Sunday, November 30, 2008

Looking Beyond Materialism.

Looking Beyond Materialism

Recently I had someone ask me whether there is any greater meaning in this world beyond just making money and living the high life. She said it seems the whole culture is just obsessed with becoming rich. And nobody really cares what we're here for or whether there is meaning in this existence.

Here's a little event that set me thinking: While I was in Borders bookstore, an old man sat down beside me and began to talk. He had kind eyes – a very dignified old man. Looking at him, I recognized a friend, even though we had never met. Norman shares with me some of his life experiences and I began to understand how a man of his age might see the world. Then I ask, "Norman, do you think that… at your age, you have achieved your purpose in life?"

"Well," he replies. "My life is in God's hands… I go where he takes me. But I can tell you this: The world today is too materialistic… no good… no good at all." Then he goes silent, as if in some sort of deep thought. His words echo in my mind. This is from someone who has lived seven decades more than I. So it really makes me wonder what we should value in life and where we should channel our energies.

Out of the entire world's population, most of us will never live the high life. That is reserved for the top 1% of rich and wealthy – about 60 million people. Let's not forget that the world has approximately 6 billion people, so there are another 5.9 billion who form our middle and lower class. Economists have discovered a problem: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, creating greater disparity between the haves and have-nots. World Bank reports show that many people do not have enough money to ensure a comfortable retirement, and that there is not enough funds stored in pension plans to cater for the aging baby-boomers.

In China, social trends like aging population, longer lifespan, and the one-child policy, predict disaster: Soon China will have less and less adults supporting more and more old people. Everyone will be clamouring to earn as much money as they can to pay for hospitals, day care, medication, treatments and more. The population is desperate to build wealth. The frustration is incredible – on one hand, they want to live the good life; on the other, their financial responsibilities are heavy, so they are denied the ideal lifestyle. This trend exists not only in China, but many first world countries with aging populations. So perhaps now it makes sense why everyone is obsessed with becoming rich.

So it looks like most of us will never get to see the yacht and mansion lifestyle of the rich and famous. However, I have an alternative view of life. When you look through the world through this point of view, you will never frustrate yourself about not making enough money. You will earn your money in a stress-free manner, which allows you to enjoy your life before it's over.

The truth is like this: Like infants who suckle on mothers' breasts, we expect Mother Earth to make us content; we expect God to fulfil our needs; we expect the world to be as we want it. When we awaken to the harsh reality of 'earning a living' and 'working to survive', then we see money as our only buffer against the pain of poverty – the key to having all that we want, the way to the luxuries and experiences which will bring us joy and contentment.

Without enough money, it feels like we are being denied all the nourishment and joy which was promised. So like mad dogs we enter the rat race, studying for 16 years then rushing out to the working world where we spend another 40 years climbing the corporate ladder, while raising a family at the same time. The whole world does this – every single person fortunate enough to go to school. So can you imagine every single human wanting to make money and hump each other's brains out? The futility of it!

The fundamental problem comes from doing things for the wrong reasons. Most people do not understand their inner desires. That which drives us to do what we do, is mostly animal instinct. The instinct to procreate, the drive to earn as much as we can – for example: to prove I'm a capable man worthy of procreating with. "Look, I can protect the children. Look, I can bring home the bacon. Look, I'm a sexy guy – I work out – good in bed!" So with this survival, mating, or animal instinct creating desire within us, we tell ourselves, "I must be rich! I must be good-looking! I must be better then them!" And all these 'musts' cause us much frustration, especially when we don't have deeper reasons for why we 'must be' something.

I don't mean that we should give up trying to self-actualize or become who we are meant to be… what I mean is that we should do it for the right reasons. Go beyond your survival and mating instinct and find real reasons for doing what you do. If you want to become rich, don't just do it to attract the opposite sex or because you like shopping, do it because you want to contribute to society in a great way; for the security of your family, or because you want to experience the world and money is the ticket. Know your reasons because they are the true driving force of our achievements. If you just do things out of sex or pleasure drive, soon you'll run out of steam because as you get older, procreating isn't important anymore. Look beyond pleasure and materialism.

In the material world, everything is death-bound, meaning that it will come to an end. Stars like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis died at the peak of their careers. They had everything – money, good looks, great career, fantastic house, boyfriends, and girlfriends – but in the end, it is all death-bound.

If you want true inner peace, then practice non-attachment. Realize that there is nothing you really have to do in this lifetime, only that which you want to. All the material objects and concerns that we chase are illusions which keep you trapped in a never-ending struggle and pursuit for more.

If you can understand that material luxuries and pleasures are all death-bound, then you can approach life in a different way. No longer will you sacrifice your life to chase the almighty dollar, but stop and consider what's your purpose and mission on Earth. For if everyone that's born on this planet just needs to earn enough money and hump each other's brains out, then that is a mundane existence indeed. There is something special for you to do in this world, in this lifetime. But it's not for me to tell… even if I tried, I can only suggest what it might be. Ultimately, you have to discover it for yourself.

So to answer the question set out at the beginning of this article: there is nothing wrong with wanting to make money, it's necessary for survival. However, it's important to look at what you're contributing your life towards. When you are old, like Norman, can you look back on all you've done and appreciate the contribution you've made? Beyond just making money and raising a family, can you say, "I've achieved my life's purpose"?

In a conversation with a friend yesterday, he asked a good question. He said, "What constitutes a life purpose?" I said, "Contribution – something you give to society or the world. Something you love. Something you are willing to suffer for. Something you will do even if no one pays you. That's a life purpose."


Reference:
December 9th, 2007 by Lance Ong

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Priceles Words..

PRICELESS WORDS

A husband wakes up at home with a huge hangover. He forces himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins and a glass of water on the side table.

He sits down and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed. He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotless, clean. So is the rest of the house.

He takes the aspirins and notices a note on the table. "Honey, breakfast is on the table, I left early to go grocery shopping. Love You!"

Totally shocked with the note , he goes to the kitchen and sure enough there is a hot breakfast and the morning newspaper.

His son is also at the table, eating. He asks, "Son, what happened last night?"

His son says, "Well, you came home around 3 AM, drunk and delirious. Broke some crockery, puked in the hall, and gave yourself a black eye when you stumbled into the door". Confused, the man asks, "So, why is everything in order and so clean, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me?

I should expect a big quarrel with her!"

His son replies, "Oh, that! Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your clothes n shoes off,
you said,


"LADY LEAVE ME ALONE! I'M MARRIED!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

These Are My Wishes For You.

May you find serenity and tranquility
in a world you may not always understand.

May the pain you have known
and the conflict you have experienced
give you the strength to walk through life
facing each new situation with courage and optimism.

Always know that there are those
whose love and understanding will always be there,
even when you feel most alone.

May a kind word,
a reassuring touch,
and a warm smile
be yours every day of your life,
and may you give these gifts
as well as receive them.

May the teachings of those you admire
become part of you,
so that you may call upon them.

Remember, those whose lives you have touched
and who have touched yours
are always a part of you,
even if the encounters were less than you would have wished.
It is the content of the encounter
that is more important than its form.

May you not become too concerned with material matters,
but instead place immeasurable value
on the goodness in your heart.
Find time in each day to see beauty and love
in the world around you.

Realize that what you feel you lack in one regard
you may be more than compensated for in another.
What you feel you lack in the present
may become one of your strengths in the future.
May you see your future as one filled with promise and possibility.
Learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience.

May you find enough inner strength
to determine your own worth by yourself,
and not be dependent
on another's judgment of your accomplishments.

May you always feel loved.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Real Meaning Of Peace

Meaning Of Peace

There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest - in perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?

"Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Power of Silence...

Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when you just ran out of words and you go...

S i l e n t ???
Let me assist you in recalling...

.... the moment when you left your home for the first time and you look

back at your parents who are worried that their son/daughter are

leaving them yet happy that their child took the first step towards

independence.


..... the moment when the girl/boy you like most.. smiled back at you!

You don't say anything.. you just smile back..


..... the moment when you get better marks than you expected... those

"numb" moments of ecstasy n surprise "is that true?"...


..... the moment when you are parting with your old friend(s) and the

train has just started... and you are standing on the door of the

wagon.. waving "bye-bye" with your heart beating fast...


... .. the moment after the HR manager has just called you and told

you,

"You are through! Congrats!"


..... the moment when you sit alone in your room after having told

everyone that you cleared that exam you prepared for 6 months!!


You can go on remembering your "special" moments!


I had always wondered why I never said anything to myself at those

moments.. as if it was "understood"... happiness, joy, pain.. all

feelings just flowed ceaselessly in the 'years' that passed in those

flash moments!


They say.. the best way to communicate is through "silence".

Love. Joy. Grief. Surprise. Anger. Hope. Expectations. Support.

Non-cooperation...

Can you imagine the importance of a silent moment in a song??

When Bryan Adams stops for a while along with music, before he goes

on in his husky voice...

..... Please forgive me. I can't stop loving you!


Ever had those moments when you thought you were tired enough that

you reach for your bed after dinner.. but find yourself wide awake

looking at the roof of your room silently...


But you sure are 'thinking'... those moments of self-talk are the

most important in our lives. Those moments when we listen to our own

hearts! Those promises... those decisions... those are the moments

when we make our destinies!


Next time you go silent... listen carefully to what your heart is

saying.. listen to its joy...listen to its pain.. listen to its

fears.. listen to its desires..

and Be in touch with your true self...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

GO BY YOUR INTUITION

When you take the time to learn about, understand and tap into your intuition, you will find that your decisions and actions are so much easier to make.

As you go through the decisions that you make in your daily life how much do you rely on your intuition? Do you feel focused and strong in the choices that you make? Or do you feel that you have to deliberate, analyse, weigh out pros and cons, get lots of opinions from friends or family and scare yourself into a decision? Maybe you are one to make a quick decision and then second guess it to the point that you undo what you believed in?

Well you are not alone! We all have had our rounds of confusion and analysis paralysis. The one conclusion is that logic alone does not work. And the answer is to learn how to use a tool that you were actually born with. That tool is your intuition. We hear the words ‘surrender’, ‘trust’ and ‘let go’ all the time. But what does that really mean? And what are we surrendering to? Our logic tells us this is dangerous. So our best attempts to let go last a few minutes and then we are back to trying to figure it all out!

Your intuition is comprised of the energetic senses that you were born with to assist you in staying connected to your higher or inner self. We can refer to that self as a number of names, Divine Guidance, God, The Universe etc. I refer to it as Spirit. But essentially it is all the same thing.

We are always connected to that power greater than our physical selves and that connection is our intuition. I have taught classes on Letting Go and while people have the best of intentions the thing that really holds them back is a lack of trust. That is because we do not understand the mystery of our intuition.

So here are five key points for you to consider that will hopefully help you get a better handle on the most powerful sense that you have.

1. Your intuition is your direct and absolute link to communication with Spirit.

2. Your intuitive senses lay over your physical senses. We get energetic or intuitive feelings through energetic sight (like deja vu), energetic hearing (you hear a small voice that gives you a warning or feels like a hunch to follow), energetic feeling (a gut feeling in your stomach that feels like butterflies or goose bumps) and energetic knowing (feeling like you just know how to do something or how a situation will turn out without learning or cause).

3. Everyone is born with intuition and has the ability to develop it to be strong and reliable.

4. Intuition is always the most efficient and accurate advice that you can get about any issue, concern or desire.

5. Our society encourages us to ignore our intuition and focus strictly on logic. We disengage from our energetic senses and end up feeling very confused, anxious and taking a very long slow road to happiness. Your intuition is always working whether you focus on it or not! When you harness the power of your intuition you are able to fully access your personal power. Not using your intuition is like having eyes and ears and ignoring or fighting their functions. Your eyes and ears are on your head and whether you are concentrating on using them or not they are always working.

They become very powerful tools when you deliberately focus your sight or hearing! Think of how hard it would be to watch a wonderful movie or listen to a beautiful symphony without your ears or eyes! Unwavering trust begins with knowing your intuition and how to use it!
So many people call me for readings and want me to confirm for them that their future outcomes of various hopes or problems will be exactly as i predict. This is so disempowering. Real trust comes from having a direct communication with Spirit yourself through understanding, recognising and knowing how to use and rely on your intuition!

I have done hundreds of intuitive readings for clients and the ones who really do the best after the reading is over are the ones who take responsibility for themselves and use their intuition in combination with their creative problem solving tools like logic to decide what to do next.
When we ignore our intuition we feel anxious, confused and uneasy. We may feel intellectually that it is the right decision but something still doesn't feel certain. So we decide to take lots and lots of action to leave no stone unturned. This creates that going by the seat of your pants or chicken without a head feeling.

When we use our intuition it may seem illogical but our decision feels right. It feels like a sense of knowing or certainty that you may not be able to describe. And your actions feel inspired. You feel led as opposed to running after an outcome. You feel guided to take inspired action and your hunch feels like a knowing instead of a reckless risk.

It’s time to empower yourself by harnessing your own intuition! When you take the time to learn about, understand and tap into your intuition, you will find that your decisions and actions are so much easier to make!

You will live so much more powerfully and efficiently. Your tasks will be done in a fraction of the time because you will be working from certainty instead of fear! You may consider the opinions of others for a perspective but you will know that your intuition has the final say!
Reference:
Mariana Cooper

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stress is all around us

Stress is all around us

One of the words that you hear most commonly in workplaces today is the word ‘stress’.

“There is so much stress at work”

“I’m so stressed about this tender document we are working on.”

“Every time that client calls me, my stress levels hit the roof.”

People everywhere are stressed. Or think they are stressed. Or they like to talk about being stressed. It’s such a common phenomenon in the 21st century that maybe historians looking back will refer to this era as the Stressed-Out Age’.

Yet, stress is not a brand new trend for it was back in 1992 that the UN report called job stress a ‘20th Century Epidemic’ and the World Health Organisation called job stress a ‘World Wide Epidemic’.

There are numerous estimates that indicate that job stress costs industry billions of dollars each year in absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, accidents, direct medical, legal, and insurance fees and compensation payments.

We all get stressed at some time in our working life, some more than others. The way we deal with stress is the main difference that separates us, and the degree to which we are affected is also a major variable. Not only can stress affect your ability to work, consequently affecting your business, but more importantly, it can dramatically affect your health.

Believe it or not, stress is not always a bad thing. It is a natural phenomenon and you cannot eliminate it altogether. Instead, you have to learn how to control or 'manage' stress to avoid the negative symptoms that we are threatened by.

Stress is 'taken' by the individual and not 'given' by the pressure of work. In other words, it is not about being faced with pressure, but more how we react to pressure. This is why some people welcome stress, as it acts as a motive to get things done.

Many executives who work long hours, travel frequently and feel generally overloaded seem to continually feel the negative effects of stress. The number of hours employees now spend at work has steadily increased in the past few decades. Some Industrial Relations specialists are suggesting that people are now spending as much time at their jobs as they did back in the 1920s.

Many psychologists say that stress adds flavour, challenge and opportunity to life. Without stress, life would be dull and unexciting. However, too much stress can seriously affect your physical and mental well-being. Recurrent physical and psychological stress can diminish self-esteem, decrease interpersonal and academic effectiveness and create a cycle of self-blame and self-doubt. It is important for your health that you find the optimal level of stress that you can learn to manage effectively.

Stress is unique and personal to each of us. What is relaxing to one person may be stressful to another. One person may find "taking it easy" at the beach relaxing while another may find it boring. The key to stress reduction is identifying strategies that fit you as an individual.

Some of the best actions for dealing with stress include:
  • Remove yourself from the stressful situation and give yourself a break if only for a few moments daily.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself and reduce the number of events going on in your life and you may reduce the circuit overload.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff - try to prioritise a few truly important things and let the rest slide.
  • Don't overwhelm yourself by fretting about your entire workload. Handle each task as it comes, or selectively deal with matters in some priority.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Park Bench.

The Park Bench

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree. Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, for the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day, A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.

He stood right before me with his head tilted down and said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight, with it's petals all worn, not enough rain, or to little light. Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play, I faked a small smile and then shifted away. But instead of retreating he sat next to my side and placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise, "It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too. That's why I picked it; here it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead. Not vibrant of colors, orange, yellow or red. But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave. So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need." But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, he held it mid-air without reason or plan. It was then that I noticed for the very first time that weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun as I thanked him for picking the very best one. You're welcome, he smiled, and then ran off to play, unaware of the impact he'd had on my day. I sat there and wondered how he managed to see a self-pitying man beneath an old willow tree. How did he know of my self-indulged plight?

Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight. Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see the problem was not with the world; the problem was me. And for all of those times I myself had been blind, I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that's mine. And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose. And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand about to change the life of an unsuspecting man.