Monday, May 25, 2009

Buddha meets Dog.....

They say that houses become homes when you put your energy into it. They also say that everything in the house absorbs the energy of the people living in it. This is why some people have house blessings to allow positive energy and good vibrations to enter their house. Every culture has its own beliefs. I believe that our thoughts have alot to do with what we attract into the home.
Today, I was given an 800 year old statue of Buddha with the most serene look and smile on his face. I consider this auspicious and maybe this Buddha's arrival is the mark of new beginnings and positive energies entering my life.
My sister asked me to write some affirmations for my new home ( that I am moving into tomorrow), she said that she wanted me to humour her and write a blog about affirmations. I think what she really wanted to do was to remind me of the power of thought and manifestation. The funny thing is that about a month ago I was introduced to this 800 year old Buddha...when i first saw the statue, I wanted to buy it and was interested in finding out what it cost till i saw the "sold" sign on the statue. The owner told me that he put a "sold" sign on it because he didn't want anyone to come into his shop and offer a price for this Buddha. To him , it was priceless and he wanted to find the Buddha a good home. I remember thinking , how beautiful the statue looked and I guess at some level I must have wanted it. One month later,I am sitting in the same shop , when the owner jumps out his seat and walks to the shelf where the Buddha is sitting. There are several Buddha statues on this shelf and almost instinctively I know that he is going to reach out to this one Buddha.He brings it to me and says " take him to your new home" ...I was overwhelmed ...almost to the point of tears. I was "teary" because I was touched my this man's generosity, I was also quite stunned by what I had just created.. at some level wish was heard by the universe.
When my sister wanted me to write a blog on affirmations, I know what she wanted to do was just to bring my 'scattered' energy back into a single minded focus as I have had a rather hectic time lately. She is right, writing this blog helped me to realise that, what happened to me today, was not a coincidence. It was meant to happen and yet I was a co-creator in that process. This is exactly what i need as i begin another new journey in my life, moving to my new home.

My affirmations for my home ( sista ...hope you are reading this!)

My home is filled with light and provides a supportive and safe place for all who live in it

My home is my sanctuary. It provides me nurturing space for me to rejuvenate

All is well in my home

I also decided to write my own house blessing .They say that there is power to the written word so I'm sending this out into the universe:

Dear God

Please protect our home with your light. let your light be present in every part of our house always. Please allow all energies that are not positive to go back to source or your light and bless our house with all that is good and all that supports the highest good of all those who live in our home.
Infuse every wall and space in our home with your love, light and goodness. Only allow people who genuinely care for us or those who carry good intentions for us, to enter our home. Your light conquers all, please surround my children ,myself and anyone else who stays in our home with your light now and always.
All is well in my world and so it is.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vulnerable Dog.....

"Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." William Butler Yeats
A teacher brought this poem to our attention when we were in school. He specifically marked this one for us to think about. At the age of 18, we could appreciate it but not as much as I appreciate it now.I know in my own life , I have done this on a number of occasions. Its how I live, I hang my heart on my sleeve. And as I see two close friends go through heartache in their lives, I emphatise with them. I can feel their pain and I know what it feels like to have someone walk on your dreams.

When I step back a bit and look at it again, I question myself as to whether I should have given someone permission to walk all over my dreams. And the answer that comes to mind, says "you can't love fully if you don't allow yourself to be vulnerable." I remember a book I read at a time in my life when I was vulnerable , it read " if it hurts , its not love" .. It made me stop dead in my tracks. Suddenly, i had to think about what was really hurting at that point in time. Was it my bruised ego? .. My broken dreams??..and this is when it hit me ... It was all about me..
On an intellectual level, I understood it but it took time for me to understand it on an emotional level. I still struggle with it at times but most times I can step out of myself and be truly happy for the other person.
Its a romantic thought to spread one's dreams under someone's feet and this is fine as long as we still live in hope. Hope will give us the strength to get up and love again...and that comes from a belief that everything serves us....for our highest good...even when it feels like someone has walked on our dreams.
My version : " if you stomp on my dreams, i will kick you out" ( i will still wish you well and bless you but I will honour myself too in the process to free myself from anyone who does not honour me)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Its my mess and I like it!...

Whatever happened to personal contracts?? a personal contract is when you say you will do something... if doesn't have to be written... your word is binding enough ... it is a contract that you either make with yourself or others?
when two people say that they will love each other for the rest of their lives or when friends say that they will look out for each other or when you say to yourself that you wont do something that hurts you or others...
It seems these days that words are cheap - anyone can say these things but it requires discipline and respect for someone to deliver on his or her word.
Today, my thoughts revolve around my own personal contracts, if i keep my word.. if I do this as a discipline in my life. I think I do this for others in general but I am not so sure if I do this for myself. This is something I need to work on. But when???

We are always waiting for the perfect moment to get started on things. I know for sure that in my life, everything these days is centered around my house move. When I move house , "I will start doing this" some ways it is easier to start on something when you embark on a new journey....its about new beginnings. Its like if you get a fresh new lease/page to start all over again. Especially when it comes to moving house because you get to throw away things you don't want. I know that when I do this, its not just a house move, its a de-clutter of my life as the things i discard were a part of my life. I guess , its similar to a detox ... when you do the same for your body...I think its all connected anyway. My view has always been that its all intertwined and everything in our lives are a reflection of where our life is at this point in time.
As I pack my stuff, I wonder why I didn't toss some of it out ages ago... i guess I wasn't ready and it was a prop.. it served a purpose ...a reminder of where my life was. Boy .. have I come a long way when I look back!

My kids found some "love letters" when they were helping me pack and they started reading them out in a " romantic" voice...that was really funny. They have the right attitude ...laughing and giggling at where we have come from : in a way its funny. Its like when you look at old photos and you go " I cant believe I wore that !" same thing ... when I look back " I cant believe that I did that"

Someone told his wife that she cant come to me for relationship advice because I messed up in that area... my reply was " that's true" ... perhaps she should because someone who has messed up is more qualified to speak about a topic ... like if you want to learn business, you also need to talk to the people who lost it all and became fact some of these people have turned around to become much better business people. If you look at it from that perspective than I guess my whole life is kind of "messed up" but I like my mess and my mess tells me where I have been, where I don't want to go again and where I want to go. My mess has served me well and its still one helluva journey... a fantastic adventure to say the least. New we come!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Round and round ... up and down...

Everything works in cycles, with a beginning and ending and its also interesting how things go one full cycle and come back to source. Sometimes the middle bits are bumpy but this is also where the happy bits are. And when we face challenges, it is a kind of test and usually with perseverance we get the other side intact.
There are times though when you never quite get to the other side because someone quits half way. For eg. in a relationship, both parties need to be willing to work at it, if only one party wants to do it, its not enough.
And then, there is also the flip side of things when there is wisdom in knowing when to get out/ stop working on something because there are times when your spirit gets sucked out. Nothing is worth that price.This week, I have seen a marriage fall apart, a good friend land up in hospital with memory loss and two friends quit their job.. Pretty grim?? .. Yes in some ways but from another perspective it's about new beginnings and fresh starts.
As humans we don't like change and want everything to be permanent .. But we delude ourselves when we do that. Nothing is permanent, life is dynamic and change is inevitable. Its hard to do but its the only way I know.. Instead of holding on to something and trying to keep things the same, maybe going with the flow and accepting the process of life could open up a brand new window into the future. .. I find that being thankful for everything that life has shown me so far and affirming that only good comes to my life always works.
Not easy to do .. But what are the options ?? Change is going to happen whether I like it or not.. I might aswell embrace it and direct my thoughts to what I want.
I send my friends- courage and strength to stay connected to their spirit, and live in hope. I know they will come through this bumpy time happier, lighter and more connected with their spirit. Pain does that to us, after the initial shock, it makes us go within to find our essence. Isn't that what life is about.. Cycles .. Getting back to core.. Going back to source.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I can be better than that....

Its really quite amazing how people and organisations have amnesia and suddenly forget history. I have seen many situations where someone's good work is forgotten. All we see is the mistake they have made...even when it is the organisation's fault for having set these people up for failure.
Its quite a sad way to live because it reduces people to one specific event instead of seeing them a whole people. The other interesting thing has to do with how unrealistic organisations are with regard to their idea of an ideal employee...that this person has to be upbeat with positive energy and always achieving their targets or goals...give me a break!!... everybody has their moments....sometimes a top performer can slip and someone who has been lagging behind can shine. This is the law of balance. as bosses, we have our moments too so what cant the people who report to us.
This stems from being able to see ourselves in others afterall the people around us are a reflection of us. Its about basic "humanness", many bosses expect the people they work with to be generous in spirit towards them but do not do the same when it comes to their turn. They are quick to criticise and judge and they dont take a holistic view of the individual in question.
Yes work is work and we cant let too much our personal life encroach into our work and yes there are exceptions ....people who may abuse their work life in that way. But work is a part of life and Life is way bigger than work and sometimes we lose perspective by letting work dictate all aspects of our life. What will happen when we retire?
This is why some people die (physically or emotionally) when they retire because all they have in their life is their work. Suddenly there is such a void that they cant fill.
Dont get me wrong, work is an important part of life for some and for these people, it is an expression of themselves. these people attain their identity from work ...but the most important work we have to do is on ourselves. As human beings we are way bigger than any job title, salary or perk. Whats the point of having a big fat title when basic "humanness" goes missing....When we forget to look at people as whole people with a family and a life outside of work.... When we forget to see a part of ourselves in others. Whats so different about us from our fellow colleagues? Death is such a equaliser because a Prime Minister of a country or a pauper leave the planet in the same way!
I think the trick lies in realising that nothing is permanent, we are all in transition and we need to make the best of each moment to be better people......what else can be more important than this? what better moment is there than this moment in time? Reminds me of a song called "better man" by John Butler and the chorus goes " I can be better than that...." its playing in my head now...helps me to lift higher in my own thought process and to challenge myself to rise above and be better than what I can be in each moment.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

meetings 101

Majority of meetings are a bloody waste of time... the only people who like meetings are probably the people who call for the meeting in the first place.
These are my observations of meetings and what i am really thinking on the inside when i sit in one of these meetings:

1. read the bloody report stupid before you ask redundant questions and waste every body's time!
2. stop being a smart ass and trying to show that you are smarter than the rest by asking "smart" questions that don't mean anything
3. if you are going to open your mouth , say something useful, otherwise shut up
4. stop repeating what someone else said and making it look like your idea
5. look at the others in the room, they are people too, not just the "boss" , same for bosses - stop just talking to your "pets"...why bother having other people in the room if you just wanted to talk to one or two people?
6. stop messaging people in the room - its pretty obvious
7. don't ask for feedback , if you don't know how to take feedback,tell everyone that its a rhetoric question so no one misunderstands and really gives feedback
8. don't ridicule people for the suggestions they come up with -- at least they try instead of standing at the sidelines and jeering like monkeys
9. don't leave the room on the pretext of going to the restroom and not come back for ages or have tea and biscuits outside the meeting room
10.don't wait until the end of the meeting to ask what the meeting is about.
11. don't talk about people who are not in the room or throw people who are not in the room into a " boiling pot of hot oil" just because they are not there to defend themselves or beat you to a pulp.
12. don't gang up on people who have differing views from you, they can add to the meeting, be more mature and accept differences...its a part of life
13. stop trying to be a control freak and micro manage every detail, some deviations are good and could lead to better outcomes.
14. differentiate between types of meetings and set the tone accordingly for eg. don't have people sitting in a formal setting when you want to brain storm or get ideas...pretty obvious actually!!
15. inject life into the meeting , balance it out, there must be give and take, don't just suck their life out and give back nothing.
16. stop agreeing with everything the boss says, have you no thoughts of your own?
17.the aim of a meeting is to have dialogue, if its just to download information, put it in a newsletter!
18. people cant work if they get stuck in meetings all the time. Be mindful of other people's time. Super long meetings are cruel - they numb the brain!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Knock Knock..who's there?

How do you know if you trust someone?... has it got to do with how they look, what they say ...what we feel ? the what they have done which point do we decide to let them into our lives. If we trust someone, we draw them close and if we don't , we keep them at bay where we can watch them.
Our decision as to whether we trust someone or not, is usually made within seconds of meeting someone. It is not a conscious thing for many of us, its a gut feel or instinct. I find that after my first gut feel, i tend to either try to look for clues to prove me right or wrong...depending on how generous I am feeling...depending on whether I am in the mood to let this person into my life... these days I am shifting more and more to the generous side ...what have I got to lose? For some of us, its very visible to the other party, because we visibly show whether we are comfortable with them or not and some are better "actors" so its not that visible. People who take longer to let others into their life, usually tend to take longer to let someone out of their lives. This is because they view the world in an "us" and "them" mode. There is a clear separation between those who are in the trusted circle and those who are not. It is a form of protection and it also stems from a belief that you cant trust anyone until they have earned your trust/earned their place in your life. There is no real right or wrong way, its got to do with upbringing and what we have been taught about the world. If we grew up feeling that we cant trust anybody than naturally we tend to limit our world to a trusted few. But if we have a belief that most people are decent but there are a few exceptions, then you would tend to be more open and accepting of others and who you let into your life. You will also be able to let anyone who is not worthy of your trust, out of your life too. The other interesting thing is that we maybe very good at doing this in one part of our lives and yet we may not be able to do it in another part of our lives.. for eg. you may be good at making sound decisions at work but not in your own personal life.

Another aspect of trust that interests me, is our understanding of it... for some its integrity...meaning even if it a loved one , when someone is wrong, they are wrong... I tend to do that. I have told my children that if they do something to break the law, I will report them, that they cannot expect me to cover up just because they are my children. This may be shocking to some but in my world , I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do the 'right' thing! And I know others where Trust means loyalty...meaning even if they are wrong, you still need to be loyal to them no matter what and cannot blow the whistle. (never bite the hand that feeds you is a saying that some of us know) BUT we are still talking about trust. Imagine two people trying to connect on the word trust, one's view is based on integrity and the other based loyalty...will they ever see eye to eye?

Trust is important as it forms the basis of any relationship. If this is missing, then its hard to relate to someone. A doctor friend said once to me that there is no such thing as "half pregnant" you either are pregnant or you are not. And this is the same with relationships, you either trust someone or you don't.. at least that's my view. Yes sometimes , our trust is put in the wrong place or given to someone who doesn't deserve it.. and yes we do get hurt and feel like a fool when that happens. But I would rather be a fool any day in the name of trust then to shut someone out by mistake because they didn't meet my biases/ preferences. If you carry the belief that someone has to earn their trust before they can be trusted - how do you do that without giving the people around you the feeling that there are are two classes of society in your universe, those who are of higher class because they are in your "trusted body of advisers" and the second class citizens who have to earn they way. It creates a pecking order and many people do this unconsciously. And in a way these people create their own reality with their own mental " script"

The consciousness of the world as a whole needs to be changed in order to sustain our future here. Some people believe that if only 1% of of all people changed, the consciousness of all human beings will shift... the cynics will sit there are ask those who make this statement to validate it... but why bother to do that...even if one person shifts in consciousness , its still worthwhile. " If I change, my world changes" and trusting in the goodness of others is a good way to start. For me, its the only way and maybe I am being selfish when I say this but I am doing it for me ...not for anyone else because its tiring to have to look over your shoulders all the time to see who is behind you. It's alot easier to trust in the goodness of others and lift your own energy to a higher vibration to attract good into your life. And to view the occasional bad as an opportunity to learn , grow and strenghten your position in the world that good prevails over bad always!. That its still a good world!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Which way to go?...

I am reading a book by Suzy Welch , 10-10-10, 10 months and 10 years. And I have been applying it to my life. I like the idea of looking at things that way... looking at the implication / effect of decisions i make at this point in time and how it will it affect me in the next 10 minutes, the next 10 months and in 10 years. I think to some extent, I do this naturally, sometimes , when I am reluctant to make a decision or make a hard call , I think about what my life would be like in the next 5-10 years if i made that decision. When i do this, i usually manage to scare myself enough to move from that position of indecision. Which brings me to the point about us humans - do we only shift or make changes to our life when we scare ourselves or do we propel ourselves into the future proactively?

A friend's view is that people don't make changes or change unless they really have to... when he first said that to me, I disagreed with him because I had the belief that most people want to change and embrace change. But I was young then and probably not happy with the life I led because at this point in my life I would have agreed with him. I like my life and I don't really want to change it much... does that mean I have become one of those people who resist change?... I am not sure.

When I really think about it, there are things about my life that I want to be the same... eg. where my hair brush is or how my clothes are hung in my closet or where the nail clipper or umbrella is ... this part of my life , my routines that i dont want to change... I want it to be predictable. Then there are other parts of my life where I would jump at any opportunity for a fresh perspective and movement/change. Someone said to me a long time ago " change is only change, its not good or bad, its just change" movement is an essential part of life because life is dyanmic and inevitable. Change is the one thing that is guaranteed in our lives especially in the area of relationships. I have seen relationships evolve over time, this is when the parties involved grow together and pace themselves. But the reality most often people change so much that we cant even recognise them anymore. Like a friend commented recently when she found out that her husband was having an affair " I dont know him anymore" In this case, change is a catalyst in her life to wake her up from her slumber, to ask her her to start living her life fully instead of living in her husband's shadow. In the moment - 10 minutes, it looks and feels bad , in 10 months, she will get over it and if she allows herself in 10 years she will live a totally different life from what she has now. I send prayers and strength for my friend to live through this time of change. I ask that the wind of change bring goodness, gentleness and wisdom into both their lives. A friend sent me this prayer when I was 18 and its always stuck in my mind, although I cant remember the exact words, it went something like this :

" God grant me Humility to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The dog is back...

Today I received many mother's day wishes.. I was talking to a friend about this and she said that it was about honoring mothers. Even though she is not a mother, someone who works for her sent her a message too. I told her that I don't really see my mother role as something that needs to be acknowledged. Most times, I like being a mother and that's a gift in itself. I asked her why we don't have a brother's day or daughter's day... why not just have a relationship day or something? She laughed and agreed with me that its over rated at times. I know many men friends who cant travel on Mother's day as they will be in the 'dog house' if they did. Do we really need these commercial world creations to celebrate mothers of the world... What about just celebrating relationships ... what about celebrating relationships on a day to day basis by how we live?

I had to interview someone the other day and I made it a point to not to read the candidate's resume before the interview. When asked why, I said that I wanted to meet the real person and where they are at now versus just looking at a paper trail on where they have been. I find that that when i don't have all the "data' about someone's past coming at me, I can make better decisions based on my intuition. I also tend to pay more attention to what they are saying versus seeing them through the filters I have created from reading the individual's resume. I learnt more about the candidate's values, life ,family and driving forces. I think both of us enjoyed a much better level of interaction versus a normal interview.

I have been traveling with a business partner ( and friend) lately and by watching him, I learnt a number of things about how he relates to people. He always made it a point to talk to everyone he came in contact with. He also acknowledged their presence. for eg. he would take the extra time to ask the waiter who was serving us about how he was was or what kind of a day he has friend would really listen and engage in a short conversation with those he dealt with. He always shook the hand of the chef/ waiter who served us/ or the driver who took us to the airport and thanked them for doing an excellent job in looking after us. And it was genuine, it wasn't superficial conversation because it was different each time. Even when he gave negative feedback, it was always very polite, quiet, strong and yet loving. When I spoke to him about this, he said that how we talk to someone affects the other person and he said " when you upset someone , they are no longer listening to your feedback and instead focusing on their hurt" and he felt that this was not useful to anyone except to help the person who is angry vent. If you want to vent...why not find a pillow or punching bag...why hurt a fellow human being? I think its because we tend to hold our frustrations inside us and only let it come out when it reaches boiling point... so people who are around us the most get the brunt of it or sometimes it is the people we know the least eg. service staff who happen to be at the 'wrong place, wrong time"

My friend taught me that there are better ways to relate to people and reach out to them. which brings me to the 'special" days we celebrate like mother's day, birthdays and anniversaries. Why do we need to save it for a special day... why not make most days special and celebrate life and people by looking at what works like my friend did during our recent travels. What kind of an impact /impression do we want to leave in other peoples' lives ... a positive one I hope. We create a ripple effect every time we interact with someone else.. we send out waves into the world - they can be positive or negative. Makes me think about the taxi I drove in yesterday, I overheard the taxi driver speaking on the phone, it was probably his wife who was ringing to ask if he had wished his mum and he said, that he had wished everyone ...but there was something about the way he said it..he was happy and he meant it. When we got off the taxi , he turned around and wished the male friend who was traveling with me " happy mother's day" and of course he wished me too. On one hand , I kind of giggled thinking that he wished a man but on the other hand, I thought, " why not?" everyone has a mother somewhere and its not really about mothers, fathers or any of the roles we play... it about relationships and really living life fully! Happy Relationship Day...everyday!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

new beginnings....

Today a friend faced a challenge that could affect his family and lifestyle and my heart went out to him. The details are not important... what is important is to recognise that its normal in the world we live in today, to find the people we care about in situations where they get challenged to their very core. The changes to their life sometimes come suddenly and these changes are also taking place at a more rapid least it feels like it to me. So what do you do when a friend is down and out? Most people say they are sorry and offer to help but then because its uncomfortable as it could be 'you' in that situation, they tend to try and sweep it under the carpet and pretend its not there. This does not work for me as I get this nagging feeling inside me that wont go away till I do something about it. I feel sad for my friend and I had the opportunity to speak to him and tell him that I want to help in anyway I can. To this he replied, " I just need to know that you are my friend" is the answer to the question of what we do when friends get into trouble.... we stay their friend. Someone I know said to me this morning, "you never know who your friends are till you get into trouble"Sometimes when I am the one affected, I get sent angels ... usually they come in the form of people whom I never thought cared that much about me. I see these people as messengers from God/the universe, telling me that I am loved and that things are going to be OK after all. In fact , I stay tuned in to a higher vibration for inspiration and look out for messages to lift me and help me keep heart. It could come in the form of a song, a phrase , book title , newspaper...anything that catches my attention. I keep my mind focused on the ways I am being helped and keep being grateful for that. When I do this, something shifts inside me and outside me...suddenly the opportunities to lift me out of my situation increase and come at a faster pace. Its hard to do this when you feel fear and concern about the future but i feel that's its the only way. What we give our attention to becomes our reality and if we focus all our energy on the outcomes we want out of life, this is what we create in our lives. For me, the trick is in forgiving and letting go of pain and hurt... and no matter what i say about anyone ( and I do sometimes when I am agitated) ...when I wake up in the morning its a new day... a clean slate to create what i want.Everything in our life is a blessing ...even things we don't like at that moment in time.. because they all culminate into a positive outcome eventually...its whether we have eyes to see this.Reminds me of the story of the man who sat on the roof of his house praying for God to come and save him... but whenever a rescue boat came along , he refused help because he was waiting for God to come and save him. When he died, he asked God why God didn't come to his rescue and God said " I did, I sent several people to come and rescue you but you refused my help"The "angels" are everywhere, and they come in many forms ...and in order to spot them...we need to first just affirm that help is coming our way.We carry around our hurt and burdens and because our hands are so full with this that we have no place for the gifts and treasures that come our way. My dad used to say, " you can only hold one thought in your mind at any one point in time...choose your thoughts carefully"I read a story about two monks taking a journey from one monastery to another. A younger monk and an older monk. They were about to cross a river when they spotted a young woman struggling to cross the river. The older monk carried her across the river and when they got to the other side, he left her at the river bank and continued walking with the younger monk to the monastery After three days of walking , the finally arrived at the monastery and just before they entered the monastery.. the younger monk could not hold it anymore and he told the older monk that he is upset with him because he carried that lady across the river... how could he as a monk touch a woman, let alone carry her. The older monk turned around to the younger monk and said something like this" I left the lady at the river bank, three days ago , why are you still carrying her?"Carrying negative thoughts about anything only hurts the person carrying it and it prevents one from manifesting the future they want. In Hindu culture they talk about "Maya" meaning illusion... the trick is to see past how things appear to be and instead to see how things are meant to be.Its meant to be one brilliant journey...or as Stuart Wilde puts it " life was never meant to be a struggle, its a gentle progression from one place to another.