Tag Archives: life

Gratefulness

Recently I have been coming across a lot of messages about being grateful, appreciating the life we have instead of what we don’t have and learning to trust in the Universe. This has grounded me somewhat and made me realise how much I need to remain in the present and appreciate Life as it is now.

If we really start counting, the vast majority of us do have a lot to be grateful for and things we just take for granted. The very fact that I am typing this on a smartphone speaks volumes about the luxuries of my life that some will never get to experience. It can be truly humbling when I get right down to the details.

That said, a fellow blogger once said we do not have to feel obligated to justify our pain. We all have challenges to deal with. Issues that are beyond our control or simply goals we want to attain but haven’t done so yet. These things may keep us awake at night asking: why me or why does it have to be so hard? Our own life and its challenges are valid and no one gets to diminish the effect it has on us. “Someone else has it worse” doesn’t always work. I know.

But what does work, I find, is to think more in terms of what we do have and how far we have come. Comparing with others even comparing down doesn’t often work because by nature we are very much tuned to our own selves. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, we can tune in positively. We can look at the advantages we have and how we can best thrive on those. We can trust in ourselves and more importantly the Universe, that we will attain all that we want or need when the time is right.

Another blogger recently mentioned: What seems unfair sometimes conspires in our favor and saves us from ourselves.

This had a profound effect on me. What we wish for may not be always the best thing for us (at least not in the timeframe we have in mind). We are simply too unwise to know this. Nothing to do with intelligence, simply our lack of understanding of how life works. Long ago, I had vowed to not try and understand life but to live life. This message reinforced that in me today.

Appreciate.
Be grateful.
Live not understand.
Have Faith.

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The list never ends…

When we start stacking up our desires and making lists of what we want it becomes endless. Somehow there is always more things we want out of Life.

Modern life is so cluttered with material attractions, competition and expectations that we impose them on ourselves and somehow get lost in the feeling that we need this or that to live a good life.

So many of us put such pressure on ourselves to achieve wealth, status and success as pre-determined by society. When did it get to a point when someone else was an authority on what is a successful life for me? When did I get to the point where I let someone else’s ambitions become a template for my own?

I started questioning and realised that I get to choose what constitutes contentment and happiness for myself. The trick is not to allow others to make you feel bad for the choices you make. To not allow myself to get pressured about situations that are beyond my control.

Its easier said than done and I have to keep reminding myself to keep my priorities straight. It is a constant practice.

Practice does make perfect, though.

Keep on practicing!

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Trusting the Universe is hard

So lately I haven’t been feeling too happy. There is something missing in my days. Everything is a bland routine. The weekdays come and they go, the weekends come and yes I do have some fun, and they go by as well. The days go by but really what are they made of? What do I do that is meaningful? Lately, I have been harping on things a lot. All the things that I am dissatisfied about are coming up repeatedly. I suspect it’s these things that keep me unhappy. There is not much I can do right now to fix any of these things. Drastic actions and decisions have never helped. So I am not doing any of that. But the alternative is inaction, to do nothing while everything remains unsatisfactory. I am supposed to have faith in the Universe and trust that all things will fall into place at the right time and everything will turn out OK. But I am often afraid that this may not be true and that the end result will just be that I wasted time doing nothing. Does that even make sense?

Because at this point in Life, for certain situations I am facing now (I won’t go into the gory details now), I simply do not know what the right solution is. I am not sure what the right decision is.

I also have so much resentment and frustration. There have been a couple of things that have not been working out for me for the past 3-4 years and it’s all adding up. There is a constant ever-present conflict. I strive all the time to be content but it is a constant battle. They say you can make your Life out to be the way you want it to be. It is not true. We do not have the power to influence certain circumstances. We can only change our inner attitude towards our circumstances. This is the journey I am on. To constantly fight the resentments and frustrations that nose into my thoughts.

To be honest, I admit my issues are first world problems, and those living in poverty and starvation will not be impressed by my frustrations. But that is the problem with the human ego isn’t it? When our basic needs are met, we aspire towards higher fulfilment. And the more we have, the more we want, because there is always a next level to aspire to – it never ends. I so desperately want to be content with what I have. But I feel if I don’t keep aspiring to things, I will not grow and my life will stagnate. So I feel I must keep trying… And in this process, there is so much conflict and frustration…

Strangely, after writing all this, I feel better. Nothing has changed, but I feel better about it. No wonder they say writing is good for the spirit. I need to write more!

So… On that note….

Things that make me happy
Family
Well brewed coffee
Aromatherapy soap
Pasta
Moscato
Devious maids episodes – I am officially addicted
Time with friends
Getting dressed up and going out
Lazy Sunday afternoons (with Devious Maids episodes of course!)
Friends getting married!

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It is about the Journey, not the Destination

There is a time and a place for everything in Life. When you really think about it, there is no real joy in rushing from milestone to milestone so fast, achieving all our heart’s desires quickly and immediately. Soon we may run out of meaningful experiences. We have to live Life at the pace that is right for us. When we are raring to go forward all the time we miss the scenery; we miss all the little things that also matter along the way, the experiences that will shape us into who we should be.

I am often impatient for things to move along and to achieve certain goals. I can’t wait for “life to begin”. And then sometimes, it hits me with the force of a cosmic speeding train. This is Life and I am already living it. And this precious precious time I have in my hands now is for me to make use of it and to enjoy! Because I will never get this portion of time back; once I have achieved my “goals”, then what? The next goal, right? There will always be that next thing you want in life.

I mean, it’s great to have goals in life, it gives us purpose and something to strive towards and yada yada… All that is good stuff. BUT. I forget to live in the here and now. I forget to enjoy the reality I have now. Because there are good things here already, much that I have already achieved, goals already ticked off; these things tend to be forgotten once achieved. I am living a life of “Strive, Tick, Done, Next”. Not good. I want to remind myself everyday to be grateful for what I do have now and not fret for the things that I don’t yet have.

All good things will fall into place with consistent effort and a positive attitude.

So while I strive and work towards my goals, each time there is a setback or difficulty, I promise to myself that I will stop and think of all that I have already achieved and all there is to enjoy right now. This especially comes in handy when certain things are not in our control. There will always be factors that we are unable to control. It just becomes painful when we refuse to accept that some things are simply not in our hands. We can only do what is within our ability to control.

Then there is the thief of all joy: Comparison. We constantly benchmark ourselves against our peers. It is an unusually cruel and painful practice we inflict upon ourselves, I think. Yet I do it all the time. Unconsciously it slips in and settles comfortably in the corners of my mind breeding resentment and discontent. And then I catch myself doing it and I kick the beast out! No way are you sitting there breeding ill-feelings inside my mind. Everybody’s life is different. To someone else looking in, I could be living the dream life. In fact, I have told myself repeatedly, it is a good life that I have, and I will appreciate it! I will not make comparisons and covet what others have. It is the ultimate enemy to happiness.

Life is in the living and not in regretting or fretting. Enjoy the journey, for it matters so much more than the Destination.

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The possibilities abound!

Life is filled with possibilities. All good things are possible if we can just believe in ourselves and in the goodness of life. Life may not go according to our plan but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t going in exactly the way it is meant for us. We need to go through a broad range of experiences in life to fully appreciate it. We do not get to pick and choose the experiences we get to have. Be happy with what is happening right now, make peace with the reality you have right now. For all you know, your reality may be a pretty darn good bargain after all, relatively speaking. Everything will fall into place when the time is right. No need to rush through Life and hurry along the experiences. Patience is a virtue and all good things will happen in their own time. Be open to Life and it will be good to you.

Well, now that we have gotten the really serious and soul-searching part of the post out of the way, I’d like to announce that I have started an early morning yoga practice – all part of my effort to take care of my spiritual energies this year and beyond! I am thinking that if I take care of my health and spirit, Life will take care of itself and I will be more equipped to take life as it comes. I am not expecting any magical outcomes or results. I just want to be more at peace and content with my reality, whatever it might be, on a day to day basis.

I have dabbled in yoga on and off in the past and I find it to be a wonderful practice that combines meditation and exercise into one activity. It really stretches out those stiff muscles and when you do it in the morning, it really helps you wake right up and helps you be more alert for the rest of the day! I don’t know if it is the excitement of having started a healthy new habit, but I already feel so much more refreshed today, despite having woken up an extra 50 minutes earlier. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy when the alarm rang at 6 am and instead of giving in to snoozing temptations, I dragged myself out. But once I’d started stretching on the mat, it felt better and by the end I was quite awake.

It was beautiful and so peaceful at that time of the morning, when all was quiet and later on, the birds came out to chirp – lovely. It was just me and space around me and it was excellent “Me Time”! Now that my husband and I have moved into our own flat, we have spare rooms, and I am delighted to say I have my very own Zen Den, dedicated to yoga, meditation and other creative pursuits. I started creating this zen den recently; slowly adding touches to make it a really peaceful place. It really helps that we had painted it a beautiful calming pale green colour.

I am looking forward to continued days of yoga practice to nourish my body and spirit. Now that I have told all and sundry of my plans, I will be more motivated to keep to it! Wish me luck, ya’all 

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