On being authentic

I saw this at a not very posh furniture shop and thought about it- a lot.  It is trying hard to be something it is definitely not.  It is new furniture trying to look as if it is old- with mismatched bits like some cheap chic but ends up looking like an embarrassed DIY effort or worse.  IMG_1133.JPG

I wondered if we also do this same thing with how we present ourselves- trying too hard to be something we are not.  When we imitate others, or present an image of us that is not authentic, not true to ourselves.  It is worth keeping this photo in mind when we look at others, celebrities and other famous people, trying to be them.  You can only be you, warts and all- that is what this photo teaches me.

Three easy ways of Brain training

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Summer is here and we feel quite lazy, looking forward to holidays and quality time.  But summer can be the ideal time to do brain training, along with physical training.  Here are three easy ways-

1. Use the hand that you don’t write with- so if you are right handed, use your left one to do tasks that you might do with your right, even writing.  This helps the brain to make new connections and think differently.

2. Learn another language- if you are travelling somewhere, try to learn and speak at least some of the words and phrases that you may hear.  Try to speak it too. Again, it has been shown that learning languages helps you become smarter.

3. Sleep more- Sleeping rejuvenates our brains and body.  It has not been found out exactly why we dream but some say that it helps to process our thoughts, questions and emotional issues.  You may find that you can work better with a short siesta of 20 minutes in the afternoon- many eminent scientists have used this technique.

Power of thoughts

The power of the mind has been in the news this week a lot- from Indian mystic who claims to have lived on ‘cosmic energy’ harnessed by the power of the mind for 70 years (yes, 70 years!) to the volunteers at the University of Minnesota who managed to fly model helicopters through hoops using the power of thoughts (you can see it on youtube if you like).

What many new age thinkers have been saying based on age old traditional wisdom, has now been proved scientifically. Buddhism talks about the one-ness of mind and body and for too long, mind and body have been treated separately by medical practitioners and science. So it is worth looking into what we have been thinking when we fall ill- did we have negative thoughts about ourselves or for others? Does a particular food or surrounding trigger off negative emotions or depression?  How does lack of exercise make you feel?

While it is not always practical to remove ourselves from negative environments or people, we can limit their presence and as soon our interaction with them is over, we can send out positive thoughts to them and ourselves. I did that recently with a woman I met on the street- although I initially felt angry at what she said to me, as I walked on, I continued to smile and send her smiles as well. I had the most amazing day!

As Daisaku Ikeda says- “One thing is certain: That is that the power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and conceive of it. If you really believe you can do something, you can. That is a fact.” I truly believe this now.  So do start using this from now on- it may be the best thing you have done for yourself and for others!

Inspiration

At one of the train stations I use, one of men working there has been putting up inspirational quotes every day on the notice board.  The quote today was particularly apt for women who want to change themselves in order to attract a partner.  This quote from Wilson Kanadi, a modern ‘twitterer’, said- “You might not think that you are not worthy.  But I guarantee you that there is someone out there who thinks you are.”  To which I have added another one from Wilson Kanadi- “If you have choices, choose the best. If you have no choice, do the best.”  Many times we, particularly women settle for the second best, thinking that nothing good will happen or who would want me, etc.  Those negative thoughts have these exact outcomes as ’cause and effect’, i.e. we meet potential partners and nothing good happens or we don’t even meet them.  So I am trying to positive from now on, keeping those thoughts in mind constantly.

 

Finding Inspiration in daily life

Some days it is difficult to write and I struggle. On such days, I silently pray for inspiration to come to me and- it does!  On the way to the doctor this morning, instead of cycling, I decided to walk. This walk takes me by the train station I had mentioned in my post dated May 14th 2013.  I saw this quote written on the board today-

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When I saw two men working there, I asked them if they knew the person who wrote the message on the board.  It turned out that one of them was that person.  We had a brief chat and I told him how much his daily words inspired me and that it was such a special thing to do, especially when the newspapers are full of doom and gloom and most boards at train stations only had news about train delays.  He said that he did not know if his words inspired people as they hurried past to get to the trains or whether someone even looked at the board- he just did it because perhaps they inspired his own self.  I thought exactly so, that is why I write this blog every day!  Now I know, just pray for inspiration to come to you and it will.

Thanks, Gabriele!