Will This Day Matter In 5 Years?


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No, this day will not matter in five years, absolutely not! Every time I experience the feeling of loss in my life, I force myself to believe this. Loss can be cruel, it breaks your heart and it can hurt like hell!

Loss, what does it mean? The dictionary defines loss as the fact or process of losing something or someone. According to Buddha, a human being experiences four kinds of suffering: old age, sickness, loss and death. When we experience any one of the four, it becomes very real and it is something we cannot ignore. We cannot go around these four…we have to experience or face it one day.

Last year I experienced sickness and lately only losses. Each time with a harder, tougher lesson to learn from our impermanent world. An interesting quote from Buddha: “Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all. 

Yesterday after I lost my precious iphone and macbook, I sat down with a nice cup of coffee and ‘rested’ in what happened. Thoughts of disappointment, loss of beautiful memories and that aching pain of its-so-unfair made me burst into tears a few times. After I let it all out, I realized that despite of my losses and of what happened the last two years, I am still alive! I am still going, going strong and it could have been much worse. So with a smile I finished my (now cold) coffee, I asked that silly old question: “Will this day matter in five years?”….mmm….easy answer I guess 🙂

 

Are You Holding Something That You Need To Let Go?

Letting go means letting go, right? So then let go…or not?  Why holding onto things that make us unhappy anyway? It’s a subtle, clinging energy that is controlling us, yet we think we are in control.

I took on the challenge of letting things go and made myself a sacred space, lit a candle, played gentle music and there I was ready to start my little ceremony .

Boy oh boy, was I ready for a ‘bumpy’ ride! So slowly my heart opened and a rush of emotions swept over me, mainly compassion, disappointment, hurt and sadness.  The tears rolled down my cheeks and as the time went by I realized that not one of them shared the emotion happiness…’why do I hang onto them and for so long?’

I then repeated, “Today I am letting go of everything that keeps me stuck in life and all those things that do not serve me anymore. I let it go, and as I let it go…I forgive others and myself. I release this pain with love and make space for new beginnings of joy and happiness. I take control of my own life and my own happiness. Thank you!”

I started doing this in 2010 and ever since I feel lighter in my life, with my friends, with those who have hurt me and I hold no grudge against anyone or myself. I know sometimes we all do things without thinking or our intentions are perceived in a different way. Letting go means I am freeing myself from stuff that might one day show its face as a disease or any other uncomfortable situation!

After all, life is precious and should be lived to the fullest!

If You Chase Two Rabbits, You Will Lose Them Both

An old Native American quote: “If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.”

Focus on only one thing at a time. You cannot hunt and shoot two rabbits at the same time. Rabbits will run around purposely just to distract you from each other. A survival skill. If you go for one rabbit, the probability are greater. Focussing on one task, the chances are you will finish it quicker and get better results. 

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While researching on the topic, it dawned on me: I was one of those ‘hunters’ who multitasked! I thought I was a good multi-tasker, being a mom and all… I was wrong! No wonder I experienced stress and was still fighting a low immune…

It is impossible to do two things at the same time. The issue lies in the absorption of the actual task experience. When you do two things at once, your senses interfere with each other, creating a feeling of confusion and stress (adrenalin). Your body creates that same thing those rabbits did, as it is under the impression of flight or fight. Using this mode too often can lead to stress and other unpleasant conditions. At the end, you might have done your activity, but the experience itself will be less absorbed in your mind. And your life might feel like an exhaustion blur of unappreciation.

Why not try doing two things at once but separately by taking a 2 minute break in between. You will focus on that specific task until break time. Afterwards continue with the next task. You can repeat this until you’ve finished.  One thing to note is today’s technology creates convenience and there are many App’s we can use. Try the Reminder App , its easier to divide your priorities and allocate your time.

Multi-tasking is something from the past. It contributes to stress, a short life and unnecessary, unaffordable mistakes.

Cultivate Peace of Mind

peaceful buddha

During my travels in Thailand, I came across this wonderful article on cultivating a peaceful mind.

Its called: HAPPY ON THE GO! 

1. Set aside time for exercise to lower your stress. Make it short, everyday with one day rest per week.

2. Allow yourself time for your favorite activities and hobbies. Listening to music, watching movies, reading, shopping, playing, etc.

3. Have a balanced, nutritious diet. Add more fruit and vegetables and cut down on the bread.

4. Ensure you have enough sleep! Try this: Sleep without an alarm clock for a few nights, and see how many hours your body craves. Once you are clear on the amount of hours, use that amount of hours to sleep every night!

5. Avoid coffee and tea that contain caffeine. Or cut down to at least to 1 cup a day in the morning only. You will enjoy it so much!

6. Take an afternoon nap! 15 to 20 minutes is all you need. Or just relax and feel your body become one with the chair or sofa, focussing on each part of your relaxed body (start with your feet and move upwards)

7. Give your office or home a makeover. Clean out unnecessary things. Your bedroom is your sanctuary. Keep things organized and neat. Your mind will follow!

8. Switch off! Turn off your phones, your emails, etc. Just knowing you are unreachable, gives you peace of mind.

9. Avoid stressful activities, people, environment, etc until you are strong enough.

If you have any more ideas, please feel free to comment 🙂

Why Am I So Stressed Out!

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Stress affects us all. Today I was victim of this uncomfortable emotion that drove me totally insane! All I wanted to do was to finish my work but unfortunately stress found its way into my system and confronted me with a tough lesson. At the end, I was so unproductive except for writing this post! 😉

Why do we stress? Stress is a small word that causes a lot of problems for so many. After my experience with stress (so far my entire postgraduate year!) I have to share with you that I am not managing stress very well. What is stress and why do we have it?

Apparently stress is necessary to survive in this life.  It can be a positive, negative or neutral experience. I found out that the key to handle stress lies in how we manage it when the feeling of stress comes our way.

Here are some interesting facts about stress: 

  • When you’re overwhelmed with too many things in your life or experiencing something out of the ordinary, stress is what you feel. 
  • Your body responds naturally as though you would be in danger (survival)
  • Your body experiences a release of hormones that makes your heart beats faster, you breathe faster and you get a boost of energy.  
  • The body’s response to stress is called the fight-or-flight mode. 

When it happens, this is what you can do:  (between brackets are my own examples) 

  • Acknowledge that you have stress (yes, about 8 out of 10!) 
  • Find out where it comes from (university and personal) 
  • Write it down and get a clear picture of your situation (thesis and assignment deadlines and my housework) 
  • Prioritize your situation and manage your time by using a time-table for that specific period (weekly timetable done for August with checklists) 
  • Find better ways to cope with situations like to call on support if you need to. (asked my mom and friend to support me with my housework and lighter projects)  
  • Learn from your past and make positive changes for your future. (saying no to social commitments!)
  • Go for a massage, meditate or have a relaxing weekend away in the country. (celebrate my achievements and make time for the most important person in my life…me!) 

I already booked that massage for next week and I am feeling better already! I hope you do too 😉

Why Am I Feeling So Sad… :-(

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My post ‘Cry” from a few months ago inspired me to write this blog. I noticed that ‘Cry’ receives the most hits per month. Sadness affects so many people and they are out there searching for help.

Please note that this post is based on my personal experience with emotions. If you are experiencing trauma, anger, severe depression please do seek professional help immediately. I hope and pray that my perception of emotions can bring you some kind of relief, heal your heart and strengthen your wellbeing. May it support you and offer you light on your beautiful path called life…..

Lets take a look at what is going on when you are feeling sad:  You feel depressed, empty, it hurts, you feel rejected, sore and ugly but most of all you feel terribly lonely.

Well, first of all what you are experiencing is completely normal and natural. Feeling sad is the opposite emotion of feeling good. Sadness is the other side of the nice life. Call it what you may, it is there and is now part of you. The first thing is to accept that you feel like shit! 

The next thing is to know that like all things in life, our emotions are coming and going. It is constantly changing and you will feel different at some stage but for now…..you are feeling sad. The next question: ‘What do you do now with this horrible feeling?’ …..You simply feel it!

Yes, that is what you do. Feel it, go into and dive into it without thinking.Make sure when you feel this emotion that you have space, the right support and enough time. Open yourself up and give yourself the chance to really feel it. Go on and feel it!!

There is one thing you must never do: “Never make a decision when you are ‘inside’ an emotion, especially if you feel it very strong like anger. You can hurt yourself and others. It is not possible to make conscious choices under a strong emotion’s influence.”

It may take a few minutes, it may take a day….even a year! It depends how strong the emotion’s imprint is in your heart. Let it out, otherwise you’re faced with it again in the future…it normally shows itself as a disease, a failure or a row of negative results in your life.

Open your heart to your sadness and welcome it. Don’t be afraid, breath into it and be proud of yourself for being able to feel. Once you feel balanced and stronger, then allow yourself to make the healthy choices. Feeling is what makes us human. Any kind of emotion has its role, it is there for a reason. Don’t push it away, oppress it, abuse it or go against it. Take it on, learn from it and enjoy the lesson.

All our obstacles in life are hidden opportunities for us to grow and transform to the better.

Flexing Your Muscles

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Being in good shape doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. Everyone wants to look good and turn heads. Some will do the extraordinary lengths to achieve this. Start dieting or start exercising is the most common way to build a better body. Today many also turn to aesthetic procedures to get that desired look.

What people should realise is that a good workout is not going to get them physically healthy and fit. They should rather maintain good health or first become physically fit.

To be physical fit means the ability to function effectively throughout the day and perform daily activities well. It only requires five factors:

1. Cardio-respiratory endurance

2. Muscular strength

3. Muscular endurance

4. Muscular flexibility

5. Body composition: ratio of body fat-to-lean muscle mass

Basically if you can go about your daily activities without feeling exhausted, you may be physically fit to start exercising! So now you are healthy to exercise, what next:

1. Get the right diet! Protein is key to building muscle. 50% protein, 30% fat (healthy ones! and 20% carbohydrates.

2. Pumping iron! Repair and rebuild your muscle (2 to 4 repetitions of 10 and you will see results within 3 months if practiced 3-4 times per week)

3. Be wise! Have a goal at the end of you training with a reward. Do it for yourself, it is your life and it is your body. One body in this lifetime: enjoy it and give it only the best.

A wise friend of mine told me: ”Bless your food, drink and everything you put into your body as it becomes one with you!’

 

Natural Relief

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For effective remedies for some conditions, look no further than your kitchen herb garden. Natural relief has deep roots in traditional wisdom and are recapturing the public’s attention. To such an extent, that mainstream drug manufactures are jumping on the wagon with a stream of new herbal medicines on market shelves everywhere.

Natural remedies maybe less effective in killing germs and bacteria, but they are superior in term of restoring immunity, helping the body to regain strength and overcome illnesses.

Here are a few examples: 

1. Boosting the immune system: 

A daily dose of Echinacea can strengthen the immune system drastically. A few other herbs and supplements which may help in this regard are chamomile, Siberian ginseng, wild indigo, goldenseal, stinging nettle, rosehip, rosemary, peppermint and thuja.

2. High blood pressure: 

Apple cider vinegar, garlic and cayenne pepper and celery are excellent herbs and remedies.

3. Cancer treatments:

These are cabbage, mustard seeds and turnips.  Broccoli reverses breast cancer and carrots help reverse lung cancer. Ginger, onions and garlic shrink tumors throughout the body. Broccoli offers a vast array of cancer-fighting compounds, including antiangiogenesis phytochemicals that help “starve” tumors so they die, all without harming healthy cells.

4. Muscle and joint pain 

Chilli and capsicums support healthy joints. Devil’s Claw, Glucosamine and Boswellia help to support healthy, mobile joints and muscles and keep them moving freely. Essential oils such as Peppermint, Pine and Ginger essential oils promotes circulation, soothes sore muscles and joints and promotes faster healing.

5. Gastrointestinal Illnesses 

Herbs such as Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile) and Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet) support ongoing health in the entire digestive system and stomach lining and act as a tonic and a soothing remedy. You can also use basil, ginger, turmeric and even ripe papaya.

*Natural remedies are an example of the perfection that nature has given us to survive on this planet. It is there for the taking and is less expensive, works with the body and has been there for centuries 🙂

Age is Just a Number

Just because we are getting older, doesn’t mean we have to look old as well….I am sure you have heard this before. On my 30th birthday I became down right anxious and very much aware of my age.

Over the months, I learned that a youthful appearance has little to do with age. A woman can keep her youthfulness even in her 40’s just by staying out of harsh sunlight, avoiding stress, cigarettes, eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep. Age is a process of change and measured chronologically. A person’s birthday is often an important event and is in direct relation to the ageing process. I personally do not agree with the latter. However the term “ageing” is somewhat ambiguous. As for myself, I commit to living a healthy, happy lifestyle with balance and moderation and of course all in acceptance of my age.

Ageing is part of being human. It does not mean you should place each person in an ‘ageing box’. I feel 50 sometimes, look sometimes 28 and act sometimes like a 5 year old!  At the end it is just a number anyway and we are as old as we feel and look.

So please embrace your age, stop judging and give each person a chance, no matter what or who he is and enjoy your ageing process 😉

Feelings Follow Behaviour

What kind of life do you want..? You have this choice, everyone does. No matter how rich or poor, we all have this choice.
When we were babies our parents/surrogates nurtured and loved us and this was the birth of our emotions. Growing up as fearless toddlers expressing ourselves freely and publicly. We were told to behave in certain ways, and sometimes even slapped or scolded if we disobeyed. We learned our parents/surrogates’ emotional patterns, whether positive or negative and made our way into this world: ‘beautifully conditioned by our parents.’
We should understand that our parents/surrogates taught us what they knew and showed us their own conditioned experiences. They did not know better and continued these inherited patterns subconsciously. Whether we told ourselves we will be like thembetter than them or completely different to them, the truth is these learned emotional behaviours control us like windup wooden dolls. Unless we learn our own new emotional behavioural patterns, we will never be free.
How do we learn new behaviour?
By understanding these old behavioural patterns we then have the awareness of how to get rid of them. Once we are rid of them, we can then learn new ones by creating new behavioural patterns. Emotions and feelings follow behaviour which follow results.
Check out what life you want to live, create that life by being conscious and aware of your behaviour and in touch with your own feelings and emotions. You can attend courses that deal with these kind of issues such as the Hoffman Process that I highly recommend and completed myself: www.hoffmanprocess.co.uk