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By Deborah Ooten - September 2011

In these changing times it is important to develop strategies for staying positive. Because we tend to want things in life to be certain, change can bring stress and unhappiness. If we keep our attention focused on the present moment we will be in the flow. Creating flow experiences in our life allows for a more present moment awareness that creates space and harmony for life to unfold without resistance.

The Enneagram teaches us how to approach life in the flow. If we follow the Law of One, which takes us around the outside of the circle, we find nine different strategies for healthy coping and happiness. By using all nine strategies we increase our ability to be in unity consciousness.

Point 1: Avoid over analyzing or comparing

“If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself.” (Desiderata)  The ego thrives on comparisons, causing feelings of inferiority or superiority. These feelings of inferiority/superiority take us out of unity consciousness, creating dualism and potential harm. If you engage in comparisons, use yourself as the measuring stick, with a steady gentle goal of improving on what is already perfect.  Simply strive to be the best that you can possibly be in any given moment.

Point 2: Engage in healthy relationships (individual, family, friends)

“Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.” (Desiderata) To be happy, we need deep meaningful relationships in our life. It is important to show up authentically, just the way you are each day. Nurturing relationships can help us stay healthy and connected to ourselves and the whole.

Point 3: Set, commit and strive to reach your goals

“Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.” (Desiderata) Commit to something that you are passionate about and get busy making it happen. When we achieve our goals we feel good about ourselves and we tend to be more generous with others because we feel good. Everyone wins!

Point 4: Establish an attitude of gratitude

Look for what is present, not for what is missing. What we focus our attention on expands, so really appreciate everything that is in your life. Spend each day feeling gratitude for the richness and connectedness that the universe is delivering effortlessly. “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” (Desiderata)

Point 5: Be present to life's beauty

“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.” (Desiderata)  It is important to take time to be with all that is arising in your world. Notice what brings you joy and savor the memory of the moment.

Point 6: Practice acts of kindness with self and others

Random acts of kindness can leave a lasting impression on those who experience it directly or indirectly. Finds ways to deliver compassion and kindness to yourself frequently during each day. When we are compassionate toward ourselves, it becomes easier to be compassionate and kind to all. “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.” (Desiderata)

Point 7: Be optimistic

Are you a ‘glass half full’ kind of person? Look for the fullness of life and positively reframe what might seem like a negative. Remember that the universe does nothing ‘to us’ only ‘for us.’  “Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.” (Desiderata)

Point 8: Take care of your body

Keeping your physical energy healthy is vital. Maintaining physical strength also helps us to focus our attention on balancing the other centers - mental, emotional and spiritual. Take time to notice how your body is doing; make sure to see your doctors (traditional and/or alternative) on a regular basis for preventative checkups.

Point 9: Make your spiritual practices a priority

When we are able to get out of our type or ego we see that the universe is large and expansive. Our ability to connect to Source and know that we are not alone is enhanced by a daily practice. Make sure that whatever you are doing you are present.
Life is a journey not a destination and staying awake reminds of us our divinity and connectednesses…stay present to the flow!

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About the author
A gifted trainer and coach, Dr. Deborah Ooten helps her students achieve success by increasing their awareness and understanding of themselves and others.

"When people understand both their own gifts and challenges, and those of their co-workers, friends and family, the result is a high performing and happy member of society," explains Dr. Ooten.
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