The Universal Values Behind Successful People

I grew up watching a lot of successful people on TV. When I entered university, I started working part-time for the hospitality industry where I got to meet many of these people too. It always interested me how they got to be where they were. So on a faithful day, a friend of mine named Boris and I went to a cyber cafe and spent hours and days researching on successful people and what makes them unique. At first, I didn’t quite understand how important these values played in their lives until years later when I got into the professional world. Below are the five main values I’ve come to realize most of these successful people share in common.

1. Punctuality
If you are from a country like mine (Cameroon), then you will get to understand what we mean by Black Man Time (BMT). For most people, if you put an event to start at 5pm, they will show up at 8pm. As a result, a lot of things have to be dragged to wait for the late comers every time. This I got to realize is the main reason why a country or a person could remain backward in life. Successful people understand that being punctual does not make you idle or less important. It means you have no time to waste. Being punctual also means having respect for others by not keeping them wait. Above all, punctuality gives a person an unworried mind because it prevents one from guilt and confusion. The best of the things usually have a limited time. Go getters know that and that’s why they are successful.

2. Politeness
Have you ever bought something you didn’t quite want to buy? If yes, what was your reason for yielding? I can recollect many such times, especially during my trips to Nigeria. This country is referred to as the giant of Africa not just for nothing but because they know the role that politeness plays in business. Sometimes you will find a seller greeting with you big titles such as Oga (Sir from the Igbo tribal language in Nigeria), Igwe (King or Chief) just to make you feel welcome. Other times they may give you water to drink while you are looking just to make you feel comfortable. The truth is if you deny, they tell you giving you water is not a must to buy but in reality, their polite manners will make you feel it is only right to do so. This is not the same with other sellers who do not even greet you when you walk into their shop. When we are polite, we soften other people’s minds. We calm down the stress they would have likely poured on us. This in turn may make them feel nicer towards us which could lead to other benefits. This is what successful people understand and do often as they know they may need you someday.

3. Cleanliness
Many people usually admire celebrities for their style. The ones that dress well are usually more celebrated than others that just have skills. Successful people in general are keen to keep their self image. They know the role cleanliness has in branding. This is not only bodily cleanliness but also environment. Most often they are very disciplined with themselves or their employees to ensure cleanliness of the office no matter how modest it is because they know the psychological influence it has on their clients. They also understand that once everywhere looks clean, their mind can easily feel clean too giving them the clarity they need to handle their affairs.

4. Orderliness
Most successful people are very organized people. They know what they want and what it takes to get there. They understand that if they do not put things or ideas in an orderly manner, it will be hard for them to find them and achieve their goals. They keep their environment tidy, and this helps their mind to stay organized as well. Being orderly means being realistic. A lot of unsuccessful people just follow the wave wherever it leads them, and this is why they find it hard to succeed. The truly successful ones understand that the miracles that happen are often a combination of many planned activities that have finally materialised into something great.

5. Self-discipline
If you observe the life of people who are successful, most often you will realize they have some key things they are highly self-disciplined about. It could be having routine exercises, yoga, meditation, prayer, reading schedule, diet plan etc. Could you believe Donald Trump has never drank alcohol? He said that recently as reported by CNN. Anyone can say trash about him but the truly objective can attest to the fact that getting elected to be president is not the same as riding a bike. I was also marvelled when I watched the Oprah Winfrey show and realized that Gangster rapper 50 Cent does not drink or smoke! There’s a lot we often assume by the public life of people but if we get really close to them, most often we will realize there are some strict acts of self-discipline they keep which is the reason for their success.

All the above values together with the practice of mindfulness and meditation  will allow a person to further attain peace and happiness as a result. I may have spoken about these values for success, and one may mistake it for financial success. No, no, no! When I talk about success here, it merely means being extremely good at whatever you do. You must not be a celebrity like musicians or athletes. You might be that classroom teacher that is known by the entire school for being the best at what they do. It may be hard to practice all these values but committing to practice just one such as punctuality can turn one’s life around.

Why Everyone Needs to Practice Meditation

Based on my own experience as a meditation trainer, people wonder a lot about when and why one needs to maintain meditation practice. Should that also be a misunderstanding of what meditation is all about? Possibly. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, meditation means, “engage in contemplation or reflection, or to plan or project in the mind”. But this is not what we are talking about. In fact, the real word which stands for meditation is actually called Samadhi, which means “standstill, peaceful and focused at one point. In this article, we are basing our argument on some facts about the function of our brain which is, in a way, conditioned by the state of our mind.

The three main parts of our brain

In her article “How meditation boosts creativity and innovation”[1], Bianca Rothschild (2014), explains the three main parts of the brain and their functions:

1) Neocortex: the newest part of the brain which is essentially concerned with what can be considered the important stuff: creative thinking, problem solving, visioning, hypothesising, strategizing.

2)The limbic system: located below the neocortex, and is simply said to be the area of processing our emotions,  motivations and memories. If we are feeling emotionally out of balance or distressed, this part of the brain gets activated, and our brain becomes ‘busy’ dealing with the stress and emotions at hand; it won’t allocate any resources to our creative thinking.

3) The reptilian brain: the oldest part of our brain, concerned with our survival and primarily activated by the adrenaline hormone; it is where our fight or flight responses originate. This is the laziest part of our brain; it only wants to process things which it deems critical to our survival.  The reptilian brain also includes sex impulses, and if the idea is ‘mate-able’, dangerous or threatening our survival in any way, it will get passed upwards, and hence has a hard time getting to the neocortex.

Enhanced creativity and emotional intelligence

Mindfulness meditation has been scientifically proved to be a great technique to improve creativity. “The kinds of things that happen when you meditate do have effects throughout the body, not just in the brain.”[2].  Elsewhere, the study published in May 2016 in the medical journal PloS One[3]  showed that one session of relaxation­response practice was enough to enhance the expression of genes involved in energy metabolism and insulin secretion and reduce expression of genes linked to inflammatory response and stress. There was an effect even  among novices who had never practiced meditation before.

Certainly, meditation has positive side effects: it reduces the reactivity of the reptilian brain, increases resilience, stimulates the neocortex, as well as improves emotional intelligence[4]. All these factors assist in getting ideas flowing directly to our best creative thinking brain – the neocortex. According to the research conducted on American company’s employees regarding their ability of problem solving, the result shows that non-meditators had more cognitive rigidity than regular meditators; they also had tendency to apply difficult or outdated solutions to easy problems, based on their past experiences, which was not the case of regular meditators who are more creative.

Conclusion

Everyone deserves happiness and peace of mind on one side and creative thinking on the other side. Unfortunately, our everyday life has so many happenings which are often unpleasant and at the end deprive us from being joyful and creative as our brain becomes busy dealing with stress and emotions. The good news is that everyone has a solution in their hands, and it is meditation practice.  So, the choice is YOURS.

 

References

[1] Bianca Rothschild, How meditation boosts creativity and innovation, july 2014

[2] The Benson-Henry Institute for mind-body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital

[3] In http://www.bl oomber g.com/news/ar ti cl es/2013­ 11­ 22/har var d­ yoga­ sci enti sts­ fi nd­ pr oof­ of­ medi tation­ benefit

[4] Bianca Rothschild (2014)  in Op.cit

Turn off autopilot, be a warrior with an open heart

Habits, morning routine, places we go out to eat, the behaviour towards our partner – this all can slip into an autopilot mode. To be mindful and turn off this mode means to be a warrior with an open heart.

Sometimes the battle is against being on autopilot mode, which due to its familiarity, can be quite a comfy state. It keeps one in the comfort zone but prevents access to new experiences, to what our heart truly desires.

Here are some tips that will help you turn off this setting in your brain and start making more conscious choices in your daily life:

  • Create a morning ritual: pay attention to the way the alarm makes you feel, the way your restful state changes if you start the day with checking your phone. Set an intention for each day.
  • Alternate your work out and physical activities you do and the time you do them. Moving the body – walking, dancing, swimming – works wonders for your health and mood.
  • Take your partner on a date and try different locations for your regular hang outs with friends as if you were just discovering each other.
  • Take a different route to work, observe the scenery and the environment. Using different vehicles to get to the same place can prevent your commute from turning into a routine.
  • Connect with others. Try to be a good listener, receive pieces of information and personal stories that are being shared with you with compassion and without judgement.
  • Unplug. Watch less TV, take breaks from social media and you’ll find yourself having more time for the unexpected, even challenge yourself to start learning something new.
  • Volunteer. Find a cause in your community that you are passionate about and feel the urge to make a difference on it. Along the satisfaction that comes from helping you’ll meet interesting individuals you don’t normally interact with.
  • Spend time in nature. Observe the colours, the layers of vegetation, the silence and peace of mind that it generates.

These practices open insight on simple ways to break out the rut, find inspiration right where you are and genuinely connect with others.

Photo credits: Jason Leung @unsplash

Small Things To Be Thankful For

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” —Oprah Winfrey

In today’s society, people generally capitalize on the importance of things that are huge. We regularly see in the media people praise celebrities for donating a large amount of money, yet they don’t think to thank the person in front of us in line who is giving a dollar. Because it has become the norm to believe: the more massive something is, the better something is. If someone opens the door for you, you say “thank you” and might think they have to open the door to be polite, but no one has to do anything for you. Saying “thank you” for complimenting a person can literally make someone’s day a whole like better. It makes them feel as valid as a person, and everyone wants to feel valid.

Another thing is being thankful for what you have. Instead of complaining about not having a specific item or person you would like to be in your life, be grateful for what you currently have because, in all honesty, you would be worse off without it. Be thankful for the people you have in your life because socializing is an essential need for human beings. It will help you treasure the smaller things, and you will know what to do when you get bigger things. Because you need to realize that there is a power in more minor items. The one dollar that was donated could be about to change the amount from $99 to $100.

Fresh Start

For starters create a pro and con list for the smaller things you usually complain about. For example, the old car that you bought might not have air conditioner, but at least you don’t have to stand at the bus stop waiting for the bus to arrive. With creating the pro and con list for each small item you might find out that there is the proper usage of the elements more than you thought.

Look Around

Also, be realistic – if you have a problem, find an alternative to fix it. Defeat the whole if it’s not exactly a particular item, then there is no use being thankful for it. My older twin sister believes that she can’t do her artwork as high as she thinks with low price range art items. Not only is that ungrateful, but very problematic because it shifts away from the main focus. Don’t get wrapped up in the norm of the more prominent or, the more expensive because there are beautiful adventures in things that are considered small.

Low Self-Esteem: A Handicap to our Mind’s Stillness?

Self-esteem is a healthy state of mind, whereby we value the person we are and the activities that we do; we cherish and positively view ourselves as normal and capable. It confers a good self-image and allows to lead a happy life, free from self-blame and hate or feeling of anger and frustration about who we are. However, if the opposite happens, it can lead to fatal cases of inability to forgive oneself and a lack of self-confidence. Low self-esteem is therefore unhealthy both for the body and mind as we are to see the reasons here.

What causes low self-esteem?

Various sources give wide-ranging reasons why people have low self-esteem but the most common can be, when we compare ourselves to others and downgrade ourselves. Hating our own body due to many reasons can lead to self-denigration. It is when we fail to understand the complexity of nature and our world; where things do not happen all times the way we want.

The clinical psychologist Dr. Lars Madsen reveals that it can be from our early childhood caused by ongoing stressful life or events where our contribution to resolve issues is insignificant or impossible.

The succession of unfavourable life events such as financial issues, relationship breakdowns, unfair or abusive treatment by others (bullying) can be contributing factors. A doubtful mind where keeping wrong mantras in our mind such as: “I can’t do it” or “I will never overcome this” will eventually evolve in labelling ourselves as incapable beings, and so we remain.

What can be the consequences of low self-esteem?

If unchecked, low self-esteem can lead to mental health disorder, a change in our normal way of relating to others, societal withdrawal, state of anxiety and depression. It can also lead to self-destructive moves such as unhealthy cosmetic surgery, drug abuse (taken to escape stress and fear), self-defence mechanisms to nonexistent dangers, unhealthy eating disorders which in most cases come with its own costs.

Such self-denigration compels us to seek outside ourselves for esteem and force others to treat us the way we believe we deserve. In most cases, it has led to abuse of power or authority, imposing on others our acceptance.

This feeling of low self-esteem can lead people to enforce codes of conduct to be shown to them. This is common for leaders and those in high positions; they will install excessive discipline measures and sanctions when they feel they are not respected or valued as they feel it ought to. They tend to believe they deserve more than how being treated. Lynne Forrest says that “we blame, justify, exaggerate, and manipulate, all in an effort to hide our perceived worthlessness”, and I have seen people turning into aggressive beings to impose their identity. Over spending monies to amass material things, obsessively can be a sign of inner unquenched desire to be better.

When it comes to relationship, low self-esteem in both men and women can lead to move from one partner to the other, searching who will validate them, not love them, and once they find him or her, they get too much emotionally attached to him or her and aggressive when there is a clear indication of relationship break up.

Towards eliminating low self-esteem

Dr. Kevin Solomons states that “it’s not external events that have the most profound effect on our self-esteem. It is how we view our own life and life’s events”. Therefore, since the therapy seems to be from within, the step number one is to know our own problem (be aware of our state of low self-esteem) and work towards improving it. Experts suggest the need to look after our body but care less on how it looks as we can’t change it.

Getting to know the meaning, purpose and goals of our life, the need for a connection to something greater than ourselves, embarking on creative activities, the need for intimacy and connection to others (good and sound friendship), cultivate inner sense of control reflex, developing a positive thinking, mind physical health by mere body exercise and most importantly, mindfulness and mindset coaching through meditation which science has made to be the easiest and most effective way to digest any mind’s related issues. It consists of letting the mind focus on one thing at a time, maximize and prioritize concentration and relaxation. It inherently helps one boost self-confidence, love, compassion and ability to comprehend the complexity of the world especially when we learn to let go that which we cling on, that does not matter at the moment to just remain happy and content of who we are and what we are doing at the moment.

¿Cómo salir de tu zona de confort?

La zona de confort es un término que usa la psicología para definir un límite, espacio, territorio mental que como individuo ocupas, delimitando la zona de acción.  La zona de confort está delimitada por tus hábitos, rutina, conocimiento, actitudes y tu comportamiento. Es algo que conoces y es familiar para ti, esta es tu zona de dominio. Son las cosas que haces día a día.

Recién en un grupo de Facebook en el que pertenezco Medita.Conecta.Vive una amiga mía Tania hizo un reto para salir de la zona de confort que me inspiró a escribir este artículo.  Hay cosas que resonaron en mí y que quiero escribirlas y compartirlas con cada uno de ustedes.

Saliendo de mi zona de confort he logrado muchos objetivos que me he planteado en la vida y veo cómo las personas mas exitosas triunfan porque constantemente están sobrepasando sus límites. Me ayudó también a darme cuenta que el principal límite para no lograr las cosas que deseo soy yo misma, mi mente, y que para salir de mi zona de confort  no necesito hacer nada muy radical que ponga mi vida en peligro, pueden ser cosas pequeñas en mi día a día que con el tiempo significan cambios grandes y resultados importantes que deseo lograr.

Estos 4 consejos están muy relacionados  con tus hábitos comportamientos y actitudes:

1) Desarrolla un hábito positivo: “pequeños hábitos, grandes resultados” Hace poco supe de una técnica que te ayuda a desarrollar hábitos nuevos por ejemplo, el Iniciar una rutina para correr.  Esta técnica se llama mini hábitos; te recomienda empezar con pasitos pequeños para que poco a poco vayas integrando como parte de tu vida.  Inicia una rutina de la semana que sea sencilla para ti puede ser tres veces a la semana. No necesariamente todos los días puedes iniciar incluso sólo saliendo a caminar por 10 minutos y poco a poco ir logrando tu meta de correr tres veces a la semana y lograr una media maratón a un año. Lo importante de desarrollar un hábito nuevo es hacerlo regularmente, la clave está en la constancia.

2) Aprende algo nuevo: aprendí a hacer yoga y pararme de cabeza saliendo de mi zona de confort decidí hacer un reto de “100 días y mas” de yoga y pararme de cabeza. “100 días y más” es un grupo qué te apoya a aprender y practicar durante 100 días aproximadamente una hora al día lo que tú deseas aprender. Este reto significó salir de la zona de confort para mí porque tenía que ajustar mi horario, mi rutina, tenía que dedicar una hora el día a algo nuevo, lo que muchas veces significaba sacrificar algo que me gustaba hacer como ver película por hacer yoga.

3) Cambia algo en tu rutina cada día:  puedes elegir una ruta nueva al trabajo, a la universidad,  cepillarse los dientes con la mano izquierda no con la derecha como usualmente lo haces,   probar una fruta nueva o una comida nueva. Esto ayuda a que tu cerebro se acostumbre al cambio,  como seres humanos naturalmente no nos gusta el cambio. este ejercicio diario obliga a tu cerebro a tener una experiencia nueva cada día dándole el mensaje  que el cambio no es algo negativo sino más bien algo positivo.

4) Haz algo que te dé miedo: el miedo te paraliza automáticamente; es como un instinto de supervivencia,  porque tu cerebro está recibiendo la información de una situación de peligro. Muchas veces no logramos las cosas que queremos hacer por miedo a dar ese paso y es frustrante porque muchas veces este miedo es incluso inconsciente. Podemos tener miedo a cosas simples como preguntar por una dirección a un extraño o saludar con una sonrisa.  Te invito a que busques eso que te da miedo y te animes a hacerlo; puede ser algo pequeño como contar un chiste frente a tus amigos o algo más riesgoso por ejemplo saltar en paracaídas.

Ahora te invito a que agarres una hoja de papel y empieces a anotar con la mentalidad de un niño sin límites y con confianza.

¿Cómo vas a salir de tu zona de confort?

Developing a Bullet Proof Mind Through Cameroon Crisis

What do you do when your hometown has become a place of constant chaos? Sometimes the first thought is to run away. But running to where? We can’t control everything that happens externally but the one thing we can control is our mind. How we react to situations depends on the quality of our mind.

I come from a place that was once a reference of peace but has become a hub for every day violence. Though the option of running away may sound considerable, there are many questions running through my mind in the growing heat of the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. What about the stakes you have in the place where you spent your entire life? Where do you start from if you leave? Can you really run away from your mind?

Fear, doubt and panic
This crisis started as a peaceful protest against the government for marginalization (of the English speaking minority as oppose to the affluence of the French speaking majority) and a request to return back to Federalism. As it is with every protest that is not tactically handled, this too aggravated from peaceful to violent and a quest for secession. When this tussle persist, the regular man of which I’m a part of is the one that ends ups confused in the midst of both violent parties.

This state of mind comprised of fear, doubt and panic is that which is shared by many in the community. So, when you look around and realize there is no need to run because the stakes involved and the love for patriotism supersedes any other, the only way out is to find a means to deal with the situation and not run away from it. This conception is what led me through a journey of retrospection where I decided to make use of a skill I once learned in a country far, far away from home.

Visualization and flower garden
Together with a group of peace loving youths, we started the Buea Peace Club which aims at empowering the minds of youths to be calm and resilient towards effect of the sound of frequent gunshots in the neighbourhood. We use the tool of mindfulness meditation which I learned in Thailand to train the mind to disconnect from the negative physical environment and create an imaginary one of everyone’s choice where we visualize, focus and feel the pleasure of being in a positive environment such as a beach, flower garden or anywhere we love to be.

These mental exercises have proven to help the participants of the club deal with the chaotic situation in the community better than before. In one of the sessions, a participant named Joy said: “I felt like I was floating, as light as a balloon during the process. The headache that I came in with has all of a sudden gone away!”. Many others said the process gave them a feeling of freedom and peace instead of the constant fear and negative energy brought by the sound of gunshots.

The chaos has not ended in the region, but we – the members of the club – are not feeling the effect as others may because we know how to control our mind. Hence, meditation has now become the bullet proof of the mind. Hopefully, we can reach out to more people with this approach of peace that is grounded from within.

How to save for that big, exciting project you have put off for years!

Save for next big project

How do you save for that big exciting project?

You see something, and you really want it. In fact, you really need it; yet, you can’t afford it. At least not yet; or so you tell yourself.  Sounds familiar? How about this; “you say no to things that really matter to you” or “you window shop based on price tags rather than the inherent value.”

You are not alone. You probably are making your decisions based on a limited perspective of money; as I do too, sometimes.

And if I do, then why am I writing this article in the first place?

Because, exactly 8 months ago, I experienced a shift in my life regarding how I view money. After years of putting off major financial decisions and constantly telling myself I cannot afford it, I realized why I never got far with my personal projects. This shift has created a new realm of possibilities for me and my life.

I learnt special tips on savings and below I will share exactly these tips. Get ready to achieve your wildest most exciting project that before was unrealistic.

First things first, let’s define money.

Money, according to Merriam Webster, is a medium of exchange. Differently put, money passes through you to get things done and moving. That is to say, it’s not how much you have that will matter, rather, what the money makes available for you that carries the day.

What one incredible project would we use as a case? How about a meditation vacation in Thailand as an example? This may not be one thing that you need to survive, but you may need it to thrive. Especially, when research shows that you may need a holiday from your work soon.

The cost to the retreat is USD 900 exclusive of travels, meaning, if coming from the west or down south, you probably need USD 2000 to make the trip worthwhile. While this may seem like a huge investment, let’s see how we make it the tiniest little investment you ever made to your self-replenishment, wonder and aliveness. Notice how we establish the value of the retreat, in relation to both your well being and cost. Do this for any project you are working on.

Map your income expense chart

You now know the value of the project. You want to rest, replenish your mind, body and soul, all at the same time at a cost of USD 2000. Coming back to where you are, its time to map out how much money you make, and how you use it. Create a column for fixed expenses, variable expenses, savings and investments within your chart. Proceed to indicate where each of your monies goes each month, week and day. You will be surprised how some expenses are unnecessary. In some instances, you shall notice that some expenses that often stress you and give you the impression of not having money are not as urgent as you thought.

Make a list of all “your wish to haves” full with a budgetary allocation and timelines of delivery

Having gotten clear with yourself on your expenses, it’s time to create a new list of your entire wish-list. This could be a dream project you have shelved for so long. In this case, we all wish to go for a meditation holiday in Thailand. We figure out the entire cost of the project, in this case, being USD 2000 (inclusive of travels and transfers). When the entire “wish-list is complete, place them in order of priority based on the timelines of each project.

save for next big project
Mortgage and credit concept. Young man planning his future

One project at a time: Choose one major project and focus on it

Having done so, place the major project as the central focus. Others in the list will still receive your attention, yet, this one stands out as immense. Assuming we take the meditation holiday as the central focus, that’s what we put down. Notice the timeline indicated. Luckily, World Peace Initiative provides meditation holidays for each season of the year. Assuming we decide we wish to travel in Dec 2019; we have 16 months in between.

Break down the whole amount into monthly, weekly and daily targets.

Next, break down the amount of the project into monthly, weekly and daily targets. USD 2000 within 16 months will get us USD 125 each month. Into weekly targets will give USD 32 a week, broken into daily targets will make USD 4.5 a day! From USD 2000, we realize that we only need USD 4.5 a day!

Get real on whether you wish to save daily, weekly or monthly.

This realization may be liberating, yet, the liberation may be short-lived if you don’t understand how you operate. While some people are disciplined at saving daily, others prefer weekly while others prefer monthly. Whatever you decide, get real with how you operate and commit to it.

Open a separate account for the savings

To support your commitment, get a savings account to put in your money. Most bank accounts come with a Direct Debit Order that you can install to authorize your bank to deduct a certain amount of money from your account. This means that each time there is money in your account, it auto-deducts the amount you instruct it to. This way, you do not have to worry about missing a payment.

Track your savings over time and re-evaluate

As with any other project, you need to track your savings and notice whether you are on track or not. It’s normal to miss some days or weeks. You want to minimize that. Normal occurrences only happen for average people. Get clear with the days you miss and get back on track. It helps sometimes to task someone to hold you accountable to your goal. Sometimes, due to life’s unexpected turns, you may want to increase the amount, or even reduce it, and the best part is to keep fresh the reason why you are saving in the first place. The “why” will determine your choices.

Maintain an open mind for other opportunities and openings for action

Sometimes, when making saving decisions, opportunities to achieve my projects have emerged in ways I hardly expected. Remember, you may get your chance to achieve your goal in other ways as well. Stay open for when such signs emerge. You may be surprised, that when saving to travel for the meditation holiday, you get the opportunity to attend a global peace on the move fellowship in Thailand! The key is to stay open for the signs of accomplishing your goal sooner!

Expect to achieve your goal, detach from it and focus on the savings.

There are several opportunities in the universe and this goal is one of them. Your focus on making it happen makes it real. Therefore, expect to accomplish it. By expecting to do so, you validate its realization. Next, detach from it. Many times, we want something and still question whether we really need it. We wonder if it’s right for us or even if we shall even make it. By your accepting to have it in your life, it emerges, now let go of it and focus on the immediate actions that shall make it happen.

Get ready to begin your project

Getting ready is an essential part of life. Remember the story of the village that went to the square to pray for rain, and only a small boy carried an umbrella? Your project starts the moment you commit to it and start saving. For the holiday, save the dates, start processing your passport, looking for friends and meetups in Thailand; tell friends who may want to join you. I remember, at one point, wanting to buy a car, and when I started saving for it, I went to refresh my car knowledge and renewed my license. After all, when it comes, I want it to find me ready!

What is that big exciting project you have put off for years?

Its time you made it real!

Take the step today and start saving for it!

And of course, you can save to travel on a meditation holiday too! Remember you can save as low as USD 1 a day and still make it to Thailand next year. It’s all based on where you are and whether you are ready to take the leap into wild possibilities!

Life-changing Scholarship Opportunities in Thailand

Life Changing Scholarship Opportunities Thailand Meditation

Just like those unexpected and wonderful things that happen in life, my cousin suggested me I take a look at an article. It was entitled “The Most exotic Scholarships of the World.” She emphasized that I was probably the only person she knew who would be interested in those kind of weird things. By weird, she meant what I actually referred to as a surprising scenario: a life-changing scholarship opportunity offered by World Peace Initiative Foundation to participate in a Meditation Retreat in Thailand! I could not believe how amazing and simultaneously exotic it sounded!

The Scholarship Opportunity, Thailand Meditation

This “casual and azarous” fact led me to a life-changing experience several months later, in January 2016. After I started the online Self-Development Program, I experienced an astonishing personal transformation. Although I had always been interested in exploring and developing tools for personal growth, meditation came to me as a very practical way to dive into my depth and redefine the way I want to be in the world.

I still remember how happy and smiling I was when I got the news that I had been selected to participate in it. My family could not believe it at all. “Are you really going to Thailand? That far? For a Meditation Retreat?!”

This training-retreat allowed me to awaken and develop many aspects of myself that had always been there. I had the precious opportunity to dive into myself, my emotions, and my essence. To enjoy some silence enabling me to listen to whatever my body, my mind and my soul were trying to tell me.

Good News: Another Scholarship opportunity in Thailand!

The application call for the new edition of this training is now open until August 15th. Further,  it will take place in December 2018 in Thailand! This is the only international youth training of its kind as it offers group dynamics for networking as well as time for personal well-being and calmness. A good combination of meditation, mindfulness & self-development which will lead to professional success in any career path by challenging yourself to be a better version of what you are looking for.

Read more of the whole process of my personal transformation during and after attending the Thailand training in my article “14 ways my self-transformation happened through meditation”.

Here are the 4 Ds why the Thailand Meditation Fellowship is a life-changing opportunity:

Discover you true self

How much of our own selves still remain unknown for ourselves? How much hidden potential do we have? What about embracing our weaknesses and transforming them into virtues?

Personally, since I started meditating, I feel much more confident and I trust myself better. I doubt much less because I know what I have to do, deeply inside myself.

Detox and empower your mind

We all know how important is to keep our physical body clean. But have you ever wondered how important it is to purify our mind as well? The same way we clean up our body, our mind needs to detox. What causes a clouded mind? Our daily agitated routine, stressful situations, negative sensations, recurrent thoughts, concerns with no solution. If we would just take some time for ourselves. Did you know that when we meditate, we recharge the mind and body so that we have more energy to do good things for ourselves and for others?

On a personal level, that cumulative of past negative experiences. Stories of catastrophic events or drama situations, and that sometime determine the way I see reality, was cleaned up. So whenever I face a new obstacle, no matter how difficult it is, it will not get stuck to the old negativity. On the contrary, I am able to see it as a new challenge, to try to solve it and then let it go.

Develop mindfulness lifestyle

How do we cultivate healthy habits? What is a good habit? Further, how do we change those habits that we think do not lead us to reach our goals in life? First, we need to be aware of them recognizing our actions and its consequences in our daily life. Does it sound easy?

Personally, I am now much more able to let go situations, relationships or behaviours that do not nourish me. I do not get stuck so easily to difficult moments, on the contrary, I let it go. So it is about the new positive attitude I take to address those negative things what really matters in life.

Design a peaceful environment

It is easier to be at peace when on vacations in a beautiful beach or in the exotic mountains with good food and friends, right? But how to bring this feelings back home? We should learn how to create a peaceful environment that allows us to be at peace as well.

Personally, I now understand that I am constantly creating my own reality. I am a protagonist of my world. I have the power to change what I do not like. Though some actions seem tiny they always have a positive effect.

In the end, it all comes to the same reflection: “As within so without”. Nothing in our external reality can change without first making changes on the inside. And this is the secret ingredient of this program: Peace In, Peace Out. Peace starts from within. If I am not at peace, how can I spread peace out? By changing the quality of your thoughts, you change the quality of your whole life and of those around you. This change includes your family, community and the entire world!

Prepared for this life-changing opportunity?

Apply here  Now!

How I started my Journey to Inner peace

Light of peace.

How does it feel to ask for something and then, somehow, in some way,  it’s given to you?  How does it feel when you just need it and then you have it? How does it feel when your inner voice is heard by the universe that conspires to make you accomplished? What if what you asked for wasn’t a lot of money or fame but only peace and stillness of the mind in the middle of a life full of stress, wars, anxiety and selfishness? This is the story of my journey to inner peace at Heya Fellowship.

“I want to rest! I need a rest.”

I remember myself in the staff room in the hospital I do my training in. I was tired, out of breath, thinking about how I have to see the patients, then go to the university for my master degree exams before meeting my professor for my PhD. Afterwards, I would go home to find the house shores waiting for me and in the middle of all this not forget to call my family to make sure everybody is doing alright. Later I would meet my friends because I have a social life too. While thinking, I felt exhausted and I closed my eyes and said a prayer: “I want to rest! I need a rest. “

An opportunity to rest and learn

The same evening while on social media I came across a  link of the “Heya Fellowship “by Peace Revolution. The name gave me the curiosity to learn more about it over the internet. A self development program; meditating everyday while listening to the calm voice of the peaceful inspiring meditation professor through accessible videos on the platform; having a coach to share my daily unique experience of meditation, was new to me. And here it began, a new experience of life, a new vision, like diving into the unknown but the safe secure unknown that was getting clearer day after day.

After getting engaged with the program, I was honored to participate in the Heya Fellowship, the peace retreat for women from The MENA region.  Despite all the challenges that I faced in the process of travelling; there was a force that made everything possible for me to get to Georgia. It was like a power from above was helping arrange everything. Because I believe that things get attracted to you in the same way you are attracted to them. And if you want something so much, you will absolutely have it.

Meeting strange beautiful women I knew before

I arrived in Georgia and once there, met beautiful strong women, the other participants. I was so familiar to them as if I knew them a long time ago. It didn’t take so long for us to connect, laugh and share ideas together. We shared about our stories,  our experiences in life, where we came from, and our inner peace journey.

The first day was wonderful getting to know better the MENA women. Then the adventure just began. They took our cell phones as expected. Yes; its bliss to take a break from being always contactable and accessible on social media. When you come to Heya, you are here to rest, to know yourself better, to leave the past behind, and get into your journey to inner peace. Whenever you miss someone, you would see this person in your mind, your heart, your dreams, in the zone that no one can have access to except you. This is a zone you have neglected a good time of your life. The zone which is your inner self, inside and always there when everything is gone.

Each day at the retreat center

With no electronic devices, we woke up every day at 5 am to meditate in the sweet fresh breeze of the green garden of the scout center we were staying in. At this time, while listening to the birds singing gratefully to the beginning of a new day, I could feel the air and the light, it felt like swimming. During the meditation, you just have no weight, you are like a feather, like a butterfly. Then came the yoga class, stretching the muscles of the body, all of them, even the tiny little ones always forgotten in the crowded days of life. They are all breathing, happy to be there with you and to be felt. Then we would have breakfast in the dining room, full of energy, full of love, full of power to share. We would face each other, smiling as we shared delicious food that we brought each one from our country. Each day, every day, one amazing lady would presents to us the sweets she brought, its name and how it can be made.

Afterwards each day brought with it energizing activities, women circles and other meditation sessions full of calmness, relief, belief in peace, life, love, and every good value of this life offered. The women were like angels. Every time one of them would say unforgettable words to empower, encourage, and make us stronger. With each word, we became more confident, filled with the love of life and new way of seeing life afresh.

The little girl grew up

I was a little girl before joining the Peace Revolution meditation retreat. During the retreat, I grew up. The two unstoppable invincible women Aseel and Nesreen made the retreat magical and successful. They taught me how to be active, well organized, and ambitious. The greatness of what they were doing and how they were conscious of it did a lot inside of me. Further, every woman, especially Jehan with her spirit and her lectures and also late night stories just lifted me up like Helium.

LP Pasura our teaching monk made the retreat insightful. He was like a godfather to us, full of wisdom, experiences of life, intelligence and eloquence. His ability to let us express all what was inside of us brought the best of everyone of us. He gave us lectures, guided us through meditation sessions, answered our questionings, our fears and anxieties. This gave us the relief that we could shout loud and scream all what was inside of us and turn it into a light of peace, goodness and share.

Guidelines to nurture inner peace at the retreat

In those five days, we were followed eight acts of self discipline:

  • Do not kill or hurt any creature even the tiniest one
  • Do not steal or use what is not your belonging
  • Do not use intoxicants, alcohol or drugs
  • Do not involve in romantic or sexual relationships
  • Do not speak too loud or too much
  • Do not use electronic devices like phone cells
  • Do not eat heavy meals after 12:30 pm
  • Do not use make up or dress extravagantly

Those acts helped us be more of who we are, basic like babies, a pure reminder of how we can be in everyday life.

The five days of self discovery, inner peace, heart centered talks, being free from material things that owe us, passed so fast like a beautiful dream. With each passing day, the little girl who used to do everything without feeling it just because it has to be done, has started to feel every single breath and every movement she makes. She is finding peace inside of her and beginning and feeling engaged to spread it to everybody else.

My final lesson to you, dear peaceful soul reading my inner peace journey

  • Truly be who you are even if you are different in an acceptable way. You are just special. You are magical. You are invincible and you are not chocolate you can not satisfy everyone and you are not supposed to be trying to do so.
  • Do everything in your life mindfully, do not let life pass you by, feel every little thing you are doing.
  • Be grateful everyday because every day is a new chance for you to be who you want to be, to make the world a better place.
  • Find peace within yourself and spread it to the whole world.
  • Believe in yourself, in the good inside of every human being, have faith in humanity, it can be saved, it can be better.
  • It’s a magical life every day, every moment, feel it and live it fully.