Friday, September 27, 2013

Just a thought......

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Shantaram  by Gregory David Roberts

“My culture had taught me all the wrong things well. So I lay completely still and gave no reaction at all. The soul has no culture. The soul has no nations. The soul has no color, or accent or way of life. The soul is forever. The soul is one. And when the heart has its moment of truth and sorrow, the soul can’t be stilled.”

 “One of the reasons why we crave love and seek it so desperately is that love is the only cure for loneliness and shame and sorrow. And some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you.”

Beyond Right & Wrong: A documentary film about stories of justice and forgiveness

"Too often, forgiveness is construed as miraculously having positive feelings towards the person who had harmed you. This understanding is, I suspect, an impossible fiction. But what is not impossible is the refusal of revenge, the refusal to answer back in kind. Beyond Right and Wrong examines powerful stories of ordinary people in Rwanda and Israel/Palestine who have let go of perfectly natural punitive instincts in the name of a brighter tomorrow, one not trapped by the hatreds of the past."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Just a Thought...

10 Little Habits that Steal Your Happiness

10 Little Habits that Steal Your Happiness
You ultimately become what you repeatedly do.  If your habits aren’t helping you, they’re hurting you.  Here are a few examples of the latter that will steal your happiness if you let them:

1.  Focusing on everyone’s story except your own.

Don’t be so satisfied with the success stories of others and how things have gone for them that you forget to write your own.  Unfold your own tale and bring it to life.  You have everything you need to become what you are capable of becoming.  Incredible change happens when you decide to take control.  This meansconsuming less and creating more.  It means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and deciding for you.  It means learning to respect and use your own ideas and instincts to write your passage.
If you want your life story to soar to new heights, you’ve got to clear a path, reduce the time-sinks and burdens weighing you down, and pick up the things that give you wings.  Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day.  If you truly care about what you do and you work diligently at it, there’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish.

2.  Waiting for the perfect moment.

Don’t buy into the myth of the perfect moment.  Moments aren’t perfect; they’re what you make them.  So many people wait around for the stars to align to do what they’re here to do.  The perfect moment, the perfect opportunity, the perfect state of being, etc.  Wake up!  These states of perfection are myths.  They do not exist.
Your ability to grow to your highest potential is directly related to your willingness to act in the face of imperfection.  You will come to succeed not byfinding a perfect moment, but by learning to see and use life’s imperfections perfectly.  Read The Power of Now.

3.  Working for nothing more than a paycheck.

Work without interest is imprisonment.  Even if you aren’t super-passionate about your work, you’ve got to at least be interested in it.  When you design a lifestyle in which your work is something you suffer through daily strictly to pay your bills, you end up spending your entire life wishing you had someone else’s.
Think about it.  This is your life; your work will fill a large percentage of it.  It’s not all about the money; it’s about you.  Ignore the propaganda, especially from people who say, “Don’t let your work define you.”  Reverse this message and mediate on it:  “I will do work that defines me.”  When the essence of who you are defines at least some slice of the work you do for a living, that work generates fulfillment.
Bottom line:  Interest in your work puts quality in your output and happiness in your mind.  Don’t settle for a paycheck.  Shuffle around until you find work that interests you.

4.  Harboring feelings of hate.

As Martin Luther King Jr. so profoundly said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Truth be told, when we harbor feelings of hate, it eventually gets the best of us.  It takes control of us.  We forget why we hate, what we hate, and whom we hate – we simply hate for the sake of hating.  And then, naturally, we begin to hate ourselves too.
Everything and everyone you hate rents permanent space in both your head and heart.  So if you want to eliminate something or someone from your mind, don’t hate.  Instead, disconnect yourself, move on, and don’t look back.  Read The Mastery of Love.

5.  Holding tight to worries and fears.

Someday when you look back over your life you’ll realize that nearly all of your worries and anxious fears never came to fruition – they were completely unfounded.  So why not wake up and realize this right now.  When you look back over the last few years, how many opportunities for joy did you destroy with needless worry and negativity?  Although there’s nothing you can do about these lost joys, there’s plenty you can do about the ones that are still to come.
You will find that it’s necessary to let some things go simply for the reason that they’re heavy on your heart and soul.  Let go of them.  Don’t clamp shackles to your own ankles.  It’s incredibly easy to enjoy more of your life right now, no matter what the situation.  It’s just a matter of letting go of the layers of nonsense that are weighing you down.
Let go of your worries and fears, of your rage and jealousy, of your need to always be right and control others.  Let go of your pretentiousness and your need to have everything your way.  Underneath all these layers of nonsense there is a happy, productive person.  When you start peeling them off and simply appreciating everything for what it is, life can be wonderfully fulfilling.

6.  Dwelling on difficulties.

A bad day is just a bad day.  Choose not to make it anything more.  Times of adversity will inevitably affect the conditions in which you live and work; yet you don’t have to let it affect who you are and where you’re headed.  Take note of the setbacks and adjust to them, but don’t expand on them by making them a bigger part of your life.
Every day brings new lessons and new possibilities.  There is always a way to take the next step forward on the path you’ve chosen.  Events may be terrible and inescapable at times, but you always have choice – if not when, then how, you may endure and proceed onward.

7.  Constantly seeking fleeting contentment.

There are two variations of contentment in life – fleeting and enduring.  The fleeting type is derived from instants of material comfort, while the enduring type is attained through the gradual growth of your mind.  At a glimpse it might be difficult to decipher one from the other, but as time rolls on it becomes vividly obvious that the latter is far superior.
Enduring contentment sustains itself through life’s ups and downs, because through them your mind remains confident and at peace.  On the other hand, when life’s fleeting changes have the ability to ruffle your mind into a frenzy, even the most elaborate physical comforts won’t make you any happier for very long.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.

8. Trying to make a big difference all at once.

If you want to make a difference in the world, start with the world around you.  Making a big difference all at once is usually impossible, and the process of trying is extremely stressful.  However, instantly making a difference in a few lives is entirely possible and usually fairly easy.  You just have to focus on one person at a time and start with the one closest to you.
Work to make a bunch of small splashes, and let the ripples spread naturally.  If you want to change a person’s mind or mood, sometimes you have to change the minds or moods of the people around them first.  For instance, if you make one person smile, their smile just might make others smile too.  In this subtle way, you can touch the masses with your thoughtfulness without stressing yourself out.

9.  Holding on to someone who hurts you.

Sometimes you have to walk away from people, not because you don’t care, but because they don’t.  When someone hurts you time and time again, accept the fact that they don’t care about you.  It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s necessary medicine.  Do NOT strive to impress them any further.  Waste not another second of your time trying to prove something to them.  Nothing needs to be proven.  Do not act with any thought of them ever again.  Read 1,000 Little Things.

10.  Over-amplifying the importance of physical attractiveness.

Infatuating yourself with someone simply for what they look like on the outside is like choosing your favorite food based on color instead of taste.  It makes no sense.  It’s innate, invisible, unquantifiable characteristics that create lasting attraction.
Just as some people enjoy the smell of mint, while others prefer the scent of cinnamon, there is an undeniable, magnetic draw that attracts you to the qualities of certain people, places, and things.  Sometimes it’s even the scars your soul shares with them that reels you in and creates the very hinges that hold you together in the long run.
Photo by: Georges Petrequin

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Get Ready For GROWTH..........LOVE YOU

10 Signs it’s Time to Let Go

10 Signs it is Time to Let Go
Holding on is being brave, but letting go and moving on is often what makes us stronger and happier.
Here are ten signs it’s time to let go:
  1. Someone expects you to be someone you’re not. – Don’t change who you are for anyone else.  It’s wiser to lose someone over being who you are, than to keep them by being someone you’re not.  Because it’s easier to mend a broken heart, than it is to piece together a shattered identity.  It’s easier to fill an empty space in your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space inside yourself where YOU used to be.
  2. A person’s actions don’t match their words. – Everybody deserves somebody who helps them look forward to tomorrow.  If someone has the opposite effect on you, because they are consistently inconsistent and their actions don’t match up with their words, it’s time to let them go.  It’s always better to be alone than to be in bad company.  True friendship is a promise made in the heart – silent, unwritten, unbreakable by distance, and unchangeable by time.  Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.  Your true friends will slowly reveal themselves over time.
  3. You catch yourself forcing someone to love you. – Let us keep in mind that we can’t force anyone to love us.  We shouldn’t beg someone to stay when they want to leave.  That’s what love is all about – freedom.  However, the end of love is not the end of life.  It should be the beginning of an understanding that love sometimes leaves for a reason, but never leaves without a lesson.  If someone truly loves you, they will never give you a reason to doubt it.  Anyone can come into your life and say how much they love you, but it takes someone really special to stay in your life and prove how much they love you.  Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right person, but the right person is always worth the wait.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. An intimate relationship is based strictly on physical attraction. – Being beautiful is more than how many people you can get to look at you, or how others perceive you at a single glance.  It’s about what you live for.  It’s about what defines you.  It’s about the depth of your heart, and what makes you unique.  It’s about being who you are and living out your life honestly.  It’s about those little quirks that make you, you.  People who are only attracted to you because of your pretty face or nice body won’t stay by your side forever.  But the people who can see how beautiful your heart is will never leave you.
  5. Someone continuously breaks your trust. – Love means giving someone the chance to hurt you, but trusting them not to.  When you completely trust a person, without any doubt, you’ll automatically get one of two results - a FRIEND for life or a LESSON for life.  Either way there’s a positive outcome.  Either you confirm the fact that this person cares about you, or you get the opportunity to weed them out of your life and make room for those who do.  In the end you’ll discover who’s fake, who’s true, and who would risk it all for you.  And trust me, some people will totally surprise you.
  6. Someone continuously overlooks your worth. – Know your worth!  When you give yourself to someone who doesn’t respect you, you surrender pieces of your soul that you’ll never get back.  There comes a point when you have to let go and stop chasing some people.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll find a way to put you there.  Sometimes you just need to let go and accept the fact that they don’t care for you the way you care for them.  Let them leave your life quietly.  Letting go is oftentimes easier than holding on.  We think it’s too hard to let go, until we actually do.  Then we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
  7. You are never given a chance to speak your mind. – Sometimes an argument saves a relationship, whereas silence breaks it.  Speak up for your heart so that you won’t have regrets.  Life is not about making others happy.  Life is about being honest and sharing your happiness with others.
  8. You are frequently forced to sacrifice your happiness. – If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative before you know it.  Know when to close the account.  It’s always better to be alone with dignity than in a relationship that constantly requires you to sacrifice your happiness and self-respect.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  9. You truly dislike your current situation, routine, job, etc. – It’s better to be a failure at something you love than to succeed at doing something you hate.  Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.  The best thing you can do in life is follow your heart.  Take risks.  Don’t just make the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what might happen.  If you do, nothing will ever happen.  Chances must be taken, mistakes must be made, and lessons must be learned.  It might be an uphill climb, but when you reach that mountaintop it will be worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears you put into it.
  10. You catch yourself obsessing over, and living in, the past. – Eventually you will overcome the heartache, and forget the reasons you cried, and who caused the pain.  Eventually you will realize that the secret to happiness and freedom is not about control or revenge, but in letting things unfold naturally, and learning from your experiences over the course of time.  After all, what matters most is not the first, but the final chapter of your life, which unveils the details of how well you wrote your story.  So let go of the past, set yourself free, and open your mind to the possibility of new relationships and priceless experiences.  Read The Power of Now.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Physical Fitness Is The First Requisite Of Happiness

Joe Pilates the man that started the whole pilates movement
“I’m fifty years ahead of my time” Joseph Pilates quotes. Boy, was he right. Joseph Pilates might be astounded to see what his method of exercise has developed into. But he might also be thrilled and surprised to see how well Pilates has been international accepted.
Joe Pilates was not only an educator; he was an entrepreneur, a businessman, a self-taught fitness guru and an author. His books “Your Life” written in 1934 and “Return to Life Through Contrology” written in 1945 are chock full of Pilates-isms and give you a tremendous peek into the mind of this confident and seemingly tireless man. Here are a few of my favorite Joseph Pilates quotes:

"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.
Amen to that. Aren’t we all happier when we get regular exercise?
Physical fitness is: "the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure”
In other words, Pilates is the original functional exercise program.
"A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."
Less is more, baby.
"Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor."
This is true for many things.
"I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier."
Joe said this one year before he died at the age of 87.
"Contrology (Pilates) is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities. "
There is the Pilates triad: body, mind, spirit.
"Contrology is not a fatiguing system of dull, boring, abhorred exercises repeated daily "ad-nauseam." Neither does it demand you joining a gymnasium nor the purchasing of expensive apparatus. You may derive all the benefits of Contrology in your own home."
Ain’t it the truth! Pilates done well is never boring and ultimately portable!
As you can see, Joseph Pilates was an interesting character full of thoughts and ideas that he utilized not only for his own physical creation, but for ours as well.
Though he is no longer around to bring his thoughts and ideas to life, Joseph Pilates quotes and method of training will endure. Joseph Pilates quotes have stood the test of time and are a relevant and poignant today as they were when he first spoke them
• End of Joseph Pilates Quotes article
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Friday, September 6, 2013

When You Don't Want To Lose..................

When You Don't Want to Lose
You may have read that title and thought "how could someone overweight NOT want to lose"? Here is the reality. Ask most obese and very overweight people if they want to lose weight and they will quickly answer "yes". Often what they are saying "yes" to is BEING THINNER - the "result" of losing weight. If you take the phrase "losing weight" and expound the process some will begin to have glazed eyes and their attention will wane.

WHY? The why is that they desire the result but don't want to do the "work" required to experience it. Okay let's face facts. There is no secret to weight loss. It requires EFFORT. We all know WHAT is required it's putting it into action in our lives in a consistent manner that will carry us to that destination.

I can't tell you over the decades of being obese how many times I THOUGHT I wanted to lose weight. Oh, I always wanted to be SLIM but to actually do the work? I bought diet books, went to diet doctors, tried various commercial diet programs, drank meal replacements, participated in group weight loss studies, signed up for various online diet programs and even tried the reward system (big tangible rewards). Why didn't they work?

I was not ready to commit to the work needed to achieve the results. I had to let my health become "critical" to roll up my sleeves and just "do it".

My goal in writing this is twofold: First I hope you will examine your own thoughts about this question. Are you committed to do the WORK required to achieve the result? Secondly, I hope someone will be inspired to get busy and not WAIT until their health becomes an issue.

So do you want to lose weight? What steps will you take today toward that goal? NOBODY can do it for you. It has to be a conscious act of will. You CAN do it.

Can is having the ABILITY. You CAN change your nutrition. You CAN change your activity. Even a person in a wheelchair CAN get cardio through upper arm movements done above the level of the heart. You CAN read articles about health, nutrition, fitness. You CAN reach out and ask for help from your doctor, family, friends and people here on this website! There are countless teams here on SparkPeople with thousands of people willing to give you a hand...

but YOU must make that step. Are you ready?

Meet you at the destination!

Press On!