Written by: My good friend CZ in PE
It all begins with a choice. We simply choose to be happy and successful, then we follow it up with study, which brings in nutrition for the body and food for thought. Naturally exercise and daily healthy routines are part of it. It really is a simple matter of choice.
There are many, many ways we can turn a bad situation into a good one. We can turn bad days, bad weeks, months and bad years into GREAT days, weeks, months, years. We can be successful, happy, live peacefully and full of energy.
We simply choose to be happy and successful. Then we follow it up with study, which brings in nutrition for the body and food for thought. Naturally exercise and daily healthy routines are part of it. It really is a simple matter of choice.
Whether you are living with a lover, friends, strangers or family, getting on peacefully is important. When you live on your own you don’t have to take into consideration the thoughts and feelings of others around you and you can do what you want. However, living alone can be quite lonely, and it is likely you will live with others at some point in your life.
If you are living with others, then it doesn’t have to be all arguments and fights. There are plenty of advantages to living with house mates. You have constant company, you can share work between you, and gain encouragement and support when you need it.
Of course, there are downsides too. You have to share your space with others, and your privacy can be limited. It is inevitable that you will get on each other’s nerves at some point, and disagreements will probably occur. However, this stress can be avoided and reduced if you follow a few simple tips on how to live peacefully with your house mates.
Communication is the key
The first and most important thing you need to work on when living with others is communication. Without good communication with each other, you and your house mates will argue far more. You need to take care of your responsibilities and duties within the house, and communicate with each other about the duties of others.
If you are considerate and set firm boundaries then you will all get on well. To start the process, you should talk about your needs, likes, dislikes and expectations. This will give you all an idea of what is expected and will get communication channels open. It also gives everyone the opportunity to avoid confrontations as you already have an idea of what each other likes and dislikes.
You should also discuss some rules and boundaries to follow. Things such as preparing meals, shopping, bills, cleaning and social rules should all be talked about. This way you all know the way in which you should behave to avoid problems. As long as you continually communicate and go over these ground rules from time to time should be able to live peacefully with your house mates.
In case of disputes
Despite the best of intentions, it is unlikely that you will always be able to avoid disputes with your house mates. However, there are ways you can reduce the impact and severity of these arguments. Firstly, have a schedule set out for getting ready in the morning in terms of shower and bathroom usage. Many disputes occur when people rush around trying to get to work and are stressed. If you set out rules for this in the first place then you can avoid or lessen conflicts in this area.
However, if an argument does occur, try and remember that you have to live with this person after it is over. Recognise that you are both stressed and try to diffuse the situation. If there are problems, you can discuss them later when you are both calmer rather than saying things you will both regret.
If you can learn to appreciate and respect your house mates and their differences then you will get on better. They may have different habits and routines to your own, but if you can see their good side you will avoid many arguments.
Living with others isn’t easy, but if you take the time to listen and communicate with each other about any possible problems, you will get on more peacefully and hopefully have a great time living with your house mates.
How to live life well:
1. Live life peacefully: The amount of conflict and violence in the world is appalling to say the least. In response to this, all decent people undoubtedly want wars and hatred to end, and the first step to this is to stop contributing to the state of human violence by living peacefully ourselves. There are deeper and wider meanings to conflict, in which "what should be" conflicts with "what is", but here it is a simpler thing - which is just to live at peace with everything and everybody around us. That is the starting point.
Peaceful living softens the heart and teaches us how to diffuse our reactive nature so that we can become masters of our emotions. When the winds of conflict start to stir within, if you can remember your determination to live peacefully, it will lead you to becoming conscious and awake during such tumultuous times. Once conscious, you will be able to retain your composure and act intelligently, instead of becoming a slave to the storm of feelings conflict evokes. This ability to witness the ways of the ego and emotions, puts you on the path to awakening.
2. Live life honestly: The road to enlightenment is a path of negation. This is a very crucial understanding in order to make the right progress. What this essentially means, is when all that is false is taken away, what remains is your true, non-dual, already perfect nature. You are the substratum on which the game of life is being played out, and to encounter this timeless aspect of yourself, you need to shed all the masks you have put on. For that your have to learn how to live life honestly.
This is not as easy as it may sound initially. To live honestly you will have to shatter many images of yourself that you hold dear and face many aspects of who you are, which will downright appall and even disgust you. But this cleansing, this dying of our many false selves is a necessary part of the process. Real honestly leads to real simplicity and innocence, which is essential for walking this path to your natural self.
To work on yourself, you have to first see things as they are, even if they are a mess. This is the first step and as your understanding deepens, you will come to realize that the way to break through is to totally accept the actuality of "what is", without any attempt to change or escape it. A prerequisite for such action is brutal honesty. The mind is a master at deception and the practice of honesty in all forms is the beginning of clarity.
3. Live life with order: One great advantage that monks and yogis have when they live in an ashram or monastery, is that their lives have great order. This structured living then helps them establish internal order and helps them establish a strong spiritual practice. So try to adopt some of these aspects into your life as well and therefore benefit from such structure as the monks and yogis do.
The more such order emerges from your passion and your practice the more natural and effective it will be. Allow your practice to thus shape your life and structure your days so that you can move forward systematically and gracefully. Generally, you will find setting up a consistent time for your practice, waking up early, getting proper exercise, eating healthy, spending time in nature and other such wholesome activities becoming a natural part of your life as you progress.
Small things you do will matter also. Cleanliness, simplicity, balance, promptness, diligence, thoughtfulness will all start to emerge as you put your life in order. Also, order does not mean an absence of spontaneity. Being simple and making time for leisure will promote spontaneity, as will living in the moment, with honesty. So start to organize yourself and your time and get your life in order. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much this will help you in your personal as well as spiritual growth.
So how to live life in order to begin the great adventure to enlightenment? Live peacefully, honestly and with great order, and surely you will find yourself on the path to awakening and self-realization.