Of change, will and inner voice

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The word “change” is generally confused with Lampedusa’s famous phrase : “better to change a little so that everything can remain the same.”  And when we feel that the time has come for a change, we unconsciously begin to review a video showing us scenes of all our defeats up to that moment.  Of course, as we grow older, our quota of difficult moments becomes all the more bigger.
But at the same time, experience has given us the means to overcome our defeats, come back out on top, and find a way that lets us carry on.  We also need to watch that video in our mental video cassette.  But be careful, if we watch only the video with defeats, we will become paralysed.  If we dwell on the video of experience, we will end up judging ourselves to be wiser than what we really are. ——- So, it is better to have both films at hand.  And, when the time comes for a new step, close a circle and begin something different.
“Will” is a word that we should put under suspicion for a while.  What are the things we don’t do because we really don’t have the ‘will’, and what are the things we don’t do because they are ‘risky’ ?
Here is an example of risk that we confuse with “lack of will” —— talking with strangers.  Whether it is flirting, a simple contact or unburdening ourselves —– we rarely talk to strangers.  And we always feel that “it’s better that way.”
paulo_coelhoWe end up not helping and without being helped by life.  Our distance makes us seem very important, very sure of ourselves, but in practice, we are missing the miracles that the angels put in our path.
Often “Inner Voice” is confused with “inspiration”.  This is a mistake.  We are always hearing interior voices, meant to distract us, making us lose contact with life.  They never stay quiet, they never hush.  Certain magical traditions say that our control over these voices is negligible.
Those who have ever experienced meditation know how true this is, and even those who have never meditated know that such voices exist.  Only one thing can silence these voices : enthusiasm.  When we are truly involved in the art of living, these tiny little interior voice stop talking —– and then we can hear the voice of our guardian angel, the voice of our heart, the voice of God.
——- Paulo Coelho (Translated by Michelle Artimez)

The gifting season

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During the festive Christmas and New Year ‘GIFTING SEASON’, we devote so much thought and time  to the gifts we give other people, especially our family and friends.  We think only of ‘things.’  We forget to gift ourselves.  There are so many ‘MAGICAL GIFTS’ that are more valuable than the ‘things’ we purchase. They are ‘within our reach’ and they are ‘free.’
The SPECIAL GIFTS that we can gift ourselves :
(1) EXERCISE : If you exercise, even for 15 minutes a day, you will be healthier, live longer and feel more alert.
(2) YOGA : It confers similar benefits as exercise.  It adds a ‘ZING’ to your step and makes your muscles shed their laziness.
(3) MEDITATION : is invaluable.  It endows you with a peaceful mind, calm demeanour and true ‘inner silence.’  Silence is a powerful gift.  Once you experience true ‘inner silence’ you will want to stay in this state forever.
(4) LEARNING SOMETHING NEW : This gift keeps you younger and more interested in life.
(5) READING : Give this gift not only to yourself, but also to your children.
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(6) PERSONAL HYGIENE : Even small things as brushing your teeth, before bed-time,  can have a great impact on your well-being.  General cleanliness matters a lot.
(7) SMILING : You will be surprised how this gift will make a difference to your life and to the life of others around you.  “Smile, and the world smiles with you,” “If you see someone without a smile, GIVE HIM ONE OF YOURS.”
(8) EMPATHY : This amazing gift broadens your life.
(9) TOLERANCE : We are very quick to take offence.  We are prejudiced against people and things.  We divide the world into “OURS” who can do no wrong and “OTHERS” who can do no right.
(10) ACTIVE CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT : We can do this not only in a theoretical way, but we should also actively promote good practices such as recycling, water conservation and promoting greenery.
If all of can give ourselves at least some of the “MAGICAL GIFTS”, mentioned above, during the GIFTING SEASON, we will be the richer, and we will also make the lives of others around, beyond any ‘material gifts’ we can give them.  Select your gift, open them with your will-power and revel in them for many happy years to come.
——— Kishore Asthana. 

Successful change

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KHADI is not just a fabric, but a SPIRITUAL, POLITICAL and HISTORICAL SYMBOL.  Spiritual, because Gandhiji saw weaving as a method of self-realisation and sacrifice.  Political, since Gandhiji believed weaving khadi to be a way of gaining economic independence, as well as stronger relations between affluent and the poor.  Historical, for until today the Indian flag is unexceptionally made out of the khadi fabric.
In addition, the spinning wheel (the charkha) adorned the centre of the same flag, symbolising the struggle for economic and political independence, until it was replaced by the DHARMACHAKRA, the Wheel of Law.  Rabindranath Tagore doubted Gandhiji’s economic strategy.  He thought weaving did not make anyone reflect about anything.  He said, “The charkha does not require anyone to think; one simply turns the wheel of the antiquated invention endlessly, using the minimum of judgment and stamina.”
Essentially, both of them said the same : successful change or revolution in the exterior world always depends on the interior, both by reflecting and meditating.  Nowadays, we try to change the world —— we protest, we rebel, but most of us are not able to articulate the real problem; we use crude simplifications, or get lost on the way.  Today, the system we are living in has infested all of us, making it impossible to criticise it without critiquing ourselves.  Our attitude, towards the world, the others, our way of living itself should change.  That is what Gandhiji and Tagore both knew ——– revolution begins in the mind and heart.
The next time we try to change something or someone, we should first toil on the construction site, between our temples.  There is a strong casual link between the universe inside and the one outside of us.
——– Krisha Kops