Beating the odds

It’s now 8 months since my partner and I got back together.

I never thought that it would be possible to “have a break”and yet come back together so perfectly.

It’s utterly heartbreaking to split with someone – but when you do you get a very honest and open and REAL idea of who they really are.

Are they vengeful?  Nasty?  Spiteful?  Or maybe even worse … ambivalent?

It took going through that with my partner to get a better idea of who he really was.

We’d been together for 2 years, but I’d never really allowed myself to open fully.  I didn’t realise that at the time.  I knew that I was guarded.  After getting to 36yo and having been through a divorce, and then increasingly awful relationships afterwards it’s hard not to be.

You do question “why am I so unlovable?”

When I met Mr ISFS I never wanted to create conflict.  Which meant basically I was a doormat.  If I was upset I said nothing.  If I wanted something I said nothing.  I was scared if I wasn’t “perfect” that he would be just another one who left me.

As issues arose and festered we didn’t communicate… and it lead to everything falling apart.

After we split though we were both raw and open and honest with each other.

I saw that ultimately all he cared about was me.

And he never stopped caring during that time – he just wanted to look after me.

The dynamics are completely different now.

Yes issues are going to arise and need to be worked through.  But I’m on longer scared to have an opinion and to voice it.  If something upsets me I call him on it.

I’m not scared to do it any longer because I KNOW now with all my heart that we are in it together forever.

I’ve learnt a lot from going through this experience (which I’ll discuss more in future blog posts), however the biggest lesson I learnt was to just be open.  It’s scary, and you have to take a chance and be vulnerable.  But you cannot have a truly meaningful relationship without it.

I still am grateful every moment of every single day that we got back together and we made it work.

And in June of this year we cemented it by getting engaged ♥

Ring

 

 

Change, growth and balance

I saw this photo this morning, and I suddenly realised that this describes me perfectly.

wolves

It’s so far removed from the person I used to be.

I woke up at 2am this morning with this same thought on my mind.  It occurred to me very suddenly that I have changed so much.

Because I have Mr ISFS and I am so utterly content, I have been free to grow and develop as a person.  It’s the first time in my life that I’ve felt completely settled and at peace.  And I’ve really grown into my own skin.

I realised I am now the lion.

I don’t want to lose touch though with those qualities of compassion and empathy that I value so highly and feel so strongly.  So I am tempering my new strength with staying true to my heart.

It’s Mr ISFS and I against the world ♥

Trying to be an island

I read a wonderful article today  “How to Stop Being Influenced by Other People’s Moods”.

I was drawn to read it because it’s something that I really need to work on.  I’ve always been very highly sensitive, and affected by other people’s moods.

This was particularly the case in my marriage.  My ex-husband used to suffer from bad headaches, and when he did he was very cranky.  And it really used to affect me. His crankiness made me feel on edge, and unable to avoid being drawn into his bad mood.  And we’d both suffer.

I learnt a lot of lessons after my marriage ended, but it’s something I still struggle with.  Not to be affected if people around me are stressed/angry etc.

This line from the article particularly spoke to me:

Everyone has the right to be in a bad mood if that is the way they feel, and by not feeling responsible for other people’s bad moods we give them the space to feel as they need without more negativity being directed towards them.

I’d never thought of it that way.

That by being responsible for my own mood, and maintaining my own mindfulness and “peace” that I was actually doing them a great kindness.

I personally struggle to do anything for myself, but I would do anything for anyone else.

So the idea of maintaining my own calm as a kindness to someone else appeals to me greatly.

This is a solo journey, but we share it with billions of other humans. Learning to not be thrown off by other people’s moods and emotions through mindfulness, self-awareness and gentle self-inquiry is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves, as well as for others.

 

 

International PEOPLE’S day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day and it was promoted very widely in the circles I am part of.  A lot of my friends participated in the International Women’s Day fun run, and I saw a lot of inspiring posts and message of support on Facebook.

It felt somehow ‘off’ to me however, as I don’t believe there should be a special day celebrating just one gender.

I believe all people are completely equal – men, women, and children. Regardless of gender, regardless of race or sexual preference. Every single human being matters (and every single living breathing creature for that matter).

All genders/races/nationalities should be as equally important every day of the year.

I would love to see World Kindness Day highlighted instead.

And for the focus to be on spreading loving and kindness to everyone in the world – not only as a whole, but in each little part of our individual worlds.  Every person we come across ♥

♥ Blended families ♥

Last night Mr ISFS and I were watching tv with my son, and he asked if he could take both of our photos on his iPad.

He went into his room, and was working away diligently on his iPad.

When he came back, he surprised us with this:

Meg and Dave

It’s only a picture he created, but it meant so much to Mr ISFS and I.

I had never realised the challenges (and blessings) of having a blended family before I met Mr ISFS.

In my experience there are a lot of extras to factor in when you have a non-birth parent sharing child raising with you.

You have brought this person into your child’s life.  You’ve taken a chance – you hope that they will get along well, and will maybe grow to even love each other.

You hope that you have done a good job of raising your child up until then so that they are well-mannered and tolerable.  You hope that things are blissful and calm in this new family.  And sometimes they are, and more often than not they aren’t.

I know personally I have struggled to let go of the guilt of “letting” Mr ISFS look after my son whilst I do something else (go out for a run, go grocery shopping etc).

And I know Mr ISFS struggles with disciplining, and the fear that he’ll be seen as the “cranky stepfather”.

With love and communication and openness though we deal with each issue as it comes along.

And there will always be issues to face – the same as for any family.

But it was very touchingto see this image my son created.

I love that he has grown to think of Mr ISFS as his dad as well.  I say “as well”, because Mr ISFS will never replace his own Dad.  But I love that my son has that affection for him, and thinks of him that way.

Maybe we are doing something right after all ♥

 

Just keep going

I just saw this great post by my blogging friend Jonathan Hilton:

Take some time today to make sure that you are better than you were yesterday. Don’t worry about being the best in the world at what you do. That is subjective anyway, who is to say what is greatest? Compared to yourself there is not debating that you are better or worse than you were yesterday. Physically, spiritually and mentally improve just a fraction of a percent and you are on your way to being the best you that you can be.

 

I love this a lot, and I really think it is the key to a happy and fulfilled life.  And by improving ourselves we improve the world around us.

The reality is that we will all make mistakes.  We will all stumble and fall.  All we can do though is try to do better.  And this is true in all aspects of life – friendships, relationships, work, society.

We can recognise where we have failed, or would do things differently, learn from it, and make an intention to do better next time.

I love that life is so full of opportunities to help people, and that includes helping ourselves first so we can better help those around us.

Much love,
Meg

 

Mindfulness of mindfulness

This week for me I’ve had a very strong focus on mindfulness.

I had been reading a blog post which talked about another blog post, which talked about a great podcast, which was based on a book (which I then had to buy).  And so it goes.  (Oh how I love technology ♥).

So the book I am currently reading is this one:

Mindfulness

With reading this book I’ve been thinking a lot about mindfulness, and I’ve been trying to be more aware of it in my daily life.

And I am noticing many more small moments.  This morning I was making a cup of tea, and I was accurately aware of the sound of the boiling water being poured into the cup.  And I was AWARE that I was aware.  Then I was aware of the silence around me (it was dawn and the rest of my household was asleep).  It was a small moment of clarity, but it was so beautiful.

I then decided to do my jigsaw puzzle while I drank my tea, and listen to a talk about mindfulness tools in daily life.

And a funny thing happened.

I was listening to the tools that the dharma teacher was suggesting (which were great!).  And I was thinking how I could apply them in my daily life.  And then I had a lightbulb moment.

Why?

I was reading this book on mindfulness, listening to a mindfulness podcast.  Trying to incorporate it in my daily life.

But why?  Why practice mindfulness?

To me it was my own ‘mindful’ moment.  I was spending all this energy and focus on becoming mindful.  But I then realised I didn’t know why I was doing it.

My curiosity was piqued then, so I did more reading on why practice it at all.

But for me personally…. I hope that my mindfulness helps me to help others.  My goal and focus has long been to provide support and kindness to others.  And now my intention is that my mindfulness practice helps me to become a better listener, more in-tune with those around me and their hearts, and more in-tune with my own heart.

IMG_0307

A different take on mindfulness

I came across a talk yesterday called “Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness” by Ellen Langer.  I really love challenging my thinking, and learning/growing and this talk has been a real eye opener.

Ellen discusses the concept of mindfulness, but from a very “stand alone” view point.  Her research and opinions are of mindfulness as it’s own practice, and not as part of meditation or Buddhism.

And it’s fascinating.

I’m still absorbing her concepts – as they are many and varied (and brilliant!).  But a few things have resonated with me already.

A lot of her work (as I understand it so far) explores challenging our thinking and the labels we apply to certain situations.  And how changing our thinking changes our experience.

For example it’s proven that most of us view our jobs as “work”.  Our attitudes are that it’s a necessary evil, and we approach our work days as such.  We don’t enjoy our jobs (that’s what our personal time is for!).  However if we can approach work our work as being fun/pleasurable/interesting our experience changes vastly as does our enjoyment.  The work is the same, but the approach and outcome are different.

She also challenges us to explore our set beliefs.  One question she asks is “what is 1 plus 1?”.  And naturally most people are going to roll their eyes and say “2”.  But as she says, that’s not always the case.  What if you had one wad of chewing gum, and one more wad to it?  It’s not going to be 2.

And personally I love challenging my thinking that way.

Maybe I’m weird (okay I own that I am lol), but I often question the labels that we give things.

For example – the common belief is that going into a shopping centre/restaurant/business with bare feet is considered rude.  Why is it rude?  Because as a society we frown upon it.  But why?  Who came up with that rule that shoes must be worn?   We are raised with that belief, but what if the belief was that it was rude to wear shoes in a shopping centre?

It’s an odd example I know, but I often think about small things like that.  Or “the sky is blue”.  Why do we call it the sky?  Why have we given it that label?  Where did that come from?  What if we knew it by a completely different name?

And it’s true of basically everything in life.

Which leads me to say I’ve always been very vocal about my belief that things never black or white.  A neighbour of mine is always very very firm in her opinions.  She will argue – violently – with anyone who doesn’t agree with her take on life.  But I often wonder – how could she be so set in her opinions?  What makes them unshakeable?

I can honestly say I never have set opinions or beliefs on anything.  I just don’t see life being that way.  It’s fluid, and changeable and only appears to everyone differently based on their experiences, on their upbringings, their financial situation, their religion, etc etc etc.

 

I’m enjoying learning more as I listen to her talk.  And I’ve immediately downloaded her book as well, so I am sure this subject will come up quite a lot in coming weeks.

Take care my friends,

Meg

 

 

The value in sincerity

I was inspired by something I heard this week.

I was listening to another Gil Fronsdal dharma talk, and he related a story from the Zen tradition.

A student asked his teacher “If I practice Zen will I become enlightened?”.  And the Zen teacher replied “If your practice is sincere, it is almost as good”.

I was incredibly inspired by this simple concept.

I know myself that I practice Buddhism because I identify with the precepts very strongly.  However I do not hold the belief that I will become enlightened – I would imagine very few Buddhist practitioners ever will become enlightened.

However I can practice with sincerity.  We all can.

And it doesn’t have to relate to Buddhist practice – we can live our lives with sincerity full stop.

I love that thought so much.

Sincerity encompasses so many things – living ethically, honestly and with pure intention.  And all of those things make such a difference not only to our lives, but to the lives of those that we touch.

You can’t really put a value on sincerity and honesty.

So this week I’ve tried to really keep that as my intention.

Also in this past week I heard a discussion on the Buddha – how before he became enlightened he had to live through many lives, and learn from each one.  He was reborn many times.  And of all the lives he lead, and the mistakes he made (as a lay person) one thing he never did was lie.  And specifically he did not lie to himself.

It’s a deep concept – to never lie to ourselves.

It’s also been on my mind this week, and I have given a lot of reflection on the ways I have lied to myself in the past.

There are so many great things that can be gained from self analysis and knowledge.  I feel blessed to have access to the dharma teachings.

And a new day each day to learn from them.

Namaste,

Meg

 

Just keep swimming

It’s been a great (and challenging) time for my practice lately.

It’s easy to ‘stay the course’ when things are going well.  But it’s when things are hard that you get to really put into use what you have learned.  And to also grow from the experience.

I must admit at the moment I feel that the ground is very shaky.

And I use that term as it’s one that I’ve seen often used by Pema Chodron in her great books and teachings.

She teaches that at the times when the ground is shaky, are the times that we need to lean into the experience, and to not feel scared and try to resist it.

And I am the worst for trying to resist change (if my friend Loren is reading this she will be laughing in agreement).

So right at this moment when I feel things are so unsettled I’m trying to just accept that, and not fight it.

The biggest issue I face is the knowledge that gossip is being spread about me behind my back that isn’t true (unrelated to my post from yesterday).

It’s stirred so many feelings in me – anger, betrayal, hurt, and indignation.  I want to set the record straight, I want to put out every “fire” where people are being given the wrong information, and set them straight about what really happened.

However in reality I know it’s not possible.  Unfortunately it’s a case where if someone throws enough mud, at least some of it will stick.  And the hard truth is that there is very little I can do about it.

The people that know me well know the truth.  And the people that believe the lies have absolute freedom to do that.  And there’s nothing I can really do to stop it.

I can only hold my head high, and keep my dignity, and have faith in myself.

It’s a good time to really think about things though – as my blogging friend Ben Naga commented – who was the “I” that felt outraged and hurt.

It’s a great time to delve further into it (gently) to figure out why it has hurt me so much.  And to perhaps let that go.

And also for me a great time to just accept the uncertainty of the moment, and maybe even embrace that.

(and in the meantime I’m feeling the love from my cat Milly :p)

Milly puzzle.JPG

 

Live life with more GRATITUDE and less ATTITUDE

Further to my post from yesterday – my intention at the start of this new year is to turn around my mindset, and experience more joy in life.

It’s quite widely recommended now to practice more gratitude – and most people would agree it’s a great idea, but it’s actually putting it into practice that becomes a stumbling block.

I know myself I’ve started doing it with good intentions, but after a while it just peters out and I stop doing it.

I’d like to try to focus on it more.

But not just to “list” what makes me grateful, but to truly give thought and thanks to those things.

The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.

I was driving to my favourite coffee shop today, and along the way I was thinking about those things that truly make me happy.

My daily coffee is definitely up there.  And it’s not just the “coffee” but the entire experience.  I’m grateful for the conversations I have each day with the lovely people at my local Zaraffas (coffee shop).  I know them each by name (and vice versa) and every single time I go in I enjoy the friendly chat with them, and getting to know more about them.  I always walk away smiling.

And really how could I not be grateful for the white chocolate mocha that I receive at the same time 🙂

I’m grateful for the 2 dogs I am currently dog sitting.  It’s certainly been an experience having 4 animals (the 2 dogs, and my 2 inside cats) in my very small house.  But it’s also bought so much joy into my life.  As I type this I have 2 dogs asleep at my feet, and one cat purring away happily in my lap.  You can’t really put a price on that.

Lily.JPG

Lily the spoodle

I’m especially grateful for my health and fitness.  At almost 40 I am the fittest and strongest I have ever been.  I am lucky to be able to run, and swim, and do weights, and be active.  And I’m lucky that I can (at the moment) still get away with wearing beach clothes.

shorts

New shorts

bike riding.JPG

Keeping fit

And lastly – for today – I’m grateful for the small things.  Like fresh summer fruit, rainy cool days, my friends, and my faith.

Good days give you happiness and bad days give you wisdom.  Both are essential.

Life, love and everything in-between

A friend of mine and I were discussing relationships today. He shared the most breathtaking insight with me:

We build our lives together in a relationship. Our essences are entangled from the moment we commit to being a relationship; even after it disintegrates we carry a part of that person with us always. I suspect this is where our minds come in and do the comparison thing with what we have presently and with what we had in the past. They key here though is that the past is purely the past. Those moments will never be rekindled good or bad. All we can do is try and make the forward part better. Relationships are hard work. Stupid things get said, buttons are pushed. The beauty of it though is that despite all that we can choose to keep trying to be there for the other person and to commit fully to be a part of the relationship. The “enthusiasm” of a relationship ebbs and flows. The true “enthusiasm” of a relationship is to continue to be in the relationship despite the ebbs and flows.

It’s so true.

So often we can approach relationships with “small mind”. We keep track of every “wrong”, every slight hurt and slight. And we lose sight of our “big mind” which is nurturing our relationship as a whole, and giving our partner space to breathe and grow within the relationship. Without holding them accountable constantly for every small thing that they said, or did (or didn’t do!).

I try to always hold my relationships (romantic and platonic) with great metta. I’m not always successful, but I try to approach each person, and situation, with as much loving kindness and spaciousness as possible.

Because in the end you can’t “make” someone act or say or think the way you personally want them to. All you can do is giving them as much love and forgiveness and kindness as you can, and trust that they are doing the best they can at any given time.

Much love my friends ♥

Meg

What do we REALLY need in life

After our basic needs are met, then what becomes important?

I was giving this question some thought today after listening to another Gil Fronsdal dharma talk.

In it he discusses the “4 requisites” which is what all humans need to feel safe and healthy.  And those 4 requisites are:  enough food to live, shelter, adequate clothing, and medicine.

These 4 requisites can be met quite simply.  They key though is what becomes important after these basics are met.

Is it important to you to get a bigger house?  A better car?  A more important job?

Personally I believe that once these basic needs are met, there are 2 important factors to build our lives on – caring for others, and caring for ourselves.

By focusing on our own egos and trying to pursue “more” and “greater” we are just leading ourselves to greater disharmony.  Whereas by concentrating on others, and others happiness, we inadvertently find our own happiness.

And it’s a happiness as a result of a life of service and selflessness.

There is so much good we can do in the world, by living a life of kindness and compassion.  

Once our basic needs are met, and we are safe and healthy, I believe it’s time to start giving ourselves to helping others, and making a difference in the world.

Image

Reach out – BE the kindness

I’m inspired to write this today after the support and friendship of 2 very special people: Jonathan Hilton and Russ Towne.

I’m acutely aware of the suffering around me at the moment.  I don’t know why, but many people seem to be having a hard time, and are not themselves.

It’s at these times that sharing love and kindness and compassion is even more important.

Who can you reach out to today?

It doesn’t take much.  A smile.  A hug.  A kind word.

It can mean the world to someone who is suffering.

 

Kindness Connection

It happens every time
I experience 
Love in Action
Whether it’s
Kindness to me
From me
Or to others by others
I feel a connection
To humankind
The spirit within me
And the universe
That makes my heart smile
Fills me with gratitude
To be alive
And part of it all.
–Russ Towne

Image

Love is all around

Well actually in my case it’s kindness, but I have that song in my head now :D.

Once again I feel very privileged to be attending another one of Andy Smallman’s kindness classes – this time The Practice of Kindness.

Today I had numerous experiences to practice acts of kindness – some small, and some larger – and I am so humbled by the experience.

I have often read that what you think you become, and you draw into your life.  

And I could see that today – because I was focused on kindness, and finding opportunities to practice kindness, they just seemed to keep appearing out of nowhere.

#1 After reading the latest “assignment” from the kindness class, I was trying to think what I could do that would be meaningful. And not a few minutes later my Mum rang to say one of our relatives celebrates her 80th birthday tomorrow (which I had not realised). My Mum said she thought about sending a card, but decided it was too hard.

And I knew instantly what my kind action this week would be 🙂

However it was more than about just sending a card.

I wrote my relative a lovely long letter to go in with the card. And filled her in on all that my son and I had been up to since we saw them last (more than 12 months ago). I also included photos, and a drawing done by my son.

It was such a privilege to complete the action this week. I adored how meaningful it was to actually write a letter to her. Not many people seem to write letters any more, and I know older people especially enjoy receiving one.

#2 Removing a tree branch off the road so it wasn’t a traffic hazard.

#3 As I approached my sons school, I went to press the button to cross the road, but stopped. Instead I waited for the line of cars to go through first before pressing it so I wasn’t holding them up while I crossed.

and lastly:

#4 I saved a Rainbow Lorikeet (native Australian bird) that had been hit by a car. I ran onto the road and scooped it up. Then sat on the footpath and gently cradled it in my hands and stroked it’s head. I held it like that until it had recovered enough to fly away.

 

For me, all of those opportunities were such a blessing, and I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to have done them.

Perhaps the most meaningful though for me was to help this little bird.  It was so incredibly profound to sit there on the footpath cradling it’s warm little body.  And stroking it’s head, and whispering to it that it would be okay.

I truly felt that it knew I meant it no harm.  It didn’t struggle, or try to bite me.  It just lay peacefully in my hands as I poured love into it.

And looking back on these events, nearly all involved a level of fate or “meant to be”.  

I was walking to the post box when I came across the bird, just after it had been hit by the car.  Had I left a few minutes later (as I had been intending to), it would have been hit by the next car going past (which was coming towards me as I ran onto the road to pick it up).

I’m really so moved by the events of today, and thankful to have had the opportunity to be involved.

Blessings,

Meg

Begin again

Many of us are taking the turning of the year to reflect and resolve on how to be in the coming days.   Every one of us has taken an occasion at some point in our lives to set a new intention.

The dawning of a new year gives us the chance to begin again – to start over, and to decide how we want to be in this world, and the impact we want to have.

They don’t have to be seen as resolutions – as resolutions are often quickly forgotten.  A common mistake people make when setting resolutions is setting big, nebulous goals that have no tangible, achievable outcome.

Instead the New Year can be a time to make intentions – how you want to be not just this year, but every year going forward.

Here are 7 powerful ideas to help you on your path.

 

Begin

The feeling you get from taking the first step is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around thinking about it.  Get up and take that first step, then keep on moving in the direction of your dreams.

Follow your own path

Pursue your own path – instead of walking in the footsteps of others.  Chase your own dreams, and do what’s right for you.  Live a life that you are proud of.  Live according to your intentions and what makes you happy and fulfilled.  And if you realise the path your following is no longer making you happy, find the strength to start over again on a new path.

Focus

Make a list of what you need to do, and stick to it.  Don’t fill in your day being busy, instead be productive.   And most importantly – be prepared to see your project through. What makes it challenging makes it worthwhile and fulfilling.  There are no shortcuts to going any place worth going.

Find balance

We need to find a way of balancing our ‘inner’ work and our ‘outer’ work. In order to be truly generous, truly of service to others, we actually need to be ‘self-centred’. We need to spend time focusing on ourselves, and nurturing ourselves.

Be kind

That’s it in a nutshell.  Be kind.  With no exceptions, no conditions, no expectations.

 Kindness in words creates confidence.  Kindness in thinking creates positivity.  Kindness in giving creates love.

By acting with an intention of kindness, you make a profound difference to every life around you – including your own.  Kindness generates kindness – it’s self-fulfilling.  The more you give the more you will get back in return.

Acknowledge, accept, release

Leave the past in the past. 

To truly move into the future, you need to let go of the past.  To move past the sorrows and mistakes of yesterday, and face tomorrow with hope and optimism.

Choose to see the positives in your situation, and to make the most of it, anyway you can.

Have faith in yourself

Believe that you are strong, and that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to.  Because in the end, the only person you can truly count on is yourself.  Have strength and faith and confidence in yourself, and your ability to achieve your dreams.

 

Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.

– Alan Cohen –

Image

Restoring our faith in humanity (continued)

We are all born receptive to love, kindness and hope.

As we grow up however, we encounter the less hopeful, more challenging aspects of human nature – including discovering that the things humans do at times can be hateful, calculating and unkind.

There are very few of us who would not have been touched by the recent events in America.

When events like these happen, it’s easy to develop a very negative and pessimistic view of the world, and its inhabitants.  Though this can turn us cynical or leave us feeling helpless, human beings are just as capable of the most incredible, amazing and wonderful kindness and love.

In these times it’s beneficial to focus on the positive – on the goodness that also surrounds us.

If you’re feeling a little jaded about where humanity is headed, here are some active ways to restore your faith

Focus on happiness

Unfortunately it’s human nature for us to talk about the things that we are finding hard or difficult – or people or events that are making us feel miserable.

So to change the dynamics around you – ask people about the happiest moments in their lives instead.  Ask them what they care about, what makes them happy and what motivates them.

As has often been quoted – “with our thoughts we create our world”.

So talk happy + think happy = be happy.

Look for the good news

The media usually only bring us the stories that will get the most attention – violent acts, wars, natural disasters etc.  This can distort our perception of what the world is really like.

There are also a lot of people doing good out there, and positive new stories to rejoice in.

For example:

26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year

You can also subscribe to news feeds that only focus on positive stories.  Eg:

The Daily Good

Huffpost Good News

Happy music

This one is my personal favourite – listening to upbeat and happy music.

The more positivity and happiness we expose ourselves to – even music – the better we feel.

My favourite songs this week (which are on almost continuous repeat in my house):

Jump in the Line – Harry Belafonte

Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

Say Hey – Michael Franti

 I challenge you to listen to these songs without dancing along.

Help people less fortunate than you

It can help us to have a reality check sometimes – in the form of associating with people who are experiencing hardships worse than ours – especially those people who are facing great difficulties with resilience and positivity.

Get actively involved by volunteering your time and services to help these people.

Volunteer at a hospital, animal shelter, or local charity – and help improve lives.

It also gives us a great sense of perspective – that no matter how difficult things might seem for us, there are people facing much greater hardships with pluck and determination.

Human beings are amazing and resilient.

Build a positive network

Associate with people who are positive – their energy and happiness is contagious.

Spend time each day listening to inspiring audio talks.

Bookmark pages on the internet of people who inspire you through their actions and endeavours.

Share the love

Tell stories of human goodness to other people you meet, in order to inspire them to see the good in humanity too.

When you’ve found positive stories about humanity, share your experience with others. If you have your own blog or you update a social network stream with stories, share more stories that are positive and uplifting.

Lead by example

Encourage faith and trust in the people around you through your actions.

When you model the kind of change you wish to see, you spark ripples that continue on.  One act of kindness can have huge follow on effects – continuously improving the community of which you belong.

Make life a little better, a little happier, a little easier for everyone you meet.

Ultimately you can choose to be kind as a form of taking a stand against the injustices, violence and unkindness in this world.

There is power in kindness.  By being kind, you affirm and create the kind of world you want to be a part of.  You can choose to have faith in humanity.

Change the world – one heart at a time.

Image

Developing courage and confidence

If we choose to approach all of life mindfully, we can learn to trust and relax into anything that comes our way — even times of suffering, or anxiety, or stress.

Any experience that arises is an opportunity to learn non-attachment, to practice gentleness and mindful awareness, and to cultivate a spirit of trust and loving kindness toward ourselves.

Staying with whatever is happening, no matter how unpleasant, is how we build confidence.

 

Image

Everyday Wisdom #103

Whatever can be done, can be done more effectively when you add kindness.

Whatever words are spoken, will always be more compelling when expressed with kindness.

The kind deeds you exert in just one moment can have a positive impact that lasts a lifetime.

Your days will be brighter and your years fuller when you add kindness to your purpose.

Choose to be kind every day, and you’re truly choosing to live in a better world.

via www.marcandangel.com

Image

Know that you are loved

A dear friend and I were talking today.  We’ve both been through some very hard times – her more so than me.

We’ve both hit rock bottom, and we are both still here – filled with love and kindness and hope.

Having been through this has changed me.  And the one thing I would like to say – to everyone that is in pain or suffering – is that you are loved.

Even by people that you don’t know.

People like me who sit on our meditation cushions, and send love and warmth to you.  Who want to ease your suffering, and want you to find comfort.

There are so many others who send love, and light and kindness into the world.

You are never alone.

When the road seems too long
When darkness sets in
When everything turns out wrong
And you can’t find a friend
Remember ~ you are loved

When smiles are hard to come by
And you’re feeling down
When you spread your wings to fly
And can’t get off the ground
Remember ~ you are loved.

When time runs out before you’re through
And it’s over before you begin
When little things get to you
And you just can’t win
Remember ~ you are loved.

When your loved ones are far away
And you are on your own
When you don’t know what to say
When you’re afraid of being alone
Remember ~ you are loved.

When your sadness comes to an end
And everything is going right
May you think of your family and friends
And keep their love in sight
A thank-you for being loved.

May you see the love around you
In everything you do
And when troubles seem to surround you
May all the love shine through
You are blessed ~ you are loved.

By Roger Pinches