Developing an attitude of gratitude is really the way to happiness. If you want to make yourself happy right now, you need to develop this attitude. Be grateful for everything you have with you. List down everything you have right now that you are grateful for – health, job, family, friends, good relationship, some skills, food, clothes, house, vehicle etc. Many people do not have what you have right now. Many people out there are struggling for what you have.
Be grateful for what is with you now. Don’t wait till they are gone and you can only appreciate it whe it is already gone. It will be too late. There will be only regret.
If you focus on what you have, your heart will become content. A contented heart is a happy heart. To be grateful is to be happy. So don’t postpone your happiness till you get what you want to get. Be happy right now.
Don’t think too much of what you do not have right now. Don’t let it steal your happiness.
Can you write a list of what you are grateful for right now?
Meditation is an art to deal with the noise of the self in your own head. Can you hear the constant noise inside your head? Or do you find it easy to make it quiet? A friend said to me that it is very hard to make the mind quiet. Who makes that noise? You have the 3 personalities inside you, “the inferior I”, “the superior I” and “the real I.” For many people it is their “inferior I” that makes noise more than the other two personalities. You might hear the voices like “I am not good enough.” “I am not valued.” ”I am excluded.” This is the noise made by the “inferior I”. You might hear voice like “I know better.” “I am more experienced.” “They should listen to me.” Which voice do you listen the most? And the “the real I” ussually speak the least. “the real I” always speaks the uplifting voice.
You need to deal with those 3 personalities in your head to make the mind quiet. How to deal with it? Observe, listen and don’t judge. This is the easy steps to start a mediation: 1. Find a place to sit where you would not get distracted during your meditation session. 2. Sit comfortably and relaxed. 3. Let your eyes open 4. Turn your attention within (inside your forehead). It is where the mind is located. Observe what is going on. 5. Acknowledge the noise. Acknowledge which personality is speaking or creating that noise. 6. Let them speak. 7. Keep observing, keep listening. 8. Don’t judge.
If you keep observing and not judging, ussually they will become quiet. Only then you can let “the real I” speak any thought that elevates you like “I am great.” Let the intellect listen that thought and churn it. To churn it means to think it more deeply. Bring your awareness to it. The heart will very soon generate a feeling of greatness. You feel what you think. Choose to think elevated thoughts and you will generate elevated feelings.
Mediation is a powerful way to take your energy back – emotional, mental and spiritual energy. You might need to practice this everyday and make it into your self-care routine.
What are you liberated from? Many of us (if not all of us) are liberated. If we are not in jails, we are liberated, we are free. Feeling liberated has to do with the spirit more than the physical body. Many people feel themselves not liberated while having their physical bodies free. They experience themselves like being in a cage. The cage is in fact in his own mind.
Last week I was in a small discussion on this topic. Each one of us had to reflect on ourselves “what are we liberated from” and share our thoughts. I think I have been liberated from two things – being myself and opinion of other people. I think of myself, being a free spirit to become myself. No one has any right over this. I have the full right. This is a very liberating thought. This thought somehow has led me to know myself much much better. Knowing the self is the first step. Accepting the self and loving the self are the next steps. And knowing the self can save you from any opinion or judgement of other people. People may judge you for whatever you are doing and not doing. Many people are weak in from of the judgments. They become victims. They feel themselves so small. Only if you know yourself better than those people know you, then their opinion and their judgment do not give any impact on the way you think of yourself.
Only see the good side of everything to stay positive. Can you see the good side of everything? This is not using your physical eye, but your spiritual eye. This is the eye of the soul. How do you see situation or problem in your life? You use this eye, don’t you? Even if someone is physically blind, his eye of the soul is not blind, it is widely open. You see everything around you, everything in life with this eye, don’t you? To see the good side of everything means to see it through a wisdom.
You might have heard a very good advice or an elevating quote that touched your heart. Use it in your practical life. To use it means to put it right in front of your eye so you see the situation or the problem through it. You are not directly exposed to the situation or the problem. That wisdom will become like a breaker for you. It saves you from reacting unnecessarily. It saves you from regret or anger. It brings calmness and patience inside, and these are the strength of the soul. Someone with patience is a strong one.
Be happy not because everything is good, but because you can see the good side of everything.
Listen to the noise in your head. There is a constant noise, or there is no noise at all? Can you silence your mind? Many people said it is very difficult to silence their minds. The mind is constantly busy. Thinking. It creates noise inside your head. But who is speaking? There are two personalities in your head – the false personality and the true personality. The false personality is called the ego and the true personality is called the conscience. They speak different languages to you. It is the ego that speaks more and creates noise. When the ego is speaking too much, you become restless. The ego brings confusion and doubt into your head. You need clarity. Clarity is found in a silent mind.
You might need to learn to make the ego become more quiet, if you want to experience a silent mind. It is only when there is silence in the mind then the voice of the conscience is heard. The conscience is your inner guide. Let your conscience guide you. Listen to your inner guide. It finishes confusion and doubt. It brings clarity into your head.
In understanding the self, we need to know the two aspects of human being; physical and non-physical. It is very easy to understand the physical aspect, the body. But it is more difficult to understand the non-physical one. The non-physical one in fact refers to the spirit, the energy. The nature of the physical one is not permanent, it can change. Our bodies change from young to old. It definitely will die. But the spirit (energy) is permanent, it doesn’t change. It will never die. To understand the self is to understand and accept the self as a spirit, not a body. The spirit is the soul. A soul has three faculties – mind, intellect and heart. This idea is very clear and also very simple, but many have made this so complicated and the journey to understand the self becomes a never ending journey.
When someone said to me : “I do not believe in soul.” In fact I would like to ask him : “Do you not believe in yourself either?” But I held myself and didn’t say anything.
I think he just did not really understand this two aspects of human being. Because he did not understand so he didn’t accept it, and he did not believe it. The next question is “Who am I?” I think the first step to understand the self is to have a clear answer to this question.
How long have you been staying at home? Some might have been staying for two months and some even for three months now. The questions of what, why and how have become less. The worries and fear have become less. I think most of us have become adjusted to the situation. This coronavirus is not in our control. And ultimately we have to accept what we can not control. We have accepted the situation and started focusing more on what we can do.
Some bloggers shared how they spent their days in their quarantine. They shared their tips in quarantine. It was really good. I enjoyed reading it. I reflected on myself and started counting blessings I have been receiving. Here is the list of my blessings behind this pandemic.
1. Less spending and save more money
Basically only for groceries. Veggie and fruits. My credit card bill was the least for the last ten years. So it was good that I save money.
2. Start cooking for my meal
I only eat what I cook. I don’t trust any food from outside. I eat more veggie and fruits. I think I become healthier.
3. Weight Loss
It was really surprising that I lost 10 kgs in only two months. It never happened before. Losing weight has become a never ending struggle for me.
4. Develop cooking skill
I started experimenting on making vegan cakes. And I have become very good at cooking vegan carrot cake and vegan nuts cake. I shared it to friends and colleagues, and they are happy.
5. Learn hosting a webinar
I never thought that workshop through webinar would be effective. I found out that it worked.
6. Serve more people
I have conducted off-line workshops before the pandemic. Many people could not join due to different reasons. When the workshop is online, it becomes more flexible for everyone. Those who are living far away can even make it.
7. Develop my presentation skill
I am pushed to become more creative in making presentation and preparing the topic for webinar.
8. More blessings
If you are doing good to people, helping them, you will definitely receive blessings from their hearts in the form of good feelings. You are happy by helping others.
What about you? How do you enjoy your quarantine? What blessings do you receive?
Recently I started hearing from people around me asking “When will this situation end?” They probably asked me out of frustration. This is something new. It never happened before, not in our parents’ time nor our grand parents’. No one knows when this pandemic will end. The scientists do not know. The leaders of countries do not know and I do not know either. I said to them “Only God knows.”
Everything that happens in the world and off the world is accurate. Small things or big things. Individually or collectively. Locally or globally. Everything that happens is what is meant to happen. To understand this is the first step to develop faith in life.
If this world is a huge stage of a drama and everyone of us is an actor upon it, each one of us plays our part perfectly. Each one of us has our own script to play. Everyone’s part is accurate and it is in the grand scenario of this unlimited drama. The pandemic is one of the scenes in this unlimited drama. It will end. Another scene will come. God is the director. He holds the secret of time. He has the whole script. He knows the next scene.
I then said to them “It is better to ask God, not me.”
Life might have brought chaos to many of us. a mental chaos. Do not become chaotic. You need to remain calm and stable during the chaos. How to create inner stability? We need to develop faith in ourself. Develop the three faiths – faith in the self, faith in God and faith in life. Revisit those faiths again and again. To develop faith is like sowing a seed, it grows into a small plant. You need to water it regularly. It needs to receive enough sun light also. If not, it will wilt and die. It is similar with our faith.
To believe in God is not enough. You need to experience God practically in your life. Do not take it for granted. God is the most loving Being in the universe. He loves everyone so dearly. His love is unlimited. Experience this love with your heart. Accept God’s love with your heart, not with your head. To accept with the head is very easy, but it remains as a theory. Love needs to be experienced. A belief only doesn’t give any impact on you. It doesn’t change you. It is your experience that will change you and give an impact on you.
A few days ago someone invited me to join her program, live on Instagram. I had to share on how to deal with the uncertainties. I offered an idea to spend sometimes during the lockdown to reflect and to develop faith.
I was happy that someone wrote to me this after the program : “I was struck by your reminder for not taking God into granted. I just realized that it is what I have been doing.”
A few days ago a friend shared to me that she had been working from home for more than a month. She said that it made her so bored. She only went out for her grocery shopping. She said that the virus had been frightening her so much. It is invisible yet so frightening. The virus is so tiny that we can not see it, yet it creates terror to the entire planet. The number of death keeps increasing day by day. Everyone experiences this like a terror.
This made me reflect and think. Are we not creating the same terror for other living beings in this planet? For animals, for example. We might have done some cruelty to animals too. How many lives have been taken for just the stomachs of human beings? What we have been doing might be much more cruel than what the virus is doing to us now. A constant terror! Are those animals not suffering from terror created by human beings? I remember very long time ago I saw an innocent cow was being slaughtered for a sacrifice. I still remember the expression on her face, the two eyes were in tears. The innocent cow was facing her death just right in front of her eyes. I could see the fear on her face. It was so tragic. The innocent cow died on the hands of a man. Since then I can not bear seeing animal being slaughtered.
Last week I read a post by a blogger. One of my favorite bloggers. This coronavirus has led him to a plant-based diet. He has made a resolution to become ’more’ vegetarian because of this coronavirus. Along with the post he wrote a very long description behind the idea of plant-based diet that has been adopted by many people accross the globe.