Category Archives: mind body and spirit

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 We Find Happiness in Life

Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.

Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy.

Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.

Happiness is life’s most desired goal. But we can never achieve it while we continue to look outside of ourselves, as it is an inside job.

“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude”.

Throughout our evolutionary journey we have tried every strategy imaginable and searched almost everywhere in our quest for true happiness. We have had some great experiences and learnt a lot along the way, but we have never found what we are searching for. Eventually, we grow tired of searching and turn our attention to the one place we haven’t looked so far; inside ourselves. True happiness is not something that can be sought and acquired; it is our soul’s natural state of being, and we can only connect with by going within.

Anything we do, it is simply our inner quality that we are going to spread.  We cannot do anything of tremendous value for our planet until anything of accurate value occurs within us. Thus, if we want to be connected to the world, the first thing we must do is to transform ourselves right into a happy beings.

It doesn’t matter what we do in our life, whether it is business, studying or giving assistance to someone or some cause , we’re doing it because deep down, it gives us satisfaction. Each activity that every individual executes on this globe rises from a desire. We were not unhappy when we were a child, as joy and happiness is a source which resides within each one of us. So all we have to do, is to go for it and take charge of that joy which is residing in us.

Everything in universe is in order. The sun comes wonderfully well up in the sky.  The flowers flourish beautifully, no stars falls along, and the galaxies are functioning perfectly. Today, the whole cosmos is occurring divinely well, but just a negative thought worming up on our brain enables us to believe that today is a poor day.

Suffering occurs basically when most human beings shed perception in regards of what this life is all about. Our emotional process become far larger than the existential procedure, or our petty creation become far more critical compared to GOD’s Creations, to place it bluntly. This is the way to obtain all suffering. We miss the complete sense of what this means to be alive here. An emotion within us or a thought within our mind establishes the nature of the experience right now. And our thought may have nothing to accomplish even with the restricted reality of our lifestyle. The entire creation is happening beautifully well but just one considered emotion can ruin everything.

Anything we consider as “our mind” isn’t ours basically. It is merely society’s empty talk. Everyone and anyone whom we encounter on a daily base put some idea or information in our head and we truly have no choice about whose idea we accept or don’t accept. These information are advantageous once we learn HOW TO process them and use them. This accumulation of opinions and information that we collect is simply useful for our survival on the planet. It is not something which is related to who we are.

First thing we need to do in the morning when we get up, is to smile. At whom? No one. Since just the fact that we have woke up is not a small matter. A lot of thousands of people who slept yesterday evening didn’t wake up today. Isn’t it great that we woke up? So look as you wake up, look around you, if there is someone, and then smile at them. Because this morning, for numerous people, someone precious to them didn’t get up. Then venture out, take a deep breath and look at the bushes. They didn’t die yesterday either.

You may think this is really funny, but you won’t know its reality until someone dear to you doesn’t wakeup. So don’t wait until you understand the value of it. Appreciate what you have, be happy that you are alive and everyone who matters to you is still around.

Of course, people who do not have food or the basic needs for living can feel physically miserable and their needs must be addressed. Our duty as a human being is to help and take care of such people when we encounter them. But most people are unhappy not as a result of what they don’t have. It is because they compare their life to others. You are driving on a motorbike, you see somebody in a Mercedes and you become unhappy. But for someone who is driving a bicycle, your motorbike seems like a limousine.

Life is about learning and appreciating what GOD has created for us on this plant. It is not about twisting and distorting it. When we rely on the external situation to make us joyful and content, we could never feel true happiness. The quality of our life doesn’t depend on what car we drive, how much money we have in a bank account, or how big our house is, but how content and happy we feel inside.

Although each one of us is unique, and what works for one may not for other, but there are simply areas that tend to make a big difference to people’s happiness in life; and crucially they are all areas that are within our control:

1-         Care for others genuinely: Caring genuinely for others around us is essential to our happiness. Being caring means  wishing the best for others, and acknowledging in them the same wants, needs, aspirations, and even fears that we have too. It means providing a listening ear, noticing when someone needs help, and helping our community without asking for a reward. Being caring allows us to have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for the people around us.

2-         Connect with people: Happiness is influenced not only by the people you know, but by the people they know”. This means that by surrounding ourselves with happier people we become happier, we make the people close to us happier, and make the people close to them happier. People with strong and vast social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationship with family and friends brings love, compassion, meaning and belonging into our lives and grow our sense of self-worth. “To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground” ~ Stephen Covey

3-         Notice the world around you: Taking Notice is about observing those things that we find beautiful and being mindful of them in our daily life. It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment, to our own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us; can improve our wellbeing. Becoming more aware of the present moment not only help us to enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better, but also recognize anew things that we have been taking for granted.

4-         Have something to look forward to: Happiness in anticipation is the key here. By having something to look forward to, no matter how our situations, bring happiness into our life, well before the circumstance happen. If your life is series of undesirable duties, commitments, and unpleasant tasks, take some time to find out something that YOU would find enjoyable. And make time to do it.  “Happiness is the anticipation and the realization of the fulfilment of a dream”.

5-         Avoid false beliefs and expectations:  Our authentic happiness is blocked by our false belief that life should be how we want it to be. The expectation that accompanies this false belief sets us up for disappointment, frustration, anger and unhappiness”. Our expectations create our reality and they change our lives emotionally and physically. Unreasonable expectations can make life extremely hard and unhappy. These expectations are actually designed by our ego, as nothing give our ego a stronger sense of self-identity as an experience that supports our sad life-story. “In other words, we unconsciously create expectations so we can feel sad and disappointed when they are not met. Our ego is addicted to sadness and painful emotions”. Master to drop all expectations and open your heart, begin to love yourself, and move beyond your ego. Embrace freedom from your ego.

6-         Be comfortable with who you are: Finding ourselves, our authenticity will help us to feel our beauty. When we endeavour to be who we are, to be true to ourselves, and accept ourselves with all our flaws and imperfections, we will automatically feel attractive and unique. Beauty is never dependent upon the approval of others. Quite the contrary, beauty is very much self-defined and self-created. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh.  By accepting ourselves and becoming kinder to ourselves we will be able to see our shortcomings as opportunities to learn and grow.

7-         Find a purpose in life:  We all have intact potential, perhaps even areas of intelligence, to become something entirely different, or somehow more than what we appear to be right now. People who find meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do. They become less stressed, anxious, or depressed. But how do we find meaning and purpose in life? We’re all wired differently. Some of us feel more connected to nature, others find meaning by employing in nurturing. The key is to know what works for us. Learning to live our purpose is essentially a spiritual exercise, and an inside job.  Search how and what give you that sense of fulfilment and deep connection; and then peruse it in all that you do.

8-         Train yourself to be more positive: There is the positive aspect in everything, in every person, in every situation. Sometimes it’s not obvious and we have to look hard. Even when we are faced with a difficult situation we can think to ourselves “What is good about this?” No matter how unpleasant the circumstance might look, we always can find something good if we take the time to think about it. Everything, good or bad is a learning experience. And there is always lesson to be gained from every bad experience. “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there” ~ Paulo Coelho

9-         Live Mindfully: “Life is not what it’s supposed to be. It’s what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference” ~ Virginia Satir. Life is full of challenges. The way we manage them, can make a difference between whether we let them to control our lives, or we find a way to embrace every challenge as it arises. By practicing mindfulness we can find a more empowering way to react to the challenges life brings us. It also helps us to train our mind, manage our thoughts and feelings, and reduce stress and depression.

10-       Take care of your body: “Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha. There is a powerful mind-body connection through which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioural factors can directly affect our health. Being active makes us happier as well as healthier. By spending time outdoors, eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep, we can improve our wellbeing. A serene mind really is nothing without a healthy body to carry it, so show your body the same compassion that you show everyone, by taking care of it.

It is positively time now that we look inside of ourselves and see HOW TO produce personal wellbeing. From our own experience of life we can clearly observe that wellbeing will come to us when we change our perception on life. We need to realize, if we are determined to create our happiness and wellbeing by the outside factors it will never happens. As nothing will be %100 the way we want them to be. When we accept this fact, then we will be able to work on ourselves as an individual to become the person we want to be. And happiness will be our only choice which has been our authentic nature by creation in the first place. “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~ Greg Anderson

 


Active Living

Active Living is about getting more out of life by giving more of yourself every day. Having lived by this philosophy for as long as I can remember, I know firsthand how life changing it can be. We all have the power to live a life that we love, and achieve amazing things.

“We become happier, much happier, when we realize life is an opportunity rather than an obligation” ~ Mary Augustine

How do you spend your day? The minutes and hours that tick away on your wristwatch, are they your opportunities or your burden? Or do you move towards life activities, eager seeking new adventures, mastering new concepts, and understanding more about human fellows? Time move too fast for you, you can’t get minutes and hours to embrace your interests in the world.

“Life” is a misleading word because people do so many things with it. The person who frets in self-pity and vegetates while others pass him by is half alive. If you are like this, don’t be ashamed, you have millions and millions of people for company. But realize that you must try to change so that you have a chance to know what happiness is. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” ~ Wayne Dyer

For there is happiness, there is power in life activities. There is joy and strength in moving forward, toward other people, toward the processes around which civilization has festered its approval or its permissiveness. When you wake up in the morning, you must alert yourself to the day ahead, to the possibilities for joyful living that the coming hours will bring if you use them fully. The things you do during this day may not shake the world, but they may make your world.

Unfortunately, however many people are passive to life and they withdraw from its pleasures. It is this, the moving away from life attitude that must be reversed; it is this rejection of people’s creative potentials that must be exposed as absurd.

When you want to, go fishing and salute the sunshine, but actively not passively, otherwise even the fish will say, “I won’t bite”. Can’t you move about a little more?

Let us first talk about the hysterical flight from work at about five o’clock each day, a flight as urgent as one from an approaching hurricane or from a Marine invasion. Is work such an affliction? Many people these days seem to think so. Work is like an alarm clock to them; they are clock watchers who cannot wait for the signal to get away. I really disagree with this concept. I think that productive work is one of the true goods of life; when you work productively, you manufacture more than money, you also manufacture a sense of self-esteem for yourself. Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish essayist-historian wrote: “Blessed is who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness… Even in the meanest sorts of Labour, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony the instant he sets himself to work.” I agree with his opinion as I have seen people functioning harmoniously in the world of work whose souls perished once they lost or gave up their jobs.

It is true that some people work at jobs ill-suited to them; their work is enslavement because they do not enjoy it.  They work only for money. They do not feel the exultation of a person who pours his most productive powers into his work.

If this is your situation, you must think about remedying it because your chances for a creative living are slim if you feel dead in your work. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” ~ Steve Jobs

May be you haven’t given your job the attention it deserves. May be you haven’t opened your eyes completely to the potentialities around you. May be you are not aware of the fact that you, not the job, might be at fault. Try to remember that in many instances, you create the opportunity, not your job.

If your job is at fault, then you have to try to find another line of work if you can. Even a small cut in pay may be worthwhile if you are able to switch to work which makes you feel more alive. If it is impossible you may convert your work productivity in enriching hobbies. Never withdraw from productive work into sluggishness. You are a human being, not a mattress, and you should utilize your human resources all your life to attain a feeling of completeness. “Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.” ~ Johnny Carson

Your Time Is Yours to Enjoy:

When you finish work you have the gift of time, but what will you do with this gift? Chances are that your hours are shorter than they used to be, even if you are a house wife, so you still have more time to enjoy yourself.

But you may say, “I don’t know what to do with my time”. This is a terrible problem, or I should say that, time is not the problem, you are the problem. You have to realize this and do something about it. Sometimes a small child in a fit of temper might destroy a genuinely loved object, but if you are reading this article, I assume that you are not a small child, and your period of experimentation is over. You must now know what you are doing. You have tools at your command. One is wisdom, the same values gained from your years of living. Surely you can see the preciousness of your free time. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of”. You must learn to use this life-stuff, to fill it with active living, not with boredom, apathy, resignation. Would you empty your wallet or pocketbook into a trash can? Then why throw away time, which is also valuable? You must use your time energetically, productively, to enhance your feeling of true participation in and enjoyment of the life process.

You must realize that leisure time is just as important as work time. You are a whole person not a working machine, and you and you alone have the opportunity within you to keep yourself whole. Leisure time may mean many things – sport, painting, cooking, card games, gardening and a lot of other activities. You must realize that leisure belongs to you, like your eyes, your heart, take it. You must find one aspect of leisure which will help you reach self-fulfilment. Take a look at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself, who you are and what you are doing with yourself. This self-confrontation needs an answer. You can’t be on the fence of indecision. Once you honestly make a response, you will find the activities that will make you happy.  Once you find the activity which makes you happy, then play it to the full. Concentrate creativity on the activity. When you play tennis, play tennis. When you are gardening, garden as if it is for the moment the most important thing in your life. Concentration doesn’t mean exhausting yourself with too many activities. Choose one, and master that, then move on to another. You will find great satisfaction from these leisure-time activities, which you have made them a part of your new creative life.

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~ Nelson Mandela