The secret of inner peace…


Known is a drop, Unknown is an Ocean

Dear sisters and brothers, I shall show you how to acquire, here and now, inner peace. My help is not advice. Mine is not the way to advise people what to do or what not to do. It is true that everyone is unselfish and liberal when it comes to giving advice and, unfortunately, I am no exception. Yet I fully agree with Chesterfield, who says, “Advice is seldom welcome and those who need it the most, like it the least.”

This world of ours has everything except one thing: peace. Everybody wants and needs peace, whether he be a child or an octogenarian. But the idea of peace is not the same for each individual. It sadly differs. A child’s idea of peace is to beat a drum. Beating a drum brings him joy, and this joy is his peace. An old man’s idea of peace is to sit…

View original post 777 more words

Accept your ass!


michael r weir

Image

The greatest thing you will ever do it to be true to yourself, by being your true self…

If someone does not like the real you, then it’s only their projection onto you – that they don’t love how they are because they don’t think who they are is worth being loved…

Ask them what is “right” about themselves…

We are so conditioned to look for what’s wrong that be totally miss the more important question which is what’s “right” about us…

Everything…. is what’s right about you…

See, feel or accept the truth of this…

Everything is right about them too…

Celebrate the uniqueness of accepting another so completely that they don’t have a choice but to see, feel or experience they own self worth and begin to know that they are amazing just as they are…

and know the real you is worth of being accepted…

them real…

View original post 29 more words

storm before the calm.


i have come to realize and accept now that everything that ever happened to us is in preparation of our future… of what he has in store for us. it seems that no matter how we try to resist what is unfiamiliar the more it hits us on the face. we try to run away from the one thing we crave for. we try to overcome and turn our backs on the good things that we havent tried before. we only try to do things that we have tried before. we love but justify.that feelinga.based on ideals. but when something stirs up inside our core… we cringe. and we dont know what the hell to do.
but oh dear God… we dont question the situation… we just simply try to get on with our lives and run away and back towards our heart.
we try to let it go… we keep holding it back…like we are just waiting for the right moment until our hearts errupt like a volcano waiting for centuries to breathe the fire out. and there is no way ever of trying to put it out once it has errupted… and out of control it goes…
why do we fear so much from the truth? when in fact that truth is the only thing that would ever calm our restlessness and finally being able to find the peace we so long to have after the storm…. i would want to be that storm and calm… i want you to be my storm because only you have calmed me.

♡ ♥ ♡

Our heart song


Continue reading


Today i hope to start to say
Goodbye to a wonderful song
That only a heart can play
Because it got tired for so long.

The music would have been perfect
And there was nothing she could do
About the fright made you neglect
The heart that was meant to love and be true  to you.

As much as she feels
She knew she should turn and walk her heels
A climb… in circles in a never ending slope
Right to the very last drop of her hope.

You threw away the the only key
To the castle i have yet to see
Burried somewhere…far down
Inside your heart and soul i wanted to drown.

But you always make sure to keep me afloat
And still rock the boat
I wish i would now be brave enough
To stop waiting for my other half.

If only i could… i would
Stop feeling this way…as i should
Because you would rather let me lie
To my heart… to my song…
Is like asking me to die all along.

My heart hears the music that you play
But the words never found their way
To sing the song you refuse to sing
And so my heart ends up breaking.

Silence. And then i hear you
The air around us whispered too
The fear unfathomble envelops me
Like a second skin… i dont know where to begin.

To say goodbye… to turn my back again
On the song i have hoped to find
To forget that the music inside your heart
Has come to an end before we can even start.

My heart song will always be yours
The way you never say yours will be
Had you wanted to…
possess me or box me
….in  heartbeat… that would be worth it.

Maybe one day soon…
Or the next full moon…
We may not fear as much as we do today
Maybe… we can make music again…
Maybe… someday.

Always here. With uncried tears
That rip off the notes of an unsung melody
Like a key ….perfectly matched
To be able to love so openly.

image

♡ ♥ ♡

Purpose.


October 1, 2013
Evolution through Exploration
Purposeby Madisyn Taylor

Humans for the most part are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is and it must be found through exploration.

Most living things belong to a particular soul group and are born knowing their purpose in life. An animal will spend its day foraging for food, taking care of itself and its young, and creating a home. No one tells an animal to do this, yet it instinctively knows how. Humans, for the most part, are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is.

Purpose gives our life meaning. When you discover your purpose, you can live your life with intention and make choices that serve your objective for why you are here on the planet. Finding your purpose is not always easy. You must embrace life wholeheartedly, explore many different pathways, and allow yourself to grow.

Your purpose is as unique as you are and will evolve as you move through life. You dont need anyone’s permission to fulfill your purpose, and no one can tell you what that purpose is. Finding and fulfilling your purpose can be a lifelong endeavor. To figure out what your purpose is, ask yourself what drives you , not what forces you out of bed in the morning, but what makes you glad to be alive. Make a list of activities that you wish you were involved in or think about a career path that you would love to embark upon. These are the endeavors that can help you fulfill your purpose and bring you the most satisfaction.

Picture yourself working on projects that dont interest you or fulfill your purpose, yet they help satisfy your basic survival needs. Imagine how living this way each day would make you feel. Next, picture yourself devoting your time to projects that spark your imagination, inspire, excite, and satisfy you. More often than not, these activities are some of the ways that you can fulfill your life purpose. Time spent on these endeavors will never feel like a waste. Live your life with purpose, and you will feel significant and capable because every action you take and each choice you make will have meaning to it.

discovering our true selves.


Discovering True Selves
Soul Seeing
by Madisyn Taylor

20130912-150743.jpg

The soul is the purest expression of an individual and is not bound by physical forms or fleeting emotions.

When we want to see deeply into the heart and mind of another person, soul seeing, also called soul gazing, allows us to see their soul. The soul is the purest expression of an individual and is not bound by physical forms or fleeting emotions. Through a simple art that involves looking deeply into a partner’s eyes, soul seeing can show you a person’s inner beauty that you might otherwise miss. It is possible for someone who appears cold to have a warm, giving, nurturing soul or someone of average appearance to have a beautiful soul. Soul seeing is a way of looking past shapes, sizes, attitudes, and behavior to see the real individual that lies beneath the surface. It allows you to see the true essence of another person, the radiance of their being, and their spirit within.

Soul seeing is accomplished by sitting face to face with another person. It is helpful to first state your intention before you begin. As you stare softly into each other’s eyes without stopping to look away, each of your souls is revealed to the other. Try not to look for anything in particular or seek traits you’re hoping to find. Simply let the other person’s soul reveal itself to you. After twenty minutes have passed, stay where you are and share a period of silent reflection with your partner for two minutes. You may have suddenly seen your partner’s inner nature as clearly as a bright day, or you may need to meditate on your experience before you feel comfortable with your impressions. Either way, soul seeing can be a wonderfully intimate and shared experience.

So little of who each of us is can be captured by our appearance or personality. The thoughts, fears, desires, and longings that are part of what makes us whole are not always written across our faces. Often, the most surprising thing you may learn while soul seeing is that while you and the other person may appear on the surface to be quite different, you actually share many of the same inner qualities. And then there is the unique beauty that resides within that is longing to be revealed to another who is willing to see. Soul seeing can help you experience the people in your life as they truly are, beyond any mental barriers or physical limitations.

source: the daily om

20130912-150753.jpg

20130912-150812.jpg

misbehave.


  My heart tells me to go But my body kept saying no I wanted to leave, wanted to flee Somehow… it didnt feel like me. I wanted to be near you I wanted to touch you My heart kept … Continue reading

Knowing Better and Doing Better: How Are You Fortunate?


Knowing Better and Doing Better: How Are You Fortunate?

20130618-161134.jpg

Gratitude, the level of gratitude that one has, varies greatly by person. You have those that are grateful for every single thing in their lives, and those that know what the word means on paper yet never practice it in their own lives.

Then you have so many others (like myself), I call them the “in-betweeners.” We are grateful for so much but often forget this because life takes over, or so many other things are going on at once that you barely have five minutes to yourself to even drink a glass of water, let alone practice gratitude.

And so you continue on in your day and life with thoughts and good intentions to give back more to those who are unfortunate or volunteer more—and then it doesn’t happen.

I can vouch for this; I did this all the time. I meant well and really did want to help others, yet life takes over.

As I ate my lunch at my desk, mindlessly reading a celebrity gossip blog, I came across something in passing. This one blogger in particular was rallying all of her followers to support her for an event she was taking part in that would help support homeless youth.

As I read further, I came to see that this event was a sleep out, where she would sleep on the street and experience homelessness firsthand. I’m not sure why exactly, but I promised that if that event ever came to New York City I would do the same—and it did.

With a day of hesitation that was filled with thoughts of me leaving my children overnight and questioning if I really wanted to do this, I signed up—fast, before I could change my mind.

And so there I was, rallying my family, friends, and coworkers to help me reach the $1,000 minimum in two short weeks. I never realized how many people would actually support me; I exceeded the minimum by $200.

Fast forward to the night of the event: I had two sick children at home and felt guilty for leaving them, but still, I walked into this event on my own without knowing a soul there.

The organization had a schedule for the evening prior to the sleep out, when we got to meet some of the kids that we were helping that night. I met some of the most amazing kids that I have ever encountered.

These people have endured and survived so much. Listening to their stories and having them sit directly across from me was life changing. I now had a face to associate with homeless youth and, in some instances, their homeless children.

I heard stories of sleeping near a hospital for fear of giving birth on the streets, finding their own mother dead at the age of 16, and leaving adoptive parents that abused them and suffering a stroke at the age of 18, due to stress.

The life experiences of these kids cannot compare to so many of us, and yet I felt so connected and privileged to be able to help them in any way.

After our meetings, we retreated to the sidewalk that we would be sleeping on, which emulated what so many face nightly. We got our cardboard boxes, sleeping bag, and trash bag for insulation and laid down to sleep.

And that is when it happened—my “aha” moment. As I laid there among strangers who were all doing this for the same cause, it hit me: I am more than fortunate! I have healthy children, a loving husband, a warm bed that is ours, a refrigerator that, thankfully, is filled with food, a home—the list goes on and on.

These are things that I have almost have come to expect, yet they are not owed to any of us.

My entire perspective changed. How dare I complain about not having those shoes I saw at some store or that the grocery store didn’t have the one item I needed or whatever thing it is that annoyed me and wasted my time.

I see things differently, because from this experience I am different now. I am more mindfully grateful for everything, and in turn I have seen the beauty in so much that I have missed before.

I am a new person on the inside. I am grateful and more determined to make the time I am given much more meaningful. Now that I know better, I need to do better.

This event was just the start for me. I am actively looking for new and inventive ways to give back.

Look around and be grateful for the smallest things. Once you become more mindful of it, your world starts to change.

Living Into Your Life Purpose


20130516-054808.jpg

20130516-054814.jpg

Living Into Your Life Purpose
Fear of Our Purpose

We all have a creative vision and a purpose for our life lurking around in the background of our lives but our every day minds try to keep it out of our consciousness. Our purpose – in a nutshell – is to become who we are meant to become. It is this higher quality of being, this heightened attitude, or this value that we want to live into that is most often different from our family of origin and the circumstances of our upbringing.

Our purpose involves invoking some kind of positive feeling state that we want to become a permanent part of our character – that is most often opposite to how we were raised. What we truly need to heal our families is often what we most fear because we no longer fit into the ego system of winning love that we are used to.

We are all meant to bring something new to life that is a progression and an improvement on how we were raised. We are wired to fit in and we long to be who we really are. If you were to look at all of your dreams and desires, they would have a higher quality of feeling state behind them that you are not fully living into just yet. Likely you feel a conflict between who you were supposed to be – “to get along” and “not rock the boat” – with who you really are designed to be in your purpose.

Opening Up Your Feelings

The importance of finding the feeling state behind your purpose is so you can begin living into your vision everyday. Creativity, for example is one quality that I feel called to live into and so it becomes a way for me to develop my character and give to the world. Creativity helps me loosen my conditioning and my encultured views about what is right and wrong. It has helped me free up my sexuality. Creativity opens my mind to the spirit of new possibilities. Creativity helps me move more easily into “taboo” areas of my consciousness to heal and accept them. Through my creativity I have learned how to see more deeply into life, to be present, to listen within, to be more spontaneous and trusting.

Perhaps you sense your purpose is coming up in your consciousness and you are repressing it right back down again. Perhaps you think your purpose is too big or too ridiculous to follow through on. You may feel you purpose involves being new and different in your family, in your workplace, or in your culture – and you fear not fitting in. We often tell ourselves that we do not have the strengths, courage, talents or capacities to live into our purpose. Or maybe we are caught in blaming other people for how we feel and have conveniently “forgotten” our purpose nearly entirely.

Psychologist Chuck Spezzano writes about how our entire psychology actually revolves around needing to live and then obstructing our purpose. “I have found that about 85% of our problems were constructed as an obstruction to our purpose. The remaining 15% were problems that were necessary to learn lessons vital to our purpose.”

We really do have places to fill in life that are uniquely ours to occupy. This may not always involve being famous or even always making money. But our life purpose always involves giving to life and bonding and connecting with other people in some kind and helpful way. This requires that we move into the greatest strength that we can muster. It involves letting go of old hurt. You could call your life purpose your unique way of loving life and other people. Ask yourself this question, “How do I uniquely want to love give to life?” Be sure to check into where you are afraid. You might even ask, “What do I need to give to life? What am I I afraid to give to life?”

Progressing as a Whole

Having worked in a hospital setting facilitating art for the elderly and interacting with over 500 people including patients and staff, I see that we all have a part to play in the organization of whatever human system that we live and work in. And no one is inessential. Some of the best people I have met are not necessarily the people who are at the top of the organization or who are making the most money. The people who are most on purpose are the one’s who are giving to the reality of their day in an authentic, intelligent and mature way that considers the whole of the situation.

African Elder Malidoma Some puts it this way:

“Every person is sent to this outpost called earth to work on a project that is intended to keep the cosmic order healthy. Any person that fails to do what he or she must do energetically stains the cosmic order.”

When We Don’t Live Into Our Purpose We Become Depressed

Failing to keep the cosmic order healthy in our corner of the world in my sense of it, is the number one cause of depression and anxiety. We are all wired to give to life. What I have found is that we as humans tend to beat ourselves up for not living into some grand looking, far reaching, meaningful purpose that gets us noticed and approved of by others. And so we miss the small essential progressions that must be made in our character and in our practical life so that we can move forward in a daily, incremental way towards a unique contribution.

Life essentially requires that we round ourselves out in all areas and living into our purpose is the fire that burns away all of the “fat” of our psychological hurts, struggles and fears. Every characteristic that we struggle with must be transformed in order to take our larger journey towards our purpose. Each day we are being called by our life situations to grow and to round out our character. Often our life purpose asks us to change in ways that are uncomfortable. It requires that we see our part in everything that has ever happened to us and use our life experience for love and healing purposes. These required changes bring up much psychological material to be healed.

Rounding Out Our Character

We also must progress as a whole regarding the other people in our life. Not everyone can take the journey with us. Often our growth will incite disturbances and resistance in our family of origin and in our immediate family and friendship circles. This does not mean that we write off everyone in our midst, but that we will start to make choices about where we want to focus our positive energy and where it can be received.

Our purpose always involves and affects other people. We are each embedded in life situations where all of our choices have impact. This means if we are not moving forward towards our purpose we need to ask, “What do I need to give to my life situation right now? or “What is life wanting me to give, be, or do right now so that I can move forward in my growth?”

We have to be alert to how we need to change to give meaningfully to the reality of our life as it is right now. This can mean just a small step of starting to exercise so that we can feel more physical and psychological strength for the journey ahead. We all have inklings of how we need to change and grow each day. Following these small steps opens us up to more clues, more clarity, and the magic of a life on purpose. This “following our nose” is how we find our place in the fabric of life. This is how we evolve our life, our purpose, and our world. We sense into what is required of us in the present moment by one small, kind act at a time.

Taking the responsibility to grow in small and healthy ways lifts the burden of our depressions and disappointments off of our loved ones. We free those who love us by choosing to be our best selves. Each day we do what we can to positively uplift the fabric of our life. This is how we evolve as families, as work groups, and as larger and evolving systems. Perhaps the biggest mistake people make in pursuing their purpose is thinking that they can progress as an individual entity and that they step over other people in pursuit of their goals. From our ego selves we want to have a “win” right now. We can easily forget that we are a part of a larger network of connection that needs to progress along with the needs of the whole.

Living Into Purpose in Increments

I think when we are creative people we often see things years and years in advance. It is important to understand that it can take a long time to live into a big vision. I often tell people to vision big. Use your big vision to inspire your passion to grow and change in positive ways. But do not be discouraged if your purpose does not get “finished” in your lifetime. Even if we just choose to embody a quality in the world, such as love, peace appreciation or generosity, we never quite finish. We can live our lives to a point, and then we can inspire other people to carry on or contribute to our mission.

Often we need to live into larger systems and play our one part in the symphony of something much larger that is trying to come into this life. For example I may not be able to change the entire world’s view of the benefits of art and healing, but I have a part to play in my corner of the world. As the Talmud says, “You are not required to finish the work, neither are you free to desist from it.”

Life as a human being is sometimes slow moving and we most often progress by increments. It requires so much to live a full multidimensional life. Everything needs to become enriched on the road to our purpose. Everything needs to become healthier as we become healthier. For those who do not want to accompany us on our journey to truth, health, love and purpose, they have the choice to grow or fall away.

For myself, having long been a prolific creator, I have had to take many side steps to get my family life, my emotional life, and my practical home and working life in healthy and loving order, before I can take the next step towards my creative visions and purposes. Life progresses in wholes.

I have had to take the time to appreciate and celebrate my life the way it is, even though as a visionary thinker, I can see the potentials I have not yet lived into yet – sometimes painfully and acutely. I have learned how to not be so disheartened and to keep my eye on the small immediate steps that life is calling me to. Often it is just an immediate thought, feeling or action that is not in alignment with my purpose that needs to be expressed, accepted and integrated before I can move forward in a positive way.

Patience is Required for the Journey

I encourage people to have great patience. If you were to look at your life 20 years ago you may see many things that you only dreamed of are now a given, practical reality for you now. Even if your life feels drab and heavy right now it is important to see and feel a finer reality for yourself. I have found it very helpful, during dark times to just “pretend” and live as though my purposeful visions are true even as I go about my seeming mundane tasks. This “living into purpose” starts to organize itself in mysterious ways. Creation is very supportive of our creativity and will give us little encouragements affirmations that we are on the right path.

In this way we reach towards our purpose and in turn, our purpose reaches towards us. Lousia May Alcott the writer of Little Women and a “transcendentalist” (early new age spiritualist) – in the earlier part of the century wrote:

” Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. ”

I used to feel discouraged by this quote when I was younger because I expected the life that I wanted would manifest instantly. And yet I was also encouraged because I sensed that I needed to have the time to evolve slowly and to make the needed changes – in my character, in my family and in my working world – to be able to live the creative vision and purpose that I have for my personal life.

Learning to Appreciate the Journey

Often we have much to sort out as we learn to live a visionary and purposeful life. I have found that it has taken years for me – to feel clear enough psychologically and emotionally – to be able to focus on my creative visions for significant amounts of my day. In the meantime, I have had to sort out layers of emotional conflicts in my family, in my love partnership, in my parenting and inside of myself. Living into what is personally meaningful – even if it has not fully shown up yet – is what being “on purpose” means.

Living into what is meaningful for you could be as simple as making an attitude change even though at the moment you are not seeing your purpose “on the outside” just yet. If your attitude is one of impatience or frustration that you are not living the life you want, perhaps you could see how it would feel to live into appreciation for what is right in front of you. Seeing the beauty right now invites inspirational clues into your everyday life. What attitude would you change today so that you can begin living into your purpose? A good question to ask yourself is to ask is, “Who would I have to be to live my vision in the world?” Then start to build your character into that quality. Change is possible.

Change Is Only Found in Taking Action

Aster Barnwell, writer and spiritual teacher describes how creating deep changes in our being begins by taking action. Action is absolutely necessary for change and it does not have to be grand and sweeping action. It can be a small daily practice of living into who we want to become with a determined attitude to shift our depressions into positive life appreciations. We can start to see even the tiniest good in each moment and watch it grow into a visionary, creative life. As Aster puts it, when we start to live into the higher aspects of our nature because they recalibrate our being – we begin to sculpt a “new me”.

“Our hormonal and nerve impulses will change to correspond to the new person we are becoming. Once we have achieved this degree of change we are able to do “good deeds” without any expectation of reward. Good deeds are now a natural and spontaneous expression of our beings as a result of our consciousness becoming established at a higher level. We can start by making small changes in our life by focusing on little things.”

in the presence of difficulty, practice compassion.


In The Presence of Difficulty Compassion by Madisyn Taylor January 29, 2013 True compassion recognizes that all the boundaries we perceive between ourselves and others are an illusion. Compassion is the ability to see the deep connectedness between ourselves and … Continue reading

Wining Isn’t Everything


20130510-074329.jpg

January 30, 2013
Wining Isn’t Everything
Competing with Yourself

by Madisyn Taylor
20130510-074455.jpg

When we are satisfied with our life, we do not look for experiences of winning and losing to define our self-worth.


The urges that drive us to compete with others tend to be straightforward. Years of both evolution and societal influences have shaped us to pit ourselves against our peers. The needs and desires that inspire us to compete with ourselves, however, are entirely personal and thus far more complex. A need to outdo our earlier efforts—to confirm that we have grown as individuals—can motivate us to reach new heights of accomplishment. We are capable of using our past achievements as a foundation from which we venture confidently into the unknown. Yet if this drive to compete with our former selves is the result of low self-worth or a need to prove ourselves to others, even glowing successes can feel disheartening. Examining why we compete with ourselves enables us to positively identify those contests that will enrich our existence.

There are many reasons we strive to outdo ourselves. When we are ambitious in our quest for growth, we are driven to set and meet our own expectations. We do not look to external experiences of winning and losing to define our sense of self-worth. Rather, we are our own judges and coaches, monitoring our progress and gauging how successful we have become. Though we seek the thrill of accomplishment tirelessly, we do so out of a legitimate need to improve the world or to pave the way for those who will follow in our footsteps. Be careful, though, that your competitiveness is not the result of an unconscious need to show others that you are capable of meeting and then exceeding their standards.

Consider, too, that successful efforts that would be deemed more than good enough when evaluated from an external perspective may not satisfy our inner judge, who can drive us ruthlessly. In order to attain balance, we have to learn the art of patience even as we strive to achieve our highest vision of who we are. When we feel drained, tense, or unhappy as we pursue our goals, it may be that we are pushing ourselves for the wrong reasons. Our enthusiasm for our endeavors will return as soon as we recall that authentic evolution is a matter not of winning but of taking pride in our progress at any pace.

failure.

This gallery contains 5 photos.


May 8, 2013 Failure Choose Your Words by Madisyn Taylor http://www.dailyom.com All you have to do is speak or read the word failure and see how it makes you feel. The word failure puts forward a very simplistic way of … Continue reading

6 ways you are your own worst enemy.


20130509-055948.jpg

6ways you are your own worst enemy.
http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/05/07/6-ways-you-are-your-own-worst-enemy/#more-598

For the longest time I had tunnel vision and expected life to be a certain way. I studied my failures until I lost sight of my successes. I surrendered my dreams to feel a sense of comfort. I crafted limiting beliefs and shielded myself from love and happiness by refusing to put myself out there. And as I did all of this, I sat back and wondered why life was so miserable.

Obviously, I was very lost.

I began to turn things around about a decade ago when my stubborn habits led me into a chaotic argument with Angel. As we both stared at each other through tears, she said, “Marc, you are the enemy – your enemy. It’s your choices. I can’t sympathize any longer. You can choose differently if you want to, but you have to want to. Please want to!” And after some extensive soul-searching, lots of reading, a little sabbatical, and continuous support from a loving wife and a few close friends, I learned to choose differently and eventually found myself again.

I tell you this because I know you struggle with similar inner demons – occasionally we all do. Sometimes our thoughts and routine choices are our biggest enemies. Which is why I want to remind you to beware of…

Final Reminder: We just released the Audio Book for 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently. And we also have a limited time bundle of our eBook, audio book and bonus material on sale for a big discount. Click here to check it out!

1. Your expectation of constant contentment.

Nothing in life is constant. There is neither absolute happiness nor absolute sadness. There are only the changes in our moods that continuously oscillate between these two extremes.

At any given moment we are comparing how we currently feel to how we felt at another time – comparing one level of our contentment to another. In this way, those of us who have felt great sadness are best able to feel heightened feelings of happiness after we emotionally heal. In other words, happiness and sadness need each other. One reinforces the other. Humans must know misery to identify times of elation.

The key is to focus on the good. May you live each moment of your life consciously, and realize that all the happiness you seek is present if you are prepared to notice it. If you are willing to appreciate that this moment is far better than it could have been, you will enjoy it more for what it truly is. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the Happiness and Growth chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

2. Your obsession with examining personal failures.

Imagine being enrolled in five college classes in which you achieved one A, two B’s and two C’s. Would you concentrate on the A or the C’s? Would you berate yourself for falling short in the C classes? Or would you capitalize on your obvious interest and aptitude in the subject matter of the A class? I hope you realize the value of the latter.

Every morning when you wake up, think of three things that are going well in your life at the moment. As you fall asleep every night, fill your mind with an appreciation for all the small things that went well during the day. Examine your successes.

Give the power of your thinking to the positive influences in your life, and they will grow stronger and more influential every day. Remind yourself often of what works well and why, and you’ll naturally find ways to make lots of other things work well too. The most efficient way to enjoy more success in life is not to obsess yourself with what hasn’t worked in the past, but instead to extend and expand upon the success you already know.

3. Your urge to surrender to the draw of comfort.

The most common and destructive addiction in the world is the draw of comfort. Why pursue growth when you already have 400 television channels and a recliner? Just pass the chip dip and lose yourself in a trance. WRONG! That’s not living – that’s existing. Living is about learning and growing through excitement and discomfort.

Life is filled with questions, many of which don’t have an obvious or immediate answer. It’s your willingness to ask these questions, and your courage to march confidently into the unknown in search of the answers, that gives life it’s meaning.

In the end, you can spend your life feeling sorry for yourself, cowering in the comfort of your routines, wondering why there are so many problems out in the real world, or you can be thankful that you are strong enough to endure them. It just depends on you mindset. The obvious first step, though, is convincing yourself to step out of your comfort zone. (Read The Road Less Traveled.)

4. Your self-limiting beliefs.

You do not suffer from your beliefs. You suffer from your disbeliefs. If you have no hope inside of you, it’s not because there is no hope, it’s because you don’t believe there is.

Since the mind drives the body, it’s the way you think that eventually makes the dreams you dream possible or impossible. Your reality is simply a reflection of your thoughts and the way you routinely contemplate what you know to be true. All too often you literally do not know any better than good enough. Sometimes you have to try to do what you think you can’t do, so you realize that you actually CAN.

It all starts on the inside. You control your thoughts. The only person who can hold you down is YOU.

5. Your resistance to being vulnerable.

Love is vulnerability. Happiness is vulnerability. The risk of being vulnerable is the price of opening yourself to beauty and opportunity.

Being vulnerable is not about showing the parts of you that are polished; it’s about revealing the unpolished parts you would rather keep hidden from the world. It’s about looking out into the world with an honest, open heart and saying, “This is me. Take me or leave me.”

It’s hard to consciously choose vulnerability. Why? Because the stakes are high. If you reveal your authentic self, there is the possibility that you will be misunderstood, judged, or even rejected. The fear of these things is so powerful that you put on an armored mask to protect yourself. But, of course, this only perpetuates the pain you are trying to avoid.

The truth is nothing worthwhile in this world is a safe bet. Since love and happiness are born out of your willingness to be vulnerable – to be open to something wonderful that could be taken away from you – when you hide from your vulnerability, you automatically hide from everything in life worth attaining. (Read Daring Greatly.)

6. Your expectations of how things are supposed to be.

There’s this fantasy in your head about how you think things are supposed to be. This fantasy blinds you from reality and prevents you from appreciating the genuine goodness that exists in your life.

The solution? Simple: Drop the needless expectations. Appreciate what is. Hope for the best, but expect less.

You have to accept reality instead of fighting it. Don’t let what you expected to happen blind you from all the good things that are happening. When you stop expecting people and things to be perfectly the way you had imagined, you can enjoy them for who and what they truly are.

Your turn…

In what way are you your own worst enemy? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe via email or RSS.
Or for a powerful dose of inspiration download our new ebook.

Common Traits of the Creative Personality


Common Traits of the Creative Personality
Jack Kerouac once said, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently; they change things; they push the human race forward . . . because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do” (Seldes, 1995).

Kerouac could very well have been describing the creative personality, for research has demonstrated that highly creative individuals don’t think or act like the rest of us. They are indeed different, and in quite a few ways.

Link between Creativity and Eccentric Behavior

Do you think that most creative people are a bit “strange”? If so, you’re probably not alone, and, what’s more, you’re right. In fact, according to Shellye Carson, in an article for Scientific American (2011), “People who are highly creative often have odd thoughts and behaviors, and both creativity and eccentricity may be the result of genetic variations that increase cognitive disinhibition—the brain’s failure to filter out extraneous information.” For example, “people who score high for creative achievement in the arts are more likely to believe in telepathic communication, dreams that foretell the future, and past lives” (Carson, 2011).

Creative Individuals Think Differently

In Understanding Creativity: The Interplay of Biological, Psychological, and Social Factors (1998), John Dacey and Kathleen Lennon discuss Edward deBono’s concept of “lateral thinking” and “vertical thinking” (p. 177). As deBono maintains, according to Dacey and Lennon, there is “a distinction between vertical thinking (which means mental operations that move in a straight line back and forth between lower and higher level concepts) and lateral thinking (which means looking for alternative ways of defining and interpreting a problem)” (1998, p. 177).

As per Dacey and Lennon, deBono contrasts lateral and vertical thinking in this manner:

Vertical thinking is selective, whereas lateral thinking is generative. Vertical thinking is aimed at finding the right solution by following one path, but lateral thinking is more concerned with richness than with rightness, and is therefore more likely to generate numerous pathways of thought.
Vertical thinking is analytical, whereas lateral thinking is provocative. Lateral thinkers seek information not for its own sake but for its ability to provoke or shock them. It does not even have to be true, as long as it is effective. (Dacey & Lennon, 1998, p. 177)
While there are other dissimilarities between lateral and vertical thinking, according to deBono, space doesn’t permit discussion of them all, but suffice it to say that it isn’t surprising that research shows that most highly creative individuals tend to be lateral, not vertical, thinkers.

Creative Personalities Explore and Experiment

Dr. Willis Harman and Harold Rheingold, coauthors of Higher Creativity: Liberating the Unconscious for Breakthrough Insights (1994) maintain that one of the traits of the creative personality is the ability to toy with elements and concepts. For example, according to Harman and Rheingold, creative individuals tend to look at colors and shapes, as well as relationships, ideas, and problems, and then form hypotheses. They might ask, “What if I look at this from a different angle? What if I try this instead of doing it the way it’s always been done?” And through this process of exploration, they find novel and innovative ways to make things, accomplish tasks, solve problems, express ideas, or adapt to situations, etc.

Relatedly, Dacey and Lennon cite a study by Guilford demonstrating how of the five operations of the structure of intellect (cognition, memory, divergent and convergent thinking, and evaluation), divergent and convergent thinking are most important in relation to creativity. Why? Because when people employ divergent thinking, they are able to generate a wide variety of ideas and possible solutions, and when they employ convergent thinking, they are able to identify the ideas and solutions that are most viable out of all possible ideas and solutions (Dacey & Lennon, 1998).

Additional Traits of Highly Creative People

According to Dacey and Lennon, of all traits shared by creative people, “tolerance of ambiguity” is a “consistent hallmark,” for it takes “a greater degree of strangeness or ambiguity to cause fear or terror” in such people than in others (1998, p.99). In fact, creative people tend to “find strangeness interesting or exciting rather than frightening,” which fosters within them “the ability to react creatively” (Dacey & Lennon, 1998, p. 99).

Another common trait is “freedom from sex-role stereotyping.” A study by Roe, as cited by Dacey and Lennon, concluded that “. . . high creativity requires that individuals have some of the qualities usually ascribed to the opposite sex.” Creative males, for example, say Dacey and Lennon, might possess “sensitivity to the feelings of others,” normally viewed as a feminine trait, while females might possess assertiveness, normally viewed as a masculine trait (1998, p. 109).

A third commonality is “flexibility.” Citing Smith and Amner (1997), Dacey and Lennon say, “. . . the creative person is flexible in being open to the world, open to change, and prepared to bring about such change” (p. 104).

Lastly, individuals who are extremely imaginative tend to have superior memories, yet they not only possess “the ability to remember large quantities of information but also the uncanny capacity to recognize what is worth remembering and what to avoid storing in the first place” (Dacey & Lennon, 1998, p. 194).

In closing, creativity researcher Frank Barron says, “The creative person is more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, crazier and saner than the average person” (Harman & Rheingold, 1994, p. 23). Yet, perhaps the best way to describe highly creative individuals is to compare them to the late Steve Jobs, because they, too, perhaps invariably long “to put a ding in the universe” (Heller, 2011), and although most never achieve that goal on the same grand scale as the founder of one of the largest technology companies on Earth, they yet manage to alter the universe in their own unique way.

Sources:

Carson, S. (2011) The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric. April 14, 2011. Retrieved from scientificamerican.com

Dacey, J. & Lennon, K. (1998) Understanding Creativity: The Interplay of Biological, Psychological, and Social Factors. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Company

Harman, W. & Rheingold, H. (1994) Higher Creativity: Liberating the Unconscious for Breakthrough Insights. New York: St. Martin’s Press

Heller, S. (2011) The Job Jobs Did. New York Times. August 25. Retrieved from nytimes.com

Seldes, G, ed. (1995) The Great Thoughts. New York: Ballantine Books

20130508-060416.jpg

little angel.

little angel.


this is for a very special little girl who has gone to heaven to be an angel… though we never met you, i know you will always be around to look after everyone… especially the little kids in the family.

intertwined fate.


20130417-173820.jpg

intertwined fate
infinite love
each half of our hearts,
thats all we have.
we are far richer
than we can imagine
with love…
then we can begin

the wild child.


once there was a little girl who loves to play and laugh her heart out. she was so carefree that she didnt care whether she got dirt on her clothes or get soaked under the rain. she is just a wild child. a kind, but restless soul. she had a friend… a little boy who looks so clean with his pressed grown up shirt with collars and khaki shorts. he looks so sleek and so proper. he was amazed how free spirited the little girl was. the little girl didnt care whether she was alone or with othe friends, she just seem so happy and blissful all the time. so the little befriended her. the little girl was apalled as to how someone like him chose her to be his only friend…

they became friends and the little boy always gave the little girl candies. how thrilled was the little girl… even when she had very little candy sometimes, she still gave away some whenever she sees other little kids. the days went by and the little boy would sometimes pull her hair, or kick her playfully but still give her candies. the little girl would just dismiss it sometimes, trying to understand him that he didnt mean it, or he might just be having a bad day when his mommy and daddy got angry if they saw his clothes have gotten dirty. sometimes the little boy would tell her that he is her only real friend. he promised her that he will take care of her because no other friends would befriend her because she always has dirt on her clothes. the little girl didnt believe it at first but then, he told her that he is the only one who cares enough to give him candies and lollipops that glitter. the little girl couldnt understand herself anymore. when she would call her other playmates, the little boy wouldnt talk to her anymore. so she decided to devote her time and herself to the only person who promised to take care of her.

the little girl became different. she still loves to share whatever the little boy could give her. she helps those in need in order for her to feel happy. but part of her is missing now. she seems to have lost her spirit. the little boy continues to sometimes kick her, slap her, punch her or pull her hair. the little girl thought it couldnt hurt as much as it already did…

then one day, the little boy grew tired of the little girl… he found a new playmate. and he left the little girl with nothing to fend for herself as the little boy asked someone else to tell her to move out of their big house. the little girl left.

the little girl asked help from a wise grown up on what to do. how to go about losing her only friend. she never told anyone about all the things the little boy did to her. she was too ashamed of herself, of her choices but most of all, it was because she was trying to protect the cleanness of the little boy.

the wise grown up lady was fair. she told the little boy to always give the little girl candies, one big lollipo and and a gingerbread. with what candies she gets from the little boy, she began to share and help others in need. somewhere along the way, the little girl became a woman… she spent days in solitude, pondering over her life, her lost friend and her dreams. she then remembers that she has bigger dreams than just saving up candies and collecting sparkling gummy bears, and gooey strips like leather. all she had was her big lollipop and gingerbread. and it was just about enough for the little boy to keep threatening her of taking it all back again.. it was enough for him to call her a thief. even if it was given accordingly and he agreed on that arrangement.

she thoguht to herself: i dont need a big lollipop. i could sell the big lollipop and buy dozens of small ones. but i dont need dozens of lollipops.. i just need one and with whatever change i can get, i can use it to help others more and start over tobe happy again. when the little boy found out that she sold her giant lollipop, he was furious. he hit her, slammed her head against the wall, slapped her, kicked her and did other things inhumane. he didnt care if one tiny little girl saw it all. he just wanted to hurt her for selling the giant lolipop that the wise grown up told him to give her.

all this time, the little girl kept quiet. it was bad enough for. him to do those things, much less tell the world everything about it. so she just went on with her life, and never look back. but the little boy wouldnt let her be. he continues to make her life miserable. the little girl sincerly hope that his new playmate would be enough to keep him busy. to make him happy. then maybe, he’d just leave her alone and continue to meet his end of the bargain.

he wanted to bruise her so badly, break her and let her fall. but the little girl just kept on flying about, spreading cheer and trying to make the world a better place and wish eveyrone else well.

one day, somebody needed a gingerbread and the little girl offered to give her a part of her gingerbread.. this infuriated the little boy as miss goody two shoes told tales and stretched the truth. you see, the little boy will listen and believe everything he wants to.. the little boy asked the little girl to send the stranger away. but the little girl refuses because she cannot bare to think of the stranger who became close to her with out a place to sleep at nignt. the stranger reminder the little girl of herself from years before the little boy came to her life. the little boy threatened the little girl that he’ll kick her out, and not let her in. so the little girl instead help her find her way.

the little girl didnt do anything and moved on again. but the little boy wouldnt let her be… he went to the wise grown up and told her what she did. and more. the little girl just smiled and continue to wish the little boy well and happiness. she continues to pray that maybe, someday, he might learn to see the truth, accept his mistakes and be real again. she continues to pray that maybe somedsy, he will realize that even if he has gotten dirt on his clothes, or that his shoes are dirty or his hair is uncombed… or that his room is a mess, it doesnt matter at all, because deep inside, you know inside that you are kind and your heart is pure. even with all the messy clothes.

================

20130415-184328.jpg

restless soul set.


20130415-042454.jpg
letting go.
All the art of living lies
in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
Henry Ellis

20130415-042755.jpg</a
let it fall.
a decade of walls, she let it fall
series of numbness…
she thought she had it under control

20130415-042835.jpg
restless soul.
Day in, day out… I longed to be completely whole
It just wasn’t enough for my poor restless soul

20130415-042919.jpg
restless soul too.
But I chose to deny what my heart was crying out loud
It was deafening but I was just too proud..

20130415-043003.jpg
backed into a corner.
i saw the rain fall, and feel the sun shine over
when i was backed into a corner.

20130415-043052.jpg
aligned.
For once in my life, I feel truly aligned
Joy and Peace that cannot be defined

20130415-043136.jpg
silent scream.
that little voice inside
that whispers a scream
so loud.

20130415-043416.jpg
searching.
For I learned to love and it filled the empty spaces in my life,
I realized I could face all pain and strife…
Never again I was like a wandering ghost…
Searching for the life that I lost.

20130415-043825.jpg
contentment.
He who is contented is rich.
Lao Tzu

How to Find Yourself


How to Find Yourself

Edited by Dorothy V., Lisa Brooks, Alan J, Harold R and 100 others

Finding the real you is an enlightening experience. You become self-sufficient and do things for yourself, for once. You are no longer needy and become utterly grateful for all the things people have done for you in the past. Finding yourself is a time of harmony because you develop the philosophy or belief system that will carry you throughout the rest of your life. How do you know you have found yourself? It is when you are able to help others find themselves. Finding yourself is not easy, but here are a few tips for how to start the process.

20130409-230426.jpg

STEPS
Create your own life timeline. Write down all of your major goals in your life that you feel you want to achieve. In turn, write down the events in your life that have already happened that you believe have affected you. When life hits with problems or misfortunes it shapes our belief system and makes us think differently. When you believe in something or see beauty in something, you should do it no matter what anyone else thinks. If you have found something that is worthy of your best efforts, sacrifice, and tears, then you have found the most important pursuit of your life.
This isn’t an exercise in wallowing. It’s about clarification and identification of issues. These issues might be keeping you from reaching your present potential and letting your true sense of self blossom.
Spend a little time writing with clarity about the past in your timeline. A timeline is an incredibly objective method for marking down past occurrences in your life that you consider to be major. You can look at them as formation blocks and as changing experiences along your timeline without imbuing them with too much emotion (as would occur within a diary account). Keep it simple, real, and condensed to the major effect or lesson learned from each past incident.
When analyzing negative past experiences, look to the positive learning message in it and don’t dwell on the mistakes or the negatives. Everyone has these blips in their timeline but pretending they are either worse than they were or non-existent won’t do you any favors. Instead, recognize that if it had not been for those past experiences you would not be where or who you are today.

Prepare to begin again with a clean slate. Develop your own moral conduct and practice sticking to it. Remove vice from your life; vices are any actions or habits that tie up your true self and let you escape having to think about the harder questions.
Stop smoking, over-eating, and abusive drinking. These are examples of lapses or habits that will prevent you from functioning at your peak. They also let you “off the hook” by sidestepping the analysis of why you use these crutches instead of finding better ways to brighten your life.
This step may take some major rehabilitation for some individuals but putting it into the too-hard basket won’t make it go away. Remember, you can’t drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rear-view mirror!

Let go of the need to be loved by all. Accept that some people will think poorly of you no matter what you do. It’s important to forget about what everyone else thinks because you cannot please everyone. And while you might not want to disappoint the people close to you, they should want you to be happy. As long as you continue to exist just to fulfill other people’s ideas of who you should be, you’ll never know who you really are. This thought is aptly summed up by Raymond Hull: “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”
Realize that some people will become jealous, afraid, or overwhelmed when a person changes their usual habits and grows more mature and self-loving. It’s a threat to the relationship you’ve always had, and it forces them to take a cold, hard look at themselves, which they may not want to do. Give these people space and compassion; they may come around in time. If they don’t, leave them be. You don’t need them to be you.

Learn to rely on yourself. Confidence and reliance are at the heart of finding yourself. If you don’t have a solid sense of self-worth, you’ll listen to what others have to say all the time and to be swayed by their insistence on what is wrong, right, and appropriate. Learn to believe in yourself and trust your own feelings.
If you have been victimized in the past, confront these issues. They’re not going to go away on their own. They might be coloring your approach to daily life, causing you to live up to other people’s expectations instead of your own.
Start trusting your own judgment and decision-making processes. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes from time to time, but so does everyone else. It’s through mistakes that you’ll find yourself growing, learning, and reaching into your real sense of self.
Start taking responsibility for budgeting, household matters, and planning about the future. People who lack a sense of self tend to disregard the “details” of life with a carefree attitude, believing that things will all sort themselves out. But things don’t always sort themselves out. Taking responsibility pulls you back from the precipice and lets you be self-reliant and self-determined, no longer carried along by the waves of fate.

Sort out your career path. If you’re meandering all over the place looking for the right “fit,” chances are that you’re not happy inside. You could be using the job-changing as an excuse for not fully realizing your true potential. Finding yourself by really taking an interest in what you love to do. If money weren’t an issue, what would you spend your days doing? Is there any way you can monetize this activity/skill?
Spend some time free-associating. Think about what you like and don’t like; think beyond those things to other ideas that simply pop into your mind while you’re associating. Keep a record of these things. Then, come back to the career question and look at the free associations. What type of career seems to gel most with the things that excited, moved, and really energized you from the free-association exercise? As Alain de Botton says, this exercise is about looking for “beeps of joy” amid the cacophony of must-dos, shoulds, and expectations.[1]
Bear in mind, however, that work may not be where your “calling” is. If that is the case, you’ll need to work out a work-life balance that lets you pursue your “true self” more outside of the workplace, even if this means more hours and less income. It is all possible, especially if it’s in the pursuit of finding and sustaining your true sense of self.

Immerse yourself in solitude. Give yourself some time and space to get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Plant yourself on a park bench and look. Take a long, thoughtful road trip. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. In solitude, you should feel independent and self-sufficient, not lonely, needy or afraid.

Every person needs time alone, whether they’re introverted or extroverted, single or in a relationship, young or old. Solitude is time for rejuvenation and self-talk, for utter peace and for realizing that purposeful “aloneness” is not a bad place to be but rather, a liberating part of your overall existence.

If you are a creative person, you may find that alone-time will help stoke your creativity. While it’s nice to collaborate with other people sometimes, it’s hard to be truly creative when you’re always surrounded by other people. Step back and tap into your creativity.

20130409-230513.jpg

Ask yourself every question in the book. Ask yourself the questions that are difficult, that dare to look at the big pictures, such as:

“If I had all the resources in the world — if I didn’t need to make money — what would I be doing with my day to day life and why?” Perhaps you’d be painting, or writing, or farming, or exploring the Amazon rain forest. Don’t hold back.

“What do I want to look back on in my life and say that I never regretted?” Would you regret never having traveled abroad? Would you regret never having asked that person out, even if it meant risking rejection? Would you regret not spending enough time with your family when you could? This question can be really difficult.

“If I had to choose three words to describe the kind of person I’d love to be, what would those words be?” Adventurous? Loving? Open? Honest? Hilarious? Optimistic? Don’t be afraid to choose words that are considered negative because that proves you’re a real person, and not a lopsided combination of parts other people want to be known for.

Sometimes the traits that you don’t like become useful in emergency situations— like being bossy. Sometimes they are valuable to the job you’re meant to perform — like being nitpicking.
If you do have a truly negative trait, acknowledging it openly can give you the motivation to work on redirecting that energy to something positive. Try channelling that bad habit and into a hobby. Don’t wash your clothes much? Try camping. Maybe you’ll like it? Even pole dancing is becoming a hobby!

“Who am I?” This question is not static. It should be one you continue to ask yourself throughout your life. A healthy person continues to reinvent themselves throughout their life. By asking this question regularly, it updates your understanding of who you are and how you change. Instead of answering who you think you ought to be, keep it focused on who you actually are, because in all likelihood that’s a very good answer, warts and all.

Keep a written record of your answers to the questions in the last step. Beyond your time spent in solitude, it’s easy for these purposeful thoughts to slip to the back of your mind and be forgotten. If you have them written down, then every time you reflect, you can review your notes and take it a step further, instead of answering the same questions all over again. Keep them in a notebook that’s both easy to access and update wherever you happen to be; it will be a source of sustenance for you, by which you can continue to measure your growth through life.

Act upon your newly discovered knowledge. Do the things that you want to do! Pick up those watercolors. Write a short story. Plan a trip to Mombasa. Have dinner with a family member. Start cracking jokes. Open up. Tell the truth. Whatever it is that you’ve decided you want to be or do, start being and doing it now.

You may shake your head and come up with excuses such as “no time”, “no money”, “family responsibilities”, etc. Instead of using these as excuses, start planning around the hurdles in your life. You can free up time, find money, and get a break from duties if you make time how to plan and find the courage to ask for these things;

Sometimes, the real you is too afraid to face the practicalities because it’d mean facing up to what you’ve limited yourself by. Start planning what you really want to do and investigating what needs to be done to get you to that point instead of flinging excuses at them, stopping the goals and dreams dead in their tracks.

Be ready for dead ends. Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That’s the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over.

It’s not going to be easy – it never has been for anybody – but if you learn to see that as a chance to prove how much you want to find yourself, then you’ll find fulfillment and security in your pursuit. When you are yourself, everyone will respect you more and treat you kindly. Best of all, you will always feel good about yourself and this will reflect out onto others, making them feel even more certain about your sense of self.

Serve others. Mahatma Gandhi once said that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. All introspection and no reaching out to others can cause you to navel-gaze and shut yourself off from others. Service to other people and to the community is the ultimate way to find purpose and a sense of your place in the world.
When you get to see how hard life can be for those in greater need than you, it’s often a wake-up call that puts your own worries, concerns, and issues into perspective. It helps you to see what you do have and the opportunities you’ve been able to seize through life. That can fuel a great sense of self because suddenly everything can fall into place for you and you realize what matters most. Try it. You’ll like it.

Tips
Don’t be afraid to sleep on it. There’s no hurry in making decisions, and you’ll be more likely to make good ones if your mind is calm and rested.
Although it’s a cliche, the term Be yourself really does count when it comes to finding yourself. Make sure no one influences who you are; by all means listen to others and learn from them but let the final choices, decisions, and acceptances be your own. If you simply capitulate to what others think, it will make finding yourself even harder since people are influencing who youthink you are.
Resist the urge to feel like you’re the only one going through this. In Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison once summed this up well: All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself.
Be forgiving in the hope that others may forgive you.
You’re never as bad or as good as people say.
Being yourself is the best you can be and requires many skills to be proud of
Sometimes finding yourself will take time, have some patience!
On your journey you sometimes will need to cry. It’s healthy to let it out.
Remember to breathe and move with grace, fluidity and purpose. This helps your body incorporate the changes of habits and let go of old ones.
You know you’re close when you are relaxed with or immersed in something. Sometimes there are no ah – ha! moments, just allowing a reveal based on attraction shows the journey’s map.

Warnings
Don’t spread bad gossip or otherwise speak ill about other people. Knocking others down is not the path to self-knowledge. It only compromises your dignity as a human being and makes others dislike you.
Don’t over-analyze everything! Don’t think about how you should act – just be yourself and the rest will come.
Source

how to listen to the nudges of your heart.


20130404-034047.jpg

Updated Apr 02, 2013
how to listen to the nudges of your heart

a guest post by christopher foster ofthe happy seeker
Life can be unpredictable at times (English understatement). What do we do when trouble or disaster looms suddenly?

Here’s a lesson I learned many years ago:

I was 22 or 23, burning brush on a ranch in British Columbia. I must have been daydreaming because I looked up and saw with horror that the fire I had set was getting away on me.

It was putting on speed and galloping toward the nearby forest in an ever-widening circle.

Yikes. Nothing like a fire to focus the mind.

I jumped up, grabbed my shovel, and beat desperately at the nearest flames. I continued doing this for a few moments, putting some of the flames out, or so I thought. But when I looked back, I saw that the pesky little monsters I thought I had erased were simply re-creating themselves and springing back to life.

I felt a moment of panic. But then this interesting thing happened. It was like a quiet voice inside me gave me an instruction. “Be still,” it said. “Slow down and think, or this is going to turn into a nightmare.” I listened to that little voice. So much patience it took.

I began to move slowly and methodically around the circle of flames, making very sure that each section of the fire was out before I moved on. I don’t know how long it took. But perhaps half an hour later I stood up and looked around and saw a wonderful sight. The nearby haystacks were safe. The nearby forest was safe. I had two large, cold drinks and thanked my lucky stars.

listen to our own inner wisdom

As our lives become increasingly busy and the world wobbles in alarming ways there is one thing, I have learned, upon which I can always depend. Listening to the little nudges of my own heart. I don’t catch them all but I sure do my best. Three steps that are essential in my experience are these.

three essential steps.

1. Stop. Slow down. Sometimes, faced with an emergency, we simply act spontaneously as the situation demands. But most of the time, with a difficult decision to make, or a priority to choose, we have time to be still for a moment and step back from the situation. For me, that is always the first step.

2. Listen Life is very clever. Sometimes it only needs that moment of silence for the answer to a problem to appear. Sometimes it happens when we give up. But as you make a habit of listening to that still small voice within yourself will find something quite magical happens. You realize that stillness is not empty. All the wisdom of the universe is there. We have not been forgotten.

3. Trust The last step is trust. I honestly don’t know what would have happened in my little story if I had not trusted my inner voice. In my experience there is a hand of grace upon every one of us.

It is not wisdom that comes from far away, it is our own grace and it loves us. It will never pleave us. But we have to do our bit and listen.

Christopher Foster is an author, blogger, and teacher. He writes about aging and the unconquerable spirit in us all from the perspective of a 79-year-old. For more from Christopher please visit The Happy Seeker.

how to find inner peace.


20130404-033204.jpg

How to Find Inner Peace

Are you in a very disturbed state of mind and are longing for some inner peace? Read on to know about finding inner peace.

Today the whole world is in a state of conflict and so are we. There are conflicts within us and outside us. External conflicts are a dime a dozen and of seemingly gigantic proportions. However, what’s funny is that the ones inside our heads are really the conflicts that trouble us the most. We have forever been obsessed with materialistic desires and we think (yes, we think) that fulfilling these desires is the key to true happiness. But is that really so? Sure, a new car, the latest state-of-the-art gadget, a swanky apartment, (for some, a new wife or a new husband falls into this category), will provide a feeling of happiness and content. However, this kind of ‘happiness’ is superficial and short lived. Does this happiness translate into inner peace? No, it doesn’t. Well, then how does one find inner peace? Read on to know the answer to this question.
Inner Peace – An Explanation

Before you go about finding it, you should know what exactly inner peace is. Only then will you realize that you have found it, if and when you find it. Inner peace is a state of being, a state of mind. It is when you are oblivious of everything else around you and are one with the universe. When you are at peace with yourself, nothing, and no other thing around you matters any more. It is a spiritual connection between your body, your mind, your soul and the soul of the universe. Finding inner peace is an integral part of spirituality and it plays a major role in a person’s spiritual growth. Nobody can give you inner peace, it is something that you must discover on your own.

Finding Inner Peace and Happiness
There is no formula as such. Inner peace is not something that you can get at the press of a button or in exchange for a hundred dollar bill. It is about managing your mind and your energies. Inner peace is a state where your mind is absolutely still, a state where your whole body and soul experiences a newfound freedom, a state of being bathed in a sea of positive energy, a state where you are cleansed of all traces of negativity. Achieving such a state is something that is rarer than the rarest of happenings. To understand what I’m talking about, here’s a simple exercise for you to do.

Stop all other activities that you may be doing right now. Lean back into your chair and close your eyes. Let your breathing remain normal. Listen to the sound of your breathing. As you inhale, feel the purity of oxygen entering your lungs and spreading to each and every part of your body. As you exhale, visualize all the negativities and impurities leaving your body in the form of carbon dioxide. Now slowly, start clearing your mind of all thoughts. It’s difficult and it requires a considerable amount of patience, practice and mind control. In technical terms, just format your mind and shut down your brain. Remain still and let your body go about doing its involuntary functions. Experience the sudden stillness and the silence that you hear. I bet you have never known silence to be so loud. Experience a state of oneness with the universe. Break all the mental chains that may be holding you back. Accept yourself as being someone special in the Creator’s scheme of things. The state that you now find yourself in is known as inner peace. It is known as inner peace because you are at peace with yourself.
In addition to the above exercise, keep the following things in mind. They too contribute in the pursuit of inner peace:

Be grateful. Stop cribbing about what you don’t have. Be grateful for all that you have, for all that the Almighty has blessed you with. Look around you. There are millions of people who are less fortunate than you. Gratefulness has a special connection with peace within.

Accept yourself the way you are. You are what you are, for a reason. Don’t complain. Be comfortable with yourself, your body, your mind, your soul. It will help in lessening your internal conflicts.

Meditate more frequently. Regular meditation as well as certain yoga meditation techniques help in getting control over the mind in a positive way. Connect with nature. If possible, take time out and visit a quiet place – it could be a park, a lake, a hilltop or somewhere in the countryside. Close your eyes, disconnect yourself from the world and connect with nature. It is an amazing way of discovering inner peace.

These were some things you should keep in mind if you wish to find inner peace. Once again, nobody can give it to you. It is something for you to discover and cherish.

By Tintin
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-to-find-inner-peace.html

10 Things You Think About Too Often


20130402-170517.jpg

POST WRITTEN BY: MARC 10 Things You Think About Too Often

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
―Albert Einstein

You do know you talk to yourself in your mind all the time, right?

Pretty much every one of us has a non-stop stream of thoughts – a mental monologue – that has a powerful impact on how we feel, how we behave, and how we live our lives. Too often, this mental monologue consists of unhelpful thoughts that hinder our happiness and effectiveness.

Which is why it’s time to stop thinking about…

1. Who everyone else wants you to be.

You were born to be you, not who they tell you to be. You are not here to be perfect; you are here to be true. Be gentle and kind to your heart and soul. Accept who you are, where you are, and where you came from.

Don’t make a decision based solely on popularity, or based on what others think is right for you. Just because others are doing something doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you.

Listen to your gut. Now is the moment to follow your intuition and pursue what matters most to you. Reach deep within yourself and awaken to the purpose that moves you and makes you feel alive. The world is filled with opportunities to do an infinite number of things, so why not align your efforts with the activities that speak to your soul.

2. What you don’t have.
Instead of thanking the heavens for two strong legs and a body that’s capable of running and jumping and dancing, lots of people complain about their weight and appearance.

Instead of appreciating that they live in a country that protects their basic human rights and civil liberties, lots of people complain about laws, taxes, and politicians.

Instead of being grateful for the roof they have over their heads, lots of people wish they had a larger house and a fancier car.

Don’t be one of these people.

To witness miracles unfold in your daily life, count your blessings and be thankful for what you DO have. Lots of people aren’t so lucky. Read The Happiness Project.

3. What you fear.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt so profoundly said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

That’s the honest truth. The real thing that keeps you down is fear. The reason your fears have so much power over you is simply because you give them this power by thinking about them – the worst-case scenario, what you don’t want to happen, etc.

It’s time to take a stand. It’s time to clear your fears from your thoughts. It’s time to acknowledge that your fear of grief is far worse than the grief you fear.

4. Old mistakes.
Why regret? This moment doesn’t have any mistakes in it yet. It’s brand new.

You have a choice to make right here, right now. You can hold onto old mistakes or you can make progress going forward with the new beginning you’ve just been given.

It’s time to be bold. It’s time to stop reading the previous chapter of your life and start writing the one you’re currently living. Learn from your old mistakes and march confidently on. Sure you’ll make new mistakes along the way, but that’s the whole point – you want to learn from new mistakes, not rot alongside old ones.

Living means taking chances that are worth taking and making mistakes that are worth making. Right now is simply a new chance to get it right, but you have to let go and take this chance.

5. Old wounds.
You will grow much stronger and find peace once you stop picking at your old wounds. Consciously replaying a painful memory over and over in your head is self-abuse. Your past has given you the strength and awareness you have today. Don’t let it haunt you. Celebrate it.

Your wounds are your wisdom. Let them heal. Let them scar.

In order for this to occur, you must know why you felt the way you did, what you learned from it, and why you no longer need to feel that way. It’s about accepting the past, letting it be, and pushing your spirit forward.

You may carry a small scar with you for the rest of your life. Realize that this is perfectly OK. A scar is the effect of healing – it’s what makes you whole again. Read 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.

6. Impressing the wrong people.
You could spend your entire life trying to impress everyone around you. Of course, it wouldn’t get you very far.

Purposely impressing people is an act that brings nothing but a fleeting ego boost. Be real instead. Connect with fewer people on a level that is deeper and more profound.

If you want to impress someone, impress yourself by making progress on something you’re sincerely proud of. It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish when you aren’t worried about what everyone around you thinks.

7. Important dreams you aren’t actively pursuing.
The point here is simple: STOP thinking and START doing.

The road of life is jam packed with dreams that aren’t going anywhere. Why? Because the people driving these dreams haven’t started their engines. So many people endlessly put off until tomorrow what they could do today. There are literally millions of promising, intelligent people in this world who have no plan at all, who wait for others to drive and steer their lives and their dreams for them.

Having a dream without an action plan is exactly like a beautiful sports car without an engine. You know what she could do if she could do it, but she can’t. Turn your dream into an actionable plan and then start executing your plan. Make no promise for tomorrow when you have the opportunity to make progress today.

8. The impossible looking aerial view of a big project.
An aerial view of a big project always looks daunting. But once you break it down into small parts, suddenly it’s no longer a big, impossible project. It’s simply a bunch of little, achievable ones.

The key is to subdivide a big project into smaller tasks and break each task down further into logical steps for each task. Thinking about the big picture is important on occasion to keep track of your progress, but on a daily basis you should be focused only on the step you’re taking at the time.

The toughest part is laying out what you actually have to do to get each task done, but it’s worth the time and effort. By thinking about it, and breaking it down, you’ve already accomplished the hardest part – you’ve built yourself a step-by-step instruction manual for getting the project completed. Read Getting Things Done.

9. Situations you have zero control over.
Some parts of your life are simply meant to be lived, not controlled. No matter what happens, no matter the outcome, you’re going to be just fine. Let the things you can’t control, happen.

Spend your thoughts and efforts on controlling what you do have power over, rather than wasting your peace of mind on the uncontrollable.

10. Another time and place.
Sometimes we avoid experiencing exactly where we are because we have developed a belief, based on past experiences, that it is not where we should be or want to be. But the truth is, where you are now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow.

The present moment is always filled with wonder. Right now is a phenomenon. Right now extraordinary things are happening. If you are attentive, you will see them.

9 Free Ways to Become Wealthy


POST WRITTEN BY: MARC
9 Free Ways to Become Wealthy

The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money. Start building real wealth today by doing the following:

Realize that the small things are really the big things. – We are always looking for something better that we sometimes fail to realize that we already have the best we could hope for. When you get something small, you want more. When you get more, you desire even more. But when you lose everything, you realize the small things were really the big things. Read The Last Lecture.

Cherish your relationships. – Sometimes people are beautiful, not in looks, not in what they say, just in who they are and what they do. Remember, you will never fully appreciate all of the things someone does for you until you find yourself doing the same things for yourself. So be grateful for the people who make your life a little brighter. They are the charming gardeners who help your soul blossom.

Be okay with the fact that you can’t control everything. – When you’re younger, you exhaust yourself trying to take charge of everything in your life, other people, and all situations. Then one day it dawns on you that you will never gain control until you lose the need to have it – until you can simply let it be okay, to not be perfectly okay. When you’re wearing yourself ragged trying to juggle the outcome of everything happening around you, it’s time to stop, take a breath, and remind yourself that the only things you can truly control, are what choices you will make, and how much control you will give to the fear that you’re feeling.

Work through your failures. – Success is not a skill; it is a persistent attitude. The difference in winning and losing is, most often, the simple act of not quitting. Before you quit, think of the reason why you held on so long, and all the progress you have made. The reason so many people give up too early is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have come. Read The Success Principles.

Don’t let your fears make your decisions anymore. – Have faith that the universe has a plan for you, and it’s all being revealed in the right timeframe. Something you will eventually learn through all your ups and downs is that there are really no wrong decisions in life, just choices that will take your life down a totally different path. So take chances, follow your intuition, and allow yourself more moments of awe, wonder, inspiration and grace.

Stand up for yourself. – Don’t let the people who do so little for you, control so much of your feelings and emotions. Never cry for those who don’t know the value of your tears. Stand your ground. It is better to let them walk away from you than all over you.

Make up your mind to be happy. – Nobody can take away your pain, so don’t let anyone take away your happiness. If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness from you.

Let go of resentment. – You will only begin to heal and grow when you let go of the past, forgive those who have wronged you, and learn for forgive yourself for your mistakes. So every morning as you make your bed, think positively, and smooth out the wrinkles of negativity left from yesterday’s challenges, tuck the corners of your doubts away, and fluff your belief that every day is a perfect new beginning. Read Radical Forgiveness.

Focus on the positive. – With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose. No matter how far you have traveled or how many failures you have encountered, hope and positivity can still meet you anywhere.
And I leave you with a simple question: What do you have that money can’t buy?

Possibly Related Posts:
Stop Keeping Score. Happiness is the True Measure of Success.
9 Lessons I’m Glad Life Taught Me
Free Subscription via RSS or Email
28 Unique Bits of Financial Brilliance
30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself
26 CommentsFiled under Aspirations, Happiness, Life

20130321-073422.jpg

20130321-073459.jpg

9 Lessons I’m Glad Life Taught Me


20130321-072114.jpg

POST WRITTEN BY: MARC
9 Lessons I’m Glad Life Taught Me

This afternoon my neighbor’s 16-year-old son interviewed me for a school project entitled “Lessons Life Teaches.” He came over to our condo with a white poster board that had nine words written on it. After a few miscellaneous introductory questions, he asked me to think about the words on the poster board for a few minutes and then, in the simplest way possible, explain what life had taught me about each one. Here are the nine words and what I told him:

1. Time
Time passes quickly, and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll live long enough to marvel at the memories.

Picture yourself in twenty years walking past a park where you used to play with your friends when you were in kindergarten. While you’re passing by you notice that the park in now jam-packed with a new set of little faces. As you watch these kids swinging from the swing set and climbing trees together, you reminisce about simpler times and think about how these kids are going to grow up someday and do many of the same things that you’ve done. They will fall in love, and make mistakes, and fight adversities, and change their minds a dozen times about what they want to do with their lives.

But not yet, not now. At this moment swinging and climbing are sufficient feats for them. And although it would be nice if swinging and climbing were endlessly sufficient, you know they aren’t. You know life is infinitely more elaborate and beautiful – even in ways you have yet to experience – and that with each passing moment we all become a greater part of this elaborate beauty in every imaginable way. Read 1,000 Little Things.

2. Love
When someone loves you, you know it. When they look your way, the world looks better. When they say your name, the world sounds better. When they kiss your skin, the world feels better. You know your soul is safe in their care.

But even more so than any physical interaction, there’s a silent connection between you that you can feel in your veins. You can sit in front of them for hours, without saying a word or moving a muscle, and yet still feel them with your heart. It’s almost like they’ve always been a part of you – like a long lost fragment of your essence has found its way home.

3. Meaning
The single most important thing in life is what it all means to you. Life doesn’t come prepackaged with this meaning either; you create it. Doing so is rarely easy, but it’s always within your power and well worth the effort. You’ll be far happier for troubling yourself, rather than letting everyone else design your life for you.

Ultimately, the secret is to follow your intuition and make the most of the resources you have access to. Whatever comes your way, seemingly good and bad fortunes alike, you can always give these events meaning by transforming them into positive lessons and reflections, and then using them as stepping stones.

4. Judgment
It’s impossible to know exactly how another person is feeling or what kind of emotional battles they’re fighting. Sometimes the widest smiles hide the thinnest strands of self-confidence and hope. Sometimes the ‘rich’ have everything but happiness. Realize this as you interact with others, long before you pass judgment. Every smile or sign of strength hides an inner struggle every bit as complex and extraordinary as your own.

It’s a sage fact of life, really, that every one of us encompasses a profound and unique set of secrets and mysteries that are absolutely undetectable to everyone else. Read Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

5. Confusion
Sometimes you will have thoughts about yourself that even you can’t fully comprehend. Thoughts that aren’t true – that aren’t really how you feel – that don’t represent who you are today. But they’re running through your mind anyway and confusing your focus. Where do these thoughts come from? Perhaps they’re fragments of who you used to be or of who you thought you once were – an old ghost that still haunts your subconscious mind from time to time.

The good news is you’re not alone. If you could read the minds of other people, including those whom you love and admire, you’d overhear thoughts and nostalgic whispers that are constructive and true as well as some that are outdated and confused. The key is to realize that the latter thoughts are normal to have. We all deal with them. Maybe they’re a part of who we were. Maybe they’re part of an old mindset that we need to let go of. Regardless, they’re not part of who we ARE today – which is why we will eventually work through them, rise above them, and be perfectly OK in the long run.

6. Wealth
Making money is pretty easy. Attaining true wealth is not. Most people have jobs and bring in an income. What’s difficult is to earn it by doing something that makes a positive difference.

Being a genuinely good person, helping others, and leaving the world better than you found it is what a truly rich life is. Its warm memories endure even when money and prominence fade, and it’s filled with the only kind of wealth you can take out of this world with you.

Knowing deep down that you counted – that someone else’s life would not have been as rich without you in it – that’s priceless. That’s something worth working for.

7. Regret
Lost opportunities, chances you didn’t take, feelings you can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. It’s frustrating when you realize you’ve missed a good opportunity. Although you can’t go back and change the past, there’s still something positive you can do. You can choose to learn from your mistake and transform your regret for this missed opportunity into enthusiasm and commitment for seizing the next good opportunity that comes your way.

You can decide to look ahead, acknowledging the importance of what you missed, but also realizing that it’s not the end of the world. There are many roads leading to everyplace worth going. Look at every exit from one opportunity as a possible entrance to another. You just have to keep your eyes wide open, looking forward in the direction of the next chance to get it right.

8. Resentment
Holding a resentful grudge is like drinking toxic venom and waiting for the other person to grow ill. It’s an exercise in futility. And just as toxic venom is to the human body, so is resentment to the human spirit – even one tiny bit is bad for you.

Don’t magnify life’s difficulties by filling your mind with resentment. Instead, ease your burdens by choosing to let them go. If you feel resentful feelings starting to take hold, stop and consider the fact that there’s nothing to be gained by bringing yourself down over what has already happened.

Let today be the day you stop letting the ghosts of yesterday haunt you. Let today be the day you stop poisoning yourself with needless hatred. Forget about getting even with someone who hurt you, and instead get even with those who have helped you. Read The Soulmate Experience.

9. Adversity
You have an immeasurable power within yourself to make positive changes in your life. When something is troubling you, don’t ignore it; make a commitment to change it. Don’t sit around in awe of how unhappy you are and at how unfairly life is treating you. Instead, be amazed at how swiftly and effectively you can do something about it. A positive reaction is yours to make.

Your past is unchangeable. The future depends on your decisions and actions in this moment. Right now you have power. When the world feels like it’s crumbling down around you, that’s a valuable signal. It’s your heart’s way of telling you to get going and make an overdue change. You have plenty of suitable choices if you’ll simply make an effort to discover them. Pick the best one, put it into action, and take control of your life.

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe via email or RSS.
Or for a powerful dose of inspiration download our new ebook.

Possibly Related Posts:
20 Life Lessons I Learned in My 20’s
12 Things My Grandmother Told Me Before She Died
True Measure of Understanding: Ignorance Generates Negativity
26 Life Lessons Learned by Age 26
What I Know at 64 that I Didn’t Know at 24