"We are like a seed. Our environment can affect our growth"
Environment is defined here as the type of people, the type of job, the type of space in which you surround yourself with.
This article is bout addressing the importance of your surroundings because our environment can affect the way in which we grow much like the environment can affect a seed i.e. if the soil is fertile and water is plenty then the seed will thrive. But if not, then it will not grow and wither.
Thus it is important to become aware of the ways in which we can use the environment to Catalyze our growth. This article is about becoming aware of the importance of our surroundings, of becoming aware of how our friends, our relationships, our jobs, in realizing that our environment can be constructive and deconstructive to our growth.
Environment In Depth
We are like a seed. It is when we plant ourselves in a fertile environment then we can thrive. Realize that unlike a tree which cannot make a choice in its environment, we have the power to choose the environment that is beneficial to us and a lot of us do not realize this Power of Choice we have.
We have the power to choose our what we surround ourselves with
Importance Of Addressing Environment
It is important to become aware that we have the power to choose our environment.
When we lack such awareness we can end up being stuck with the wrong type of friends, jobs or end up living in an unhealthy environment. We can also end up with the belief that we are just “unlucky” and not realize that the environment in which we are in did not come from “luck” but rather simply from the “choices” that we have made.
Although we can still grow as a person regardless of the environment, we can thrive much quicker if within a more suitable environment. For instance, it is much faster to row a boat if there is someone who is rowing in the same way as you. However, if we pick up friends who go against our flow then we can easily stagnate. See Catalyst - Relationships.
Thus we can all use environment as a catalyst to push us forward in life.
Path Of Creator
Environment In Relation To The Path Of Creator
Our environment can be simplified into three main categories:
Our relationships with people, our living conditions, our jobs.
The journey begins with developing the Knowing of The Self – of developing the Knowing of what kind of environment is constructive and destructive to one’s spiritual growth (spiritual growth here means the journey towards greater Self-Knowing / Self-Transformation, ultimately Greater Hppiness.)
And this journey is accompanied by developing the Knowing that we are the Creator of our lives – that all that has manifested up until now were the result of the choices we have made. And as we have the power to Create it, we also have the Power to Re-Create it, to Change, to transform our lives.
The journey can be divided into two main phases.
The journey is about developing the Knowing that each individual will require a different type of soil to grow. We are all different type of seeds. For instance, some of us can grow in jobs like accounting whilst others cannot and thrive better in creative jobs like being a musician. And likewise, some people are more suited to being around extroverted people whilst some are more suited to being around introverted people.
Thus one part is about becoming aware that we all have our own unique Paths in life and it is up to us to discover it.
Secondly, throughout the journey one will gradually develop the wisdom and knowing that within all type of environments there willalways be opportunities to grow if one can look deep into their life experiences. For instance, through having positive friends we can learn to be positive ourselves. Through negative friends, we can learn more about our negativities and overcome them. Thus it is about developing the wisdom that there are no good or bad environments but rather opportunities. After one understands this, then one can then become a master of using environments to properly catalyze their own Self-Transformation.
On the Path towards greater happiness, the right environment is about choosing an environment which will help one to accelerate the Knowing of The Self to Transform and Release one’s Sufferings.
So let us look at the many catalysts we can use to help accelerate the journey.
First we can realize that the cause for the lack of Knowing of which environment is good for us or not comes from the lack of experience in making choices. Thus generally by taking more responsibility in making more decisions in life – especially with the intention to “improve” one’s life will help one to develop the Knowing in this area.
Blockages in choosing the environment can also come from the Fears that we carry especially the fear of Rejection. Such a fear is often driven by the idea that one is not worthy of love.
As the Seed Cause to all forms of Sufferings including fears come from Negative Ideas, let us look at some Negative Ideas that can affect us in our choices of deciding what environments to surround ourselves with.
At The Idea Level
Let us look at some of the Negative Ideas that can create big blockages to choosing a beneficial environment. Often these Ideas are Sacrificial Ideas about love.
“It is not ok to be loved / it is not ok to receive without giving”
“I do not deserve more than the other”
The following article can help one to catalyze the release from the attachment towards unnecessary suffering.
“It is not ok to not Suffer”
There are some of us who carry the belief that suffering is necessary for growth.
People often misinterpret the idea that suffering is necessary to grow. Clarity will come when one realizes that one cannot grow simply from suffering. The moment of growth only happens when one realizes the cause of one's suffering and works towards liberating oneself from it.
Thus there is no growth from simply throwing ourselves into suffering environments, for instance, staying in a bad relationship or a bad job just for the sake of suffering. Growth comes when we look deep within to see what is causing our negative reactions to the environment around us and this is how we can bring ourselves closer to see a clearer pictures of what our Sufferings actually is. Thus it is by having the intention to transform and release our fears that one can find a chance to grow out of a suffering environment.
Being in a suffering environment however can provide deeper insights to ourselves. But when we choose suffering environments this way we must have a good sense of how long to stay and when to leave and also carry a state of Stillness throughout the experience to help alleviate any blockages / confusions that may arise because when we are in a state of negativity we can fall into a "Reactive" state and this can greatly stimulate and confuse the mind. Thus sometimes it’s best to dip in and out so that we can have the Stillness to step out of the experience to observe what has just happened and go back in when we need a closer look again.
So there is no need to dive straight into an extremely suffering situation to learn. One can simply take it one step at a time, always exercising one's own discretion and wisdom.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
You can begin developing the awareness of what environment is constructive and destructive to your well-being by looking at your current living conditions, your relationships and your jobs and asking yourself the question “Can this be improved?”
One can take small steps at a time to develop this awareness simply by simply re-arranging one’s room to improve it, learning to find inefficiencies in one’s lives, to question about one’s diets i.e. to become aware of just how healthy one is eating in life. By developing awareness of how to improve the little things in life one will become aware of how to find a better environment. See Catalyst – Improvement / Progress
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
The Creator’s Meditation is best practiced in a quiet place where there is no music / no sound. This allows for non-distraction and total focus on The Self.
However, if there are noises or discomfort in the meditation session, one can use the suffering environment to catalyse the experience – i.e. by developing one’s focus by not wandering off and staying on the body journey, by overcoming all negativities towards the surrounding sounds, by developing Outer Stillness through not moving around when the discomfort comes.
Know and Transform The Self!
Use the 10 Day Self-Knowing Vipassana to develop self-awareness of the world inside and outside. The more aware you are, the more you will know whether or not an environment is right for you based on your reactions to your surroundings.