"Unlike a tree, you don't have to be stuck in one place."
The greater journey in life is to grow; this means to develop greater happiness.
And on your spiritual journey of Self-Growth, your surroundings can work to support your journey or to impede it. Like a tree that needs good soil to grow, the environment you surround yourself with can affect your progress in life.
What kinds of people do you usually surround yourself with?
How clean is the rooms you often occupy?
What kinds of experiences do you usually immerse yourself in?
In this article, we will explore how our environment can affect our life journey and the ways to improve our environment to better our lives.
Environment In Depth
Unlike a tree that is stuck to the ground, you have the power of choice; you have the power to move yourself to more fertile grounds. Realizing this can help you to become aware of the power you have to make choices. Without such awareness, one can feel like a victim when things never change in their life for the better.
So, if you do feel like you are in a stagnant place in your life, realize that you have the power to do something different, to move yourself and change the scenery so that you can encounter new experiences, new people, new opportunities for growth.
Thus it's important for you to develop the awareness of your surroundings and question whether or not your environment is working against you or supporting you on your life journey. And what you will be surprised is that there will always be things that you can do to improve your environment, for instance, to live in a cleaner place, to surround yourself with healthier relationships, to find a better work environment, and so forth.
Life is a journey of change and change will always be exciting. But if one does not change anything in their life, the quality of life will always remain at the same level or even wither like a tree starving for sunlight.
So, begin changing things about your environment so that you can thrive!
Importance Of Addressing Environment
It is important to become aware that we have the power to choose what kind of environment we wish to be in.
When we lack such awareness we can end up being stuck with the wrong types of friends, stuck in a job we hate, live in unclean conditions, encounter repetitive experiences that offer no growth, and so forth.
When we lack such awareness, we can also fall into the belief that the reason for bad things to happen to our life is the result of bad luck, not realizing that even if it is bad luck, one still has the power to make choices to change the outcome. For instance, to find a new job if one doesn't like their current one. To leave bad relationships if they have abusive friends. Even if one ends up living in a dirty place, one can still make the choice to clean it if not to leave it!
Although from the spiritual perspective, as long as one exercises wisdom, one can achieve growth in any kind of environment. But this wisdom can take years to learn, and also, with the right environment, one can grow much faster.
For example, if you wish to lose weight, then a good environment for you is to surround yourself with people with similar goals. Seeing others doing the same thing and being around like-minded people will help motivate you on your journey. And conversely, if you surround yourself with friends who just want to eat junk food, then it can be difficult to not be swayed and tempted by what your friends are doing. So instead of being with people who don't want to row in the same direction as you, find those who will and you will reach your destination faster
Though in saying this, if one is able to exercise wisdom, one will be able to develop their willpower even more in an environment that is going against them. For instance, through fighting against the currents that are against you, you can become even stronger. But for most, this can be far too difficult. So, if one does not have the capacity to use their environment to thrive, the next best thing is to move oneself to a better environment.
Path Of Creator
Our environment can be simplified into three main categories: relationships with people, living conditions, and jobs.
The bigger purpose of life will always be to develop greater happiness. And such a journey will always progress with Self-Knowing. The more one learns about oneself—learning about one's deeper desires, the cause of one's unhappiness, one's weaknesses, one's goals, and so forth—the more one will know what kinds of environment one will need to help them reach their goals.
Without Self-Knowing, one will not know themselves properly. And without clearly knowing one's desires and goals, one would not know what kind of environment would be good or bad for one's life journey. As a result, one can end up not making any choices, just becoming stuck in whatever environment they are in.
It's only when you become aware that you don't want to be standing in mud, you will move to find better plaes to stand!
So, it's a journey of developing awareness: to become aware of what is good or bad for us. To develop this awareness, one can actually begin improving their rooms. To understand more, see Catalyst - Improving Rooms.
To develop Self-Awareness, one can also practice meditation. Through meditation, one will learn how to be aware of every moment. And by taking that state of mind into one's daily life, one will naturally become aware of the quality of their environment and whether it is working for their life journey or not. Without developing the ability to maintain awareness, one's focus can be easily taken away by the tasks lying ahead of them.
And throughout the journey of developing Self-Knowing, one will realize that one has always been the Creator of their lives, that everything that has happened up to this point has always been their own making. And as one realizes this, one will realize too that one has the power to change things in their present life.
And the more one develops Self-Knowing, the more one will learn to use that power, allowing it to become ever more refined.
Also, the journey of Self-Knowing will take one to realize their own uniqueness, realizing that the environment everyone needs to thrive will be different to each individual mind. For instance, an accountant would need a different environment to thrive than a musician, and similarly with a businessman and a monk, a business owner and salaryman.
The more one develops Self-knowing, the more one will know what environment one needs. And this will change with time as one grows. For instance, in some periods, one may need to be around extroverted people; and other times, introverted people. Sometimes, one may need to learn to be more spontaneous in life; other times, more structured.
And the further one ventures on such a journey, one will realize that as the Creator of their life, they actually have the power to thrive in any environment they wish. With time, one will be able to see the possibilities of thriving even in environments that appear to work against them. For instance, if one's a businessman, being in a monk environment can help one learn to be more selfless. And if one's a monk, one can learn how to let go of their attachment even deeper by surrounding oneself with money. Or if one's a musician, one may learn to enhance their music more by learning how to be more grounded and structured like an accountant. Or by surrounding oneself with negative friends, one can learn to develop more Self-Belief and the skills to stand up for themselves.
So ultimately, one will realize that as one continues to develop Self-Awareness and refine their powers to make choices, one will be able to thrive in any environment as long as they put their mind to it. The journey of Self-Transformation will take one to develop the wisdom that there are no good or bad environments; rather, just opportunities.
Opportunities for growth are always right in front of us. But again, it will take time for one to develop the wisdom to see this.
If one wishes to begin their journey, one can begin by taking the responsibility to make more choices in life instead of letting others or the world decide for them.
One can also begin looking for ways to improve their life, i.e. looking for things that can be changed. One can start by looking for ways to improve their bedroom. One can also start going to new experiences to break their habit patterns of always experiencing life in the same way.
However, it can be difficult to make choices in life when we carry certain fears and beliefs about ourselves and the world.
So let us explore adark state of mind that can cause impediments to one's journey.
At The Idea Level
Let us look at some of the Negative Ideas that can block one from choosing a beneficial environment.
“It is not ok to not Suffer”
Some of us can carry the belief that suffering is necessary for growth.
Clarity will come when one realizes that one cannot grow from simply suffering.
Growth from suffering only can happen when one tries to overcomes it. And that process requires one to realize the cause and to apply efforts to transform one's mind.
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 is a process of looking deep within to see why we have chosen such a negative environment to be in, or why we are perceiving our experiences so negatively. Growth thus is a process of Self-Knowing and Self-Transformation at the level of the mind.
And growth can only happen if one carries the intention to grow and overcome the sufferings. If one carries the intention to suffer, then only the ways to suffer will be learnt.
So, instead of choosing suffering experiences all the time, learn to choose non-suffering ones. But this is not saying that suffering experiences can't help one to grow. Suffering experiences can be enlightening if one can approach it with a Still mind, and this is best done with the daily practice of meditation; otherwise, one can end up reacting too much and learning nothing from the experiences.
So will Suffering help you grow?
Yes and No.
Will Positive experiences help you grow?
Yes and No.
So, it's really up to how one uses the experience. By realizing this, one will be able to release their attachment to the need to suffer all the time.
The journey is balanced by also accepting the idea
"It is ok to suffer"
So, on your journey of Self-Knowing, you will discover many beliefs within that are holding you back from living your life to the fullest. These will mainly be your fears of failing and self-limiting beliefs about not being deserving of what you desire
The destination is towards Knowing yourself: knowing what you truly want. And learning how to use your powers as the Creator to transform the world outside and inside to achieve your goals.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
You can start your journey by learning how to improve your room!
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
The Creator’s Meditation is best practiced in a quiet place where there is no noise and disturbance. 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 Self-Transformation, using the surrounding noise as resistance for one to develop even greater Stillness.
And when negativities arise towards these disturbances, one can use these opportunities to develop greater compassion.
Doing this from time to time will allow one to become aware that all experiences in life can be used as a catalyst for Self-Growth.
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.