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?
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.
Everyone wants to become creative. To become creative means to keep creating an idea and executing the idea. To be creative you need to have an open mind, a mind that is open to new ideas. Not a closed mind. An open mind is more accepting. An open mind finishes worries and fears inside. It is liberating. It is courageous. Life keeps changing and you need to cope with the change, unless you will be left behind. Life keeps moving, you need to move with it. Life keeps flowing, you need to go with its flow. Life is never static. You need the power to adapt yourself for this. This is a power that you need to develop from within.
How do you make yourself stay open-minded and creative? I think you need to make friend with the younger generations. Talk to them more. Listen to them more. They are very creative. They will bring newness into your creative process inside your head. Many are fast learners, especially in digital technology. You need to be humble in front of them. Learn from them. Keep this spirit of a learner inside you, this spirit will keep seeking and creating new things.
I have a very good friend who is an expert in computer, she is in fact a web designer. This weekend I have an online workshop. I have to prepare a presentation for this workshop. I realize that I am not very good at digital stuff, like downloading video, converting the file and sharing it on a presentation. I knew whom to ask. So I begged her time for a meet up. She is a really kind-hearted person. She taught me everything I needed to know from her. She is not only very good at computer but she is also very good at teaching. Very patient.
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.
My friend who is from Suriname only moved to this city last year. She said to me that she only heard the noise of the traffic from her apartment where she lives in. She never heard birds chirping. Many birds might have moved away from the city. In fact, we do not live really far from each other. I said to her that every morning I still could enjoy birds chirping from the roof top. She might just not be aware of it. The next morning she texted to me excitedly that she heard rooster making a morning wake up call. She was so amazed and asked herself if it was always doing it everyday, but she just didn’t hear it. Because the awareness was not there, so the rooster didn’t seem to exist to her.
She wrote this: “I am just having a break from my work and sitting on my sofa and I hear birds chirping. So sweet.”
This covid-19 has brought new awarness in many of us. Being more aware of what is around us including what is in the nature. Everything might be the same, but because there is no awarness, they do not seem to exist to us. They are too small compared to our focus in our day-to-day life. We miss to enjoy and appreciate their existence. To be mindful is to be aware. Being aware is being in the now.
What do you learn from this coronavirus outbreak? If you are infected by this virus, I am sure that you learn a lot while you are going through your medication and treatment. Whether we are infected or not, we have to deal with our fear and worries caused by this virus. The virus is very tiny and invisible yet it scares everyone. It has creates worries and fear in everyone.
It definitely teaches us something. We might have to make a shift in our life, in physical level, mental level or spiritual level. We might realise some truth. Coronavirus might have become our teacher, the hardest one. We are all students. This might be one of the hardest lessons these days. Noone can escape from this lesson. You need to pay a full attention to the teacher. Listen to the teacher very well. Undertsand what the teacher is trying to teach. Don’t be afraid while taking the lesson. Be alert but don’t be afraid. Stay calm.
Someone shared to me a really good piece below. We do not know who has written it.
We fell asleep in one world and woke up in another.
Suddenly Disney is out of magic,
Paris is no longer romantic,
New York doesn’t stand up anymore,
the Chinese wall is longer a fortress,
and Mecca is empty.
Hugs & kisses suddenly become weapons,
and not visiting parents & friends becomes an act of love.
Suddenly you realize that power, beauty & money are worthless,
and can’t get you oxygen you’re fighting for.
The world continues its life and it is beautiful.
It only puts humans in cages.
I think it’s sending us a message: “You are not necessary.
The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine.
When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.”
A Japanese friend sent me a picture of Sakura blossom he took from his place last week. Another friend sent me a picture of the blue sky she took from the backyard of her house. The other evening I enjoyed the moon shining in the clear sky from a roof top. Very high. Very quiet. This morning I still could hear the birds singing. Nothing changes in the universe. Everything remains the same. What we might need to do is to pause for a moment, see around and listen. We might have become too busy and forgoten to stop and reflect what the universe tries to show us. We might forget to realize that we are here for a temporary period, that we will go back. It might be not very long from now.
Each one of us is a decision maker. Everyday we make countless decisions. We decide what time to get up from bed, what first thing to do after getting up, what to have for our breakfast, what clothes to wear that day, which color of shoes, what time to leave home, whom to meet that day, what to talk, what to think ….etc. We always have choices in our decision making. At least two choices for each decision we make. The choices often become distraction in our mind. The more the choices, the longer we can decide. You might notice that among those choices are meaningless in front of our life goal. They don’t give an impact to our future. In every decision making everyone wants to make accurate one and quick one, so time and energy of thought are saved. For this, reduce making meaningless decision, don’t get distracted easily.
A few weeks ago I wanted to buy a high quality and comfortable pair of shoes. I went to a shopping mall with a friend. I had in my mind the brand and the color of the shoes. Black. Classic one. We went straight to the section of the brand and I quickly got what I wanted. A very quick decision making. My friend said that I should buy another color for a variety reason. I kept hearing from her ‘This one is so cute’. And I kept saying ‘no’ in my mind. It was like an internal battle in my head whether to stick to my choice or to follow her suggestion. I think I won the battle. 😊
Reduce making meaningless decisions. Be very clear with what matters in your life. Remind yourself again and again what you really want in life. In this way you will stay focused on your goal and not easily get distracted.
“I am the captain of my soul”. You might have heard this many times. I think it was said by the late Nelson Mandela. It is a very good quote. What does this quote mean for you? How to become the captain of the soul?
To become the captain means to lead the soul. You need to know what the soul is, only then you can lead the soul. What is soul? Soul is you, the living being in your body. The soul is not the body, but the spirit living in the body. It is in your head. Someone said to me that the soul is in the middle of the forehead. We can not see our soul because it is not physical. Our physical eyes can only see what is physical. Soul is a form of energy. Some say that a soul is a point of light. Very subtle but you can feel its existence. You can feel your existence, do you?
What is in the soul? Mind, intellect and heart. Know your mind and know how it works. It creates thoughts. Know your intellect. Intellect is said to be the eye of the soul. Some call it as the third eye. The eye is for seeing. What does this third eye see? The true and the untrue. It is the intellect that can discern between truth and falsehood. The wisdom is created by this intellect through churning the thought. To churn is to think deeply, then it becomes an experience. It then creates feeling accordingly. You keep that feeling or that experience in your heart. The three (mind, intellect and heart) are in fact in one. It is one with 3 different functions.
So how to become the leader of the soul? Understand the process of creating, churning and experiencing – thought, feeling and wisdom. Take a lead in each process. To take a lead means to be aware. This is internal awareness. This is self-awareness. How much do you need to develop this self-awareness? You have your own answer. I leave it to each one of you.
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.”