Monthly Archives: September 2016

How to Live Life with Passion and Aliveness

How to live life with passion and aliveness. Express your aliveness by giving; of yourself, of your resources, of your heart. ― Patti Digh

 In our difficult world there are many easy solution; but these solutions are not always the best ones. If you are bored, you may spend your spare time engulfed in a combination of engagement with television, radio, movies; but wouldn’t you feel better if you actively tackled some project, some hobby, something to which you committed your creative passion?

If you are lazy, you can stick a precooked dinner in the oven, but perhaps you might have cooked a better meal yourself, and enjoyed the living involved in doing this chore.

You can even spend your day resting on your bed, all alone, sealed off from life, but couldn’t you do better? Needless to say, I am not against television, movies, radios, or precooked dinners; nor am I against resting in moderation.

What I am against is an essentially passive way of doing things. When you are passive, you retire from the excitement of life and the enjoyment of stimulating give-and-take. You move away from the life process; you kill life in yourself. Yet life can invade you, can inflict suffering on you, while you lie helplessly, passively, a victim of your own inertia.

You might say but “I am in debt” and “I have to save my energy for making money”. But does being a spectator help you? Yes you may have financial problems; most people do, but a boring and passive life will not stimulate you to overcome them. Your strength is not premature burial of your participation in life. It is in your passionate pursuance of an active philosophy, in optimistic, realistic, active living.

“Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness, and gratefulness is a measure of our aliveness.” ― David Steindl Rast

Do, create, and innovate. Stay in the world, and do not baby yourself. You do not have to be perfect, but you do have to take part, you do have to be involved, and you have to remain in the mainstream of life.

When we think of aliveness and passion, we think of a freshness and vigour, a spring to the step and a ring to the laugh. We think of driving curiosity, of eager creativity. If it is aliveness and passion that we seek so ardently, we can find it at any chronological stage in our lives. The American poet Helen Hunt Jackson once wrote that “whom the gods love, live young forever”.

I do not know who the “gods” love, but I do know that if you have a gentle respect for yourself, a belief in your fundamental goodness, you will feel alive and “young” as long as you live. You will not dedicate your life to indifference and complaint, to the emptying out of your sorrows and miseries into the nearest ears, which you hope will be sympathetic.

Aliveness, passion, vitality, aflame with earnest endeavour must be one of your most cherished aims in life regardless of any age.

When does your preparation start? It starts right now. If you are sixteen, forty six, or sixty six, it starts right now.

You begin with a basic process of self-education; it is a fairly simple process, yet we all seem to overlook it in the smothering clamour of miscellaneous, often irrelevant data that clutter up our minds in this hustle-bustle world of ours. In this self-educative process you need master the terminology of no dictionary. You don’t have to hold college degree or to understand the theory of relativity. You must simply come to grips with yourself. You must assert the power of integrity of your self-image. You must establish the authentic dignity of your self-image on a realistic base as a foundation for full living at present age; now.

Life is not a picnic; sometimes there is no food at all, and ants and mosquitoes to boot. You must survive your failure and disappointments; charge back off the floor and keep punching. There are no handouts; you can expect only what you give yourself. You can only count on the spark and fire and friendliness which you, the thinker, give you, the acting person in life.

“Own your disappointment, acknowledge it for what it is, and move on.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Suppose you lose your job or your business venture is failing. You feel depressed; who wouldn’t? You feel frustrated, perhaps nervous or angry. For two or three days you may be hard to get along with; and fair-weather friends will avoid you. But how are you thinking now that all this is in the past? Are you bogged down in a state of depression, blaming yourself for your mistakes, hating those whose actions hurt you? Is your mind a staccato messenger of criticism, piercing you with reminders of what you might have done and with what you might have been? Do you see yourself over and over, blundering, and hate what you see so much that you end up losing sight of yourself entirely, blotting out the self image that is your best friend in life?

Or do you see yourself kindly? Do you see yourself making mistakes, yet forgive yourself and tell yourself that you are only human? Do you then resolve to avoid this type of mistake, if possible, yet with a determination to accept yourself if you err again? Do you then see yourself in your good moments, making wise choices, carrying out intelligent actions, achieving what you wanted to achieve? Do you carry this image of yourself back into your mind, this image of yourself accomplishing your goals, this image of yourself as the kind of person you can be?

“A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow” ―Michael Barata

If you can rebound from failure, any failure, in this accepting, non-judgemental, positive way, your self image once more restored, on your side, you will feel aliveness and vitality all the years of your life. Your problems will not terrify you when you think of them; instead you will feel hope because the pattern of your thinking is hopeful.

GOD created life in us so that we could live passionately and actively in this world HE fashioned. GOD made us, with our marvellous bodies and our complex minds, so that we could have meaning and happiness in our lives.

If you believe in a Higher Power, you must believe in the purpose in life, no matter how difficult the world may seem during depressing periods.

Tear fear from your heart; bury your negative thinking, and tell off friends who try to convince you that life is dull.

“Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have”


How to Learn to Love Yourself

How to learn to love yourself. We have all heard this statement many times: “You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else”. In order to bring health into your life, to experience true closeness and connections with others, you need to be taught to love aspects of yourself again and again. You need to see yourself as a worthwhile human being; you must give acceptance to yourself. The only way to learn self-love is by being loved precisely in the places where we feel most unsure and most tender. Unfortunately some people, because of unlucky factors in their lives, invariably stemming from childhood or adolescence, feel inferior, possess weak concept of themselves and face the world with dejected, or hostile attitudes.

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

We have to strengthen the sense of our self-love so that we will be able to tackle life’s situations healthfully, without allowing prejudices against ourselves to eat its way into our minds. It is not an easy task to erase the deeply ingrained negative attitudes permeate our cultures, and every day people we know may try to submerge us in them. But we must not allow ourselves to be coerced into adopting stereotyped, humiliating attitudes toward ourselves. We have to learn to love ourselves, respect ourselves and constantly seeking ways to invite transformation for the sake of our self growth. If we are dissatisfied of who we are, no amount of change could possibly persuade us that we are worthy and lovable. We must specifically examine ourselves as we are, realistically, without falling prey to negative ideas, which would short-change our estimate of ourselves. We must redouble our efforts to accept our shortcomings and to look humanely upon our blunders. But moreover we must have hope that there are always products and ideas for us to work toward our own betterment. Life is all about transformation, as each individual on Earth is discovering in a physical body new ways of experiencing life. And through this process of searching, each one of us is developing a deeper level of understanding of life and a greater ability to express our unique essence. It is important to realize that we are all beautiful in our own ways, complete in our authentic selves, and the more of the authentic we become, the more our beauties will shine. “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”  ~Eckhart Tolle

  • You are not your worst failure. Everyone has a past. Some pasts are filled with darkness, some with light and most are filled with a mixture of the light and darkness. Of course our pasts tend to leave a mark on us, and our opinions are typically formed on the basis of what we’ve experienced. But you must not allow yourself to look at yourself through lenses tinted by your past. Your past may shape you but it deosn’t define who you become. To a great degree you are what you think you are, and you can do what you think you can do. Your attitude toward yourself can give you a lift or pushes you to despair. It is your choice. Always resolve to be charitable in your self-appraisals, to see yourself in your best moments, to strengthen this pleasant vision of yourself, based on reality, not myth, but on positive picture of reality. I believe that anyone can build up this mental image of himself with compassion to the extent that life is tolerable, even rewarding. “Mistakes don’t make you a failure but beating yourself up makes you feel like one.” ~ Frank Sonnenberg
  • You have nothing to prove. Self-worth is about believing in yourself, in your capabilities during triumphs and defeats. It’s about feeling good about who you are, regardless of what others might think. We don’t need to prove to the world that we are good, or we don’t have to hide the things we have done that might not look pleasant. We just have to accept and forgive ourselves and hope that others do the same. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore everyone and never listen to anything, but what it does suggest, is that your feelings, thoughts, and actions have validity and finally need to be directed by you. Authentic feedback is two-way whereas pursuing validation is one-way as you’ve already made up your mind but are just look for confirmation. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~Maya Angelou
  • Practice accepting yourself. We have to learn to value and accept ourselves for who and what we are for all the good parts, as well as the parts that we think need improvement. Self-acceptance begins with recognizing judgements against ourselves and moving our focus from judgement and blame to tolerance and compassion. Acknowledging our self-judgment will help us to discover areas or attributes within ourselves that we have unproductive feelings about, which can destroy self-acceptance, such as shame, disappointment or guilt. We must identify our strengths, so that we can give balance to the work of accepting our shortcomings. When we recognize the areas of our life which need improvement, then we must try calming our “inner critic” which will reduce reinforcement of our negative thoughts about ourselves, and will help us in creating room for tolerance, forgiveness, and acceptance. Always have compassion for your limitations and be prepared to reverse every negative thought about yourself with a positive thought. Self-compassion is the basis of self-acceptance, and it means validating our own self-worth, instead of letting our self-approval to be the decision of others. Remembering that we often learn from our past mistakes, being thankful for the lessons and accepting that making mistakes is a part of life, will help us to consider our past in a productive way. “When people are not accepting toward themselves they are often obsessed with acceptance by others” ~Nathaniel Branden
  • Know that you matter. Despite all the obstacles and problems that life throws at us, and regardless of all emotional pains or low points that we may experience sometimes in our lives, but we have to realize that we completely matter. We matter, not because we think we are important, or others tell us that we are, or because of our financial situations, our looks, performances, or popularities. But because GOD put us here. The world would not be the same if we were not here or if we do not fulfil our purposes. We all have specific talents and experiences which can help and transform others, which can change and leave people differently from how we found them, and this metamorphose lives forever. So it is important that we concentrate on our superpowers instead of our weaknesses, connect with others, build-up our confidence one step at a time, and be empowered to fulfil our vocations. “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz of Shiraz
  • Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths. ‘When we notice parts of ourselves that we consider weaknesses, I wonder if we can stop for a moment and look at them closely, to see if, somewhere, there are underlying strengths there as well”. When I look back on my life, I realize that I have always been feeling emotions intensely. And I have the tendency to give of myself hundred percent in any relationship, although I have hardly been receiving the same reception from others. I can always look at this characteristic I have of giving love and care totally as a weakness. But on the other hand, the fact that I have the capacity to give myself in this way, without any reservation, can be seen as strength. Despite the fact that feelings and emotions can hurt, but the ability to feel is a gift. And the ability to convey feelings to others is a gift to them. To hold back emotions is to keep back a special gift from the world. “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can choose to love, the same way we can choose to be angry, sad, hateful or unforgiving. When we start loving ourselves, amazing transformations begin to happen. We learn to let go of negative emotions and feelings; we look at our mistakes as experiences to strengthen our characters and improve ourselves; we stop longing to be someone else; we start looking at everything around us as an opportunity for growth; we experience love and magic in our hearts, in our lives; and miracles begin to happen.

“A man who loves himself takes the first step toward real love.” ~ Osho


How To Let Go Of The Past And Forgive Yourself

How to let go of the past and forgive yourself. “In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” ~ Deepak Chopra

There is no life without emotional scars; no one escapes flawless; no one can claim perfection without committing mockery upon himself. Jesus, the great example of humility for mankind, said, “Let him who hast not sinned cast the stone

We have all made mistakes in our lives. We are all scared. In my life there have always been lots of physical scars. But as I grew older and wiser, I saw in people; sometimes in myself; signs of inner distress. So much sufferings, hurt feelings, confusion, guilt. So many people are holding grudges, submerged with bitterness, feeling inferior and worthless. I thought of these as scars, as emotional scares. But these emotional scares, I came to see, were so much deeper than physical scares, much more painful. We cannot avoid the scares; there is no escape from mistakes, quarrels, and misunderstandings to which human beings are prey. But we can treat them from a mature point of view. There is a clue in Bible, “when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away my childish things”. We cannot adopt a child’s approach and ask for magic that will make all our troubles and grievances disappear. We must handle them maturely. I define emotional maturity as the ability to make good, positive, healthy choices during the challenges of life” Roger K. Allen

Here is how we can deal and live with them maturely:

  • Forgive past hurts. We have to learn to forgive our past mistakes, the unwise decisions we have made, the foolish things we have said, the times that we have let ourselves down, the times we have let friends down. We must stop torturing ourselves for the lack of wisdom when we needed it, for our cautiousness when we should have been bold, for our boldness when we should have been cautious. We must forgive the times when we lost our temper over trifles, failed to stand up for our rights when we should have, stepped on other people’s toes with our insensitive remarks, given into the inconsiderate egotism that is so much a part of human nature. For there is great sweetness in forgiveness; it is the balm for the scars of life. Without it there will be no quiet room in our minds to escape to for peace; there will be only a room rattling with tension. Once we learn to forgive ourselves, then we be able to forgive others. Too many people waste their time obsessed with hatred for those who have hurt them. Isn’t it time to forgive and forget? Then you can move on making each day a life in itself, living, loving, challenging. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~Paul Boes
  • Live in the present. When we aren’t being present we become a victim of time. Our minds are pulled into the past, the future, or both. The fact is that the past doesn’t exist and neither does the future. The only true reference point we have to existence is a feeling of presence, of being here in this body, of seeing the world through these eyes. “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha. When we spend our time thinking and regretting about the past, or worrying over what is to come, which may or may not happen, then we will only be wasting precious days we will wish in the future we could have cherished more. Being present helps us appreciate the simple moments of life, calms us down during times of stress, and helps us to be more focused.
  • Define Your Vision. We all have to know what we want, and what is important to us in life. Some people have a clear vision of their heart desires and dreams early in life, but for some of us the vision is unclear and the path difficult to find. In order to lead a life on a purpose and vision, we have to follow our passions and succeed in our dreams. We need to restore within our lives those moments of quiet reflection, those peaceful times of awareness where we can actually hear our own voice, have our own thoughts, and let them have time to go somewhere. We have to stop, become quiet, listen to our heart and think.  And then we will be able to seize our vision, our direction, and clarity. “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.” ~ Carl Jung
  • Accept and embrace reality. Life is unpredictable. Nothing is permanent, everything changes; and a lot of things can happen that can transform who we are and have an impact on our lives. The point is that we need to develop the skill to simply accept whatever comes and embrace it. We create suffering by not accepting reality. We need to develop the habit of looking at whatever happens through a positive mindset instead of a negative and defeatist one”. By practicing acceptance we prepare ourselves to accept reality and live in this changing world, where we never know what’s going to happen next. Acceptance is like protecting ourselves with our own shields. The truth is that we can’t change the reality, even if we try. No amount of complaining or over thinking will make any difference when something unpredictable happen. So instead of getting worried or distressed, we need to choose to accept and live with reality.
  • Act with honesty and integrity. “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”. Acting with honesty and integrity means that we follow our moral or ethical convictions, care about trust, cherish our relationships, and respect the importance of a solid reputation. It means that we are true to ourselves, committed to do our best and are prepared to acknowledge the result of our action. It requires us to keep discipline, to take responsibility and to fulfil our promise. It demands us to capitulate short-term outcome for something with higher vision that is larger and more meaningful in the long term. “It’s simple. Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you”.
  • Escape now and then. When I talk about escape, I do not mean a permanent retreat from the world; I mean a temporary interval of peace, in which you can think about things without fear and bring back the heart and body of your soul to face life’s struggles, feeling renewed. You do not need an exotic faraway; a quiet room in your own home is most suitable, or a pleasant place in your neighbourhood, where you can feel comfortable and secure; and think about your days and your goals; about where you are going and what you are doing, what your purpose is in life, and how you can build richer meaning in life for yourself and your loved ones. For a meaningful escape from life’s problems, you must find another room; in your mind. A room in your mind where you can think peacefully, plan sensible resolves, refresh your energies. “Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.”

You can’t go back and change the past, so there’s no point in beating yourself over things you have done wrong, or mistakes you have made before. Even if it takes you months to figure it out, search for the positive that resulted from your negative situations. Accept the fact that mistakes are inevitable, unavoidable, and you cannot avoid mistakes or problems in life. But they present you with the perfect opportunity to strengthen your character, to learn, to grow and to improve yourself. Things won’t magically change. We change them by expanding ourselves, making new choices and behaving in a new way. “You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller but by making yourself bigger” ~ John Maxwell