|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on June 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM||comments ()|
When anxiety is crowding out joy, take in a larger perspective. If your direction seems all wrong, look for a larger right. If things are falling apart, raise your sights to see something better falling together. Be willing to say “no” in order to clear the way for a much deeper “YES!” Perspective makes life feel SO spacious.
How To Strengthen Relationships By Releasing Fear And Control....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 24, 2014 at 7:05 AM||comments ()|
“To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is: a dissatisfaction with self.”
When I was a young man I had an issue with relationships. Looking back now, it is easy to see that I had low self-esteem, though I could not see it at the time. Because of my low self-image and my neediness, many relationships that could have had a decent chance went by the way side.
I developed a low-level anxiety about how much any girlfriend cared for me, which, in turn, became outright jealousy and resulted in controlling behavior.
I would worry that my girlfriend was going to leave me for another man and would then become aggressive, starting arguments. I would act out when she wanted to go out with her friends. If we went out together, I would fly into a rage when we got home if she had so much as glanced at other men.
Of course, all of this behavior was about demanding, without explicitly saying it, that she demonstrated how much she loved me. This was because, despite all the evidence to the contrary, I believed she did not.
Ironically, the more she showed me she loved me, the less I believed her.
So I became more controlling. I decided I was the victim and became moody, sulky, withdrawn, and passive-aggressive, yet again manipulating my environment to get the attention I craved.
Negative attention was better than nothing. Yet if I lost all attention because of my behavior, I was okay with that. I would have preferred be alone and know I was right than be in a relationship and live with the fear that I was not good enough. But once I was alone again, I wanted a relationship to prove that I was lovable.
I tried to control the fear that I was unlovable by controlling the person I loved. I even took to confronting men who I saw as a threat to us as couple.
By threatening and controlling other men, I could control my girlfriend and thus control my own fear. It seemed logical at the time.
As you may have guessed, it had the opposite effect. My attempts to control the women I dated ended up driving them away. Either they would end the relationship, or I would before they did. (It felt better to end it before they had the chance, proving the very thing I was trying to disprove).
Sometimes my behavior drove them toward other men. I made them feel so unsafe that the only safe way to leave me was to have some protection in the form of another man. Thus was fulfilled the ultimate in self-fulfilling prophecies.
Then one day, after a lengthy period of learning and reflecting on the repetitive patterns in my relationships, I decided to grow up.
I realized that I could not control my girlfriends and that trying to control them had the opposite effect. I also realized:-
- We have no control over others. In fact, control is often an illusion.
- We can’t make someone love us by fearing that they won’t.
- Fearing that someone may be unfaithful will not ensure that they won’t be.
I realized that letting go of control was the safest option, for me and for everyone else. I also recognized that my fear was often greater than the things I worried about, and that I needed to deal with it.
Lastly, I realized that I needed to learn to love myself and stop expecting others to do something I wasn’t doing for myself.
As a result of some intense personal development work, I started to love myself. I started to acknowledge and appreciate my strengths and validate myself in the way I’d hoped others would; in turn, my fear subsided and has all but left.
Now I choose to trust my girlfriend. I have no more control over her than if I chose to be suspicious, needy, and fearful. In essence, I am choosing to be happy. By choosing to trust her I remove the fear, let go of control, and start to enjoy the relationship for what it is.
We can choose to live in fear or not—that’s something we can control. And we can also control if we choose to be miserable or happy. I chose happy.
By : Julian Hall
Visit him at : http://www.calmpeople.co.uk/category/blog/
Be Who You Want to Be by Realizing You're Not Who You Think....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on April 27, 2014 at 8:50 AM||comments ()|
“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” ~ James Allen
We all have a picture of ourselves in our minds. A picture of what we believe we are like. A picture we choose to believe no matter what.
We can cling to this idea about ourselves all we want, but that will not make it true. This is not as easy to realize and even harder to accept, but it’s an important step toward a conscious life.
I believe we all go through dark phases when our image of ourselves breaks and we start thinking less of ourselves. This phase can pass after some time if we let it, but if we insist on clinging to the picture of ourselves in our minds, it will be harder to get through it.
The good news is: you are whoever you choose to be.
It’s not a coincidence that all the great spiritual masters spoke about detaching from our thoughts. Our thoughts do not represent reality. We are the ones who choose to believe that they are real, when, in fact, they have nothing to do with reality.
No matter what situation life presents us, we can always choose to view ourselves the way we want.
You can either view yourself as a victim or as the hero who lived through all the controversy. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Whichever you choose you will become, since you believe that is who you really are, so you will ultimately behave that way.
This has nothing to do with the person you actually are; it solely depends on how you choose to view yourself.
I was an anxious person all my life. Anxiety, panic attacks, depression, phobia—you name it, I had it. I had so many issues that it was hard to view myself as sane.
I had to realize that these feelings were never my identity; they could never define me because how I chose to see myself, despite my feelings, was my choice.
I remember sitting on the couch and making myself sad by thinking about what a horrible person I was.
I used to believe that I was somehow not normal and that I didn’t belong here. I chose to stay at home all the time because I believed that if I went out and lived the life of a normal person, something horrible would happen and I’d end up hurting others or myself.
I also felt pity for my husband, because he had to spend his life with such a horrible person.
I was not insane or different, no matter how much I believed that I belonged in a mental institution. It took me a long time to realize that what I thought of myself had nothing to do with reality and an even longer time to apply this knowledge in my life.
I was not perfect, I’m still not, and I never will be; but nobody else is either. We tend to believe that we are the only people struggling. Always remember that you are not alone. When you feel horrible, know that there are countless people out there who feel just like you do.
If you feel alone and different from everybody else, this is just a thought; it’s not real. We can choose to believe it is, or we can choose to see that we are never really alone, and so many people share our feelings.
Just because you believe something does not make it true.
People who promote positive thinking would advise you to start thinking positively. I think this is obviously better than negative thinking, but it’s still not the solution. I believe in letting thoughts go.
Let go of all the destructive thoughts you hold about yourself. Once you are able to accept that you are not what your thoughts are telling you, you will become free.
You will no longer limit yourself with your thinking because you will accept that your thoughts are faulty.
Once you realize that your thoughts are faulty, there will be nothing else standing in your way; and when you realize that there is nothing standing in your way, you will see that it was your thoughts that were holding you back from being who you wanted to be this whole time.
When I look back at how I used to be, I see a girl who was always such a nice, kind-hearted person, but for some reason chose to believe that she was something completely different and, therefore, isolated herself from the world.
I hold no false ideas about myself nowadays. Since I acknowledged that all my opinions about myself are just thoughts that have nothing to do with reality, I realized I am who I choose to be. Nothing and no one, not even myself, can stop me from being the person I want to be.
I embrace who I am now. I love being outside, enjoying the company of people and nature, and I know that I can bring a smile to people’s faces with my kind and loving attitude. I care for my husband even more because I know that my love and attention is valuable.
I even started writing my first fiction novel, which is something I always wanted to do. I envied the authors who could come up with magical worlds and could use their minds to build up something beautiful. I thought that my mind was not a place of wonder, but since I let that thought go, I’ve started to build the wondrous world I never thought I could.
I still have thoughts in my mind that I sometimes think shouldn’t be there, but that is also a part of me. As long as I can identify them for what they are, they can do no harm. I know now that nothing can control my actions, only me.
Don’t let your mind push you around—just let it go.
By : Melinda Csikos
Visit her at : http://www.themiracleforest.com/
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on April 15, 2014 at 12:10 AM||comments ()|
'The aim of spiritual practice is to bring about dissolution of the mind
and intellect. So long as the disciple is entrapped in questions and
answers, the activity of the mind of creating questions and deriving
happiness from the answers obtained through the intellect continues.
Rather than asking questions, if one devotes time to spiritual practice then progress occurs faster. That is, one begins getting answers from within. When the access to receiving answers from outside is blocked, the route to getting answers from within is opened faster.'
Accepting Yourself As An Introvert And Loving Your Inner Tortoise....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on April 6, 2014 at 6:40 AM||comments ()|
“We can’t underestimate the value of silence. We need to create ourselves, need to spend time alone. If you don’t, you risk not knowing yourself and not realizing your dreams.” ~Jewel
Tortoises are out of fashion. They are no longer the wise ones, taking one patient step after another, coming out victorious in the end. Today, they are the ones who can’t cross the road fast enough, the ones most likely to get hit by a car.
There is shame involved in being a tortoise.
And so I have spent a considerable chunk of my life trying to turn into an extroverted hare, coming up with rationalizations for why I am not, most definitely not, an introverted tortoise.
For one, I don’t move slowly. In fact, I love to dance. I am quick in perceiving and understanding what people say and mean. I am not slow-witted.
But these explanations don’t quite cover what it means to be a tortoise—how their rhythms are slow and deep, how they enjoy taking in the scenery instead of rushing past, how they need the shell that protects their most vulnerable, precious self.
As introverts, today, it’s easy for us to get alienated from our own nature because of the extrovert bias in the culture at large. So, how do we reconnect with and start celebrating ourselves? It starts with self-awareness and living our own truths.
The Way We Manage Energy
As opposed to extroverts who turn to other people to recharge and renew themselves, too much interaction saps our energy. Introverts turn inward and need quiet spaces to recharge. This is why we turn to nature, to prayer, to solitary hobbies.
We already know this from our own experience. What we often struggle with is the validity of this preference for time alone. I’ve wrestled with this too, thinking that there is something wrong with me if I am not excited about going to a party or socializing at the end of a hectic day.
It’s only recently that I’ve begun to let go of this internal dialogue. By going deeper into my own creativity—writing more, doing photography—I’ve realized that what I am actually lonely for is a connection with myself. When I’m taking a photograph, for example, I feel present and whole.
Engaging in activities that make us happy helps us focus on all that is right with us, instead of wondering whether we are faulty.
As introverts, we need to start giving ourselves permission to go deeper into our own nature. If building legos, reading books, or watching birds gives us joy, that’s what we should be doing instead of going along with what other people think is fun.
It might be fun for them, but is it fun for us?
Another thing that I’ve learned is that although I need time alone, not all interactions affect my energy in the same way. While many social interactions leave me feeling depleted, there are some that have the opposite effect.
In her wonderful book, The Introvert’s Way, Sophia Dembling discusses this with Cognitive scientist Jennifer Grimes. Grimes says that the real issue is not how much energy we put in a situation, but whether we get an adequate return on this energy investment. She says, “There are people who like to invest a lot of energy and get a lot back. Some people don’t want to invest a lot and don’t expect a lot back. The people who are deemed the extroverts in pop literature, the people who are social butterflies, what they get back on an interpersonal level is sufficient for them.”
As introverts, we need to be aware of this. While small talk is draining for us, meaningful conversations are energizing. They require us to expend energy, but they also give us energy back.
Haven’t we all talked for hours about something we are passionate about, and been at a loss about what to say when we are talking politely with an acquaintance?
The Rhythms Of Social Conversation
As an introvert, social conversations can be a challenge for me. I didn’t realize earlier that one of the reasons for this is the difference in the rhythms of how introverts and extroverts communicate.
When we are asked a question, introverts usually pause to think about it before replying. We need this space to formulate our answers. This is different from extroverts, who formulate their answers while talking.
Because of this difference, when we are silent, extroverts can perceive this as meaning that we have nothing to say and rush in with their own thoughts. And while they are talking, we can’t think. This dynamic renders introverts mute.
For me, understanding this has been extremely important. Instead of getting frustrated that I didn’t get a chance to speak, I’ve started responding differently. By showing the other person that I am still thinking by providing visual cues (like furrowing my brows), I hold my ground better in a conversation.
I’ve also started letting myself interrupt the other person. And in the case of those people who are extreme talkers, I’ve understood that it’s okay to disengage and simply walk away. By doing these things, I’ve created more space and freedom in my interactions.
While understanding this basic difference between extroverts and introverts is important, we also need to be aware of the mistakes we can inadvertently make in social situations. One of these is being too quiet in a new group setting. Introverts don’t realize that it is the silent person in the group who gains more and more power as the conversation goes on.
Elaine Aron talks about this dynamic in her wonderful book The Highly Sensitive Person. She says that if we remain silent in a new group, other people can be left wondering if we are judging them, unhappy about being part of the group, or even thinking of leaving the group. As a defence mechanism, the group might reject us before we have a chance to reject them. So, in a new group, it becomes extremely important for introverts to communicate what they are thinking, even if it is just to say that we are happy to listen and will speak up when we have something to say.
The Focus On All That’s Right With Us
As introverts, most of us have heard messages about all the things that are wrong with us. We are too intense, too solitary, not fun enough. We may not have asked our own questions back.
What’s wrong with thinking deeply? What’s wrong with solitude? What’s wrong with enjoying one-on-one conversations instead of a big party? And fun according to whom?
Once we give ourselves permission to ask these questions, we can also start seeing our own strengths more clearly. What the culture considers an aberration is what makes the best part of us.
Thinking deeply gives us new insights. It helps us see new relationships between things. The solitude that we love is also the spring-board for our creativity. It gives us the chance to imagine and re-imagine our world.
Aren’t these all amazing things?
As introverts, connecting with our essence is what will help us actualize our talents. Not acting like an extrovert. I am sure it’s great to be a hare, but not if you are a tortoise.
By : Ritu Kaushal
Visit her at : http://www.walkingthroughtransitions.com/
5 Steps To Deal With Emotional Baggage So It Doesn't Define You....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on February 18, 2014 at 12:20 AM||comments ()|
“Sometimes the past should be abandoned, yes. Life is a journey and you can’t carry everything with you. Only the usable baggage.” ~Ha Jin
You’ve probably heard of the fear of missing out but what about the fear of letting go?
My father was volatile and mentally unstable. Criticism was his preferred method of communication. As a child and teenager, I learned to keep my thoughts and feelings locked away and became an expert at deflecting personal questions.
Without realizing it, I carried this habit into adulthood, avoiding any talk about my feelings or turning them into a joke. When a friend finally called me on it the shock of self-recognition quickly turned to resistance. This is who I am, I thought. Why should I change?
I plodded on, working as hard as ever to keep my fortress intact. It wasn’t making me happy yet I wasn’t ready to change.
As I struggled with my desire to cling to hurtful memories and self-defeating behaviors, it dawned on me that I was afraid to let go because defensiveness was part of my identity.
The problem wasn’t that I had baggage—everyone has baggage—but that it had come to define me. I didn’t know who I would be without it. At that point it hit me: I had to dig deep, discover the person I wanted to be, and then act on it.
After I identified that I was holding on to the past because it seemed too important to jettison, I discovered that letting go is harder than it sounds. Relaxing a long-held belief isn’t a one-day, one-week, or even a one-year process. However, it is possible.
This is the five-step process I discovered:-
1. Write an Honest list of the Thoughts, Beliefs, and Behaviors that weigh you down...
Grab a pen and notebook, find a quiet space, and spend thirty to forty minutes thinking and writing. It is important to be honest and write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t judge what comes up, just take note.
2. Reflect on each item and identify the source of the Thought/Belief...
Travel back in time and see where you picked up these items of baggage. Do you fear intimacy because a partner cheated on you? Do you dread holidays because your parents drank too much? Acknowledge the painful memories but don’t wallow in them. Write it down and move on to the next step.
3. Find at least one Positive in each Hurtful Experience/Situation...
Look for the silver lining in your cloud. For example, my father’s criticism made me aware of the power of words and taught me the importance of speaking with kindness. Looking for the good in the past helps you reclaim your power. You are no longer a victim; you decide what you take from that experience.
4. Create Affirmations to foster Change and Counteract Negative Thoughts...
Take the positives from step four and turn them into affirmations or statements of intent, i.e.: “I will speak with love” or “I will treat people with kindness.” This puts the emphasis on positive future behavior and frees you from the past. Make the affirmations tangible: put a reminder on your phone, write them on post-its, or put a list on the fridge.
5. Practice Patience and Mindfulness...
It takes time to change habits, especially when they are rooted in deep hurts or fears. Check in with yourself regularly using journaling or meditation. If you find yourself shouldering old baggage, be sure to acknowledge it, then gently release it and focus on your affirmations. Replacing negative thoughts with positive actions will help you let go for good.
There are infinite possibilities for each of us, baggage notwithstanding. Everyone has pain. It’s part of what makes us who we are. What defines us, however, is how we handle it. One of my favorite artists, Bruce Springsteen, has some wise words on the subject:
“You can find your identity in the damage that’s been done to you. You find your identity in your wounds, in your scars, in the places where you’ve been beat up and you turn them into a medal. We all wear the things we’ve survived with some honour, but the real honour is in also transcending them.”
By taking the time to identify and understand our baggage and making a conscious decision to let go we free ourselves to experience life in a richer, deeper, more meaningful way.
By: Cila Warncke
Visit her at: http://www.cilawarncke.com/
How To Respond To Negative People Without Being Negative....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on February 11, 2014 at 12:25 AM||comments ()|
“Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
A woman with whom I once worked seemed to talk non-stop and loudly, interrupt incessantly, gossip about whomever wasn’t in the room, constantly complain, and live quite happily in martyrdom.
It seemed nothing and no one escaped her negative spin. She was good at it. She could twist the happiest moment of someone’s life into a horrendous mistake. She seemed to enjoy it too.
At first, my judgmental mind thought her behavior to be quite inappropriate. I simply didn’t approve of it. But after weeks of working with her, the thought of spending even one more moment in her presence sent me into, well, her world.
Her negativity was infectious. More and more, I found myself thinking about her negativity, talking with others about her negativity, and complaining about her constant negativity.
For a while, though, I listened to her whenever she followed me into the lunchroom or the ladies’ room. I didn’t know what to say, or do, or even think. I was held captive.
I’d excuse myself from the one-sided chit-chat as soon as possible, wanting to someday be honest enough to kindly tell her that I choose not to listen to gossip. Instead, I chose avoidance. I avoided eye contact, and any and all contact. Whenever I saw her coming, I’d get going and make for a quick getaway. I worked hard at it, too.
And it was exhausting because whether I listened to her or not, or even managed to momentarily escape her altogether, I was still held captive by her negativity.
I interacted with her only a handful of times a month, but her negative presence lingered on in my life. And I didn’t like it. But what I didn’t like didn’t really matter—I wanted to look inside myself to come up with a way to escape, not just avoid, a way to just let go of the hold this negativity had on me.
And when I did look within, I saw that I was the one exaggerating the negative. I chose to keep negativity within me even when she wasn’t around. This negativity was mine. So, as with most unpleasant things in life, I decided to own up and step up, to take responsibility for my own negativity. Instead of blaming, avoiding, and resisting the truth, I would accept it. And, somehow, I would ease up on exaggerating the negative.
I welcomed the situation as it was, opening up to the possibilities for change within me and around her.
I knew all about the current emotional fitness trends telling us to surround ourselves with only happy, positive people and to avoid negative people—the us versus them strategy for better emotional health. I saw this as disconnecting, though. We all have times when we accentuate the positive and moments when we exaggerate the negative. We are all connected in this.
Instead of attempting to continue to disconnect, to avoid being with negativity, while just denying my own, I wanted to reconnect, with compassion and kindness toward both of us.
She and I shared in this negativity together. And once I made the connection, and saw our connection, a few simple, and maybe a little more mindful thoughts began to enter my mind, and my heart. This reconnection would be made possible through love.
And these simple little, love-induced thoughts spoke up something like this:-
- Patience can sit with negativity without becoming negative, rushing off to escape, or desiring to disconnect from those who choose negativity. Patience calms me.
- And while I’m calm, I can change the way I see the situation. I can see the truth. Instead of focusing on what I don’t like, I can see positive solutions. I can deal with it.
- I can try to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. Why might this woman choose or maybe need to speak with such negativity? I can be compassionate.
- Why does what this woman chooses or needs to say cause me to feel irritated, angry, or resentful? I have allowed her words to push my negativity buttons. I can’t blame her.
- She doesn’t even know my buttons exist. She’s only concerned with her own needs. I’ve never even told her how much her negativity bothers me. I see what truly is.
- I see that we are both unhappy with our shared negativity. People who complain and gossip and sacrifice themselves for others aren’t happy. I can help to free us both.
- I will only help. I will do no harm. I have compassion for us both. I will show kindness toward both of us. I will cultivate love for us, too. I choose to reconnect.
- I will start with me and then share love with others. May I be well and happy. May our family be well and happy. May she be well and happy. I choose love.
And whenever I saw her, I greeted her with a kind smile. I sometimes listened to her stories, excusing myself whenever her words became unkind, much the same as I had done before. But I noticed the negativity no longer lingered within me. It disappeared as soon as I began choosing love again. I was freed. And I was happier. And compassion, kindness, and love had made me so.
My desire was not to speak my mind in an attempt to change hers, to change her apparent need in choosing negative words. I did hope she might free herself from negativity and liberate herself by choosing positivity instead. Our reconnection was complete, quite unlimited, too, and it gave me hope that happiness could be ours, shared through our connection.
I continue to cultivate this loving connection, being compassionate and kind whenever people, myself included, choose to speak negative words, for we all do from time to time. We are positively connected in this negativity thing, and everything else. And compassion, kindness, and love happily connect us all.
By: Midge Greentree
Visit her at: http://wildonewithin.wordpress.com/
7 Ways To Know When Your Mind Is Trying To Control Your Life....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on February 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM||comments ()|
“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Our mind is a funny thing. On the one hand, it’s awesome. But on the other, it can pulverize us more quickly and ruthlessly than anything else.
Our mind is inherently scared. That’s its job, to be cautious; to keep us alive, to have us cross roads safely, and not get eaten by a lion. But left unchecked, it can become paralyzed with fear and meaner than a cornered crocodile.
And it’s incredibly bossy.
The tendency of the mind to want to control is so strong and so habitual that we often don’t realize the myriad of times it tries to push our inner wisdom and natural sense of ease and love aside.
The bad news is there is no book or course that will change the nature of our mind; the good news—we don’t have to. The problem isn’t our mind, but how we use it.
We feel anxious, fearful, sad, or resentful when we give our mind too much power, when we follow all of its dopey ideas against our better judgment.
Here’s how to spot when your mind is trying to take over.
1. When you ignore your natural inclination:-
Your mind is smart. Not wise smart, but computer smart.
Your mind isn’t into all that woolly intuition jazz. It wants facts. It likes making calculations. Running the odds.
Say you have a thought to call a friend you haven’t thought of in years. But then your mind says, “Don’t be silly. He’s probably not home. He won’t remember me.”
So you don’t call.
But have you ever followed one of those inclinations and then looked back and seen, wow, look at everything that happened after?
And what about decisions like what to do with your life? The logical way is listen to experts or copy what works for other people. Your mind loves this.
This is why we ignore the little voice that says, “You should be a writer,” and choose instead to study statistics, because there are plenty of jobs for statisticians. Or we train to be a dancer because we’re “good at that.”
Except you aren’t “other people.” And experts aren’t as expert about you as you are. And just because you’re “good at something” doesn’t mean it’s what you want to do.
2. When you want to say “no” but you end up saying “yes.”
Do you have trouble saying “no”?
I used to. I didn’t even see it as a serious option until I was age twenty-three and so strung out from months of overdoing that I went for five nights without sleep in the middle of finals.
It was messy.
I thought there were rules more important than my deep desire not to do something. Rules like be a good friend, be a good student, go to lots of parties.
It took me months to recover.
This is, of course, a total mind thing. Your mind wants to be liked and it thinks everything is important.
Your mind doesn’t realize that saying “no” isn’t a big deal, or even a medium deal. Or that your intuition is where wisdom lies.
Not only is it your right to do as you genuinely desire, but it benefits everyone when you do.
I was watching An Angel at My Table recently, based on the autobiography of Janet Frame, one of New Zealand’s favorite authors. Janet spent eight years in a psychiatric hospital, had two hundred electroshock treatments, and narrowly escaped a lobotomy only to learn years later that she wasn’t unwell; she just didn’t like being very social, and if she did what she felt like she was fine.
3. When you constantly text or check your phone or email, or Facebook status:-
I love the Internet and email and reading comments on my blog. Just love it. What an awesome world we live in.
But often I feel off balance because of it. Or rather, because of how I use it.
And it’s not like I don’t know why I get so hooked on it. I do. I’m looking for approval.
The need for approval goes deep. Not only is it a natural trait of the mind, it’s entrenched by our schooling system.
But it’s dangerous. It keeps you distracted from the present moment and trains you to care when people disapprove. Which they will.
The modern hyper-connected world is addictive. To the mind it’s like candy.
So what’s the answer? Give it all up?
Personally, heck no. But setting limits and removing temptation keeps things in check.
4. When you think, “It’s all very well for them.”
Have you ever heard an inspirational story and thought, “It’s all very well for him, he came from a rowing family. It’s easy for him to row the Northwest Passage.”
You see it all the time and it’s a classic case of your mind resisting change, worried you’ll want to make some leap of your own.
Take Elizabeth Gilbert and her book, Eat, Pray, Love.
It wasn’t a story about traveling around the world. Not really. It was about survival and courage and how one woman used the resources she had to save herself.
Thinking, as a few did, that it’s all very well for her she could afford to travel around the world is missing the point.
We all have the ability to get up off our metaphorical bathroom floor. And we all have our own unique set of resources to help us. When your mind is quickly dismissive and judgmental, it’s trying to stop you from seeing this.
5. When you think repetitive, worrying thoughts:-
Getting OCD about washing your hands, turning off the stove, or locking the door before you leave is your safety-officer mind working overtime.
While the worry feels real and overwhelming, there’s no reality to it.
Don’t be pushed around by your mind. Thank your mind but tell it you’ll take it from here. Allow one double-check or hand wash. Now leave.
The trick is ignoring the unpleasant thoughts while knowing a bunch of more pleasant ones will be along shortly.
6. When you try and control someone else:-
Have you ever thought you knew better than someone else and tried to get them to do things your way?
Just like dozens of times a day, right?
Your mind is certain you have to intervene. You don’t. Your mind thinks it knows best. It doesn’t.
Trying to control other people, in small and big matters, is not only annoying and disrespectful; it stops the flow of life. You miss out.
I don’t know how many times I’ve experienced a profound and unexpected pleasure after I’ve ignored the urge to butt in.
7. When you feel inadequate for being “too negative.”
We’re inundated with messages telling us we should be grateful and positive and the like. They’re well meaning, but ultimately unhelpful.
Because here’s the catch.
Your mind regards these ideas as rules and is critical when you fail, as you invariably will. Because seriously, who’s positive or grateful all the time?
A few years ago a friend told me I was a negative person.
My response: “Okay, so how do I change that.”
“You don’t,” he said, “You probably won’t always be this way. It’s just how you are right now.”
Whenever you feel inadequate, this is your mind pushing you to “follow the rules.” It’s well intentioned, but misguided.
Accepting how you are, no matter how you are, is the most loving and genuinely positive thing you can do.
And yes, this applies to when you’re being controlling.
It’s your mind’s nature to seek control. It’s neither a good or bad thing, it just is. Sometimes you’ll succumb, other times you won’t. And it’s all perfectly okay.
By: Lisa Esile
Visit her at: http://www.altogethereasyguide.com/
Aging Is An Adventure, Not An Affliction....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on January 8, 2014 at 7:10 AM||comments ()|
Don’t regret growing older. Its a privilege denied to many. Embrace it. Appreciate its unique gifts. Live it fully!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, ‘WOW What a Ride!
Let it be written on your tombstone, in your eulogy and in the sky, when you die, ” She laid down the boogie and played that funky music til she died.”
I was truly inspired by a TED video with Jane Fonda speaking about ageing (aging in US English). She said we usually think about ageing like an arch. You rise up into your middle age before beginning the descent to decreptitude in your last decades. Its such a disempowering way to think about life, and with modern technology increasing our average lifespan by many years, we should see these extra years as an opportunity.
Jane suggests its far better to think of ageing like a staircase; keep rising as long as you have breath in you. Everything in life decays with age; bodies, memory, even nature is in a process of decay and rebirth. The one thing that gets stronger with age is the human spirit. You live, you learn, resilience grows, you get comfortable with not knowing, the potential for wisdom soars.
You might say, “what about young kids? Their spirit seems rock solid!” But this is different. From the bottom of the staircase, the innocent energy of young children is beautiful and inspiring. But it hasn’t yet been sharpened by the experience of rising up a staircase and doing it even on days you don’t feel energized.
Hemingway wrote the famous line, The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.
The spirit of ageing is sharpened by being strong in the broken places. Kids don’t have this, thankfully. (For those who are interested, Ken Wilber describes this distinction as the pre-trans fallacy, confusing the child-like, undifferentiated state of oneness with an integrated wholeness that comes with age and practice. To include Wilber’s perspective, maybe a spiral staircase would work better).
Integrated wholeness is the aim. But integrated wholeness is not a given. You only have to replace one word in Hemingway’s quote to recognize people we have all met (or been, at times). The world breaks everyone and afterward some are bitter in the broken places.
The gift of ageing is perspective and responsibility. With all those years come many experiences, challenges and opportunities. You can’t change them now. How you choose to frame them, re-member them, re-spond to them, is ALL you.
The choice is all yours.
Are you going to let challenge make you better or bitter?
Are you going to see ageing as an affliction or an adventure?
Are you going to buy into society’s myth of ageing as pathology, or claim the full potential of experience?
Instead of thinking of your “third act” as a nuisance, see it with a new sense of optimism. Make it count. Slide into home base at the end of your days with nothing to prove and nothing to fear. After all, “What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” (John Green)
By: Ian Lawton
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on January 3, 2014 at 11:05 AM||comments ()|
Your Reality Is A Reflection Of What You Believe You Deserve....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 9, 2013 at 6:25 AM||comments ()|
“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.”
Over the last ten years I have learned time and time again that our reality is a reflection of what we believe we deserve, often on an unconscious level.
I discovered this about a decade ago while living in Belize—a diving vacation hotspot on one end and gang-infested, poverty-ridden land on the other.
Back then I was avoiding the 9-5 life. You may say I was running from something, such as routine and following the status quo, but I was also looking to find my worth by escaping my everyday life.
I now see that my self-worth was pretty close to zero, and the concept of self-love hadn’t had a chance to make its way on my radar.
Despite the fact that I had the financial savings, my fear and inner lack of deservingness led me to a cockroach-infested wooden four by four. I can’t call it a cabin since there was neither a kitchen nor a bathroom, but luckily there was an outhouse outside.
Essentially, I had manifested my own jail cell, which represented what I thought I deserved.
I had seen other gorgeous living spaces that, in reality, were cheap, but when I saw them I thought, “I don’t deserve to be in a place like this.”
So I settled for a cockroach-infested box that scared the heck out of me. Ultimately, it was too much to bear, and I went off to the next country, once again in a living space that smelled horrendous. I stuck it out as long as I could until I was so low that I had no choice but to leave once again.
At the time I wasn’t able to see that what I had chosen was a reflection of my low self-worth. I felt like dirt and lived in it.
For years to come, that fear and lack of deservingness followed me in less than ideal living situations.
As I started to look at self-love, and practice affirmations, yoga, and meditations in nature, it was like a light went on, mostly unconsciously, until the day came when I consciously realized: I deserve better.
That was all it took. The moment I made that connection, I released my fear of my small paycheck and took action to improve my reality. I knew I had to take the first step and then the universe would follow and take care of me.
That belief and faith helped me look for better opportunities, which I finally believed I deserved, and put myself out there to pursue them.
I discovered that I had to do my part, and then I had to surrender and trust that whatever was in the highest good would manifest.
As my inner self-worth grew and I took conscious action to improve my circumstance, I finally got my own apartment and a better job.
The magic in this was that I had quit the old job where I was undervalued even before I heard back from any of the other places I had reached out to.
I took the risk and made the first step to let go of the old job that was wearing me down, and trusted that all my hard work would manifest a new opportunity.
That was exactly what happened.
What amazes me is that our practice of deeper self-love is continually evolving and growing.
It’s not like one day you wake up and everything is perfect. In reality, it’s common to wake up some days questioning your value, feeling down, and finding yourself in less than ideal situations.
This is why awareness is the magic key.
Once you are aware of this, you can change it. Once you can see that you are sabotaging yourself, you can choose to deepen your spiritual practices. This will energize you and increase your faith, helping you take action, which always leads to a more fulfilling reality.
Through the years I have continued to let go of work opportunities that no longer helped me grow or that negated my value. It’s scary every time you let go of something that feels safe (even if it is draining) but without fail I have found that when you release something that no longer serves your highest potential, you open yourself up to something better.
And yet the shadow of self-worth still comes up. Sometimes I’ll catch myself looking at something and thinking, “That’s too nice for me.”
But the difference between now and way back in the past when I lived with cockroaches is my awareness.
The moment I recognize my old habit pattern of self-worth emerging, I am able to tame the beast and realize that I am worthy, and it is okay to want and enjoy nice things.
Awareness is the first step in releasing the old habitual patterns of lack so that you can start living and breathing the feelings of a full life.
This doesn’t mean “full” of physical things, since true abundance comes from within. It’s also having proper living conditions that feel safe and peaceful, having healthy food to eat, and the ability to enjoy some of life’s pleasures.
So if you find yourself in a less than healthy and ideal situation, take a moment and ask yourself:
- Does this relate at all to your feelings of self-worth and self-love?
- Is there any way that you are responsible for creating the reality that you are living?
Take some time reflecting on these two questions, and then sit in silence for about five minutes as you follow the rhythm of your breath and focus your attention on your heart center.
Be aware of what arises. Notice without judgment, and then for the next five minutes repeat “I am worthy” or “I love myself.”
This is like creating your own mantra that you breathe in and out. It is effective at changing your self-talk so that you feed your mind positive thoughts about yourself instead of negative ones.
What you feed your mind grows and becomes your reality.
Then ask yourself:
How do you want to be living? And, how can you inject your own self-love into this equation?
Once you know your worth, once you truly care about yourself on a deep soulful level, you will want to take care of yourself and give yourself the best. Through self-love and self-worth you will find the courage to take action to live a better life.
And if you are having difficulty with this process, please remember it is a process, and rarely does this change happen overnight. But it does happen.
You can create a better life. Start by being aware of how you treat yourself. You can pray, meditate, practice affirmations, and ask your inner guidance for help.
All of these actions will increase your faith and energy, which will lead to increased positive actions to enhance your life. Start being kinder in how you talk to yourself, how much time you give yourself, and how often you treat yourself to something lovely. (This can be as simple as a warm cup of cocoa.)
Love yourself first and the world will love you back.
By: Tova Payne
Visit her at: http://www.tovapayne.com/
Power Of Gratitude....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on December 7, 2013 at 6:50 AM||comments ()|
A little gratitude changes your whole outlook, like lighting a single match in a dark room!
You see things that were there all along and realize how amazing your life already is....
Even the friction of challenge creates light when hope rubs against struggle and you see the
red hot flame of your own strength.
A Simple But Powerful Way To Kick The Worry Habit....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on November 17, 2013 at 6:25 AM||comments ()|
Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”
I’m a worrier by nature, and I come by it honestly.
My mother was afraid to cross bridges, and ride in elevators, boats, and airplanes. Her mother died of cancer at the age of 40, and my mother spent many years—including those of my childhood—thinking every sniffle, fever, or headache might be the start of something fatal.
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, growing up with a steady dose of anxiety, like an invisible intravenous drip, had its effect on my developing mind.
I was an introverted, timid child. Afraid of the boys who threw snowballs, afraid of steep ski trails, afraid of not getting A’s in every subject, all the time. A lot of my anxiety got channeled into perfectionism, and—just like my mother—trying to control pretty much everything.
The gift in my anxiety was a distinct drive to find peace. That quest led me to meditation at the tender age of 19.
That was more than forty years ago. I was young and naïve, and really had no idea what I was doing (the belief that I could banish worry forever being just one indication of my naiveté;). But, I persisted—and when I lost the thread of practice, I always eventually came back to it.
Here’s one thing I’ve learned in 40-some years of meditation and awareness practice: there is a great deal that I’m not aware of. Still.
That could be discouraging, and sometimes it is. But, what keeps me on this path, what keeps me meditating and working to bring the light of mindful attention to the dark places in my mind and life, are the new awarenesses, the small victories I feel in moments when something that was unseen is all at once seen.
There is a thrill in that, not perhaps like the thrill of speeding down a black diamond trail, or any of those other physical challenges I’ve always been afraid of, but a thrill just the same.
One day, not too long ago, I was driving to a train station to leave my car in a long-term lot while I visited New York for a few days. I had never been to this lot and as I drove, I was feeling the pressure of needing to find the lot, find a spot, and not miss the train.
That feeling of pressure isn’t unusual when I have a deadline such as a train to catch. But this time, for some reason, I became more acutely aware of a subtle layer of physical and emotional tension.
Just as I often do on the meditation cushion, I began to bring the feeling of tension more fully into awareness and to investigate it as I was driving. Here’s what I saw:
1. I was facing an unknown (inconsequential as it was), which triggered anxiety because the unknown is impossible to control.
2. My feelings were telling me a lie, that is, that this unknown situation had life-or-death consequences.
And most importantly:
3. How I was relating to the unknown of not being sure about where to park and how long it would take, this is how I relate to all unknowns in my life, large and small. That is, I approach the unknown with an underlying assumption that was completely unconscious until that moment: “It Won’t Work Out.”
Because I had become aware of it, I was able to question the assumption. I remembered Pema Chodron’s description of a traditional Tibetan Buddhist teaching, from Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living: “train in the three difficulties.”*
The first “difficulty” is to see your unhelpful patterns of thought and behavior. The second is to “do something different.” The third is to continue doing that different thing.
So, I asked myself, “What if I tried something different, and assumed it most likely would work out?” (That is, I would find the lot, be able to find a parking spot, and get to the train on time.)
I tried to coax my brain toward this idea, and to resist the considerable energy drawing it back to the habitual, well-worn track of “It Won’t Work Out.”
It felt strange, driving toward the station with the idea that finding parking and getting to the train was workable. I mean “strange” the way crossing your legs the opposite way from how you usually do feels strange. Not bad, really, but unfamiliar, foreign.
But not too long after it felt strange, it felt incredibly liberating. Just as assuming “It Won’t Work Out” is a pretty sure bet to breed anxiety, approaching an unknown with the assumption that it’s going to be workable is likely to induce at least some degree of calm and equanimity.
And it did. My shoulders relaxed, my breathing deepened, and I felt a kind of mental brightening, as if a foreboding storm cloud had unexpectedly lifted.
I’d like to say that was the moment when I cast aside the worn-out assumption that “It Won’t Work Out” and replaced it—forevermore—with “It’s All Workable.” Well, suffice it to say, I’m still working on the third difficulty: “Continue in that new way.”
But that’s okay with me now, in a way it wouldn’t have been four decades ago. Instead of feeling impatient to get rid of that worry-driven assumption, I feel grateful that I became aware of it.
And to me, that kind of awareness, arising seemingly spontaneously, is the fruit of meditation and whatever other ways we work to wake up. However imperfectly we make that effort, it does make a difference over time.
Contrary to the incessant messages from our turbo-charged culture, here’s another piece of wisdom I’ve gleaned in 40-some years of meditating and 60-some years of life: most change happens bit by bit, one small “aha” at a time, with lots of practice in between.
And there’s joy to be had—in each of those small awakenings, and in the winding path we walk toward the unknown, illumined by the light of one humble, thrilling realization after another.
(By the way–no surprise—I did find the lot and a parking space, and got to the train with plenty of time. It did work out.)
By: Abby Seixas
Visit her at: http://deepriverwithin.com/
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on November 16, 2013 at 7:20 AM||comments ()|
Give others the peace of your mind whenever you can today.
It starts in your mind, with your thoughts, and spreads from there like seeds, filling your words with gentleness and coloring your actions with kindness.
Let peace spread like wildflowers and take root in hearts and minds everywhere.
Life As A Film....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM||comments ()|
Your body is exactly like a movie projector, and the film running through the projector is all of your thoughts and feelings.
Everything you see on the screen of your
life is what has been projected from within you, and is what you have
put into the film.
By choosing higher thoughts and feelings you can change what you see on the screen at any time... You have complete control of what goes into your film!
The World Is A Mirror....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 10, 2013 at 10:55 PM||comments ()|
If you are positive, then nothing is negative for you. If you are negative, then everything will be negative for you. You are the source of all that exists around you, you are the creator of your own world.
We are not living in one world, remember... There are as many worlds as there are minds. Each mind is living in its own world; it creates the world. So, if everything looks negative...Everything looks destructive...Everything looks inimical against you, it is because you do not have the positive center in you...
If you feel negativity all around you, it simply shows you are negative within. The world is just a mirror, and you are reflected in it.
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 10, 2013 at 10:55 PM||comments ()|
People go through their whole lives chasing everything in the material world, and they fail to discover the greatest treasure of all, which is within them.
Shut your eyes to the outside world. Direct your thoughts and words to the inside of you. The Master within you is the key to all the treasures in the world.
By: Rhonda Byrne
Life Is A Choice : Make Each Moment Count.....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 28, 2013 at 12:35 AM||comments ()|
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 13, 2013 at 3:15 PM||comments ()|
Let others show you what you may not be able to see for yourself.
A new perspective, fresh insight, or clear vision may shine a light on your blind spot.
A squint or tilt of your head could change the way you see the world.
There are as many views as there are eyes to see them.
See all you can see to be all you can be.
Stop Pushing: The Art Of Relaxed Achievement....
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on September 10, 2013 at 8:15 AM||comments ()|
“Some people think it’s holding that makes one strong—sometimes it’s letting go.” ~Unknown
A few weeks ago, I took a sip of my morning tea hoping that the day would be better than the prior ones. I had somehow tripped over the cracks of life and couldn’t seem to pull myself back. I had woken up feeling eager to start a new day, but like every other day of my life, within the first few hours, things had gotten off track.
I was stuck in a downward vortex of fear, anxiety and self-ridicule. I read my Yogi tea bag message, “It’s not life that matters; it’s the courage that we bring to it.”
I held back my tears because my courage was feeling impossibly deflated. I was sick of trying so hard.
How much courage do we really need to live our lives?
I realized then that my entire life I’d felt like a fraud. I was renting someone else’s life, trying to pretend that it was me. My only consistency was my inconsistency with not being true and honoring myself. It is exhausting to be someone you’re not supposed to be.
Society conditioned me to believe if you want something you have to work hard to get it. And I worked really hard accepting the fact that life was supposed to be an uphill struggle. All my relationships were superficial. I forced a smile to hide the fact that I felt all alone.
Everyone I knew wanted to talk about the latest fashion buzz, who won American Idol, or what Snookie’s latest drama was. I pretended to be interested, but I was more curious about the pull on my heart. It kept prickling and nagging as to say, “There is more than this, honey.”
For over a decade I lived this delusional nightmare of codependency and a search for security with success.
I chose all my romantic relationships carefully to escape the painful reality of my anxiety. I’d pick partners who were addicted to numbing their pain, too. We’d escape life by doing drugs together and drinking over the fear.
I finally got up enough courage to recognize that the relationship was unhealthy and I would end it only to find myself back in the arms of another addiction—overeating, over exercising, overworking; more men, more drugs. I stayed in a constant state of denial, consumed by my fear-based mind.
I was always waiting for the next thing to happen— the next promotion, the next boyfriend, the next anything to drag me out of the depression. It never occurred to me that “pushing” was the problem. My inner drive was really just a cry for help—a call for love.
I believed the root of my depression was my job in marketing. So after many attempts I finally left that position to pursue a new dream. Again the pushing overtook my world. I declared I would be a travel writer and pushed my way into that industry.
It was like climbing one mountain to get to the top only to see you’ve made it only half way. I started to meet important people in the publishing world. Bestselling authors were now my best friends, and I was being published in travel magazines.
But behind the scenes, I was a mess. My constant need for approval fueled my new career. It was no different than before. I was just as doped up on success and recognition as I was in my previous job.
I was driven by the outward reflections of success, thinking that my worth was wrapped up in how many travel jobs I could pin down. I started to compare myself to other travel writers, believing that my importance was tied to how many Twitter followers I had.
This is what the fear-based mind tends to do. It has a way of making us stay in fear by playing out delusions of separation. My ego was in full command, so I continued with my weary pushing.
One day, an editor called me to invite me on a press trip. But to my surprise, getting to this phone call didn’t take any pushing at all. In fact, it landed in my lap.
I started to realize that my life doesn’t have to be so hard. I’d left one career carrying leftover insecurities and fear only to dump them into my new career. I couldn’t move on and grow unless I learned the lessons.
When I left the corporate world, I promised myself to always follow my heart. When I follow my heart there is always a pull. It is like a magnetic force leading me to my greater good. The pushing is the monster. It is the fearful mind creeping in to tell us that we aren’t good enough; we aren’t good looking enough, or smart enough.
Enough already! Stop the insanity. No wonder most of the world is stuck in depression, recession and aggression.
What if we all shifted our thoughts to loving thoughts? What if we all stopped pushing and just let our hearts pull us?
The day I had this epiphany I was sitting next to my 92-year-old Grandma. I recognized that her reality was much different than mine.
There was a woman who had lived through so much, from the Great
Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, the Cuban Missile
Crisis, to the Assassination of President Kennedy, 9/11, and the First
But there she sat, with a soft subtle glow. Grandma always smiled and had a peaceful spark in her eyes. I realized that my mini dramas, self-loathing, and worrying about my next assignment were rather superficial in comparison.
I asked this beautiful 92-year-old woman, “In your life, how did you get through the tough times?” She looked over at me, and simply replied, “Well it all works out in the end now doesn’t it? There is no point in worrying when things always turn out fine.”
A smile flooded to my face, as I recognized that there is a distinct difference between pushing and pulling. Pushing is all about fear.
Up until a few weeks ago, I was stuck in the success trap of feeling like my reward would come from “out there.” I had to cut the strings and trust that success is a feeling in the heart. Now instead of pushing, I feel a natural peace from within.
Where in your life are you struggling? In what way are you exhausting yourself through pushing? If it feels like you are going uphill in an area of your life, stop and take a step back.
Then connect with your purpose. Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Don’t worry about how or when it will happen, but ask why. Are you helping others? How are you serving the greater good?
When we focus on the intention rather than the little things, like how we’re going to make money, or when we’ll meet our next clients, we feel motivated by our purpose, rather than driven by our worries.
Make the conscious choice to act from love, not fear. Fear is the pushing, manipulating, controlling force, and love is the pull in your heart that will guide you to the path of least resistance.
Lastly, listen to Grandma. Trust that everything is going to be fine, because in the end it always works out.
By: Shannon Kaiser
Visit her at: http://www.playwiththeworld.net/