10 Life Principles
The following principles helped me survive, thrive & find meaning despite extreme difficulty. They have organically developed by learning, testing & integrating the heritage of humanity’s wisdom and my own lived experience. Part of healing chronic skin & health problems is rewiring how we think about & identify with ourselves. Developing an extremely strong inner foundation & sense of the true self.
These key principles are a guidance system for my life & I share these with you to help you realise your highest self; physically, mentally & spiritually. I share these to empower, not imprison you. They are not commandments or rules, they are working principles & philosophies that I'm continually refining. I encourage you not to take anything at face value but to be inquisitive, experimental & committed to developing your own principles.
By realising who you really are you can realise your highest expression & realise a more connected, harmonious world.
Who are you?
Most people would answer that with a combination of external, material labels. Yet you are more than your skin, religion, looks, clothes, political beliefs, labels, job, education, nationality or class. They reflect your role in society, how others might perceive you & shape your lifestyle but do not define you. The whole you. Or the true you.
How can they if they are constantly changing?
What is it that is stable throughout your life?
Who is doing the observation?
Who is it that is having a conscious experience?
It’s that inner awareness, that inner consciousness, the soul.
That is the true you.
Many of the problems in the world come from people over-identifying with the wrong self & losing their connection with others & the whole. Identifying by these labels typically occurs as a result of conditioning, propaganda & social pressure. It makes for a better consumer, a better follower & greater social divider. Overidentifying with your outer self & losing your connection & empathy for other species, nations & people can lead to a lack of meaning, disunity & social problems.
It's not to say the ego & our embodied form doesn't play a critical role, they act as interfaces that allow us to interact & experience reality, a bit like a computer desktop. Yet it is much more powerful & meaningful to understand your true self.
Regularly take time to be with yourself, understand yourself, your connection with other people and life itself. Understand what gives your meaning and purpose. We often go outwards for knowledge, always seeking the external. Don’t be afraid to go inwards to just be with yourself and to tap your innate wisdom.
Meditation is a powerful tool for realising yourself. You cut off from technology, ego and sensory overload and are there with just your consciousness. In a mindfulness based practice which is what I learned, you gain an awareness of your thoughts and let them go as you acknowledge them. It’s powerful as it gives you an awareness of what is on your mind. It connects you with something greater than yourself. It centres and rebalances you.You are the only one who has experienced everything in your life, so you know yourself better than anyone else ever could. You can pull from great thinkers over time, but realise your unique life insights are also worthy.
You are innately powerful.
You have a power within you that can not be taken away. You can't control what happens to you or what people think about you. However, you decide how to perceive & react to any given situation. You decide your reality & choose your meaning. When you stop needing incessant approval & validation from others you reclaim your power. You can only be treated how you allow yourself to be. Understand the power of your mind. Your thoughts become words and your words become actions. Over time your actions shape who you are and the life you lead.
Your health is your own responsibility.
Access to healthy food, water, air, soil & nature is a fundamental human right. Health literacy & sovereignty is an essential human skill which can not be completely outsourced. Your health effects every aspect of your being & is the most important basis for life. Due to it's fundamental importance & personalised nature, you must take ultimate responsibility for your own health. You are the only one who will repeatedly make health decisions based on your best interests.
We can not become expert in every area of our life, so we often need to consult external advice. However, if you rely solely on external advice, your health can become the average of a variety of competing interests.
Consider a variety of opinions, health modalities, question the credibility of sources, look at potential conflicts of interest, look at data in context & look at the mechanism of action of any treatments. Pay attention to your physical, mental, emotional & energetic state & monitor the actual results.
Grow from your pain.
Life is a miracle. Full of mystery, awe, beauty, love & joy. Yet it is full of difficulty, change & pain. Would pleasure exist without pain? Would good exist without evil? They are but points on a spectrum. Being able to choose good, when there is the possibility for evil is what makes us great. It is a part of free will & gives us the opportunity to grow.
You choose how to perceive your challenges. You can’t always choose your circumstances or certain life events but you can choose how to perceive it and rise above it. Your greatest pain can become your greatest purpose. A source of learning, uncovering a deep passion, personal growth and inspiration for others.
What is more beautiful than growing from your pain?
Everything is connected.
Everything from your health, to people, ecosystems & reality itself is connected. We know that our health is effected by our diet, lifestyle, environment, gut & choices. We know that our thoughts effect our words, our views & our actions. We are made of the same building blocks of reality & all matter is energy. There is also a common field of energy, the Higgs field which pervades all space. Our behaviour is effected by the cycles of nature, the seasons, the sun & moon. Understanding our connection to others & the universe itself allows us to live in a more collaborative, meaningful way.
When your life becomes more than just about yourself it feels so much more meaningful. Ultimately we will all die so it gives you great satisfaction to have experienced life, realised your potential and contributed towards humanity and life itself.
As a wise friend of mine once said:
‘If everything is connected, then death doesn’t matter.
Life is a gift. Pay it forward…in service of humanity, in service of earth, in service of life itself!’.
Find your why.
Having a 'why' gives you meaning, direction & resilience. It has been said that 'he who has a why can bear almost any how'. Having a longer term why & understanding what is important to you gives you the energy to sustain hardship, make difficult choices & stay focused.
We live in a world of near limitless opportunity, choices & things vying for our attention. Having a clear why acts as a guiding force for life. You can achieve the impossible if you have a strong why, one that is bigger than yourself. Be clear on the why but flexible on the how. This gives you trajectory & guidance but allows for the flexibility that is needed in an everchanging world. In discovering your why, listen to your instinct & be guided by growth.
Find your unique gift and express it in a beautiful way with the intention to help humanity in whatever way feels right for you.
Be for not against.
There is great hope, growth & beauty in this world. People are innately good. Just look at any child. This is our natural state. Curious, joyful, adventurous, imaginative, inquisitive & non judgemental. What happens? The pressures of life, the love of money, power & status, often cause people to act selfishly, become cynical or lose their joy for life. The content we consume & tendency to remember the negative effects our view of the world.
In many ways, we have made incredible advances as a society in a short amount of time. Life expectancy, access to education, infant mortality, poverty, human rights & innovation have flourished. However, we face many pressing existential issues. It is easy to become overwhelmed by anger, fear & frustration. What we pay attention to grows as we are feeding it with our energy & attention. It also effects our state of mind & being.
Choose to stand for something rather than against everything. Invest in the areas you can make a positive change & help shape the world to be a better place. Focus on what you want to see more of & direct your time & energy to these areas.
Seek truth over ego.
Be driven by growth and truth rather than ego. Life is not about proving you are right, comparing yourself to others & feeling superior. It is about experience & growth. How one gains their feeling of importance says a lot about them as a person.
By not identifying by & judging others by rigid labels we open ourselves to greater growth. We open our world to be more compassionate, empathetic & harmonious. Be willing to be wrong. Seek out different opinions. Compete only with yourself instead of everyone else's highlights. Everyone has a unique journey in life so it doesn't make sense to judge your success by superficial factors. In having the courage to define your own truths you will need to develop incredible self belief. Many will not understand you.
Don't define yourself on a set ideology, philosophy or system of thinking. If you & reality itself is changing in every moment how can you be defined by something so limited. It doesn't mean you can't have beliefs & convictions made to the best of your knowledge.
Know what you don't know & can't know. There are things beyond our comprehension. Matter makes up less than 5% of the universe & we perceive less than 1% of the light & sound spectrum. Science is just our best knowledge to date, not an indisputable fact. To think we can know absolute truth in the grander scheme of reality is nonsensical considering our limited awareness.
Live in flow.
Flow is the state of complete presence. You are completely engaged in the present moment, physically, mentally & emotionally. You are not thinking back on a past event or thinking forward to a possible future event. All your focus, energy & consciousness is on the experience at hand. You lose awareness of time. Everything else fades away. It is fulfilling, ecstatic & powerful.
Flow experiences improve concentration, performance, meaning & life quality. Most often, people are in states of flow when they are meaningfully engaged in an activity such as sport, nature, music, reading or writing.
You can set the conditions & habits that encourage a flow state. For example, when you are with your friends, consciously putting away your phone, making eye contact & paying undivided attention helps. Your full focus is on them. It is not being divided between posting on social media, peer approval & filter choices.
Living more of life in flow is more in tune with the experience of life itself.
It is a more distilled experience of life. Take time to enjoy the journey, the moments, allow yourself to be joyful. Don't always just be reaching & thinking you will be happy only once you achieve a certain goal. For you will always be reaching. Enjoy the ride!
What is presence? Live in the now. Bring full mental, emotional, physical presence. Don’t attach to the past or future. Applies to people and relationships.
You are more than your skin.
Your worth is not defined by your skin. You are inherently worthy & are a miracle of nature. Your skin has kept you alive & can heal with the right conditions. Don't allow the judgement, stares, bitter words & rejection define your worth.
You are more than your skin, looks, clothes, labels, job, education or status. They reflect your role in society & shape your lifestyle but do not define you. Don’t define yourself based on labels. I personally identify myself as a human being. A creation of the universe. One that has reached a level of complexity that allows it to be self aware. I am constantly changing.