Letting it Out

Being there for everyone else

This seems cute and obvious and perhaps a reminder to appreciate the people in your life who are there for you but I want to take it one step further.

Yesterday I had a mini meltdown!! I was so looking forward to an event where I knew a really deserving friend was about to get some much needed and long overdue recognition. How did I know this? Because I had been gathering the praise from all the people who loved and appreciated her and had them ‘vote’ for her, complete with writing down why she deserved to win. We all have those kind words and appreciation inside us for various things and people in our lives but until we are called to task and reminded to put it out there, we can seem to take things for granted. I didn’t even know if everyone I contacted would vote, but they did and it was lovely to hear in other people’s words why they also think she is special. And I wasn’t even sure who to ask as she usually floats under the radar so there should have been many more.  

All through the event, I kept looking at her hoping I was right about what was coming. So too did some of the other people I contacted, I noticed; huge smiles on their faces. Finally as the comments were read out, before the winner was actually named, and some of the descriptions of what she did were starting to point quite conclusively at the lady in question I saw it dawn on her. Her head dropped and the tears started to form. But this is where I melted. I cried way more than she did. I have a lump in my throat now, just at the memory.

But back to her. The comments kept coming; things which people had been thinking but not showing before now. She told me later that she was so overcome that she was shaking all morning as well as smiling all day. After the event people kept coming up and hugging her and I realised that there were so many people in other departments I could have contacted.

I didn’t let on that this wasn’t a spontaneous outpouring; that I had orchestrated it. That might have detracted from her joy. It made no difference that I was the vehicle for this because people would not have taken the time to think, write and vote unless they wanted to. All I knew is that I thought she was special and I could see she needed a pick me up. I didn’t realise how much it would affect me. Could the quote be true?

Now to me, sorry. I was a mess. I had to really calm myself and hide it from her though of course she noticed later and came over, being the beautiful person that she is. I blamed it on another event in my day which I hadn’t enjoyed. I shall just say I think it was a full moon!

So I got to questioning the strength of my reaction. Tears for her joy and tears for me. I was worried that my ego wanted that validation for myself; that I wasn’t as altruistic as I thought. I know it’s important to love yourself and not wait for this outside validation, and that I felt good, really good being the instigator of others being reminded to act on stored appreciation for this lady. However I did nothing. I can’t take credit because if I do, I will have to take credit for all the bad stuff I inadvertently do too. I can only examine and rationalise my feelings, and use the information about my reactions to go forth a wiser person. It was just a weak moment, I’m only human. We all get caught up occasionally.

Hey look I realise that I have cheered up already. This writing out your feelings in a blog post really works! 

[I would just like to say that I could have done this exercise for so many people I know.  There is love, compassion and beauty in so many.  Have you really looked at the people around you recently?]

 

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Bathing in Motivation

How fragrant is the water you are bathing in?

 

 

 

Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.”
Zig Ziglar

Well Zig, I would like to thank you. I had heard your name and possibly your quotes before but I obviously wasn’t ready to really know you as I hadn’t put two and two together. I couldn’t have told you who you were or what you did. However seeing that some of my favourite bloggers wrote about your passing yesterday, and looking more into your work, you have now become a blip on my radar and hopefully on that of many others if they are in the dark. I am now a huge fan! I am sure you would be happy to know that even your passing brought light to the world for I am sure that was your aim.

Anyway I digress. I had heard words to this effect before and they may have come from you first. They soothed me then and they soothe me now. No need to worry about not always ‘getting it’. Motivation is not permanent. Nothing is permanent. But if we choose to continually bathe ourselves in motivation, we smell sweeter and the fragrance comes with us and can hopefully be enjoyed by those around us. And if their scent is stronger than ours, fantastic. Enjoy it. And see what happens when they mingle.

This morning I came across some of my old posts. I write in order to be positive and I write when I am feeling positive. It therefore stands to reason that my own posts can lift me up and motivate me. They were a voice I was proud of, no matter how hastily the thoughts were written and edited. The feeling I am trying to convey is always there. So I am going to stop here and take time to read some of what I have written before.

I invite you to stop reading and go do the same. Revisit yourself. Read your posts instead of mine. Listen to yourself. Bye for now.

 

Who stole my present?

Just a quick, simple but important reminder as I awoke from a nightmare this morning and am not quite connected. Haha I realise I have just ‘let the past steal my present’ by letting the nightmare affect me. It is slowly wearing off. In my nightmare after a morning of being horribly disorganised and leaving for work very late and only half dressed, I attracted two rapists in a public car park and the rest of the people in the car park left (walked past me on foot) so I knew I was in trouble. When I woke I decided that if I was ever in that situation I would leave with the other people if I could even though it would appear odd and rude as the two men had started speaking to me. (I’ve heard that politeness and worrying about what other people think can make you more susceptible to rape as you don’t avoid the person your instincts tell you is dodgy). It was a horrible variation on my recurring disorganised dream where I have uni exams and haven’t attended the classes. Much worse consequences though.

Anyway I digress. So how does the past steal your present? And why shouldn’t it? As Eckhart Tolle says, the past is now just a memory, like a film in your mind. You may have photos and videos which last longer than the memories but even they will be destroyed eventually, like all physical things. We also ‘rework’ the memories into part of our ‘story’ that we commonly (but unfortunately) carry around with us, attached to our ego. This story can steal our present if it keeps replaying louder than the events around us. To steal our present means leave us not fully aware of what’s going on around us. It leaves us unable to be present and fully appreciate and enjoy things for what they are. The past could be terrible, full of childhood horrors which may steal our present by leaving us fearful and distrustful, or it could have been ‘magic’ so that nothing we do or have now compares.

Our bodies regenerate every seven years or so I have heard. Each body part takes different amounts of time. Our memories remain in our brains within connections and electrical pulses I believe, though clearly I know very little on this subject. My point is that thought is the main thing that we keep with us on our journey. (OK I’ve heard that cells have memory too but I don’t want to go too deep). Lessons, experiences, skills etc come with us. And so do the stories. If we can’t rework those stories into something manageable (accept life, become philosophical, forgive and forget) then they will bite us and affect our present. They will steal it by clouding our current experiences negatively. The first thing I did on awaking today was remove the photo of me in a bikini on my other blog!! Fear crept in and I listened.

So how can we rework those stories? Realising that they are stories formed by us is the first step. Realising we have the power to shape them and that we therefore have the power to reshape them is important. And having the will to let the story of your past go and ‘be present’, using all your senses to realise that where you are right here, right now is probably safe and calm is helpful if not essential.

Ultimately, we have to take responsibility for our own happiness and not assign the power to something external. We may not think we have the strength to overcome or forget the past but for me it is a worthwhile endeavour. Joy is Now. Look around you. You are bombarded with current information. Your surroundings, feelings, senses should take up every ounce of your thoughts and with whatever you have left, shape your ‘now’ the best way you can. Create beautiful experiences. Now where’s the chocolate?

 

Close the door on guilt

This seems a little controversial to me. I was introduced to the works of Paulo Coelho by a man I got talking to at the beach 5 years ago. I read a few of Paulo’s books and couldn’t really understand at first why he was so extraordinarily popular as he seemed to be a little egotistical and also simplistic. I think I am drawn to the honesty in his writing. Perhaps that is the drawcard. Honesty takes great courage in the face of society. We hear so many ‘shoulds’ in life that say you mustn’t close the door on this or that, that it’s lazy to give up or rude not to stay in contact with someone or you should persevere with this or that because it builds character. I have heard that family is everything and you should stick with them no matter what. But that ‘what’ is sometimes too high a price to pay and we are all free to walk away if we can be courageous enough to be ourselves and give ourselves what we think we need at any given moment. What is the price of doing something we want instead of something that someone else wants? Guilt usually. Guilt creates a no win situation if you let guilt creep into your life. Banish it immediately!

 

So I love this quote of Paulo’s. You won’t find too many like it. I love Barbara Sher because she also give you permission. We would find inner peace if we could give ourselves permission. Permission to be ourselves and to ‘do’ ourselves.

 

When we are bombarded with messages daily, we can choose whose opinions resonate and sit well with us. Barbara Sher gave me permission to stop blogging at any time and it is obvious of course but nice to be reminded. I will blog as long as it suits me which may be another week or forever! She actually gives you permission to stop doing anything you want; that’s it’s OK to do something only for as long as you want. I am a jack of all trades and get wildly excited by certain new things. It could be a song, a handbag, a YouTube video, a person, a recipe, quantum physics, the colour of something, whatever. But if I had to stick with something for too long I would miss out on discovering new things. I would ‘fall off my energy beam’. I think the general consensus is that you should settle down, become an expert in something in order to be successful, or stick with a spouse forever in order to have a successful marriage or have friends you’ve known since kindergarten. How about working at a job for a decent amount of time in order to look good on your resume? There are many examples of where we are encouraged to do, be, know something long past it’s due date.

Paulo implies that we get accused of pride, incapacity or arrogance if we don’t stick with something. Harsh judgements. Who are the people who want you to stick with them? Scared people usually. Why should you stick with a job? To become an ‘expert’ and therefore be a ‘success’, but it’s not a success if you are miserable. Why would you stick with a course of study? To get a certificate you may never need to prove to the world.  Why would you stick with a partner?  If it’s for what the proverbial neighbours think, you are giving your power, freedom and happiness away unnecessarily.

 

Is there something you keep in your life, some door you are afraid to close because of guilt even though it leads you nowhere? I close doors with love. Love to go and do your own thing while I go do mine. I long ago learned the lesson that guilt serves absolutely no purpose ever. Who wants more bad feeling in the world that resolves nothing? Does it really make you do something different next time; be a better person?

 

If you have the courage of your convictions and walk away from a person, an exercise class, habit, group of people, or even way of thinking, it frees you up. I have so often heard that when one door closes a window opens. I think it’s supposed to mean that a door has closed against your will and the thought of something new coming along cheers you up. I believe that. But if you have closed that door yourself, you may be ostracised. What’s the difference?

 

This is where freedom and courage to make your own choices comes in; to truly be yourself. Those that love you understand why you are making these choices. They agree that you are free to make them. Those that don’t love you will never understand anyway. Those that call you these names are not free themselves; they are caught in the shoulds of life. Perhaps they wish to be free also.

 

Anyway thanks to Paulo for being a voice you don’t hear too often which says walk away when something no longer serves you. If we are truly strong inside we don’t need his permission either but it’s great to see it in writing. If we want to walk back later that is OK too, why should we have our ‘tail between our legs’? It is always our decision.

 

You deserve it!

Such a simple message but the best parenting advice I know. I am a fan of Jo Frost, Supernanny. She sometimes shows such brilliant understanding (like a small child scarring her own face when she sucked her thumb because of her older sister’s being treated like a baby due to being premature) but generally you see the same parenting methods. She basically sets expectations and boundaries for the kids so that when they test the parents‘ boundaries (which they are meant to do in order to grow up) the parents will know how to respond. Jo usually has to give them the extra strength to resist (return the child to bed 40 times instead of giving in and letting them sleep with the parents for example).

Can we parent ourselves that way? Or diet that way? If I keep acting up and adding ‘little extras’ to my diet my body always resists and I put on weight. Once I learn that I cannot keep doing that I will be healthier and happier for not eating large amounts of unhealthy food and constantly testing my limits. I am like the kid that gets more sleep finally, and whose parents are happier; benefits that were realised because boundaries came into play. Mother nature is strong for me (responds the same way each time by making me fat) and I just have to find different methods for myself to stop ‘acting up’ and looking for ‘love’ in the chocolate block.

Anyway I digress. Where on earth was I? I will just finish Jo Frost. So her second message is always to give the children consistent love so that they get their needs met, feel wanted and part of the family and don’t feel the need to act up for attention of any kind in the first place. She takes them on outings to the park for some reason, or has them do craft together or find something new like karate for father and son to do together. This showing of love is the foundation for most of the parenting courses I have undertaken. Have FUN with your kids. Let them know you will give them attention even when they don’t act up. Take time for them. Don’t let all the words you use be to keep them in line. They won’t keep listening to you and you become distant and ineffective anyway. ‘Help is the sunny side of control’ is another quote I like. Stop helping them and invite them to help you instead. They have lots to teach!!

So why do we (and kids) need the most love when we least deserve it? When we become insecure (feeling unloved and unappreciated) we start acting up. We become irritable and defensive to those around us and in their eyes we are less ‘lovable’. We might start doing things to get other’s attention, shout or slam doors or start swearing to externalize our feelings. Neither produces a great response in others. It can make them irritable and defensive if they think you have attacked them in some way. They are likely to give you less love and the spiral continues.

You would do just as well to remember to be your own ‘parent’. Treat yourself like this with consistent love and positive messages about your achievements. Take time out for yourself to have fun. Take time out to work out what fun even means for you. Set your own boundaries if life hasn’t already done that for you. Swap your family’s or anyone else’s voices for your own inner voice. That’s my favourite lesson in life so far.

What I have learned from exploring this quote is that we should treat ourselves as we want others to treat us. I heard that the basis of absolutely all religions is ‘treat others as you would want to be treated’. So mine is reversed. ‘Do unto yourself as you would other people do unto you’. When you least ‘deserve’ love, love yourself more for recognising it. Be kind to yourself. And if you can recognise the hurt in everyone else when they appear to be ‘mean’, you will see the world as full of scared children, rather than nasty people. I know which world I would rather live in.

 

 

 

 

Building that Loving Relationship

Everything we explore and experience is an expression of our relationship with our primordial nature – Damon Gautama

http://becomingfullyhuman.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/it-can-be-helpful/

I take my inspiration from two of my favourite bloggers today Yaz Rooney and Damon Gautama who were both the vehicle for bringing me something I need at the moment. Thank you both. When I am down I can just go and read all the amazing posts from the bloggers I have discovered. I could just gobble you all up, I am so grateful.

Both messages are about love and relationship which, now I think about it is the number one, numero uno, the only thing worth having on this planet! Yep, back to sweeping statements. I think my Mojo must be returning! Confident to allow my ignorance to shine forth once again and not care how it’s received.

Damon points out that we have only one relationship and that’s with our primordial nature. To me that means with ourselves though I am sure he is also referring to the fact that we are all one in a sea of Quantum Energy. You could call it a relationship with the Universe or God if you like to use that word (which I am not comfortable using myself personally).

This relationship with yourself is based on faith and trust in yourself. Do you have trust that you will keep to your own (high?) standards? That you are being the ‘best’ you can be and won’t let yourself down, or judge that you are letting yourself down (same thing perhaps)? Do you have inner peace because you have faith and trust that as your life unfolds it will bring you what you want? How about what you need? If I open my eyes and look clearly once more I realise it certainly is bringing me what I need, if I have courage to see it. It takes courage to be happy. Courage to go ‘Oops I was wrong but it’s OK, I can learn from this’. I forgive myself. This week I wasn’t forgiving myself for being grumpy and unsettled. Damon responded to my comment about how I was feeling, that there is a big energy going through the world this week and I believe it because I want to believe that it’s not just me feeling this way. I have looked around for examples of other people feeling grumpy to solidify my opinion and gratify my ego. Easily done and pointless really. Seek and ye shall find. But of course it’s fine if I am the only one in the whole world feeling this way. I am allowed to. Anywhere in the world just now is someone overjoyed at having a baby or getting married or falling in love. And others are perhaps in mourning for something – a job, money, lover, identity which they thought they needed to go on being happy. Of course their journey is to process the loss or the gain, and hopefully come to the conclusion that it’s all OK. Everything is fine as it is. They are fine as they are. Outcomes are neither good nor bad.

Anyway I digress. Back to success and the success of loving who you are, what you do and how you do it. My ego loves that I can bounce back. My ego loves my job in customer service, problem solving and helping people. I get a kick out of feeling I have gone above and beyond to help them, even if they don’t see it. And I love how I do it – with enthusiasm, understanding attitude and tone of voice on the phone, putting my brain into gear to not only help them solve the actual problem but make them feel better. I defend the company I love if possible and apologise for our failings when all too necessary. It’s about connection, as is any job really. I am at an entry level job, probably unappreciated by society yet I am finally feeling like a success now that I see it the right way! I always thought I needed more but I just needed to see it right and I knew it. This quote clarifies it for me more and I am grateful.

So if our one relationship and possibly our happiness rests on how we judge our relationship with ourselves what can we do to improve it? For me it’s applauding my own successes in whatever form it takes (not buying the fattening honey roasted Macadamias in the supermarket yesterday) and forgiving my failures (buying the half price Toblerone and a bottle of Frangelico this week in hopes of making some amazing new cocktail I have the recipe for somewhere, using Christmas as an excuse).

Applaud and Forgive. It’s quite the opposite of the Beat Myself Up and Downplay Anything Good that I did, said, wore, felt.

I am back on track! Praise be to ….?????  

Chasing Butterflies

Defeat strips away false values and makes you realise what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold – William Moulton Marston

I have another confession. I think I let something silly get to me, unless it was the eclipse of the sun playing havoc on our collective consciousness 🙂 . From the high of enjoying rising blog views in the 50s or 60s, now for the last week I barely register over 25 per day and it’s slowly falling. Because I let the numbers bother me I will say I tasted defeat. I temporarily lost my exuberant self. Taking a day off blogging yesterday was perfect. I sat in the morning sun and watched the rainbow lorikeets. I let the slight breeze cool my coffee and the sun kiss my cheeks and I listened to all the bird noises. When I got back from work I didn’t rush to check my computer but picked up 3 books and read each of them for a while. I ‘felt’ my way through Fifty Shades Freed, started (waded through) A Course in Miracles and then moved on to Barbara Sher‘s ‘It’s only too late if you don’t start now‘ which seemed like light reading in comparison. And this is where I found this quote.

Just what I needed to hear! I was writing and digging for gold deep in the ground within me and then got distracted by butterflies – beautiful growing stats, a myriad of countries listed every day on WordPress, amazing new friends. I tried to rein myself in a couple of times and get back to basics, but along came another butterfly and off I’d go, thinking about them and not why I need to write. And so the shiny gold I was finding stopped appearing and the butterflies stopped being attracted because there was nothing left to catch their attention.

So my learning is advancing. Barbara is not saying in this book that you give up your dreams. She is saying that when you stop chasing butterflies – wealth, standing, admiration etc you rediscover who you were, what you really loved as a kid, who you still are, what nourishes your soul and you start digging again. And the results of your labour mean more to you than keeping up with the Joneses. The results may well be the things you strived for in the first place but they won’t come at a cost anymore, because your natural talents come easily. Because they are enjoyable you put in the fun hours and what you thought was a natural lack of discipline doesn’t come into the equation. Rewards come in all forms, internally and externally because you are more engaged, you give out a better energy (I am guessing) and you are authentic.

The authentic me laughs a lot and chokes up at many things including youtube videos, kids hugging, donating to charity, people saying hello and goodbye at the airport. The list is growing. My experience seems vivid compared to many people and the high energy levels grate with some who want me to be more level, calm. But I am calming on the inside and if anything the real me is getting more exuberant on the outside. An eccentric English lady. What a cliché.

1960s Costume 2009

Anyway I digress. My false values are hugging the numbers to myself, using them to tell others who have no interest in my blog, that up to 63 people in exactly 25 different countries have been interested in what I have to say! And what I really want? To finish writing each morning feeling like I have grown just a little and surprised myself with what I found inside. ‘To be more than I thought I could be’ to quote Whitney Houston.

How accurate is your measure?

Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realising that life is made up of little things – Frank A. Clark

I have a basket full of little things to choose from. Actually I have house full of activities I like to undertake. No, I have a lake full of water and in each drop are the ideas I have for making my life memorable. No, forget that. I have a universe of potential but it all comes down to my little basket from which things peek out at me and I choose to do them from time to time. Little things only.

What do I want to accomplish that’s big? Ideally I’d like to take every human being for whom depression can be cured by mind over matter and not those that really need drugs at this stage in their lives and inject them with clear thinking, faith that it’s all OK really. They are OK, the world is OK. Perhaps that means I want to be all powerful if I’d like to help everyone. Yikes. Actually I can’t cope with power as I don’t have the confidence to think I could keep up whatever got me there, day after day and I would therefore let people down and cause suffering. Fail.

So I can only do little things. I write every day on this subject when I could be writing about just about anything. Just point me at a subject, and I have something to write :). And that’s where my ‘problem’ lay in life until recently. I judged my myriad of little ‘accomplishments’ as worthless. There is no big thing you could say that I achieved. No career, no profession, no consistency. I felt bad. Because I have so many interests, I try to break each thing I love down into tiny parts to get at least a sample of it as much as possible. On top of working full time, I talk to the kids, run for 20 minutes each day, write my diet blog, read all the blog posts I subscribe to (there seems to be a lull at the moment and I am not getting so many posts – where is everyone?). I am also reading three books and about to start A Course in Miracles because I keep seeing quotes from it.

And then I remember what’s in the bottom of the basket. I remember how much music lifts me up and I think my life will be improved if I could just squeeze in 20 minutes a day of practising the piano, or listening to my favourite songs. Then I think my brain would be better off in the long run if I practised my other languages or my lousy juggling or did Sudoku more often.

So it appears that I cannot accomplish something big in any one direction. I will never be an expert at piano, languages, juggling, running, gardening and certainly not at my job. And what about the rest of the things I’d like to do?

But I realise that I have accomplished something big. If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one says Mother Teresa. Well I am feeding myself. I am happy. I fixed my depression with clear thinking. And that is big. Finding bloggers out there who gladden my soul with their posts – Yaz, Diane, Julien, Damon, Cristian, Richard, Evan, Seth the photographer, to name but a few is BIG. I don’t follow the news I confess. I would rather fill my time with ‘listening to’ people I admire, not hearing about the actions of people that I don’t admire. And this is real, current, now. I am finding bloggers who brighten my love for the world and fill my head with more love.

So now I can add up my little things and realise I am accomplishing something big. A life I can enjoy. I shouldn’t take it for granted. I take my happiness and silly attitude and inject it wherever I can. People smile and laugh. With me, at me I don’t care (have you seen the ugly pictures on my Joy Is Now Gravatar?). I kind of live life with the attitude ‘if you can’t set a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning’. Only I enjoy not always getting it right. It’s funny.

I completely digressed and probably missed the whole point of Frank’s quote probably. I think he is saying that by doing little things you will eventually accomplish something big. I say you have to realise how far you’ve come and redefine what BIG is. Infinite little decisions in our day make us who we are and we are already big. Go ask the people who love you! Theirs are the only voices worth listening to.

 

Pretty Happy

 

 

This is lovely. I am glad Audrey said this. She was always beautiful and wise. It’s not the most important thing in the world to be pretty. It can open many doors, but it can also close them for you. And though many people might long to be pretty or handsome they would probably prefer to be happy.

As I get older I know I am trading my youthful looks for happiness and I wouldn’t want to go back. Where I find a photo of me that I dislike it’s always one where I am not smiling. I find myself examining flaws. In the photos where I am grinning from ear to ear, I see shining eyes and a lopsided smile but I can’t help react to the smile, even if it’s only on paper. We are preprogrammed to like smiles.

Someone at University once told me this truth also; the best beauty secret is a smile. I’ve seen it in reverse also, where I was feeling really down and went to a party. I might as well have had a sign on my forehead saying ‘Avoid this woman. Save yourself’. How many excuses are there to move away? I learned a few that night.

I have done a lot of online dating since my marriage broke up and when you sift through hundreds of faces looking to see who you might be attracted to, the smile is the most important factor. There can be three of four photos of someone who is not smiling and I wonder if they are ashamed of their teeth or if its their serious personality shining through.

So why are we attracted to the people who are smiling? Why do we find them ‘prettier’? If we are all looking for acceptance then someone smiling has either accepted themselves and are happy at this point so are more likely to accept you or they smile at you with instant acceptance, which is the nicest feeling. Smiling is universal – every race and culture on earth recognises a smile. If someone is smiling one can assume they are radiating good energy at that point, so that’s another reason to be attracted and find them prettier. It would draw you close.

I smile a lot and I mean a LOT. I am smiling now. I read a business book recently where a shoe company preferred to employ people like me and then described us as ‘Whack jobs’. Fantastic! I love that description. I’d rather be the crazy in the loony bin with the big smile. As Dudley Moore said in the movie Arthur, “sometimes I just think funny things”. I find life pretty funny if you look at it in a certain way. The things we do are funny. Comedians have endless fodder in the everyday.

At 16 I first learned this lesson. I met a girl who was unattractive by most rules. And yet she was fighting the boys off. It’s common knowledge that people will be attracted by looks but hang around only if there is personality to go with it. And sometimes the best looking ones don’t always have personality because they haven’t had to develop any in order to attract admirers. The truth is that personality really is the best attractor or the one that brings people together anyway.

So I will continue being a whack job. I will keep collecting those wrinkles and if I can throw in some laughter too all the better. Just find what you enjoy on YouTube (try this – thanks Yaz’s commenter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBb8tx5S8x8) and use it like beauty treatment. We are all stunning!!

PS On TED.com I learned about an experiment where people had to hold a pencil in their mouths which simulated smiling by using the same muscles. By measuring their saliva they could tell that doing this fake smile lowered stress levels. Imagine what a real smile would do! Smiling yet?

 

Masters of Silence

A Master doesn´t teach words, but Silence – Julien Matei

Mirrors of Encounters blog by Julien Matei 

I love this. And yet how ironic as I use words to express myself and the joy I have learned through being silent. By being silent I mean that I stopped chasing the things I thought I wanted on the outside to read, listen, learn and find what I needed on the inside.

I do not plan to stop writing. It soothes my soul and of course I am no Master. But it is true that Masters teach silence. I can’t speak for Buddha with any in depth knowledge but I know he would agree. Eckhart Tolle says in one of his two hour ‘intensives’ (his term) that ‘we are not sitting here today to add more but to take it away’ and that if you don’t ‘get it’ already then you will be extremely bored listening to his talks. He jokes that what he is trying to ‘assist the arrival of (because it is coming anyway)’ in the collective consciousness is EMPTINESS. And he can appreciate that it does not sound very exciting.

So how can silence/emptiness/nothing be of benefit? For me it gave me the chance to hear my inner voices more clearly. I would patiently listen to the negative voice within trying to make me feel bad, stupid, guilty for something I had done. Then I chose not to listen to it. If I wasn’t silent enough to really hear and be aware of the inner critic trying to undermine me, I could not have responded to with a more loving, constructive voice. It was just there fueled by others, fear and ignorance. And now it only whispers unconvincingly. The first step in fixing the ‘problem’ was being aware of it. I needed to hear it.

So there in the silence and stillness I found my answers, once I stopped looking so hard. The Masters continue to bring me silence.