The best security we have is in who we decide to be, who our relationships are, and our faith in the higher power.
This winter I realized that I was craving for some things from my past, like video games from my childhood. And I found a way to start playing some again, and it’s been great 🙂
I noticed once, in my very cold apartment, that thinking fondly of things from the past, from my warm past, actually made me feel warm physically and as if I was not alone. It was a beautiful moment and revelation.
Here is a brief online article about how nostalgia has been found to literally reduce mild pain: https://neurosciencenews.com/nostalgia-pain-20114/
And here is a New York Times piece on many benefits of nostalgia which I personally found very surprising: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/26/briefing/nostalgia-oscars-mardi-gras.html
If you don’t have access to the New York Times article you can look at the Wikipedia entry for nostalgia which mentions a lot of the psychological benefits I found surprising: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostalgia
Cheers to a warm past reaching out to give us comfort, security and hope in the Present.
Allowing / Appreciating versus Pulling / Feeding:
If I find myself energetically feeding on someone, whether feeding through their body or some other way, and I tell myself and get myself to stop, I find that it equates to a change from taking to allowing. And inevitably that allowing transforms into or invites my appreciation.
So that got me thinking: if I did more appreciating of how things turn out and allowing instead of pulling, then I’d be more open to how Life wants to turn out, and I think I would be more aligned with the purpose and meaning of Life, which may be to: be surprised and enjoy it.
Thoughts, reflection on a message from the inner deep. In the midst of self-wallowing about being lonely, single and wanting, a message that came to me again, saying: “What you are looking for is already here.” Not as in I’m going to manifest something. Rather, it is about becoming aware of what is here already.
A short radio excerpt:
As I take a little time to reflect,
I give you all my peace and respect.
I’m feeling pretty good. From this year I think I picked up a better sense of balance. Balance between trying my hardest, and making sure to stick with my greatest values: one of which is to enjoy myself. So, a balance between self-enjoyment, and trying my hardest. While knowing that the well-being of loved ones is top priority, while also keeping in mind well-being of the world.
I also realized that I love teaching. Maybe I will focus on that, instead of trying to get a more high-paying job that requires work which I struggle to enjoy or find meaning with.
When I think of what the world needs, it probably boils down to compassion.
Things just keep ticking, huh?
Keep the faith. Keeping a good mentality makes a huge difference.
Right now, looks like I’m going through another identity shift or movement.
Im wondering whether I need to relax on myself, and my standards of discipline, a little, so that more joy enters my life.
I work really hard and diligently. My life is filled with beauty, love, blessings, and grace. Even with all these blessings, I have been missing a more consistent joy that I want. Even acknowledging that I want this joy, and having an idea of how to allow it (by relaxing more on my requirements and discipline), I feel better and more relaxed. Truly, I want to treat myself sweeter.💘💘
I need your help for me to grow, get better. I need you to show me the energy of knowing that we are all equal in value.
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
I love this quote about having power over our mind, but not outside events. How I see it:
It’s obvious, if we are paying attention to our lives and circumstances, that we dont have direct control over everything, (and maybe not full direct control over anything). Simply put: out what we can control, we have a lot of power in creating change. But, there are plenty of times when we will receive surprises, and depending on who we are, we may interpret them in various ways, as in “good” or “bad”, etc. We have influence over our interpretation, over the meaning that we derive. And depending on our chosen and effective interpretation, we contribute or “attract” certain outcomes.
Something interesting here: I distinguish between interpretation and view. View is our perspective. If we were looking at an enormous boulder in the woods, and I was on one side and you were on the other, our view / perspective is different. The interpretation is the meaning we make with our perspective. So, to change meaning, you can try to change viewpoint.
So, while I’m with Marcus Aurelius on this quote, I think we have power and influence over both, our mind and outside events, but we will also get surprises. But we have power over how we interpret those surprises, which impacts the present as well as future events.
I made a short video as part of the application process to speak at SXSW Edu, which is a yearly conference on education in Austin, Texas.
Here is the video. Enjoy!!!
I am honored to have been asked to give a presentation to a class of working professional master’s students. The theme is: being healthy. These are the general notes I put together for the presentation.
What are your values?
- In other words, what are your priorities?
- We can only maintain a few priorities at the very top
- Find your values, and stick to that
- You are being who you want to be
- Self-discovery takes a lifetime
What happens when you live your values?
- You feel good about yourself
- You feel more meaning and fulfillment
- You forgive yourself and others more
- You are more willing to do the hard work
- You channel more positive energy
- You help the world
A more healthier you is a more healthier world
- We are all connected; we are all One; we are all part of the same whole
- When you hurt yourself you hurt others, and vice versa
- When you are doing the best for yourself, you are doing the best for others
- Your state of being impacts everyone, everywhere, every single moment, near and far
- The Present is a gift, that’s why they call it the Present
- Honor your gift of being here
- How do you honor it?
- By living fully. Live the moment as deeply as possible
- The moment is a miracle
- You have to be aware of yourself, of your mind, of your emotions
- Emotion regulation; equanimity – healthily manage your emotions
- Being aware of your thoughts allows you to stop negative thinking in the moment
- Positive thinking leads to healthy life and positive results
- How do we increase mindfulness?
- One way is meditation….
Meditation and breathing
- It’s all about the breath
- Always focus on your breath
- Slow breath in
- Just as slow, breathe out
- Breathe into the bottom of your stomach (the diaphragm)
- Diaphragm breathing is calming
- Chest breathing is for fight-or-flight
- Feel the breath fill every part of your body. Be physically present
- Do not judge your thoughts, let them go
- Always come back to the breath
- There are many types of meditation. This is based on the zen way (zazen)
Benefits of meditation
- Eventually adds pauses between thoughts
- More present
- More centered. Accessing answers that are inside of you
- Observing the thoughts, instead of identifying with them
- You are not your mind
- When you can “catch” yourself thinking, you can better direct your thoughts
The practice of meditation
- Meditation is a practice, not a perfect
- Commit to 2 minutes every single day!
- Practicing every day creates geometric growth like compounding interest in a retirement savings
- Good talk therapy is a fantastic compliment to meditation
- Meditation and therapy will illuminate each other
General wellness tips
- Keep your connections with loved ones strong.
- This helps to give you meaning
- Meditate every day, for at least 2 minutes. Every single day
- If there is something in your life that you know needs a change, make the change.
- This has a ripple effect on other parts of your life
- Show Life that you have the courage and commitment for growth and Life will respond to you with rewards and more opportunities
- Turn off all screens at least 1 hour before going to bed
- Do NOT look at your cell phone in the middle of the night
- Do not look at the cell phone when first waking up
- Use blue-light blocking lenses
- Reduces eye strain
- Detach from social media
- Give yourself breaks from external stimuli
- Your subconscious needs space and time to process things
- Balance mind, body and spirit
- They each affect the other
- Get out into nature
- Nature is a fantastic teacher of wisdom
- Consider allowing things to happen, instead of forcing them happen
- Don’t burn out! You are no good to anyone if you burn out.
- Burnout often is permanent. Once you burn out you may be completely done with this industry
- Maintain health and balance. You cannot continue a sprint indefinitely. You must go at a pace you can keep.
- Have compassion for yourself and others. This reduces the chance of burnout
- Learn your sleep cycles
- Start the day in calmness
- Start and end the day by thinking about what you are grateful for.
- Keep a journal and / or a dream journal
- Journaling helps you understand your subconscious
- Replace whatever you are drinking with water
- Don’t skip meals
- Eat your last meal early, so there is time to digest before going to bed
- You will feel lighter in the morning
- Chew completely. Your stomach doesn’t have teeth
- Eat in peace. Eating is a spiritual practice.
- Treat people like humans.
Been feeling lonely the last few weeks/month. But I think I am doing the right thing overall. And I am really proud that I am going through this without depending on numbing effects. And I am grateful for my wholesome thinking and feeling, in general, these days.
So, when you are sacrificing, but doing the best you can, or so, then take solace in that you are doing everything you can, as best as you know how. That is something to be PROUD of. Not pride as in an egotistical detachment from the world and others, but proud as in honorable, and inherently spiritual…work towards/with/for the whole.
If there is nothing to do, then wait.
For all our goals and aspirations, sometimes we just feel or think we have done all we could do. Maybe you have. It doesn’t mean the goal or aspiration won’t crystallize. Maybe it just requires the right timing – a timing you may not be aware of, sort of like celestial gears of a universal clock moving along, till at some point, click! The right thing has clicked into the right place, simply because the time required has finally transpired.
Like a fruit tree, or a cannabis plant. We may want the “fruit” of this plant, but we can’t force it to give fruit right after we plant it. Sometimes you have given all the water and light and nutrients it needs, and all that is left to give, is time.
How do you appreciate something beyond being grateful? En-joy it. Live it. Liiiiiiiiiiive it.
“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.“
“…when you throw a stone into the water, it finds the quickest way to the bottom of the water. It is the same when Siddhartha has an aim, a goal. Siddhartha does nothing; he waits, he thinks, he fasts, but he goes through the affairs of the world like the stone through the water, without doing anything, without bestirring himself; he is drawn and lets himself fall. He is drawn by his goal, for he does not allow anything to enter his mind which opposes his goal.”
—Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
“Everyone can reach their goal, if they can think, wait and fast.”
I was astounded, when I first tried this plan of offering a prayer of thanks for what I already possessed, to discover what a vast fortune I had owned without being appreciative of it. For example, I discovered that I possessed a sound body which had never been seriously damaged by illness. I had a mind which was reasonably well balanced. I had a creative imagination through which I could render useful service to great numbers of people. I was blessed with all the freedom I desired, in both body and mind. I possessed an imperishable desire to help others who were less fortunate. I discovered that happiness, the highest aim of mankind, was mine for the taking, business depression or no business depression….It may be helpful…to take inventory of…intangible assets. Such an inventory may disclose possessions of priceless value.
Our health is connected to our neighbor’s health.
I heard this statement somewhere on the radio, some days ago.
It’s a reminder that we are all connected.
“Patience, understanding, and helping each other is the best thing we can do at this time” –Z, the landlord
This is an ancient concept: suffering is pain multiplied by resistance.
What this means is that the more we resist pain, the more suffering we endure.
The belief behind this is that pain in Life is inevitable. But suffering is an option.
Of course you can think of things you do to avoid unnecessary pain. But, what about necessary pain? It is in these times, when pain is necessary, that we need to allow it to work its purpose, or else we experience a suffering that comes from nonacceptance.
Short video from Meg LeFauve, writer/director for Pixar Animation Studios. Here she seamlessly weaves together faith, determination, belief, vulnerability, courage through fear, and other values, talking about her career.
“The opposite of belonging, from the research, is ‘fitting in.’ Fitting in is assessing, and acclimating. Here is what I should say, be. Here is what I shouldn’t say, here’s what I should avoid talking about. Here’s what I should dress like, look like. That’s fitting in.
Belonging, is belonging to yourself first. Speaking your truth, telling your story, and never betraying yourself for other people. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are. It requires you to be who you are. And that’s vulnerable.”
What do you do when you have control?
You make the right choice.
In other words, act responsibly with the power you wield. This is your chance to perpetuate harmony, or to cause disharmony, in your life. Life will reciprocate to you harmony or disharmony, based on how you handle the power you wield.
I love what Emily Esfahani Smith says. She is someone I can always count on, much like Brené Brown, to speak very authentically, with a powerful, conscious heart. Emily Esfahani Smith is a researcher and author. The findings that she speaks about are much of what I have noticed in my own explorations and trials and tribulations of experiencing meaning in life. I am grateful also for the interviewer who goes in rapid pace to ensure that Emily covers a lot of ground in useful depth of her knowledge in this area. I truly hope you enjoy this amazing interview.
“I feel like I belong everywhere I go, no matter where it is or who I’m with, as long as I never betray myself. And the minute I become who you want me to be, in order to fit in and make sure people like me, is the moment I no longer belong anywhere. And that is hard. I mean that’s a hard practice, that’s an everyday practice.”
We are perfect in our imperfections