Archive for June, 2009

What is that?

June 30, 2009

This is a 5-min Greek short film made in 2007 with English subtitle. “Father and son are sitting on a bench. Suddenly a sparrow lands across them.”

Affirming an Abundant Future

June 30, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

Native Americans considered all living beings as brothers and sisters that had much to teach including squirrels.  These small creatures taught them to work in harmony with the cycles of nature by conserving for the winter months during times when food was plentiful. In our modern world, squirrels remind us to set aside a portion of our most precious resources as an investment in the future. Though food and money certainly fall into this category, they are only some of the ways our energy is manifested. We can conserve this most valuable asset by being aware of the choices we make and choosing only those that nurture and sustain us. This extends to the natural resources of our planet as well, using what we need wisely with the future in mind.

Saving and conservation are not acts of fear but rather affirmations of abundance yet to come. Squirrels accept life’s cycles, allowing them to face winters with the faith that spring will come again. Knowing that change is part of life, we can create a safe space, both spiritually and physically, that will support us in the present and sustain us in the future. This means not filling our space with things, or thoughts, that don’t serve us. Without hoarding more than we need, we keep ourselves in the cyclical flow of life when we donate our unwanted items to someone who can use them best. This allows for more abundance to enter our lives, because even squirrels know a life of abundance involves more than just survival.

Squirrels use their quick, nervous energy to enjoy life’s adventure. They are great communicators, and by helping each other watch for danger, they do not allow worry to drain them. Instead, they allow their curious nature to lead the way, staying alert to opportunities and learning as they play. Following the example set by our squirrel friends, we are reminded to enjoy the journey of life’s cycles as we plan and prepare for a wonderful future, taking time to learn and play along the way.

Days of Affirmation

June 27, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

Upon waking, many people consider the coming day with trepidation. Because of the natural human tendency to focus on what we fear or dislike, it is easy to unwittingly send a message of unease into the future that negatively impacts the quality of your day. However, while our lives are busy and frequently replete with challenges, they are also rich with joy and experiences worth savoring. We can attract this natural bliss into our lives by starting each day with a message of love. When you send love ahead to your day, that love will manifest itself in your interpersonal interactions, your professional endeavors, and your domestic duties. Tasks and circumstances once made trying by your own anxiety are transformed by your love, and you will find yourself approaching life’s subtle nuances with great affection.

Each morning, when you have cast off the fog of sleep, take several deep, grounding breaths and reaffirm the love you have for yourself. Speaking a loving, self-directed blessing aloud enables you to access and awaken the reservoir of tenderness in your soul. Before you leave the comfortable warmth of your bed, be sure to tell the universe that you are eager and ready to receive the blessings it has set aside for you. Then as you prepare to meet the day, visualize yourself first saturated by and then surrounded with a warm and soft loving light. Gradually widen the circle of this light until you are able to send it ahead into your future. If you are commuting to work, send love to the roads upon which you will drive, your fellow commuters, and your parking space. If you have colleagues who arrive at your workplace before you, send them love. Likewise, a day spent being a parent or addressing household chores can benefit from the sentiment that precedes you. Sending love ahead to everyone you will meet and everything you will do can ensure that your day is suffused with grace.

If you have difficulty sending love to those situations and individuals you deem particularly frustrating, consider that the warmth and tenderness you project can change your life for the better. Each morning, in sending this love, you will exercise your power to control the ambiance of your existence and to color your day with positivity.

Isolation

June 26, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

There are times in our lives when withdrawing from our social obligations and taking some time to be alone is necessary to rejuvenate our energy and renew our connection to ourselves. However, there are also times when withdrawal is a red flag, indicating an underlying sense of depression or some other problem. We may not even have consciously decided to isolate ourselves but wake up one day to find that we have been spending most of our time alone. Perhaps it’s been a long time since friends who used to call have given up. Without anyone inviting us out, we sink deeper into alienation.

The longer our isolation lasts, the harder it becomes to reach out to people. It is as if we have failed to exercise a particular muscle, and now it is so weak we don’t know how to use it. Yet, in order to return to a healthy, balanced state of being, that’s exactly what we need to do. If you find yourself in this situation, call an understanding friend who will listen to you with compassion, not a defensive friend who may have taken your withdrawal personally. The last thing you need is to be chided; a negative response could intensity your isolation. If you don’t have a kind friend you can rely on, call a spiritual counselor or therapist. They may be able to help you determine the underlying cause of your isolation and help you find your way out of it.

When you’ve been in a pattern of secluding yourself, it can begin to seem impossible that you could reenter the world of friendships, conversations, and group activities, but with time, you will. Most people will understand if you take the time to explain that you’ve fallen out of touch and would like to reconnect. Take your time and be gentle with yourself, starting with one person and building from there. Try to reach out to one new person every week. Before you know it, you will find yourself back in the company of friends.

Putting People on a Pedestal

June 25, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

When we fall in love with someone or make a new friend, we sometimes see that person in a glowing light. Their good qualities dominate the foreground of our perception and their negative qualities. They just don’t seem to have any. This temporary state of grace is commonly known as putting someone on a pedestal. Often times we put spiritual leaders and our gurus on pedestals. We have all done this to someone at one time or another, and as long as we remember that no one is actually “perfect,” the pedestal phase of a relationship can be enjoyed for what it is—a phase. It’s when we actually believe our own projection that troubles arise.

Everyone has problems, flaws, and blind spots, just as we do. When we entertain the illusion that someone is perfect, we don’t allow them room to be human, so when they make an error in judgment or act in contradiction to our idea of perfection, we become disillusioned. We may get angry or distance ourselves in response. In the end, they are not to blame for the fact that we idealized them. Granted, they may have enjoyed seeing themselves as perfect through our eyes, but we are the ones who chose to believe an illusion. If you go through this process enough times, you learn that no one is perfect. We are all a combination of divine and human qualities and we all struggle. When we treat the people we love with this awareness, we actually allow for a much greater intimacy than when we held them aloft on an airy throne. The moment you see through your idealized projection is the moment you begin to see your loved one as he or she truly is.

We cannot truly connect with a person when we idealize them. In life, there are no pedestals—we are all walking on the same ground together. When we realize this, we can own our own divinity and our humanity. This is the key to balance and wholeness within ourselves and our relationships.

Different Ways of Navigating

June 24, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

We’re all in the same boat. We just have different paddles, and perhaps we find ourselves on different rivers. We all live in human bodies. These are the vehicles in which we move through our world. We are all made of flesh, blood, and bone, with brains, hearts, and lungs to power us. Our paddles—the tools we use to move through the world—vary, as do the bodies of water—the environments—in which we find ourselves.

Some of us use our high IQs to get where we want to go. Some of use our smiles, others use kindness, a gift with language, or athletic ability. Some of these qualities we were born with and others are skills we have learned. Considering this metaphor in light of your own life can be very enlightening. What tools are you using to get from point A to point B in your life? Chances are, you and the people you know have used many different tools in various combinations throughout your lives to get where you needed to go. Just as with oars or paddles, a balanced approach is best. If you rely too much on one thing, like beauty, to open doors, you fail to be well-rounded and you may eventually lose your equilibrium. And if you lose that one quality, you have no paddle at all. This is inspiration to develop multiple tools to navigate your world.

Some of us may be moving along paths that are like rushing rivers; others may be on a large, still lake. We have all felt, at one time or another, tossed about on a stormy ocean. Through all this, we are never really alone, even though it might seem that way. There is inspiration all around us in the form of other people making their way through the world, in the very same boat. Remember to look around you for role models, companionship, and encouragement.

Living in a Grateful World

June 19, 2009

Be grateful to those who have hurt or harmed you, for they have reinforced your determination.

Be grateful to those who have deceived you, for they have deepened your insight.

Be grateful to those who have hit you, for they have reduced your karmic obstacles.

Be grateful to those who have abandoned you, for they have taught you to be independent.

Be grateful to those who have made you stumble, for they have strengthened your ability.

Be grateful to those who have denounced you, for they have increased your wisdom and concentration.

Be grateful to those who have made you firm and resolute and helped you in your achievements.

Start with the Heart

June 18, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

Every day we experience a magical twilight between our dreams and waking state. During this brief period of time, our minds still remember that all things are possible. We can smoothly transition into our physical world without losing a sense of hope when we check in with our heart center first, before we even get out of bed. Our heart center is the link between body and spirit, instinct and inspiration. It doesn’t take long to hold a thought of loving gratitude for the heart that beats within us. In a mere moment we can review all that we want to accomplish in the light of love. When we get into the habit of beginning our day from the heart, all of our activities glow with the infusion of conscious intent and all interactions are done with compassion. 

We can restart our day right now by imagining how love and inspiration feel. As light glows from our heart center, radiating out through our bodies into the space around us, any feelings of stress or frustration seem to melt away. Now, we see each person we encounter as fellow travelers in the journey of life, and every activity becomes part of a spiritual partnership. As conscious participants in the cycle of giving and receiving, we share our light with others as we become enlivened ourselves, with our heart leading the way.

In the intersection where our body and soul meet, our physical heart beats in time with the rhythm of the universe. It does the physical work of supplying our body with life force without our attention, but for its spiritual work, we need to be conscious. When we concentrate on its rhythm and glowing light, we remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Then we know that we can choose any time to check in with our heart center, and in doing so, experience the joy of being in love with life.

Reclaiming Your Power

June 16, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

There is an innate awkwardness to being human. With each decision we make, there is the potential for self-doubt and it is this-self doubt that forms the root of insecurity—a complex emotion that is a mix of equal parts inadequacy, isolation, fear, and hopelessness. Yet these feelings of insecurity that prevent us from fulfilling our potential by inducing us to abide by arbitrary self-limitations are nothing more than erroneous perceptions. We feel unconfident and unsure of ourselves because we judge ourselves to be so. Banishing insecurity is often simply a matter of challenging ourselves in order to prove that we are indeed intelligent and able.

When we feel insecure, we not only perceive ourselves as incapable of meeting life’s challenges but also fraudulent and unworthy of true happiness. We move through life plagued by a sense that others have judged us and found that we are lacking. As a result, we are robbed of our personal power and rendered unable to feel positive about the choices we make. Everyone feels insecure from time to time because each of us is born into the world with unique strengths. If you should find yourself with feelings of insecurity, however, endeavor to understand its source. Perhaps you were repeatedly berated as a child or seldom receive positive reinforcement in the present. A tendency to withdraw from risk or uncomfortable situations can amplify feelings of insecurity. When you have pinpointed the origin of your insecurity, focus on your abilities. The more you utilize your personal power—by taking risks, boldly facing challenges, and acting decisively—the stronger it will grow. 

Remember that insecurity is not objective. Rather, it is an emotional interpretation of your value unconsciously based on doubt, shame, and fear. As you overcome those underlying emotions through courageous action and copious self-love, you’ll discover that you are capable of achieving more than you ever thought possible.

The Journey of Release

June 15, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

When we become overwhelmed and things are not going as planned, it is natural to hold tighter to our goals and try to force things to go our way. In the process, we tie ourselves in knots, tensing our shoulders, jaws, and muscles throughout our bodies. Our mind tells us that this is how to get a firmer grip on a situation that feels out of control, but as we create knots in our bodies we are blocking the flow of our energy, exhausting ourselves by exerting more effort yet accomplishing less. At these times, though it may seem counterintuitive, our higher selves know it’s better to let go.

This may not be quite as easy as it sounds. After the relief of our first decision to release, if we allow questions about how to get everything done to start again, the knots will be back before we know it. So we need to be aware that this is a process to breathe through. First, we need to let go of our idea of what the perfect outcome should be, and allow that the intelligence that drives the universe knows better than we do how everything fits together for the highest good. Then we might have to release our imagined consequences and realize that, in most cases, the worst that could happen really isn’t that bad. We may need to remember how to relax, first by taking deep breaths, then by meditating, and then perhaps seeking help from a loved one, massage therapist, or energy healer to clear the underlying knots.

We can ease our mental stress by prioritizing what we truly want to accomplish, and then delegating the rest to someone who has more enthusiasm for those things. When we relax and let life’s energy flow through our minds, bodies, spirits, and lives, we will find that we can accomplish more with less effort and feel good doing it. We don’t have to tie ourselves in knots. Instead, we can let the ribbons of our energy unfurl to gracefully direct us through life’s abundant flow.

An Enlivening Force

June 10, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

We all know inspiration when we feel it. It is a force that enlivens us and activates us to do something—we might dance, sing, paint the house, or envision a new career. We might call an old friend or plan a trip abroad.  Whatever the case, doing what we do from a place of inspiration makes all things seem possible. Inspiration sometimes comes out of nowhere, landing unexpectedly in the midst of your life and lifting you out of your habitual mind and into a higher level of seeing. However, we can be more intentional with our relationship with inspiration than just waiting for it to come to us. There are many ways to cultivate its presence, from journaling to scrap booking to visiting with a particularly interesting friend. Finding what inspires you and consciously cultivating it will give you access to new ways of thinking and energy you didn’t know you had.

Some people find that frequent trips into nature inspire them. Others have a box full of objects—a seashell, an old photograph, or even a collection of rocks—that does the trick. There are as many ways to find inspiration as there are people looking for it. If you already know what inspires you, find a way to incorporate it into your life on a regular basis. If you aren’t sure what inspires you, or if it has changed, take some time to think about it. When was the last time you felt the spark of your imagination? When was the last time you acted on an impulse that felt totally right? When we are in the presence of what inspires us, we hear our inner guidance more clearly and we have the energy to follow its cues.

If it has been a while since you have been touched by inspiration, you may feel listless and dissatisfied. Know that you can turn things around by remembering what lights you up and bringing that into your life.

因果

June 9, 2009

[ 来自一位朋友的分享]

躲避不一定躲得过

面对不一定最难受

孤单不一定不快乐

得到不一定能长久

失去不一定不再有

转身不一定最软弱

别急着说别无选择

别以为世上只有对与错

许多事情的答案都不只有一个

一切的一切都有它的

因因果果

不需要我们去辩驳

所以我们永运有路可以走

你也能找个理由难过

也一定能找到快乐

懂得放下的人    找到轻松

懂得遗忘的人    找到自由

懂得关怀的人    找到朋友

Physically Stressed?

June 9, 2009

— Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).

Letting go physically is a matter of stress release. Under stress your body tenses and contracts; breathing gets ragged and shallow; hormonal balances switch from their normal levels to the hypervigilant state of fight of flight. You cannot cope with all of this at once. In the overall plan taking part in a stress management program is a long-term commitment you should make, whether through meditation, yoga, or countless other options.

Stress is ongoing; therefore reducing stress also needs to be ongoing. In the short run letting go of stress involves relaxing. Take deep, measured breaths, letting the breath go free on the exhale. Lie down if you can and allow release to take place for as long as it needs to.

Signs of good release are yawning, sighing, silent sobs, coughing, sneezing, and feeling sleepy. Let your body do any or all of these things.

Other means of physical release besides breathing include laughing, screaming, shouting, taking a walk, swimming, taking a long bath, dancing, and doing aerobics.

Shaking out the stress does in fact work, at least partially. The intention here is to let your body release what it wants to. Your body doesn’t like holding on to stress; it does so essentially at the urging of the mind. Taking your mind off the situation and letting your body release its excess energies is a valuable step.

Under really extreme stress, walk away from the situation – tell anyone else who is involved that you need to be alone for a while to get your bearings. Offer reassurance that you will be back, and even if the other person puts pressure on you to stay, give yourself permission to do what you need to do for your own well-being.

Choosing a New Response

June 4, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

Everyone has fears—it is a natural part of being human. Fear can protect us from harm by sending a rush of adrenaline to help us physically deal with potential danger. But there are times when fear may keep us from participating fully in life. Once we realize that fear is a state of mind, we can choose to face our fears, change our minds, and create the life we want to live.

Our minds are powerful tools to be used by our higher selves; like computers, storing and using data to make certain connections between thought and response. We have the ability to observe these and choose differently. No matter where the fear came from, we can create new connections by choosing new thoughts. When our souls and minds are in alignment, we create a new experience of reality. This journey requires many small steps, as well as patience and courage through the process. Here’s an example: You decide to overcome your fear of driving on the freeway. Your plan of action starts with examining your thoughts and finding a new way of seeing the situation. When you’re ready, you enlist a calm companion to support you as you take the first step of merging into the slow lane and using the first exit. Your heart may be racing, but your confidence will be boosted by the accomplishment. Repeat this until you are comfortable, with or without help, and then drive one exit further. When you are ready, you can try driving in the middle lane, for longer periods each time, until you find yourself going where you want to go. This gradual process is similar for conquering any fear, but if you find it overwhelming, you can always seek the help of a professional.

You may think that you are the only one with a particular fear, that nobody else could possibly be scared of ordinary things such as water, heights, public speaking, or flying. These types of fears are very common, and you can have great success overcoming them. Remember, it is not the absence of the fear but the courage to take action anyway that determines success. When we learn to face our fears, we learn to observe our thoughts and feelings but not be ruled by them. Instead we choose how to shape the lives we want.

Taking a Time Out

June 2, 2009

[ From DailyOM ]

Most of us feel a little crazy from time to time. Periods of high stress can make us feel like we’re losing it, as can being surrounded by people whose values are very different from our own. Losing a significant relationship and moving into a new life situation are other events that can cause us to feel off kilter. Circumstances like these recur in our lives, and they naturally affect our mental stability. The symptoms of our state of mind can range from having no recollection of putting our car keys where we eventually find them, to wondering if we’re seeing things clearly when everyone around us seems to be in denial of what’s going on right in front of their eyes. For most of us, the key to survival at times like these is to step back, take a deep breath, and regain our composure. Then we can decide what course of action to take.

Sometimes a time-out does the trick. We take a day off from whatever is making us feel crazy and, like magic, we feel in our right mind again. Talking to an objective friend can also help. We begin to see what it is about the situation that destabilizes us, and we can make changes from there. At other times, if the situation is particularly sticky, we may need to seek professional help. Meeting with someone who understands the way the human mind reacts to stress, loss, and difficulty can make us feel less alone and more supported. A therapist or a spiritual counselor can give us techniques that help bring us back to a sane state of mind so that we can affect useful changes. They can also mirror our basic goodness, helping us to see that we are actually okay.

The main purpose of the wake-up call that feeling crazy provides is to let us know that something in our lives is out of balance. Confirm for yourself that you are capable of creating a sane and peaceful reality for yourself. Try to remember that most people have felt, at one time or another, that they are losing it. You deserve a life that helps you thrive. Try and take some steps today to help you achieve more balance and a little less crazy.