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

Where Is Your Center?

In the midst of work storms of the modern world, we normally forget where our mind is centered. The mind is at ease when it locates itself at a single point, however our peace or distress largely depends on where the mind actually rests.

Different centers

Imagine it is the weekend and you have promised your kid to take him to a fair ground. Your boss asks you to stay at work to do some arrangements for the upcoming event. You may doubt what to do and at last you accept to spend your weekend at the office postponing the fair to another time. If something like this happens a lot, you are probably work-centered.

The issue is not always with the job. Imagine there’s a sound inside you that constantly calls for the joy and party, drinks and night life. You are mostly in the clubs or you have long hours of staying awake playing and enjoying and probably trying to convince yourself that you are happy and free. In this case, you are joy-centered.

Many people’s mind is totally dependent on other people. For example, you are obsessed with your partner’s behaviour. You adjust everything to satisfy him or her. You constantly analyse their actions to see if they are happy with you or not. Honestly speaking, you are partner-centered.

It is the same for friends; your plans depend on your friends’ plans; if you are alone for a day, you feel lonely and depressed. This is labelled as friend-centered.

Let’s contemplate it more. In some cultures showing respect to the family is greatly encouraged and it is truly a universal goodness. However, many people might not think that being too much attached to the family may hurt them someday. Life is always changing. It’s unsteady and it has never promised to stay the same. Life is changeable and so are the people! Can you be a hundred percent sure that your family is immortal? Or they will never embarrass you or even choose a way which is totally against your life-style or your life philosophy? When you are in such a situation and you are family-centered, it is the time to re-evaluate your values and fix them mindfully.

Silencing the mind

This list is endless. We might be self-centered, product-centered, fashion-centered, church or mosque-centered, status-centered and so on…But the big question is where the mind should be and how we can gain peace of mind? Many philosophers, mind masters and even neuroscientists advise us to provide some moments of silence for the mind; when the mind is silent but alert! This is a good practice to train the mind to be free from all thoughts and worries of life.

There are numerous techniques of meditations and yoga which help us do so. A very useful type of meditation which I personally practice is to take the mind to the center of the body. The center of the body is the center of gravity. It is approximately located two finger width above the navel. Meditation is not a magic and it needs to be practiced every day. We brush our teeth every day for two or three times. Meditation is also one of our daily routines which we need to do to keep the mind healthy and free. It is a mind exercise to position the mind in its right place. When our mind is at the center, we avoid spending lots of energy to center the mind on purposeless things around us. We need to take care of our mind and by doing so we gradually become professional in taking mindful decisions and enjoying a balanced life.

Inspired by the book: The seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

4 Ways Spending Time With Your Immediate Family Benefits You

The contemporary lifestyle is very demanding and has several facets which need to be catered to simultaneously. According to modern standards, a person must remain vigilant and conscious about several things which include social status, health, beauty, a promising career, a happening social life, and so on and so forth. Attempting to satisfactorily achieve all of this can sometimes be very aggravating and can lead to a person becoming agitated and even downright depressed when things are not going well. In this whole ordeal, one aspect of life that is likely to suffer immensely is the time you spend with your immediate family.

With increasing pressures and technological distractions, communication between immediate family members is often hindered and they seldom spend quality time with one another. While some may consider themselves to be too busy, others may simply lack the empathy to make plans or give their immediate family the required attention.

However, if you knew how much spending time with your immediate family is likely to benefit you and them, surely everyone would make it their first priority. Spending time with your immediate family does not only provide something to do on a weekend but also has several health and well-being benefits.

Here are 4 ways that spending time with your immediate family will benefit you.

  1. You will relieve stress

There is no place like home and no better friend than your own family. Spending time with your immediate family gives you a cushion to everyday stress and allows you to release stress levels by having an engaging and heart-connecting conversation. When a person feels close to his/her immediate family, he/she realizes that they have a proper support system and this can substantially decrease their risk of stress-related diseases.

For example, spending time with a parent reduces a key stress hormone and also injects oxytocin into the brain, which is a chemical that makes you feel good. Hence, whether you are spending time with your kids for their benefit or spending time with your own parents to give yourself an uplift, it is a win-win situation.

2. You are likely to live longer

Having meaningful relationships with your loved ones is associated with longevity as explained by a study from Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers. Hence, if you take out time every day or at least every week to spend time with your immediate family, this is likely to give your lifeline a boost and you will potentially live a longer and happier life.

Having a family is a blessing as parenting is also a proven aspect of living a more fulfilling, meaningful and thus a potentially longer life, void of major health issues. Therefore, those who cherish their families and make it a point to spend more time with them, definitely add to their years.

3.  You are less likely to have mental health issues

Mental health is a very important aspect of a fulfilling life and as life becomes more pressurising, many people are likely to suffer from several mental health issues including dementia, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and others. However, spending time with your immediate family helps you develop a bond that gives you the required strength to deal with everyday pressures and allows you to keep your brain balanced. A Swedish study that examined adults aged 75 and over stated that those who had satisfying and meaningful relationships with their family were less likely to suffer from dementia.

Spending time with your family helps you reduce stress, connect with people who can help, and reassure you that you have an active support system to assist you in matters that are important to you.  Spending quality time with your immediate family is more beneficial than speaking to a therapist as regular family time provides the same stress-relieving therapy that you pay for. According to a study that surveyed 309,000 people, it was found that strong relationships are a cause for longevity and decrease the risk for premature death by 50%. Another study stated that caring behavior is beneficial for both the giver and the recipient and releases stress-reducing hormones, decreasing the chances of brain diseases.

4.  You are likely to have a sharper memory

We usually remember things that matter most to us, don’t we? When our minds are filled with meaningful information that also hold emotional relevance to us, this leads to a sharper and more accurate memory. As mentioned above, adults over the age of 75 who had meaningful relationships with their family and friends were less likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Studies have proven that emotionally charged events are more likely to be remembered and pleasant emotions are remembered more than unpleasant ones. Hence, creating happy memories with your family is definitely a plus point for your memory as it leads to brain exercises increasing your accuracy in details and allowing more retention.

These results are usually highly visible and signs of better cognitive abilities and memory can easily be measured. Your sharper memory will be a highly beneficial asset to your career, sociability, and other aspects of life.

Hence, spending time with family does not only benefit them but is also highly beneficial to you. As proven by several scientific studies, caring behavior is beneficial to both the giver and the recipient and does wonders for your stress and anxiety levels, significantly reducing them and leading you to a happier and healthier existence.

There are numerous other benefits to spending time with your immediate family which involve your emotional wellbeing, the way your children are raised, and benefits that can aid in elevating your career. Research suggests that professionals with a stable family life are likely to achieve more than those who do not have a very comfortable or fulfilling relationship with their immediate families.  Likewise, research also states that children who are raised in an environment which supports family time are likely to make better decisions in life.

Do not ignore your family, as they will lead you to a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life!