Can you make room for slowness in your life? To feel and appreciate the sounds, sights and scents of spring life unfolding?
After the winter months, I have been experiencing a profound surrender to what is.
A very practical impact of this on my daily life has been a slowing down and letting go of rushing, planning and controlling. I feel more receptive to the wonder of life in each moment, a softening into my heart which feels as if I’m able to bring the gentle power of my heart more easily to each experience. Of course, there are situations that still push my buttons! I’ve also learnt that I can do things quickly with a slow frame of mind helping to transmute tension into relaxation.
When we rush we skim the surface of life experiences and miss a depth of connection with people and with the aliveness of life itself. We seek to cram in as many experiences as possible and seem to have lost the art of doing nothing, of slowing down and simply being – with ourselves and stillness. Speed and busyness have become an addiction and a distraction.
Fast can feel busy, controlling, aggressive, rushed, analytical, stressed, superficial, impatient, quantity over quality.
Slow can feel calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, quality over quantity.
Every living being, event and process has its own inherent rhythm – nature teaches us this. Be slow when it makes sense to. Be fast when it makes sense to. In this way you choose a way of being that can feel alive, connected and wise.
“Do you see that everything in the universe is simply doing its dance – expressing itself the only way it can… and this is happening in every moment. Seeing this clearly brings instant relaxation and peace. Why? Because everything is doing the only dance it can, what is there to worry about?” Bhakti Maa
People often ask me what Metanoia means. Some even think it's my first name. While others can barely pronounce it.
Metanoia is the word that has been a huge part of my life for the past year. It's a word I stumbled across on Instagram a while back and immediately identified with it's meaning.
Metanoia (n.): the journey of changing one's mind, heart, self, or way of life - (pronunciation | meh-tah-NOY-ah)
To me, metanoia represents growth. The possibility of improving ourselves, living the life we envision and the ability of chasing our dreams. In order to be successful and happy, we should constantly be evolving and learning. Learning new ways, new strategies, new routes.
One of my favorite quotes is: "Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." We have the power to create our own paths, opportunities, and destination. That theory is behind Metanoia Living. To showcase the pursuit of a lifestyle -the Metanoia Lifestyle. Inspiring you be open to change, to travel, to discover and to create a happy, fun and balanced life.
We all have our unique journeys. For that same reason, the word metanoia can be personalized to each one of us. We add our own value to the meaning. Metanoia serves as a daily motivation and inspiration for me- which is why it's my favorite word. Hopefully, it becomes yours too!
Sitting in front of your computer now, you have access to more computing power than existed in the entire world in 1950. Your cell phone allows you to speak to whoever you like anywhere in the world, from wherever you are. You can flick a switch and have light, heat, entertainment and comfort. You can turn on a tap and out pours hot or cold water which is drinkable. You can open your fridge and there are delicacies to delight: nuts from Brazil, coffee from Columbia and chocolate from Belgium.
We live in an age of plenty, but our desires create a need more. Inside many of us is a scared and unloved child who needs attention. The fears and needs of the wounded little child become the insecurities of the adult ego. These insecurities create a wanting mind; a mind that projects its need for happiness and fulfilment out there onto things, people and experiences.
We don’t need more. Who we are and what we have is enough. We are not separate from life – we are Life. The wisdom teachings of old have an important message for our modern condition, which is characterised by a sense of lack in a sea of excess. The teachings call us to question our conditioning that says happiness is to be found outside of ourselves. When we awaken to, and feel our completeness here in this moment, we realise that lack is an illusion and that the fear-based ego will never feel fulfilled.
It came to me the other day that if I had to label my work I’d call it ‘psycho-spiritual therapy’. Offering sessions that are held and informed by spiritual teachings of non-duality, I allow the wounded inner child a chance to access and release his or her fears and self-limiting beliefs. Yes, we all have personal stories of pain and suffering, but the story can never overshadow the Spirit, that endless capacity for love, compassion, forgiveness and joy.
I am honoured to meet people where they are, and to work with whatever is troubling them, facilitating an alchemical process of turning the base metal of psychological suffering into the gold of spiritual awakening.
We recently took a look at the comparison between the human experience and computer science. In our analogy our bodies and brains are our hardware but the things that make us (our beliefs, emotions, thoughts, etc) are like software. We talked about the importance of doing regular maintenance on ourselves and installing great anti-virus programming to keep the evil at bay. Basically we said that we, as humans, get to choose who we are by deciding which software we install.
In keeping with our computing analogy it is important to remember that new developments are happening all the time. Every day scientists work on solving the mysteries of our consciousness and morality.
Time recently reported on the researchers from Belgium’s University of Liege who have been trying to figure out if there are physical indicators that will help doctor’s predict a coma or vegetative patient’s chances of recovery. The scientists are trying to better determine the difference between a vegetative state and a minimally conscious state. Of the different methods these scientists tried, the PET scan, when paired with the FDG imaging agent showed a 74% accuracy rate. These tests don’t measure or dissect consciousness (at least not yet) but they have helped doctors get a better idea of what, physically, constitutes consciousness than they had before.
According to a recent article in Extreme Tech, a scientist named Max Tegmark (from MIT) has decided that consciousness—something we have always thought of as ethereal—is actually a state of matter. He says that, like with liquids, there are lots of different types of consciousness—types that can be tracked and measured using informational theory and quantum mechanics. If he’s right, we’ll be able to measure the difference between self awareness and why we perceive the world in three dimensions.
On the other side of the coin is, of course, the more philosophical approach to the human condition, consciousness and morality. It’s the basis, for example, of the work that Jeremy Griffin is doing with the World Transformation Movement.
Of course, Jeremy Griffin isn’t the only person doing significant work in this area.
A recent article in the Washington Post posited that there was no link between atheism and amorality. The article cites a source that decries atheists for insisting that morality and self sacrifice alone are proof of a deity and then goes on to talk about the different mechanisms through which someone who is not a theist could use “rational choice theory” to justify a self sacrificing act (valuing another’s life over one’s own) or sociologically enforced norms surrounding ethics and behaviours.
The Burbank Leader cites extensive sources that prove that one does not need to believe in a deity or “God” to be a moral person (in spite of what most people believe, according to a recent Pew Research Poll). The article talks about social responsibility being the basis by which we live out our human conditions and navigate the waters of good-vs.-evil as opposed to simply fearing retribution from a higher power if one does not conform to specific constructs of morality and behaviour.
Eastern philosophy has been attacking these problems for centuries, coming up with theories on our interpersonal connections, our emotions and our consciousness. Groups like the World Transformation Movement are using science and philosophy to get to the root of our humanity. What do you think? Are you on the side of the purely empirical scientists? Or do you think there is something more…metaphysical guiding our time on this planet (and others in the future if we ever leave this planet and go out into space)?
“To be one with nature again is vital – it allows inner and outer nature to blend, healing a separation that never existed in the first place.” Deepak Chopra
Summer is usually a time of improved health and expanded awareness: there are more daylight hours and warmer weather which inspires us to spend more time outside connecting with nature. Each season brings with it certain positive qualities and certain challenges to our system. As with all Ayurvedic principles we just have to observe nature and notice the change in the qualities of the air, the light, the temperature and the weather so that we intuitively know how to live each moment harmoniously. Just watching and feeling nature is a practice of awareness and meditation.
The fire element increases in the summer: there is more warmth, dryness and lightness. Hence summer is naturally a time of calming and cooling pitta.
Fire qualities: Light, warm, dry, penetrating, sharp, transformative, subtle, ascending, expansive.
Fire anatomy: Pitta can build up in the digestive system (acid reflux), liver (indigestion), eyes (sensitivity to light), skin (inflammations), joints (arthritis) and heart at this time of year. Be aware of any imbalances in these parts of your body.
Fire physiology: Sight, digestion, appetite, metabolism, nutrient assimilation and body temperature are all affected by the increased warmth of summer. Be aware of any changes in these systems of your body.
Psychic fire: Manipura chakra – situated behind the navel at the solar plexus and related to ambition, gain, wealth, achievement, goals, drive, direction, power, thought and counter-thought – this chakra can be stimulated by the natural increase in the solar energy and fire element. Be aware of mind states that are critical, judgemental, angry and reactive.
Yogic summer: This is a good time to apply the wise teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati by becoming aware of and practicing discernment (viveka) and non-attachment (vairagya). By being more discerning, we are choosing what is best for us and not just following the perpetual likes and dislikes of our mind. By letting go we can start to become free from the pleasure and pain of our experiences and move towards acceptance, an open heart and living in the precious present moment.
Suggested Summer routine:
- Start your morning with a dash of Aloe Vera juice (50ml) in a class of warm water, this will help to flush heat toxins from your liver.
- Then massage yourself with room temperature coconut oil which nourishes and clears any heat from your skin. Shower off with luke warm water.
- Walk or stand with bare feet on a cool dewy lawn for a calming and centred start to your meditation practice or simply to connect with nature’s beauty.
- Start your yoga practice with some cooling and calming Sheetali pranayama- this is an especially calming and soothing breathing practice where you roll your tongue into a tube then draw the in breath through this tube and breathe out through your nostrils. You can feel the cool air chilling you out!
- As we have seen pitta can accumulate in your digestive system especially the liver and small intestine. Do some abdominal stretching and twisting exercises to help clear pitta from your belly. Try Trikonasna (triangle series), Bhujangasana (cobra), Matsyanasna (fish), Matsyendrasana (twist), Ushtrasana (camel) to massage pitta out of the intestines. As pitta can also accumulate in the eyes, via the liver, try doing a range of eye exercises to relax the eyes and increase circulation that can carry away any excess heat.
- If you are already a bit of a pitta prone person (hot-headed!) it is important to not do too many inverted poses as these bring heat up into your head.
- After yoga anoint yourself with some fragrant sandalwood or rose oil. Place a drop on your third eye, throat and navel to keep these centres of awareness cool, calm and collected.
- Your diet in the summer can consist of sweet (grains), bitter (salads/leafy greens), astringent (pulses) flavours and be light and easy to digest.
- A light nourishing breakfast of a fruit, seed and nut smoothie will sustain your energy levels through the morning. Add a pinch of saffron for flavour and cooling energy.
- Eating lunch around noon when the sun is at its zenith is best. Try kicharee as a cooling nutritive meal. Add a teaspoon of ghee or hemp seed oil at the end with some grated fresh coconut. Eat it with cucumber raita as a delicious condiment. Green salad is ok at lunchtime.
- For supper have a light meal of basmati rice, sprouted mung beans and green leafy vegetables. Best to avoid salad at night as it will aggravte vata.
- In the summer it is best to also avoid all dark meats such as beef, lamb and pork as well as citrus fruits, tomato, garlic, onion, salt and sour dairy products as these all increase pitta.
- A good way of flushing pitta out of the body is via the bowel; Ayurveda recommends Amla herbal remedy as a mild laxative.
- When you are thirst try drinking cool herbal teas of peppermint, licorice, fennel and chamomile.
- It’s important to watch out for pitta emotions arising such as criticism, being judgmental, irritation and anger. If you feel a bit ‘hot under your collar’ a good trick is to hold a glass of water in your mouth as the water cools your pitta and keeps you quiet!
- Before you go to bed, especially if it has been a hot day, rub the soles of your feet with coconut or castor oil to bring all the heat down to your feet.
- Wash your face in organic rose water and spray it in your bedroom. It is helpful to fill your home and bedroom with fragrant roses and jasmine in the summer.
- Best to go to bed before 11pm as pitta peaks at around 12 midnight. If you sleep on your right side then ida nadi in the left nostril is activated and guarantees you a blissful nights rest.
As with all your yogic practice, the only rule is that there are no rules! Adjust your daily lifestyle and practice to the changes in the weather and to how you are feeling. Trust your intuition to help maintain the balance of your doshas. Learn to appreciate how the changes in how you are feeling relate to how the dosha changes in you!
image: Kevin Dooley
About two years ago, I decided to take a good look at my life and reflect on everything around me. Many questions arose during this process. Who was I hanging out with, what was I watching, what was I reading, what was I doing, but most importantly, who was I becoming?
And to my surprise, I wasn’t proud of most of the answers to those questions.
I felt as though my life was not moving forward. I wasn’t accomplishing or doing anything. I was becoming stagnant.
“I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question.” - Harun Yahya
I slowly started changing my perspective on life and myself. One of the very first things I did was evaluate the people around me. What value were they bringing into my life? It may sound selfish, but that’s how you have to view friendships. If they’re not supporting you, motivating you, inspiring you, challenging you, or genuinely caring for you, then honestly, they have no room in your life.
I quickly detached myself from a lot of friendships. Not because they were bad people, but unfortunately, they were just not on the same path I was embarking. And that’s ok. That’s part of life. That’s part of growth.
Once you make one positive change in your life, everything else seems to follow. You’ll discover that your interests and how you view life in general will change. I’ve had many people praise me for these changes. But at the same time, I’ve also had people question my new lifestyle. Some even saying that I wasn’t the “same” person anymore.
Well, that’s kind of the whole point.
For the first time in my life, I have dreams and aspirations for myself. I’m making better choices. Choices that are taking me a step closer to achieving my goals.
You have to be confident and strong enough to make these type of changes in your life. They’re not easy and sometimes people will question them or try to bring you down. You just need to surround yourself with good people, stay true to yourself and continue on your path.
What you think of yourself is much more important than what people think of you.
At the end of the day, it’s your metanoia. Do what makes you happy. There is no better reward then being proud of the person you’ve become.
“Every impulse of intelligence in our awareness starts its journey from the source of life as love, and nothing else.” Deepak Chopra
As we welcome the unfolding wonders of Spring with warmer weather, rains that nourish the earth, the return of animals and the growth of plants from their Winter hibernation, we also undergo an internal transformation. According to Charaka, a great Ayurvedic authority, 7 days before and after the Spring Equinox is the transition time to slowly make changes necessary to effortlessly and healthily welcome the new season on all levels and in all ways. The Spring Equinox is the 22nd September.
According to Ayurveda, Spring time is Kapha dosha (earth & water constitution) predominant time, which brings the qualities that are heavy, cold, dull, liquid, dense, slimy, and oily. Although this simple list doesn’t seem to offer much information, it is actually quite informative. These qualities have accumulated through the Winter (another Kapha time) so following the Ayurvedic principle of “like increases like” we adopt the opposite qualities of hot, dry, sharp and light to treat any imbalance.
We are all familiar with Spring allergies, congestion, sinusitis and excess mucus. This is nature’s way of melting away our inner “cold”. So now is the time to melt away that which has built up in the winter and clear excess heaviness and toxicity so that we may feel light, refreshed and renewed.
Suggested Spring Routine:
- Start to wake up 30 minutes before sunrise. Kapha time begins around 6am; So as not to increase Kapha qualities in the body, it’s important to be up and moving before the sun rises to help move toxins and stagnant lymph that have accumulated overnight.
- Morning routine can include: warm lemon and/or ginger water upon waking, abhyanga (self massage) with warm sesame seed oil before your shower, skin brushing (twice a week) and a brisk early morning walk!
- Clean up your diet: just as we Spring clean our homes it’s time to Spring clean our inner home. Avoid heavy and dulling foods like excess dairy, wheat, oily and cold foods. Continue to eat warming and astringent foods and spice them up with cloves, ginger, cumin, mustard seeds and black pepper. Green juicing is a great way to detox the liver and cells.
- Enjoy some type of dynamic daily exercise. The best way to move excess heaviness and stagnation is to move the lymph and blood that circulate throughout the body.
- Slowly energize your Yoga practice with more challenging asanas which focus on the chest and stimulating breathing practices.
- Meditation helps to digest the events of the day on a mental and emotional level allowing you to enjoy the precious present moment. Daily practice is a profound way to help clear the ‘clutter’ from your life.
“What’s your purpose?”
That’s a big question you may seldom take the time to consider. When transitioning from my ‘career’ to my ‘calling’ three years ago, this was a question I spent a lot of time contemplating.
A calling, if developed, is something you can do for the rest of your life. Knowing what’s important to you can have a significant impact on how you go about shaping your calling.
Living with purpose
“Do you want to make a difference?”
Living a purpose-filled life can be infinitely more complex than merely getting up in the morning and plugging yourself into an established system like a corporation – that’s a job or a career. How then, do you go about balancing earning a living with meaningful work that makes a difference?
“What are you naturally good at and how can you use your skills to make a difference?”
Although having a vision of how you wish to live your life is important, even more important is learning to align your skills and talents with a particular interest.
Purpose in context
Let’s first try to understand how you fit into an evolutionary context. The industrial growth economy was driven by a profit-by-any-means-necessary motive as well as an abundance of cheap oil. The ramifications of this ideology are becoming more apparent as fisheries and forests are depleted and climate change causes more devastation.
In a more aware and socially connected economy, these things matter - there’s no longer a place to hide. The global system is under immense strain, caused by activities like mining Tar Sands in Canada for example, which increase the risk of global warming. This means that droughts may increase, food prices will rise and the cost of living may become more severe.
The industrial growth economy was built on scarcity and separation. Conversely, in the social economy we are seeing a shift to understanding the inter-connected nature of economies and ecosystems. In a connected economy people want to know who you are, what’s important to you and what you stand for.
We’ve moved beyond working just to make a short-term profit – a motive that leads to environmental destruction and separation – to making life meaningful.
- How have your values shaped your identity and your story?
- How do you communicate your story?
- Are you talking to people who want to participate whole-heartedly in the creation of something meaningful
Purpose in a new age
“Do you have rare and valuable skills to match the needs of the connection economy?”
Understanding your purpose and matching your skills to the increasing complexity of this new age is integral to aligning with your calling. To get you started, I’ve outlined some characteristics of the connection economy. Consider how you see yourself fitting in.
The connection economy is driven by open-source software and information. Information is available at the click of a button; you can study any course online through massive open online courses (MOOCs).
The connection economy emphasises a movement from scarcity to abundance and, to create abundance, we need to work together. Collaboration will be a key driver in shaping systems of the future. This is not to say that more introverted people don’t have a place in such a system - on the contrary! Introverted personalities have a key role to play in creating solutions-based ideologies.
The connection economy allows more room for creativity and spiritual or personal growth. In fact, personal growth is integral to the connection economy because it opens up new ways of relating to each other - you have to be more mature to take on multiple perspectives. Living in a more connected way means wanting to know more about your neighbours, your colleagues or your community. Or all of these!
Local focus, global reach
The industrial growth economy was built on expanding new markets, sometimes in foreign countries. The connection economy, although in a global marketplace, emphasises a return to local economies. If there’s a global market crash, like there was in 2008, you can fall back on resilient local economies to ensure you keep thriving.
Pursuing your purpose can be tricky in an industrial growth economy that is commonly dominated by fear and scarcity. But through training, personal development and community involvement, it is possible to transition from the job you may be in now, to embracing your calling.
If you’re still unsure of how you see yourself fitting into a connection economy, it may benefit you to work with a professional. Contact top mindset and communication coach Simon Inglis @ email@example.com for a free initial discussion
“It is called Ayurveda because it is the knowledge that teaches us which substances, qualities and actions are beneficial or harmful to life.”
Charaka Samhita, the earliest Ayurvedic text, 150BCE – 100CE
What is Ayurveda?
Translated as the ‘Science of Life’, Ayurveda teaches us a way of living with insight and balance that is in harmony with our individual nature and Mother nature. It is the medical system from India which includes aspects of philosophy, mythology, nutrition, massage, herbal therapy, yoga as well as spiritual teachings and practices. As well as treating illness, Ayurveda focuses on preventing disease and maximising vitality. Without health, we cannot pursue or enjoy our life purpose!
When I first discovered the wonders and wisdom of Ayurveda, I found the vastness of its knowledge slightly intimidating. I realised that I needed to understand the basic principles in order to apply its practical teachings. The key to this understanding is the five elements, the pancmahabhurta. By studying nature and learning about the qualities of the elements, we can then develop a deeper understanding of our unique body/mind constitution or dosha.
In this article, we explore the elements, the building blocks of nature and of the three doshas namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
According to Ayurveda, everything in the Universe is composed of the 5 elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth. The human body is also composed of these 5 elements, so the body is a reflection of the greater Universe – it is a microcosm of the macrocosm.
What is a Dosha?
There are three primary life forces or subtle energies that come from the five elements. They are known as doshas. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are responsible for all the physical and mental functions in the body. When our doshas are cared for and in balance they maintain our health and well-being. When there is a build up of the dosha, imbalance arises and we become unwell. Each of us is unique, born with our own distinct individual constitution or balance of the three doshas. This balance determines our physical body, our emotional and mental traits and our tendency to certain health problems.
We generally have a predominance of one or two of the doshas. This is largely determined when we are conceived and depends on our parents’ constitution, their physical and emotional state at the time of conception and of course Karma. The characteristics of our dominant dosha will be most noticeable in our make-up and remember we all have all three doshas and all five elements in our being, just in varying degrees.
THE PANCMAHABHUTA: The Five Great Elements
The natural world is comprised of building blocks that move from the subtle to the gross, from ether to earth. These ‘bricks’ are known as the ‘five great elements’ (pancmahabhuta) or ‘that-ness’ (tattwa) and are Ether/space; Air/motion, Fire/heat, Water/fluid and Earth/solid.
These elements combine in different proportions to make up the material universe and form the basis of the doshas. They also form the basis that determines tastes and properties of herbs and foods. These five elements are closely associated with states of matter.
AKASA: Ether (Space)
Quality – expansive, light, without temperature, infinite and all-encompassing. It is the potential – space creates the place for life to take place.It is subtle – ether can’t be seen or felt, but you can become aware of space! It is the spaces in our communication – the pauses. It is the spaces in the body – every cell, spaces between nerve fibres, cranial spaces, nostrils and sinuses, lungs as well as the thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavities. Ether relates to the sense of sound and the ear. Sound is carried on the ether.
VAYU: Air (Motion)
Quality – like the wind, light, mobile, rough, dry, cold, erratic, stimulating and dispersing. It is the principle of movement and change stirring all of creation into life. It is responsible for all the other elements. In the body it moves everything, creating life and relates to prana, the vital life force. It is responsible for creative energy in the mind – the imagination. Too much air is depleting as it moves the prana out. An imbalance manifests in the body as palpitations, flatulence and constipation. Too much movement in the nervous system creates anxiety and restlessness. Air relates to the sense of touch, the nerves and the skin. Sensation travels through the skin and nerves just as you can feel the wind on your skin.
TEJAS: Fire (Heat)
Quality – hot, sharp, penetrating, luminous, ascending and dispersing. Fire governs all transformation in the body. It is high energy and manifests as passion, anger, aggression and action. It is responsible for mental, emotional and physical digestion. It is the light of the mind – intelligence; and the brightness of the body – colour. Too much heat in the body increases light and colour which results in inflammation. Fire relates to the sense of sight and the eyes. Light and perception travel through the eyes due to the metabolic activity of light sensitive photons in the eyes.
JALA: Water (Fluid)
Quality – liquid, fluid, heavy, wet, lubricating, cool, cohesive and dense. The water of life that holds everything together. 75% of the body consists of water. It eases movement in the body, lubricates and protects. It is the mucus, synovial fluid, saliva, tears, cerebral spinal fluid and sweat. It provides nourishment and hydration to the body. Imbalance manifests as emotionally watery, lacking in substance and easily manipulated. Water relates to the sense of taste and the tongue. Flavours and tastes are only perceivable when the tongue is wet.
PRITHVI: Earth (Solid)
Quality – thick, dense, solid, heavy, stable/static and grounded. It gives the body form and substance. It is responsible for growth and nourishment. It relates to the physical structures of the body – bones, tissues and muscles. Earth element provides emotional stability, calmness and dependability. Too much earth manifests as dullness, stubbornness and complacency. Earth relates to the sense of smell and the nose. Earthy and dense objects give off smells.
The Pancmahabhuta are the building blocks of the Universe and of us!
In the next article we explore the Vata Dosha which is a combination of the Ether and Air elements. During the coming days, I invite you to become aware of the elements, their qualities and how you experience them in yourself. In this way you start to discover your unique body/mind constitution!
“Nowhere on earth is there any creature which is immortal. Yet, although death is unavoidable, a person may avoid many diseases… health brings happiness.”
When it comes to finding happiness, many of us seem to be looking for it in all the wrong places, wasting time and energy, not realising that the root of happiness is within each and every one of us, in our hearts. Allowing ourselves to experience genuine happiness is to become happiness, it is wanting happiness to be a part our lives with all our hearts and being open to receiving it no matter what form it might take.
Today I would like to share with you the five steps that will help you on this journey toward experiencing the real happiness you have been searching up until this very moment
1. Surround yourself with people who love and accept you
Surround yourself with people who allow you to be you, for who you are, not for what they want you to be.
You know those people who are always eager to help you change, even if you don’t want to change? I believe in change, I embrace change, but when a person doesn’t want to change or is not ready to change, forcing her to do just that is quite disturbing. You simply can’t “help” somebody who doesn’t want to be helped. I can tell you from my own experience that, when you accept and love people for what they are, and you treat them, not as if they aren’t complete or whole, not as if they are inferior to you, that is when you are in fact helping them.
Goethe said it so beautifully, that: “When we treat a man as he is, we make him worse, but when we treat a man as he should be, as he could be, we promote him to what he should be and could be, we help him grow, and you help him become more than he already is.” And this is what I call THE POWER OF NON-INTERFERENCE!
2. Cultivate new, positive and empowering habits
It is said that negative habits are easy to form but hard to live with, while on the other hand, positive and empowering habits are harder to form but a lot easier to live with. Just think about how easy it is to form the habit of procrastination for example, which is a negative habit, in case you thought otherwise.
Now let’s try to cultivate a new and positive habit. We want you to wake up every morning an hour earlier to exercise, meditate or I don’t know, you could pick whatever positive habit you want. You will tell yourself that you must do it, you want to do it, you have to do it, and in the morning, when the alarm clock rings, what do you do? You turn it off and you continue sleeping saying to yourself: “I will wake up earlier tomorrow. Yes! Tomorrow I will definitely do it!” Is that O.K.?
3. Invest in yourself
The way I see it, there is no greater investment than the investment you make in yourself, because, just like Eckhart Tolle said it: “You can lose something that you have but you can never lose something that you are.” You are your most precious treasure, and if you choose to dig without instead of digging within, you will never find real happiness, you will never find long term happiness, only short and superficial happiness. Learn to see yourself as your most valuable possession, work on doing just that.
4. Lighten your load
You know how people always complain that they don’t have enough, and that they need more, they want more, they must have more? Well, let me ask you this question: Right now, do you really need more? More clothes, more shoes, more money, more stuff, more of everything? I mean, do you really need more than you already have, right this very moment, not in the future, not in an hour, not in a week, a month or a year, but now!
Take time to think about it, if you need it, but chances are that the answer will be NO. According to the 20/80 rule, we only use 20% of the things we have, only 20% … and even so, we always complain that there isn’t enough and that we don’t have enough.
I am not against having money, I am not against having beautiful things, stuff, etc., but the idea is to look over those things you no longer need, to look over those things you no longer use, and give them away, make room for new things, better things to come your way. I am 100% sure that you feel better now, knowing that you don’t just have to give stuff away just to lighten your load, but because you need to make room for new stuff to come your way, right?
5. Take time to recover
People nowadays work way too much and whenever they take a break, that is if they take one, whenever they take a vacation, some time off, instead of enjoying themselves, instead of being present in whatever it is that they are doing, they are thinking about what needs to be done at work, what they should do when they go back to work, whether it was a good idea to take a vacation or not, whether they should go back to work earlier, etc. And of course, this isn’t only about those people who have a job, but for all those people who are always so “busy”.
I want you to read these incredible words that came from no other than Leonardo Da Vinci, who clearly understood the importance and power of resting and recovery, the importance of taking some time off from your work: “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”
You see, if we could all take some time and think about what truly makes us happy, we would come to the conclusion that our own happiness is not something that depends on how others treat and look at us, but rather on how we treat ourselves, how we love ourselves and how we treasure and work with the time we have been given here on this amazing planet.