Take it easy

Yogi


A Yogi walked around the room bare-footed, wearing his white robe.  He was in stark contrast to his audience, who were all executives from a large corporate.

The Yogi looked at his audience benevolently and then took out a stone from his bag.  He asked his audience how heavy they thought the stone is.  The room rang with answers ranging from 2kgs to 8kgs.  A few people asked to hold the stone before they could answer the question.
The Yogi smiled and said they are all correct as the absolute weight of the stone does not matter.  He said,” If I hold it for a minute, it is weightless.  But if I were to hold it for 10 mins, my hand will ache.  If I held for a day, maybe my hand will go numb.”  He then continued, ” The stress that you have is just like that stone.  Think about it for a short while and nothing will happen.  However, if you cling to it all day long, you will go numb and won’t be bale to do anything.  Remember to put that stone down before you go home.”
Yogi meditating paintingThis Yogi’s word rings true for all of us as well.  Stress may be a fact of life, but being stressed is not.  Stress can not only impact you mentally, but can have an effect on your physical well-being.  Eliminating stress from your life is a matter of choice and the good part is, you get to choose.
Effective management of stress requires balancing between work, rest and exercising.  While we do rest to recover from the fatigue, we forget the importance of exercise.  Being physically active reduces the stress hormones and increases your endorphin levels.  Cycling, running, yoga or a work-out in a gym  ——– just choose your favourite activity and get busy.
Practise relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation.  Consciously and progressively work through your body to tense every muscle for ten seconds and then release.  Take your mind to a nice and happy place.  Think about happy thoughts.
Whenever you get extra tensed, remember ———– THIS TOO SHALL PASS. 
—— William James.
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Smart living

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A woodcutter believed best results are obtained by working hard, so he worked hard every day.  The first day he cut ten trees, the second day nine trees but the third day he could cut only eight trees.  At the end of the week, he could cut hardly one tree despite the same six hours of hard work.  Perplexed, he approached a wise man and asked him the reason.  The wise man replied, “More than hard work, what is crucial is smart working.  Have you sharpened the saw ? ——You have to learn to work smart, more than hard work.  The brain, for ages, has been programmed wrongly, it has positioned the future to e your saviour.  Hence, people think and believe, “If I get million dollars, I will become happy.”  So your saviour seems to be I the future.  The description of time is past, present and future.  But the ‘truth of time’ is ‘present’.  Past was present, future will be present.  Hence, the truth of time is present.  If you do not know how to be happy NOW, you can never be happy.  If the brain says, I will be happy in the future, it is silently saying, I am unhappy now.  With such programming, when it gets the object of desire, it is experienced in the ‘present’, when the present has been programmed as ‘I am unhappy now’.  So, despite getting what you want, you are unhappy.
You have to learn to be happy now in the present and “out of happiness”, you have to get the object of desire and not “for happiness”  This is “smart living”.  You have to bring in the power of ‘being’ and not get lost to the power of ‘becoming’.  The power of ‘being’ is I am happy ‘now’ and the power of ‘becoming’ is I will become happy if I get this or that.
children-smiling-independent-ieYou have to look deeply into your life.  The ‘becoming’ which appears to have brought a lot of growth in the form of development ——- has it given fulfilment ?  Despite achievements, there is no fulfilment.  All growth is oriented towards fulfilment.  When you position happiness in the future, there will be no fulfilment.  So ‘becoming’ has not really given what is needed —– fulfilment.  Be happy now and out of joy, go about getting what you want.  Get not “for joy” but “out of joy”.
Then your work is going to be fun, your life is going to be a joy.  For joy is in the “here and now” and not in the future.  The ‘will of wish’ makes you live for fantasy, but the ‘will of comprehension’ makes you see the fullness of the here and now.
Understand that wishing to be happy in the future is different from ‘willing to comprehend the now’ ——- what the “now” is.  Once this change happens, then life is always in the now.  An appreciable revolution happens to the brain.  This is “smart living”.
—– Swami Sukhabodhananda.

Unleash the gypsy in you

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What best brings out your wild, gypsy side ?  Being in touch with your deeply passionate, creative side imparts a touch of magic to an ordinary life.  There are times all of us feel the power of the life force within us, when we feel one with Nature and her rhythms.  Creative urges flow best, our senses are heightened and all faculties sharpened.  It is then that everything else is incidental and life becomes intoxicating, seducing one to walk a bit on the wild side.  It is then you may walk with a delicious swagger, you may sing in abandon, dance with the wild ……… And, it is then that one realises the futility of setting limitations when we harbour such power within.
Painting-Abstract-620x335Each of us has a gypsy within us, the wild one who peeps out at times but is quickly shuttered, reined in by societal norms and recriminations, by the custodians of worldly virtuosity and morality.  But, in that instant, you have been introduced to your raw, natural and powerful side, which is the wellspring of passion and creativity.  It would be worthwhile to consider what brings out the wild, raw side.  Is the gypsy within you cajoled out by music ?  By emotions aroused by the monsoon ?  By the thrill of an admiring glance ?  Whatever it is, cherish the source, because it allows you an opportunity to meet your own self deep down as you are …….
When people lose touch with their wild sides, they lose a precious ingredient of their lives, the critical something that adds magic to life.  Gypsies are the unfettered souls who internalise the freedom that we deny ourselves.  They live free lives and are romanticised and envied by the rest of the world —However, like with every wilderness, your wild side has its dangerous edge as well.  The more evolved you are spiritually, the finer and more charming will be your wild self.  Indulge in it.  However, your inner self could also well be a disaster area that unleashes all kinds of dark urges.  These then need to be understood from a vantage viewpoint and tempered in a manner that helps us evolve best.

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. 

Happiness quotient

Happiness is an eternal, innate quality of the soul.  When we are focussed on the externals —— our body, roles, relations, responsibilities and possessions, we lose our connection with the inner resource.
When our focus is external, we tend to blame other people and situations for our unhappiness.  We forget that to be happy or not, IS OUR CHOICE.  People or situations can’t alter the state of your mind, UNLESS YOU ALLOW THEM TO.  Come what may, nobody and nothing can make you unhappy, if you are determined to stay happy.  If things don’t go your way, how can getting angry or disappointed help you ?  It only takes away your happiness and reduces your ability to deal with the situation.
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If you have a loving relationship with God, and trust that He is there to help you, you can entrust Him with all your worries and see how He makes things work out well.  Let your intellect be guided by God’s wisdom, and that will enable you to stay happy and carefree, like a child who has an adult to take care of all his worries.  When we have faith in the intrinsic goodness of every human soul, we accept all kinds of situations and appreciate all kinds of people.  It saves us from being judgmental.
Many people go to great lengths in their quest for happiness.  They believe health and wealth are the keys to happiness.  In fact, it is the other way round —— if you are happy, you will be healthy —- “SMILE and you will GAIN FRIENDS ; FROWN and you will GET WRINKLES.”
When we are happy, the body’s nervous and endocrine systems work optimally, ensuring secretion of healthy hormones and smooth running of bio-chemical processes.  A happy system of mind will, also, attract good fortune.  You will be content, no matter what your circumstances, and contentment is a magnet for new opportunities.  The biggest secret to happiness is to have good feelings for, both, friends and foes.  Thus, we will be in a state of constant happiness.  In order to increase your HAPPINESS QUOTIENT ————- SHARE IT WITH OTHERS.
—— Brahma Kumari Brijmohan.     

The Bhutanese guide to happiness

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BHUTAN is a landlocked country in South Asia, located at the eastern end  of the Himalayas. It is flanked by India, China and Tibet.  It is like a TINY JEWEL of a country between two superpowers.  Its position may make it seem vulnerable, but its values—-A DEVOTION TO THE HIGHEST PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN EXISTENCE —-give it strength.

Western-BhutanIt is the first and only country in the world to have a government edict that GNH (GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS) is more important than GDP (GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT ).  The principle of GNH —emphasising selfless service and the search for enlightenment — is a core value of this unique Buddhist Kingdom.  They have a designated GNH, a magnet for scholars and experts studying this innovative philosophy, to spread this message to a troubled world.  The concept of GNH has received international media coverage and ‘HAPPINESS’ conferences seemed to be springing up worldwide like the vibrant crimson-and -pink rhododendrons that cascade down the hillside in the Bhutanese spring.  Bhutan has a rich diverse community comprising diverse groups such as YAK HERDERS and the nomadic LAYA people as well as a complex royal and government hierarchy, overseen by scholars and gurus.  Bhutan is the only country, in the world, to have banned cigarette smoking and was the first to ban plastic bags in 1999.

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The visible Buddhist practices, ceremonies, monuments, stories, festivals, fables, chants, incantations and offerings to their Gods and Goddesses, are  an everyday part of Bhutanese life.  The people do seem to live the way of LOVING KINDNESS and COMPASSION.  They have a great capacity for jokes and laughter.  They seem to live IN THE MOMENT, and their highest priorities are community, family and faith.

In 2006, based on a global survey, Business Week, rated Bhutan ——THE HAPPIEST COUNTRY IN ASIA and the 8th HAPPIEST IN THE WORLD.  The state religion is Buddhism and the population is predominantly Buddhist.  Hinduism is the 2nd largest religion.

In 2008, Bhutan made the transition from ABSOLUTE MONARCHY to CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY and held its 1st general election.  It is a member of the UN and SAARC.  Bhutan hosted SAARC’s 16th summit in April, 2010.Perhaps it will be the wisdom from one of the smallest and happiest nations on earth, Bhutan, which will ultimately provide the necessary guidance for STABILITY and PEACE, so longed for, throughout the world.

Smile,smile,smile!

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(1) Look back, and SMILE on perils past. —-Walter Scott. 

(2) Don’t cry because it’s over; SMILE because it happened.–Dr. Seuss 

(3) A warm SMILE, is the universal language of kindness.—William Arthur Ward. 

(4) Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a SMILE, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest art of caring—-all of which have the potential to turn a life around.—-Leo Buscaglia. 

(5) A SMILE is a curve that sets everything straight.—-Phyllis Diller. 

(6) SMILE, it’s free therapy.—-Douglas Horton. 

(7) The real man SMILES in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.—-Thomas Paine. 

(8) A SMILE is the light in your window, that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.—Dennis Waitley. 

(9) Let my soul SMILE through my heart and my heart SMILE through my eyes, that I may scatter rich SMILES in sad hearts.—Paramahansa Yogananda. 

(10) After every storm, the sun will SMILE; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer.—William R. Alger. 

a-smile-is-a-curve-that-sets-everything-straight(11) If you SMILE when no one is around, you really mean it.—Andy Rooney. 

(12) A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured SMILE can work wonders and accomplish miracles.–William Hazlitt. 

(13) Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life.  The evening beam that SMILES the clouds away and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.—Lord Byron. 

(14) They might not need me, but they might.  I’ll let my head be just in sight; a SMILE as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.—-Emily Dickinson. 

(15) Wear a SMILE and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.–George Eliot. 

(16) Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on SMILING, the sun will show its face and SMILE back at you.—-Anna Lee. 

(17) A SMILE is happiness; you’ll find it under your nose.–Tom Wilson. 

9a73f1f4d0f8d488cfa369acc964e3b0(18) Laughter is day and sobriety is night; a SMILE is the twilight that hovers gently between both, more bewitching than either.—-Henry Ward Beecher. 

(19) Jesus wept, Voltaire SMILED.  From that Divine tear and from that human SMILE is derived the grace of present civilisation.—Victor Hugo. 

(20) SMILE, for everyone lacks self-confidence, and more than any other one thing a SMILE reassures them.—-Andre Maurois. 

(21) The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions———-the little soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or a SMILE, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.—-Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

(22) But God can only SMILE, because God can only know what is coming next.—Desmond Tutu. 

(23) Always keep your SMILE.  That’s how I explain my long life.—Jeanne Clement. 

(24) A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into SMILES.—Washington Irving.