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 people get covid-19, they tend to be worried or panicked. In my case, I tried my best to stay calm. I understand the more I get worried, the worse my situation will become. And I will not be able to make a clear decision of what I need to do. So I choose to stay calm.
The question is then ‘How?’ I stopped reading and following the news of what was happening in the world, around me or the world out there. I didn’t want to know the news about covid-19 either. I thought if something happened in the world out there and I needed to know or it was related to me, then I would know it soon. But if I didn’t know it, it might not be related to me.
I stopped using almost all the social medias. Yes I still used my WhatsApps during that period, but only to communicate with some people whom I needed especially in dealing with Covid-19, or who needed me for a support or encouragement especially knowing some of my friends were also positive covid-19. We were then supporting one another. I don’t watch TV, since I don’t have one now.
In this way I could manage my mind to have very less thoughts. I only allowed positive and encouraging thoughts for myself and for others. And the thoughts were so powerful. The less thoughts you have, the more powerful they become.
Yesterday a friend who lives in Japan was telling me about the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. He said ‘Tokyo Olympics will be starting soon. Do you watch it?’ I smiled. I felt like I was reminded to the world sport event that is right now happening in Tokyo. So many people must have been waiting for this event.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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?
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.