Nature never fails in giving gifts to us, if we may notice. I have a gardenia tree in my little garden. I noticed that it has been giving gorgeous flowers since June this year. I have been enjoying its white color and also the fragrance so much. Look at the beautiful picture below. I shared this picture to some friends and contacts. Along with the picture, I put a caption ‘what do you feel looking at this flower?’. Most of the people expressed their good feelings about it. It validated my thought that everybody loves flowers. A friend used the same word to express with me, ‘so gorgeous!’ We shared thr same feeling.
Only one person said that she didn’t feel anything. My other friend said that everyone relates to flower differently. The feeling might be different from one person to another as well. The seed of the beauty is not in the flower, but in the heart. The flower is just the trigger. The beauty (the feeling) is kept in the heart. Some will get triggered, other may not get triggered.
A friend sent me this picture. A very cute dog. He is Luke. My friend told me that he bought Luke as a gift for his wife at their wedding anniversary. It is their second dog. The first one is Axel. A different type of dog. I met both of them when I visited my friend a few years ago. Luke has become everyone’s favourite dog in the family. Everyone in the family should take the dogs out for a walk everyday. It was the deal they made. I think my friend loves the dogs very very much. Now I understand why people love their pets so much. I didn’t understand when another friend kept mourning for few days or weeks for the loss of her dog. I remembered a colleague had to take a half day leave from office to attend the funeral of her cat. It just didn’t compute in my mind at that time.
I asked my friend if somebody loved Luke and wanted to buy the dog : ‘Would you sell it?’ His answer was interesting. He said : ‘Noone wants to sell his family.’ Luke has become part of the family. I think he and his family have given him so much love and a very good care. I can see from the big smile, a very happy smile.
I never think of having any pet. I don’t think I have enough time and atttention to take care of it. When I was small and living in my parents’house, we had a small dog. I remember I used to play with it after school. And much later when I hmoved to my house, a nephew who lived with me was having a turtle. It was very small. But after a few years it grew so big. We planned to go out of town for one week or so. Not wanting to feel guilty leaving the turtle, I asked my nephew to give it to his friend who was willing to give a good care of it.
When I had to stay in my self quarantine due to Covid-19 recently, as soon as I experienced something was not right with my body, I decided to disconnect myself from the world. And what it means to me is that I didn’t follow the news of what was happening out there. I did not allow it to enter my mind. I made my mind completely free from anything from external. I didn’t read any news nor watch any news. I kept telling myself that it was not the time to read or search for more information. The only information I needed at that time was how to deal with Covid-19. And I thought I was having enough of it with me. So I made myself focused on what was essential for me to do.
If something happened in the world and it was related to me or I had a responsibility in it, then I would surely know it very soon without me following the news of it. But if I didn’t know it or someone didn’t tell me, then I was so sure that it might not be related to me or I didn’t have any responsibility in it.
To be honest I was disconnected myself from ‘the world’ for a month. And I experienced my mind to be very clear through having very less thoughts. I listened to a class on zoom in the morning, it was my meditation class. So practically during the day I only had the thoughts of what taught in the morning class, which were positive and empowering ones.
What happened then with my mind? My mind became very clear in processing each thought. The decision I made was accurate. Practically I had no waste thoughts in my mind. When the number of thoughts is less, then they will become powerful and very clear. There is no clarity and thoughts are not powerful when you allow many thoughts occupy your mind.
So the practice of being disconnected from the world for a period of time is really really essential. I wish I can have this opportunity to do this again in the future, but of course without Covid-19. It is really a good practice for the mind and also for the heart. It empowers the soul.
When a colleague was being hospitalized due to Covid-19 in December last year, he told me that he didn’t like the meals provided by the hospital. I posted his story on A Solo Battle. So he decided to get his meals from outside through online order.
When I was in my self-quarantine at home, I didn’t have choices what to have for my meals. I only had in my stock one big package of oats, a box of raisin and a box of milk. I was not favourite for having breakfast with oats and raisin actually. But that was the only menu that I could have for breakfast. It is very easy and very quick to prapare. Only 3 minutes! My body was too weak to prepare my own meal longer than 3 minutes. So I had oats and raisin for my breakfast every single day. Since then I love this breakfast.
I had vegie soup for my lunch. I call it three-colors soup. Sweet corn, spinach and carrot. It looks fresh and super nice. I also had this menu every sibgle day. When I shared my soup photo to my colleague (I mention above) with a caption ‘I am very grateful with this soup’. He quickly responded ‘It must taste so good’. In fact I only put salt and pepper in it. It is just similar with hospital’s meal. It’s quite plain, not spicy at all.
The covid patients are always adviced to have sun rays, so I also did it. I sat just right in front of my front door to get the morning rays from the sun. It was really cool having my favourite drink, honey lemon tea. It is the hot one. It was just my mood booster.
I was really grateful with my simple meals during my self-quarantine.
When you are grateful, your heart is happy because you love what you have and you are not craving for something you don’t have.
Listening is often said to be the missing part of a communication. For many people the ability to listen is not developed as much as the ability to speak. Many listen with the intent to reply not to understand as Steven Covey said. People are more interested to speak than to listen.
Why do we not listen actively? We listen only to the words that are being said. We don’t learn to listen behind the words that are being said. In Chinese language to listen is written in 3 symbols – ear, eye and heart. If any Chinese speaking reader here, please correct me if I am wrong. An active listening uses ear, eyes and also heart. An active listening is giving an undivided attention to the person who is speaking. You are completely present, physically and also mentally. Only then you can listen to the message that is not being said, what is behind the words.
In a survey words contribute 7%, intonation 38% and body language 55%. More messages are not expressed through words, or they can not be expressed through words. Words are not enough to express the feelings. Feeling can be so deep, while words are limited.
One needs to use the eyes to obseve the body language of the speaker, and the heart to catch the feeling. Ears are not enough. Many use the ears more than the heart and eyes. They are more ready to listen to the words which contributes only 7% to listening. This is why misunderstanding or miscommunication often happen.
To listen through your heart you need silence. It is the mind that needs to be silent, then the heart will follow. Many find it very difficult to make their minds silent. It takes time to practise. The minds have been constantly so busy. Start listening to your own mind, know exactly what you are thinking, just observe what is happening inside your head. be a detached observer, not a judgemental observer. You will notice the mind starts becoming silent. And when your mind is silent, calm and peaceful. Your heart opens for others. You are ready to listen.
What can you expect from a small heart? If your heart is small, you can not expect an abundant love. Your heart is where you can generate true love abundantly. Love that flows from the inside out. It is said if you want love, give it. Love is to be shared not to be taken. Energy attracts energy. So love attracts love. But when your heart is small, it can only love conditionally. You put conditions in giving your love to others. ‘I love you, if you also love me.’ ‘I love you, if you do what I say.’ ‘I love you this much, and you should also love me back this much.’ It becomes like a business deal. It is definitely not a true love. A true love never expects anything in return. You just give it (the energy).
A conditional love is like a tap. You can turn it on and also turn it off. ‘I can love you, but I also can stop loving you.’
Make you heart so big that you can generate so much love. A big heart filled with love is a contented heart, a happy heart. Your heart is not needy for love.
Valentine Day is the day of love. It is the day to love. To love means to let the love flow from your heart. Love is an energy. It is generated in the heart. Energy flows. It flows from the inside out. Let the energy flow. Don’t keep your heart closed. Open your heart. Express the love inside.
Every heart has the capacity to love. To love also means to connect, to give, to share. Not to take and keep it for yourself. Love becomes very limited if you do that. This energy is meant to flow. Don’t stop the flow. So it needs an open heart. A closed heart can not give love nor accept love from other hearts.
So check your heart right now. Does it generate love or stop generating love? Is your heart full of love or not? Love is self-generated. You are not meant to expect someone to give you love. It is said If you want love, give it. Only when you have love in your heart that you can give it to others, then your heart is ready accept love from others too. But when you do not have love at the first place, even if others offer you love, you won’t accept it.
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.
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.
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.