March 29 – Utilize your talent

We are all different and unique. In the same way,  each one of us has a talent and a unique way to express themselves and make a difference! Sometimes we tend to dwell too much on the things we have to do and not on the things that we want to do and feel like doing. But doing what we like gives the energy to do all the other things, makes us see the good in life and to enjoy it to the fullest. Not all of us have a profession that is also their hobby. But all of us can make active steps towards investing in their hobby and talents and getting the best of it. the return from it might not necessarily be financial but much more valuable- improved way of living and feeling of connection with yourself. So how about giving it a try? 🙂

No comments yet

March 28 – Be gracious

 

Today I came across an article in Esquire magazine on the importance of being gracious:

“When wandering the world, forget your business cards. Don’t look for more contacts. Instead, observe. Say hello to the people you see every day, but don’t make a fetish out of it. Stay interested in others. Be generous in your attentions but not showy. Don’t wink, snap your fingers, high-five, or shout, though laugh with those who do. It bears repeating: Look around. Remember names. Remember where people were born.”

Graciousness was brought up in a business context as an alternative to pushy and show-offish networking techniques.

It made me ask myself -Do we really live in a world where we need to remind ourselves to laugh with those who do it and remember names? Would we really not do this unless we read an article that highlights the benefits of adopting such a behavior?

I believe that it is in our nature to be light and gracious, to smile and laugh and to genuinely care about others. We do forget about it sometimes and we don`t do it for larger periods of time we “unlearn”. It is not difficult to forget especially in periods when we are surrounded by negativity. 

But it a matter of practice to remind ourselves and become gracious again. Because it is who we are.  

No comments yet

March 27- Rule Number 6: Don`t take yourself too seriously

Today hasn`t been the best day for me – frustrations were coming one after another and slowly building up to reach a tipping point in the late afternoon.

But sometimes not everything goes in the wrong direction and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily I saw the light during an insightful discussion with my meditation teacher who shared a great story with me:

Two Prime ministers were sitting in a room discussing affairs of state.  Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and baning his fist on the desk.  The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he says, “kindly remember Rule Number 6,” whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws.  The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying.  Again the intruder is greeted with the words: “Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.”  Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology.  When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague:  “My dear friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this.  Would you be willing to share with me the secret of this Rule Number 6?”  “Very simple,” replies the resident prime minister.  “Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so damn seriously.’”  “Ah,” says his visitor, “that is a fine rule.”  After a moment of pondering, he inquires, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?” … “There aren’t any.”

I did some research and found out that this story was written by Benjamin Zander, who is also the author of the “Art of possibility” book.

Focused on our To – Do lists and daily frustrations we often forget to take it easy and also not to take things (including ourselves!) too seriously.  Just breathing and relaxing, or even seeing ourselves in a comical light (as a funny cartoon character for instance), can make us less uptight and stressed out and more opened  and centered.

Let`s all try to practice Role Number 6 this week and be lighter and more playful!

No comments yet

March 25 – About loving life

I’ve written before about the art of loving and embracing life (more about it here) that I deeply admire. I recently had another inspirational example of this. It was my 92-year-old neighbor that I met in the elevator and who complimented me on my outfit (the funny coincidence was that I was also super impressed by her classy look). She also invited me for coffee in her house. I couldn’t make it, but promised to go the next day. 

The day after I bought flowers and knocked on the door. She was dressed in a classy black and white dress and was wearing only one shoe. She told me a few months ago she had a stroke as a result of which her left side was very weak so she needed extra stability on the right side. That is why she wore her right shoe in the house as well.

As a result of the stroke she couldn’t do much on her own- not even dress herself, nor cook so she had help in the morning and evening. There was the option to move to a home but she wanted to stay at her own home (which she was happy to pass to her grandson after she is gone).

She told me that she used to work as a model and showed me her collection of Vogue magazines that her daughter in law was buying for her.

She was string and beautiful, and supremely inspiring in two ways. First, I was deeply moved by her acceptance of the situation as well as her dignity and gratitude for still being able to live as independently as possible.

 

And second- her appetite for life despite the fact that her body was failing her. She was a practical example of our reality in which our impermanent bodies are hosting our impermanent spirits. So strong, so simple and so beautiful. 

 

 

No comments yet

March 24 – About making lemonade

I recently had a very good learning experience with a close friend who asked me to accompany her to the doctor as she needed to undergo an important and very unpleasant medical test. I really wanted to go and support her, so I took time off my work and made sure i am on time. To my biggest surprise she overslept and couldn’t make it.

 So there I was, sitting at the hospital reception at 9 A.M. and feeling supremely frustrated. How could she do that to me?  I made such a big effort and what? It all went to vain? 

 After continuously asking these questions i got two revelations. First, in my discontent i was really focused on myself and not on her. The truth was that my ego was hurt and it was screaming “Me, me, me!”. But the fact was that I did what I did to help her and not to put myself on a pedestal. So in the end there was nothing to be angry about because I made it as per my commitment. Being frustrated suddenly became a pointless and selfish exercise in which I didn’t want to engage any more.

 And second- I had half a day off, so why wouldn’t I try to make the best out of it. In the end when life gives you lemons the best you can do is to make a lemonade. Eventually I had one of my best walks for this year and after which I was much more refreshed and focused than if I had stayed at the hospital.

 Each experience is what you make out of. Nothing less and nothing more. That’s the beauty of life and also its biggest challenge

 

 

No comments yet

March 23 – The artists in us

A few days ago I got to know more about the incredible Salvador Dali, his life, eccentrics and artistic genius. His quote above made a big impression on me as I think it describes the essence or art very well. It also illustrates the fact that art can have many shapes and forms, but one sole purpose – to illuminate our lives and inspire us to create.  And in that sense, we all have the capacity to become artists. Just how wonderful and empowering is that!

No comments yet

March 22 – About perseverance


I recently visited the Banksi exibition at the Moco museum in Amsterdam and was greatly inspired by the philosophy and work of this artist about whom I didn’t know much before my visit. Today’s inspiration is a quote from Banksi which is something that I deeply believe in- winning in its essence is an individual accomplishment. It is about personal mastery and growth that can only be achieved through perseverance despite failings and setbacks. Every failure can be a lesson when there is perseverance and positivity. So dream on and keep on following your dreams! 

No comments yet