Have you experienced yourself losing someone due to death? It might be your spouse, family member, relative or friend. How did you feel it? How did you deal with it?
My elder brother passed away only a few days ago. I got this sad news from his son who lived with him. I knew that he was the one who experienced loss the most for this.
When someone dies, actually it is the soul leaving his body. The soul still exists somewhere, not in that body but somewhere. Because the soul is eternal. It will never get destroyed. A soul is a very tiny point of light. A point of energy. Energy can not be destroyed. The body is the vehicle of the soul, it will go back to nature, where it belongs. You miss the soul (the spirit), not the body. It was the spirit that you call it as the ‘living’. And the body is in fact the ’non-living‘. If the spirit always exists and never gets destroyed, do you really lose him? No. He is just not around, but he still remains. Not here, but somewhere. You still can send your good wishes to him and it will surely reach the soul.
We are taught to have faith in life, in the self and in God. And in this particular situation of death, it is more about having faith in life. Everything that happens in life including death of someone’s is not a coincidence. It is what is meant to happen. Everything happens accurately. There is never a mistake. It happens at the right time, at the right moment. Are you ready to accept what is predestined to happen in life?
When I was telling this to my nephew, I felt like I was reminding myself. It somehow empowered him and me as well.
Have you ever joined any challenge? What challenge did you join?
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.
Do you have any talent in drawing? I remember when I was in my school days, drawing was not my favourite subject at all. I have not been very good at it. I think I don’t have any talent in drawing. I always become very amazed when I look at a beautiful painting or drawing. In my heart I said I wish I had this talent. Those people can express their feelings into very beautiful art works. I really appreciate it as well as envy.
Until last week a friend introduced me to a doodling art. I joined her workshop on doodling. I never heard it before. It was an online workshop via Zoom. Basically you just draw anything your heart wants to draw….any shapes in any colors. You don’t need to erase anything, you won’t make ‘any mistake’, just keep drawing. No worries.
We were given 20 minutes to draw with piano music played as a background. I really enjoyed it. I thought my drawing turned out really well. I felt so good. At the end of the workshop each one of us had to share our drawing and show it on camera.
Someone reluctantly showed his drawing and said “I don’t know what I drawed, I think it doesn’t make a sense”.
My friend said “It doesn’t have to make any sense. Nothing can go wrong in this” This words sound very liberating to me. It is liberating the soul. I wished I heard these words long ago.
Just let the soul express its feeling and emotion freely. You will feel really good about yourself through this doodling.
When I conduct a journaling workshop, I always encourage the participants to practice writing right away. I usually ask them to remember one particular situation that happened recently that created a very strong feeling. When the feeling is strong enough then it is very easy to start writing it out. It could be positive feeling or negative feeling.
Most of the people find it a lot easier to write the negative one and it is okay. A participant expressed disagreement to me when it came to write a negative feeling. She said that by remembering a negative feeling and writing it, the feeling would become even stronger. Then it is against the purpose of journaling. Because the purpose of journaling is in fact to finish the negative feelings and empower the self.
How can journaling finish the negative feeling and empower the self? When you are writing a journal, you need to sit on the seat of the ‘real I’. You are listening to the ‘false I’, either the ‘depressed I’ or ‘the arrogant I’. This ‘false I’ is in fact the ego. The ego is false. It is the ego that creates the negative feeling. Let the ’false I’ speak about the situation and feeling clearly and honestly and let ‘the real I’ listen. She is a good listener. She is very patient, mature and wise. She always listens very carefully. When the ‘false I’ finishes speaking, let the ‘real I’ speak or share some wisdom to your situation. Let her empower you.
You are not the feeling. You are the creator of the feeling. The feeling is your creation, but your creation is not you. You will become very clear about this. You are distanced from your feeling. You are detached from your feeling. Because you are detached from the feeling, so you can observe the creation better. You can write it in a detached way.
When you write your journal in this detached way, as if you are an observer of what is happening inside you, the feeling will become weaker and the ‘real I’ become stronger. Become a detached observer. It is said that emotion dies under observation.
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.
In my office most of my colleagues had made their plan for taking christmas and new year leaves since the first week of December. My boss got a leave sheet circulated for everyone in the division. I planned to take earlier leave this year, on the third week! And I think that it was the best decision. I had a solo trip to several cities. It was so enjoyable. I decided to take intercity trains for this trip. It had become my long time dream to enjoy a trip by train. Actually it was not a total vacation, because I had several ‘workshops’ during that time, short journaling workshops! It might be more a sharing than a workshop. I was really happy doing it. I am happy knowing that more and more people are interested in journaling.
I came back from my vacation only a few days before Christmas when most people started their vacation. I think the timing was just perfect for me. I definitely enjoyed my vacation without having any hassle. Though my flight back was two hours delayed, but it was still okay with me. The airport was a bit crowded due do some delayed flights. When your heart is happy, you just don’t want to get disturbed by those little situations.
During the christmas and new year holiday what I want is just having some quiet moment at home. What about you?
When someone asks me how to keep writing or how to keep being inspired to write, what I can suggest is to write what she or he observes. To observe means to see. Use your eyes and your heart to see what is happening around you. Each and every moment in your life is interesting if you don’t miss it and you give time to reflect for yourself. It is always interesting to write it down. It always gives you a lesson to learn, if you are ready and open enough to learn. Lesson from life doesn’t have its own timing like in a school. It may come any time. So be always ready for what life is going to teach you through your observation. You are the student and life is your teacher.
This is what I observed last week when I was on a train. It was 8 hours trip. I was sitting in the aisle. An Indian family blocked the 3 double-seats, two in front of me and one on my left. They were going on a family trip. They were with three boys. The 3 boys were very special to me. The youngest one was only 3 years old, very sweet with his curly long hair, looked more like a girl. They looked more alike with the mom than the dad. All of them had smiling happy faces, especially the mother. I noticed that they looked very happy during the 8 hours trip. They enjoyed the trip. Unlike any other children who ussually become cranky for some times and start teasing one another. They looked very happy and very peaceful. “This is a happy family” I said in my heart. I enjoyed seeing them, especially the kids.
Finally I said to the mother “Your boys are very special. They look so happy.” She said: “Because they love train” Hearing this from the mother, the second boy said : “I love boat too.” This made me smile.
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.
I remember I was sharing a taxi with four people on our way back from a program. The program was a big one, attended by many people from different countries with variety of languages. We could not know everyone in the program, because it was too big. The program was organized so well. Everything was very well-organized, including our transport. When I booked the taxi for my return journey at the transport department, I didn’t know whom I would share the taxi with.
An old lady was sitting in the front row next to the driver, and in the middle row there were one young man from Russia and two middle-aged men from France. I was sitting at the back row with our luggages. The space was very small and the luggages were piled up. It was a 4 hour journey. How would you enjoy a 4 hour trip with people you don’t know? What I did was listening music. Music really helps to enjoy the trip. I am always ready with some music in my smartphone and an earphone for a trip. I think music has the power to change our mood into positive one, quite instantly. Some times I had a conversation with the passengers who were sitting in the middle row. We talked about the weather, the journey to our home countries, our flight etc.. A general topic.
We stopped for a toilet in the middle of the trip. Everybody got down from the taxi. There, when I had the opportunity to talk to the old lady who was sitting in the front row. I was so amazed about her. She was 80 years old, traveling alone. She is from Colombia. She didn’t speak English, but I think she could understand a little. She could respond simple questions like ‘Where are you from? What time is your flight?’ We talked and shared on how much we enjoyed the program we just attended. I talked mostly. While talking to her I could see the light on her eyes, shining very brightly. The happiness inside was reflected on her face through the eyes. it was just so obvious.
I said to myself “This is what is called inner beauty.” The beauty of the soul that is coming from the heart of an old lady. The more permanent beauty. Not the beauty because of the cosmetics. Cosmetics only brings beauty on the skin, not the heart.
I still remember the lady’s name was Gloria Carmago.
My friend wanted to introduce me to her long time good friend. It was interesting, she said : “I am sure you will like her. She is a feminist.” I said to her that I was not a feminist. And she quickly clarified : “No,no, I mean that you might get an inspiration to write through meeting and talking with her.”
I think she is right. I get an inspiration to write in my journal book or in this blog mostly after meeting and talking with people. So I always love to meet people – new people, long time contacts or strangers. It is always interesting to talk with them. I believe that each one has hidden amazing things that we do not know until they are talking with us.
I always remind myself that anyone I meet always has something I could learn from. And I never miss the lesson.