Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Just for Today I Will Be True to Myself

As a society today, we are as fake as we can get. Plastered smiles when greeting people you do not like, is not considered fake, but good social etiquette. Your parents encourage you to put on an act while meeting elders who they may think little of. 

Your peers want you to give them compliments for achievements that you couldn’t care less about. Your partner wants you to always be supportive of their undertakings. Your children need to be mock scolded so that they learn what is socially acceptable.

It’s a vicious circle where you are expected to act as the person in front of you desires, without ever once being able to express your own self. In fact, often you are so engrossed in playing all these different roles, that you yourself are unaware of who the authentic you is!

Today’s Call to Action

Make an effort to truly understand what part is the authentic you and what is the socially acceptably you facade that you project. Get out a paper and pencil. Here are a few questions that you need to sit down and answer honestly. Think of it as getting to know a new best friend.

Make a list of seven things you would like to do today, if you had no commitments. Make it as simple as possible. Even stuff like going shopping for clothes, wanting to sleep in late, eating an ice cream, or simply going to see a movie, can go onto the list. However you must have seven different activities mentioned.

Now make a list of things that you would like to experience. Make them as exaggerated as possible. Stuff that can make the list may include taking a world tour, learning 10 languages, taking a month off to cycle through the state, going white water rafting or anything else that you deem exciting. There is no maximum limit to this list but it should have at least seven things on it.

Once you are done compare the two lists. Find out what it is that you enjoy. Things that you are passionate about. This will help you figure out the things that make you happy, not society, but you. Now work towards including these things that you are passionate about in your life. Be true to yourself and make your self talk encouraging.

Affirmation – I am true to myself. I nurture my connection to my authentic, higher self with my thoughts, words and actions. I stand in my full power.

I wish you an authentic and happy life.
Love and light, always

Monday, 14 May 2018

Just for Today I am Willing to Celebrate Instead of Criticize

How many times have you been scolded as a child, for not doing something that your parent desired? If you had a normal childhood, it’s likely that you have experienced your fair share of criticism from parents, teachers, and other adults in authority around you. This set you up for being critical of yourself. Everything that you wanted to do or say, had to go through an internal filter in your mind.

As you grew up into an adult, you began to negate what were thought of as childish desires. Your self talk would have fallen into a pattern that asked more of you. That demanded you do better than last time. Just like your mother used to demand better marks, when she saw your end of year report card.

This forced you to do better. To give it your all. To motivate you to be the best. I’m not saying that this is wrong. Yes, we need to strive to improve ourselves. There is much that we can achieve if our inner voice asks more of us. However, we must also take time out to celebrate ourselves.

Isn’t that an alien concept! How can we celebrate ourselves? Isn’t the validation of a job well done supposed to come from people in our social circle? While it is true that social recognition plays an important part in our lives, it is also true that only if we are able to accept and celebrate ourselves that such recognition can be satisfactory.

Today’s Call to Action

The idea is to move from pulling yourself down all the time and being critical, to building yourself up and being supportive. We all have unique challenges in our lives. Some are similar to what others are going through, some may be unparalleled to what experiences others have.

You don’t have to wait for an occasion to celebrate. Take every small victory as an excuse. You met a demanding deadline at work? It’s time to treat yourself to a relaxed evening with friends. You managed to not eat junk food for a week while on a diet to lose weight? Pamper yourself with a special spa treatment.

By celebrating yourself, you are giving recognition to the tasks that you have accomplished. It can be an incredible motivator to doing better in the future. Celebration is a much better motivator than criticism.

Affirmation – I celebrate every accomplishment of mine, no matter how big or small. I track and celebrate my achievements. I support and motivate myself to follow my dreams.

I wish you constant celebrations in your life.
Love and light, always

Monday, 7 May 2018

Just for Today I am Willing to Forgive

Forgiveness, it’s a word that invokes strong emotions. If you feel that you have been wronged by someone, you carry that hurt with you. Your head feels heavy and your heart hurts when you think of the past. No matter how much someone may exalt the virtue of forgiveness, you may not be in the space to actually think about it. They say time heals everything.

Time is not the answer to healing old hurts, it’s what you do in that time that matters!

Are you still feeling victimized by people who may have betrayed your trust? Isn’t it an effort to hold on to all those negative emotions? If you feel you would rather let the past stay in the past, by forgetting the hurt, but keeping the lessons, you are now ready to start the process of forgiveness.

Make no mistake, it won’t be easy. It’s not instant, but a full fledged process.

Most often the hurt makes us want to seek revenge, not offer forgiveness. This is like locking yourself with the person who hurt you, into a room in your mind, together. Neither of you can leave that room and the only one continuously hurting, is you! The desire for revenge eats you up slowly but surely, leaving behind only a shell of the beautiful soul that you once were.

Till that clicks in your mind, it’s never going to be ready to forgive. You need to be ready to stay the course during the process of forgiveness, and genuinely want to forget those who have caused you pain.

Today’s Call to Action

When you are ready to begin the forgiveness process, begin by sitting in a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed for a while. Then open your mind to the hurt that is festering inside you. Think of the person who hurt you. If you have a photograph of the person, look at it.

Don’t try to stop the thoughts and feelings as they flow through you. There may be some physical discomfort initially, and your breath may be affected. Just keep focus on breathing normally. Once the initial intensity of the hurt decreases, you may use these statements to begin forgiveness.

I am willing to forgive (name of person) for (action that hurt).”
I take the lesson and release the hurt.”
I forgive myself.”

The first statement can be repeated for different actions that have caused you hurt. Keep going till you can think of no more things to forgive this person for. This must be repeated each day for at least a week. Over time, the resentment you felt towards this person, will begin to decrease.

At this point you will feel lighter. The thought of the person will no longer cause a negative emotional reaction. Now you are ready to release them and move on to any other person who you may want to forgive.

Affirmation – I forgive and release the past. I forgive myself, and I forgive everyone else. I live my life in the present and design a beautiful future.

I wish you a release from the past hurt holding on to you.
Love and light, always

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Just for Today I will Honour My Time

Do you have a friend who is always late for appointments? No matter how much you try to explain to them that they need to be punctual, they always end up at least five minutes delayed, if not more. It can be a very frustrating experience, especially when you are extremely particular about honouring your time.

Or perhaps it’s the other way round for you. No matter how hard you try, you always end up missing deadlines and reaching late for meetings. It’s not like you want to get late, but invariably you get held up at the last minute doing something urgent. Then you rush around like a headless chicken trying to make up for the lost time, but still can’t make it on time.

How you handle time is a good reflection of how you handle yourself. If you respect your time, that is a good indication that you have a healthy sense of self respect. If time is always racing away from you, then you are chasing the feeling of self worth without ever experiencing it.

If you don’t care enough about yourself to bother with managing your time efficiently, you are happy to get bogged down with things that demand your attention.

These situations may seem more urgent to you than your own health and self care. Notice I said urgent, not important. Nothing is more important than you, and yet you can make time for everything and everyone but yourself.

Do you deny that you will not have time to take out ten minutes to do meditation, but will speak to a friend who calls up discussing the weekend outing for more than that duration? Don’t to find it easier to watch mindless television series to “unwind”, than to go out for a walk that will help keep you physically fit?

All of us are guilty to some degree of not honouring our time.

Today’s Call to Action

Do a life audit. Write down the five things that you seem to spend the maximum time on during your day. Then write down the five things that you would rather be doing in your day. How deep is the disconnect in what you are doing and what you want to do?

Stop squandering your time on things that you really don’t want to do, but feel that you must. Don’t commit to activities that eat into your personal time. Try to avoid taking on more than your mental space can handle during the workday.

It’s okay to let go of an old project that doesn’t seem to be moving. You may have outgrown the dream, but are still hoping to get some return on your investment of money. However, if it’s draining you of the most crucial resource of time, do you think it’s worth it?

Affirmation – I choose to honour myself by honouring my time. I make good use of each new day granted to me.

I wish you happy times ahead.
Love and light, always

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Just for Today I will Seek Solitude

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Loneliness creeps up on you when you don’t feel comfortable being on your own. You seek the company of others to make yourself feel better. You are sad and anxious when people are not around you.

If you are always looking outwards towards the material world, you will feel loneliness. Especially when all the stimuli of the material world is removed from your presence. On the other hand, if you are looking at self growth, at being more spiritual, the path begins with looking inwards. This means being comfortable in solitude.

You can be alone, and still be comfortable in your skin. You can spend time reflecting on what you want to do. The lack of contact from people is something that you actually desire, and look forward to. It is in solitude, that you find peace of mind by simply being with yourself.

Solitude as a spiritual practice is nothing new. The saints and rishis have been escaping to the mountains for centuries. To be close to nature. To nurture their souls. To find deeper meaning. It  can all happen when you isolate yourself from the material world and seek solitude.

The big problem is you and I are not saints or rishis. We are householders, those who choose to live, love and work in the material world. Does that means that we are devoid of all spirituality and solitude? Not at all.

Today’s Call to Action

Find a time during your day when you can enjoy 15 minutes of solitude. Where there is no intrusion of computers, smartphones, school work, office phone calls, television programs or radio shows. A period of time when there is absolutely no distraction for you, when you can seek a deeper connection with yourself.

Just lock yourself away in a room and close you eyes. Empty your mind of any thoughts that come using a simple meditation technique. Imagine three baskets before you. Label them past, present and future. Now as soon as a thought arises in your mind, simply decide which basket it belongs to and place it in that.

No judging the thought or wondering why it came, or trying to solve the problem it presents. Simply acknowledge that it has come and then let it pass into the relevant basket. Keep repeating this till you have no more thoughts in your head. Now enjoy this space where you are entirely in the present. Relax and breath deeply for as long as you wish to stay in this place of solitude.

When you learn to enjoy your own company, you become better at choosing who to spend your time with. With time and effort you will soon change the desert of your loneliness to a garden of solitude.

Affirmation – I enjoy spending time in solitude as it helps me connect better with myself. As my mind calms, I connect better with my soul and the Universe. My solitude represents my freedom.

I wish you days of enjoying your own company.
Love and light, always

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Just for today I will Set and Respect Personal Boundaries

Ever so often we end up losing our peace of mind because we are arguing with someone close to us. A loved one can feel restrictive when they try to advice us on how to manage our matters better. It could be a parent wanting to guide an adult child, or a well meaning friend who wants you to do something their way as they believe it to be the best way.

In some cases it could even be because you want to help someone you care deeply about. It may be you who is offering the unsolicited advice and being snubbed for your trouble. While it seems so obvious to you that what you are saying is correct and the right thing to do, your loved one may resent what they feel is your interference in their personal affair.

You know someone is ignoring your personal boundaries when you feel mistreated. You may feel you are wasting too much of your time on someone. You feel taken for granted. You feel other people are trying to dominate you and control your actions.

If you are constantly feeling like a victim of other people’s badgering you may want to consider setting healthy personal boundaries. Set healthy boundaries as it is a part of your self care practice. Also make sure that you don’t push other people into doing things that make them fearful of you. Just as you set your own boundaries, pay attention to other people’s personal boundaries. Respect goes a long way in making any relationship work.

Today’s Call to Action

Learn to say “NO”. When people want you to do something for them, which you don’t want to or don’t have time for, just open your mouth and say “NO.” If you can’t say no to someone in person, do so via the smartphone. Texting a short message takes hardly any time. You can even practice saying the word “NO” to yourself in the mirror so that it becomes easier to say it to others.

Remember each time you say NO to someone else, you say YES to yourself.

Initially it may take a while for other people to understand that you are drawing a line. However as long as you are consistent, they will realise that it is a boundary that you are unwilling to compromise on. Remember you are well within your rights to have these boundaries.

Affirmation – I set and respect healthy personal boundaries. My relationships are rooted in a loving exchange of energy.

I wish you relationships that run on love and acceptance.
Love and light, always

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Just for Today I will Monitor My Self Talk

Our mind is like a playful monkey. It is always hopping from one branch of the tree to another. Just like how the thoughts race through our mind, from one topic to another. It takes a certain amount of willpower to stop this undisciplined thinking and focus on a specific topic long enough to get a task done.

Any productive human being knows that the thoughts in the mind need to be guided to perform external tasks. What most people don’t realize is that even the internal conversations that you have with yourself can affect your productivity. This constant voice in your head that monitors every action you take, tends to either support you or make you nervous about what you are about to do.

This Self Talk is present all the time. It can be positive or negative. Imagine being with a critic who gives you negative feedback on every action that you take. In most cases the negative criticism can become immobilising. The trained mind knows how to keep the Self Talk positive so that the quality of our lives improves.

The good news is that Self Talk can be monitored and changed from negative to positive. All it takes is a little bit of vigilance to catch your inner critic and tame it. Remember these thoughts are simply a part of your past conditioning, they are not the gospel truth. Plus, at any given time you can change them.

Today’s Call to Action

Become conscious of the words that you are saying to yourself. Notice when you praise yourself for a job well done. Also pay attention when you are criticising your own behaviour. When you catch this criticism, immediately say the words “Cancel, Cancel” out loud. Then replace it with a positively worded encouragement.

For instance, you are about to pour water from a huge glass jug in the restaurant into your glass. The jug is full to the brim and your inner critic is shouting at you – “You are going to drop the water on the table.” Immediately say “Cancel, Cancel.” Then repeat this positive statement to yourself – You can easily pour the water from the jug to your glass.

In another situation, you are about to give a presentation to a client in front of your boss . Needless to say you are a bit nervous. Your inner voice is popping up to say - “Don’t ruin this.” Again say “Cancel, Cancel”. Now tell yourself - “You’ve got this. You are going to do an awesome job.”

It’s a constant task to monitor your Self Talk and keep it positive initially. Then gradually you will shift into a zone where your inner voice begins to encourage and praise you without conscious monitoring.

Affirmation – I constantly use positive Self Talk to build myself up. I am my own biggest cheerleader. I am a winner who is in charge of my life. I can do anything I set my mind to.

I wish you days filled with positive internal conversations.
Love and light, always