Friday, June 26, 2009

Travelling in a pack...

I read a Turkish proverb today that said " No road is long with good company"

Lately I have been making time for my friends even if it meant stopping another project or task on hand to spend time with them. I am the sort of person who always has something to do and I used to postpone catching up with friends....because i felt that i can always catch up with them at some point in the future when I was more free but knowing me... I wont ever be free.

I see myself doing some "project" till I die...maybe its the wandering dog in me.

So I guess, with that in mind... I decided that if I don't make time for my friends.. I never will and now is as good a time as any other to start.

Every relationship is an opportunity for us to see a bit of ourselves in them... every relationship is also a mirror that reflects parts of us that we sometimes try hard to hide from ourselves and others. To me , they are a blessing because they serve me.... especially when we don't agree or see eye to eye...only people who are close enough will care enough to tell it like it is.

So ... No road is long enough with good company ... and today , my family and I were blessed with good company...adding more rich moments to my colourful life... neat huh?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

distracted or focussed ... is it the same thing turned inside out?

A friend said to me last night that I seem very distracted and I was thinking about it this morning. Lately a number of my friends have said that about me....this morning, I realised that I wasn't really distracted at all... I was very focused.

I am very focused on the future I would like to create for me and my family And....yes, I guess I am distracted too....when you are focused on something... you are distracted from things that sit outside the realm of your focus! I am sure someone has a name for this...maybe they may call it the law of polarity.

In everything we do and think, there are the two opposite polarities , for eg. one end of a thought process could be " its a beautiful world" , the other end maybe " the world sucks" ...and somewhere between these two sit most people who go for balance and the middle path..."well its not a good a world but its not that bad" Is this "mediocre" thinking ?... are we promoting mediocrity?

Its the neutrality, the need to walk the safe path and the attitude " don't bother me, leave me alone.. my world is OK" that makes us numb and makes us boring.

Because many people are afraid to take a stand, they prefer to "blend in" and in the process the become "blunt" , dull and "mediocre"
Great things... dramatic shifts happen at the fringes... some people call them the 'outliers' ... people who sit at the edges , who have strong views and who are passionate.... passionate enough to be sometimes seen as unpredictable or extreme. And sometimes we label these stands as good or bad by looking at them through our own limited filters ... but its just a position that one takes at a specific point in their life.

I have often been called extreme and a bit "crazy' because I tend to be a forerunner to go out explore new ways of thinking and perspectives. And I keep challenging my own thinking.. I am known to change my view point because it may no longer be relevant or have the same charge for me anymore. This confuses people around me because we are all bouncing off each others energy and if someone in our circle shifts then it disrupts the flow for everyone else involved.

But I am impatient with me and in my mind, I don't think that I am cutting edge fast in anyway... infact I think that I have become "numb" or "blunt" ...having children, I think, does that to you...because you need to think about "paying the bills" and keeping things stable... you don't want "to rock the boat"

I can see this in comparison to the person I was before I started a family. Maybe its an age thing ...when you are young , you tend to be more carefree but you don't have the benefit of wisdom... this is not a bad thing because I used to just rush into things like a "bull in a china shop" ...sometimes it worked! Somewhere in the middle , when I started my family, I became more fearful and concerned about stability...And now, at a different age, again I sense that urgency, need to make my life mean something. I am at an age now where I feel that I don't want to be just a consumer and leave this planet without adding to it in some remarkable way.... (because that would be a waste of a life and all the opportunities that life has given me) this is what drives me... this is what I am focused on... and maybe what's distracting me from the 'routines'...'polite conversations' and 'shallow pursuits'...don't get me wrong... I am not judging ...every part of our life is important as every experience adds to us no matter how "small or trivial" ... BUT at this point in my life, I am just so focused on what I am about to create that everything else seems secondary.

My intention is to make myself and the world around me phenomenally abundant and wealthy. I feel that this is my gift to the world and this is what i want to focus on. Wealth and abundance lifts us and makes us think about quality. We can make great changes in the planet and impact other people's life with an abundant mindset. Its how I live my life and its what i am known for... its what I need to do on a much larger scale. This requires my complete energy and focus...its all consuming..its about standing for my 'greatness' because each one of us owes it to life to shine in our greatness and live true to our essence.... this is why we are here, isn't it?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Valuable Life....

Values are the only thing we can teach our children. And I believe the way to teach them is by living it ourselves. I attended a course recently where we were taught to treat children from age 0-6 years of age as kings and queens , from 6 to 12 years as princes and princesses and from 12 years onwards as our friends. We can only suggest but we cant really tell them what to do. That's probably the way I have brought up my kids, I am sure there have been times where i have "screwed up" but generally this is kind of what i believed in intuitively...much to the disapproval of some of the people around me.

I am not really sure how life is going to work out for t hem but like any parent, I tend to project some of their current behavior into the future and I worry about how their life will be and if I have in anyway done something to spoil their future. I guess , that's quite normal as I know a number of people who think similar t thoughts.

Speaking of values , I sat down to think about what I want them to carry into their adult life and here is my list :

1. Empathy - concern and feeling for someone else's situation - I meet adults and children who not very conscious of someone else's pain ...maybe its because they see too much ( their exposure levels esp with media are way higher than anything I grew up with) that they have become numb to it. Teaching our children to open their hearts and really care is important. Whether its tipping the taxi driver, waiter , the old man at the petrol station, or the cleaner stationed at public toilets.... its about saying thank you for looking after us. Helping someone carry their bags and thinking of ways that they can make the world a better place. This is important as it gives them hope and lets them know that they can do something.

2. Embracing Family and Community - some people save their best behaviour for those "outside" whilst others tend to only focus on their loved ones and everyone else is second class or is out to get them. I reckon that that both these thought processes are flawed. When we save or good behaviour for people we don't know that well and yet neglect those who are close to us, its about earning a good name in the eyes of others and feeding our own ego. On the flip side there are people who have an inner circle ....anyone in the inner circle is worth their love and time and anyone outside cannot be trusted. We need to teach our children to balance between the two. To do good for their loved ones/family because they are people they live with and yet do something for the community because they belong to a larger family - humankind.

3. Respect - for other people's belongings and other people's time....its someone else's hard earned money no matter how rich they are. Sometimes kids tend to think that just because someone else has more, that its OK to be wasteful. Teaching children to return books and anything else they borrow is also important. I have seen adults in some countries think that its OK to take towels from hotels ....or eating/drinking whats supposed to be sold in a supermarket and walking out without paying. This type of behaviour models to children that its OK to take something that not yours... its the same as stealing in my books. This also applies to money found, I always ask my children to think of the poor person who lost it and to make an attempt to find that person.

4. Integrity - doing what you say and saying what you do. Its the shades of grey that matter... sometimes we allow our children to justify their actions and 'slink' out of doing something... we also do this ourselves. When we make excuses to people that we cant make it after we agree to do something or if we lie in front of our children, they learn that its OK to lie or make up excuses. When you say you are going to be somewhere at a particular there! I know adults who sleep through appointments and also make excuses that they are unwell.

5. Cleanliness -teaching children to have clean spaces is important. Even more important is teaching them to clean up after themselves and how to enjoy a clutter free life. Karen Kingston in her book clear your clutter with feng shui has a point in that your space affects your prosperity and outlook to life. I find that the best way to teach them this is by creating pleasant spaces around the house so that they can learn to appreciate nice spaces.

6. Awareness of their "scripts". We all carry scripts in our heads and sometimes when a child uses a particular script too much , its may be time to help him or her change that script... for eg. "its not fair" or "nobody likes me". Helping them change their mental scripts can help to improve the quality of their life.

7. Not telling is also lying- Sometimes our kids learn from adults to keep secrets or not confront issues. Some adults actually tell children to keep secrets from their parents... it could be little white lies but they learn how to be dishonest in their communication. Some people play this game where they say that they will tell you something but you cannot tell the person involved... this is disrespectful and if someone says that i usually ask them not to tell me because by allowing them to do that I perpetuate the lie

8. Dream big - anything is possible and sometimes we rob our children of their dreams because we are too caught up in seeing life through our own filters and our experience. Just because it wouldn't have worked in our time , does not mean that it wont work in their life. Helping them find their passion and fueling this passion is the job of every parent. What else can be more important? It doesn't matter what the child wants to do, as long as its ethical - a singer, dancer, fashion designer, artist, archaeologist.... what matters more is finding their passion because passion fuels effort which in turn builds hope for their future. Teach your children to " be realistic and plan for a miracle" as life is truly magical if we think it is.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The bigger plan....

Sometimes life throws situations at us where we have no choice but to face it head on. Today, I am thinking about partings and how we say good bye...sometimes its a permanent goodbye because someone dies, or a goodbye that's temporary because you know that your work with each other is not done and so you will meet again. I also had "staggered" goodbyes...not planned ...but it happens over time where you start drifting away slowly from someone...consciously or unconsciously.
Sometimes we postpone goodbyes because its easier and less uncomfortable to deal with it, even though we know in our heart of hearts that something better awaits us because the flip side of a parting is freedom to choose a new adventure. and while this makes sense at a mind level, on a emotional front it can be scary especially if we don't know what awaits on the other side of the door. And it is my belief that what lies on the other side of the door , really depends on our own attitude... whether we believe that we deserve something better in our lives.

Whichever way it happens... goodbyes generally tend to be uncomfortable for me... I am not sure if it is for others especially when it comes to a parting of ways. I guess it reminds me of the impermanence of life....that we cant really take anything for granted.

Here is what I do when I stand at the doorway of change :

1. Affirm that only good will come into my life , that something better awaits me, that I deserve better
2. I thank the universe for giving me the experience and bless and thank everyone who has contributed to this parting ... "good or bad" ...doesn't matter as its just our labels
3. Believe that everything that is happening is happening for my highest good
4. Let go and let god and ask for my angels to hold my hand and walk with me through this time of change.

The past two years of my life has been about saying goodbye in different ways, some just happened and others were conscious decisions on my part. Just when i think that I am done with it, another opportunity will emerge for me to practice my heart muscle and say goodbye again.
And even when I have said goodbye.....I notice that I still carry pieces of the people I have said goodbye to and I am sure they carry a piece of me with them. Have you ever noticed...when you are lost in your own thoughts...people just pop up in your mind... i think its the pieces of people i carry with me that show up in my thoughts.

This is for anyone who has to say goodbye... Know that there is a bigger, grander plan for you that is exactly right for that allows you to be you.. fully...or rather " be you to the full "(BEAUTIFUL) and live out loud!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bringing Heart to Life....

I completed my oneness course today and the instructor asked us to share what we learnt with people in our sphere of influence. She said that if we as individuals were happy , then we make others happy around us and that makes a happier world.

Whilst that sounds like "hippy shit" it does make sense at another level because we cant really make anyone happy unless we are happy within ourselves. Our inner state dictates what see or draw our attention to in the outer world.

Whilst we all know that we have to think positive , one of the things that struck me in this course was their focus on intention and how we fuel it with passion. And the instructor drew our attention to how passionate we are about the things we don't want in our lives. This is true, at different points in my life, I have noticed how I have spent alot of my energy on things I am fighting against instead of things I want to attract into my life. This is true of others around me too. Spending time talking about people you don't like or behaviours you don't like about someone else makes you the same as them. It creates a separation - "us and them" and it creates divisiveness or conflict. I try not to get sucked in but at times I do and its really hard work... just monitoring my thoughts. In the last day or two, I have been working on not fueling negative thoughts about others and instead I look within to listen to what the real issue is. What is it about this person that creates that reaction in me and i acknowledge the emotion, then it goes away. What it tells me is that I can struggle with the outer world and "fight" my battles but it keeps coming back with a vengeance unless i address the source of the issue. Its like having a rash due to an allergy, I can take medication to stop the reaction but I havent solved the problem ...i can only solve the problem when I know what I am allergic to. Masking it or suppressing the symptom will only provide temporary relief.
I am not proud of myself when i think of the times that i can been critical of others around me... because i should have known better but then again this is another thing we do...we beat ourselves up when we realise we have made a mistake. I have spent the last year and half being angry about behaviors of people around me. Disappointed in the way things evolved, and the games people played ... wondering why someone would choose to talk to others behind my back but not directly to me ...why winning at any price seems more important than honest communication and friendship.When trust in a relationship is lost and when doubt creeps in, its hard to repair the friendship. But if i hold on to resentment, it only hurts me and I contaminate the world with my anger. So I chose to forgive and let go, I sent all those who hurt me, love and forgiveness and I also asked them to forgive me. By doing this, I acknowledged the pain and I let it go. I freed myself and I freed anyone I was in a deadlock with.

I work with someone who is very sensitive and tends to take offence easily and she is passionate and she tends to talk to others about people she does not like. There is always a campaign against someone, some drama going on. I hope she too realises that the drama comes from inside her and not outside, that its too easy to blame someone else for our unhappiness but ultimately , we are all responsible for our own one else. We may not agree with everything someone else does but its important to allow others around us to have their own learning. Empathy is a great teacher, if only we walked a mile in someone else's shoes , we can feel their pain. Generosity of spirit is a great virtue and its an essential quality if we want to heal ourselves and our world. Its easy to say that its someone's else fault and if we do that we deprive ourselves of a growth opportunity and the opportunity to shine our greatness into the world. And when we deal with our own hurt or pain, we heal at many levels, ourselves, our friends and our world. This will be my focus from this point onwards, just working on me and listening to what i am feeling. Another key distinction at this course had to do with relationships, my instructor highlighted that we often say to our partners " I don't understand you " and she said that we cannot solve a relationship issue with the mind. Understanding something comes from the mind, not the heart, relationships cannot be understood, they have to be felt. We have to feel what the other person is feeling in order to relate to them. Reminds me of a something I read in school, " it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Helping others by minding our own business...

By nature , as human beings we have this innate desire to preserve our existence and yet one of the most stressful things in life, is to have to fight for your survival....whether you are literally fighting for your life because of health reasons or whether you are fighting to keep your job, house or family.. it is still stress and it can derail us.

I have a belief that as fellow human beings, we need to stand by people during those times. Its easier to do when someone is physically ill because its more obvious but when someone is undergoing major change because of a loss of a job or partner, we tend to assume that they would be OK. Especially in the corporate world, sometimes the exiting process is not managed properly and thus what people fight for is not their job but their dignity and respect. Its a time of stress and egos tend to fly high so its hard to work out what is real for the affected individual and what is not. Bosses need to be able to recognize this and be able to rise above and see this truth so that they themselves don't get entwined in the dramas that unfold.

You see, nobody is right and nobody is wrong...most people don't mind the loss of a job or partner...what they often go on about is the delivery , truth and how they were treated. I tend to allow people to keep their beliefs about their journey up to that point intact...even if its is sometimes delusional...mainly because I don't really see the point in dismantling someone's past. I prefer to focus on the future and how i can help them...even if they have to vent.

I don't think I was the same when i was younger, I tended to take offence more easily and I would get more caught up in what was said instead of what the person was feeling....looking back I can think of ways that i could have done things differently. That's the beauty of hind sight management... its easy to look at the event after everything has unfolded and talk about what could have been done better and anyone can do this. And I also remember the number of times I used to tell myself that " if that situation arose again, I know what to do".. guess what? it never ever happens again in exactly the same way... the characters change and situations shift. That's the thing about life ...its a "one time journey"

My advise yesterday to my friend who is going through the end of his marriage was exactly this. Does he know that its ended for sure? could he have done better....yes.... can he undo the I can feel his pain and what i said was that "nobody knows why things happen the way they do but its important to believe that there is a higher purpose... out of this , something good will emerge" ..if we don't believe in this ...what else have we got to live for?

This weekend, I will be talking with someone who is fighting for his life literally because of health reasons, helping a friend who is fighting for his family - wife and child and I have also had the opportunity of talking to someone who has had to leave her job and adjust to that change. Sometimes , I think , why me? .. when i do that I realise that we are only given things that we can handle... I guess I should instead say :" thank you to the universe for bringing these people to me" as it gives me the opportunity to rise to the occasion and be a better person.

Whatever happens and however we live life... its OK ... its not "good" or "bad" just is... its the labels that we put on situations and its our guilt that tends to colour things and cause us stress. Whenever something happens, those directly involved are facing enough stress of their own in having to deal with the situation and their own "labels" or judgment...this is why I choose not to label anything and choose to be a supporter and not someone who sits on the sidelines passing comments about how they should have done it. This what happens usually, the people involved are in the middle surrounded by a group of "spectators' who don't just watch but start wanting to "direct" the play by adding in view points and judgments that "color" the event..they do this by looking at things through their own filters. Are these people being helpful.... No!! There is nothing worse than "stirring the pot" without having all the facts and we can never have all the facts because we are not the people involved.

Its hard for me to not take sides with especially with my friends and people I love... seeing them face pain. But I have to remind myself that it is their journey and not mine. Often we tend to vicariously live out someone's else's drama because it gives us an excuse not to look at our own. When I write this, it is a reminder for me as it is a reminder for anyone reading this blog that if we really really wanted to help someone, we could do some compassionate listening but most of all we need to mind our own business and look after our own life. If we do this, there will be less problems in the world and less dramas and maybe all us can start living the extraordinary life that we were meant to live, our birthright!