Category Archives: consciousness

Listen to your body

Listen to your body
It knows more than you think
Listen to your body
It guides your intuition
Listen to your body
It follows basic instincts
Listen to your body
It is the sixth sense
Listen to your body
It craves what is missing
Listen to your body
It will steer you to balance
Listen to your body
It is your temple
Listen to your body

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After you get what you want, do you still want it?

You always want what you can’t have; the grass is always greener on the other side; true happiness is “just around the next corner.” These are all idioms that epitomize human desire and drive. We are driven by our desires to conquer yet uncharted territory. We constantly crave something new, something different, the next upgrade or latest model.

But after we obtain the object of our desire – are we ever truly satisfied? How soon afterward do we start searching for the next pursuit? Is there a short-lived appreciation period where we bathe in the glory of the conquest at all? Or do we instantaneously lose interest and move on, forgetting about how badly we wanted that which we now possess?

Life is a delicate balance between desire, drive, and appreciation. We must always have goals towards which we strive – otherwise we cannot value our own life, and our time becomes meaningless. And our dreams guide us to set those goals. But is there some optimal point where we should stop and truly enjoy our successes, before marching onward? There must at least be a point where we should start slowing down and be grateful for the things that we have accomplished, and flourish in them. If we keep going at the same pace all the time, where will that lead us? On a goose-chase for the golden egg? Or maybe to the realization that the important things were there all along, but we have taken them for granted until they were gone?

I have a theory that the more people get what they want, the less satisfied they are after getting it. People become addicted to obtaining new things and experiences, just like they get addicted to anything else. They can never get enough.

The more people travel, the more they want to travel, see exotic places, and are in constant pursuit of the next place to visit or move to. Will these people ever find a place good enough to set down roots in? Or will they roam the earth like nomads? I’ve noticed this is particularly true for immigrants – they have already changed their whole lives as a result of moving, and survived it. After that experience – anything seems possible, and they actually desire to keep improving their lives by moving to other locations.

The more people date, the less likely they are to settle down with a partner. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea. If you don’t try them all, you may never be sure of the rightness of your choice – choosing a mate should be an informed, educated decision! And the more people you meet, the better you get at pinpointing their flaws and discarding them at a faster rate. No one wants to waste time on building, compromising and growing. If it’s not all there on a silver platter, surely a full package will eventually appear. So we keep dating the same type of people, and have the same problems, and lose interest after we “get what we want.” I am by no means saying you should marry the first person you lay eyes on. I am just musing that at some point you should realize that there are only so many fish out there! The point is not to find some perfect version of a mate that you have in your mind. The real treasure is when you find a deep, chemical connection to another human. That can’t be faked or learned, but just is. And when it exists, everything else that is problematic can we worked on – if both people are willing and mature enough to do so. And it may just be wiser to treasure when you have something that feels so right, then to move on to another hunt that will not bring any more meaning into your life.

I will make better mistakes tomorrow

“I will make better mistakes tomorrow.” This was a quote I read on someone’s T-shirt the other day, and it has resonated with me and stuck in my mind.

Any way you slice it, we are human, and that implies that we are not immune to making mistakes. But, what exactly counts as a mistake? Who determines which actions are mistakes, and which ones aren’t? You can view an individual’s life as a series of choices that eventually turn into a unique pathway. Along the way, there undoubtedly were a lot of potential swerves and alternate pathways. And some of those probably resulted in setbacks, large and small. When the outcome of a step made makes a person feel negative emotions, that is usually a sign to double back onto that original road. This misstep is then viewed as a “mistake” by the traveler. Once we recognize it as such, we often feel regret, anger, sadness, guilt and disappointment.

What is the purpose of these emotions? I think they serve as teachers, reminders not to conduct similar behavior in the future to avoid similar consequences. For instance, our pain receptors teach us early in life not to do stuff that hurts us physically (burn ourselves on hot surfaces, scrape/bruise ourselves, etc.). So in a way, emotions, like the perception of pain, are self-defense mechanisms. Sometimes, however, this mechanism works in overdrive and causes imbalances. We get so eaten up with guilt and regret, that we cannot let go and move ahead.

I recently realized that the only person you could ever disappoint, betray, or otherwise let down, is yourself. We may get angry and take it out on others, but that is really a projection of what we our feeling for ourselves at that moment. The phrase “you have no one to blame but yourself” comes to mind. What messes a lot of people up are expectations. We have this vision in our heads of what outcome we want, and plan it out, and get excited. And if it depends to any extent on other people (and a lot of things in this world involve relating to other human beings), we get upset with them if something goes wrong. But in reality, we cannot expect other people to do what we want. We can’t count on them to act a certain way or live up to a certain standard. So placing too much value or trust in their hands is the mistake on our part. The involvement of another person to your plans places the circumstances out of your control, and it strips you of power. You are not vulnerable to the actions of this other person, and you only have your faith and intuition to help guide you to people worthy of your trust. So when things don’t work out as planned, you cannot blame the other people involved. You can only blame yourself for trusting them, and draw conclusions to withdraw that trust in the future.

On the other side of that coin, we often misplace our frustrations with ourselves into unhealthy outlets. I am a chronic procrastinator and constantly running late; I am a night owl that come morning regrets not going to bed earlier the night before; I am a people pleaser and have trouble saying no. All of these things result in me thinking ill thoughts and being frustrated/mad/annoyed. Instead of recognizing that I am hurting myself, I project my frustrations on my surroundings. Instead of admitting our faults, we make excuses and get angry. In order to face our own issues, we need to analyze why we are getting angry with others. Admitting we were wrong is hard, but it is so much harder to live in denial and misplaced emotions, (not to mention it may snowball into huge anger management issues later on).

This may sound cynical, but it is meant to be therapeutic. Things can only change when we overcome denial and recognize that it is a problem. So in the end, we are all responsible for our destinies. Sadly, we cannot count on (most) other people (although there is light at the end of the tunnel: there will be people you can count on, few and far between), unless they prove themselves worthy by their actions. We should try to be self-sufficient to avoid the pain of high expectations from others. We should also pay close attention to the consequences of our actions, so we can react quickly to rectify situations which may become unfavorable. And we should accept the fact that we are human and imperfect, and the only thing we can count on is that mistakes will happen from time to time.

So, I will make better mistakes tomorrow. That is a vow to myself.

Reasons to forgive…starting with yourself

In life, there is no right or wrong. There is no black and white. Everything is mostly in shades of color, and is really all about choices. We can’t always choose what happens to us, but we always choose how to react to something. As cliche as it sounds, we have the power within ourselves to choose, and with great power comes great responsibility. Every choice made has its own repercussions, and we can only hope that the consequences will be positive and reassuring. Every time we make a choice, we also have the power to readjust the choice by evaluating which road it has led us down. And that is the greatest power of all – we have the chance to make a new choice based on new-found knowledge from a previous decision.

This means, of course, that the system is not perfect. There will be times when you look back and see that somewhere along the line, your choices have steered to a path you don’t wish to stay on. And you may even look for that one key choice along the web that was flawed and led you astray. You will not rest until you find someone responsible, someone to blame – and it will most always be you. Since you have the power of your own destiny, it must be you who has failed your own self. Inevitably, regret, guilt, and shame will envelope you and convince you that you are not to be trusted with your decisions.

Well, this kind of thinking will just drive you mad! Although easier said than done, you have to overcome these irrational thoughts. They are irrational because you did not know then what you know now. You cannot blame yourself for making an educated choice to the best of your ability, with the brightest of intentions. You didn’t know how things would turn out, but you made the best decision at the time, with a little bit of faith. And a lot of the times, your decisions probably brought you to good outcomes. But you don’t pay attention to all of those times you got it right, it is the less-than-desired outcomes you focus on. That is human nature, to devote more energy to negative thoughts due to an unfavorable phase than to be grateful for the sea of good that has happened in your life.

  1. Be grateful for the things that went “right.” We must re-train our brain to appreciate all that is good, and give ourselves credit for getting us on that good path, most of the time.
  2. Accept that you cannot change the past. To err is human, and from time to time we will prove that we are human. Sometimes we will make a choice with unfavorable outcomes. But what’s done is done, and since no time machine has been invented to date, we must leave the past in the past and deal with the situation at hand.
  3. Take the unexpected turn of events as a lesson, not a curse. Just because you have suffered a setback doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to keep going. Having learned how you got into the mess, and having lived through the experience, you can keep going stronger than ever.
  4. Develop a healthy relationship with yourself. You are the only thing that you can be sure of. You have gotten yourself thus far on your journey, and you have to be able to rely on yourself to get yourself to where you want to be. You are the one living in your body, taking care of yourself, and thinking all of these thoughts. So appreciate yourself, value and cherish yourself, and most importantly, trust yourself. Most of us have a problem with this last point, because we tend to not keep our own word to ourselves. We need to get out of this habit, and make it the utmost goal for our word to matter to the person who matters most – your own self. Start with little things, like “I will go to bed at 10 p.m. tonight, no matter what” or “I will have a salad for lunch instead of pizza.” Gradually build up trust by keeping your promises to yourself.
  5. Forgive yourself. Think about all of the above, realize that you can only change the present and future, and promise yourself that you will do your best. Regret is useless and unfair, because you did not have all the facts back then. Meditate on it, take a bath, or write it down: “I forgive myself. I accept what I cannot change and I can move forward with my new knowledge and experience.”

From this point on, you can look at life as a series of choices, experiences, and lessons. Some will be more rewarding, others will be more teaching. In order to avoid harsh teachers, reevaluate your choices often. As soon as you see yourself veering off the desired path, make adjustments. Make another choice that will get you back on your true path.

The “true path” is different for everyone. Hence one decision may work for one person, and not work for someone else. We have to accept this and respect the right of others to choose. We can advise them to the best of our ability, but in the end, it is up to an individual to choose. And they have to reevaluate their own choices later on. The universe and karma usually help with showing the outcomes of a decision. If that’s not enough, when they are ready, they will seek out advice and that’s when other people can really help.

[ZeroToHero]

[Inspired in part by Still Standing.]

Tired of using technology…

Sometimes I just want to hibernate. Or at least regress into an age of less technological advancement. I want to spend an entire day free from mass media and social networks; I want to free my fingers from typing away on my iPhone, and free my eyes from being glued to the computer screen.

I want to look at my surroundings and absorb them in without distractions. I want to make eye contact with people I meet along the way on the street, and in public transport, instead of seeing everyone’s nose in their phones and eReaders. I want to hear a ring in my doorbell from a person who came by to visit instead of calling or texting (although a phone call would be the preferable alternative to texting or the latest fad, Facebook messaging!).

I want less technology and more human touch.

Basically…..Ayo….I’m tired of using technologyyy….. (Listen to really good acoustic version here.)

Metanoia

I found this definition via a Facebook page I follow, called “WordPorn.” It symbolizes what many people go through in life, when they don’t like how things are going. I am going through a similar process myself. Except I think I am more on a journey of self-discovery. I want to change certain aspects of my current way of living so that I can be true to who I am. So I think I am going through more of a major meta-analysis of myself, and tweaking stuff as I go along, to gradually be in harmony with my inner desires.

But going back to the concept of metanoia – can people really change themselves entirely? Maybe, if like me, they realize they are not being true to who they are, they would be motivated to change so they live out their potential. However, I don’t think a person can change into something they are not – at least, not for long. Sure, they can temporarily change to fit in with current trends, or to mend broken relationships, to get on someone’s good side, to get a certain job… but eventually, all pretenses will collapse. A person can’t survive on someone else’s terms or ideas of how to live. Eventually the pressure will build and the dams will break, and the oppressed inner self will demand justice. Real lasting change is only possible if a person is changing in the direction of their true nature, towards inner peace and balance.

No excuses

I didn’t post last night. I am in the process of moving into a  new place, and just got internet today! So no more excuses from now on. And in general, no more excuses, period. If a person does something, there must be a reason at that time and those circumstances for that particular action. Whether it is an irrefutable extreme situation, or maybe just a gut feeling, there is a reason for everything. And though it may seem like a mistake at the time, it may actually be a blessing in disguise that we may never realize. For it is always the road not taken that seems more glorious. So instead of questioning and worrying, a little faith in ourselves and intuition goes a long way. Trust that everything is meant to be, and it will work out in the end.

Of course, it is always easier said than done, and always easier to see from someone else’s shoes. It is always easier to give advice than to take your own advice. But we must try to be our own adviser, and learn to follow your own words. If we don’t practice what we preach, how can we expect others to? Actions speak louder than words, and the best way to lead is by example. We can only prove the value of our words by living up to them in our own behavior.

Happiness

DailyPrompt

Happiness. That thing we all strive for, the end goal to live, what we wish each other on birthdays and holidays. But what is the definition, really?

Wikipedia defines it as “a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” But the concept of happiness has a lot of connotations depending on the context, and can mean different things to different people. Some view it as an emotional “high” or intense feeling of pleasure, that can only be achieved from time to time (some attempt to hold on to it longer by recreating it via drugs/behavior). Others view it as a long-term state of being, that which gives us a deep satisfaction with the way we have led our lives.

I read somewhere that happiness is a general state of mind, that will more or less stay the same throughout a person’s lifetime. Sure, levels will fluctuate during periods of intense joy, or horrible tragedy – but, on average, every person will have a certain homeostatic happiness level. Some people are depressed even though all objective characteristics are favorable. Others may suffer from being crippled and still maintain a positive outlook and happiness level. I forgot the source of this theory, but this article has some really good explanations and pointers as well.

Happiness is different for everyone. Happiness is seeing someone you love smile. Happiness is feeling lucky to be exactly where you are. Happiness is feeling comfortable to be in your skin, and reluctant to give it up for anything. Happiness is dancing in the rain. Happiness is laughing your heart out. Happiness is realizing you can snooze for an extra 10 minutes today. Happiness is going to sleep and waking up next to someone you love. Happiness is having support when you need it most. Happiness is feeling like you are constantly moving forward and progressing in life. Happiness is being grateful for what you have while striving to become a better version of yourself. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

John Lennon once said, “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life” (GoodReads).

Back to Basics

Growing up, I was always reading. I was fascinated by the ability of writers to master a language and create a whole new world within the pages of a book. Now, everything is digital and almost everyone is a writer – just look at the amount of blogs out there!

Using all the resources available to us now, we have expanded the ability to communicate beyond what is physically feasible – people can reach each other across the globe with the touch of a button! With that said, the human element has somehow gotten lost in translation.

I’d like to raise questions and invite people to think about what we are gaining and what we are giving up. The culture today is all about instant gratification, without taking the time to getting to the root of something and finding the best solution. The media and industry has a stronghold on all aspects of our lives. We are being brainwashed without realizing it, every time we watch a show, ride the subway, read a nutrition label, or put on a brand of clothing. Healthcare is running on autopilot: diagnose, prescribe medication, dispense, bill insurance. Our bodies are abused rather than being nurtured.

The world is on the precipice of something – values are shaking up and people are awakening as if from a deep slumber. We are the the masters of our own destiny. If we are careful, we can find a balance with nature and live in harmony, within and without.

My intention for this blog is to organize my ideals for what it means to be human, and inspire people to find their own ideals. Everyone is different, but we must each embrace our individuality in order to stay true to ourselves. Looking within is the key to living a happier, healthier life. I will also post tips on health & wellness, spirituality, nutrition, and living green.

Namaste, to those who are reading and following.