Archive for January, 2012

Why Not Now?

January 31, 2012

[ From DailyOM ]

All the joy and passion you can envision can be yours right now, rather than in a future point in time.

The time we are blessed with is limited and tends to be used up all too quickly. How we utilize that time is consequently one of the most important decisions we make. Yet it is far too easy to put off until tomorrow what we are dreaming of today. The hectic pace of modern existence affords us an easy out; we shelve our aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, ostensibly to have more time and leisure to realize our purpose in the future. Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals. In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now—because we view failure as a possibility, our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational. If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us.

When regarded as a question, “Why not now?” drains us of our power to realize our ambitions. We are so concerned with the notion that we are somehow undeserving of happiness that we cannot see that there is much we can do in the present to begin courting it. Yet when we look decisively at our existence and state, “Why not now, indeed!” we are empowered to begin changing our lives this very moment. We procrastinate for many reasons, from a perceived lack of time to a legitimate lack of self-belief, but the truth of the matter is that there is no time like the present and no time but the present. Whatever we aim to accomplish, we will achieve it more quickly and with a greater degree of efficiency when we seize the day and make the most of the resources we have at our disposal presently.

All the joy, passion, and contentment you can envision can be yours right now, rather than in some far-flung point in time. You need only remind yourself that there is nothing standing between you and fulfillment. If you decide that today is the day you will take your destiny into your hands, you will soon discover that you hold the keys of fate.

Shedding Light on Ourselves

January 24, 2012

[ From DailyOM ]

When we choose that which is not best for us, there can be a deep seated part of us that does not want to heal.

In almost every case, we know what is best for us in our lives, from the relationships we create to the food we eat. Still, somewhat mysteriously, it is often difficult to make the right choices for ourselves. We find ourselves hanging out with someone who leaves us feeling drained or choosing to eat fast food over a salad. We go through phases where we stop doing yoga or taking vitamins, even though we feel so much better when we do. Often we have no idea why we continue to make the less enlightened choice, but it is important that we inquire into ourselves to find out.

When we choose that which is not best for us, the truth can be that there is a deep seated part of us that does not want to heal. We may say it’s because we don’t have the time or the energy or the resources, but the real truth is that when we don’t take care of ourselves we are falling prey to self-sabotage. Self-sabotage happens unconsciously, which is why it’s so difficult to see that we are doing it. The important thing to realize is that this very part of us that resists our healing is the part that most needs our attention and love. Even as it appears to be working against us, if we can simply bring it into the light of our consciousness, it can become our greatest ally. It carries the information we need to move to the next level in our healing process.

When we recognize that we are not making healthy choices, we might even say out loud, “I am not taking care of myself.” Sometimes this is the jolt we need to wake up to what is actually happening. Next we can sit ourselves down in meditation, with a journal, or with a trusted friend to explore the matter more thoroughly. Just shining the light of our awareness on the source of our resistance is sometimes enough to dispel its power. At other times, further effort is required. Either way, we need not fear these parts that do not want to heal. We only need to take them under our wing and bring them with us into the light.

A Different Approach to Anger

January 17, 2012

[ From DailyOM ]

Thoughts of revenge create an energy of imbalance and is best dealt with by releasing your anger.

There can be times when we get so angry with someone that we find ourselves imagining ways to seek revenge for the hurt they’ve caused us. Remember, however, that the thoughts you’ve just had are energetic creations. In order to keep yourself from having to take part in the rebalancing of energy, it is important to release the person and the thoughts into the care of the universe with forgiveness.

Before we allow ourselves to invest our energy into negative thought or action, we can remind ourselves that everything has a purpose. We can then consider that perhaps the actions of the other person or people may have had nothing to do with us. If we don’t take their actions personally, it may be easier to release them. Remembering that every interaction is an opportunity to make a better choice, we can take a deep breath before responding, allowing us just enough time to connect to center and make the choice to respond from our higher self. We can never know all the circumstances that may have led anyone to do anything. By not passing judgment on anyone, and instead sending hope for their healing, we may create something positive out of a difficult situation. We can then release it, since dwelling on it can cause an energetic drain in our system, causing us to really only hurt ourselves. When we can release our hold on negative events and interactions, we leave it in the hands of a wise universe to work out the best solution for all involved.

In every moment we have a chance to make a choice to bring light into the world. When we bless others with the gift of our positive energy, instead of letting circumstances affect us negatively, we bring a little peace to the world every day.

Promoting the Positive

January 12, 2012

[ From DailyOM ]

We always have the option to not participate in negativity or to find a way to create  a positive direction instead.

Sometimes we start out with the best intentions to think and speak only positive thoughts, but the people around us throw us off course. Not everyone fully understands the power our thoughts and words have, or even if they do, they may be stuck in old patterns of negativity. Much of our habitual communication takes the form of complaining and criticizing, and it can be hard to find a way into certain conversations without lapsing into those old habits. However, we always have the option not to participate in negativity or to find a way to influence the situation in a positive direction. In the right company, you may even be able to directly acknowledge the fact that things have taken a negative turn, thus freeing yourself and others from the negative pull.

Not everyone will respond to your cues, and there’s no need to become overly attached to the idea of changing other people, because people have to choose for themselves how they will be in the world. Many people choose negativity because it is familiar to them and feels safe. It is important to give people the space to find their own way, but you can always set an example, subtly representing the power of being positive. At times you may interject an affirmative statement into the conversation, and at others you may simply change the subject. You may also simply withdraw your energy and presence, which also makes a subtle statement. If you feel comfortable enough with somebody that is always negative, perhaps you can have an honest conversation with them; after all, awareness is the first step to change.

A powerful way to free yourself from the negative pull is to enlist allies who are similarly minded. You and a friend, coworker, or family member may agree to work together to continually shift the energy in a situation in a positive direction. The power of two people working to promote the positive is exponentially greater than one person working on their own. As you and your allies work together to lift the energy around you, you will be amazed to see how quickly the positive pull begins to draw people into its orbit, freeing one mind after another from negativity into light.

Thoughts

January 10, 2012

[ From DailyOM ]

During the day we can monitor our thoughts to see if we are investing our energy where it isn’t useful.

Our thoughts are powerful forces in the creation of our experience of life. You may be able to recall a time when frustration that was based on a misunderstanding completely evaporated when your understanding changed. This is because our interpretation defines our experience, and it can change in an instant. Our only true reality is the present moment, so rather than merely accepting that life is happening to us, we can harness the power of our thoughts to actively create a positive reality. For example, we can choose to appreciate beauty around us rather than focusing on traffic or look for admirable qualities in the people we deal with rather than focusing on the negative. By choosing how to interpret and define each moment with your thoughts, you truly create your reality.

Throughout the day, we can monitor our thoughts to catch ourselves in the middle of investing our energy elsewhere—such as into belief in limitations—and instead pull our focus back to the infinite possibilities of the present. Taking a deep breath will help us center our thoughts on being in our bodies right now. Regular meditation allows us to gain mastery over our minds so that we can still our thoughts to focus on the pureness of being. If we mentally dwell on the past or the future, we may miss the experience of living in the present moment. Setting and visualizing goals is wonderful, but we can bring our thoughts into our current experience by taking steps to create them now.

Our minds are powerful tools that we can harness to create our reality. Through them we move the unformed energy of the universe into form, which gives us direction for our words and actions. Each thought is like a stone dropped into a lake, sending ripples out into our world to affect all they touch. We can choose our focus and how we invest our energy, which gives us the power to design our lives to be whatever we choose in each and every moment.

Messengers From The Wilderness

January 10, 2012

[ From DailyOM ]

A plant is a weed only within a certain context; one person’s weed is another person’s wildflower.

Simply expressed, a weed is any plant that grows where it isn’t wanted. Weeds are defined by their tendency to flourish at the expense of a gardener’s overall vision, and we tend to battle their presence in our yards. It is interesting to consider, though, that a plant is a weed only within a certain context, which is to say that one person’s weed is another person’s wildflower. Most of us have pulled at least one dandelion up by its roots and disposed of it in the interest of preserving the look of a perfect green lawn, yet the dandelion is good medicine, packed with healing properties and vitamin-rich leaves that are a delicious, spicy surprise in a summer salad.

In the wild, there is no such thing as a weed because the overall vision is in the hands of Mother Nature, who accommodates and incorporates all forms of life. In nature, balance is achieved over the long term, without the aid, or interference, of a human supervisor. While one plant may prevail over others for a certain period of time, eventually it will reach an apex and then it will naturally decline, allowing for other forms to be born and survive. This self-regulating realm was the first garden of our ancestors, who learned the art of agriculture from studying the forests and fields of the as yet uncultivated earth. In a sense, weeds are harbingers of this wildness, pushing their way into our well-ordered plots, undermining more delicate flora, and flourishing in spite of us.

The next time you see a weed, you might want to look deeply into its roots, discover its name, its habits, and its possible uses. Instead of seeing an unwanted intruder, you might see a healer offering its leaves for a medicinal tea or its flowers for a colorful salad. At the very least, if you look long enough, you will see a messenger from the wilderness of Mother Earth, reminding you that, even in the most carefully controlled garden, she cannot be completely ruled out.

The Body Is Natural

January 4, 2012

[ From DailyOM ]

So much of the human experience is removed from nature that we tend to forget that we are products of the natural world. At the moment of birth, we are perfectly attuned to nature. Our feelings are an authentic response to the stimulus we encounter. We interact with our environment viscerally, desiring only what is necessary for our survival. And, if we are lucky, we take in nourishment in the form of pure mother’s milk. As months and years pass, however, we discover the sights, sounds, and scents of the synthetic world. Though these often momentarily dazzle us, the dim memory of our naturalness remains. When we embrace the notion that human beings are inherently natural, bringing it to the forefront of our day-to-day experiences, we achieve a new level of wellness that boasts nature at its very core.

We innately understand that our bodies are not composed of plastics or man-made chemicals and that there is no legitimate reason to consume or expose ourselves bodily to such substances. This knowledge is reinforced each time we find ourselves energized by sweet, fresh air and warm sunlight or awed by the majesty of Mother Nature’s beauty. We feel the strength of our connection to nature when fresh food that is close to the earth sustains us more effectively than artificial supplements and when the pleasures of exercise outweigh the pains of exertion. The human body has been blessed with the same physical intuitiveness that all nonhuman living beings employ instinctively. But because our lives are no longer bound up in nature’s rhythms, we must actively seek to reconnect with this formerly innate skill. The process of rediscovering our place in the natural world can be exciting and inspiring, since nothing more is required of us than to delight in nature’s wonders, to derive nourishment from natural foods, and to drink deeply of all the wisdom that plants and animals have to share.

Your own naturalness will reveal itself to you when you look beyond your beliefs, your lifestyle choices, and the attitudes you hold. When these constructs are stripped away, you will see a body and mind that never gave up its relationship to the essence of the natural world from which consciousness sprang.

Every Little Thing

January 4, 2012

[By a former volunteer of Singapore International Foundation in the SIF Commemorative Book published in 2011]

My helping a group of students came about entirely by chance.

I had just relocated from Botswana to Pretoria, South Africa. At a public swimming pool I used to frequent in my free time, I started chatting with some youths who were keen to learn to swim. They were refugees from neighbouring countries Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

I’d decided to visit them at their regular student association meetings and met more of their friends. Over time, a handful of these youths shared with me their family backgrounds and the financial obstacles they faced, especially with regard to their education.

Since then, I’ve been only too happy to help these students purchase basics things like stationery and school uniforms, and to tutor them in maths and science. We even have an arrangement where I sponsor sports equipment in exchange for them achieving better exam grades.

Small acts like attending their football games and giving out photos of them at matches are other forms of encouragement I give in the hope of making their goals in life seem just a bit more attainable.

I don’t plan to change the world – I honestly wouldn’t know how. This is just me, doing my little part to help others. Maybe that’s enough.

Take Action!
Do something nice for someone else. It doesn’t have to take a special occasion to start paying attention to the people around you. See someone looking a little discouraged or isolated? Think about what you can do to help. It can be as simple as buying them lunch or starting a conversation with them. A better world is a happier one.

Eternally Present

January 3, 2012

[ From DailyOM ] 

The key to working with past lives is maintaining awareness of the current reality in which the present takes priority

Exploring our past lives is a valuable way to understand ourselves better and often leads to healing and the resolution of issues plaguing us in this life. However, the key to working with past lives is maintaining an awareness of the current reality in which the present always takes priority. Past lives can be fascinating and entertaining, or emotionally seductive, and we can get lost in them, losing touch with the most important thing the life we are living right now.

Of course, there is a deep connection between our past lives and our current life, so it’s sometimes hard to say where one begins and the other one ends. For example, we may be aware that one of our closest friends or partners is someone we knew from a past life, and that connection feels like an unbroken chord reaching into the past, reminding us of the vast nature of the soul. We may have issues with this person that stem from the past, or we may just be blessed with a deep love that we are fortunate to have with us in this life. Either way, the issues must be resolved in this life, in the present moment. The love is our gift to experience in this life, not in the past. In many ways, the gift of dealing with our past lives is the profound revelation of how truly eternal we all are. Once we comprehend this, we can let go of focusing on the details of the past and simply allow our awareness of the eternal to positively influence our ability to be in the present moment.

You will know you have received the full fruits of past-life exploration when you find yourself even more powerfully present in the eternal now. The past becomes less distinct as it resolves itself, merging with the present and the future in the nexus of consciousness that holds all time and space. We realize that this moment holds everything within it, the resolved and the unresolved, the past and the future, and that it is from this moment that we must live our lives.