Friday, 6 July 2012

Love When All Goes Badly


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“Pleasure and pain come from your own past actions. So it is easy to define karma in one short sentence: Act well, and things will go well; act wrongly, and things will go wrong.”
— The Dalai Lama

In this present era in which we live, everywhere we look humanity seems to be at war with terrorism and hypocrisy. In big cities the number of murders are rising routinely on a daily basis. People are fighting for politics, for money, for fame, and even fighting just for the sake of fighting. And I can't help feeling that we seriously need some anger management.

Getting angry is injurious to health as well as to society - it makes you stressful and the research has proved that stress is the main cause of damage to the functioning of the body; the most common problems include stomach disorder, cardiac disorder and neuron disorder. Each can create big problems for you if not controlled from the outset.

Several ancient cultures and religions taught the way to belief and personal identity was not through contemplation, but rather though action. They understood the power that our outward actions have on our inner psyche.

In anger a person usually doesn't know what they are doing and what is happening to them, sometimes it makes them to act inappropriately. An individual takes actions which are disturbing for them and others; and ultimately they might take violent actions which ruin everything. A person may feel ashamed after the anger gone, but the time which has passed badly can never be taken back.

I was reading a news report about a 42-year-old man who lost the plot and spent three minutes letting off fire extinguishers, pulling stock from the walls and overturning displays in a phone shop after what's thought to be a dispute over a handset.

Needless to say, this man from Manchester, in England, was arrested shortly afterwards, but his actions have accorded him almost hero status in some quarters. It seems that taking out our frustrations with the bad service of major companies in an orgy of destruction is what many of us yearn to do. I see red whenever Royal Mail fails to deliver my parcels for the umpteenth time.

He did what I'm assuming we have all wanted to do at one time. Like others who have given in to a base urge for petty revenge, the phone shop man gained three minutes of intense satisfaction. He offloaded a psychological burden.

However, it's more than likely the man will end up with a hefty fine and a criminal record after being charged. He probably won't get his handset fixed, and as he battered those mobile phones he may have done similar damage to his chances of a comfortable, happy future.

And this, I think, is a symptom of a greater malaise. Is this lack of restraint a man thing? Men are too quick to anger, or at least too quick to show their anger. Traditional virtues of restraint and reserve have been stripped away, leaving only the dangerous instinct for revenge or the testosterone-driven need to never lose face.

I don't want to cast too many aspersions on one man (or men in general). All sorts of frustrations may have lead to the incident that broke the camel's back. Nevertheless, he's not the first man to lose the plot in this way, and in every case taking deep breaths and counting to 10 were by far the better options. When we get frustrated, we tend to want to lash out. It's what we yearn to do, but in most cases it's what we should NEVER do.

Anger is an emotion, aggression is a behaviour and hostility is a behaviour style. Anger does not necessarily have to, or need to, lead to aggression. It is important for us to understand that we can become angry without acting aggressively. There is an often quoted phrase from the play "The Mourning Bride" by the 17th century playwright, William Congreve, "Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned or Heaven a rage as love to hatred turned". Our rage can be righteous and constructive.

Anger is a natural part of our lives. There are many causes of anger and there are many ways to deal with anger. It can be a healthy, normal emotion, but if we do not understand our anger we will allow it to take over our life making us destructive and violent, which is when it becomes a big problem. Not only does the anger eat away and destroy us but it also affects everyone and everything around us.

Anger is only one letter short of dangerWhen the object of this wanton fury is a phone shop, you may think it's not that bad. But as we've seen all too often, a disturbing lack of self-control - this inability to grasp the consequences of violent actions in advance - can claim human victims, too.

For example, when we read about 14-year old youths charged with accidental murder we come to a certain point in life and we wonder, what on earth is the world coming to? It's an age old complaint that we all seem to make. And there are some that believe that any individual can be good when life treats them well, but it's hard to be good when life goes badly.

And life is currently going badly for many. Despite the fact that the world produces enough food to feed everyone, there are more hungry people today than previous decades, while the news from Europe is getting worse by the day.

The shadow of economic gloom draws across the continent and multiple crises in the currency zone. According to the latest national Greek polls, more than seven out of 10 young Greeks aged 18 to 24 believe that emigration is the ideal - indeed the only - way out from the crisis. Two out of 10 have already applied for jobs and university places abroad.

With rising unemployment and inflation there are riots in the streets with forecasts of anarchy in some parts of Europe, with Germany - the strongest economy in Europe - holding the purse strings of countries as far away as Greece. Critics are quick to point out that the last time Germany was so involved in Greece was under its Nazi occupation in the Second World War.

Alfred Tennyson once said that "Time is a maniac scattering dust, and life is a fury slinging flame." I believe he could have been writing that about today. We all seem to be giving in to momentary anger. For instance, we even need a security team to protect the Olympic flame - a symbol of unity - as it travels across the United Kingdom in the run up to the London Olympics. Or a misunderstanding over something as "harmless" as an electronic cigarette can cause a major terrorist alert.

But what can you expect when we have divided the planet out as we have? The Earth is two thirds water (about the equivalent of scotch at a cheap wedding so the joke goes) and yet we like to divide the Earth into nations, and divide it against each other based on national origin or skin colour, but I wonder if beings from other galaxies came here how they would tell us apart?

And when life becomes a theatre of war, we may find ourselves struggling with many timeless questions that countless others have sought answers to: Who are we? Why are we here? What is it all for? Can nothing or no one change the state of affairs? Is fate inexorable? Or is there only one world, the here and now, an accident of physics with biochemical trimmings, with nothing beyond it but wishful thinking?

Some believe that life throws up anomalies that seem to mock us, because it's a deep event we don't have the faculties to understand. We look at places like America, for instance, just having celebrated its 4th of July commemorations - where it is easier to purchase a gun than it is a driving licence, and where people are seemingly becoming increasingly trigger-happy. Or where people are sacked from their jobs as lifesavers for saving lives. It paints a worrisome picture, a political cartoon where the joke is on us.

But before we tar a nation with the single brush strokes of the few, let's not forget the debt owed to a country that has sacrificed so many of its own for the greater freedoms enjoyed by so many today. I've always admired the spirit and unity Americans find on the 4th of July. You don't need to be an American or living in the United States to appreciate it because it touches on all themes of life including love, power, and pride in freedom. It's what has come to symbolise their independence day celebrations, and the remembrance of freedom should be cherished, because some believe there may come a day when our freedom becomes too expensive a commodity for us to afford.

The British armed forces have a lion share in the sacrifice made for the freedoms we enjoy, too - poignantly illustrated by the inclusion of injured soldiers in the 2012 Paralympics this summer. But while the news is full of veterans overcoming horrific injuries to excel, this is juxtaposed with reports that the British military is being downsized to about half the size it was during the Cold War era, because of financial hardship.

The incompetent dealings of the global dollar has restricted the financial freedoms many, highlighting the reality that big business got too close to government. But the business of government is not to sell to people, or buy people, but to run the country for the people with the taxes they collect from public services. And after discovering that the traditional systems we had put our trust and hard earned money had let us down badly, it's easy to see how we can become cynical during these times of financial upheaval and austerity.

In England, banks have become so ingrained in the public psyche in light of the recent investment scandals that there have been suggestions bank holidays should be renamed in response to the "poor behaviour" of financial institutions. It should serve as a wake-up call that the traditional way of banking needs to change.

Nevertheless, while it seems the public would do away with the old guard for a new world order, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations here in the United Kingdom show that we still find worth in some old institutions holding on to pomp and ceremony. Plus one of our oldest human traditions - that of marriage - still holds a strong hold in the majority of hearts, with the image of marriage is changing to fit the changing views of these turbulent times.

Love is a constant in chaos

Life is a journey that we feel is most hard on those who journey alone, and we have celebrated unions with each other down the ages of existence. A wedding ring - another symbol of unity like the Olympic rings - has held an important place in our lives through the centuries, with archaeologists finding evidence of brides' wedding bands in hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptians.

No where has the importance of the wedding ring been more keenly highlighted than in the public split of Hollywood's celebrated A-listing artists Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. As soon as the revelation came attached to acrimonious accusations of Cruise's infatuation with the cult-like movement of Scientology, all public appearances of the couple were scrutinised for the real signs the marriage was over - the "noticeably bare finger".

Yet, we refuse to let stories of break-up ruin our faith in love. We try, and if we fail, we'll try again. It's a power that can cut through the chaos of our lives, the one constant in a constantly changing world. Because whether or not we believe in a Divine love, there is such a thing as sacredness. Life is sacred. We will always keep faith in love - and all reminders of the sacredness of life - irrelevant of how marital unions are defined for new generations.

And hang on as though we may to our traditional and conservative institutions, scientific discoveries - and the knowledge they bring - continues to change the way we view the changing landscape of our planet, and strengthens the respect we have for life.

It's a paradox of being human, while with one hand we tightly want to hold on to the old, simultaneously with the other we're capable of digging into the nature of the universe to uncover the very fabric that holds us together. And this year after a 45-year hunt, it seems we've taken the first step on to the bridge of understanding the most obscure parts of the universe.

Searching for the holy grail of current particle physics - the "God particle" - will, if nothing else, inspire people to pioneer into uncharted waters. It shows that we do have the higher faculties to understand the mysteries that govern us.

This drive for understanding is one of the human traits that brought us out from a caveman existence to where we are today - and sure, we now find ourselves spending on problems we've created, but without the interesting stuff we'd still be living in caves. And from the way we still behave, some would question whether the journey from primate to human has finally concluded or just begun.

But now we are attaining technology such as machines that read brains and robot avatars, that have got a step closer to being the real world doubles of those who are paralysed or have locked-in-syndrome - something that would be life-enhancing for soldiers who have sacrificed so much. For without the choice and freedom to inspire inquisitive minds into action on the quest for greater understanding of the world around us, where would we be?

Scientists are reaching into the fabric of the universe at a level they've never done before. They're on the frontier now, on the edge of a new exploration. This could be the only part of the story that's left, or we could open a whole new realm of discovery. We still haven't found the means to bring humanity together and to end war, but possibly the more we learn about the nature of life, the more we might come to respect it. Knowledge is the only chance this planet has for survival, which will only be realised when we understand we need to spur our collective conscience into action towards a shared aim.

Some scientists say it's a shame that science remains the least paid and most mocked profession in the world, with people working in this field making a pittance compared to the salaries of bankers and their ilk. The same could be same for the trillions that have been siphoned from public taxes into the military, with both now being cut back because of the financial crises.

Critics on the military have voiced the opinion that western governments have created a worldwide tyranny by sending their troops into war zones more on public policy rather than national or global security threats against our freedoms any more. The balance has gone between soft and strong diplomacy. And if the civil economy becomes a ghost because of the drain from military budgets, then it becomes a danger to the very democracy it has fought for.

Control your anger, spread love

We need anger management.It's hard not to want to imagine how different war would be if, instead of trying to kill each other, people showed up armed with jokes, rather than have the high tally of the injured and dead as a grotesque joke of life.

My father always told me that sometimes we will be the butt of a joke in life, but it's sad when we're unintentionally the butt of a joke of our own making. So control your anger. If you are angry and standing, then sit down, if you are already sitting then lie down (if you can), this will be the best step towards anger management. A glass of water can also be helpful in cooling you down. Ask for one from the person you are arguing with, it will help diffuse the situation.

In the Nicomachean Ethics, philosopher Aristotle lays out his idea of the "Good Life" and how to obtain it. For Aristotle this meant living a life of virtue. Unlike some Greek philosophers who believed that virtuous living came only from pondering upon the virtues, Aristotle believed that understanding wasn't enough. To become virtuous, you had to act virtuous.

But the virtues we get by first exercising them, as also happens in the case of the arts as well. For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them, e.g., men become builders by building and lyre-players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.

Virtues don't come through simply thinking about them. You have to exercise them. Aristotle's promise is this: if you want a virtue, act as if you already have it and then it will be yours. Change comes through action. Act first, then become. By acting calm, you cease to be angry. Likewise, by acting as if you're not afraid, you cease to be afraid. By acting as though life is good, you begin to make the right choices in life.

Modern psychologists have a theory on why acting-to-become is such an effective way of changing who you are and how you feel about yourself: cognitive dissonance. When there's a conflict between your self-perception and how you're actually behaving, you experience dissonance or tension, and your brain moves to close the gap by shifting how you feel about yourself to match how you're acting.

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If you don't act like the person you want to be, you'll never become that person. In fact doing the opposite, focusing on blaming yourself and negative rumination, is said to be the biggest predictor of the most common mental health problems in the UK. Likewise, how we deal with trauma in our lives - whether we can process the anger or not into forgiveness - will also be a factor into whether our problems manifest into more serious mental and physical issues.

The positive message out of this which should give people hope is that the way we think and deal with things can be changed. It can be very hard to be told your problems are because of what you have experienced in the past or your genetics, things you can't physically change, but knowing that you can shape a new life for yourself in which you can lead a purposeful life - one you can go forward with - is very empowering.

Although mental issues are very serious problems that must be treated by professionals, tackling negative thought processes is not something that has to be done exclusively by clinical psychologists - which can often be expensive. Simple psychological help and techniques that don't have to cost a lot of money may be just as effective at wiring our thought patterns into more positive channels.

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Simply put, we can train ourselves not to negatively ruminate over things we can't change, or to blame ourselves for our difficulties, while managing our anger and emotions more constructively. This will bring many health benefits, as well as motivating us to successfully play an active part in the world. But if you feel you can't join the world until you make a success of your life, you're not going to feel like your life has been a success until you join the world.

A person's negative attitude is the biggest cause of social isolation. If an individual continues aggressive habits, people gradually start to avoid or ignore them, they are unable to talk and share and thus became a victim of their own actions. Act as if you're not aggressive (even if you feel you want to smash down every wall you see). Fake it until you make it. Your brain will eventually align your attitude/belief about yourself with your new behaviour.

People love to meet those who are cheerful, who can be happy and make them feel happy. Keep smiling, it increases your face value. This isn't about changing your personality, or passing some personality test, so people will like you. This is about learning to live with others, and creating the best life you can for yourself. And remember, there are some things in life which can not be taken back. We can redeem ourselves, and we can make reparation, but isn't it better not to break things in the first place, rather than glue them together after a childish rage?

Because after the stone has been thrown, the hurtful word has been said, the occasion has passed, the time is gone and can't be taken back. So control your anger, and spread love, stop negativity, be positive.

It all begins with a choice we have, as with that Manchester man who wrecked havoc on a phone shop because life was not going his way. It's hard to show love when things are going badly, but it is up to us. We should never vent anger in an aggressive manner, but we have the choice to destroy for the 3-minute gratification that brings, or to remain calm in the face of adversity - and win in the long run.

This view of choice is also prevalent in a notion called karma, which is a spiritual law of action that maintains every act done, no matter how insignificant, will eventually return to the doer with equal impact. No one is bigger than the destiny they create. Good will be returned with good; evil with evil. Karma is sometimes referred to as a "moral law of cause and effect" and is both an encouragement to do good and to avoid evil, as well as an explanation for whatever good or evil befalls a person.

Adherents believe that destiny is the outcome of our own thoughts and actions, but this is not the concept of destiny as we may know it. Fate is an alien concept to Buddhism, from which the doctrine of karma originates. The Buddha (who in essence searched for a cure to suffering) taught the doctrine of karma - which people often mistakenly think of as being a kind of fate-like external agency - as the action we take that shapes our personalities and predisposes us to future suffering or well-being. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own "fate".

Along with our genetic and environmental programming (the nature and nurture aspects of our character), the notion of karma holds the theory that our physical and mental characteristics are also the result of our own past and present actions, in accordance with the law of cause and effect. Thus, we are the heirs of our own actions, we reap in life what we sow into it. And ignorance of this knowledge is believed to be the chief cause of bad karma. Therefore, an awareness of our actions, and the affect this has on our mental character, is of paramount importance.

Believers are quick to point out that the law of karma is not a fatalistic doctrine. If our present life was totally conditioned or wholly controlled by our past actions, then karma would be tantamount to fatalism or determinism or predestination.

If this were true, free will would be an absurdity. Life would be purely mechanistic, not much different from a machine. Murderers are born to murder. Victims are meant to be victims. There is no way of escaping such karma. Everybody is just playing out his or her karma. Nobody is really good or evil. Nobody is really responsible for anything they do. We're all just karmic pawns doing a dance with destiny. This would in effect make life trivial, a mere working out of a metaphysical "law" which reduces all humans to creatures devoid of morality and responsibility, mere causes and effects in a pointless system.

Despite the lack of evidence for a metaphysical belief in karma, believers state that the real emphasis of karma is about actions freely chosen having personal consequences, and that we have a freedom of choice over our actions. Especially in the West, this view of karma as life being the consequence of our own actions - and that we can eliminate bad things happening to us by doing good - is a popular one.

If this sounds applicable to you, then maybe you should improve your karma to improve your life - and discover how negative habits like aggressiveness are believed to bring you bad karma.

Three ways to improve your karma

What does it mean when people say that they have bad karma? Adherents believe that karma refers to the patterns that you've created over your many lifetimes. So the karmic patterns aren't punishment in the sense that the universe is trying to make you feel bad. These patterns are simply the result of your accumulated thoughts and actions.

This should give the believer hope, because this means that karma is just an ancient way of saying the popular expression: What goes around, comes around. That's good news, because this means that you created patterns, both good and bad, in the past. You are experiencing the results of those thoughts and actions now. And the good news is that you aren't condemned to repeat these past patterns.

It is said that the past is history, the future is a mystery, but the present is a great and a rewarding gift for us to reshape our destiny.

Here's where it gets interesting: Though you have good and bad karmic patterns, they are not permanently frozen - they are always in a process of changing. That is because the good thoughts and actions have their own transformational energy to them. So as you generate positive thoughts and actions, the positive energy gradually heals, or transmutes the deeper negative karmic patterns.

So this means that one of the secrets to improving your karma is to generate good thoughts and actions. However, it's not enough to just know about goodness as a concept. Nor is it enough to automatically follow so-called good behaviour patterns in a robotic way.

Genuine good karmic patterns come from how you approach your life, and each person has their own customized lesson plan. With that in mind, now you can explore three ways to improve your karma.

  1. Observe other people, and notice when they are expressing good patterns, and notice when people are behaving badly - don't judge it; just notice it. Why does observing other people help your karma? When you recognise bad behaviour, that is because you have already learned that particular karmic lesson. You were stuck in that inappropriate behaviour many lifetimes ago, and your soul gradually came to recognise the wrongness of that behaviour. It could also be that you recognise the behaviour from your own younger experiences in this current lifetime. Now, you easily recognise the wrongness of the behaviour when you observe it in others.

    Every time you see recognise the pattern in others, it reinforces the lesson that you learned when you were doing that very same thing. This explains why you don't want to judge or condemn others, even when you observe the inappropriateness of their behaviour. Judging them, when they are in the middle of their karmic lessons, is no different from judging yourself.

    If you are not judging others, and if you do perceive that another person is behaving inappropriately, what attitude can you reasonably have about that person? Bless them, and imagine that they are learning their lessons as quickly and easily as possible. It just takes a moment to bless another person - and blessing creates good karma, too.

  2. Look at the lessons you've learned in this present lifetime, and discover ways each day to follow the wisdom path that those lessons lead you to. Maybe you used to eat junk food, and now you don't. At least, you generally don't, but here's the wonderful karmic opportunity. You gradually recognised that your body felt better when you ate healthier food. When you were younger, you didn't notice how food affected you. Now you do - you learned the lesson. This provides you with an opportunity for generating good karmic patterns, because you are potentially strengthening the divine temple of your body with your intelligent daily choices.

    You potentially create good karma each day, and even in each moment, in the small choices you make. You have this opportunity each day, at each meal, with each bite, because you are either choosing food that helps you feel more conscious, or you are choosing food that lowers your consciousness.

    It's a simple choice, and many karmic choices are. That is the elegant simplicity of karma - each time you make a healthy choice, you create good karma. But not because the universe is rewarding you - it is because you are building a healthy positive pattern. So if you've learned the lesson that healthy food feels better, then you use that opportunity each day to make healthier choices.

    Or, maybe you used to enjoy making fun of others, or gossiping about them. You came to realise that this activity lowered your vibration. It didn't feel good any more. But the tendency may still be there, and so your karmic opportunity each day is to find healthier ways to communicate. Each time you make the healthier choice, your good karma grows, and your negative karma lightens and releases.

    You might be wondering how people can learn at all, since they seem to be so affected by ignorance, confusion, and illusions. Actually, you learn through experience, and when those experiences don't feel good, you do some deep soul-searching. That is the secret of karmic improvement, because soul-searching leads you to your deeper soul wisdom. Alignment with your soul is the key to improving your karmic situation.

    When you gradually realised that your negative actions were hurting you, you gradually learned to explore different choices in thought and action. Your soul helped you to consider these possibilities. That is why some people are referred to as older souls. It is not that they are automatically wise, but that they have more experiences that they have learned from. The older souls have cultivated a deeper soul alignment that they can draw upon, but the younger souls still tend to get stuck in their automatic reactive thoughts and behaviours.

    But before you start judging those reactive younger souls, remember that your judgemental response to them is curiously automatic and reactive. You are learning how to notice things, without getting stuck in a dramatic response. And that leads you to the third way to improve your karma:

  3. Release your condemnation and judgement about yourself and others, so that you can calmly explore the best options, and take your karmic lessons to the next higher level. For example, suppose you experienced that when you rudely condemned and gossiped about people, it created bad energy for you, and only spread bad vibrations around. You noticed this, it didn't feel pleasant, and so you vowed to minimize that kind of behaviour. But what about your own self-talk - the voice in your own head that condemns and gossips about you?

    This is an example of taking your karmic lessons to the next level. You learned what happened when you judged others harshly. Now you're learning what happens when you judge yourself in that same rude way. So you always take the old lessons, and discover each day how you can refine them, and take them to that next level. In this example, you notice the judgemental inner voice, you thank it for sharing, and you re-write its judgemental words so that they are more empowering and useful.

    Each day, you have the chance to look at your behaviour, and to look at people around you, and there are amazing karmic opportunities in how you respond to what you see. You can notice when you find yourself going into an automatic reaction pattern - you can even shift it in mid-conversation.

    Who do you think is most apt to judge others who are gossiping? That's right - the person who is still working on that karmic lesson. How do you know if you're still working on the lesson? Well, if you're quick to condemn others who do it, then it's still your lesson. Otherwise, you'd be more accepting of other people learning their own lessons. You would recognise that everyone is your mirror - showing you your past and present issues and patterns.

But how can you recognise that another person is acting inappropriately, while not condemning them? Don't you have to dislike or condemn what is wrong?

There is a higher way that takes daily practice, and it is the key to moving forward spiritually: Learn to calmly observe, while clearly recognising the lesson, and yet without emotionally judging. This is a powerful way to discover your higher truth, and to generate good karma. It bypasses denial, it bypasses condemnation, and it leads to your being able to recognise positive choices. When you centre yourself, you are able to act on wisdom, because you align with your deeper soul wisdom.

The behaviour that you see in other people is a mirror for you, because you see your own patterns, past and present, in their behaviour. When you have an abrupt emotional reaction, that suggests that you are still judging your own patterns. Your reactive attitude suggests that you have not forgiven yourself for your own patterns.

If you are unforgiving to yourself, then you create a division within yourself, because the condemned part of the self can become angry, shameful, and resentful. This can lead to bad behaviour. However, when you acknowledge your patterns, with love without judgement, then you can calmly shift your behaviours in a healthy direction.

Whether you see bad patterns in yourself, or in another, that is a karmic opportunity. Noticing the problem, and recognizing healthier alternative behaviours, is an important step. Stepping out of the judgemental attitude is another important step in creating good karma. The non-judgemental path lets you calmly consider the options for yourself, and lets other people live their lessons at their own pace.

Notice that whether you see another person gossiping, for example, or whether you find yourself starting to gossip, the lesson is there. In fact, the instant you find yourself moving down the negative pathway that looks familiar, and you sense that it is wrong, that is the perfect time to create some good karma. It is the crossroads of your karmic path.

This is the decisive moment when your soul is sharing its wisdom with you. You are able to sense how something in your behaviour doesn't feel right. Anything that you do to switch to a healthier path, in that moment, is a powerful inner victory.

Each positive choice means that you are reinforcing your soul connection, learning from your past mistakes, and doing something to improve your karma. Patterns take time to change, and so your goal is to make as many small healthy karmic choices each day as you can. Every shift in your consciousness builds healthy karma, and melts old karmic negativity away.

In the world of karma, there is no total success, and no total failure. Karma is a dynamic system, and your karma is shifting in subtle ways every day. There is no such thing as being totally good, or totally bad. That is the beauty of karmic patterns, because the patterns are always dynamically shifting in accord with your moment to moment thoughts and actions.

This means that whatever your situation may be, it can change. You are not permanently condemned. It also means that even when you create good patterns, the effect is good, of course, but it is not permanently good. It's sobering to realise that even if you have generated tremendously good karma, that can change each day if you start generating negative karma. You have a choice in each moment.

Your thoughts and actions, in each moment, are building your karma, for better or worse. Your soul wants to help you. Tune into your inner wisdom. Slow your mental chatter, feel your breathing, and get a sense of your deeper truth. If you aren't certain of the healthy alternatives for a situation, ask your soul to guide you to those positive choices. Let the wiser choices come to your attention.

Life brings you the opportunity to learn, through the circumstances that emerge for you each day. You have the three ways to improve your karma, and you can use them each day to build your positive energy in alignment with the highest good. To sum up, the three ways are:

  1. Learn by observing other people - and also bless them.
  2. Learn from your own lessons - do have high standards - and bless yourself, too.
  3. Release judgement, so that you can take your lessons to the next level of excellence

Where do you start? Begin with bringing your attention to each moment. Gently shift any moment, in a subtle way, into a more positive direction. Create small victories, and you will find that you can generate a positive karmic path for yourself.

Start to notice your breathing, and discover how you can be more gently present in this moment. Be calmly aware of your chattering inner self-talk, without judging it. When you discover the quiet voice of inner truth - deeper and more subtle than the chattering voice, you're beginning to hear the deep teaching presence of your soul.

Those that practise this believe each day will bring you into ever deeper alignment with the stable love and wisdom that your cosmic soul eternally shares with you.

Yours in love,

Mickie Kent