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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish.

I didn’t grow up considering any other path. I pushed and hustled my way through my goals, reminding myself of the rewards I’ll reap from imbibing discipline deep into my veins — and it has led me to good things: a degree from a good university, a stable job, promotions year after year, and so on. I achieved a lot of what society would consider as success.

Allowing my life to be led by discipline, it urged me towards a path of (perceived) stability and (societally approved) security, alright, but… There came a time when I felt like something was missing, that however it is I’m living is no longer enough. I started being restless as I looked for something else, something that did not need to be forced or pushed… Something that came naturally for me. This was when I started my love affair with the concept of devotion.

Here are the top three ways I injected self-devotion into my life:

1. I consciously live from the heart

As opposed to what others think, living from your heart doesn’t mean being flaky, or unreliable, or emotional 24/7. It’s about listening to what your emotions, your body and your soul has to say… And accepting what needs to come up. Without having to rationalise and intellectualise everything.

This means living life, creating, and engaging with others in a way that’s from being centered in your body. It’s about allowing the different emotions and sensations to simply course through you until it has been recognised (and it dissipates).

And from this grounded place where every part of your being is acknowledged, you’ll feel a surge of compassion constantly arise from deep within you. You’ll be more radiant and naturally have more patience and deeper understanding for people.

Questions to activate this in the moment:

  • How can I be more compassionate?
  • What is triggering this course of action?
  • Can I sit with this emotion and see what comes up?

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

2. I redefined concepts to align to heart-centered living

As I consciously live from my heart, I notice how my mind’s coming up with ironclad reasons for why I’m not living a “proper” life. At first, I thought it was simply because I wasn’t used to listening to my body for what I truly desire to have and do in the moment. But as time passes by, I realise that there are truly a lot of things I’ve learned that are outdated for where I am in my journey.

For one thing, I have a different definition of what success is. I used to think that success is a checklist and everyone has the same items to check off. Now, I see success as whatever I define it to be. I don’t even use the word as much anymore. What I prefer to measure is my level of presence in everything I do rather than chase an ideal that I know isn’t for me.

Another thing is that I have grown to make decisions based on expansion and potentiality. Instead of waiting for things to happen before moving forward, I tap into my innate tendency to play and imagine. I ask myself, “What option makes me feel the most expansive?” To be honest, it was a hit and miss when I first started doing this. But the more I treated life as an experiment, it became easier for me to connect to what feels most true.

Questions to activate this in the moment:

  • What voices tell me I can’t live life from the heart?
  • Am I open to new paths and ideas to experiment with?
  • How can you add more play in your life?

3. I took care of my body like I never did before

I found that a lot of my emotional turmoil and reactive states stemmed from not feeling good with my physical body — may it be because of my (recently ended) decade-long battle with eczema, my 20-lb weight gain months before my wedding or my too acidic blood chemistry. It was quite some time before I fully realised and accepted this as true for me. But once I did, it was always an onwards and upwards progress from then on. Gradual but forward.

Again, I treated things as experiments, detaching myself from the result and just feeling into how certain foods or exercise modalities make me feel. If it makes me feel alive, then I do it a second time. If it doesn’t and it’s a strong no for me, I completely cast it off from my list. I do that with options I have on the daily — on what to eat for dinner, what kind of exercise video to play for the day, how to best ground myself when I get restless and emotional. It goes on and on, and I’ve grown to love the process, even before I got the results.

Questions to activate this in the moment:

  • How does my body feel right now?
  • When was the last time I felt alive?
  • Can I add more activities like that in my daily routine?

“Your body isn’t a temple, it’s a home you’ll live in forever. Take care of it.” – Colin Wright

The steps above are the ones that I keep going back to and have helped me reach a level of purpose that I could have never imagined for myself. Self-devotion is an evolutionary practice. It’s what humanity is craving to have in its core. It’s an act of refusal to be shackled by societal rules yet again, especially after millenia of being provided with strict blueprints on how to live life. Self-devotion is you coming back to you. Are you ready to receive yourself in this way?

Jennica Collado is a thought leader, way shower and change catalyst. With her deep intuition and experiential learning, she guides ambitious women out of the ‘hustle-hustle-hustle’ mindset and burnout culture into living a life of intuition, vulnerability and expansion. In her decade-long journey to combat stress-induced eczema, she uncovered a more holistic way to healing through energetics, devotional living, and neuroscience. A strong advocate for women empowerment and animal rights, she’s been published in Elephant Journal and Thrive Global. You can find her on Instagram.

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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