Buddha didn’t teach us how to be enlightened.
Buddha taught us how to deal with human suffering.
Yes, at one point or another all of us encounter some form of suffering.
Why do we suffer?
What’s the difference between suffering outside our control and suffering that’s self inflicted?
We are human! Suffering is one of our greatest teachers. Much of our suffering comes from living in fear / wanting to control (self-inflicted). More suffering happens as we continue to resist what is.
This topic is broad. So, let's consider 2 questions:
1. Is this suffering I am experiencing self made?
2. Is this suffering I am experiencing part of life?
How will you know?
For question #1, self made suffering is a result of our thoughts and emotions and the inner narrative/story we replay over and over. Thoughts feeds emotion and emotion feeds thought and before we know it, this cycle of suffering becomes a way of life. This inner narrative, often a part of our dysfunctional mental conditioning over years, keeps us regretting the past and worried about the future.
The result? We remain stuck in the present, which is in direct opposition to "how life works" and quite frankly why we were born. Life only takes place in the present. Life itself requires us to keep moving. We can choose to move, or life will move us on its own terms.
Please note: I am not saying to discard the lessons of the past. Nor am I saying to leave the future open to some woo woo practice of intention setting without action.
What I am saying...is what I always say...take responsibility for your life. Your choices. Where you are. Where you want to go. And by all means, take small daily actions to move you along.
For question #2, part of life's inevitable suffering is the pain we feel from loss of a loved one, an illness, tragedy, etc.
If this writing resonates, perhaps you will listen to this week's Mind the Gap podcast episode on suffering. I speak about the different kinds of suffering and in particular the suffering that’s of our own creation- mental and emotional. Maybe you will also decide to keep a journal and spend a few minutes each day reflecting the 2 questions.
Living life is a practice and can be the most powerful portal for spiritual awakening, growth ...and freedom.
I am with you my friends.
"Be grateful for the sleepless nights because they help us awaken..." - Stephanie
What is spiritual awakening?
Why does it hurt so much at times?
How can we live our current life while also moving and growing into new ways of being?
In this week's Mind the Gap Podcast episode, Stephanie shares how to use life as a spiritual practice, and what is required to build a foundation of support as you begin to "wake up".
She shares that sleepless nights point to underlying things that are trying to get our attention... Stress doesn't wake us up. Stress is simply a result of what is out of balance in our life.
Stephanie also gives ways to navigate the gap while growing from where you are -- to where you want to be.
Let's go! Listen Here.
What is it? How can it help us? Why bother committing to it?
In this Mind the Gap Podcast Episode Stephanie discusses the 3 myths of meditation and why having a consistent practice is transformational and life changing.
She also gives an example of how to use meditation as a tool to turn negative / destructive thoughts into positive / empowering ones.
Let's Go! Listen Here.
On Nutrition by Stephanie
A few weeks ago I shared that I am bringing nutrition back into the conversation...in a simple, effective, and meaningful way.
My philosophy is that life is too short to feel anything less than amazing!!! More on program offerings soon :)
In this weeks podcast, I discuss why many of us are nutritionally starved resulting in low energy, excess weight, and health problems. I share why it's important to re-set the body with a healthy cleanse, and how clean foods and vitamins support optimal health. Let's go!!!
Listen to Podcast Here.
Your Healthy Being by Stephanie
So I turned 44 last week. Yes, I know!!! I started my birth-day with a Bikram yoga class to release all the toxins and nourish my body, mind and spirit. Been practicing Bikram for 10 years and still love it. It's not for everybody. It is for this body. Know thyself!
Having said this, perhaps one of the best gifts I received that day was after yoga when someone guessed my age. 22. What!!! Heck yes!!! I feel it. I think I look pretty close to it too. At least that's what my mom still tells me (pictured below with me on left, mom center, and "older" sis on right).
Today I write to inspire you to take a real honest look at your health. You know why, right? Without health, we don't have much. Good health is the foundation for well being in all other areas of life. I often say health is the greatest wealth. I don't want to preach. I want to teach what I have learned cause that's why I am here. And I want to make it easier for you. I like simple. I like practical.
On that note...in the most recent podcast episode I speak about how the 4 foundations of health: nutrition, movement, stress management, and rest impact our energy and how we feel.
I share practical tips to help you move from sick/stuck/surviving to thriving.
By making small changes consistently over time you can achieve optimal health.
Making health a priority will impact and improve all areas of your life.
Your body is your vehicle to enjoy life. Take care of it! Let's go :)
Listen to Podcast Here.
Healthy Relationships by Stephanie
As I've shared in the past, relationships are one of my favorite topics.
Relationships have posed the greatest challenges for me, and have also been the most gratifying part of my life. Hmmm...a paradox? Yes! Life is a paradox.
The truth is, no matter what we do in life, at some point we must be in relationship with others.
As such, I want to help you heal / improve your relationships!!! It's so darn worth it...and makes life so much more enjoyable. In fact, healthy relationships are connected to well being and happiness...especially as we age. Our ability to have good (peaceful, positive, prosperous, playful, present) relationships is a foundation for our well-being.
And guess what? The primary relationship that needs to heal / improve is the one we have with our self.
I love the topic of relationship so much I did a podcast episode about it. You can listen here.
In this episode I talk about how to deal with transitions and challenges that arise in relationships. I also talk about how to manage those emotions in order to position ourselves to respond rather than react.
Learn practical wisdom to help you navigate all relationships. Challenge yourself to change the way you view relationships so they become a vehicle for learning and joy.
Relationships show us where we are on our spiritual path and can become our life long spiritual practice, greatest teacher.
At some point, hopefully not on our deathbed, we realize that we all need people, it's no so serious, and it doesn't need to be so darn painful...if we are willing to commit to awakening.
Pictured above: me, mom, sis.
Podcast is Live!
The podcast, Mind the Gap - Awakening with Stephanie Filardi is live!
The intention behind this podcast is to inspire you to take action in the direction of your dreams. No matter how big or small -- the action and dreams, the point is to keep moving forward. Let's go!
The first episode is on transitions. Listen here.