Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

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Yes, love is painful. But as C. S. Lewis suggests, we can respond to any relationship with either a closed, hellish heart, or an open, heavenly heart. If you keep your heart open, that same pain can become a purifying pain, a strengthening pain. If we choose forgiveness over bitterness, that pain can heal instead of hurt. Instead of a pain that divides, it can be a pain that binds

Here is some rules that I came up with using my past life experience…

1. When it arrives, cherish it.

2. Whatever you accept, you will get

3. Understand that love is a mirror—it will show us who we are if we allow it to.

4. Only we can make ourselves happy, it is not the other person’s responsibility.

5. Don’t say words with the intent to hurt.

6. Accept and forgive easily.

7. Don’t be scared to disagree, it is healthy.

8. Never be too busy for each other.

9. Do not punish.

10. Accept honest criticism, it is good for us.

11. Admit when you are wrong, quickly.

12. Support each other when the going gets tough.

13. Live in the moment—be present.

14. Leave the past where it belongs.

15. Leave drama out of it.

16) Don’t try to control

17. Allow a small amount of jealousy.

18. Don’t use comparisons.

19. Celebrate differences.

20. Communicate openly and honestly.

21. Listen very carefully.

22. Don’t judge.

23. Don’t manipulate to get results.

24. Learn and grow.

25. Don’t try to change each other.

26. Don’t condemn each other’s family and friends.

27. Lines, flaws and imperfections are beautiful.

28. Trust your instincts, but don’t be paranoid.

29. Don’t compromise your morals and values and don’t expect them to either.

30. Instead of power, aim for balance.

31. Space is needed to breathe and to grow.

32. Accept that you are both unique—never compare.

33. Have fun, laugh and play—a lot.

34. Be each other’s best friend.

35. Don’t play mind games.

36. Do not carelessly throw away love.

37. Don’t waste energy with negative thoughts.

38. Compliment often.

39. Discover each other.

40. Be attentive and understand what’s not said.

41. Do at least one romantic and thoughtful thing every day.

42. Take picnics and sleep under the stars.

43. Don’t just speak about it, show love.

44. Walk together, cook together, bathe together, read together.

45. Do not be afraid, love requires surrender.

46. Be loyal and faithful.

47. Trust.

48. Be grateful.

49. Fluidity is good, accept change.

50. Don’t sleep on a fight.

51. Don’t cling to it, know when to let go.

52. Discover what turns you both on and explore it.

53. Make love, but also f*ck (regularly).

54. Give and receive without measure.

55. Never gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.

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learning what love is

learning what love is

Love feels unsafe.

To the little girl within me, love is unsafe.

To her, love means hurt.

Love means pain, trauma, inconsistency, insanity, and conditions.

Love was fucked up, twisted, and tied so deep into their self-hatred, that it came out wrapped in violence, rather than gentleness and warmth. Bitterness, rather than compassion and understanding. Jealousy and resentment, rather than supportive holding and cheerleading.

The love wasn’t hers, it was theirs—it had the potential to change any moment. And generally, it did. No matter how hard my inner girl or inner teen tried, things stayed the same.

Why—and how—would they be any different, now?

I remember the first time I got told about unconditional love, about years ago:

“You don’t have to do anything for someone to love you?”

I laughed, thinking it was a joke.

When I realized it wasn’t, I felt a sudden sorrow—a deep grief—for myself.

How did I not know this?

My relationship with love had been ‘wrong’ my whole life.

An innately wise part of myself always understood unconditional love existed—as a kid, I remember watching other parents and children, knowing somewhere deep inside that what I experienced at home wasn’t the only way. Somehow I knew, beneath my wounding and fear, that things wouldn’t always be this way.

What I was experiencing was only a chapter, or two, of my Love Story.

As I’ve begun healing my youth and early adulthood, my relationship with love—towards myself and others—is rapidly changing.

I’m learning what love actually is.

But I’m in the messy stage.

My defenses, fears, past hurts, and insecurities, feel more tender and in-my-face, than ever—I can’t step round, look past, or dive through my wounding, anymore.

My need to feel safe, feels more important than any other need I have, so it governs almost everything I do.

I struggle to trust people. To believe or trust the love and time they give me, and that they—or it—won’t disappear, feels terrifying, and almost impossible, even though part of me knows it isn’t, and it won’t.

I worry that love I receive will also disappear when the person really sees me and witnesses my imperfections, so I make sure I only share the imperfections I feel safe sharing. Even though I love others for, and with, theirs, and that mine just make me human.

I notice there’s always a desire to rip apart any love or support given, by finding reasons or supposed ‘proof’ that the love wasn’t really genuine—“they were just saying that…they probably felt like they had to”—even though this habit only brings hurt, and I know it’s generally not true. And even if it is, or they were, it’s not my place to take it on.

alone

I take risks, show myself, and share my needs or vulnerabilities—or my authentic rawness and openness—and then freak-out by reading into people’s every move or every word. I close up, building an imaginary “wall”, or disappear for a few days/weeks, convinced I was ‘too much’. Sometimes I find myself laughing, because the theories my inner critic comes up with in these moments are so well thought out, convincing, and hilarious. Other times I find myself unable to laugh or find solid ground beneath the fear and self-judgment, worrying that what I’m believing, is definitely true.

My fear of abandonment feel so great, and so sensitive, that I avoid situations in which there is potential for abandonment—I end up avoiding and declining a lot. Sometimes the fear, or potential risk, of not feeling safe, is one I want—or feel able to—work with and compassionately notice. Other times it isn’t. This part of my relationship with love and trust and people, breaks my heart the most.

I feel like I stranger to myself and my previous life. I almost constantly feel slightly, or completely, disconnected or alone. Even though I’m not.

I let a friend in, become close, and then freak-out with fear of the close connection, and fear that I will be really seen. Sometimes I stay but keep a certain distance, to ensure I feel safe. Other times, I’ve fled out of fear they wouldn’t love me if they continued to get to know me.

I don’t value my love enough—I don’t value that my love is a gift itself.
Every time someone still shows up despite me not having ‘done’ anything, or regardless of whether I believed I was loveable the last time we hung out, or whether I’d shown my imperfections, or how many other times they’ve showed up before, a little piece of my unconditional love puzzle is put into place.

As I continue to discover just how twisted my Love Story has been until now, I continue to notice how deeply this impacts the way I love myself—the way I parent myself.I’m almost constantly noticing or realizing something different, something new.

Couple months back it suddenly hit me that I was only loving myself when I was doing or achieving things. I hadn’t realized that that part of the relationship I have with being able to be loved by others, was also the relationship I have towards being able to love myself.

I wrote this note to myself and stuck it on the wall, with the desire to love myself regardless of whether I’m doing or not doing.

I can love myself just for being.

I’m trying to trust that as this new kind of love—unconditional love—, as well as the forgiveness and acceptance it brings, begins to ripple inside myself, it’ll begin to ripple through the beliefs I have about others love for me, too—that they can love me for just being, also.

And that the people around me have been loving me this way regardless of whether I’ve been able to see it and believe it, or not.

I often feel frustrated with my process—the way that my fear and wounding has such a strong hold, and it feels like it’s taking so fucking long to ease or shift—because I long to feel able to be connected and held, rather than scared and un-seen.

When I look closely, though, things are so far from where they once were. And in my heart, I know this messiness and my wounding being so vividly here, is the beginning of truly healing.

And that can’t help but excite me and leave my worry gently soothed.

love hug relationship

love hug relationship

In the depths of our souls we all yearn for love and connection with others.

That yearning reflects a basic, even biological, human need. Infants thrive physically only when they feel deeply loved and cherished. As adults, we experience wrenching, soul-level loneliness when we don’t have love and meaningful connection in our lives, yet all too frequently we don’t have these things.

Not with our parents or siblings, not with a mate, not even with a best friend.

We all intuitively know that the highest experience in life is the sharing of love. However, we often confuse the idea of sharing love with the idea of getting love.

We try to get love when we feel empty inside and can share love only when we learn to first fill ourselves with love. We cannot share that which we do not have within. The wounded part of us seeks constantly to get love and avoid pain, resulting in an inability to share love.

The Fears that Underlie the Fears of Intimacy and Commitment

Why are love, connection and intimacy so elusive?

We sit enraptured at movies that depict two people experiencing the delight of falling in love. We thrill at their discovery of each other, their laughter, their uninhibited joy.

We love to read stories about deep friendship, about people committed to truly caring about each other over the long haul.

And we yearn for these experiences in our own lives.

Yet when we have a chance to have love, the story is a little different.

This is because, as much as we want love, we often want to avoid that which we fear even more. We don’t feel safe enough in ourselves to risk loving another.

Two major fears get in our way and undermine our wonderful new connection with someone, or even prevent that connection from ever occurring:

• Fear of rejection: the loss of another’s love through anger, emotional withdrawal, physical withdrawal or death.

• Fear of engulfment: the loss of self through being controlled, consumed, invaded, suffocated, dominated and swallowed up by another.

These fears stem from childhood experiences and from defining our worth externally through others’ approval, rather than internally through spiritual eyes of truth.

We will be unable to share our love to the fullest extent until we heal these fears of loss of others and of loss of self. We will be unable to create the safe relationship space in which to share love and a safe world in which to live until we learn how to create safety within.

Until these fears are healed, we will react defensively whenever they are triggered.

What do you do when your fears of rejection are activated? Do you withdraw, comply, get angry, mean or sarcastic? Do you defend, explain or teach?

Most of us have learned many controlling behaviors to protect ourselves from experiencing our fears. However when we react in our different defensive ways, the result will be the same—our reactive behavior will trigger our partner’s own fears of rejection or engulfment.

Now both of us are acting out of fear.

Together we have created an unsafe relationship space where love and intimacy will gradually erode. And that is why in my opinion so many unhappily married, or later divorced people.

The Unsafe Relationship Space

What do I mean by the term “relationship space”? How is a “relationship space” different from a “relationship”?

A relationship space is the environment in which the relationship is occurring. It is the energy created by the two people involved.

I think of this environment, this relationship space, as an actual entity that both people are responsible for creating.

It can be a safe relationship space, which is open, warm and inviting, or it can be an unsafe relationship space, which is hard, dark, unforgiving and full of fear.

The kind of environment in which our relationship takes place is crucial to its success—or failure.

Many of us have spent much time in unsafe relationship spaces. In fact, some of us have never experienced a safe relationship space because many, if not most of us, have not learned to stay open when our fears of being rejected or controlled are triggered.

If, when these fears are activated, we focus on who is at fault or who started it, we perpetuate an unsafe relationship space. Blaming another for our fears (and for our own reactive, unloving behavior) makes the relationship space more unsafe than ever.

Both people in the relationship end up feeling badly, each of us believing that our pain is the result of the other person’s behavior.

We feel victimized, helpless, stuck and disconnected from our partner. We desperately want the other person to see what they are doing that (we think) is causing our pain.

We think that if the other person only understands this, they will change—and we exhaust ourselves trying to figure out how to make them understand.

Over time, being in an unsafe relationship space creates distance between the people involved. When we have not created a safe space in which to speak our complete, heartfelt truth about ourselves, the joy between us gradually dies.

And the more we hold back our innermost feelings and experiences, the shallower our connection becomes.

Our intimacy crumbles.

In friendships, marriages and work relationships, our joy, aliveness and creativity get lost as we each give up parts of ourselves in an attempt to feel safe.

In romantic relationships, passion dries up. Superficiality, boredom, fighting and apathy take its place.

We try valiantly to figure out what went wrong. But too often we ask, “What am I doing wrong?” or “What are you doing wrong?” rather than inquiring into the health of the relationship space itself.

Only when we look at the relationship space will we see what we are each doing to create the unsafe space. The dual fears of losing the other through rejection and losing ourselves through being swallowed up by the other are the underlying cause of our unloving, reactive behavior.

These fears are deeply rooted. They cannot be healed or overcome by getting someone else’s love.

Creating a Safe Relationship Space

The way out of the unsafe relationship system is for each person to develop a strong loving adult self, capable of handling the fears of rejection and engulfment without protecting. This means learning to not take rejection personally and learning to set loving limits.

The key to doing this is learning how to create a safe inner space where we can work with and overcome our fears of rejection and engulfment. This is a process, not an event—a compassionate process of learning to love ourselves rather than abandon ourselves.

Only when you have achieved inner safety can you create a safe relationship space.

You can gradually learned to stop attacking or withdrawing and take loving care of yourself whenever your fears surface. You can learn to create inner safety when you feel threatened, rather than trying to get others to make you feel safe from your fears.

Any two people who are willing to learn to create their own inner sense of safety can also learn to create a safe relationship space where their intimacy and passion will flourish and their love will endure ❤

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Love Is the Only Meaning

 “Really, when you fall in love you throw your reason completely. That is why we say man “falls” in love. Falls from where? Falls from the head down into the heart. We use this term of condemnation, “falling in love,” because the head, the reason, cannot look at it without condemning it. It is a fall. Is love really a fall or a rising? Do you become more with it or do you become less? Do you expand or do you shrink? With love you become more! Your consciousness is more, your feeling is more; your ecstatic sensation is more, your sensitivity is more. You are more alive, but one thing is less: reasoning is less. You cannot reason it out; it is blind. As far as reason is concerned it is blind. The heart has its own reason – that is another thing – and the heart has its own eyes, but that is another thing. The eyes of reason are not there, so reason says it is a fall; you have fallen.

“Unless the heart center starts functioning again man will not be capable of love, and the whole misery of modern life is because unless he loves he cannot feel any meaning in his life. Life looks meaningless. Love gives it meaning; love is the only meaning. Unless you are capable of love you will be meaningless, and you will feel that you are existing without any meaning, futilely, and suicide will become attractive. Then you will like to kill yourself, to finish with yourself, to end, because what is the use of existing?

“Mere existing cannot be tolerated. Existence must have a meaning; otherwise, what is the use? Why go on prolonging yourself unnecessarily? Why go on repeating the same pattern every day? Getting out of the bed and doing the same thing, and again falling asleep and the next day the same pattern: why?
“You have done it so far, and what has happened? And you will do it unless death comes and relieves of you of your body. So what is the use? Love gives meaning. It is not that through love any result comes into being or any goal – no! Through love every moment becomes of value in itself. Then you never ask this. If someone asks what is the meaning of life, know well that love is lacking. Whenever someone asks what is the meaning of life, he is asking because he has not been able to flower in a love experience. Whenever someone is in love, he never asks what is the meaning of life. He knows the meaning; there is no need to ask. He knows the meaning! The meaning is there: love is the meaning in life.”

Sentiments Are Not Stones, They Are Like Rose Flowers

“There are three layers of the human individual: his physiology, the body; his psychology, the mind; and his being, his eternal self. Love can exist on all the three planes, but its qualities will be different. On the plane of physiology, body, it is simply sexuality. You can call it love, because the word love seems to be poetic, beautiful. But ninety-nine percent of people are calling their sex, love. Sex is biological, physiological. Your chemistry, your hormones – everything material is involved in it…

“Only one percent of people know a little bit deeper. Poets, painters, musicians, dancers, singers have a sensitivity that they can feel beyond the body. They can feel the beauties of the mind, the sensitivities of the heart, because they live on that plane themselves. But a musician, a painter, a poet, lives on a different plane. He does not think, he feels. And because he lives in his heart, he can feel the other person’s heart. That is ordinarily called love. It is rare. I am saying only one percent perhaps, once in a while.

“Why are many people not moving to the second plane because it is tremendously beautiful? But there is a problem: anything very beautiful is also very delicate. It is not hardware, it is made of very fragile glass. And once a mirror has fallen and broken, then there is no way to put it together. People are afraid to get so much involved that they reach to the delicate layers of love, because at that stage love is tremendously beautiful but also tremendously changing. Sentiments are not stones, they are like rose flowers…”

“Poets are known, artists are known to fall in love almost every day. Their love is like a rose flower. While it is there it is so fragrant, so alive, dancing in the wind, in the rain, in the sun, asserting its beauty. But by the evening it may be gone, and you cannot do anything to prevent it. The deeper love of the heart is just like a breeze that comes into your room, brings its freshness, coolness, and then it is gone. You cannot catch hold of the wind in your fist. Very few people are so courageous as to live with a moment-to-moment, changing life. Hence, they have decided to fall into a love on which they can depend.
“I don’t know which kind of love you know – most probably the first kind, perhaps, the second kind. And you are afraid that if you reach your being, what will happen to your love? Certainly it will be gone – but you will not be a loser. A new kind of love will arise which arises only perhaps to one person in millions. That love can only be called lovingness.”

Real Love Is Capable of Being Alone

“One can be in deep love and yet be alone. In fact, one can be alone only when one is in deep love. The depth of love creates an ocean around you, a deep ocean, and you become an island, utterly alone. Yes, the ocean goes on throwing its waves on your shore, but the more the ocean crashes with its waves on your shore, the more integrated you are, the more rooted, the more centered you are. Love has value only because it gives you aloneness. It gives you space enough to be on your own.
“But you have an idea of love; that idea is creating trouble – not love itself, but the idea. The idea is that, in love, lovers disappear into each other, dissolve into each other. Yes, there are moments of dissolution – but this is the beauty of life and all that is existential: that when lovers dissolve into each other, the same are the moments when they become very conscious, very alert. That dissolution is not a kind of drunkenness, that dissolution is not unconscious. It brings great consciousness, it releases great awareness. On the one hand they are dissolved – on the other hand for the first time they see their utter beauty in being alone. The other defines them, their aloneness; they define the other. And they are grateful to each other. It is because of the other that they have been able to see their own selves; the other has become a mirror in which they are reflected. Lovers are mirrors to each other. Love makes you aware of your original face.

“Hence, it looks very contradictory, paradoxical, when stated in such a way: “Love brings aloneness.” You were thinking all along that love brings togetherness. I am not saying that it does not bring togetherness, but unless you are alone you cannot be together. Who is going to be together? Two persons are needed to be together, two independent persons are needed to be together. A togetherness will be rich, infinitely rich, if both the persons are utterly independent. If they are dependent on each other, it is not a togetherness – it is a slavery, it is a bondage.

“If they are dependent on each other, clinging, possessive, if they don’t allow each other to be alone, if they don’t allow each other space enough to grow, they are enemies, not lovers; they are destructive to each other, they are not helping each other to find their souls, their beings. What kind of love is this? It may be just fear of being alone; hence they are clinging to each other. But real love knows no fear. Real love is capable of being alone, utterly alone, and out of that aloneness grows a togetherness.”

Love Basically Is a State of Being

“The real thing is not a relationship but a state; one is not in love but one is love. Whenever I talk about love remember this: I am talking about the state of love. Yes, relationship is perfectly good, but the relationship is going to be false if you have not attained to the state of love. Then the relationship is not only a pretension, it is a dangerous pretension, because it can go on befooling you; it can go on giving you the sense that you know what love is, and you don’t know. Love basically is a state of being; one is not in love, one is love.
“And that love arises not by falling in love with somebody. That love arises by going in – not by falling but by rising, soaring upwards, higher than you. It is a kind of surpassing. A man is love when his being is silent; it is the song of silence. A buddha is love, a Jesus is love – not in love with a particular person, but simply love. Their very climate is love. It is not addressed to anybody in particular, it is spreading in all directions. Whosoever comes close to a buddha will feel it, will be showered by it, will be bathed in it. And it is unconditionally so.
“Love makes no conditions, no ifs, no buts. Love never says, “Fulfill these requirements, then I will love you.” Love is like breathing: when it happens you are simply love. It does not matter who comes close to you, the sinner or the saint. Whosoever comes close to you starts feeling the vibe of love, is rejoiced. Love is unconditional giving – but only those are capable of giving who have.”

Without Love, Life Has no Poetry in it

“A greater fear than death grips you whenever you are in love. That’s why love has disappeared from the world. Rarely, very rarely does the phenomenon happen that love descends. What you call love is just a false coin: you have invented it because it is so difficult to live without love. It is difficult because without love, life carries no meaning; it is meaningless. Without love, life has no poetry in it. Without love, the tree exists but never flowers. Without love, you cannot dance, you cannot celebrate, you cannot feel grateful, you cannot pray. Without love, temples are just ordinary houses; with love an ordinary house is transformed, transfigured into a temple. Without love you remain just possibilities – empty gestures. With love, for the first time you become substantial. With love, for the first time, the soul arises in you. The ego drops but the soul arises…
“Moving towards love is moving towards an abyss. One starts wavering, one feels dizzy. Go to a height in the Himalayas and look down at the valley; that valley is no-thing. When you look down at the valley of love, a tremendous fear grips you. You are almost paralyzed: you cannot run away, you cannot take the jump. You simply tremble in infinite fear. What to do? Going back is not possible because love attracts: love calls your depth, love calls your future, love calls your potentiality; love gives you a glimpse of what you can be. You cannot run away from it, and you cannot jump because the cost is too high. You will have to drop yourself – all that you have been thinking yourself to be – the image, the past, the identity.
“But I tell you, the cost only seems to be too much before the jump. Once you take the jump…then you will know that whatsoever you have given up is nothing, and what you have attained is infinitely valuable. Let me tell you a paradox: love demands that you drop that which you don’t have, and love offers you that which you already have. Love wants you to get rid of that which you don’t have.”

A Man Who Is Filled With Love Is in Heaven

“Without love a man stands alone, separated from the core of existence. Without love everyone is a lone entity, lacking any connection with others of his kind. Today, man finds himself totally alone. We are all shut off from each other, trapped within ourselves. This is like being in the grave. Even though he is alive, man is a corpse.
“Do you see the truth in what I am saying? Are you alive? Do you feel the flow of love in your veins? If you do not feel that flow, if the throbbing of love in your heart has ceased, then you should understand well that you are not really alive at all.
“Once I was on a journey and someone asked me which word in a man’s vocabulary was the most valuable. My reply was,Love. The man was surprised. He said he had expected me to answer  soul or  God. I laughed and said “Love is God.”
“Rising on the ray of love one can enter the enlightened kingdom of God. It is better to say that love is God than to say that truth is God, because the harmony, the beauty, the vitality and the bliss that are part of love are not part of truth. Truth is to be known; love is to be felt as well as known. The growth and perfection of love lead to the ultimate merger with God.
“The greatest poverty of all is the absence of love. The man who has not developed the capacity to love lives in a private hell of his own. A man who is filled with love is in heaven. You can look at man as a wonderful and unique plant, a plant that is capable of producing both nectar and poison. If a man lives by hate he reaps a harvest of poison; if he lives by love he gathers blossoms laden with nectar.”

To Love and to Need Love are Two Different Things

“Fill your life with love. But you will say, “We always love.” And I tell you, you rarely love. You might be longing for love…and there is a vast difference between the two. To love and to need love are two very different things. Most of us remain like children all our lives because everyone is looking for love. To love is a very mysterious thing; to long for love is a very childish thing. Small children want love; when the mother gives them love they grow. They want love from others also and the family loves them. Then when they grow older, if they are husbands they want love from their wives, if they are wives they want love from their husbands.
“And whoever wants love suffers because love cannot be asked for, love can only be given. In wanting there is no certainty that you will get it. And if the person from whom you expect love also expects love from you, it is a problem. It will be like two beggars meeting and begging together. All over the world there are marital problems between husbands and wives, and the only reason for this is that both expect love from each other but are unable to give love.

“Think about this a little – your constant need for love. You want someone to love you, and if someone loves you you feel good. But what you don’t know is that the other loves you only because he wants you to love him. It is just like someone throwing bait to fish: he does not throw it for the fish to eat, he throws it to catch the fish. He does not want to give it to the fish, he only does it because he wants the fish. All the people that you see in love around you are only throwing bait to get love. They will throw the bait for a while, until the other person starts feeling that there is a possibility of getting love from this person. Then he too will start showing some love until eventually they realize that both of them are beggars. They have made a mistake: each had thought the other was an emperor. And in time each one realizes that he is not getting any love from the other, and that’s when the friction starts.”

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To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Be yourself. If you water yourself down to please people or to fit in or to not offend anyone, you lose the power, the passion, the freedom and the joy of being uniquely you. It’s much easier to love yourself when you are being yourself.” – Dan Coppersmith

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” – unknown

Many people I talk with feel that they have no joy in their life. They feel obligated to do so many things that they don’t have time for themselves and the things they really want to do.

As a result, people feel drained, anxious, and resentful. With so many outside forces competing for their time, energy and financial resources, is it really any wonder they feel this way? So what do we do? How can we remain balanced among this sea of obligations and commitments?

The answer is to live consciously. By looking at each decision we are making and by asking ourselves, “Is this really what I want to be doing? Is this really what is right for me?” And then by making sure our actions stay in alignment with our true intentions.

Saying yes when we mean no often causes us not to trust ourselves. It damages our confidence and lowers our self-esteem. We stop trusting ourselves, and that is usually the beginning of all the self-esteem issues and low self confidence.

So why do we do it?

From a young age, we are conditioned to act in certain ways in order to feel loved and accepted. This is the beginning of our loss of personal power and authenticity. A simple example is when our parents tell us what is bad or good, like it is bed to draw on the walls with crayon, but it is good to clean dishes after we eat… and so on. When we born, we are not aware of what is good or what is bad. Yes, conditions and family in which we grow up build us and our personality, but we also can create our own persona as we like later in conscious life.

In order to create change we will need to recondition our beliefs by discovering what is really true for us. Recently, with all life changes, i decided to go to therapy and figure out who i really am. Sometimes we get lost in life, in responsibilities and in other people, usually our loved ones. But who we really are sometimes is more important, and to figure that out sometimes we need guidance. I always felt that i knew exactly who i am and what i want in life, but now i feel lost a little… it is like a juggle, you learn how to juggle with two oranges and then life all of a sudden throws in 3 more, and you need to learn how to juggle 5, and not lose yourself in the process. Because you, are the most important! Your happiness, your piece of mind, without you – what is the point of your life?!

These are the questions I ask myself to become aware of any patterns and beliefs that no longer work for me. Once you become aware of these beliefs, you can simply begin to consciously change them.

Ask yourself: “Why am I doing this? Is it because…”

  • I will feel guilty if I don’t?
  • Everyone else is doing it, so I should too?
  • I want others to think I am a nice person?
  • I want to feel accepted?
  • I don’t feel good enough about myself to do what is really right for me?
  • I have trouble saying “no” or being myself around certain people?

If you have said “yes” to any of the above questions you are cheating yourself out of the things that bring you happiness and joy!

I came across post called “12 things happy people do differently” by Marc

#1 Express Gratitude

*When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciate in value

* If we aren’t thankful for what we already have, we will have a hard time ever being happy

#2 Cultivate Optimism

* People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.

#3 Avoid over-thinking and social comparison

* Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous

* The only person you should compare to is yourself before now

#4 Practice acts of kindness

* Selfishness helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside

#5 Nurture social relationships

* The happiest people on the planet ate the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships

#6 Develop strategies for coping

* It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsal, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal

#7 Learn to forgive

* Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being

#8 Increase flow experience

* Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still

* It is when you are focused on what you are doing that you become one with task

* Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus

#9 Savor life’s joys

* Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy

#10 Commit to your goals

* Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere

#11 Practice Spirituality

* When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us

* We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever

#12 Take care of your body

* Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.

The next time you hear yourself saying, I love to garden…but I don’t have time or I love to golf…but I’m too busy remember you can choose differently. You can choose to believe you are valuable; what is right for you does matter, and that your happiness is a priority.

Your life is the culmination of each decision you make every moment (whether you are aware of what you are choosing or not). Begin to understand the intention behind every action you take and make a conscious decision to do only what is right for you. Gather the courage each moment and say “no” to anything or anyone that doesn’t allow you to be yourself, or to live in alignment with your dreams.

What will you choose? Will you choose to stay in power by acting with the knowledge that you are responsible for every action in your life? Or will you continue to give your power away in order to feel valued and accepted in the eyes of another?

The choice is ONLY ours to make.

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I feel like i am standing at the road fork and i am not sure which route to take, which chance to take and should i even take it?! Life is all about taking chances. That leap of faith into the unknown. It terrifies us all, but where will we ever go in life if we don’t take a chance? The hardest part is finding a balance, knowing when to take the chance and when to take a step back. Knowing when to keep pushing forward in persistence versus when to just let go. It’s a balance of head and heart, of thoughts and feelings, of doing what’s “right” or doing what you “want/need” to do. It’s about not taking a chance and living with the regret that you’ll never know what might have been. Or taking the chance, risking it all, truly living life, and then accepting the often difficult path where that chance may lead. It is part of being a grown up human being, it is the other side of a medal, making decisions and choices, and standing strong when the results come in place.

“Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.” – Chinese proverb

There are too many people in this world who live mediocre lives because they simply avoid taking risks. At the same time successful people tend to be the biggest risk takers ever.

Bill Gates was taking a risk when he dropped out of college to start a business!

Galileo was taking a risk when he directly challenged the church by stating the earth revolved around the sun!

The founding fathers of the United States of America where all taking risks by signing their name on the Declaration of Independence!

The challenge is that if you do not take a chance, you will never know if something could have been… a relationship, an opportunity or other positive life change. Nothing happens until you take a risk and make a stance to go after what you believe in. You need to risk something, whether it be your money, reputation, or your beliefs in order to move forward in life.

The good news is while you may lose when taking risks there are 2 sides to every coin. You may also win by taking risks.

In fact, if you are consistently taking risks in life you will eventually come out ahead. It is inescapable, even if you are the most unlucky person with the lowest intelligence ever, you can’t lose everything that you go after.

Thomas Edison failed to create the light bulb 10,000 times before he succeeded! He only needed to succeed once to become one of the richest men in the country and one of the most famous inventors of all time.

Similarly, you only need to succeed once to start a new life for yourself. Think about that. If you are a singer, painter, actor, or whatever it may seem difficult to get discovered. But you only need to get discovered once to change your life.

If you know what you are doing and you go after your dreams you will probably end up falling flat on your face quite a few times. When you do and people criticize your mistakes it may seem that taking risks is not the way to get ahead and that you are better off playing it safe.

But for those who do not just play it safe and who keep taking chances (and for those who learn from their past mistakes) you will eventually have to come out ahead. Sometimes being right on one big risk can be all you need to change your life forever.

So, never forget to keep taking chances and keep learning from them. If you do then life is sure to be more entertaining and more worthwhile then if you just sit on the sidelines and watch others pass you by.

Discover your wants and needs…

  • ask yourself what makes you happy
  • decide where your responsibilities and commitments lie vs. your freedom to choose what you ‘want’
  • decide what your priorities are – we all have desires, but how do they fit in with your priorities and responsibilities?
  • think about your long term and short term desired outcomes and how taking certain chances can help you achieve those outcomes

No matter where we want to take a chance, relationship or dream, it is worth taking a chance, it is worth seeing if that is the best thing you could have done, and you will never have regrets! Imagine, if you want to be a Hollywood actor for example, you need to risk and take chances by sending out your resume, by trying to go to as many castings and taking every chance you get to get “discovered” – you only need ONE chance! and you can get it anytime, any moment, you might not even expect it and one little chance can turn out to be the best result ever, and make all your dreams come true. And in relationship, if you in love, if you feel in your heart that this is the best person for you – why not take a chance on them? Why not just listen to your heart and feel it, and act on that incredible feeling of love and just be with that person. No i am not talking about running off into a sunset with every pretty girl/boy, but everyone knows what i mean, everyone had that in their lives, but not everyone listened to their heart and took chance. Sometimes you just know “this person is for me”, you just know, but if we do not listen to our heart and start thinking and turning on logic and brain – yes we will never take a chance in love. Love is no logic, brain cannot apprehend what heart can, that is why we have both, sometimes we just have to listen to our heart and act only on it. if we turn on logic – it will kill it, it will break it brick by brick. Maybe logic is more developed in this age, but i love to listen to love stories of our grandparents where they followed their heart, took chances in love and stayed together for years to come… so maybe they were right, in the way they followed the path of love and took a gamble in life?!… They took chance in love, they followed their heart and soul, and they stayed together for lifetime, our generation – picks a perfect match – and the divorce rate is higher than ever…I believe we all have a chance in life and in love, but it is our choice to take that chance or to pass on it, and regret it every moment later in life. Life will pass, and other choices will come but the thought of regret and “what if…” will always be there…

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”– T. S. Eliot

Creative risk taking is essential to success in any goal where the stakes are high. Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity. – Gary Ryan Blair

Because if you’re prepared and you know what it takes, it’s not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there. – Mark Cuban

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead! – General George S. Patton

Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back-she will hear her heart – Paulo Coelho

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world—an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control—that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel—something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility. – Martha Nussbaum

The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become. – W. E. B. Du Bois

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough. – Marissa Mayer

The universe has no restrictions. You place restrictions on the universe with your expectations. – Deepak Chopra

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs

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I chose freedom?

Not many people will argue that freedom is better than restraint. But in reality many people are ready to sacrifice freedom for tranquility, comfort, tradition.

Do we really want to have freedom and be free people?

Lately we talk about freedom quite often. I really never thought about what freedom really is, what does it mean. Are we born free of we acquire freedom with experience?

And what is the difference between freedom that single people talk about and freedom that politicians promise?

“All people are born free” – repeated quite often by people who desire best for humankind. But there are always been those that felt that our relationship with freedom is not as simple. There are freedom that poets talked about, and kids in schools used to write essays about. Psychology has a different view on freedom, for them our freedom that we were born with is not obvious. Just because psychology associates freedom with our actions, but not with our beings. And until there is actions, there is no reason talking about freedom. But when I think about a newborn, does he have freedom in his actions? He is born in loving home, he can sleep whenever he wants, he eats when he wants to eat, he plays if he choses to… Does that mean he is free because he does what he wants? No, because all this actions – expression of spontaneity, immediate impulses, explains psychologist Dmitry Leontiev. “Freedom relate with spontaneity as a higher psychological function with lower. Lower psychological functions act  more on their own, more mechanically.  Higher functions – our actions that we do consciously, from our own experience and notions as to how are we suppose to act.” And although manifestations of higher and lower functions may be simlar, the reasons for them are often completely different.So what actions coupld be counted as the real manifestations of freedom? Those that we commit with clear awareness of the consequences and willingness to answer for our actions. Acting free does not mean act good, freedom can not be evaluated. With freedom – by your own will, with full awareness of the consequences, – we may act very badly.

There is another side to freedom, freedom tied up in conjunction with responsibility. Freedom and responsibility is the same thing, it is two sides of one coin, each of which does not exist by itself. Freedom and responsibility have different roots. Beginning of freedom is that childish freedom. Responsibility is raised in us by restrictions: restrictions set by parents, religious beliefs, and even our own self control. These parallels cross each other later in life, or sometimes do not cross at all. But the point of cross suppose to be around teenage years. I recently read one of experimental study on correlation of freedom and responsibility in teenagers, study was done in 1980s and psychologists found 4 types of behavior that worth mentioning: autonomous, impulsive, symbiotic and conformal. Autonomous behavior – is a perfect balance of freedom and responsibility; that is the behavior of a truly free person. In impulsive teens (usually it is boys) the spontaneity of conduct clearly prevails over the responsibility for their actions. “Symbiotic” teenagers are ready to adapt to any requirements:they demonstrate high level of responsibility and distinct lack of freedom. And finally conformal teens they prefer to “swim with the tide” – they lack both freedom and responsibility.

MANIFEST OF FREE PERSON

Working on this “Manifest of free person” I was trying to understand from different points of view, what is freedom? The answer seems so simple, “intuitive easy to understand”… but so elusive.  For me important not the concept, but the way of existence as a free human being. What is he/she feeling, what are his/her actions, what is the most important for him/her, what does he/she believe in?.. So after deliberate research I came up with 10 main point that i think are applicable to the description of “free human”

  1. Freedom for me – not the purpose, but a way of life
  2. Everything that I think about is consistent with what I say or do. I avoid lies and hypocrisy.
  3. I support the manifestation of freedom in others and respect other people’s opinion
  4. I take responsibility for my thoughts, words and actions. I do not wait for someone else make a decision for me, and I am not complaining about circumstances
  5. I remember, that I can make mistakes, like any other person. I can see my mistakes and recognize them
  6. My opinion may change. If I think today differently, that I thought yesterday, I will not hold on to my ideas for the sake of illusion
  7. I understand, that I might not know everything. I strive to differentiate my knowledge from my speculation, guesswork and desires
  8. I do not trust somebody elses opinion just because I respect that person. I strive to receive information from many sources, to analyse it myself and to check with the experience
  9. Fear – is the main obstacle on the way to freedom. I get rid of fear – fear of life, fear of others and myself, fear of being judged. My first step towards conquering my fear – is to notice and honestly admit, if I afraid of something.
  10. I understand and accept all my feelings and desires. I am not ashamed and I do not blame myself for them. When I express my feelings, will I pursue them and how I chose to do it, depends only on me.