When I quit my corporate job and started working for myself, I thought my life would be perfect.
I could finally do what I was passionate about and have all the freedom I wanted. But after a week or so, I began feeling restless. Don't get me wrong — I absolutely adore my work, but I began to see that no matter what amazing changes I made to improve my reality, a part of me would always want more.
As humans, we're constantly striving for more satisfaction — from food to clothes, careers and even finding the right partner or city to live in. Our insatiable hunger is encouraged by our consumer-based society, but the quest for satisfaction spans beyond the dawn of capitalism. Even Buddha recognized that desire is the root of all suffering.
Today, many of us are waking up to the fact that we play an enormous part in creating our lives. "Manifestation" is a buzzword, and we're learning how to turn our desires into reality.
So why are we still so unsatisfied if we've realized we hold the power to fulfill all of our needs?
Because, as I discovered, manifesting our reality does not always lead to true satisfaction. Yes, it can help us align with our calling, our ideal partner, our dream home ... but if we're looking for deep, lasting satisfaction, we must look elsewhere. We must look beyond both desire and manifestation.
Here are seven secrets to finding true satisfaction in your life:
1. Remember to relax.
"Don't seek, don't search, don't ask. Don't knock, don't demand — relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it." -Osho
Until recently, I used to think I had to be stressed out in order to be productive, or that people would respect me more if I was stressed. I thought relaxation meant I was lazy. But now I see that staying relaxed actually improves my productivity and relationships, among myriad other things. It's also essential to experiencing a deep sense of satisfaction.
If you have trouble relaxing, take a deep breath and extend your exhale. Go outside, read, practice yoga, or meditate.
2. Loosen up your reigns.
"Everything is determined by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust — we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper." -Albert Einstein
It's easy to believe that we create our reality all by ourselves. Yes, we play an enormous part — but in order to experience true satisfaction, we must give in to the mysterious forces that animate us. We still don't know why we have the desires we do and how we're able to manifest at all, but we must surrender our will and let go of our agenda. We must remember that as much as we may be able to dictate how our lives look, we still don't really know why we're even alive to begin with.
3. Trust in yourself and the universe.
Trust that life loves you and has beautiful things in store for you. With trust, no matter what experience you go through, you know it is exactly what you needed in that moment. With trust, you can surrender even more to the forces that make up the framework of existence. With trust, you can fully let go and embrace the satisfaction available to you.
4. Remember that you are safe.
It's nearly impossible to relax, let go and trust if you don't feel safe. Many people race through life on high gear, with intense anxiety and adrenal fatigue. A fear-based mindset tends to be focused on lack and scarcity, which can deeply affect our sense of satisfaction and feeling like we have enough.
Plus, our bodies can react to fear by accumulating weight, which may lead us to try to eat less, further separating us from satisfaction. Therefore, it's essential to care for your sense of safety. Try breathing deeply, wearing clothes that make you feel protected, setting firm boundaries in relationships and spending time in nature.
5. Eat intuitively by giving your body what it really wants.
Eat exactly what you want when you're hungry, and try not to plan. But be sure you are listening to your body's needs, not necessarily your mind. Wait until your hunger comes and then let your body tell you what would make it feel good. Be open to your choices being different than what you may have thought. Following your body's signals for hunger and satiation is a powerful way to bring more satisfaction into your life on a daily basis. You'll feel really good as a result, too.
6. Follow what feels good.
Similar to #5, this secret requires following your body in each moment, without a clearly defined plan. And of course plans are important in life, but cultivating deep satisfaction also requires being open to what feels good in the present moment.
You can try it now by tuning into your body. Notice what your body wants right now. Does it want to move? Dance? Wiggle? Stretch? Lie down? If you can, try doing whatever your body is asking for in this moment and notice how it makes you feel.
7. Stay present.
This is the final and most important step. Simply paying attention to the present moment can be deeply (and instantly) gratifying. This moment right now is rich with mystery, possibility and all the clues you need for what could bring you even more pleasure.
Cultivating a sense of presence is an essential way to experience deep satisfaction in your life, and it's always available. Even now.
Photo courtesy of the author