Sunday, August 31, 2014

Stay in Love


“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we're so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.”  - Ram Dass



http://youtu.be/K342LGFsBtw

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Everyday Hero



If I want to live in a peaceful world, then it is up to me to make sure that I am a peaceful person. No matter how others behave, I keep peace in my heart. I declare peace in the midst of chaos or madness. I surround all difficult situations with peace and love. ~ Louise L. Hay



http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/How-Mattie-Stepaneks-Poetry-Inspired-Millions-Video?playlist_id=52693

Friday, August 29, 2014

You Have a Choice

If you are one of the millions of people who have seen The Matrix, then you would remember that Neo was given a choice to take either the red pill — which would open his eyes to reality, or the blue pill — which would keep him living behind rose-colored lenses. What would you have chosen? 





The question is not about pills, but what they stand for in these circumstances. The question is asking us whether reality, truth, is worth pursuing. The blue pill will leave us as we are, in a life consisting of habit, of things we believe we know. We are comfortable, we do need truth to live. The blue pill symbolises commuting to work every day, or brushing your teeth.

The red pill is an unknown quantity. We are told that it can help us to find the truth. We don't know what that truth is, or even that the pill will help us to find it. The red pill symbolises risk, doubt and questioning. In order to answer the question, you can gamble your whole life and world on a reality you have never experienced.

However, in order to investigate which course of action to take we need to investigate why the choice is faced. Why should we even have to decide whether to pursue truth?

The answer in short, is inquisitiveness. Many people throughout human existence have questioned and enquired. Most of them have not been scientists or doctors or philosophers, but simply ordinary people asking 'what if?' or 'why?' Asking these questions ultimately leads us to a choice. Do you continue to ask and investigate, or do you stop and never ask again? This in essence, is the question posed to Neo in the film.

So what are the advantages of taking the blue pill? As one of the characters in the film says, "ignorance is bliss" Essentially, if the truth is unknown, or you believe that you know the truth, what is there to question or worry about?

By accepting what we are told and experience life can be easier. There is the social pressure to 'fit in', which is immensely strong in most cultures. Questioning the status quo carries the danger of ostracism, possibly persecution. This aspect has a strong link with politics. People doing well under the current system are not inclined to look favourably on those who question the system. Morpheus says to Neo "You have to understand that many people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."

The system also has a place for you, an expected path to follow. This removes much of the doubt and discomfort experienced by a trailblazer. 

Another argument on the side of the blue pill is how does anyone know that the status quo is not in fact the truth? The act of simply questioning does not infer a lack of validity on the questioned. Why not assume that your experience is innocent until proven guilty? Just accept everything?

So if the arguments for the blue pill are so numerous, why take the red pill? Why pursue truth even though it may be unpalatable and the journey to it hard? In the film, Neo risks death to escape the virtual reality and discovers a brutal reality from which he cannot return. As he discovers the trouble with asking questions is that the answers are not necessarily what you want to hear.

To justify taking the red pill we might ask what is the purpose of an ignorant existence? Further still, what is there in merely existing? Simply existing brings humans down to the level of objects; they might have utility or even purpose, but where is the meaning? Existence without meaning is surely not living your life, but just experiencing it. As Trinity says to Neo, "The Matrix cannot tell you who you are."

Given the potential disadvantages of choosing the red pill, the motivation for discovering the truth must then be very strong. The film makes much of this point. Trinity says to Neo "It's the question that drives us, Neo." and Morpheus compares the motivation for Neo's search to "a splinter in your mind - driving you mad." The motivation for answering the question is obviously strong as the answer will help us to find the meaning in our lives.

What we are looking at here is the drive to answer a question, but the key to this is what drove the question in the first place. The asking of questions about our environment our experience and ourselves is fundamental to the human condition. Children ask a seemingly never-ending stream of questions from an early age. It is only with education and socialisation that some people stop asking these questions. However, we remain, as it were, hard-wired to enquire.

This is an inevitable consequence of consciousness. A being with a mind, conscious of itself and its existence, experiencing a reality, needs to organise the data that it receives from its senses. Simply observing and recording does not allow for consciousness. It is what we do with that information that allows us to think. In order to process and store the vast amount of information received, the human brain attempts to identify patterns in the data; looking for the patterns behind what is experienced. This is asking questions of the sensory information, and requires reasoning. By definition a conscious mind seeks to know. Knowing something requires more than just data, but intelligence or reasoning applied to that data. To attempt to obtain knowledge we must therefore question the data our mind receives; thus, consciousness questions.

So the metaphor of the journey to truth that Neo takes is complete. The journey starts with a question, there is a search for the answer and the answer may be reached. This shows us that the journey does not start with Neo choosing between the pills, or with ourselves deciding whether to question. The act of asking the question is itself the starting point as the aim of asking the question is to seek truth and knowledge.

We have established that consciousness is aware and seeks knowledge and that thus the conscious mind must question. To question is to seek the truth and start on the journey to knowledge. Therefore the choice between the pills is surely made for us. The fact that we are conscious appears to require us to take the red pill.

However, this can be simply countered by someone who would prefer to take the blue pill. They may wish to seek the truth in a different way, or in a less mind jarring set of circumstances. They can choose the blue pill and not deny their consciousness, but to stop seeking the truth entirely would be to deny their consciousness.

Thus we are philosophically driven to seek the truth and the act of questioning whether to seek it is in itself seeking the truth. As conscious minds we will always seek the truth. However, the choice over the red or blue pills is not solely a choice between whether to question or not, it is a personal choice on the method of discovering the truth. 




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mango & Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are one of the easiest breakfast option. I live on smoothies J

Spring is in the air and summer's just around the corner, and it is now that shopping aisles everywhere are filling up with the sweet, fragrant scent of delicious Australian mangoes. 

From late September to April our sweet fresh mangoes can be found gracing at your local markets.

Mango can be paired with various fruits like Mango-Banana, Mango-Strawberry, Mango-Papaya etc. My most favorite combination is Mango-Banana which works well for a Smoothie. 

The key to making a delicious whole food and sugar free smoothie is to use fully ripe and quality ingredients.

  • Mango -- 600g frozen (or 3 - 4 cups of fresh)
  • Water -- 500ml (or 2 cups)
  • Bananas -ripe (very spotted) -  4-6, depending on the size

Place mango and water in your Vita-Mix and blend until smooth.  Then, add as many bananas as required until your Vita-Mix is filled up to the 2L (or 8 cups) line.  

Depending on the person, this makes 1 to 3 servings!
Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Relationship Intelligence

The Key to Picking a Life Partner – via Mark Wolynn

For over two decades, I have worked with men and women from around the world to help them improve their relationships.
I have noticed a common thread of unhappiness and disappointment throughout, a mélange of musical partners and dead end relationships—patterns which can be avoided once we understand the hidden dynamics operating behind the scenes. Let me start by telling you about Trent.
Trent was ready to foreclose on love. All of his relationships had been short-lived. None had lasted more than a year and he no longer trusted in his ability to make good choices.  The women he chose fell into one of two categories: the “chronically dissatisfied” or the “Damsels in Distress”—the ones he felt he needed to save.
In the first category, the women seemed to come equipped with old anger brought forward from the past. No matter how giving or loving Trent would be, their anger often seemed to explode in his direction. “You never give me enough.” “You never see me.” “You never reassure me.” “You never….”  The accusations were relentless and often seemed to be unrelated to Trent’s behaviour.

Reject Your Parent, Reject Your Partner
These particular women, Trent later learned, felt that they had never received enough from their mothers. Believing they had been short-changed by the one person who was responsible for caring for them when they were small, these women projected a feeling of deprivation onto their partner, the next person in line to care for them. Their complaints about each “love gone wrong” all shared a similar quality: “He didn’t give me what I needed. He never gave me the love I deserved.” The more they clung to this early feeling, the less likely they could see their partner for who he really was and for what he was truly able to give.
The women in the second category felt very familiar to Trent. He could rescue them from their deepest pain. He could understand their hidden needs. He could read between the blurred lines of their desires and their dislikes. In the initial months of the relationship, Trent would feel inflated like a hero. A champion of love.  That is, until his feelings disappeared and his heart felt like a block of cement.
As a boy, Trent would try to ease his mother’s unhappiness. For as long as he could remember, his mother was sad and lonely.
Unhappy with the love she received from her own mother, she was equally unhappy with the love she received from her husband.

Trent’s father could do no right in her eyes and, eventually, with all of his attempts to please her thwarted, he began spending more time away from home. From a young boy’s perspective, Mom was alone and Dad was absent. That’s when Trent, sensing a hole that needed to be filled, dove in. He was a good boy, sensitive and caring, the perfect rescuer—skills he would employ in later relationships. He would give his mother what his father could not, and imagined that his love made her happy. Trent became the gleam in his mother’s eyes. He became herraison d’être.

Overwhelmed Children Can Become Overwhelmed Partners

While it felt good to try to make his mom happy when he was young, it became burdensome as he grew older. He realized that he could never give her what she needed. He could never fully take her pain away. It had been a fruitless undertaking.
A parent’s role is to give to a child; a child’s role is to receive from a parent. When this order is reversed, a child can struggle in later relationships.
This was the case with Trent.
Feeling responsible for making his mother happy drained Trent emotionally. Her love felt inundating. Her needs overwhelmed him. That same feeling pervaded his later relationships.
Confusing the needs of his partners with the needs of his mother, Trent found himself shutting down without understanding why.
The natural wants and desires of his partners felt like a cascading torrent of demands. His body would tighten to the degree that he would say yes when he meant no and no when he meant yes. When Trent’s relationships reached this point, they rarely lasted very long.
Trent’s early dynamic with his mother caused great suffering in his relationships. His baffling shutdowns and rapid departures were destructive forces that both embittered him and enraged his partners. Intimacy and longevity with Trent didn’t stand a chance.
Choosing unhappy women he felt he could save, Trent would initially be the hero, only to become the villain by leaving the women who loved him. Having hurt several partners, and numbing himself one too many times, Trent finally took time off from his relationship pain and put time into understanding his relationship patterns.

Breathing Can Clarify Your Feelings
In taking time for himself, he learned to set an inner boundary with his mother. In his mind’s eye, he visualized standing far enough away from her where he could relax enough to feel his breath filling his body.
With his breath flowing, he could feel the emotions and physical sensations that gave him cues to know what he wanted and what he didn’t want.
In time, he was able to differentiate between his desires for closeness and sensations that alerted him that he needed to step back and integrate what he was experiencing.
At the same time he distanced from his mother internally, he maintained a warm connection with her externally. Instead of continuing the pattern of giving to her, he was now able to receive from her. He could take in her love without having to give anything back.

Bonding with the Same-Sexed Parent Can Strengthen Your Relationship
Trent also developed a deeper bond with his father. As a boy, he often witnessed his mother ridicule his father. Not only was it painful to watch, Trent felt he didn’t have his mother’s permission to love him. He couldn’t love them both. Were he to openly love his father, Trent felt he would secretly betray his mother.
His feelings for his father were also obscured by the fact that his mother preferred his company to his father’s. Trent stood in his father’s place as his mother’s emotional partner. Feeling responsible for her emotional needs, Trent had little option to stand anywhere else. It was as though his father had been shoved behind a curtain where Trent had no access to him without his mother pointing the way.
In getting close with his father, Trent discovered what a great guy he was. It was shocking to learn that his father had always been there waiting for Trent to come to him. Trent just couldn’t get to him, and his father had no way to pierce the dynamic that separated them.
The experience of reconnecting with his father was extraordinary.
With his father at his back, Trent felt as though he was tapping into an endless source of strength and masculinity.
Eventually, it changed the way Trent felt about himself. He now felt ready to resume looking for a partner. But he had questions.
After understanding the dynamics of his own childhood confusion, Trent wondered what sat on the other side for women. If a close relationship with his father was crucial for his ability to bond with a woman, what kind of relationship would a woman need to have with her parents so that she could have the best chance of succeeding with a partner?
What type of woman would make a good partner?
Here’s the bottom line: Look for a woman who genuinely adores her mother. If she has remained trusting and vulnerable to her mother’s love, if she delights in receiving her mother’s tenderness and care, she will receive similarly from you. Your relationship will also be strengthened if her mother and father—whether they stayed together or not—demonstrated care and respect for one another. Now let’s turn the tables.

What type of man would make a good partner?
Here’s the bottom line: Look for a man who reveres his father. If he credits his father for being his role model, guiding him through life’s challenges, you are in good hands. A man who admires his father wants to emulate what he admires most in him. Choose a man who feels loved and supported by both parents, yet sees himself as being a bit more aligned with his father. If he was his mother’s emotional partner, and was distant with his father, don’t expect an easy road ahead.
If he attempted to satisfy his mother’s unmet needs and supply her with what she felt she couldn’t get from her husband, look out. This man is likely to have difficulty appreciating your needs.  Fearing that you will want too much from him, the way his mother did, he is likely to put his guard up by shutting down physically or emotionally when he feels he’s getting too close to you.

Our partner’s relationship with his or her parents can be a trusted indicator of how frustrating or fulfilling our relationship can be. 

If there’s one takeaway, it would be this: A solid bond with the same-sexed parent can be insurance that your relationship will endure.

With this principle as your guiding light, you now hold an essential piece of the relationship puzzle and can be more prepared when it’s time to pick your life partner. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Acceptance

Have you ever stopped to think that we create our own problems by the simple strategy of wanting things to be different to how they actually are?

We want other people to be different we want situations to be different, we want ourselves to be different. And they, and we, can't be other than what we are. It is like wanting the weather to be different. But the weather is what it is. We can accept it and enjoy however it is, or we can complain about it and make ourselves feel miserable. But anyway, it is not going to change the weather, is it? And yet this is what we are doing every time we have a complaint about something (which, let’s be honest, is quite often).

The other thing we never consider, is that it is actually disrespectful to want to change things, especially others. In a subtle, unconscious way, we are saying we know better than the other what is good for them, and this naturally creates a wall of resistance. In a relationship, it is like taking on the role of a parent and diminishing the other into the role of a child. Is it any wonder we get negative reactions from the other, even though we are convinced we are acting in the best intentions?

And in fact, if we are really honest, our intentions are always in our own interest. If we really respected the other, we would accept them as they are, we would dignify them by letting them decide how to live their own lives, even if it doesn’t fit with our ideas. Even if they are on a path of self-destruction, it is their decision.

We are all unique - we are all unrepeatable, incomparable masterpieces of existence.

Acceptance, is not resignation. It is enjoying, celebrating ourselves and others as the utterly unique, and imperfect, beings that we are.

Osho once said, ‘The only difference between me and you is, you don't say okay to yourself and I have said an absolute okay to myself - that is the only difference. You are continuously trying to improve yourself, and I am not trying to improve myself. I have said: Incompletion is the way life is. You are trying to become perfect and I have accepted my imperfections. That is the only difference. So I don't have any problems. When you accept your imperfection, from where can the problem come? When whatsoever happens you say "It is okay," then from where can the problem come? When you accept limitations, then from where can the problem come? The problem arises out of your non-acceptance. You cannot accept the way you are, hence the problem. I have accepted the way I am, and that very moment all problems disappeared. That very moment all worries disappeared. Not that I became perfect, but I started enjoying my imperfections’.




Monday, August 25, 2014

The Practice


“Perception is a window. This window has been marked with the passing of time. Impressions are left upon it by our conditioning. It is colored by life’s experiences, our upbringing, relationships and culture. It is damaged by disappointment, trauma and loss, clouded by uncertainty and confusion. I see the practice as the process of cleaning the window. Each day we dip the sponge into the bucket and wipe it across the surface. After some time, the change is apparent. A clear opening arises where it was clouded before and this unclouded vision brings more light and clarity. It’s enough to keep you dipping. Sometimes there are marks on the glass that are difficult to remove and sometimes there are areas in the practice that are difficult and it seems that we will never be able to pass beyond them.

Repetition is key. We go back to the same place over and over without expectation or judgment again and again in both practice and in the cleansing until eventually catharsis, either subtle or dramatic, occurs as some stubborn or trapped part of us breaks free. A grief, a fear, a trauma, a secret, a sadness. Once it settles, there is clarity a lightness, a freedom of movement or a breakthrough in the practice that was not there before. That illumination and transformation inspires faith in the wisdom of the method. Days, weeks, months, years pass, and slowly the mind settles and the window of perception shines clear”. - Dena Kingsberg: “A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois - Through the Eyes of His Students”


http://youtu.be/loszrEZvS_k

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Be Stronger



Smooth roads never make good drivers!
Smooth sea never makes good sailors!
Clear Skies never make good pilots!
Problem free life never makes a strong & good person!
Be strong enough to accept the challenges of life.
Don’t ask Life
“Why me?”
Instead say

“Try Me!”




http://youtu.be/W3q-ztl5NDk

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nature

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” - Lao Tzu


Really a quote to think about. How can that be in the first place: there is no rush and no hurry, but everything works out. Grass does not try to grow, it just grows. Water does not try to flow, it just flows. The only explanation is that everything is done in a naturally perfect way, without resistance and within the flow of life …

Take a moment to watch how nature works. Roses do not rush to bloom. They take their time. They open and unfold slowly, all in good time. Savor each moment in this life. You are here for a reason. If you fly through your life too fast, you will miss so much. We all have 24 hours in a day. How you spend it really is up to you.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Reason.....

Do you believe that there are no accidents in life? Everything happens for a reason. Every people we meet will have a role in our lives, be it big or small. Some will hurt, betray and make us cry, to become stronger. Some will teach us lessons... not to change us, but for us to realize our mistakes and to help us grow and make us a better person. And some would simply inspire and love us, to make us happy......whole and complete....again.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Space & Togetherness

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” ~ Khalil Gibran



Be together, but do not try to dominate, do not try to possess and do not destroy the individuality of the other. Love never suspects, love is never jealous. Love never interferes in the other’s freedom. Love never imposes on the other. Love gives freedom, and the freedom is possible only if there is space in your togetherness.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness… It is not contradictory. The more space you give to each other, the more you are together. The more you allow freedom to each other, the more intimate you are. Not intimate enemies, but intimate friends.

It is a fundamental law of existence that being together too much, leaving no space for freedom, destroys the flower of love. You have crushed it, you have not allowed it space to grow.

If this is possible – to have space and togetherness both – then the winds of heaven dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love. It should be a free gift, given or taken, but there should be no demand. Otherwise, very soon you are together but you are as apart as faraway stars. No understanding bridges you; you have not left the space even for the bridge.
Don’t make it something static. Don’t make it a routine. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. If freedom and love together can be yours, you don’t need anything more.

One has to be very, very alert. Stand together but without destroying the other. Not too much together – leave spaces.

Just look at the pillars. They stand apart but still they support the same roof. There is space, individuality, and yet there is a merger and meeting because they are supporting the same roof.

This much space is needed – that the other is not under your shadow. Otherwise, it will not grow.

Why are people who are in love constantly angry, sad? Because their own growth is not happening. One of the two has covered the whole sky and has not left even a little space for the sun, for the wind, for the rain to reach the other. It is not love, it is ownership, possessiveness.

Love would like you to grow at the same rate, to the same height, so that you dance together in the sun, in the wind, in the rain.

Your togetherness should be an art. Love is the greatest art in existence.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Get Unplugged




Try this experiment: Shut down your computer, turn off your cell phone, unplug your iPod, hide your Blackberry, and click off the television. Then, pick up a book. Read for an hour. When you’re done, pull out a sheet of paper and write a letter. And then, go for a walk outside.

While technology has many worthwhile purposes, it demands a high price from us. Studies have shown that our increasing media dependency is crippling our attention spans, wounding our ability to create meaningful relationships, and generating a false expectation that we should be able to be contacted at every hour of the day.

But getting away from technology is easier said than done. Many of us couldn’t do our jobs if it weren’t for computers, cell phones, and PDAs. But here’s the problem—when we leave work, technology is following close behind us in a constant stream of text messages, Facebook posts, and emails. We’ve become addicts to the god of information.
If you take a digital detox-even for a few hours-and you’ll be left feeling refreshed, recharged and re-connected.

But like anything worthwhile, taking a break from technology takes practice and patience. 

“Simple life and peaceful mind are very close friends!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan




Friday, August 1, 2014

The Giving Tree




Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come and he would gather her leaves
and make them into crowns and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches
and eat apples.
And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree....very much.
And the tree was happy.
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then one day the boy came to the tree
and the tree said, "Come, Boy, come and
climb up my trunk and swing from my
branches and eat apples and play in my
shade and be happy."
"I am too big to climb and play" said the boy.
"I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money?"
"I'm sorry," said the tree, "but I have no money.
I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in
the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy."
And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples
and carried them away.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time....
and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back
and the tree shook with joy
and she said, "Come, Boy, climb up my trunk
and swing from my branches and be happy."
"I am too busy to climb trees," said the boy.
"I want a house to keep me warm," he said.
"I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house.
Can you give me a house?"
" I have no house," said the tree.
"The forest is my house, but you may cut off
my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy."

And so the boy cut off her branches
and carried them away to build his house.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time.
And when he came back, the tree was so happy
she could hardly speak.
"Come, Boy," she whispered, "come and play."
"I am too old and sad to play," said the boy.
"I want a boat that will take me far away from here.
Can you give me a boat?"
"Cut down my trunk and make a boat," said the tree.
"Then you can sail away...and be happy."
And so the boy cut down her trunk
and made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy... but not really.

And after a long time the boy came back again.
"I am sorry, Boy," said the tree," but I have nothing
left to give you -
My apples are gone."
"My teeth are too weak
for apples," said the boy.
"My branches are gone,"
said the tree. " You
cannot swing on them - "
"I am too old to swing
on branches," said the boy.
"My trunk is gone, " said the tree.
"You cannot climb - "
"I am too tired to climb" said the boy.
"I am sorry," sighed the tree.
"I wish that I could give you something....
but I have nothing left.
I am just an old stump.
I am sorry...."
"I don't need very much now," said the boy.
"just a quiet place to sit and rest.
I am very tired."
"Well," said the tree, straightening
herself up as much as she could,
"well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting
Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest."
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.