Steve Jobs said, “Every once in a while, I find myself in the presence of purity – purity of spirit and love – and I always cry. It always just reaches in and grabs me.”
Have you ever come across such moments in your life where the lessons in life just came knocking on your door and without even waiting for you to answer, they came through that open door right into your heart and entered your soul; becoming a part of you and you knew that your life was enriched? That, I called my ‘Moment of Realisation.’ The first time I read the above quote by Steve Jobs, I was travelling on the bus.
In that moment, I felt the lumps in my throat. I have had moments like that before but it wasn’t until I read the quote that came close to describe that strong feeling – purity of spirit and love. I believe that most of us have moments like this, if only we listen more to that voice within us; I am learning to tune in more to it.
There are a lot of lessons in life that we have learnt when were young, even when we were just babies. No? Just a while ago, when I was reading a quote by Karen Kostyla, “Sometimes I wish I could just let things go at the end of the day … Lord, please help me to let go of the junk I keep in my life and to focus on the beauty You place before me each and every day … Your Love Amazes Me!“, a thought came to my mind suddenly.
We were never created with the intention to hold on to things; that was also never the true purpose of the pair of hand that was given to us. In fact, one of the very first few lessons we learned was on ‘opening our hands and letting go.’ Just in a quote I came across from Lao Tzu yesterday, “To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go.”
Have you ever observed that most newborn babies have clenched fist? According to an article in livestrong.com by Candice Hughes, “Through the first few weeks of life, newborn babies often will retain the position they were in while confined inside the uterus. They will keep their arms and legs close to their bodies and keep their hands clenched. It will take weeks after she is born for your infant to begin opening and closing her hands.”
The newborn babies learned to open their hands and this also open up a whole new world of excitement for the babies. The baby has learnt to let go of the familiarity in a matter of a few weeks and to embrace the exciting uncertainties ahead. I have once forgotten this lesson bestowed upon me since I was a baby and am learning it again: To open my hands and to let go – to let go of the familiarity and to embrace the exciting journey ahead. What is past is gone, now I must journey on. Have Faith and Trust that when things are falling apart, they are also falling into places.
Would you open your hands and journey on with me too?
If there is one thought I hope to pass to you for the weekend, it would have to be this powerful thought I read from one of Charles Dickens quotations this morning. If we could all take back this one powerful thought at face value to apply it consciously and diligently in our daily life, I strongly believe that life would never be the same for you and I! Charles Dickens said, “Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Lets take a moment to digest that.
Somehow that one quotation touched me deeply and within an hour of reading it, I had shared it in my Facebook’s profile, with groups and friends. If there is a way to reach out to all people in the world, I would be doing it happily. Such a simple and direct thought, yet it can truly benefit us.
Gratitude is a positive thought that can empower the mind. In good times, it keeps us in check and remind us to share our blessings by giving unconditionally, without expectation to people around us and to the less fortunate. In bad times, Gratitude is probably the next best companion, besides support from family and friends.
In fact, there would be times when even our family and friends might not be there to root for us. However, like a loyal servant, Gratitude is always there; it is patiently waiting for us to summon it and ever ready to serve us. It works with us and give us the strength to get back on our feet during bad times. When life hits us with bricks on the head, it gives us the faith to move on and positively change our perspective of the situation.
I am consciously reminding myself to count my blessings especially when times are bad (I should be doing it even in good times), so that I can instantly re-frame my mind to be grateful for what is happening and to learn from the situation; sometimes it can be effortless but at times it can be a real challenge.
But like muscles in our body, which we need to work out regularly to make them stronger, we also need to regularly work out on counting the blessings; the more we do it, the better we get at tapping on the positive power of Gratitude.
Some of us will question, “How could one be grateful for the natural calamity which happened to one? The lost of loved ones, the lost of properties, the pain and suffering one went through!” However, we had witnessed how some of these strong individuals had re-bounced instantly, put asides their own lost and miseries, to reach out to others. I couldn’t hope to speak or know what was at the back of their mind, but I believe the feeling of Gratitude was one of the inner strengths within them.
However, we have very often heard from many who had near death experience to find new meaning in life and they become greater beings. Had you personally fought with cancer or knew of someone around you who did and triumphed over it? What was going through your mind? I couldn’t hope to speak anyone’s mind too but I believe there was definitely a feeling of Gratitude; the gratefulness to be alive.
I, too, am grateful to be alive and sharing with you the above quotation by Charles Dickens, “Reflect upon your present blessings…” As you were reading this, what were the blessings which came across your mind? Please feel free to share your blessings with us.
An idea by a dear blogger friend, Jacqueline: She keeps a gratitude journal which she will write down each day at least 3 things she is grateful for. I think it is a fantastic idea to keep a gratitude journal where we can always go back to read it.
Photo by rnoel1
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That is a bold title I must say and yet all of us know the secret to happiness; it is how we apply the secret that our results vary from each other. Some are naturally happier and some work hard to be happy but never seem to be any happier. Most people want to be happy and why then are we not happy? We may be thinking right now, “How can we be happy? We have our family problems, health problems, relationship problems, financial problems etc the list just goes on and on.” Now, can I have a show of hand who wants to be happy?
Scientifically, happiness has been said to be related to the Serotonin level in us. “Of the approximately 40 million brain cells, most are influenced either directly or indirectly by Serotonin. This includes brain cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behavior,” according to Xing.com.
In so speaking, is Serotonin the answer to all our unhappiness? The answer may not be as straightforward since we cannot simply inject a dosage of Serotonin into the body. Fortunately, according to an article in PubMed Central, the author mentioned that the possible approaches to increasing Serotonin are exposing to bright light, exercise and through our diet. I would leave you to explore that further on your own while I go on to disclosing what I thought to be the secret of happiness that we all know.
I read an interesting article recently by Belinda and she mentioned, “Have you ever looked up quotes on happiness by great thinkers? If not, I recommend you don’t. It won’t make you happy. It might even depress you.” I tend to agree with her to a large extent as you can find numerous quotations on happiness. And who is right or who is wrong? It truly differs from person to person; what makes one happy may not work for another. It can certainly be confusing with so much information we have accessed to. What I would like to point out is for you to select what works for you and fuse it into your own system.
However confusing it may be, I found that most of the quotations on happiness, which I adopted for my personal usage, all point in the same direction:
“No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.” – Barbara de Angelis
“What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.” – Leo Buscaglia
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
It is all about YOU! It is the being we are seeing every time we look in the mirror. The secret of happiness is really no other than ourselves! The next question to ask ourselves is, “How can I be happy?” As indirect as it may seem, to be happy is simply choosing to be happy and making conscious choices in all areas of our daily life to be happy.
One may question, “How can I choose to be happy? The situation is not always under my control; I can’t control the weather, the outcome of event or people around me etc! You are right! There is no way we can always control the external factors around us. But we definitely can control the internal factor within us. The simplest thing we could all do each day when we wake up in the morning is to decide to have a happy day! I did this morning. How about you?
One of the most powerful quotations which I have always liked to share is by Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the Change that you want to see in the world.” The wisdom in the quotation is timeless; it is as applicable today as it was in the time of Gandhi when he uttered those words.
In a world where the only constant is change, we have always been talking about changing the world and people around us. However, not all have realised that for change to take place, they must first change themselves. Do not seek without what we can find within. If we start out with the perception to change the world, then we would fail badly. But if we start by changing ourselves, the change in the world would come naturally and inevitable.
In the short film which I am sharing with you, the boy may not know the above quotation by Gandhi or wouldn’t know that he was applying what Gandhi mentioned about being the change. It was a natural instinct that we often see in children; the ability to see things in a simple manner. We adults often complicate things while trying to come out with the best solution. He started out to be the change and in the process, he inspired others to follow suit.
Starting to be the change we want to see in the world, we would also inspire change in the world which comes from within each individual. Children are our best hope of positively influencing the world to love and care for each other. To put aside differences and to focus on the similarities. Before that, we are still the prime influencing force affecting not only our children but the future of the world that they will be living in.
We must be the change we want to see in the world.
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