that can frame behaviors detrimental to clarity, balance, lightheartedness, and successful creativity for self-fulfillment. Acknowledging it’s a practice gives an individual the opportunity to choose what the goal of the practice is and how to live by this. Do you prefer to live in the practice of #fatalism and #victimhood, and the practice of #enduring suffering no matter the depletion of your sense of self? Or do you prefer to live in the practice of free will and discernment, and the practice of #transmutation for gratitude and #empowerment? The choice is up to you. #PracticingLightheartedness in times of hardship may feel daunting or irresponsible to some. The lens of subjectivity, taking all of life personally, and the lens of objectivity, removing self from any experience of affectation, are the extremes to subdue. All life is not personal or impersonal. One’s experience of circumstances will always present both personal and impersonal influences for perception.

How an individual is aligned, inherently and philosophically, on this spectrum dictates the perceptions brought into emotional and reflective awareness. Impersonal factors are discerned by understanding intentionality or unintentionality from external factors or persons beyond an individual’s control. It is key to understand what thoughts or emotions are superimposed but not originating from self and the framework of circumstances causing compensatory conflict for anyone subject to those circumstances. By witnessing one’s orientation historically and in the current context of experience an individual may consider the practice of weighing personal and impersonal perceptions, in order to balance the act of honoring evoked emotions while transmuting impersonal factors that block the path to fulfillment and resolve.

In any given circumstance that conflict arises there are wants and there are needs. There are misperceptions, projections, assumptions, and ideals. All of these components must be processed and sorted to evaluate factual evidence and differentiate philosophical truths. Depending on an individual’s alignment the pain and suffering felt from a lack of fulfilled needs and wants will perpetuate if clarity is mired by unacknowledged blocks that create misperceptions and clinging to what is unfulfilled. Working with absolute needs is essential to defining the boundaries of the conflict and how to proceed with creative solutions, in order to seek the achievement of those needs. #DefiningWants feels more negotiable to a circumstance than #EssentialNeeds. Every individual must assess with willful #honesty in self what defines a true need vs. a want. Whether an individual is aligned to the philosophy of resistance and loss or the philosophy of learning receptivity and gains, will determine the default mindset and behaviors they engage an experience from.

#Fairness is a philosophical ideal in human conceptualization that reaches for #balance, but balance is a dance of trade-offs in the navigation of one’s personal narrative. Fairness is dependent on shared perceptions of balance and the defined #RulesOfEngagement in society or in every relationship that is agreed upon. Without agreements for definition on equalization or mutuality, fairness cannot be met. This leaves the dance of trade-offs and the acts of free will as the primary framework for finding lightheartedness in times of hardship. #Resilience is marked by healthy passion and #WillPower that require a flexible mindset for adaptation in factors beyond one’s control and receptivity to #CreativeSolutions, perceivable in the field of knowing that empower acts of transmutation and self-fulfillment. When given attention, the #AuthenticSelf radiates light and clarity to disperse the storms of confusion, #resistance, and #despair. The practice of life is what forms the foundation and constitution of the self, again and again. #Rebirthing one’s constitution beyond foundational childhood influences and experiential outcomes from any phase of living is made possible for every being that acknowledges a choice in how they perceive, manage, and accept the trade-offs in times of hardship.

How do you want to live life? How do you want to perceive yourself when you reflect on your choices in life and the foundation of the constitution that defines you in the world? The origin of this #truth comes from within. It is nestled in the softness of the #ChildlikeHeart, enveloped by the weathered hands of a #WiseElder. The #InnerSpark of creativity in every individual is the same. How it is nourished, formed, illuminated, and radiated is up to you.

#Choose laughter with tears of appreciation, smile upon your own #SelfWorth, and claim your story with curious reflection. Embrace graceful knowing that you define the most essential trade-offs of your own heart and soul.

Excerpts from the Writings of Julie Hightman

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