Emotions

upHow would we learn how to master them if we always keep ourselves at a certain distance?

Why would we even need to learn how to temper them if we haven’t been in any of their extremes?

If everything happens as expected, how can we learn to be unconditionally calm and balanced?

We don’t usually even need to stop them from consuming us. They usually come to pass on their own. While we’re internally forever changed, but better anchored on who we are.

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Focus on the “Solid” Stuff

bouquetDon’t allow yourself to be distracted by numbers, titles and a plethora of accessories we invent every second. Don’t be preoccupied with taking notes of how much you’re able to get and how much more you want to/you should be getting.

Take the chances that are being given to you, the strengths you’re blessed with, the love and the support that you are provided with. Take it all in – and multiply it to X amount.

Why?

To show the kind of person that you are.

To reaffirm how good life is. To prove that this is a Universe of Abundance.

That we are only limited by how much abundance we allow into our lives.

We are the Channels of Abundance.

By abundance I don’t simply refer to money and material wealth, power and all the shiny things, but THE REAL EXCITING STUFF – ideas, awareness, skills, desire, passion, vision, purpose, experience, depth, uplifting connections, the ability to create synchronicity, among others.

When you have those things in your life, when you know their value, when you are harnessing their power to nourish yourself and the people around you, you just tapped your direct connection with the source of all abundance. Abundance can’t help but flow into your life in a whole lot of ways.

Pay attention to the real things, the solid stuff!

Because the “solid” stuff are not solid.

Pace Yourself

standingIf you’re too fast too soon there’s a high chance that you’ll get tired fast, too, and that you won’t be able to maintain a pace that can last you a long while.

On the other hand, if you warm yourself up first, get your focus right and allow yourself to reach your natural optimal pace, you become more equipped to stay in the game longer  – and even get better as you go. As the journey progresses, you may even surpass a lot of those who started at top speed, those who were initially ahead of you.

As the saying goes, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” You’re here for the long haul. You’re here to evolve.

It’s not just about how fast you go, at the end of the day it’s about the quality of the journey you create. Is it pleasant to you for the most part or does it feel more like torture? Are you enjoying the sights and sounds? The insights you get? The ways you’re growing? The company of the people you share experiences with?

Do you have the soul-space to be fully present in each moment and savor the last drop of it or do you keep on wishing it’s over?

How do you think the people around you perceive you and your journey? Do you think they feel inspired just by looking at how you go through it and by who you are becoming because of it? Or do you end up discouraging them before they even begin embarking on their own?

These questions are as important as the ones we ask ourselves everytime we’re plotting our course and defining our goals.

Our intentions frame the choices we make, and the choices we make end up creating the kind of life we live.

Get clear with your intentions. Set your own pace. Build yourself to last – and have a good time!

 

Unwrap Your Presents

blessed

flowersclareI had this epiphany one time when I was playing with my 6 year old poodle-terrier, Munchkin. Words cannot explain the feelings his presence stirs up in me. I know I love him because my heart expands even with just the thought of him. I am amazed by all that he is, how he behaves, how he lives his life and how he enjoys his surroundings.

To most people, he is just another dog. He can’t do much and he can even be annoying at times. All he wants to do is play. They dismiss him as something irrelevant, sometimes even less than an object. It’s as if he doesn’t even exist or as if he doesn’t have his own character.

But to me he is my angel. He is my ball of sunshine. The Universe has sent him to accompany me in this life journey. He grounds me. He reminds of who I really am and what life really is. He is consistent with his love for me and his lust for life. He embodies life in its rawest form – full of positivity and light.

It could be a dog like Munchkin, or it could be a plant, it could be a person, it could be a life situation, it could be a responsibility, it could be a challenge, it could be an opportunity, it could be a skill or a hobby, it could be a memory

…it could be anything, really, that can serve as love wrapped in a form of its own.

What makes us blessed is the act of unwrapping our present that’s already there, that’s always been there. In fact, we never run out of presents to open. 😉

Not just a Cup of Coffee, but a Cup of Love

cupMy brother and I had a mini coffee party for ourselves the other day. We tried out the new espresso machine our uncle gave us. No one else in the family is into coffee so we can have it all to ourselves. It’s so funny and lovely, we’re like two little kids excited to unwrap our Christmas presents.

We were careful the entire time – we even watched a YouTube video to make sure we’re using the machine properly. I felt as though I was traveling the world as I read the details of the capsules that went with it. My brother searched our cupboard for the perfect cups to use.

I picked one of the top three strongest flavors as expected, since I like my coffee that way, while my brother opted for one of the lightest. We were curious how each would smell and taste like. We waited in full savory anticipation for each cup to be filled – and literally went near the cup to inhale the aroma as the coffee poured out.

It was just pure joy as we tasted each flavor. I even closed my eyes to focus on the experience. My first remark was,

“I feel like this coffee loves me.”

Love can be indescribable and fleeting to many of us, but when we experience it, when we’re enveloped in its atmosphere, we just know it. The amazing thing about feeling loved is that we don’t only feel loved by a particular person or, in this instance, thing, but we also feel loved by Creation in its entirety.

We feel embraced, seen, felt, nourished thoroughly without any spot left without its warmth. We feel born again and eternal. We suddenly get it why we’re where we are. We feel redeemed and yet feel as if we’re never tainted with flaws to begin with. We feel boundless, completely immense in the present moment. In fact, time collapses into one point. Nothing was, nothing will be – it’s just all in the “is”.

As I inhaled the aroma and sipped my coffee, I felt how the Universe conspired all events to bring that cup of love to me.

The Universe offers us its unbounded love in all sorts of ways on a daily basis. When we take the time to focus on each moment and follow each experience up to its natural conclusion, I think we will never run out of situations to feel loved.

Rearranging perspectives

defenses

greenbgI believe being mean comes from the feeling of insecurity and that it’s an attempt to be in control in one way or another. When I am behaving in a mean way, it’s usually because I felt hurt and therefore threatened as well. I wanna bring back my presence and illusion of power by resorting to acting mean. This happens so automatically that if I am not aware of myself enough, it’s difficult to catch myself as it happens and correct my course of action.

We encounter people acting this way regularly everywhere – when we get up early in the morning and our mom or partner is already irritated for reasons we don’t understand, when we commute to work and we see drivers or passengers spilling wrath around them because of somebody’s little honest mistake, when we unintentionally disappoint our colleagues, our customers/clients, our bosses at work and their whole day gets ruined and we take the blow.

I used to quickly jump into conclusions when I experience these things. I would immediately rant inside my head about how mean this and that person is. But lately since I’ve become more aware of myself, too, I’ve become more understanding of others’ behavior as well. I would say most of the time, people are not really mean, they just act mean because they feel overwhelmed or powerless (which can mean the same thing at times).

Therefore, the right reaction is not to “get even” with them. It’s not wise to push back (well, unless your goal is to start a fight). If our goal is unity and harmony (and not proving your point), the appropriate reaction, I’d say, would be to embrace humility. First of all, we must acknowledge our contribution to the person’s feeling of upset, in case there is. If there is or there isn’t, the next thing to do is to understand how could the other person be feeling. We must put ourselves into his/her position to understand more how human he/she is behaving. Once we get a sense of it, we can identify the appropriate response that would make them less hurt, less overwhelmed and generally, less defensive. There are a few ways to respond. We can verbally/or in writing, acknowledge how they’re feeling and express how sorry we are that they’re feeling that way. We can explain that while it’s not our intention, we simply misunderstood them, or we were careless, or we were just not aware of what we should have done. By letting our own defenses down, we bring them closer to our side. Next thing is to provide them with a reassurance by giving them a game plan or a solution on what we’ll do to make up for our mistake or how we can avoid it from happening again.This is important for them to calm down and get back to trusting us again.

Saying sorry is not enough. We have to prove our sincerity by providing a clear description of what we’re gonna do or avoid doing in the future in case the same situation comes up.

I’ve practically been using this strategy both in my personal and professional relationships. I even do this with strangers (it’s in fact very useful with strangers). It doesn’t only help get the work done (whatever that may be) by keeping in harmony with those around me but it also helps my mood and sets my perspective and attitude in ways that are empowering for me. It makes me less defensive, less anxious, less unhappy when I obviously did something which upsets another person. It also makes me even more aware of my own thoughts, emotions and behavior.

Meeting my second animal guide – The Owl

I felt inspired to follow my dream and meditate about cleansing my soul this morning. I found this meditation music on YouTube which was just perfect for my intention.

It’s late at night, the full moon is up. I found myself sitting in a lotus position inside a cave, with a lit candle in front of me. An old man was making the music from the bowls. He was also in a way served as a guide for me while I was inside a cave. I sensed that I was in a time where people valued the caring of the soul and there were these places (usually caves) where people go to where they can work on their souls. There were these old men who act as protector of the individuals who were meditating inside. There was no time limit, you can meditate through the night.

At first, I was just staring at the candle. I saw it melting slowly, at a usual place. Suddenly, I felt the impulse to take the light of the candle into my hands. I raised my hands up and looked at it more closely. I put the fire closer to the candle and melted it completely. After that, I made these hand gestures as if I was sculpting the fire and the wax together into a ball. Eventually all the wax melted and just the ball of fire remained.

Eventually, I found the impulse to enter the ball of fire. The colors changed from yellow to blue to red. Then I exited the ball into the outer space. I sat on a rocky planet like the moon and just stared the ball of fire floating on space. I entered the ball of fire again and went back to my place inside the cave. I held the floating ball of fire in front of my face and made it bigger. I put the fire into my head and let it swirl there. My head was completely inside the ball of fire. My eyes were open.

Suddenly a furry/feathery being appeared in front of me. The image wasn’t clear at first. I just saw the black fuzz surrounding the big eyes staring at me. I felt fear at the beginning but I realized that it was not my own fear. It was the being’s fear I was feeling.

Eventually the fear became curiosity. The being completely revealed itself to me. It was not a furry animal. It was an owl.

The owl said that he followed me through the light that I was playing around with. He told me he’s always in the dark but he is actually fascinated by the light. He got curious when he saw I was doing something with the fire in my hands and my head.

He scribbled something on the rock where the candle used to be. It’s just a sequence of straight lines. He told me I could read it, I just didn’t believe so.

I asked what he can offer me in exchange so we can mutually transform ourselves. He said, he can accompany me in the darkness. He said that he liked to observe the shadow creatures in the dark because he is curious about them. Out in the light, you can see everything that you can. It’s easy for everyone to see in the light.But not everyone has the tenacity and guts to observe in the dark. People get easily uncomfortable so they choose to ignore it.

He said that shadow creatures didn’t really have their own power. They cannot go harming out other beings. Their power was mainly defensive. If you consciously tried to hurt them, kill them or become aggressive towards them then they can lash at you. But if you just observed them, they won’t feel triggered. Observation couldn’t affect them.

He also said that they can only harm those who were lost in the dark, who dipped so low in their vibrations that they sunk into the dark. Darkness was like a limbo and if you dip so low, you can get lost there.

On the other hand, if we consciously observed these shadow beings, we were coming from a different dimension, a different place, a different frequency. We were not lost. We knew where we are grounded. So we can safely observe them without being harmed.

He said that as we observed them, as we waited, we’ll see the truth underneath these shadow beings. There really was nothing evil underneath them. He said that he would best describe what was inside them as emptiness. They’re hollow. We created them by feeding them.

The owl said that that’s what he can give me in return. I will teach him about transforming energy, playing with the light and he will accompany me in the darkness to learn more about the nature of the dark and the shadow beings. I said yes.

Now I have found a partner that can guide me as I explore my own darkness and shed my own light into it.

What we do the morning after reveals more of who we are

I’d like to reflect on one of Slavoj Zizek’s favorite argument about revolution. He says that the gathering of a huge number of people, all desiring for similar goals is relatively easy. You’ll feel your collective emotions and power together. You feel euphoric, united and larger than life. However, what really matters is the morning after. Months after the collective gathering, how have things really changed? Have they changed at all? Is it the kind of change the collective wanted? How did they feel about it? What are they gonna do about it?

Like in other aspects of our life, it’s relatively easy to do something out of passion, desperation  or inspiration. It’s a lot easier if there is some kind of momentum that pushes us in the direction we want to go.

However, what reveals our truth, what pushes our free will into full control is what we do the morning after. What do we do once our desperation ends and we feel safe in the achievement of what we want? What would replace that fiery, illogical passion once it’s attained its purpose? How do we appreciate our dreams once they’re actualized?

Do we start to take things for granted and mindlessly move on to conquer new territories? Or do we stay with the humble knowing that we have barely touched the surface and there is the infinite depth to be explored? Do we just rely on our emotions, our passions, our longings in manifesting what we want? Or are we capable of coming from a position of awareness of what we deeply find meaningful and what we believe we should do both in the pursuit and enjoyment of it? Are we fickle-minded and lazy, giving up in the first sign of the absence of emotional reactions? Or do we go beyond and take control of our emotions instead? Are we fleeting in knowing and pursuing what we want? Or do we stand on the firm ground of our being despite the temporary and confusing nature of our impulses? Do we even know how to make our emotions and our awareness of them work for us to begin with?

The debate on “forever”, which goes on forever

During lunch, my mom enthusiastically mentioned about the break up of her gay friend with his boyfriend because of a third party. I noticed a certain kind of satisfaction as she was telling the story. It’s like she even felt triumphant to have proven her belief that “forever doesn’t exist”.

I kept silent about it. I didn’t agree nor disagree. I just shared my observation that I didn’t know of any gay man who is in a serious, long-term relationship. I once argued with my mom that maybe the reason why some gay men couldn’t end up in long-term relationships is because they don’t want it to begin with. I believe monogamy is simply not for everybody.

I used to straightforwardly say that I didn’t believe in “forever” that’s why I didn’t believe in marriage. Maybe that response was more out of bitterness and cynicism than an actual, well-thought of belief. Since I met my partner and since we had been together, I realized more and more that there are certain concepts that can only be left to our own faith.

No one can prove if an actual thing which we call “forever” exists outside our imagination to which we can aspire to. Making conclusions based on our limited experiences is obviously naive.

Another argument I would want to point out is that by presupposing that a separate factor exists independently (this time I refer to that thing called “forever”) regardless of our decisions, we are actually washing our hands clean and avoiding all responsibility for the outcome of our relationships. Creating a loving and strong relationship with a partner can be done regardless of the existence of an independent and definite fate. Destiny/fate is not even a part of the equation because nobody decides on how things turn out or how they mean to us but ourselves.

Good relationships are not simply handed down from the heavens and some people are not randomly lucky or unlucky in love.  A good relationship comes out of a deep awareness of oneself, of the other and of the world that we shape and that which shapes us. A good relationship is a result of a series of decisions borne out of this awareness.

Contrary to popular belief, I would say that we always, ALWAYS attract the right person for us. Our partner is our reflection. We attract them and they attract us because we are in alignment with each other. It doesn’t mean we deserve an asshole partner or a shitty relationship. What it means is that there is something within us that attracts them and there is a reason why we let them into our lives and have power over us despite the fact that they’re not good for us. It doesn’t depend on external forces like forever or destiny. It depends on self awareness and self love.

I understand that some people say they use cynicism to protect themselves or their loved ones from getting hurt. But I don’t think we need protection. What we need is empowerment. Blaming forever/destiny for our own poor decisions won’t be helpful as well. We’re just stripping ourselves of our own power by doing so.