The world is a mirror

world_is_mirror

Photo courtesy Alosh Bennett available at Flickr under Creative Commons.

 

When you are stressed, the whole world seems in turmoil as well.
When you are happy, life seems at breeze.

The way you perceive the world, people and events reflects back to your inner state of consciousness.

I like this idea that the world is like a mirror. Of course, the idea is not new. It has been around for some time. Yet, putting it to test has a great consequence on personal growth.

***

When you live your days constantly on the-go, without a moment to pause and rest, one unfortunate event will lead to another.

Let’s say …

You car has got flat tires.
You missed your bus in the morning and are late to work.
Your kids get ill and you have to take days off.
Your roof is leaking and your gas boiler is broken.
Your cake is a disaster and you have no time to make another.
You slip in the rain or strain your ankle.
Your tooth, stomach, kidneys demand an urgent attention.
Your supervisor / boss / friend is angry at you.
Your important appointment is re-scheduled in a month time.

Can your relate to any of the above?

One unpleasant event leads to another, and before you know, the experience of life become that of survival. Put many of such days and events together, and life seems unbearable. Yet, every single event is manageable if you give it the right attention.

Of course, things do break or don’t go according to plan, at times. You know that. The world didn’t make a disaster on purpose to you. And, yes, sometimes unpleasant events come in pairs. Yet, it is your responses and your own consciousness that colors the events dark.

You may not have the direct control over many events in your life, but you do have control over your inner state. You can change your perception much easier than influence the perception of others in the world.

The world is the reality mirror of whom you are becoming.

You may of course find this idea ridiculous. Even though, you can put it to a test 😉

If your reality mirror reflects messy people, then you are likely in a mess too. Perhaps not concerning your personal belongings or the house you are living in, but your lack of vision and chaos in your mind.

If your reality mirror reflects broken or unhappy relationships, then you don’t likely have a good relation with yourself, missing self-appreciation and self-respect.

If your reality mirror reflects sadness, illness or loss, then you likely suffer from the same.

You cannot change the picture in the mirror by directly influencing the picture there, that is, the external. You have only the power to change the internal, the one who casts this picture.

Look at your reality mirror and observe what you like and dislike. Then look at your inner state and observe how the same aspects reflect in your consciousness. Keep what you like and forget what you don’t. Instead, define what you would like to have instead.

If you wish for more happy people around, start with yourself. Smile on purpose, be kind to everybody and exercise gratitude. Commit to happiness and make a small step every single day. With time you will observe more happy people in your world.

If you wish your beloved ones show more understanding for your newly learned skills / time-out / hobby, show first your understanding for theirs. Help them create the space for their needs, be patient,  appreciate their learning journey and support them. With time you will experience more understanding for your needs.

If you wish to live in a supportive community, focus on the respectful relation with yourself. Then go out and spread the kindness around. With time you will observe how the community blossoms.

The idea simplifies to being a change you want to observe in the world.

Give and receive. It is a circulation of value exchange and blessings.

As within, so without.

***

 

Creativity is reduction

creativity

Photo credit Jef Safi, available from Flickr.

 

Have you ever seen a woman whose wardrobe is full of clothes but she has nothing to wear?
Have you ever seen a child whose room is filled with toys but he doesn’t know what to play with?
Have you ever caught yourself in an endless analysis of all possibilities yet unable to make a single choice?

I bet you have.

Yet ….

The very same woman can survive a month with a suitcase of clothes only.
The very same child can be thrilled by playing with airplanes made from paper.
The very same you can make a choice when presented with two options only.

***

We live in the world full of junk. We are overcrowded with toys, tools, ideas, gadgets and possibilities. Yet, the more is possible, the less clear it becomes what is important. Too many things and too many ideas. All of them seemingly important, of course.

We are stuck, unable to move forward.

More is less, because more overwhelms. The huge amount of information, possibilities and choices, keeps us in a state of indecision. This is very much related to the process of rational decision making. The brain wants to take all the information into account. However, once you have more than 5-7 pieces of information to consider, your brain runs in vicious circles. The brain needs a simple criterion to optimize, but with the abundance of information, some partial or contrary, it becomes a mission in vain.

Unless you choose a path with a heart, you may get stuck in analysis paralysis for years.

***

When I was a kid we used to have a very few toys because they weren’t many available. At that time, we developed lots of both simple and sophisticated ways to play with everything that was at hand. A long piece of elastic, a few skipping ropes, pebbles, sticks, conkers or old tires could have provided us with endless fun.

I don’t remember being ever bored. Why? Because everything around was potentially an inspiration for a good play. The imagination was wild enough to make use of it.

It is exactly the limited resources that inspire us to be creative. It is the lack that helps us move forward. It is the shortage that encourages us to invent.

Creativity lies in reduction. Creativity lies in limitation. Creativity lies in subtraction.

Open your eyes to recognize it.

***

Look at your life. If you are in a position in which you feel inferior to others because of your scarce resources, blessed you be!

It is exactly your lack of money, your lack of experience or skills that is your blessing in disguise.

Perhaps you lack communicating skills or perhaps you have some physical handicap. Perhaps you struggle to meet your ends. Perhaps you don’t know how to make a transition to a new carrier.

Blessed you be! 

Find a way around it. Make use of what you have at hand and ignore all shortcomings, resistance and social pressure.

As a child, you can have a great fun by playing with elastics, running games or role playing. You don’t need the best gadgets in the world to become highly intelligent, earn good money or have a great life. Once your creativity is awaken, you will forever enjoy your learning and hacking solutions to life setbacks.

You can have a fulfilling carrier by amplifying your skills and finding ways around or through the shortfalls and deficiencies. Once you unleash imagination and feel the excitement of working through and despite of your paucity, you will slowly develop novel ways of using the skills you do have. And with time, you will not only develop new skills that lie dormant, but also find new resources. You will become strong, visionary and innovative.

If you thought you could achieve this or that once you had a better education, richer parents or just by being smarter, you could be very wrong. Once you got everything you needed, you would likely find yourself unmotivated. You would be uninspired to act because there would be no satisfaction in getting things the easy way.

The fun comes through the rough ride, not an easy and smooth wandering. The toughness and roughness of the path make you excited and alive.

It is exactly what you didn’t have that made you who you are today.

Open yourself to the inspiration that comes from limited possibilities or scarce resources. Welcome your creativity back.

Life is a development process. It is a thrilling journey. Make it creative.

Blessed you be!

 

On Self-respect

 

self-respect2

Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.

 

Self-respect is the courage to be yourself in any circumstances. Independently of how others think of you. You can simply face the inconvenience of not fitting in.

Indeed, self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others. It has nothing to do with reputation, achievements or recognition, either. It is a moral trait of Self that Self can only cultivate.

***

Life is hugely a learning journey and it helps to see yourself as a process that develops along or with it. Self-respect originates from knowing and liking the Self that unfolds in this learning.

If you have self-respect you have a kind of toughness and a moral discipline. You know your intrinsic value not because it has been acclaimed loudly, but because you can put your life in perspective, even when your exploration leads through a dark valley.

You train yourself to be resilient in any circumstances. You have the guts to be the norm and you have the guts to be a deviation from it.  It is ingrained in your consciousness.

***

Our grandparents knew everything about self-respect. They were raised in discipline that required them to do things they did not necessarily like or want to do. Things had to be done with diligence and obedience. And they were.

Doubts had to be kept away. Adversity was a daily encounter. There was a purpose of goals higher than their Selves.

***

Hardships shape character. Adversity makes us awake and active. It calls us to invent novel solutions.

Trials test patience and elicit talents which could have remained undiscovered, otherwise. They mold, groom and prune the sense of intrinsic worth, so much related to self-respect.

Learning to live a life of discipline and a delayed gratification is a way to build your self-respect. You are able to make a sacrifice of the immediate comforts for the sake of  higher goals or possible (yet unsure) future rewards. By doing this repetitively, you learn to discriminate between what is important and what is spurious.

People with self respect make mistakes and face the consequences of their decisions. Without self pity or complaining. They can even live and die unappreciated and disregarded, knowing that for themselves they reached for the highest goal.

***

If you have your self-respect, you have everything. The ability to discriminate, to love in freedom, without putting chains of dependency on others, and to remain indifferent, if necessary.

If you lack in self-respect, you are locked inside yourself, unsure of your decisions and moves, incapable of true partnerships. In the extreme case, you are merely doing things to please others, unable to set borders and limits. In search for approval, yet so empty inside.

***

Luckily …

Self-respect is a habit of mind, which can be developed and exercised. It starts from self retrospection, finding a place of reconciliation within. This is your haven, a place of authentic appreciation.

***

If there is one thing you can change it is daring to be yourself without the need of approval.

Step by step take responsibility for your life. Your thoughts, words and disciplined actions.

Enjoy spending time with yourself only. Appreciate your own presence. Observe your thoughts.

Become consciously grateful for your life.

And …

Stop being bothered by the opinions or comments of others. It is their view.
Stop looking at others for approval. No external prize will fully satisfy you.
Stop feeling intimidated by authority.  They are there to your service.

Stand up. Do ask questions to learn.
Accept errors and mistakes on your journey.
Be strong.

Above all …

Enjoy your journey.

***

In a society where many teenagers and adults lack the meaning of life, self respect has been vanishing too. Perhaps it is high time to discipline our minds to do things which we don’t particularly like to do. So that we can gain a perspective on whom we are becoming.

 

On taking small steps: Inch by inch, life is a cinch

pomegranate

Photo credit Chany Crystal, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.

 

“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life’s hard.”
John Bytheway

That’s a great wisdom, indeed. A cinch means an easy task, something natural such as a child’s play.

Taking small steps

When we focus on life as a whole, we can’t master it. When we focus on a big problem head on, we are overpowered to face it. When we focus on an important life decision, we get stuck.

Future apprehends.
Size overwhelms.
Analysis becomes paralysis.

Yet … when we approach problems and decisions by taking small steps, the solutions are being slowly created. Or revealed.

***

Have you ever eaten a pomegranate? It is a fruit with an interesting structure. Some nations consider it as a symbol of prosperity and fertility. It makes me think, indeed.

A pomegranate has a hard exterior and an interesting inner side. The dark red seeds are fully hidden inside. They are embraced by a yellowish, rough skin. The seeds live in small compartments, as if in their tiny “rooms”. It is a beautiful organization.

The seeds are sweet and juicy, but the skin is very bitter. If you happen to take a bite of a pomegranate, you will get shocked ;). The bitterness of the skin dominates the taste. The roughness makes it impossible to chew. It is a totally unpleasant experience, to say at least.

On the other hand, if you choose to eat pomegranate one seed at a time, you will experience joy. Not only will you cherish the process of removing seeds from the rooms one by one, but you will be rewarded with delicacy and sweetness. Eating pomegranate this way is a calming and meditative act.

A metaphor

Pomegranates make a great metaphor for your life.

First, everything (substantial in life) is a process.

You don’t wake up with a new skill fully born in you. Even if the foundation is there, it takes you months or years to master it.
You don’t recover from a loss overnight. It becomes a healing process in which you live your life day by day until you renew your Inner Self and overcome the sadness.
You don’t educate your children in one go. It becomes a journey of growth, in which you are challenged to walk your talk.

Secondly, when you focus on small steps in the now, you move forward with breeze.

If you face a huge problem now, don’t attempt to solve it in its complexity. Concentrate on the solution of today’s part. That’s it. And, you are further on towards the solution of the whole problem.

If you consider all your problems, then life may seem too difficult to handle. If you have a dissatisfying job, insufficient money, personal problems, unhappy relations, kids to grow, serious health issues, chores, duties and responsibilities, life can become unbearable, indeed.

But …

You don’t have to deal with all the problems of life, do you?

If only can you deal with the problems of this day. If only can you withstand the pain of this moment. If only can you take this hard decision now, to move forward. If only can you focus on your tasks today.

Your Inner Power is there, inside. It has always been there. Ready to serve.

If only can you give. Attention. Listening Ear. Love.

Things will move forward.

Inch by inch

As for a pomegranate, cherish the seeds of life, one at a time. Neglect the rough skin of negative thoughts, nay-sayers or circumstances. Just appreciate the seeds of the moment. For beauty. For sharpness. For pain. And for being alive.

Take them by an inch. Soon, your pomegranate is happily digested 🙂

***

Live by an inch, make life a cinch!

 

I like you, or on being authentic

Being authentic

Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.

On being authentic

My son loves to talk to strangers. He starts conversations in buses, parks or shops, on playgrounds or even when passing-by a stranger. He has always something to share, discuss or ask about. As a child, he likes to get attention. Yet, at the same time, he gives attention as well. Grown out of his curiosity.

My son is truly interested in people and the world around. He is especially curious about things or behaviors that are new to him.

He wants to know. Immediately. No waiting possible.

He is truly authentic. He has no borders, no limits and no pre-conceived expectations. It is me now and then who jumps in and establishes some rules for him to obey. For instance, I keep telling him to start a conversation in a polite way. His usual approach is pretty direct: “Hey you, what are you doing?” or “You… you… what are you carrying inside?” or “What’s your name?”

“Is it the way to condition him for life?” I wonder at times.

My son especially adores tipsy (or drunk) men and grandma-like ladies. While the later choice is perfect for me, I find tipsy men uneasy. There is something sleazy about them. Yet, the recent few encounters blew me away. I will share with two of them as the other ones are similar.

***

In the first scenario we were walking on a street and there was a tipsy man at a distance. My son was staring into the eyes of this stranger. With total attention. It has taken us good 10 seconds or more before we approached him. The man was clearly disturbed by my son’s interest. He couldn’t stand this silent attention and asked my boy reproachfully “Why are you looking at me, you, little boy?”, “Why do you dare so?”. My son answered “Because I really like you.”

The man got flabbergasted. He couldn’t say a word for a while.

In another scenario, my son picked up a stranger and chose a nearby seat. He started a conversation about my hometown, travels, toys, lego, building, playgrounds and so on. The man happily joined in. My son asked the guy “Are you a good man? You know …  because my mum doesn’t like me to take up with bad men.” The guy nodded approvingly. 😉

The conversation seemed to please both of them. At some point the man asked my son, “Why are you talking to me?”. And my son answered: “Because I know you are a nice man. I really like you.”

The man was moved. He couldn’t say a word for a while.

***

Both men got shocked.  The words they spoke after a silence were: “It has been years for me since I heard somebody telling me to like me. Just like you.”

They got tears in their eyes. Their defenses melted away and they both stood before us as real humans.

Open. Vulnerable. Liberated.

I was surprised by such responses. I followed with little conversations. The men told me how much their kids stopped paying respect to them. How bad their lives were. How little hope they had. Yet, … at the same time, I saw a spark in their eyes. A little light that shines from acknowledgement and appreciation. It was beautiful.

I have been touched myself by these (and a few more) encounters. As a result, I’ve stopped interfering and conditioning my son on how to lead conversations. I just keep remembering that being authentic is transformational. The power of a real, unadulterated connection with another human is priceless.

It is touching the Core. It is liberating the Spirit. It is changing Life.

***

The next time when you make yourself or your child to conform to the norms, just pause and let things be the natural way. Perhaps a real transformation is behind the corner….

***

 Page 4 of 29  « First  ... « 2  3  4  5  6 » ...  Last »