They are not places of the exterior world. They are creations within us.
We can choose to be at peace and experience Nirvana here right now in this moment or we can create our own internal ‘hell’ or Hades within us.
The mind will create hell if we allow it and become our thoughts and the heart and consciousness will bring ‘heaven’, joy, awareness, life, energy and all things that we associate with bliss and a Nirvana.
We have the choice what we experience in every moment. We always have our own Nirvana and we create our own hell if we choose the suffering of the mind.
The problem with the popularised mantra YOLO (you only live once), peddled by adrenaline junkies, gurus and people who have been sucked into the hedonistic vortex that the instant gratification culture has created, is that it fails to realise that this is a fake nirvana that can not be reached by leaping off a bridge attached to a giant elastic band.
YOLO, so, what does that mean? For what purpose?
In order for us to move out of our current safety zone to a new one we need to handle our own fears and emotions, which is not some quick fix pill, popped and then we can suddenly live a life without fear and at warp factor 9 every day.
The key to a fulfilled life is not a constant blur of JFDI milkshake, it is having goals that matter to us and then moving on at our pace to achieve them. We can only transition to a new safety zone when we feel comfortable and ready to do so and that can take time.
However, we allow peer pressure to put us in a position, where even though on the surface, we are fitting in and living life at the percieved ‘edge’, deep down many wish they didn’t ‘fit in’. Uncomfortable in this forced fake place.
It takes bravery to stand out from the crowd and not succumb to the pressure to fit in and it takes more bravery to do it with patience. Ultimately, however, it is more soulful and rewarding to do stuff that matters to us.
Real YOLO comes from being brave enough to do something different, to stay true to your values, to not fit in and to follow our unique path. It does not come from following the crowd heading to the instant gratification burnout of the mass culture fuelled by the short-term macho behaviour of thinking your ‘living it’.
You only live once but it is surely for purpose far greater in meaning than short term gratification.