#50 Assertive Spirituality

There is a misconception that when one starts to engage in spiritual practices such as meditation and mindfulness, that it’s necessary to lay a red carpet of passivity.

Since becoming more spiritual and aware of the material world around me, I’ve been able to navigate through the world of 10,000 things, as Lao Tzu would say, with much ease, vigor, and confidence. 

Prior to learning about self-awareness, I was what you would call a people pleaser. When it came to family and friends, I always put my joy on hold to make others happy. I would begrudgingly do what others wanted without regard for myself.  

Some may call this noble and I used to think so, but today I see how foolish it was. At the same time, it was important for my spiritual growth.

Today, I am more assertive while still being mindful and spiritual.

I’m able to disagree, show vulnerability, and express complete honesty because I trust myself. 

These days I say no a lot more.

“Hey Anand, let’s go out tonight!”
“I can’t.
“Why not?”
“Because I don’t want to.

By communicating exactly what I feel with total honesty, I let go of the need to explain myself further. Being objectively candid and honest is extremely uplifting. I am kind when I saw no and at the same time am unapologetic about it. 

Spirituality has built confidence 

Everything in our life is transient. What once was will be no more so we might as well strive for what we want.

Because I know how short life is, I’m able to be myself, not just when it’s convenient, but always. 

The very definition of confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something.  That someone is you and that something is your life. 

Confidence is the awareness of relying on our self for all decisions and outcomes. 

7 ways to spiritual assertiveness

  1. Ask others directly what you want from them. Don’t leave room for assumption. 
  2. Clearly communicate with others and ask questions until all doubt is relinquished. This way, no energy is wasted on analyzing. 
  3. Say no with kindness and without emotion. I’ve realized that saying no doesn’t mean that I love others any less, rather, it’s being nice to myself so I don’t find myself in a situation that makes me feel uneasy. 
  4. Cultivate confidence. It’s okay for you to go after what you want while still being mindful of others in the process. Having trust in myself has enabled me to hold myself to a higher standard. What I see is my world and being self-assured makes my world more reassuring. 
  5. Live life deliberately. Live life on purpose. Whether a simple breath, a smile to a stranger, or these words I am sharing with you, it’s all done consciously. 
  6. Care less about what others think. I’m at peace knowing that not everyone will think highly of me, and that’s okay. I will continue to be true to myself and be kind and compassionate to all. We can deal the cards of life the best we can but we don’t control where they fall. 
  7. Because our existence is temporary, don’t fear death. Contemplating death, a byproduct of spirituality, brings urgency to life. Every breath out is one less we have so spending this life doing fulfilling work is a priority. 

Practices like meditation and mindfulness help you see the transitory nature of life. It takes time, effort, and patience to be in a state of  total awareness, but good things come out of it. 

Assertiveness is born out of awareness and awareness is the fundamental concept of presence. Be here now and the fears of past and present subside.

To understand the temporary nature of the world is to understand the unrelenting need to do something great for humanity. 

With Love,

Anand Swamy

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