Monthly Archives: October 2016

Living a Balanced Life

To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Living a balanced life is essential for personal effectiveness, peace of mind and living well.

We have to realize that we can’t have everything and do everything at the same time. And the challenge is to balance what we must do with what we enjoy and choose to do.

Living a balanced life. In today’s society where most people spend more time at work or working than in any other context, it’s common to feel over-worked and off-balance. Everyone struggles to step away and find time for the people, activities and things that restore peace and balance in life.

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” ~Thomas Merton
When our life seems out of control and we’ve got endless demands tugging at us from all directions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued, and just plain stressed!
Believe it or not, living a balanced life does not require massive changes.  You don’t have to quit your job, abandon your family and escape to a remote retreat in order to feel peaceful and happy.  In fact, true balance is something that starts WITHIN YOU first and foremost – no matter what else is happening in your outer life circumstances.
“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man” ~ Euripides
Below you’ll find four simple ways to begin building a greater sense of inner peace, harmony and living a balanced life:
1)  Quiet time.
One of the first things we tend to sacrifice when we’re busy is our personal time.  Instead we devote all of our energy and attention to caring for others, multi-tasking, meeting responsibilities and “being productive.”  Over time this depletes our energy and we begin to feel more and more burdened by our responsibilities.
To live a more balanced life, quiet time to yourself is CRUCIAL.  You may believe that you don’t have any time available for yourself, but something amazing happens when you consistently MAKE time; you find yourself feeling happier and more energetic, your focus improves – and you still get plenty done!  Just a few minutes spent sitting quietly in meditation or reading a book can do wonders in transforming stress into peace and happiness. “Quite the mind and the soul will speak”
2)  Self-care.
Beyond making time for things you enjoy, there are other ways to nurture and love yourself on a daily basis.  Getting a full eight hours of sleep (or as much as you personally need) is a great start, as well as eating nutritious food, exercising daily and speaking kindly to yourself.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re really tired or stressed, even the smallest problem can seem like a nightmare?  On the other hand, when you’re feeling well-rested and centred, you’re much better able to handle upsets.  Caring for yourself is one sure way to consistently replenish your energy, inner peace and joy – which means you’ll have the strength to handle whatever comes your way. “Taking good care of you means the people in your life will receive the best of you, rather than what is left of you”
3)  Flexibility.
Did you know that one of the biggest causes of stress is rigid expectations?  We all do it from time to time; get a mental picture of how our lives “should be” – and get really annoyed when our outer circumstances don’t cooperate!  One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is a flexible state of mind.  In other words, learn how to detach from unrealistic expectations and go with the flow.
When you have a flexible mind-set, you’re able to deal with crises and problems much more easily because you’re not working against a preconceived notion of how things “should be”.  You’re able to tap into your creative problem-solving skills and move through challenges without all the drama and frustration.  Be like the tree that bends with the breeze – and you’re much less likely to break!
These inner changes can make a dramatic difference in your state of well-being, but you may also want to examine your outer life circumstances and see if there are other small changes you can make to help support your inner work and living a balanced life.
For example, you might choose to let go of certain obligations that are no longer meaningful or enjoyable to you.  Just because you agreed to host weekly meetings for a support group three years ago doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it forever – especially if it’s become a drain on your time and energy! “The mental flexibility of the wise man permits him to keep an open mind and enables him to readjust himself whenever it becomes necessary for a change” ~ Malcolm X
4)  Attend to your spiritual needs.
It is important for you to feel connected to the universe and to find your purpose in life. Making time for spirituality allows you to direct your attention inward, leading to greater flexibility to life encounters and even a longer life. When we feel stressed; it may be that our mind is telling us to attend to our spiritual needs. Mind, body and spirit are inseparable, and the inspiration gained from spirituality is an essential part of the healing process.
We need to avoid confusing spirituality with religion; the two may or may not share some common area. If we are religious, this can include sharing same beliefs, values, liturgies and lifestyle of a faith community. Spirituality can also come from being a part of the larger community, in whatever form you enjoy. It can include volunteering with a special community service project or connecting with others in your neighbourhood. Other forms of spirituality may be meditation, journalising, prayer, or even doing yoga. “Spiritual opening is not a withdrawal to some imagined realm or safe cave.  It is not a pulling away, but a touching of all the experience of life with wisdom and with a heart of kindness, without any separation” ~Jack Kornfield
Life is very much a balancing act. We always strive to move forward with our purpose, and to achieve our goals, while trying to keep in balance the various elements of our lives. By letting go of activities that no longer complement the lifestyle you desire, not only you are living a balanced life. but also you’ll create a space for greater fulfilment, joy and peace.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein


How To Stop Having Negative Thoughts

How to stop having negative thoughts. Let go of negative thinking as it can become a habit of mind, and it can have a serious, sometimes devastating impact on all aspects of your life. It seems unfortunately that with most people, positive thinking requires some effort, whereas, negative thinking comes easily and often uninvited.

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” Eckhart Tolle

You must get rid of all your negative thoughts and false beliefs about yourself. You must redirect your frustrated aggression and resentment and find ways to overcome your feelings of loneliness and emptiness.

May I assure you of this: If you’ve never failed at anything, it is certainly that you never really tried anything? Or in the words of Roman philosopher Seneca, “If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail”

Was Thomas Edison a failure? Of course not. The thought is absurd. Yet dozens of failures preceded most of his brilliant creations. Edison learned from his failures and built his success on them. Discovery is born on error; there are no creations without unsuccessful experiments.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” Thomas Edison

This sums up one of the most important lessons that I have learned from life:  Blunders, errors in judgement and applications are unavoidable unless we retreat from life into a state of apathy. And even then in that state of idleness, we still make mistake. The secret of successful living is to rise above our failures to our good moments. This is the key concept, to forget our errors, to stop grieving over them, to have compassion for our own human fallibility. Then unburdened with guilt, we can step out decidedly into the world, seeing ourselves at our best, formulating our goals, and bringing out into the game of life, our success instinct.

Never deny your mistakes, admit them freely. But learn from them to minimize your mistakes in future. Be tolerant toward yourself as you would be tolerant toward a friend or you must throttle your experimentation.

“Without failure we can learn nothing, and yet we have learned to treasure success as the only acceptable standard” Wayne W. Dyer

Every day examine the negative beliefs which pull you down. Do you feel stupid? Are you obsessed with the feeling that you are ugly? Or do you torture yourself with the thought that you are weak? I don’t know what negative beliefs you use to determine yourself. But I can assure you that your thinking is irrational. In examining your accusations against yourself, let’s see if you are not being unfair. If you punish yourself as being “stupid”, on what do you base this charge? Granted that you have been unwise, perhaps many times, have you never been wise? Have you never been shrewd? Have you never been intelligent?  Then your self-criticism is basically self-mutilation. What it comes down to, is that you feel you have no rights; you believe in short-changing yourself.

OK, sometimes, there might be a grain of reality to them, but are these the devastating indictments that you build them into? No, this is irrational thinking. People are people. The strong are weak, and the weak are strong. Some low-to-medium IQ people have rare common sense. Some homely-looking women are devoted friends and can look beautiful. Some people with physical handicaps are most compassionate. Some emotionally unstable people are extremely brilliant. These are greys; there are no black and whites. But what do you do to yourself with your negative thoughts? You make yourself all thumbs, all negating.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” Albert Einstein

Now that you have examined your negative beliefs about yourself and are in the process of reducing them to reasonable proportions, let’s see how to stop having negative thoughts about yourself. If you can’t, at least maintain them at the reasonable dimensions so that you can live with them.

Go to the next step now, and visualize a success picture, one that you are really proud of. Fill your mind with it, see it, smell it, feel it, grab hold of this success picture and hold it in your mind. When the critical thoughts counterattack, kick them out, and do this process again and again. You have read and heard about people with a pacemaker in their hearts; who are living so graciously and with peace in mind; learn a lesson from them. Let your self-image be the pacemaker of your heart, your mind, and your soul. Each day reactivate your successful instincts until the success habit becomes part of you. Until it hypnotize you.

So how to stop having negative thoughts; Say to yourself: I shall concentrate on the confidence of my past successes, not on my past failures. I deserve the good things in life. I am the captain of my ship, and I shall steer my mind to a productive goal.

 “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” William Ernest Henley


How to Build Your Child’s Self Esteem

How to build your child’s self esteem. Self-esteem is about liking who we are, and how we value ourselves. It is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work, and nearly every part of our lives.

For children, it comes from knowing that they’re loved, accepted, secured and that they belong to a family that values them. It’s often been said that children learn what they live.  So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self-esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self-esteem.  Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities.

“Self-esteem is your child’s passport to a lifetime of mental health and social happiness. It’s the foundation of a child’s well-being and the key to success as an adult. At all ages.” Ask Dr. Sears

Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise.  Find something about them to praise each day.  You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished. Give her/him compliments as often as possible. Whenever they do something right, you can say: “I am very proud of you”, “you are very special”, or “I like the way you have done it”. Show your child that a positive act merits a positive praise.

When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing.  They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation.  Suggest positive behaviours and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel badly, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.

“Discipline is helping a child solve a Problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solution not retribution.” ― L.R. Knost

Teach your child a sense of purpose, the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task. Your child should have goals that give him/her purpose and direction and an avenue for channelling his/her energy toward achievement and self-expression. Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning.  Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex.  Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.

“Self-esteem is the real magic wand that can form a child’s future. A child’s self-esteem affects every area of her existence” ― Stephanie Marston

Give your child a sense of responsibility, a chance to show you what he/she is capable of doing. Let him/her to engage in tasks without being checked on all the time. This shows trust on your part, a sense of letting go.

Be proud of your child, and let her/him know that how proud and fortunate you are to be her/his parents. Never compare your child to others saying, “Why aren’t you like Mary?” And when others make such comparisons, make sure that your child knows she/he is special and unique in her/his own way.

Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day. Show love and affection to your child many times throughout the day, in fact. All our dealings with our children, starting from infancy, should be done with a lot of affection and love. A baby who is dealt with love and affection will get a subconscious feeling that she/he is worthy and important enough to be loved. When they’ve behaved badly or have done something negative, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behaviour. Criticize their actions, not them, say to your child, “You are such a good and special child, you should not be engaging in such an activity,” instead of saying, “you are a bad child”. Tuck short, sweet and loving notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail.  Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.

“Parents are provided with a unique, never-to-be-repeated opportunity to set up a “self-esteem bank account” in which the child will store many positive things about him or herself. In the years and decades to come, this “bank account” will balance out negative experiences, which are unavoidable”.