Posts Tagged With: Love

Let’s Nurture Relationships

Each one of us may have been in these situations. There is a deadline to make, and we maybe did not realize that somebody may have needed us. Possibly, they simply asked: “Could you help me fix the photocopier? Could you just take this call?” Instead, so focused were we on what we think was ‘the right thing to be doing’ we do not ‘see’ these moments and we don’t cherish these truly important times in our lives when people seek our help. These are little moments where we could dip inside and use love, compassion or care.

To build meaningful relationships, people need to be not ‘just there’, but ‘emotionally available’.

The available partner is eager for introducing you and making you a part of their inner social circle. They are keen to learn and hope to become a part of your circle too.

The available partner is open about their life. And quite clear about where you stand with them. They like sharing their feelings and want you to reciprocate.

The available partner is excited by your emotions and feelings, which indicate that a closeness is developing between the two of you. It means you are investing in them and they are investing in you. There is a ‘want’ to love and be loved.

The available partner is all excited to learn about you. The more they know, the more the connection grows. And they want to share as much as they can with you.

The available partner is eager to share. Even the things they may be apprehensive about. They are eager for both to discover more about each other.

Let’s end the rat race. Let’s nurture relationships.

Where would you be without friends? The people to pick you up when you need lifting? We come from homes far from perfect, so you end up almost parent and sibling to your friends – your own chosen family. There’s nothing like a really loyal, dependable, good friend. Nothing.” – Jennifer Aniston

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Categories: Humanistic Halos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ikigai 生き甲斐

I am confused. I don’t know what course or career to follow. Can you guide me?” Contradictory to popular opinion, there is no single or absolute answer to this question.

It is easy to put people in familiar boxes created by our education system and society. To compound matters, the market is inundated with aptitude tests. And there are enough pontifical gurus to direct you in one or the absolute opposite direction. That too, with great self-assuredness.

However, one thing is for certain. People are happier when they follow their passion, rather than a course or a degree.

A woman in a coma was dying. She suddenly had a feeling that she was taken up to heaven and stood before the Judgment Seat.

A woman in a coma was dying. She suddenly had a feeling that she was taken up to heaven and stood before the Judgment Seat.

“Who are you?” a Voice said to her.

“I’m the wife of the mayor,” she replied. “I did not ask whose wife you are but who you are.”

“I’m the mother of four children.”

“I did not ask whose mother you are, but who you are.”

“I’m a school teacher.” “I did not ask what your profession is but who you are.”

And so it went. No matter what she replied, she did not seem to give a satisfactory answer to the question, “Who are you?”

“I’m a Christian.” “I did not ask what your religion is but who you are.”

“I’m the one who went to church every day and always helped the poor and needy.” “I did not ask what you did but who you are.”

She evidently failed the examination, for she was sent back to earth. When she recovered from her illness, she was determined to find out who she was. And that made all the difference.

The Voice is asking the woman to name her ikigai but when she does, the Voice replies that that’s not the meaning of her life – ikigai – tell me again, what is it that defines who you are, that gives your life meaning, that makes your life worth living. One who lives for work will soon enough retire, or get laid off; one’s lover may leave; children will grow up and be gone; one’s dreams may fade; God may disappear. One will eventually die, and what will it all mean then?

So what is it that makes life worth living? What is your ikigai? Is it Work? Lover? Family? God? Friends? Is it a vocation? Many will answer “Yes,” yes to some, many, all or more of these. Our lives are very full, for many there are multiple sources of meaning, value and fulfillment – and those change too.

Of much greater value, than naming a single something that defines life value and meaning – ikigai – is nurturing and sustaining an attitude that embraces the promise of living every day, that takes delight in the ‘ongoingness’ of living.

Allow me introduce the Japanese concept of ‘ikigai‘. “Iki” (生き) refers to life and “gai” (甲斐) pertains to what one hopes for.  English has no equivalent, and ikigai applies not only to Japanese lives but to all. Ikigai is what, day after day and year after year, each of us most essentially lives for. The French have a similar concept – raison d’être, which literally means ‘reason of existence’. In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED TalkDan Buettner suggested ikigai as one of the reasons people in certain geographical zones had such long lives.

All of us have an ikigai. The word is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. Alternatively, it could refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. It is not necessarily linked to one’s economic status or the present state of society. Even if a person feels that the present is dark, but they have a goal in mind, they may feel ikigai. Behaviours that make us feel ikigai are not actions we are forced to take – these are natural and spontaneous. In the article named Ikigai – jibun no kanosei, kaikasaseru katei (“Ikigai: the process of allowing the self’s possibilities to blossom”) Kobayashi Tsukasa says that “people can feel real ikigai only when, on the basis of personal maturity, the satisfaction of various desires, love and happiness, encounters with others, and a sense of the value of life, they proceed toward self-realization.”

Practising your ikigai takes you away from stress. This does not imply that there may not be angst. You may still aim at perfection and make yourself work harder. But the bliss is deeper. The desire is more innate and the fulfillment more intrinsic. It will never restrain or stifle you. And it is never, ever a chore. I am at my happiest when I just sit down and write.

What defines your ikigai ? It is a beautiful blend of four primary attributes.

That Which You Love: 

We all know this one. It relates to actions & deeds we value most in our life. Or it may be an inborn talent. This will be diverse for different people. It is also likely to change for the same person at different points of time in life. Know that your ikigai will shift and transform as you evolve. People start life as bankers, then discover their joy and passion is writing!

That Which You Are Good At:

The ikigai will be a natural inclination to follow a particular course without any end result or desire. The act itself is the reward. There is nothing contrived or laboured within the ikigai. The entire process of reward follows as a consequence and not as the motive or primary purpose of doing something. Do you now see why A.R. Rahman stands head and shoulders above others?

That Which The World Needs:

What you live and what you are good at must align with the the popular choice, needs of others. A state of conflict will exist when your passion does not match with societal demands. It is unlikely that the ikigai could be found by following popular dictum, practice or culture. Hence the necessity for aligning and adapting.

That Which You Can Be Paid For:

The icing on the cake! Do what you love, Be good at it, Satisfy the world needs and get paid for it.

Ikigai

The role of a mentor should be more of guiding people towards their ikigai. Necessitating a blend of two very practical elements. Marry what you love doing and what you are good at with what other people would be willing to pay you for. This is no easy task and needs tailoring, amending, adapting. This is also the reason that people elect to be entrepreneurs. It allows them to channel and sustain their ikigai.

Success comes to those who dedicate everything to their passion in life. To be successful, it is also very important to be humble and never let fame or money travel to your head.” – A. R. Rahman

One struggles each day to overcome the original question – “I am confused. I don’t know what course or career to follow. Can you guide me?” To point people away from multiple-choice questions on aptitude tests analysed by computer-aided software. There is no magic formula for determining the reason of your existence. The ikigai is highly unlikely to be discovered through aptitude tests or analyzing scoring patterns. The search is simpler and more intuitive. We need to move away from the gravitas of algorithms to answering the simpler question: your reason for getting up in the morning.

Passion In Life 030717

Categories: Life Learnings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Negative Energy Affects Your Life and How to Clear It

We know that like attracts like. Ergo: Positive people are drawn to positive energy; negative people will be drawn to negative energy.

We tend to perceive negative energy as something other people have. Sure, sometimes we feel negative – as in, “go away and leave me alone!”. But did you know that negativity can be so ingrained in you that it goes unnoticed? That’s because negativity sometimes wears a disguise called ‘reality’. It’s easy to rationalize that you’re ‘just being realistic’ in not daring to act on a dream – and then you believe it!

You may assume that positive people are not being realistic – that they’re being naive, that they are in denial with their heads stuck in the sand, that they put on fake smiles in the face of difficulty and so forth. But are they only ‘happy idiots’ or is there something more to their positivity?

Consider this: Does ‘being realistic’ necessarily mean that things will go wrong and that you have to accept that as the truth?
I think not. Surely, one cannot believe that being realistic is automatically negative. No sooner, you view the world from a ‘realistic’ standpoint, you can’t help but be negative – but and only IF your version of reality is negative. Then, you are conditioned to believe that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong and whatever can go right, will probably go wrong too. Your unconsciously held beliefs make you into a negative person without your being aware of it! The question that arises is – if this negativity has gotten ingrained in you so much, that you don’t notice it, how does one determine whether you’re stuck in a cloud of negative energy – that is attracting the wrong people, wrong situations and wrong feelings? And how can you be sure you’re not perpetuating that negativity?

Here’s a quick quiz to gauge the level of negative energy within you:

  • Do you complain? All the time or just sometimes?
  • Do you often discuss what’s wrong in the world more than what’s right? This includes the ‘terrible’ weather, ‘horrible’ traffic, ‘idiotic’ government, ‘lousy’ economy, ‘stupid’ in-laws, etc.
  • Do you criticize? All the time or just certain people?
  • Are you attracted to drama and disaster? Can you remove yourself from the TV when there’s a news story of a disaster? Can you avoid getting involved in the lives of dysfunctional celebrities?
  • Do you blame? All the time or just certain situations?
  • Do you believe that you have no control over most of your results?
  • Do you feel like a victim? Do you talk about people doing things to you?
  • Are you grateful for what is or will you be grateful when things finally start going right for you?
  • Do you feel like things are happening to you? Or do you feel that they are happening through you?

The last two points are important.

If you are not grateful – except when things go right – you are negative. Gratitude is positive. If you are grateful for what is (including the unpleasant school of life lessons), then you can invite more and more positive energy into your life.

Believing that things happen to you puts you in the role of victim. It becomes easy to be negative as it is convenient to give up that power. Alternatively, Who or What is to blame when good things happen to you? Do you acknowledge that you are responsible for the good things – as in, you worked hard, you earned it, etc. But blame external events or other people for your failures? So, when good things happen, they are a result of what you do, but when bad things happen, they are not your fault? Nobody likes to hear that. It takes courage to accept that you create your life experience!

Going back to the small quiz – If you answered yes to any of those questions – you are holding on to negative energy to some degree! To clear your negative energy, you will need to re-train yourself to choose a positive attitude. You will need to empty your mind of ‘the past’ and re-map it with current, happy, positive feelings and emotions. Actions which you can and should control.

Another interesting aspect – Have you noticed that positive people seem to get what they want out of life, and even if things don’t go their way, they still enjoy their lives… while negative people whine and moan about their misfortunes and even the good things in their lives.

To clear negative energy, try this 3-step process:

1. Take ownership.

“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” – the Dalai Lama
Your success will depend on your ability to take ownership of your actions. So, don’t just ‘make actions’, but own them and really do the that can be done.

2. Cancel negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson
This takes practice, dedication and making a decision to see the world through the eyes of “what can go right” instead of “what can go wrong.” You’ll have to catch yourself anytime you are acting out or speaking out your negativity, and immediately change your tune.

3. Bring more light and love into your life.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Visualize the positive instead of getting sucked into negativity; overcome past conditioning; think intuitively from the soul instead from ‘reality’; create a new, desired reality in your imagination and manifest it in the outer world. Nobody wants negative energy to permeate their lives, yet many of us allow it. But we allow it unconsciously, based on past conditioning that suggests an inevitable outcome to certain situations. When you overcome that conditioning and realize that the future is NOT cast in stone but that you have more control over your circumstances than you believe – then you can begin to consciously design your life.

What is going to happen then? Your positive energy will magnetically attract what you consider to be good and right for you: people, situations, things … and you will notice a huge, huge increase in happiness and inner peace. Why not choose positive energy? Make some changes within, and you’ll quickly see positive changes in your life.

“The world is full of a lot of fear and a lot of negativity, and a lot of judgment. I just think people need to start shifting into joy and happiness. As corny as it sounds, we need to make a shift.” – Ellen DeGeneres

Categories: Worldly Whorls | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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