Today I`m keeping it simple with a favorite quote by The Dalai Lama!
Today I`m keeping it simple with a favorite quote by The Dalai Lama!
Being present is a present on its own – actually one of the biggest presents that we can give to the ones that we love.
But sometimes, and we have all been there – there is a friend who needs a favor, but on that day and time you need to go to work, there is another plan and the most intuitive answer would be “I can`t make it.Sorry!”.
I have been in a similar situation years ago, this time on the receiving side- I was abroad on a student trip and needed to urgently go to a hospital, but it happened that all the people around me had important plans that they could not come with me. No need to tell you how that felt.
I`ve afterwards decided that the best way to make a difference is to learn from the experience and not to be like this and I`ve tried to stick to it even when I have plans, I am busy and seemingly nothing can be done. This is how today went – instead of following the plan that I`ve made I chose to spend time with a dear friend who needed my presence.
Being present does not discriminate between weekends and weekdays. Between having the time or not. Being present allows us to exercise an important power that we have- the power of choosing to breaking the circle of plans and obligations and making time for what matters.
My favorite tea brand is Yogi Tea. They have a great variety of herbal teas and also came up with the brilliant idea to write small inspirational messages on each tea bag.
My message for today is “Happiness is an accomplishment”. This reminded me of a talk by the Indian new age guru Osho that I listened to a few months ago that made a big impression on me. He was reflecting upon the attention that “unhappy” people receive and how it is a lot more that what happy people get.
Think about it. If your friends ask you how you are doing and you simply answer “Great”- you are not going to be asked many further questions. But if your answer is “I`m feeling miserable”- there will surely be much more interest towards you and your situation, and the conversation will evolve around you much more than in the previous case.
According to Osho, because of our attention-seeking egos, we would be much more inclined towards unhappiness for two main reasons:
Of course, that does not apply to everyone and generalizing is not the point. The point is for us to think it over and to understand that the only person that can make you happy is yourself. And from that perspective happiness is really an accomplishment and something in which we should take pride when we get there 🙂
It is not just artists that need creativity and inspiration, it is something that`s essential for all of us. It might come as a surprise, but it is an actual fact- creativity has been scientifically recognized as a prerequisite for a healthy mental state and flourishing life.
But very often it doesn`t come some naturally and is not there in the moments we need it. So how do we find it? This is a something that I`m reflecting upon quite often and I can share three observations:
With that being said- I am wishing you and myself a creative and inspired week ahead!
In our pragmatic world we are often doing things because they make sense, have a good return of whatever we invested in them and are perceived well by others. But very often these exact same things don`t resonate with our hearts and we are left with a nagging feeling that something is not how it is supposed to be.
I truly believe we should go after what brings us joy, animates our souls and give us a feeling of self-fulfillment even when there is no apparent logical reason behind it.
The idea of the blog came very spontaneously one night during my stay in an Ayurvedic center in India. I had a strong feeling that I had to do something and express myself, my thoughts and also to share my pictures. It is still difficult to explain from a rational perspective why I am doing it. But what I know for sure is that the joy that I get out of it tops so many other things that I do, that I just know in my heart that it is the right thing for me.
I am sure everybody has a dormant dream, a vision, an area that they are drawn to explore. It is really not about the outcome, but about the process of enjoying and feeling alive.
It also doesn`t need to be something big. Just something that energizes you. Like going for a walk if you like nature. Or finding a baby goat and spending time with it if you are fond of baby goats. Or just cooking your favorite meal. Just go for it!
If at the start of my career someone told me that a few years afterwards I would be doing what I`m currently doing I would had never believed them. Looking back, I can say that my career development has been an interesting sequence of, at first sight, almost impossible career moves across quite unrelated departments. It is a field where I’ve tried to act following my intuition rather than thinking pragmatically, which I believe had paid off greatly.
This interesting journey has been enabled by one factor – people. It was the kind-hearted and humane people that I’ve met and with whom I`ve shared my story that gave me tips, introduced me to more people, supported me and inspired me to make it happen. Some people would say- you made it all yourself. But no man is an island. We all need support.
I spoke to one of these people today and expressed my gratitude for yet another time. She is a very humble person who is not comfortable with too much praise. But she played a big role in changing my career direction at a critical point. And I will always be grateful.
So when someone reaches out for help – give a helping hand. It could be you that could change their life. Wouldn’t that be an amazing accomplishment?
A life changing encounter that I had in 2016 was with Brahma Kumaris, a spiritual movement which philosophy evolves around the idea that we are beings of energy and our true essence lies in our souls. Brahma Kumaris teaches us that all souls are intrinsically good and have certain qualities and powers that we can cultivate through awareness and meditation.
I did an introductory meditation course in their center in Amsterdam and I found their approach to life reflective, thought-provoking and very peaceful, which encouraged me to attend the follow up weekly classes.
Recently I also bought from their Amsterdam center a calendar with inspirational messages (which btw is a great gift idea!). The message of today that I want to share with you is:
“By seeing life as a game, your lightness of spirit will make problems easier”
Reading it this morning reminded me that being light and playful is something that I definitely I want to cultivate further going forward. I guess it goes naturally for some people to be lighter than others. And then for the rest of us, it is a matter of regularly reminding ourselves that life is not so serious and stressing out about all sort of stuff (especially those things beyond our control) doesn`t make any sense.
Because, as Michael Singer brilliantly puts it in his great book “The Untethered Soul”:
“You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You’re going to die anyway. Things are going to happen anyway. Why shouldn’t you be happy?”
May us all have a light day and enjoy the ride!
When starting the “Stay true and inspired” series I was energized to build momentum and also to discipline myself to post every day. My frustration with the server crash that has made the webpage inaccessible for the last few days was beyond words – “Nothing like this has happened since I started the blog. Why now!?”
Well. It happens. And experiencing it made me realize something very important- it just doesn’t make any sense to brag about it and to let it stop me from following my plan. What makes sense is to think of solutions. And here it is – sharing my posts in Facebook works perfectly fine for the time being.
There are things to worry about and things to let go. The ones which we can`t control belong to the second category. It`s like a mental garbage bin where you through your mental trash. My lesson and inspiration for today is to practice throwing the wasteful worried thoughts in the bin and focus on the solutions.
Today a very dear friend of mine reminded me of an important truth- that distance doesn’t matter when the roots of the relationship are strong enough. Sometimes keeping the roots strong happens more naturally than other times. It is up to us to stay connected to our dear ones so our friendships grow strong and sustain the challenges of distance and time zones!
Today during my yoga class I felt quite tired and went into a resting pose while others were diligently following the sequence of their sun salutations. That attracted the teacher’s attention and he made a joke about me having enough of the class. It was meant as a friendly remark; nevertheless a part of me felt pressurized to end my break and resume the sequence. But another, more self-caring part took charge, so I looked at him, smiled and said “I am definitely not done yet, but right now I`m just gonna enjoy my break” after which I rested for a few more minutes.
Soon after I came back home I came across a video in which Lady Gaga speaks at an Emotion Revolution summit about the importance of saying no where she shares “I started to say “No” to remember who I am. Now when I look at myself in the mirror I feel that I can go to bed with that person”.
I deeply believe that as hard as saying no can be (and this is one of my biggest challenges) it is essential to practice it in order to stay connected with myself and stay on my own path. It is true that we are constantly pulled into other people’s opinions, agendas, there are tons of things that simply “must” be done, but in the end – everybody is in charge of their choices and is free to make decisions for themselves. And we surely have the power to do it- we simply need to exercise it.