Be a Relationship Catalyst

Who are you really?

This is the question that has made many of us get to where we are today. If we are not the body and we are not even the mind, who are we really?

We are created with a name, not the one our parents gave us at birth, but the name we bring by nature, the personal print that characterises our own life from others, the reason why we were born in a certain place, with certain parents or without them, and certain circumstances around.

I believe that we come to this life in order to define who we really are. Each of our life experiences help us recognize our true nature, we are not alone, we are interdependent, not in a sense that we can’t live without others, but in a sense that we search for connection in order to feel SAFE. We also want to take care of others, and in exchange we will accomplish our life purpose.

Everybody is a reflection of you, and the Universe brings exactly what you need, when you need it. Each of them brings a message for personal GROWTH, only if we are ready and aware of that, we can take it as an opportunity instead of an obstacle for self-realization. For example, I hear a lot of people saying: “I regret all the time I lost with that person” instead of saying: “I thank that person for showing me the parts I don’t like about myself”.

Finding what “I” is, open up infinite possibilities for engaging in better and fulfilling relationships. Think about what part of yourself you want to show up. Be and decide who you really are because you can’t give something you don’t have. If you are searching for someone special, you need to become someone special.

What’s the right direction?

If personal interactions are fundamental part of life, it’s our duty to create the most powerful experiences possible. The meaning behind this is to discover where I am going and with whom, therefore, we have the freedom to decide everything we want, to design and create our present moment according to our basic needs and the desire of finishing the job of self-discovery, which is never-ending by the way…

As human beings we have two main characteristics by nature: self-control and love. We are not meant to be weak, this is a reality! You are the life to renew yourself no matter what you’ve been going through!

Self-control is supremacy of power, authority and strength over yourself. We need to say “no” to negative people and negative environments. It takes something to let go of everything that keep us away from being happy, and this is courage to reject what no longer serves us. But again, we need to know our limits, our weaknesses and strengths first.

Loving ourselves does not mean that we are becoming selfish, loving ourselves instead means that we choose only positive to come to us. Love from a compassionate mind requires loving without expectations. And here I want to share my point of view regardless expectations; having no expectations doesn’t mean that we are expecting to complete ourselves with others; or that we don’t need anything from anybody, but that we find ourselves complete and we are ready to share our completeness with others. We all have something to share: time, knowledge, space, interests… that’s why we decide to connect with others and share what we treasure the most.

Find the balance

“Be the change you want to see in others”. To become a catalyst you need to understand that the only person you can change is yourself. We spend most of our time trying to change people and things around us, but the fact is that we are losing our time. If you do something, do it for a reason.

A good friend of mine always reminds me of relating with nourishing and positive people no matter what’s my final goal, he also encourages me to find a real motivation in new projects. The energy I use in daily life for working, volunteering, dating, helping family and friends should be full of power and love. And don’t forget to give yourself.

“Let go and let it be”. Just because you decide to become more open and tolerant doesn’t mean you don’t care about it. If you keep a good perspective, you develop the ability to respond instead of react, avoiding unnecessary stress and arguments, give you the free pass for assertive communication and the right to express yourself better about your feelings and needs, leaving behind guilt and frustration.

Actions for lifetime relationships

Creating positive bonds is not so hard, after you find the right balance and decide who you want to be. It is time to try out your inner wisdom and start correcting your habits to keep that balance and not get out of track. How can we make it easier?

1. Pleasant: let go of the ego, stop trying to be right about everything, specially when it comes to the relationship with your partner or spouse. It’s okay to be angry at someone for a moment but ask yourself the reason why you are feeling that way. A simple “you are right, I’m sorry” bonds you to one another.
2. Positive speech: your ability to speak is one of the ways to connect. Be aware of giving compliments and gratitude to your beloved ones. Laughing, having a good sense of humour, making plans for a social meeting, as well as the tone of voice you use is a part of the mindset that you need to feel good and make others enjoy the time together.
3. Compromise: as I said before, you can’t complete yourself with someone, it’s necessary to give space and proper communication. Everyone has their own needs and opinions, we must respect each other and share their interest or at least motivate them to follow dreams and aspirations.
4. Acceptance: when you see someone as they truly are, you see their good and bad habits, automatically you stay present to the nature of life, and you stop the need to change someone.
5. Be calm: make an effort to be mindful, cultivate inner peace at all times, be the role-model for everyone around you. Make your mind neutral to all senses as all the things we enjoy with our senses will die or end some time in the future. Holding on to them will delay the purification of the mind.

“How deeply you touch another life is how rich your life is.”
-Sadhguru

Look Inwards, Act Outwards

Personal growth happens from the point where we can be at peace with difficult questions, with thoughts that are troubling us, from the moment we can celebrate good qualities without the rise of ego. It happens when we allow the space to apply certain methods to find out what our passion and mission is.

In the words of Antoine de St. Exupery “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” One needs to be willing to put in the time and effort to identify those aspects connected to one’s passion, mission, vocation and profession and proceed with consistent planning.

Genuine answers don’t often come when we are busy, running, stressing out and feeling exhausted, but from the place of inner balance and calm.

Apart from this, a crucial aspect is to be able to look outside yourself, to be outwards oriented.

To know your life purpose, ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What do I do?
  3. Who do I do it for?
  4. What do these people want or need?
  5. What they get out of it, what changed as a result?

Here’s what you can do to make the process easier: don’t overthink, be honest, don’t judge, it’s OK if you are still working on some aspects and you are on work in progress. We are never done with learning.

Having a sense of purpose is an essential requirement to be driven and fulfilled. The important people in life, those whom we rely on and who rely on us, whom we love, cherish, respect constantly help refine our sense of purpose and connection.

Photo credits: Joey Kyber@unsplash

What is really going on with addiction?

The first thing that comes to my mind when seeing the word addiction, is drugs. On a second glance, I associate it with alcohol, cigarettes, sex or sugar. What is really addiction all about?

According to the Webster’s Dictionary, addiction is the “compulsive NEED for and USE of a habit-forming substance (heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; a persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.”

Yet, most addicted people use no drugs at all. Moreover, addiction cannot be understood if we restrict our vision of it to substances, be they legal or illegal.

Beyond drugs

In fact, addiction is manifested in any behaviour that a person craves, finds temporary relief or pleasure in, but suffers negative consequences as a result of. Yet, the person has difficulty giving up, accompanied by effects such as craving, relief, pleasure, suffering, impaired control, violence and more.

Therefore, the definition of addiction goes beyond drugs or alcohol, it stretches across any human behavior, from sex to eating, shopping, gambling, extreme sports, TV and compulsive internet use – the list is endless.

Addiction is neither a choice nor a disease, but originates in a human attempt to solve a problem: the problem of emotional pain, overwhelming stress, lost connection, loss of control, deep discomfort with the self.

Treating addiction or pain?

Testimonies show, without failure,  what addiction compensates for: “It helped me escape emotional pain… helped me deal with stress… gave me peace of mind… a sense of connection with others… a sense of control… a sense of power”.

Hence, addition is one aspect of the urge to stop the pain. To treat the addiction, which is a symptom, without treating the pain underneath means to deal with effects rather than its causes, prolonging cycles of suffering, ruining lives.

Often childhood trauma is associated with addiction.  Not necessarily horrific events, but any event that imposes more pain on the child than his or her sensitive being can process. Any failure to respond to the need to be seen, held, heard, made to feel secure. And each of us has an inner child.

“Trauma has become so commonplace, that most people don’t even recognize its presence.” Peter Levine

Developing connection: an example from Portugal

Connection, belonging, safety can be learned and accepted as opposite to the addiction. Hence, developing healthy interpersonal connections as a part of recovery and healing is not easy, but it generates the desired sustainable life changes compared to approaches based solely on isolation and medication.

A story of success is Portugal and how the country chose to handle the situation with drugs differently,  in a way that can help people, one at a time. For 40 years the authoritarian regime of António Salazar imposed measures to keep the population docile. In the 70’s Portugal opened to new experiences, including marijuana and heroin, however in 2001 it became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances.

It led to a cultural shift, where health services, psychiatrists, employers, housing services started to work together to serve the communities, saving one individual at a time. The country’s policy rests on three pillars: 

(1) There’s no such thing as a soft or hard drug, only healthy and unhealthy relationships with drugs;

(2) Individual’s unhealthy relationship with drugs often conceals a lack of  relationships and support of loved ones, with the world around them, and with themselves;

(3) The eradication of all drugs is an impossible goal.

There is no one-size-fits-all or universal solution, just the daily search for balance, inner peace, diversity,  connection and meaning.

Sources:

https://drgabormate.com/opioids-universal-experience-addiction/

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-is-working-why-hasnt-the-world-copied-it

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201509/the-opposite-addiction-is-connection

 

Photo credits: Emily Lau @unsplash

5 Hacks for a Happy Life

When was the last time you observed the beauty of the tree next to your house? Or plants in your lawn with those lovely colours and incredible flowers? Or how long has it been when you watched the sunrise or sunset with a cup of tea without any stress or tension about what you need to do next?

In our everyday life, we are blessed with nature’s miracle and great opportunities to stay happy, yet most of us tend to ignore them in a mad rush of ever changing professional achievements, assignments, pending bills, hours of wait in daily’s traffic and what not. There is an old saying in Sanskrit, which could be translated into “life is happy and joyful when you take it slowly and have time to do nothing”.

With thousands of years of struggle and tendency of fighting for survival, the human brain enjoys the adrenaline rush, which has become a new normal for our brain instead of being relaxed, calm and content. However, most of the scientific and ancient text concludes that our brain is most efficient and productive, when it stays in its natural state, which is being calm, clear and tranquil.

Here are some simple hacks to stay happy and enjoy the beauty of the world around us.

1) Social connection

Humans are designed to live in society and having people around them. Our lifestyle has a huge impact on physical and mental development. Social cohesion has a positive impact on our longevity and happiness. The Ted Talk by Susan Pinker, a developmental psychologist reveals how in-person social interactions are not only necessary for human happiness but also could be a key to health and longevity. Hence, our happiness greatly depends on quality and quantity of time spent with others.

2) Being generous

Generosity is one of the basic human characters and by default, we all feel happy while doing a simple act of kindness and generosity. An experimental study by researchers at the University of Zurich explored the connection between generosity and happiness, providing behavioural and neural evidence that supports the link between generosity and happiness. So, believe it or not, you feel happy when making the decision to give.

3) Practicing gratitude

Saying thank you is one of the simplest ways to make someone happy. The small doses of gratitude have huge impact on chemical reaction in our brains and they make us happier and more joyful. We have a lot to be grateful for in our lives, starting from having a good meal, being healthy, waking up smiling for another day, being surrounded by good friends, family and a lot more. So, if you want to be happy, start expressing your gratitude to them.  Want to know more about science behind it? Check this Harvard medical school publication on a research done by two psychologists.

4) Power of mindfulness

Sitting idly, trying to relax, doing nothing and focusing on one thought at a time. This is the key to happiness. Huge amount of ancient text from Eastern world says that happiness depends on ourselves, and a practice of mindfulness is one way to ensure it.  Several scientific studies have shown that meditation increases grey matter of the brain. In simple terms, meditation helps grow the happy mind. It is the best stress buster available for free. Moreover, researchers have found out that with regular mediation, brain tends to have noticeably thicker tissue in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for attention and control functions of the brain.

Excited? Give a try with Peace Revolution’s 42 days online self-development meditation program for free!

5) Spend time with nature and stay physically active

Nature has a power to rejuvenate us quickly with full of positive energy. Results showed that those who have done 30 minutes of light exercise including jogging in forests had significantly lower heart rates, they were more relaxed and had less cortisol level leading to less stress and anxiety and better moods than others. The researchers concluded that there’s something about being in the nature that had a beneficial effect on stress reduction. For instance, researchers from Stanford University found that those who walked in nature experienced less anxiety, rumination, as well as more positive emotions in comparison to the urban walkers. They also improved their memory, creativity and liveliness.

Lastly, although it comes from our modern lifestyle, staying away from phone and computer for a day in a week and focusing on building a connection with you own self is another way to make yourself happy and relaxed.

Photo credits for featured image:  Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Kuldeep Singh can be reached out at twitter @Kuldeep_lko