I think everyone of us has a moment in life when we are down. We feel ourselves in a low state (mental state). You don’t want to let yourself in that low state forever, do you?
What do you do when you are down? How can you make yourself up again? How will you give yourself an encouragment or an energy booster? You can not always find someone to cheer you up, to uplift you. In that situation, you need to find a way to bring your state high.
Make time for yourself and being with yourself. Listen to your heart. Understand the thoughts you keep in your mind that make you feel what you are feeling (feeling low). Then speak to yourself genuinely. Encourage yourself. This is also called a self-affirmation. We need to do this.
Then a friend said “Is it not like sabotaging yourself by telling you are good when in fact you know you are not good?”
If you are now feeling low, check your thoughts. What kind of thoughts have you been keeping in your mind? Be honest in this. This is an internal check. Only you can do it. No one else can do it for you or help you. Not your spouse nor your “soul mate”. This is an individual inner work. To do an honest checking means you need to make time just to be with yourself. Can you do this?
If you are honest enough, you might realize that these are the noise that keep playing in your head. “You are not good enough. “You are weak.” “You are unlovable.” “No one likes you.” These thoughts have sabotaged you and made you BELIEVE it. You feel what you believe. That low state doesn’t come suddenly. It takes time.
Now do the same. Keep telling yourself that you are good enough. You are worthed. You are lovable. You are special. Make yourself believe what you are telling to yourself. I know it also takes time. But if you understand that this is the way to bring yourself up again, will you not do this?
A scoreboard is another tool you can use for your self-care. How to create an energy scoreboard? Make a list of your activities from the time you wake up till the time you go to bed, and then put a score on each activity. The score indicates the energy units you create or consume for each activity.
What is your morning routine like? What activities do you ussually do in the morning? You create energy through your morning routine, don’t you? We have been talking about this energy in the previous posts in this blog. The energy that we are talking here is renewable. So we create the energy for the body and for the soul to live . We renew it everyday. We recharge ourselves.
Which activities are physical (for body) and which activities are mental (for soul)? Start your day by filling yourself with energy, physically and mentally. During the day, you might be very busy with routines that consume your energy. So it is better to fill yourself in the morning with energy. Really make time for this. Don’t let yourself get distracted especially during your morning hours. For me, morning hours is my golden time for the whole 24 hours. Let me not miss this golden time for my own self-care. For this, I don’t check my phone for the first few hours in the morning. I do not want to let myself (my mind) get distracted at the first place.
My morning routines include meditation and journaling. I found these two activities generate energy the most – emotional, mental and spiritual energy. These activities are for the mind, intellect and heart. These three are the faculties of the soul. So meditation and journaling are exercises for the soul. They make your soul (spirit) very strong. When your mind is strong, you will not get easily influenced by people nor situation. When your intellect is strong and deep, you can extract wisdom from your thoughts. When your heart is strong, you create faith in yourself and with this faith you have courage and hope. This is what you need in your everyday life, right?
For the body, I include a workout or a walk in my morning routine. How about you?
Have you ever joined any challenge? What challenge did you joined?
When the challenge is for 21 days, then it takes commitment to complete. Usually many people drop themselves a long the way. It is like creating a new habit. It takes persistence to really make one. Once you made it, you can feel ‘a big success’. You appreciate yourselves more.
A friend invited me to join a 21 days challenge of abundance. We completed this challenge last week. This is not a physical challenge. It is a challenge for reflecting on abundance everyday for 21 days, different aspects of abundance. we were given a daily task to complete and we had to share in the group when we completed the task before 9 am the next day. So you have 24 hours to work on your task. Abundance is an interesting topic to reflect on each one. Each one of us wants to live our life abundantly. So I found it was fun to complete the daily task. We had to reflect on different aspects of abundance in our day to day life through contemplating, writing and drawing.
There are two levels of an abundant life to work on, physical or material level and mental level. We had to work on our money, our bill, our debt and how we ‘see’ it and relate to it. We draw notes, checks, stocks, bonds etc. We had to work on our relationships with people in our life, some might not work well and we need to fix them by creating a specific daily action. We had also to ask ourselves of the highest intention in life.
21 Days is not enough for me to work on abundance and become abundant. So I need to rerun this challenge myself in the nearest future. I did not really put myself fully in the last 21 days.
This challenge was in fact created by Deepak Chopra, a very famous author. you might have read his books.
What do you miss during this pandemic? Do you miss something after you had to stay in your place for a few months? I realized one thing. I missed being in nature. I like walking in a forest or a mountain very much. I love trees, birds, flowers and blue sky. It is so refreshing.
I was very excited when a friend told me that the botanical garden in our city has been opened for public. I thought, I would not miss visiting the garden soon. Well, you might think that it is not “really” nature. The garden has been created for more than 200 years, someone created. And it has been maintained. The trees have grown so big. I know, but at least it brings “nature” close to my heart. I visited the garden and enjoyed walking under the big trees last week. I enjoyed the shade and the breeze.
Deeply in my heart I felt so grateful to those who have maintained the garden really well.
During these days we are exposed with information on coronavirus so much. It has created so much fear in people. We are not only fighting the coronavirus but also the fear in each one of us. Coronavirus infects the body and fear infects the soul. We and the world are now fighting against the coronavirus, but each one of us is fighting against the internal virus in the soul. We are strongly requested to stay clean – to wash our hands often and to put on mask to protect ourself from this virus.
But how to protect the soul from the fear? The body has its immune system to fight any virus or bacteria in the body. We are suggested to eat healthy food and have enough good sleep for keeping the immune of the body. The soul also has its immune system to fight against the fear. Good thoughts are the best nutrition for the soul. Have enough good thoughts during the day. Nurture your mind with high quality thoughts. Don’t let any mundane and ordinary thoughts take space in your mind. The mind is the laboratory to invent the anti vaccine for the virus. Really make time to stay introverted and work in your inner laboratory. Invent your own vaccine. Don’t forget to keep your laboratory very clean.
How much do you have to do this during these days and many days ahead? The world needs this so much.
Why is it important to have faith in life? How to develop faith in life?
Life is what happens. Whatever happens, big or small, it happens to you or someone else, it has happened or it is still going to happen, all is called life. How do you see life of the past and how do you see life of the future? Do you always see it as a good one? Or do you sometimes think that it is unfair or that it should not happen the way it happened? How do you see the future? Does it always look bright? Or does sometimes worry creep into your heart that you are not so sure?
I remember an advice from one of my dear friends who kept saying to me ‘Everything is good’. Whatever happened was good, what is happening is good and what is going to happen will be good. Don’t carry any regret of the past. It passed. No need to think ‘why did it happen that way? It shouldn’t have happened etc etc’. This is how we usually develop regret. It belongs to the past. Leave it in the past. Don’t create fear of the future. Trust that life in the future will be good.
Whatever happens is what is meant to happen. There is no mistake in life. There is nothing to regret nor to be worried about. If you keep saying this to yourself or you keep reminding this to your self everyday, what would happen? You are developing faith in life. You will see everything with your new understanding. You will then accept everything that happen very easily. You will easily forgive and accept.
A friend told me that she had decided to divorce her husband. She has talked about it with him. When she shared it to me, I could feel that she was feeling so relieved. She said that she was amazed by herself for being very calm while talking to him about this separation, no emotion was involved. She said that she had been listening to the ‘real I’ a lot and it helped her in controlling her emotion. I was happy listening this from her, not for the divorce, but for the way she handled herself.
She said to me that she did not love him anymore, so she wanted to end the marriage. They had gone through so much conflict. It was not healthy for both of them and also for their children. But she said that her husband still loved her. I replied ‘Wait, is it a real love?’ True love never hurts. If it hurts, it is not a true love.
This short conversation reminded me to a book written by Echart Tolla. I read the book long time ago. It is said in the book that ‘I love you’ often means ‘I need you’. So it is a self-centered love. Because it is self-centered, so expectation is involved – there is dependency and possessiveness. Of course it is not true love. True love is liberating. True love is without any expectation. True love is not self-centered.
She paused for a moment and finally said “Yes, he loves himself.”
This is still January. Let me write about new year resolution. I hope it is not too late. Do you have a new year resolution? Do you write it down? Do you revisit your resolution? A resolution is basically a goal to achieve, a target. It is ussually a personal one. How much did you achieve your last year resolution? Did you evaluate as the year ended? Or did you forget your resolution as months were passing by.
I made a review on my last year resolution. I was fortunate that I wrote them in a quite detailed way, so it was doable enough, though I was too optimistic for some resolutions. I put them into several categories – career, health, finance, spirituality. I broke down each category into a list of smaller goals and what I wanted to do to achieve. Last year, I got myself introduced to the idea of living as a minimalist. And I set myself for less spending as my goal, for this I set a maximum shopping for clothes into 5 pieces only. Later I thought that it was too optimistic. I didn’t have to wait till mid year, that I had missed my target. When I shared that I had failed for this one resolution to a friend, she laughed at me and I became a little bit discouraged. Did I give up and drop my resolution? No. I knew that I had failed (gloriously), but I still kept on with the resolution, 5 new clothes only! Every time I bought a new cloth, I noted down and put it on a list with the price I paid for and also the date of the purchase. I kept that list. And I wanted to know how much I would have failed. And at the end of December 2019, do you know how many new clothes I bought in 2019? 16. A lot more than the target.
So this year I made the same categories. I learnt from last year. Now I feel I know myself better, I have a sense on how much I can keep on with my resolution of 2020. How about you?
In every workshop on journaling, I always encourage people to start writing with an honest heart. Open the heart and start writing the feelings out, because this is how the heart will get healed. Be honest with the self by writing the feeling out.
Some people find it so hard to do it. They said that they have fear that others might read their journal, that other might know their feelings. Is it really harmful if others know what you feel? Fear is definitely unhealthy. It doesn’t make the soul free. Someone shared that when she was a teenager, someone read her diary and told everyone about what she wrote in the diary. This made her really ashamed and since then she stopped writing it.
For me, journaling is the best way to deal with any negative feeling and finish it quickly. I agree that some emotions might be so strong and it takes more time to finish. You might need to journal it several times. But it will definitely become weaker and weaker if you keep journaling it. Finally it will finish completely. When it finishes, you don’t feel it anymore. You still remember the situation, but the feeling is no longer there. Then if others know what you felt, it will be okay with you. I remembered I shared my journal with a friend. I read it for her. She knew what I was writing about. She knew my situation, what I felt and also how I was dealing with that. We laughed together.
This journaling is primarily for the self, not for anyone else. In fact this is a good practice to know the self better, and understand the self better. It is a practice to develop self-awareness. In the long run, it will build a healthy relationship with the self. When you have a good relationship with the self, you will find it very easy to relate to anyone. It is just not possible to have a good relationship with others when the relationship with the self is not healthy.
Where does the self get lost? It is lost in our own head (mind). The mind creates thousands of thoughts everyday. It keeps busy and also noisy. The mind is always occupied with thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. It is like a jungle, full of thoughts. You might find it very difficult to make it silent for just a moment. The self gets lost in this jungle. You might have heard a story of a queen who lost her necklace. She searched for her necklace around. She kept searching the necklace that she did not realize that it is in fact around her own neck. This story refers to our self-discovery journey. We might have searched for the self “outside” which in fact it is lost “inside”.
Journaling is a way to discover the self which has been hidden behind the thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. This is an inward-journey. By writing them down one by one, you will experience more clarity in seeing the self. You are removing the veils. You will be able see your true self.