30 Dec 2012

The Power of Simplicity


Photo by: Ranjit Swanson
Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries (from Nepal)
In Modern Life there are a seemingly endless series of options and avenues. At each turn, life seems to present numerous complications. It becomes hard to resist the allure of doing more things and trying to solve a myriad of problems. However,  we are often, consciously or unconsciously, yearning for a more simple approach to life. If we can make an effort to bring more simplicity into our lives, we will find many benefits arise.
1. Peace of Mind. 
Simplicity doesn’t necessarily involve living in a Spartan hut. Real simplicity begins in the mind. If we have numerous anxieties and problems it is not possible to have peace of mind. Simplicity means we learn to clear the mind and not allow ourselves to be bombarded by an endless stream of needless thoughts.

2. Living in the present. 
Complication in life often arises because  we are worrying and planning about the future. We can become so concerned about what may happen tomorrow or next year that we forget to enjoy the present moment. To have one’s focus on the here and now, is to encompass life as it is supposed to be.

3. Less Planning and Thinking
When we complicate life through our endless planning we bring tomorrow’s problems into today. Yet it is always worth remembering that our worries and fears about the future often prove to be groundless.

4. Avoiding Judgement.
It is part of human nature to criticise and judge other people. It is very easy to make a long list of complaints and suggestions about other people. But does it help us when we highlight the faults of others? We should feel that we are not responsible for other people’s thoughts and behaviour. If we feel it is our bounden duty to change others, there can be no simplicity and peace in our life. Rather than try to change others, let us just try to focus on changing ourselves. Our own weaknesses are probably more than enough to deal with.

5. Focus and Achievement
Simplicity enables more to be achieved. Simplicity means that we are focused on one thing at a time. Simplicity means we can put all our concentration on just one thing. If we perform an action with no distractions then we can fulfil it quicker and more successfully. Often, when we simplify our life, we find we can actually achieve more than when we juggled several things at once.
    “The simpler we can become, the sooner we shall reach our destination. A life of simplicity is a life of constant progress. It is in simplicity that we can make the fastest progress, progress which is everlasting.”
    - Sri Chinmoy
6. Simplicity and Beauty. 
Simplicity is often synonymous with beauty. For example, Zen gardens are uncluttered and simple, yet in that simplicity there is a beauty which appeals to our soul. It is the same with Mother Nature; the essence of nature is its unspoilt beauty. Has man ever been able to improve on the beauty and simplicity of nature?

7. Happiness
Be happy with what we have. As George Bernard Shaw aptly said
“There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.”
The nature of desire is that the more we get the more we want. When we get a new car, often after a while we are not satisfied and want to get something better. However real happiness comes when we are content with what we have and are free of desire.

29 Dec 2012

The Conscious Lifestyle: Short-Term Desires (Part 2)

The following article and its first part have been written by one of the most inspired and inspirational people: Dr. Deepak Chopra. I read the article and resolved I needed to share it with you.
I therefore integrally report the article as it has been issued by the author, as it inspired me.

- * - * -

We've been discussing the obstacles to living a conscious lifestyle by focusing on the torrent of small things that will fill your day unless you consciously free yourself. The future unfolds one day at a time, so unless you make time for the future before it arrives, a year from now you will be doing basically the same as what you're doing today.

Making time for the future comes down to five steps. Let me repeat them since they lay the groundwork for fulfilling long-range goals.
  1. Write down a single vision, project, or mission.
  2. Set time aside to work on it every day.
  3. Work consists of doing research, making connections, investigating your target audience or market, learning from projects similar to yours, challenging your assumptions, writing a proposal, seeking a mentor, partner, or confidant to bounce your ideas off, and raising capital if needed.
  4. Set interim deadlines that you can reasonably meet every month.
  5. Be adaptable about changing your project as it unfolds.
As you see, some real commitment is involved. It's important therefore to think about what your vision or mission should be. Let me propose an idea that runs counter to a certain school of thought. That school focuses on the pursuit of excellence, climbing from "good to great," or adopting the habits of highly successful achievers. In other words, you are urged to concentrate on external goals and the means to achieve them.

In my experience teaching high achievers in business school courses, the one thing they point to as the cause of their achievement is luck. They look back and realize that they were in the right place at the right time. A vision that can only succeed on the basis of luck only works for the tiniest sliver of the work force. Behind every CEO who makes the cover of Fortune magazine there is a trail of frustration littered with everyone who didn't make it to the top. Luck is the exact opposite of consciousness.

The most fulfilled people in any profession, regardless of who climbs to the top, are those who followed an inner vision. They consciously shaped their futures from the inside, which is the only place you have any real control.  A large percentage of these people had highly successful careers, but that was secondary. First and foremost came the freedom to write their own scenario. The externals of your life fall in line with your internal values and the atmosphere you create around yourself.

So when you sit down to write your long-range vision or mission, consider these criteria.
  1.  I will be satisfied with the work at every stage.
  2.  I will benefit everyone around me.
  3.  The effect on my family will be positive.
  4.  I will feel creative.
  5.  I will take pride in my accomplishment.
  6.  I will be smarter, better, and wiser the more I pursue my vision.
  7.  I will head into the unknown, a place I want to discover and explore.
Every vision brings setbacks and frustrations; there is inherent stress whenever you step out to accomplish something no one else has tried before.  No amount of self-discipline can control the stress. Only if you are centered, self-confident, and secure in the values you are sacrificing for will the journey become conscious.

In the current environment, inner visions are celebrated only after someone has struggled to reach the top. Along the way, there is more competition than collaboration, and if you don't enter the dog-eat-dog fray, people will call you weak.  We live in the midst of huge abundance.  Ruthless, soul-killing tactics are rewarded, but so is moving upward through consciousness. Sit down with yourself, your family, your closest confidants, and work through the seven criteria I've outlined. They will serve you well if you truly dedicate yourself to inner fulfillment ahead of material rewards.

Written by
Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 65 books with numerous New York Times bestsellers and co-author with Rudolph Tanzi of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony)



Found here
The Conscious Lifestyle: Short-Term Desires (Part 2) | LinkedIn

28 Dec 2012

The Conscious Lifestyle: Short-Term Desires (Part 1)

Deepak Chopra
The following article and its second part have been written by one of the most inspired and inspirational people: Dr. Deepak Chopra.
I read the article and resolved I needed to share it with you.
I therefore integrally report the article as it has been issued by the author, as it inspired me.

- * - * -

To fashion a conscious life for yourself, you must address the unconscious way that most people spend their days.  Activity automatically fills the time you devote to it.  Unconscious living is the same as having constricted awareness.  Conscious living is a process of expanding your mind instead.  This may sound a bit lofty, but in reality you can make great progress by examining how you fill your day, as we've seen in the last few posts.

We started out with three activities that are universally used to fill time:
1. Following a set routine
2. Coping with challenges as they come up
3. Fulfilling short-term desire.
The first two have been covered in some detail, so now let's address the third.

In everyone's life short-term desires compete with long-term desires, and whoever finds the right balance will reap the greatest success.  If you focus too much on short-term gratification, the following things become too important: eating, drinking, running errands, keeping everything neat and tidy, micro-managing others, perfectionism, gossip, and trivial distractions.  Experts in time management point out that all of these are inefficient and wasteful, which is certainly true.

But the larger point is that none of these activities challenges your mind. They require a short attention span, and in place of long-term gratification, you are settling for tiny hits of pleasure.  A stream of short-term gratification is like eating a candy bar every half hour instead of cooking and enjoying a banquet.

Long-term desires are emotionally more mature, because they delay gratification in the service of a bigger reward.  People realize this, which is why they plan for their retirement. Years of hard work lead to a payoff down the road. But too often those years are not gratifying. They are more like putting in your time at the salt mines. The trick is to derive the right kind of short-term fulfillment.  The right kind isn't hard to define. It consists of what you do today to make next year better.

Think of it like writing a book. If you write a page every day, your manuscript will be done next year. A page doesn't sound like much, but the catch is that it must fit into the final product. Ernest Hemingway set himself a daily goal of half a page only.  If you can do anything today that consciously goes toward fulfilling a long-range vision, plan, project, or mission, you will become the Hemingway of your own life.

Here are some suggestions:
  1. Set down a single vision, project, or mission.
  2. Set time aside to work on it every day.
  3. Work consists of doing research, making connections, investigating your target audience or market, learning from projects similar to yours, challenging your assumptions, writing a proposal, seeking a mentor, partner, or confidant to bounce your ideas off, and raising capital if needed.
  4. Set interim deadlines that you can reasonably meet every month.
  5. Be adaptable about changing your project as it unfolds.
Each of these steps should be interesting and, one hopes, exciting to you.  Consciousness expands whenever a person feels creative, passionate, and joyful.  If you don't have these qualities, you won’t wake up every morning eager to fulfill your long-range goal.  The value of following the five steps I've suggested is that you become action oriented; your goal doesn't drift or become an empty dream.

In the next post we'll discuss the most productive and valuable long-range goals. Hint: they begin on the inside and work outward.
(To be cont.)

written by
Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 65 books with numerous New York Times bestsellers and co-author with Rudolph Tanzi of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony)


Found here
The Conscious Lifestyle: Short-Term Desires | LinkedIn

27 Dec 2012

How to Make Mindfulness a Habit With Only a Tiny Commitment

When you sit back and reminisce about your life, it’s almost a given that the most enjoyable and memorable moments are the ones in which you were completely present. Do you look back with fondness all the times you spent thinking about work while you drove home, or pondered dinner while you wheeled down the frozen aisle?
Unfortunately most of life passes that way for most of us. We’re in one place doing one thing, thinking of things we aren’t doing and places we aren’t at.
The bottom line of almost all self-help, spiritual, or religious literature is that our ability to be happy is determined by our ability to stay in the present moment. The Buddhists, the Toltecs, the Bible, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, Emerson, Thoreau — anyone at all who is known for having found a path to consistent, recurring joy — cites staying present as the essential teaching.
Only when we’re present do we see beauty, enjoy gratitude, and experience happiness. It’s the moments we’re present for that make life good, so it only stands to reason that being present is something we’d do well to get better at.
We all know this already. Yet most of us — normal people with errands, work and to-do lists — spend most of our time considering the past and future rather than the present. Why doesn’t it click?
The problem is most of us are extremely habituated to living in our thoughts. The remembered past and the imagined future steal our attention most of the time. Whywe are so strongly predisposed this way is a huge discussion involving culture, biology, psychology and a host of other factors that we don’t need to get into right now. Suffice it to say that most of us have a serious habit of being mentally absent from the present moment most of the time.
Unless you make a serious commitment to taking on the biggest of human dilemmas — taming the rowdy mind once and for all — mindfulness will probably not establish itself as a habit for you. Some people do make a life’s work of it with daily meditation or monastery life, but if you’re unwilling to do that, can you still cultivate mindfulness on a consistent basis?
The rule about habits is that whatever you do most takes over. If you want to be a daily runner, and you miss more days than you actually go running, you’ve only made a habit of skipping running, and you’re back at square one.
To suddenly “go mindful” and try to be present all the time is about as easy as running a marathon when you’ve never even run around the block. Since most of us are not present the vast majority of the time, occasional stabs at “being in the moment” are quickly overrun by the colossal momentum of a lifetime of being lost in thought.
Baby steps seem to be in order. And many of us do try it this way. We make repeated resolutions to “notice the little things more” or “live in the now,” but these are too vague to be helpful in any practical sense. You may find yourself being present when you’ve just read an inspirational book or when someone mentions mindfulness, but in the long run it won’t take. The habit of preoccupation is so unbelievably strong that mindfulness just won’t be on your mind for long. It’s too subtle, too delicate — too light and vulnerable to withstand the swirling winds of the preoccupied mind.

Establishing a Foothold

First of all, forget about staying mindful 24-7. That’s an extremely tall order, and it isn’t necessary to be present all the time in order to experience great benefits from it.
What we want to do is get familiar with the sensation of becoming present, and do it on a regular basis. Since the preoccupied mind is never going to remind you to be mindful — that would be like a french fry vendor reminding you to buy spinach — we need something else to remind us.
So instead of trying to Be Here Now all the time, just commit to becoming mindful every time you find yourself doing one of these two simple actions:
  • Opening a door
  • Sitting down in a chair
That’s it. You’re off the hook for everything else.
Let the rest of the things you do slip away to the restless mind if you want. Let your mind glaze over during meetings at work. Fantasize about winning Powerball while you wait for the bus. But do give your attention wholeheartedly to these two simple actions. You owe yourself that much.
When you open a door, drop your train of thought outright (you can pick it up again shortly) and watch your hand grasp the doorknob. Pull the door open with purpose and patience. Feel its weight. Watch as a new scene is revealed. Feel the new air of the room you are entering. Listen to the sound of the first room give way to the sound of the new room. Feel this transition with undivided attention.
Then your work is done. You can go back to pondering dinner or thinking of what you should have said to that guy who cut you in line in the cafeteria last Friday. If you want.
When you sit down in a chair, lower yourself down, don’t just drop in it. Listen to any creaks or in the wood or upholstery. Feel as it takes on the weight of your body and relieves your legs of their duties for the moment. Pay attention to the sensation of being parked on this new perch. Wherever the chair is, let yourself become comfortable in it. Survey the room from your new angle.
After you’ve paid diligent attention to the sitting experience for the five or ten seconds it takes, you’re off duty again. You can resume whatever train of thought you had going before it came time to sit — wishing you had worn different shoes, or quietly disapproving of the state of today’s pop music or whatever.
Most of the time we don’t put our attention anywhere specific, so it gets sucked into our incessant mind-chatter, not unlike a kid who can’t help staring at the television. You can actually put your attention somewhere on purpose, it just doesn’t often occur to us. Pay it to the door or the chair.
If you can commit to giving your undivided attention to these two things, you will begin to see the incredible clarity that is available to you when your mind isn’t wrapped up in thoughts.
After doing this on purpose a few times, it will start to become automatic. The mere feel of a doorknob, or sensation of moving to sit will remind you to pay attention. It will be nearly impossible to open a door or sit down without snapping back into the present moment.
I must reiterate how small a commitment you have to actually make here. The dividends it pays are incredible. We’re talking maybe five seconds at a time, a handful of times a day, to plant one foot firmly in the realm of greater ease, happiness and gratitude. If you’ve been looking for an easy and powerful way to love yourself, there it is.
You will soon find that the trains of thought you have to interrupt to be mindful are seldom interesting or useful. Most of it is just noise, perpetuating itself only because you’re not putting your intention anywhere on purpose. Junk food for your mind. With these simple rituals, mindfulness — and the bliss that comes with it — will establish a sturdy foothold in your behavior, which you can expand as far as you want to take it.
You’ll begin to notice what it feels like to catch yourself mind-blathering about irrelevant things, and soon you’ll be bringing yourself back to the moment more often, and not just when you encounter a door or a chair. You probably won’t want to let yourself off the hook for everything else.
But you do have to actually do it, not just nod your head as you read this post and think it will happen by itself. These are easy, minuscule amounts of work which yield great rewards over time. But they don’t pay off if you don’t do them.
When you open a door, open the door.
When you sit, take your seat.
You’re going to do it anyway. Make it count.


Found here
How to Make Mindfulness a Habit With Only a Tiny Commitment

1 Dec 2012

Effective Ways To Get Out of a Negative Mindset


It is too easy to get into a negative mindset which invariably leads to unhappiness and depression. To avoid being overwhelmed by negativity we need to make a conscious effort to avoid the experience. When life seems like a perpetual dark tunnel these are some suggestions to change your outlook on life.

Don’t Cherish Destructive Thoughts.

Often we don’t realise how much we subconsciously cherish negative thoughts. It may seem counter intuitive, but often a negative frame of mind occurs because we won’t let go of the negative thoughts and ideas. Sometimes the mind clings on to these thoughts with a feeling of self pity or injured pride. We don’t like the negative frame of mind, but at the same time are we consciously trying to overcome it? The problem is that if the negative thoughts go round and round in our mind they can become powerful and we lose a sense of perspective. Just make a conscious decision to ignore the negative flow of thoughts and sentiments and be persistent in these attempts.

Do You want to be Happy or Miserable?

We should feel a negative mindset is a choice. If we feel a victim to our own emotions and thoughts, nobody else will be able to help us. We should feel that by holding on to a negative frame of mind, we are inevitably choosing to be unhappy; each negative is a conscious decision to be miserable. If we really value the importance of our own inner peace and happiness, we will aspire to cultivate this through good, uplifting thoughts. Next time you feel the onset of a depressed state of mind, just ask yourself the question: Do I want to be happy or Miserable?

Spend Time With Positive People

The best antidote to negativity is simply to spend time doing positive, uplifting activities. Sometimes if we analyse and examine our own negativity it does nothing to reduce it. By engaging in useful fun activities, we forget about the reasons for our negativity; this is often the most powerful way to overcome a depressed state of mind.

Don’t Accept Negativity from Other People

We live in a world where there are no shortage of pessimists, critics and doomongers. There will always be people who can find the negative in life; but, there is no reason why we have to ascribe to their world view. For example, often in an office environment there is a negative attitude to the workplace, but, even if there are faults and limitations we don’t have to allow them to make us a negative person.

Let Go of Thoughts

If you can learn to control your thoughts, you can control the experience and emotions of life. The best antidote to negativity is learning the art of meditation. Meditation is more than just relaxation; it is a change in consciousness. We move from the limited perspective of our mind and discover an inner source of happiness.

Live in the Heart

The nature of the mind is to be suspicious and critical. If someone does 99 good things and 1 bad thing, the mind will invariably remember the bad thing. If we allow ourselves to be drawn into highlighting the mistakes of others we will invite a negative mindset. However, if we live in the heart we are not drawn to the faults of others (even if they are insignificant). It is in the heart that we can have a true sense of oneness with others, their faults seem insignificance and we can feel a sense of identity with the achievements of others.

Don’t Sit Around Doing Nothing

The worst thing for a negative frame of mind is to mope around feeling sorry for ourselves. Ruminating on our bad luck / worries / fears will not diminish them in any way. Exercise can be a powerful way to bring about a new consciousness. Negativity is often associated with boredom and lack of purpose. Stop endlessly checking emails and surfing web, look for something good to do.

Force Yourself to Think of 3 Positive Thoughts.

If you are feeling really miserable and have a low sense of self esteem, try thinking of 3 good things that you have done. At time our own mind can be our worst enemy and very self critical. It is important not to lose a sense of balance; for the various bad things we have done, we have also done some good things.

Don’t Think Anything You Wouldn’t Say in Front of People

We often think things we would never say in front of people. If you are annoyed, disappointed with someone else, imagine what you would say to them in person. Sometimes when we are with people we are forced to behave; even if we are not particularly sincere the effort to avoid negativity can help us to overcome our bad mood.





Found here
Effective Ways To Get Out of a Negative Mindset | Sri Chinmoy Inspiration

4 Oct 2012

How to Be Happier at Work

Sometimes the route to happiness depends more on what you don't do.

 


Happiness--in your business life and your personal life--is often a matter of subtraction, not addition.
Consider, for example, what happens when you stop doing the following 10 things:

1. Blaming.

People make mistakes. Employees don't meet your expectations. Vendors don't deliver on time.
So you blame them for your problems.
But you're also to blame. Maybe you didn't provide enough training. Maybe you didn't build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon.
Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn't masochistic, it's empowering--because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time.
And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.

2. Impressing.

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all "things." People may like your things--but that doesn't mean they like you.
Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.
Genuine relationships make you happier, and you'll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

3. Clinging.

When you're afraid or insecure, you hold on tightly to what you know, even if what you know isn't particularly good for you.
An absence of fear or insecurity isn't happiness: It's just an absence of fear or insecurity.
Holding on to what you think you need won't make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will.
Even if you don't succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.

4. Interrupting.

Interrupting isn't just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you're really saying is, "I'm not listening to you so I can understand what you're saying; I'm listening to you so I can decide what I want to say."
Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say.
They'll love you for it--and you'll love how that makes you feel.

5. Whining.

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better.
If something is wrong, don't waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you'll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now.
Don't talk about what's wrong. Talk about how you'll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.
And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don't just be the shoulder they cry on.
Friends don't let friends whine--friends help friends make their lives better.

6. Controlling.

Yeah, you're the boss. Yeah, you're the titan of industry. Yeah, you're the small tail that wags a huge dog.
Still, the only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you've decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs.
Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure--none of those let you feel good about yourself.
Find people who want to go where you're going. They'll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships.
And all of you will be happier.

7. Criticizing.

Yeah, you're more educated. Yeah, you're more experienced. Yeah, you've been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons.
That doesn't make you smarter, or better, or more insightful.
That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind, but in the end, just you.
Just like everyone else--including your employees.
Everyone is different: not better, not worse, just different. Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you'll see people--and yourself--in a better light.

8. Preaching.

Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging.
The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything--and to tell people everything you think you know.
When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don't listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.

9. Dwelling.

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.
Then let it go.
Easier said than done? It depends on your focus. When something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn't know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.
The past is just training; it doesn't define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

10. Fearing.

We're all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can't change, or what we won't be able to do, or how other people might perceive us.
So it's easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.
Meanwhile days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.
And so do our dreams.
Don't let your fears hold you back. Whatever you've been planning, whatever you've imagined, whatever you've dreamed of, get started on it today.
If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or offer new products or services, take the first step.
Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.
Otherwise, today is gone. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever.
Today is the most precious asset you own--and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.



Found here

23 Sep 2012

8 Strategies to Complain Your Way Into a Happier Relationship

There was a time back in the early days of my now nearly 30-year marriage when a hand-written sign hung over our toilet. It read as follows: "Please remember to put the seat down or [cover your ears, kids] I may be forced to kill you." Yikes. If memory serves, I believe I signed it, "your loving wife." Not the proudest moment in my marriage, nor my best literary work, but it did the trick. My husband, rather than being offended (or worried), chuckled every time he saw the note -- and, importantly, put the seat down. I felt bad that our gentle-hearted nanny had to witness that whole scene from our marriage. But the fact is that couples therapists might have given me high scores for my off-color antics -- why?

Because complaining is good for your relationship.

Not about every little thing, but when it comes to the things that matter to you (like not wanting to fall into the toilet when it's pitch dark at 2:00 a.m. and you've really got to go), complain! The reason is this: Not complaining and, instead, letting those concerns build up could do more harm than good. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem gets, and the more irrational you become. When you finally explode, and you will, chances are that your complaint won't come out with a cute (however rough around the edges) note. It will be war.

So complaining is good, but it has to be done right.

Researchers distinguish between complaints and criticisms. Complaints are specific concerns about what a person is doing, whereas criticisms are global attacks on why on earth they would ever be doing it.
Shifting from toilet seats to the perennial toothpaste-tube squeezing preferences, a good complaint sounds like this: "Honey, it makes me crazy to see the toothpaste squeezed in the middle because then it will be hard to use it all -- and you know how I'm thrifty. So can you please remember to start from the end?"
Whereas a criticism sounds like this: "I've told you about the toothpaste 100 times! What is your problem? You never listen to me! You're such a slob! Nothing matters to you except your stupid football games! Well I could care less about that!"

We don't have to put on our thinking caps to know which approach gets better results. When you complain, you have a win-win: Your partner gets to be the hero just by not squeezing the middle of the tube, and everyone's happy. When you criticize, you're left with shame and blame. Who would want to touch that with a 10-foot pole? And what even happened to the toothpaste tube issue? Lost in the rapid-fire attack. No wonder the other person never listens. They're too busy running for cover.

Now you may be thinking, why should I work to tailor my complaints about my partner if he (or she) is the one who is doing something wrong (and has been doing it wrong for a long, long time)?
Which gets to the final point: What is your desired effect? Is it to improve your relationship or to make your partner feel bad or corrected? You have to want change more than justice or revenge. When you are ready to make things better -- for both of you -- then, and only then, is it time to dive in. Here are eight ways to be most effective when you do:


1. Be Specific
It's not about everything your partner does wrong, it's about this one thing.
Don't do the rapid-fire attack, this isn't character assassination 101; stick with the one thing that is bothering you most right now and leave your partner's character intact (remember, you love that part).
2. Keep It Current
Stick with the present.
Do you keep magazines on your coffee table from five or 10 or 20 years ago? Of course not, those are old issues. Exactly.
3. Be A Newscaster
Don't judge, report.
Only the facts, please. Once you start making judgments, not only might you misjudge the "why" behind the behavior, but even if you're a little bit right when you say someone is lazy or inattentive -- it's highly unlikely that it will bring the kind of change you're after.
4. Avoid The Absolutes Of "Always" And "Never"
You never help! You always duck out when there's work to be done! We're not going to rush right up to the counter and claim those attributes. Don't generalize; focus on the present: "I need your help with the groceries now."
5. Know Your Rights
As much as the world would be a more perfect place if this were true, we aren't entitled to our partners being mind-reading geniuses who live for our every need. And we aren't entitled to demand someone do something our way just because (we think) it's better or right. We are, however, entitled to ask. It's different. Don't go in assuming that your way is the only right way. Explain why something matters to you. Logic, delivered calmly, often prevails.
6. Be Kind (And Use Humor) Whenever Possible
Levity is another word for generosity. You are literally sharing a laugh. It might take an extra second to find the humor in a situation, but given the momentum and good will it creates, it's a great time-saver in the end.
7. Use Compassion To De-Criminalize The Offense And maybe even let it go.
Is there a method to your partner's madness? Does it drive you crazy how long he takes to choose a date-night restaurant? Challenge yourself to find a good reason why. Is he so dedicated to your happiness that he doesn't want to disappoint you? Too hard on himself? Hardly a crime. Accepting that, you may switch gears and seize the opportunity to read or do your nails while you're waiting, but if you decide you want him to be less thorough (i.e., faster), you'll go into that discussion with an open heart rather than an attack weapon.
8. Make Requests, Not Demands And get the handshake.
How do you avoid becoming a nag? Don't lecture or make demands. That allows the other party to be passive and just hope you finish soon. Instead: make an agreement. An agreement takes two and starts with a conversation: "I'd like help with the dishes. Can you do that? When? Do you want my help remembering? Is there something else you'd rather do instead to pitch in?" Without a two-way conversation, there is no commitment and no accountability. Don't think high emotional confrontation; think business meeting. Consequences if agreements are broken? Sure, if you like. But the biggest consequence is weakening your relationship; if you're going to do business or anything else together, follow-through is a must.

After 27 years of marriage, my husband and I have had our fair share of toilet seat lid and toothpaste-tube discussions. But make no mistake. This is how we got here. Underneath these deceptively small details is the real deal. The motherlode. These complaints are really about respect: Can you respect my preferences even if (or especially if) they don't matter to you? Respect is at the foundation of any relationship that is going to work, so the most fulfilling relationships are built on the brick and mortar of these ground-level concerns. No matter how lofty your aspirations in your relationship -- no foundation, no go.
So next time you are unhappy with something in your relationship -- pause and see the opportunity for these little complaints to do their work for you, or else... I may... be forced to... No, no, no... just kidding! You'll see just how much stronger your relationship becomes.



For more by Tamar Chansky, click here.


Found here
Tamar Chansky: 8 Strategies to Complain Your Way Into a Happier Relationship

19 Sep 2012

The Art of Deep Breathing: A Sanity-Saving Strategy

Have you ever had one of those days where you were so stressed that you felt like you could use some help to save your sanity? If so, you’ll be happy to discover a strategy you can use to reduce stress and improve your health at the same time. This strategy is easy and convenient, and it’s called deep breathing.

One response to stress is shallow breathing.  This type of breathing is not the best way to draw air into the body, since you are mostly filling the upper part of your lungs. On the other hand diaphragmatic or deep breathing fills the lungs with life-giving oxygen. This type of breathing fills the lungs to their capacity. Here is a deep breathing exercise. While lying on your back or sitting in a chair, place your hands on your abdomen near your naval. Take deep breaths, feeling the rise and fall of your abdominal area. Taking a few deep breaths will not only oxygenate your body but also will help improve circulation, decrease anxiety and increase alertness.

We automatically breathe without thinking about it too much, unless a medical condition affecting breathing is present.  The moment we bring breathing into awareness, we begin to control how we breathe. The beauty is that it doesn’t cost you anything to breathe. But when is it appropriate to do breathing exercises? And how often can they be done?

When To Do Deep Breathing Exercises
There are no hard and fast rules stipulating when to do breathing exercises. It really depends on what you’re wishing to achieve by doing them.

You can use breathing exercises at any time to:
• Achieve a state of calm
• Feel alive, invigorated, and ready for your day
• Reduce stress in tense situations
• Wind down at the end of the day

When you wake up in the morning, you may wish to do some quick deep breathing exercises to feel invigorated and ready to go. You can go outside, take a deep breath, and then breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.

This breathing exercise can serve as a workout for your abdominal muscles and lungs. It can make you feel quite refreshed at the beginning of your day and provides a similar effect to taking a morning jog.

When you’re having a rough day at work or dealing with conflict, you can use a few calming breaths to help reduce stress. Sit back, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Hold it in and then let it out. Repeat the process until you feel relaxed.

Health Benefits of Breathing Exercises

If you just need a quick lift, then you’ll only need to spend a short time here and there doing some deep breathing exercises. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have a significant impact on your health and serenity, you can form a routine of several breathing exercises throughout your day.
 
Whatever the duration, breathing exercises may bring you many health benefits, including:
• Reduce your blood pressure
• Calm your nerves
• Tighten your core muscles
• Aid in better digestion
• Aid in the elimination of waste and toxins
• Bring you higher levels of energy
• Increase your awareness of the functions within your body
• Reduce stress

Your own results will depend upon the type and frequency of breathing exercises you use.

Anyone Can Benefit From Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can benefit virtually anyone. The only individuals who should take extreme caution are those with respiratory issues. Always check with your physician before attempting these exercises.
Nevertheless, sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the relaxing effects that deep breathing can provide. It’s an effective solution to reduce stress, bring you peace, and improve your life.

Found here

18 Sep 2012

Love Will Heal Your Life: Enrich Each Moment

We are all connected in that space of my heart. A love that is ever connected, ever free and whole hearted. How we infuse each moment with love life is ever renewing and unfolding beautifully. There is no greater joy than to know where you have come from and to recognize how far you’ve grown relaxing into the truth and the power of who you are.  

To be afforded insight into the human heart, to be able to bare witness to the light bulb moments, reconnecting and resurrecting parts of yourself that have long lay dormant, detoxing from whatever weighs you down, is intense. Do not be alarmed. Give yourself the space. Surrender your defenses and open your heart. It is okay. You are not alone. You are not alone in your feelings, You are not alone in your joy, you are connected to everything that is or ever was.

Resolve to release any story of the past in the present moment. that doesn’t thrill and create a new one. Head into the world, open your eyes and try something new. Whatever it takes. Experiment with a different way of being. Right now. Every time you do, the mind is expanded, new worlds open up and your intuition gets to frolic. Enrich your life love. Watch wonder and curiosity blossom.

May your soul be full of joy and your life ignite in ways you never dreamed possible.

17 Sep 2012

Love Will Heal Your Life: Experience The Joy Of Yes

There is a deep inner power that resides within. When you say YES to your still small voice and live in the spontaneity of expression where judgments fall away and you are in harmony with the present. IN this breath of presence, let your heart BEAT to the rhythm of Love. Allow love to flow through you igniting your heart song.

John Welwood describes this so perfectly there is nothing to do but share “the words “I Love You” spoken in moments of genuine appreciation, wonder or caring arise from something perfectly pure within us — the capacity to open ourselves and say yes without reserve. Such moments of pure openheartedness bring us as close to natural perfection as we come in this life. The radiant yes of the heart is perfect like the sun in bringing all things to life nourishing all that is truly human.”

Allow the flame of your truest self to burst ever higher. Let today represent a deepening of the Divine Loving experience, an opportunity to cleanse the past and an embracing of a new loving, powerful, radiant being.

Say YES with all your heart.

Take today to live life to its fullest, basking in the sunshine of a delightful day!

16 Sep 2012

Love Will Heal Your Life: Be Happy With What You Have

Life is what you make it. As someone said quite beautifully the happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

God bless each moment. God bless your neighborhood. God bless your family. God bless everyone. Seriously. God bless everyone.

Feel the shift and be present enjoying the happiness of this moment. When you are ready to complain about some circumstance or point a finger and feel bad. Be grateful for all of it. No matter what. Be grateful!

Stop and live in full appreciation for EVERYTHING and bless everything.

Be grateful for how much power and strength lie on the other side of beliefs. Let your faith take root and remember with infinite love and gratitude for what is, you have the possibility of shifting the only thing you can. Your perception.

As Ekhart Tolle says make friends with the present. Happiness lives there. How this is true for each of us becomes the happiness of the days of our lives.

You don’t need to be a wise man to get the saying it matters not what happens to us it is always our perception that needs tending. Be happy with what you have. May the best of the past be the worst of your tomorrows!

May your soul be full of joy and your heart leap and spark at the sheer thrill of discovery in happiness with what is.

15 Sep 2012

Love Will Heal Your Life: Transform Your Thinking


There is a different way to look at everything. A way for a switch. Whatever is occurring in your life. Release the chronic thought. Take a step back and change your perception. Open your heart. Think with love. Take a deep breath, kick back your shoulders and drill deeper into the center of your being. Take another look.

Be Willing To See Everything Differently.

We can’t change what other people do or say we can always change our thinking. When we are thinking without love ninety nine percent of our thoughts are untrue and hurtful.

Give a new spin to an old thought. Go beyond appearances and see the deeper truth. Defy expectations. Change your thinking about a word, a person, a place.

How we respond to an event, a person etc. and how we remember to hold this in our being makes all the difference and demonstrates the grace of life filled with ups and downs and losses and finding and creates the fullness of the glass. No matter how you look at it. People make mistakes, forgive and move on. Each memory released and each piece put in service offering a moment of healing and inspiration.

This is not the world that we were born into this is the world we create through our thoughts and actions and like any inheritance we work to become what we need to be for us and we unlearn that which we have acquired and we know our path is our path and all that we are shackled to when released is the way that we come into the truth of who we are.

There is always a different way to see. One of my favorite Rumi sayings almost Confuscian in its wisdom. What you sow will bear fruit. So if you have any sense my friend, don’t plant anything but love.

Slow down, calm down, don’t worry, don’t hurry, trust the process. -Alexandra Stoddard.

14 Sep 2012

Love Will Heal Your Life: Dare To Be Remarkable

Infuse your action with the confidence of your being, remembering who you are.
A remarkable glorious one of a kind creation.

You are a beautiful essential expression of life filled with joy and inspiration.
It is time to own it.
The human condition is uncommonly extraordinary
There is nothing arrogant about remembering the lord of creation is within you as it is in everyone.

It is humble to accept and embody the feeling of comfort and deep inner peace claiming your true power. Knowing whatever comes up when you embrace this remarkable part of yourself is meant to be released. Let everything be in service to Love’s fullest energy allowing the depth of experience to emerge with no judgment allowing whatever sparks to cast into a flame the light of which will burn what needs to burn illuminating the way ahead.

Remarkable is who you are.
Magnificence is your destiny.

Dare to be all of you.

“What basic objective I had… was to grasp every opportunity to live and experience life as deeply, as fully, and as widely as I possibly could. It seemed to me stupid to have the gift of life and not use it to the utmost of one’s ability.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

12 Sep 2012

Your Power for Unlimited Success & Abundance - Have a Magnificent Day!

Dawn of Your Dreams

God or the Universe does not make mistakes.
There are no accidents or coincidences.
This is the way it is.

Everything in your life has led up to this moment and these exact circumstances.
As they say in the game of poker, this is the hand you were dealt and this is the hand you have to play out. It is totally up to you.

Based on your thoughts, beliefs, words and actions you create your reality.
The outcome is totally dependent on you!
YOU make all the difference in the world.

Whatever you focus your attention on is where your energy goes.
This is the Law of Focused Attention or The Law of Attraction.
You have free will and freedom of choice so you determine the outcome.

So, be clear that everything in your life depends on you.
You are the cause and source of everything that you create.
It starts with your inner reality, your inner game.

You can focus your thoughts, energy and resources on what you want in a positive direction.
Or you can focus on the negative…..on fear……on most of the things you hear people talk about.
Most of the topics in the news, on the Internet, TV, radio, etc are fear-based and negative.
Sad that drama, trauma and scandal is more interesting than the wonderful things in life.

Your most important choice is where are you going to focus your attention.
POSITIVE or negative, FREEDOM or fear, ABUNDANCE or lack, OPPORTUNITY or limitation?
Because whatever you believe is what is. Whatever you choose is your reality.
This is the Power of Acknowledgement.

Complaining is just a waste of time and energy.
Wise people do not pay attention to this. They do not spend time wSave as Draftith negative people.
They create positive environments, they look for opportunities, they create solutions, they create positive results. They make things happen.

It takes much more effort, courage, determination and persistence to think creatively and to follow your own path. It is much easier to let things be the way they are and not create what you want and follow your dreams. Creators and achievers use their energy to think differently, to trust their intuition and inspirations.

What are you going to do now?

Successful people create rather than compete.
When they are told that they can’t do something, then that is exactly what they must do.
They have an overwhelmingly positive and triumphant belief that anything is possible.
They do what it takes to succeed.

You can do all of these wonderful things and not violate the rights of others.
You can follow proper principles and create magnificent results.
Be clear that temptation will present short cuts and the ego will attempt to manipulate you.

How you conduct yourself and how you achieve your results are even more important than the results your achieve. So choose wisely. Once you say something or do something it cannot be taken back. Make sure your efforts are for your highest possibilities and for the good of all concerned.

This time in history offers you the greatest opportunities that we have seen since the Great Depression.
Make it count……seize the day……..seize the moment.
Turn your dreams into reality.


I found this inspiring article here:

11 Sep 2012

RULES FOR A PERFECT DAY

  1.     Just for today, I will try to live through this day only -- and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a life-time.
  2.     Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that. "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Happiness is from within -- it is not a matter of externals.
  3.     Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.
  4.     Just -for today, I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it and not abuse it nor neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.
  5.     Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer all day. I will.read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
  6.     Just for today, I will.exercise my soul in three ways, to wit: (1) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count. (2) I will do at least two things I don't want to do, just for exercise of will-power. (3) I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
  7.     Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, and criticize not one bit nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anyone.
  8.     Just for today, I will have a program. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I'll have it as a pattern to follow. It will save me from the two pests - HURRY and INDECISION.
  9.     Just for today, I will have a quiet half-hour, all by myself, and relax. In this half-hour, some time, I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective to my life.
  10.     Just for today, I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love, love me.

10 Sep 2012

Stop caring about things you can’t control

Some forces are out of your control.  Accept this fact of life.  Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation.

The smartest thing you can do to compensate for the things you can’t control is adjusting your attitude.  Your attitude has a profound effect on your overall potential.  Consuming yourself with the negative aspects of a circumstance gets nothing productive accomplished.  But if you instead look at the circumstance productively and positively, coming from the standpoint of “What’s my next best move?” you put yourself back in the driver’s seat.

Bottom line:  As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  You can’t change what happened, but you can change how you react to it.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.  The opposite is also true.  The choice is yours to make.

9 Sep 2012

Stop caring about mistakes

Mistakes teach you important lessons.  The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake.  So don’t hesitate – don’t doubt yourself.  In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance.  You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Most of the time you just have to go for it!

And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.  Remember, if you never act, you will never know for sure, and you will be left standing in the same spot forever.

8 Sep 2012

Stop caring about being right all the time

We all dance to the beat of a different drum.  There are few absolute ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ in the world.  What’s right for you may be wrong for me, and viceversa.  People need to live their lives their way – the way that’s right for them.

When it comes to life choices and opinions, not much is worth fighting about.  Step back from arguments with your spouse, family members or neighbors.  When you feel anger surging up and you want to yell that vulgar remark on tip of your tongue, just close your mouth and walk away.  Let mind calm down.  You don’t have to be right or win an argument.

Instead, open your mind to new ideas and opinions.  Don’t just concentrate on what others are doing, spend time figuring out why they are doing what they’re doing.

7 Sep 2012

Stop caring about the imaginary state of perfect


Perfect is the enemy of good.

Many of us are perfectionists in our own right.  I know I am at times.  We set high bars for ourselves and put our best foot forward.  We dedicate copious amounts of time and attention to our work to maintain our high personal standards.  Our passion for excellence drives us to run the extra mile, never stopping, never relenting.  And this dedication towards perfection undoubtedly helps us to achieve results…  So long as we don’t get carried away.

But what happens when we do get carried away with perfectionism?
We become disgruntled and discouraged when we fail to meet the (impossibly high) standards we set for ourselves, making us reluctant to take on new challenges or even finish tasks we’ve already started.  Our insistence on dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’ breeds inefficiency, causing major delays, stress overload and subpar results.

True perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them… always.  I have a friend who has wanted to start a graphic design business for several years.  But she hasn’t yet.  Why?  When you sift through her extensive list of excuses it comes down to one simple problem:  She is a perfectionist.  Which means she doesn’t, and never will, think she’s good enough at graphic design to own and operate her own graphic design business.

Remember, the real world doesn’t reward perfectionists.  It rewards people who get things done.  And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.  Only by wading through years of practice and imperfection can we begin to achieve momentary glimpses of the perfection.
So make a decision.  Take action.  Learn from the outcome.  And repeat this method over and over and over again in all walks of life.  Also, check out Too Perfect.  It’s an excellent read on conquering perfectionism.

6 Sep 2012

Stop caring about what everyone else has

When you catch yourself comparing yourself to a colleague, neighbor, friend, or someone famous, stop!  Realize that you are different, with different strengths – strengths these other people don’t possess.  Take a moment to reflect on all the awesome abilities you have and to be grateful for all the good things in your life.

The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life — a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc.  Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you might have a new destination in mind.

Instead, appreciate where you are and what you have right now.  Try comparing yourself to those who have less, those who are dealing with tragedy, and those who are struggling to survive. Hopefully it opens your eyes to all the things you should be grateful for.

5 Sep 2012

Stop caring about what everyone else wants for you

Unfortunately, just before you take your first step on the righteous journey to pursue your dreams, people around you, even the ones who deeply care for you, will usually give you awful advice.  It’s not because they have evil intentions.  It’s because they don’t understand the big picture – what your dreams, passions and life goals mean to you.  They don’t understand that, to you, the reward is worth the risk.


So they try to protect you by shielding you from the possibility of failure, which, in effect, also shields you from the possibility of making your dreams a reality.

As our friend Steve Jobs says:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”

4 Sep 2012

Stop caring about the boundaries others set up

No matter how much progress you make there will always be the people who insist that whatever you’re trying to do is impossible.  Or they may incessantly suggest that the idea or dream as a whole is utterly ridiculous because nobody really cares.  When you come across these people, don’t try to reason with them.  Instead, forget that they exist.  They will only waste your time and energy.


Try what you want to try.  Go where you want to go.  Follow your own intuition.  Don’t accept false choices.  Don’t let others put a cage around you.  Definitely don’t listen to the watchdog.
Whenever somebody discredits you and tells you that you can’t do something, keep in mind that they are speaking from within the boundaries of their own limitations.

3 Sep 2012

Practicing Loving Kindness

May I be happy, peaceful and free from suffering.
May no harm come to me.
May no difficulties come to me.
May no problems come to me.
May I always find fulfillment. May I also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination, to meet and overcome, the inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.
 
May my teachers and all teachers of the Truth be happy, peaceful and free from suffering.
May no harm come to them.
May no difficulties come to them.
May no problems come to them.
May they always find fulfillment. May they also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination, to meet and overcome, the inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.

May my parents, brothers and sisters, friends and relatives, pets, all the people I don't know and all the people I don't like be happy, peaceful and free from suffering.
May no harm come to them.
May no difficulties come to them.
May no problems come to them.
May they always find fulfillment. May they also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination, to meet and overcome, the inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.

From the highest realm of existence to the lowest, may all beings arisen in these realms, with form and without, with perception and without, with consciousness and without, may they be happy, peaceful and free from suffering.
May no harm come to them.
May no difficulties come to them.
May no problems come to them.
May they always find fulfillment. May they also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination, to meet and overcome, the inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.