In my last blog I wrote about gratitude and how it serves to reinforce a neural pathway of inner peace and healing. I also explained that this is achieved through a sustained commitment to practicing forgiveness. That sustained commitment to forgiveness requires the practice of being mindful, which is remembering in every moment that you have a choice to act more lovingly to yourself, others and the planet.
That choice to act more lovingly is benevolence and comes off the back of compassion. Compassion can only exist if first there is forgiveness. Compassion is the evidence of inner stillness and inner peace. I distinguish between the two because inner peace is a choice, inner stillness is the natural consequence of inner peace.
Inner peace only happens because you have become more aware of the more loving options. In your commitment to being mindful you remember that the loving options are a realistic alternative to your programmed patterns of behaviour. Part of being mindful is holding the awareness that those long held patterns of behaviour were responsible for your heartache, depression, anxiety and exhaustion.
Not only are you more aware of the loving options, compassion gently compels you to be benevolent, to be kind. Opportunities to act become more evident the more aware you become. Intuition and hearing the prompts of divine guidance means you can now ‘see’ where the opportunity to act benevolently arise. In the early development of acting compassionately, this is the point where you take a moment to consider your motive for engagement. If being benevolent takes you out of your stillness, then your motive could be arising from your story.
If you become annoyed or resentful at having to help, if you feel like you are going to a lot of trouble or if you have an expectation of getting something in return, then you are extending yourself because of your story, and not compassion. In the place of compassion, it is like you are invited to act benevolently, and while maintaining inner stillness, you follow your guidance and do what is loving for both you and the other person.
With the ongoing commitment to living life mindfully, the neural pathway of inner peace and healing gets stronger. There is a point where you are so strongly aligned with this state of consciousness that you devote your life to living compassionately and acting benevolently. In this, there is no longer the need to choose between your programming or a more loving awareness. In the emerging devotion, a clear sense of your purpose unfolds. Your purpose is your unique footprint on the planet that helps to make the world a better place.
Your story, that belief you held about yourself that at first seemed to be a handicap, is in fact the gift you gave yourself, which caused you to develop skills and abilities that you now get to use to fulfil your purpose. Gratitude is the evidence that forgiveness is complete. Recognising the gift in your story, the opportunity to fulfil your higher calling, you can acknowledge the blessing of your story and can feel gratitude for its existence. It is in the gratitude that freedom finally happens. The weight, the burden of your story that you have carried all of your life has been lifted.
You are free, free of the limiting beliefs that have kept you playing small in the world. You have clarity, a clear sense of purpose. You live each day joyfully and you begin to feel healthier. Recent research has revealed that the more compassionate you are the healthier you are. The Vagus Nerve, a key nerve found outside of the Central Nervous System appears to make a significant contribution to reducing inflammation throughout the body, regulating the immune system, as well as relaxing the body. It also plays a significant role in the communication between the gut and the brain. Some research is suggesting that activating the Vagus Nerve can stimulate stem cells to produce new cells and repair and rebuild our own organs.
Two key factors have been found to stimulate the Vagus Nerve, inner peace and compassion. One scientific team studied school children who demonstrated naturally compassionate behaviour, like connecting with socially isolated children, helping with learning in the classroom, and with homework etc. Their Vagus Neves showed higher activity compared to less compassionate students. Meditation, soft belly breathing and mindfulness have all been found to help stimulate the Vagus Nerve. Scientists have only begun to understand the way compassion and mindfulness impacts on our health. Their understanding of the role of the Vagus Nerve has lead to it being called the ‘Love Nerve”. Watch this space.
This seven-part series on how mindfulness and awareness works also helps to explain how the Enhances Awareness Program works. If you are serious about wanting to achieve a much better quality of life, then I would encourage you to contact us at EAP Mentor and find out what we can do to help you live life with greater freedom, clarity, joy and health.
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