#288 – Happiness Comes From Within With Chris Cirak

When we want something, when we desire something, whatever, it would be career, family outcomes and goals and achievements. It’s because we uh we’re hoping that they will fulfill us. And then when we achieve things, if we achieve them, because very often life has its own way. Um But even if we do achieve them, we quickly learn that that satisfaction is fleeting. That’s because life is change, change is the nature of life and nothing stays the same. It doesn’t stay put in the way we want it. So happiness. Absolutely. Um We can achieve that, but then it will fade again and so slowly that will turn us to where there is permanent happiness, which is within the Tom Screen podcast is owned and made possible by ethical marketing service. If your business is struggling with Google or Facebook ads, maybe you’re frustrated figuring it out or there’s a performance issue. Ethical marketing service has worked on hundreds of accounts and we can help in this area. We offer a 30 day money back guarantee if you would like to find out if we can help. It’s a free no sales consultation call and the link is in the description.

Enjoy the episode. Thomas Green here with ethical marketing service on the episode. Today we have Chris Sara. Chris, welcome. Thank you, Thomas. Such a pleasure to be here. It’s a pleasure to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Absolutely. So my name is Chris Saro. My background actually was in corporate and a lot of serial entrepreneurship. I was a user experience designer for 25 years and did a lot of mentoring, taught at UCL A for 10 years. And out of all of this uh external nurturing, you know, it started to emerge that I needed to do some internal nurturing as well because the external is always a reflection of who we are inside. So the time came, you can call it midlife crisis or you can just call it uh you know, the the time was right. And uh whenever that time is for any of us. And so I, I started that journey and, and uh that’s where I am now. I teach mindfulness and um really integrating stillness and presence into your daily life as opposed to just meditating in the morning or evening. And I do retreats and I’m an author and I speak at conventions and uh universities and so forth.

So that’s who I am today. Well, thank you for the introduction. Um The, the mindfulness thing I would like to get into because, um, I’ve, I’ve lapsed somewhat. So, II, I need a kind of a, a persuasive, uh, word coming from yourself in terms of that. But, um, you said about, you mentioned the internal work and, uh, it’s a bit of a theme for me at the moment in terms of asking about limiting beliefs. So, um, would you like to share your approach to overcoming self limiting beliefs? Absolutely. So every belief is essentially a limiting belief, everything exists. And then we come along and we attach ourselves to a handful, a couple 100 however many beliefs. And that reduces the possibility of the vastness of everything down to whatever our beliefs are. And then we try to navigate life through this handful of beliefs and no wonder we kind of get frustrated and, and, you know, hit a wall often. It’s because we’re just working with a very limited scope of things.

So the true practice to really uh let go of beliefs and, and come into the allowing everything is the surrender and seeing things as they are without judging them. So, beliefs are essentially judgments. You think things are right or wrong are true or false for you, against you and for navigating life through that mental lens, then things are just hard. It’s a hard way to go because we’re constantly validating and looking outside and left and right. What are others doing? And, and it’s just, uh it’s not our true self. That’s directing us. It’s not our inner voice, our instinct, our intuition, our gut, our higher self, whatever you want to call it. And, but rather we’re trying to make sense of things with just purely our heads and the mind is a great tool, but it’s a tool we should, we should be using and not have it dominate us the, the way we’re conditioned to. So the, the step there is to learn to see things as they are. You, you’ve given a uh a great segue. I mean, I wanted to ask you a few um three or four questions about limiting beliefs.

But um you, you said about the true self and I’m a little bit fascinated by this subject as well because um I spoke to a neuroscientist about like the areas of the brain and this sort of thing. Um So from your perspective, like, how do I know what my true self is versus what might be a limiting belief I have about myself? Like, how do I know which one’s which? Yeah, that’s a great question. There’s a couple of tests you can, you can perform on yourself. Essentially. The simplest one is to just wait a day if you think you have an idea, a direction, an insight and you wanna start doing it and you think this is the way I should go and take my life, the mind, the monkey mind, hence the, the name it jumps around, it thinks one thing is true one moment and then soon as your energy changes you could just go take a shower and, and by the time you step back out you may have other things. Oh, maybe it’s that thing or another thing. And, and so the, the, that’s a sign of just kind of a, an idea that’s in the head and there’s no real substance to it.

And, and those are typically outside voices that were, that were conditioned and imprinted with. Um, now your inner voice really, it, there’s two indications to it. It doesn’t waver, it keeps nagging you. Uh You should be doing this. I, you know, you should be looking into that and try that, take a class, whatever it may be, it, it keeps coming back. Um, over time, it’s a subtle voice. Uh typically, you know, the noise in the head uh is so dominant that we, we only get these small intuitive hits, but we can amplify that with a, a mindfulness practice and, and get more in tune with that. But more importantly, your true self, your calling is usually unpleasant. And I say that with, with, uh you know, with grace because when you’re called to do something as the word implies calling means you’re not quite there yet. It’s asking you to grow, it’s asking you to expand into a place from your current set of limitations. So that’s always a little uncomfortable and that is actually a true sign that you’re feeling called to, to be something and do something and make a decision is that it doesn’t quite feel so comfortable.

So, would you say that the, you said the monkey brain kind of, um, and, and the, the true self being the one that is repetitive, would you say that occasionally people get a little bit hijacked by, let’s say an emotion or whatever it is, but it, who, who they are, their true self will always come back to them eventually or perhaps repetitively as you said. Yeah. Well, it’s not just occasionally that the mind jumps in and hijacks our attention. It’s, it’s every couple seconds if there’s a lot of exercises I do with my clients and it reveals very quickly how fickle this mind really is that we’re working with. And at first, it’s kind of a shocking revelation because this is the mind that we’ve been like using to navigate life and make life affirming decisions with. And, and we can’t even stay focused on something as simple as our breath for more than a few seconds without it coming in and pulling our attention away. So that’s a big awakening right there. Um And, but it’s just uh it’s an awareness muscle, right?

We’re, we’re so used to uh reacting to things to our thoughts, reacting to our feelings as well. And this reactivity keeps us stuck, essentially keeps those the, the energy behind those thoughts and those feelings stuck inside of us. And so the unpleasant stuff we push away, uh the pleasant things we cling to, we want more of. And so we’re in this constant state of hiccup to the flow of life, entering and exiting our experience. We’re not the containers for, for the, the observing presence, for our thoughts to arise and pass or our feelings to come and go. But rather we, we, we keep attaching ourselves to each uh to our thoughts and feelings. And that’s a small experience of life. It’s very limited and it’s, it’s kind of full of anguish and anxiety. It’s like a small space. So, um I mean, I, I am totally on the same page in terms of the, shall we say the, the example? That’s not so good, meaning that internal voice that keeps taking you away from things and instead of being able to focus on what you would like to focus on like a purposeful thought.

But what is an example of what it might look like when you’re actually doing it right, the right way. Hm. So this is um really one of the most mysterious things about the way life works is that by wanting things we’re reinforcing, not wanting, not having them. And so when we want to be still, if we want to quiet our mind, it’s actually it reinforces the noise and to calm our mind. And this is where we started out from. It’s actually accepting it as it is to see the noise and to be OK with it and that calms it down. So there’s this inverse relationship I, I talk about um um you know Zen Buddhism. Um There’s all these master student uh uh um powerballs where, you know, the student is ask the master, where can I find more presence? How do I become more present? And the master says, well, listen for the stream in the distance and the student listens for it and says, I can’t hear anything and the master says, exactly. So uh there’s lots of things like Alan Watts talked about the inverse law or the backwards law.

Um I’ve had many conversations uh on my podcast with neuroscientists as well and, and how the brain evolved in, in a time evolutionarily um when there was a lot of uh survivalism and problems to solve immediate problems that we need it to solve for our survival. And for most of us, fortunately today, we don’t have those immediate problems anymore, but the brain wants to keep creating problems because that’s what it’s designed to do is is solve problems. So it just creates these, this noise, these fake problems if you will today. And that, so it’s really coming out of the mind altogether returning into the presence of our body. So we can become more like the tree that when stormy winds come, you accept it, you bend to them, you uh you, you know, deep down that the, the turbulent times strengthen you at some level, your, your roots, your drunk in your branches and that the sun will shine again and then it’s time to open up and, and, and blossom. And so learning to flow with the seasons of life.

That’s really what it is, mindfulness is all about and what presence is. Um And that brings us uh takes us out of this constant resistance to things at, you know, that are happening differently than we want them to. Would you be uh willing to share perhaps um an example of when you’ve overcome a self limiting belief, using these tactics or strategies. Yeah. So every person is different. So you have to kind of work with uh what your kind of subset of, of skills is and, and uh and limiting beliefs are. So for me there, I mean, there’s been many just to come from the background that I had and feel called to write a book which I had never written before, let alone I was not very learned. I was always roll up my sleeves and just start doing things kind of guy and brick on brick. That’s how I built my career in my life um in the previous chapter and to suddenly surrender and let go and allow things to be was a huge leap.

And I really only stumbled into it because I had taken on so much work that I was at my capacity and nearing panic attacks and, and, and anxiety that it just forced me, my, my inner being forced me to surrender and set set told me just, you know, let go. When you show up to the next meeting, respond to what’s there. Don’t try to anticipate the future and plan ahead and you know, every move, every possible permutation. And so that was kind of the one of the beginning shifts for me to, to recognize that once I surrendered and let go, then suddenly my capacity was, oh my gosh, I could take on three times as, as much work if I, you know, if I, if I’m not always trying to control things. Um And uh so that can be applied to anything. There’s, there’s so much of our fear and anxiety uh comes from um trying to control and steer every situation ahead of it happening. And uh we just have to learn to trust that what we’re working with before anything happens is just projections and expectations and imagination.

It’s never real. What really is real is the situation when it arrives and to develop a trust that OK, I’m going to see the factors involved when it happens and then look for the best opportunity and the best solutions then with what’s there. Um And that relieves us of so much pressure and so much stress. So same thing with my example of writing a book, it’s like I I’m just going to start writing a couple of lines every day and then see what happens, see how I feel about it, see what, what’s real, you know, what my real gifts are, what my real challenges are, what I need do. I need to take classes. I took public speaking, uh you know, events and, and um, you know, I did what it took to follow this calling, the unpleasantness of it. And uh yeah, and so we start doing, I always say we realize ourselves in the doing. You said something really interesting that I want to follow up on if I may, which is um I, I can imagine from a well-being perspective, the not planning in advance attempting to, shall we say answer every question that might be thrown at you, et cetera.

I can imagine that would be really freeing from a well-being perspective, but also from a preparation perspective. I it’s what I do all the time. So I’ve, I’ve had conversations with people that will never materialize, plan for things that have never happened and perhaps worried about things that that won’t happen either. So, uh strengths and weaknesses around that topic and what your thoughts are there. Yeah. Well, if anyone’s ever listened to a lecturer or professor or teacher in any form who was reading off of their notes or even just kind of like speaking from a rehearsed place, you can tell how stale it feels. There’s no inspiration in that. There’s no life in that and it’s really hard to stay connected to that. And when you connect with somebody who is speaking freely, more free forming, maybe has some bullets. Um But is, is using those as a, as a jump off point to, to elaborate from and connect with the energy in the room looking at, you know, engaging with people that’s alive.

Um And, and that energy can be felt and, and that’s engaging and inspiring for both sides. Um So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bullets. You become an expert at what you’re doing through the doing, which I just mentioned before is right. You, you have to start doing and digging, you know, in and, and researching and there comes a place where uh you develop your own voice, your own expertise in, in an area and that kind of leads the way anyway. And um so it naturally evolves, you’ll get more high profile situations will come along and clientele and so forth. Um We just don’t need to get ahead of ourselves. So, you know what, you know, and if you feel something’s missing, read up on it, take classes, whatever it is. Um But I’d say just take the stress off, uh it’s all unfolding the way it should and life is always a reflection of who we are. We can’t escape that. And I guess the uh the benefit of not having that stress on you is gonna make you perform better anyway. Right. It’s, it’s tremendous.

The, the difference. Like, as I just mentioned, the energy that you bring in the room, but there’s a calm to it. There’s a curiosity to it. It’s an open energy. It’s not AAA tense, tight. Oh my God. What if I say the wrong thing or, you know, are they gonna judge me that’s constricted and, and kind of low frequency? But when you show up and ready to get going and see what’s there and open minded and including the ingredients that present themselves. Um It’s just a different place uh from which you’re living life and people are inspired by that. They can sense that somewhere at some level, they want to be part of that then and it becomes a collaboration. You’re no longer speaking at them. It’s, it’s a, it’s a team effort to create life and manifest uh what’s happening. So it’s, it’s a much more beautiful place to live and operate from. Thank you for that. One of the things uh which you uh talk about if I’m not mistaken, is the uh the growth mindset or how to develop one. My perception of that is that it is somewhat outcome orientated.

How do those two go together so that you’re not? Yeah, trying to plan too much or trying to achieve something, but at the same time trying to stay mindful. Yeah, great question. So the best predictor of how you’re going to feel in the next moment is how you feel right now. So it is really kind of one of those 1% rules or, or step by step uh methods that a lot of literature has been written on research, how that 1% turns into, you know, consistent gain and growth. And, and before you know, it, you’ve got uh a, a big picture that reveals itself essentially. And so the same thing with mindfulness is, is staying present with what is even if you have a to do list, um you can create that to do list for the day, no problem, but be with each activity before you start thinking about the next one. It’s, it’s that extra extraneous energy of like trying to think of things that haven’t that are not the task at hand that burns a lot of our, our energy and, and um in our, in our passion, right?

So um that step by step isn’t just kind of floating along. A lot of people think well, then I don’t really have direction in life and, and I’m just kind of just doing one thing after another and, and how can I achieve anything? Well, there’s a, there’s a bigger picture that starts to reveal itself. There’s a direction that life is starting to take you when you’re authentic when you’re living from uh your own truth that it’s taking you down a little road and, and you start to see, oh this, this and that and these pieces start to fill in and the path presents itself. Um And so you’ll see that. Right. I didn’t know I’d be publicly speaking. Um You know, the next step was just to just a journal and then the next step was to organize my notes and then the step, next step was to review and, and, and archive them because I, I felt like I was done with that. Um And then the next step was uh taking singing lessons and developing my voice.

And so it just, it just builds and you’re always present the whole way through and you’re alive and you’re, you’re doing things and enjoying them. You’re one of my mistakes, quote unquote mistakes, big learning experiences, I should say was um that even in the things that I was passionate about, I, I was still living for outcomes. So as a consultant, I had a, a great work life balance and I was able to in my free time uh pursue music and sports and travel. And despite on paper having like a great life, there was still something missing. I still wasn’t fulfilled. And so that kind of had me reflecting on that and I love to debate things and, and, but I was so in my head and um so that, that really dawned on me, then you could be doing the most amazing activities in the world if you’re not present with the activity, if there’s still some kind of goal, you know, when the album is finished or when you get to the destination or whatever it is, then you’ll be happy you’re going to miss out on life.

So it’s no matter what you do, um, you have to be present and that actually opens up a beautiful, um, picture of, well, it doesn’t really depend what you do. It depends on how you do it. You could be folding the laundry or doing the dishes or you could even a job that you might feel stuck in once you start to like, infuse it with more presence and, and mindfulness that could come to life again and you might find out you’re loving it. So before jumping ship, um you know, and, and selling everything you have and work, you know, moving to a remote island, um bring mindfulness into your current life into your routines and let that infuse what you’re doing with life again and then you can go from there, see what reveals itself. It’s a, a, another one which I feel like I might be uh be guilty of in terms of looking into the future. Uh And rather than focusing on what you’re doing right now, focusing on the outcome again. Um Is there any, because I know people also are this way, is there anything that perhaps is beneficial about doing that or perhaps a, a strategy of how to go about stopping yourself from doing that each time?

Hm. Well, we should never stop ourselves from anything. That’s kind of a, a important point. So change can only happen when we accept what is. And as mentioned earlier, when you accept that the mind is unruly today, it’s all over the place today. That’s what calms it down, not our resistance to wanting it to be different. So, uh mindfulness is never about pushing away thoughts or stopping thoughts. Um It’s always seeing things as they are making peace with the current situation so that we can then take action. It’s, it’s not just being a doormat and letting life, you know, step all over us. It’s, it’s seeing things clearly out of non reactivity, non resistance so that we can then take action in, in terms of the path of least resistance. Um So the example of somebody cutting us off on the road instead of stewing in the reactive, reactive energy of that for, for minutes and hours or telling people at, at work, you wouldn’t believe what happened, this idiot on the road. Um We’re missing out on life that while we’re stewing on something that’s already happened and we’re just amplifying something uh beyond its shelf life.

So that’s no, that’s not a pleasant way to, to live the path of least resistance is to swerve to avoid any collision and get back on track, that’s it. And so that’s what we’re working to in towards our, in our mindfulness practice is to see things as they are notice that they, they’re not the way we want them to. Um And then just bring our attention back to, well, how do I make this more in line with who I am with my true self? Um So, um it’s, it’s, there is a visualization component to this, that if you have uh law of attraction, this is classic, right? Uh where you feel a point in in the future, kind of you bring the future to the present moment and, and live from the future. Um There’s that aspect to it and it’s very powerful um because it’s, we live in an energetic world and we are energetic beings ultimately. So when we feel a certain way, we then see those things, it’s not that they magically appear, they was, they were there all along, everything’s there all along, like we said earlier, all possibilities exist, but we’re tuned to certain frequencies and so tuning ourselves from inside out uh as opposed to look, looking for the proof and then living outside in.

So when we tune ourselves on the inside, then the external rearranges itself so that we see the things that are in alignment with us. And, and so there’s some value to that, but it’s not like setting a strict goal and then trying to control life to, to make that happen and, and being in resistance to anything that doesn’t fall in line with our plans. Well, you’ve reminded me for the second time. So I’m gonna try not to do it again. It’s noticing the thoughts as they appear accepting them rather than trying to control things. I’m gonna attempt not to control that. Um You did, uh, you did mention about the fact that you can be happy or present with how the moment is now and I mentioned about the fact that I suppose, is it possible to be so happy with where you are at the current moment that it actually deters you from going after a particular outcome? Hm Well, as you become more of a witnessing presence to your thoughts and feelings, you, you expand, you become the container for all the, all those situations that evoke thoughts and feelings in us.

And so you become essentially you could become bigger than any situation. And so nothing can really get at you anymore. Nothing can bring you down in the way as long as you stay in that space of noticing. So that’s the key word you just use. Um As long as you notice things you’re not identified with them, you’re on the side of your awareness, your witnessing presence. Um And it’s a, it’s a different spectrum or different uh a, a broader bandwidth from which you live. Then uh when you’re no longer attached to individual thoughts and feelings, that’s a roller coaster experience. But when you’re observing, you can see how you, you zoom out and you’re, you’re just this bigger vessel for life to come through and just being that vessel in its in and of itself is uh you know, it’s, there’s peace, there’s calm, there’s allowing, there’s flowing with the greater current, there’s surrender. You don’t have to figure it all out before living it. You, you’re just allowing life to unfold.

In fact, you become a facilitator of the unfolding. So, uh that’s a great place to be in. I don’t think you attach yourself to any sense of happiness or bliss there either because that would be also just kind of like staying stuck again. But you’re just in this great flow and doesn’t mean unpleasant things don’t happen. But again, we’ve zoomed out, we’re living from this broader spectrum. So these unpleasant things that arise, they’re not as big anymore. They don’t impact you, you, you’re, you hold space for them just like anything else feeling in general, the fact that you’re feeling becomes the, the experience of life and, and the, the, the, the miracle of that where we exist and that we’re able to, to have these thoughts and feelings and the individual charge of those thoughts and feelings is it’s so minuscule really to in comparison to the miracle and the grandness of being part of this greater current and this big experiment that we’re a part of I I’m interested because you covered the, the positive thoughts and I was going to ask you about that.

Um Because so far I’ve, I’ve presupposed that our feelings are negative and we uh we’re not trying to get rid of negative thoughts, but we’re noticing them. Um What about the, the positive things that you experience? Are you practicing being mindful around those or are you kind of accepting them and feeling those positive things? What’s your approach there? Yeah. So we tend to work on the negative stuff first and for a good reason, it’s kind of what bothers us the most. Um And when we start to develop mindfulness, the negative stuff, those stuck feelings tend to surface first. Um And then we move on to the, you know, applying this to positive sensations as well. And, and that’s actually a little trickier because we like feeling them. And so we want to hold on to them and we want to recreate that situation. Anyone that’s maybe uh tried meditation um will encounter the situation where they experience some bliss. And then the next time they sit down, there’s some expectation that that’s kind of sneaky as expectations that has developed that you want to get back to that place and that then blocks us from getting back to that place.

So, um yeah, the same thing applies though. You, you don’t want to hold on to artificially amplify anything either. So, um and uh it takes a little getting used to, but again, you’re already in this mindset of, of expand expansion and, and recognizing of and noticing things. And while it’s sometimes, uh, it can be like, oh my gosh. Now I have to let go of this again. It, it’s, it’s passing. Um, I, you know, it can, it can be a little tricky at first and, and I remember to give you an example. Um, I remember, uh, you know, my favorite big music lover and my favorite songs that had all these great memories attached to them and from teenage years or First Loves or whatever experiences. And I was always sad, like, oh when I listen to the song and this, this great emotion comes up and then, then starts to fade. I was like, no, I want to revel in it a little longer and it’s ok if that happens, just roll with it and, and slowly gradually you, you learn to just allow that to and the passing of things is important to make room for new life to come along and new experiences.

So you, you stop to just kind of linger on things and really embrace the flow of things. Interesting answer. So um to some degree, the the positive emotions that you feel may not be as, as long as when, when you’re practicing in the way that you do. Yeah. The key there is to recognize and this was a game changer for me in my practice um to recognize that our feelings show up as sensations in our body. And then there, there’s our reaction to our feelings. So those two are, are different things. There are two components. I used to think that my experience of a particular situation was just like this one big wave and it took some while a while for me to recognize no, there’s the feeling that the situation evokes in me. And then my reaction to the feeling that reaction can be uh resistance and pushing it down if it’s an unpleasant feeling or clinging and craving when it’s a pleasant feeling.

And that reaction I realized was 95% of my experience. And that’s where so much of my energy was going. So this great relief that we feel when we become more mindful and more present that is embodied by this, this reactivity that we’re, we’re no longer just trying to hold on to things or pushing things away. And um uh so it, it’s, it’s really, um it, it informs itself, we don’t have to try just kind of, you know, once you have a practice, find something that works for, you, find a practitioner who can guide you, it’ll change over time, so many resources out there. Uh But once you kind of get the, the hook and the taste of it, uh there’s this vast beautiful world inside of each and one of us. Well, for those people who are not already for lack of a better term sold on the benefits of it, uh They may have tried it and um the benefits are well there’s positive things which happen when you do it, but perhaps they’re, they’re no, no longer doing it.

Uh What do you say to those people? Well, it’s, it’s so much about reminders. Um, there’s so much information, there’s so much to us, so many different perspectives and angles and I still, I need to continue evolving and, and refresh my own uh connection with self. And um it never stops. And so getting used to this constant growth, it takes a while you kind of initially you long for this past life where like, oh, I just want things to be calm again. I want things to stand still and be kind of uh more controlled. And um and so there, there can be a, a tendency to to go back to that, but sooner or later life will come knocking at your door again. Um It wants you to be whole life, doesn’t want us to stay small and, and in our limiting beliefs and, and just kind of experiencing this fear and anxiety and this trying to predict the future, which never works. It’s just not a, a great way to live. And so sooner or later, even if we fall back, if it happens, it’s OK.

I did many times. It’s the journey is not being on your path, the journey is being off the path and then overall that becomes the path. So um just uh not being hard on yourself is a, is a big key to this, uh, take it in stride and, um, it’s really a beautiful mess that we’re part of this, this up and down and twists and turns of the road and, uh, the more we become at peace with it, the more we uh just embrace living. Thank you for that. Um One of the things you talk about if I’m not mistaken is your values or your purpose. Uh How does, if someone is lacking that at the moment? What would you say to them? Hm. So we talked about purpose earlier how um you know, it reveals itself in these incremental improvements of, of mindful living. And so we don’t have to create this big vision of sitting on our couch and mapping out our future and trying to just uh think up our, our, our most a amazing life.

The mind cannot imagine our most amazing life. It’s just too limited of a tool. Uh It will reveal itself by staying connected little by little through all the moments of every day. We don’t have to go out and seek these extreme adventures either. It’s in all the little moments that we see a reflection of who we are. Something resonates, something doesn’t. And that starts to build the bigger picture. Um There’s a lot of things in without being a meditator, a mindfulness uh practitioner that you can, you know, go on nature walks. Nature is incredible if you have a dog. Uh there’s you know, count your steps or, or conscious steps and conscious eating, uh, one conscious breath before you have an important work meeting. Um, observing your morning coffee, the, the temperature, the, the scent staying connected to the senses. We can’t see something that hasn’t yet happened. We can’t smell a, a scent that hasn’t come along. We can’t hear a sound that’s in the future. We, our senses connect us to right now.

So the more we really stay connected to what, what our senses are telling us, uh that that is being present. And so there’s joy in that. There’s fun in that if you think about it. Wow, you get to really experience what happens right now. And uh so this is not a difficult practice. It’s just kind of re re configuring how we’re conditioned to live towards outcomes, right? Uh And reconfiguring that to really experiencing right now. Would you be willing to perhaps talk to someone who is or um your your message towards someone who has got it wrong previously? Well, there’s no getting it wrong. So everything points us to uh a more authentic way of life in, in most of those experiences, you can call them wrong. But that’s just essentially the mind labeling something uh instead of wrong, just call it learning or a lesson. And there’s a lesson in everything. And um you know, there’s so much hang up about fear of failure.

And again, this is the conditioning that we, we get imprinted with growing up. But everything is a learning experiences and most of our experiences point to what we don’t want, point to what isn’t authentic. And that shapes us and points us into the thing that is us and that is important for us. So it’s all valid. There is nothing wrong. Yeah. So that’s a framing thing that I’ve done there. So instead of uh I’ve, I’ve learned from this experience and perhaps I get these feelings and therefore maybe I, I want to do something different. I don’t know whether that’s the right language. But yeah, it’s just the way you frame it in terms of uh what I’ve said there. Interesting. This is revealing a lot of things for me, this, this conversation. Um Have you got any thoughts on uh resilience? Mm. So once you get into a mindfulness practice, you start to observe and recognize how each thought carries weight. There’s a weight to it, even positive thoughts, there’s a weight you’re giving your attention to something that’s life force.

And we only have so much of it that we’re giving towards a, a thought or an idea. And the more we think in this incessant stream, it’s really weighing us down as we come out of our attachment to thoughts. If we no longer believe every thought that comes along, but rather we’re the observing presence, we start to lighten up naturally. Our energy, our being is naturally one of ease and light and, and, and flow and it’s only these incessant thoughts that we give all of our attention to that weigh us down. So uh at, at least that’s been my experience and people I work with once you come out of this uh attachment uh model to thoughts and feelings that your mood and your, your being, this and your joy naturally lifts. And I think that is the natural state of life. All we’re talking about here is feeling your feelings fully without interrupting that rising and, and passing with our judging of it, allowing thoughts to come and go without attaching ourselves and, and keeping them stuck in some way.

So we’re really just returning ourselves to our natural state. Um And to be like nature, we are nature and uh what whatever comes along, we make the best of it, but we experience ourselves as part of the whole. Well, um I mean, just speaking from my own experience here, you’ve definitely uh sold me on getting back into it. So thank you for that. Um And I think my, my next question is about misconceptions. I think we’ve covered a fair number of them today. But uh other than the ones we’ve covered, what would you say? The main misconceptions are about the topic that you cover. Well, the most important one and we did touch on it, but it’s worth reiterating is that mindfulness, mindfulness is not about stopping your thoughts or pushing them away or forcing anything really, it’s really allowing things to be as they are. And from a, from a different perspective saying, you know, acceptance of things as they are, that’s the first step to creating change. So it’s not again, not being the doormat, but rather uh surrendering to things as they are without wanting them to be different is the first and most important step to bringing change to the situation so that we can make it what we do want it to be.

And that, you know, uh resonates with us in our inner blueprint. So it’s, it’s, it’s never about resistance. It’s never about controlling. It’s if you feel like it’s, it’s hard if mindfulness is being really, it’s really hard difficult, you’re probably uh approaching it from, from, from like this willpower standpoint or, or focusing too much on something that you want to have happen and there’s a built in resistance in that attitude. So it’s all about coming out that it just takes a good practitioner or a good book or some, some videos to, to kind of get a hang for that that you recognize when you’re trying too hard and there’s resistance that life is telling you that there must be a better way. Well, you mentioned the, that you wrote a book previously. Uh would you be willing to share a little about a little bit about uh what it’s about and then who can benefit from it and what it was like to write it. I am willing. So uh bu the journey of self realization, it’s available on Amazon as a self narrated audio book and, and pretty much everywhere else in bookstores.

And uh the impetus was I remember somebody giving me a copy of the power of now and I read a page and a half and I put it back down and I just didn’t understand a single word. And then 10 years later, I opened it again and everything made sense. But there was always a, a lingering thought that if the language had just been uh less woo and, and less complicated that I might have gotten it sooner. So I set out with my book to write something that is so uh free of any dogma that is so pedestrian, so plain in, in the use of language that almost no one is going to feel triggered. It’s the most unspiritual spiritual book ever written. And um so, you know, wisdom without the w and, and that was my mission there and making it accessible accessible and easy to read. There’s 50 chapters, no more than three or four pages long each. And uh so it’s even if it’s not for yourself, it’s a great gift for people, family members, whoever who look at you and think you’re weird. Um And why are you going to these retreats or what, what podcasts are you listening to and to, to ha have, you know, invite them into the fold and without fearing that they’re gonna put up a wall of, of resistance.

Um, so that was the, the intention behind the book. And, um, um, yeah, and discover, discover ability and just ease everything should be easy. Yeah. I certainly think there’s a, there’s a place for, uh, mindfulness without the woo, woo. So, I certainly appreciate that approach. Um, have you got a favorite chapter? Uh Probably, I think it’s the second or third last chapter. It’s called The Three Roads. And it really summarizes uh the essence of this design of life that we live in for a long time. The subtitle, the working title of the book was The Secret Design of Life. And it just really elaborates on how there’s the long road. This is a place where we’re always in continued resistance to what’s happening. It’s not a happy place. It’s a rough road to travel and we go down in resistance. But then there’s the middle road where we manifest situations in the external from a place of inner lack and that’s not meant to degrade anything. But when we want something, when we desire something, whatever it would be career, family outcomes and goals and achievements.

It’s because we uh we’re hoping that they will fulfill us. And then when we achieve things, if we achieve them, because very often life has its own way. Um But even if we do achieve them we quickly learn that that satisfaction is fleeting. That’s because life is change, change is the nature of life and nothing stays the same. It doesn’t stay put in the way we want it. So happiness. Absolutely. Um we can achieve that but then it will fade again and so slowly that will turn us to where there is permanent happiness, which is within. So this is just how we all learn, even if you have no inclination to do inner work or to practice mindfulness. The the middle road is where most of our experiences happen, where when we make peace with the situation that is different than we expected it to be because we can never predict all the detail and the variety then that surrender deepens us. And that’s where we let go of these layers of limiting beliefs. And uh so life has our utmost well-being at heart.

And then there’s the no road which recognizing that this is how life works. You can do some work uh without having to manifest these big situations that sometimes occupy us for years and decades and do the work so that you can become more self aware right now um of the thoughts and the feelings that come along and recognize which ones resonate and which ones don’t and then build on the ones that do. And do you have based on the fact that you’ve um created something? Congratulations by the way. Um Would you give anyone any advice, uh, in quotations around, um, let’s say they’re struggling and they’d like to write a book but they just can’t get themselves to do it. Yeah. I have a lot of people asking me about that and my advice is always the same. Just start writing, sit down, write a sentence or two. I’m not the only one to say that there’s the greatest, uh, Laureates and, and authors of, of across time. I have always said they’ll sit down and just write a paragraph even if they wind up uh throwing it in the trash.

Um It’s, there’s you want to keep that flow going. There is, there is more detail to that. Obviously, if you feel like there’s a creative block, well, it means you’re in your head, it’s not really you writing or creating uh or whatever the art is that you’re doing music or sculpture or uh or dance. Um We want to be in the flow, we want to be like athletes when they’re in the zone, then everything works autonomously. We’re not even trying and it just happens. So that’s the state from which we create best. And if you find yourself laboring over one sentence, which I did many times and then I learned well, that’s when I need to put down the pen and go and go for a walk, take a shower, play with the pets and, and whatever it is, connect with nature and change, change the energy So it’s not me trying so hard. And uh so there’s many tips and tricks like that. But the most important thing is just to start doing, we realize ourselves through the doing. Thank you for that. Is there anything I should have asked you about today? Well, you’re such a tremendous listener. It feels like my words are just being sucked into you and, and through you and, and then from there cast out to the the world.

So you’re this incredible listener and amplifier. So I thank you for that. That’s a great experience for me. And you can see how inspired I am. Um So just your presence has been an incredible gift. Thank you. Oh, it’s my pleasure. Uh If people want to buy the book, where do they go? It’s uh available on Amazon. Um all the bookstores as an audible as a self narrated audio book as well. And you can just find all the information about me on my website sara dot com. That’s C ira K dot com and everywhere on social media connect with me at Chris Sara Chris. Thank you for being a great guest today. Thank you, Thomas.