A Recipe For A Healthy Relationship: Do You Have The Right Ingredients?

On mindfulness and consciousness as a solid way to achieve healthy relationships.

Lately, the word “Healthy” is becoming trendy. Every day you find people on Facebook and Instagram posting photos of their healthy meals or writing posts that show affection to their partners or friends or family. I am sure you too have bumped a lot into these hashtags: #healthydiet, #healthyrelationships, #healthylifestyle or #relationshipgoals etc. But are our relationships and food as healthy as the hashtags?  Do we really know how to maintain them?

This brings me to the concept of a “A Healthy Diet”. In fact, it is quite easy to follow one and achieve the expected results once you know the right recipe. Not that healthy relationships are not achievable – it’s just that human relationships can be much more complicated than that, and not everyone knows where to start and what to do. 

So what is a healthy relationship? This is actually a question with a very broad answer. I believe, no one can define it ultimately, but this is what I find  describing it the best: “A healthy relationship keeps the doors and the windows wide open. Plenty of air is circulating and no one feels trapped. Relationships thrive in these environments. Keep your doors and windows open and always have compassion. If the person you love is meant to be in your life, all the windows and the doors in the world will not make them leave. Trust that truth.” – Unknown

But still very broad, huh?  So now let me introduce you to what I call “A Recipe for a Healthy Relationship”.

INGREDIENTS:

Love yourself Cultivate an acceptance of who you are and what you feel impassioned to do. Grow that acceptance of yourself to be strong, that it can’t be hindered by anything or anyone else, including your ego.

“Loving yourself isn’t Vanity, it is Sanity” – Katrina Mayer

→ Be Aware Understand and be conscious of your needs and what you  expect from your loved ones. Understanding the human nature and how our minds work is the key to it.

Find Your Inner Peace Create peace within yourself first, let it spread out from you. The best part is that peace is already within you, waiting for you to just let it do its work. Meditate at least 15 mins per day and let silence and stillness take you to the center of yourself and the core of life.

“Self-care is so important, when you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You can not serve from an empty vessel.”- Eleanor Brownn

→ Love Mindfully You never want to go so far loving someone to an extent that it hurts, you never want to have an imbalanced love life either. No matter how good person your loved one is, you have to always love mindfully. Mindfulness help you focus your energy equally on all aspects of your life which creates balance at the end and thus happiness and fulfilment.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the ingredients and use it as a base, – a strong base to rely on – and re-enhance whenever possible. From there, you get on to the first step of the recipe:

1. Love truly and put all your effort into your relationships.  You never regret the effort you put, it’s the currency of relationships. But remember, true love comes with responsibilities, you have to accept your loved ones as they are. With all their flaws and weak points and messiness. You have to accept them and bring your patience, understanding and energy to help them transform into a better version of themselves. This kind of love brings protection and safety.

2. Respect your partner. It’s not about winning or losing, but love and respect. Always respect in every way possible. Respect is not a reflection of their character but of yours.

3. Appreciate little things, never take your loved ones for granted for that love dies slowly. Appreciate the laughs, the presence, the love they surround you with and the memories you make with them. Hold it close to your heart and remember that nothing stays forever.

4. Be Grateful, say thank you more often. Give them your attention, your care, your time and your presence. There’s no greater gift.

5. Communicate with your loved ones. Opening heart-to-heart talks are very essential for a healthy relationship. Speak your mind and be true to them and yourself. Elaborate and ask for what you need, maybe they just don’t know, maybe they would give you the world if they knew.

6. Evaluate your relationship every now and then. Write down what needs improvement, what are your expectations and your needs if they changed along the last period. Ask your partner about theirs and discuss them thoroughly. Write down a plan in bullet points, go crazy with it! Fail and forget the plan and then go back to it again. Don’t worry as long as you are conscious enough that you will get back to the plan and DO IT.

7. Support your loved ones through their journey, respect their dreams and moreover help to reach them. Be patient with them through their tough times and hold their hands whenever needed. Make them feel safe and cherished every second of every day.

NUTRITION FACTS:

Per relationship: 100% Balance, 100% Happiness, 100% Understanding, 100% Fulfilment, 100% Love.

And Voila,  it’s literally ” SERVED WITH LOVE” .

Photo credits: https://www.thespruce.com/origami-puffy-heart-instructions-2540707

Aquí viene el amor otra vez… espera, ¿en serio?

Seeing

Sobre desear el infinito mientras se experimenta lo finito. Pensamientos sobre el amor. Parte I. 

En nuestra vida práctica amamos personas, mascotas, cosas, naturaleza, arte etc. Experimentamos este sentimiento no solo en contextos románticos sino que en muchos más – o al menos podemos estar abiertos a sentir amor de diferentes formas. Sin embarbo, el hecho de que amamos esas cosas/personas no significa que podemos tenerlas todo el tiempo que queramos, o cuando queramos. Aquí entran en juego los límites de la vida material. Hay deberes, distancia y particularidades que nos hacen darnos cuenta que no siempre tenemos la oportunidad de tener lo que queremos cuando lo queremos, sin importar cuánto lo amemos. Cuando se tiene la experiencia – no solo el entendimiento racional de ella-, se siente el límite. Se reconoce el espacio de separación entre tú y el objeto de tu amor que es producido por circunstancias exteriores. Lo sientes.

En un plano más personal, nuestra reactividad es nuestro límite. Cuando reaccionamos, estamos en el borde. Una reacción es un comportamiento impulsivo, inconsciente, un resultado de la circunstancia. Cada vez que tenemos A reaccionamos B. Cada. Vez. Gracias a esta simple fórmula nos ponemos perezosos en nuestro desarrollo personal y/o vida, nos juzgamos a nosotros mismos y a los demás, culpamos a otros, nos quejamos o nos transformamos en la víctima de las circunstancias. Hay otro nombre para esta conciencia o estado mental, lo llamamos EGO.

En etimología básica, EGO es la primera persona singular en Latín (caso nominativo o cuando el pronombre realiza la acción, o es el sujeto de la oración). Significa, basicamente, “Yo”. Y porque EGO está semánticamente muy cargado – lo usamos en diferentes contextos con múltiples significados- y puede conducir a error, prefiero llamar a esta persona simplemente “comportamiento reactivo” (“persona” significa “carácter o máscara” en Latín, ahí hay otra idea). Y aquí estamos quejándonos con nuestros amigos de nuestra última ruptura, culpando al otro (ex jefe, pareja, amigo), siendo la víctima “No sé cómo llegamos a eso” “Lo di todo en esa relación” “Las relaciones son más difíciles de lo que pensaba” “La vida no es justa” y así. Toda esta charla y queja viene de nuestro ego, nuestra máscara, esa parte de nosotros que está irracionalmente fija y reacia a cambiar o ver las cosas bajo otra luz.

Alas del amor
@delnudotatuajes

“Tu mano se abre y cierra, abre y cierra. Si fuera siempre un puño o estuviera siempre abierta, estarías paralizado. Tu presencia más profunda está en cada pequeña contracción y expansión, las dos tan hermosamente balanceadas y coordinadas como las alas de un pájaro” Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi [traducción del original de la autora]                                                       

Una cosa es el sentimiento que tenemos en nuestros corazones, sincero y más verdadero que cualquier epifanía racional, y otra cosa es lo que ocurre en nuestra mente. Lo primero es nuestra naturaleza cruda, vulnerable, la apertura de nuestro corazón que a veces se siente como una dolorosa ruptura; lo segundo es nuestro comportamiento reactivo. Aquí nos apoyamos nuevamente en la práctica de la meditación para poder entender esto de una forma práctica y holística. Cuando apercibimos nuestras emociones, nuestros pensamientos, y comenzamos a entrenar la ecuanimidad o actitud de “no reacción”, cuando intentamos dejar pasar esas cosas, cuando tratamos de dejarlas ir sin enganchar en el drama interno, estamos alejándonos de nuestra naturaleza reactiva y ganando más de una cosa importante no solo para nuestra meditación, sino que también para nuestras vidas. Durante la meditación nos entrenamos para ser menos reactivos y estar más atentos, aprendiendo a controlar nuestras tendencias habituales. 

Confiamos aquí en el principio básico de economía universal: todo tiene su razón de ser. Y como en cualquier tipo de economía, desde la doméstica hasta la global, la restricción es esencial. Hay, sin embargo, una restricción a la restricción: restricción saludable, no represión. ¿Cuál es la diferencia? Muy simple: restricción implica conciencia, represión es negación de la realidad. Esto dicho, entendemos ahora que no se trata de reprimir nuestro ego o comportamiento reactivo, sino de establecer un límite (y luego transformarlo… pero eso es para otro artículo). Restringir nuestro ego de tal forma que no se vuelva el rey de nuestras mentes, ¿por qué? porque de otra forma estamos lejos del amor – de todas maneras el amor siempre encontrará formas de traernos de regreso a su territorio… Aquí hay una verdad dura sobre el amor: el amor nos lleva por ese camino de estirar y apretar con la promesa de satisfacción incondicional. Andamos el camino y nuestro ego tiene poco que hacer allí. El resto está por venir.

Créditos de la imagen @andreeaionut821

Here Comes Love Again… Wait, Really?

Opennes to love

On desiring infinity while experiencing finitude. Thoughts on love. Part I. 

In our practical life, we love people, pets, stuff, nature, art etc. We experience this feeling not only in romantic contexts but in many others – or at least we can be open to feel love in multiple ways. However, the fact that we love those things/people doesn´t mean that we can have them all the time we want, or whenever we want them. Here we start to play the limits of the material life. There are duties, distance, and particularities that make us realize that we do not always have the opportunity to get what we want when we want it, no matter how much we love it. When you get the experience – not only the rational understanding of it -, you feel the limit. You acknowledge the space of separation between you and the object of your love that comes from outer circumstances. You feel it. 

On a more personal level, our reactivity is our limit. Whenever we react, we are on the edge. A reaction is impulsive, unconscious behaviour, a byproduct of the circumstance. Every time we get A, we react B. Every. Single. Time. Because of this simple formula we get lazy about our own self-development and/or life, judgemental about ourselves and others, we blame anyone, complain or become the victim of circumstances. There is another name for this consciousness or state of the mind, we call it EGO.

In basic etymology, EGO is the first person singular in Latin (nominative case or when the pronoun is doing the action or otherwise serving as the subject of the sentence). It basically means “I”. And because EGO is semantically very charged – we use it in a variety of contexts with multiple meanings – and can mislead, I prefer to name this person simply “reactive behaviour” (“persona” means “character or mask” in Latin, another insight there). Here we are complaining about our last breakup to our friends, blaming the other (ex-boss, boy/girlfriend, friend), being the victim “I don´t know how we got there” “I gave my all to that relationship” “Relationships are harder than I thought” “Life is not fair” and so on. All that talking and complaining is from our ego, our mask, that part of ourselves that is insanely fixed and reluctant to change or see things under another light.

Wings of love

 

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi                                                                                             Credits @delnudotatuajes

One thing is the feeling that we have in our hearts, sincere and truer than any rational epiphany, and another thing is the thing that runs in our minds. The first one is our raw, vulnerable nature, the openness of our heart that sometimes feels like a painful break; the second one – our reactive behaviour. Here we rely on the meditation practice again in order to understand this in a practical and holistic way. When we notice our emotions, thoughts, and start training the “no reaction” attitude or equanimity, when we try to let those things pass, when we try to let them go without engaging in the inner drama, we are walking away from our reactive nature and gaining more than one important thing not only for our meditation but also for our lives. That is the whole thing of this simple yet not easy exercise of mindfulness. In meditation, we train ourselves to become less reactive and more aware by learning to control our habitual tendencies.  

We trust here in the basic principle of universal economy: everything has its raison d’être. And as in any type of economy, from domestic to global, restriction is essential. There is, though, a restriction to restriction: healthy restriction, not repression. What´s the difference? The difference is very simple: restriction implies awareness, repression is a denial of reality. This said, we now understand that it´s not about repressing our ego or reactive behavior, but to set a limit to it (and later on to transform it… but that´s for another post). To restrict our ego in a way that doesn´t become the king of our minds. Why? Because otherwise, we are far from love – love will always find ways to bring us back to its territory anyway… Here is a tough truth about love: love drives us down that path of stretching and restricting with the promise of abundant and unconditional satisfaction.  We walk the path and our ego has little to do there. The rest is yet to come.

Credits for the image @vip.mambo76

Vacuity: What Can Take You Beyond Happiness

Have you ever heard the word vacuity?
First time I heard this word was in a meditation class. I did not actually fully understand  it. The theory provided by the teacher was kind of difficult for me. In general, Buddhist philosophy to me is very interesting but also full of concepts and words that are not so easy to comprehend. Vacuity used to be one of them.

My Thai meditation teacher always says 99% practice and 1% theory.
The truth is that this is not only a good advice for your meditation development but also a very good advice for understanding Buddhist philosophy.

Take a look at this wooden block:

Attēlu rezultāti vaicājumam “yoga block”
Source: Mec.ca

Before this block was a tree, now –  a bock, in the future it will disintegrate and disappear. Then, is this really a block? Everything that changes does not actually exist.

Everything is changing

The concept of me is also changing. Right now I am 35 years old, I teach yoga and meditation and work in communications. But what about next year? I won’t be 35 anymore. I might not be teaching yoga, meditation or working in communication, so myself dissolute in vacuity because of changes.

If me is changing, then it does not exist as a description composed of external aspects as age or profession. Wen I feel happy, who is feeling happy? When I feel worried, who is feeling worried? The answer is nobody. It is vacuity. It does not exist.

Connecting to the Divine

This concept can be very hard to understand just by reading these words but my meditation practice did help me getting it.

When I go deep in meditation, the concept of me as composed by external concepts disappear. I am not anymore my body what I perceive with my senses; I am not my age, my profession or my work. I am something that is deeply inside me, a state of pureness, emptiness and stability which goes beyond happiness. It is just a word that can be described in a text.

When I go deeply in meditation, I connect to what you can call soul, spirit or the Divine.

That is vacuity – the dissolution of me perceived in my meditation.

That’s when I got the point of my Thai meditation teacher: 99% practice and 1% theory.

Teach mindfulness and meditation alongside your regular transformation work with us!

Mindfulness meditation is increasingly becoming a powerful tool to bring awareness to the ever present peace that lies within us. Several people have gone to the East to learn these ancient tools and bring them home, to the west, and now, even African countries. Organizations and firms are beginning to recognize the salient fact that peace-building can never be left only to select organizations. In fact, companies are banking their return on investments on the wellness of their most critical resource, the human mind.

Peace ambassadors sharing light moments in an inner peace training session

World Peace Initiative Foundation (WPI) has moved in to bridge the gap and provide training to people passionate about peace-building and interested to share these ancient practices within their organizations and families. Of importance is the growing need of people to start sharing tools to cultivate inner peace in their own cultures, languages and contexts.

In a recent exclusive interview with the Peace Architect manager at WPI, we uncovered the history and gem behind becoming a peace architect; and how you too can become a partner in peace, to transform your organization; part-time or full-time; with proven benefits to your health, and wellness.

Take 10 with Kuldeep Singh

Q1: Welcome… and thank you for taking your time to show up for this interview. Tell us your name and where you come from.

My name is Kuldeep Singh from India and currently working with World Peace Initiative Foundation since (2010). Before that, I used to work with a government agency in India.

Q 2: Interesting indeed! Share with us your WPI journey…how did you start?

(In a reflective tone) After completing my first 42 days, I attended GPM 6, way back in 2010 with almost none international crew at that moment. Then, WPI was a small organization with one Peace Revolution Project as a flagship program of WPI. I was moved by the desire to spread peace with others, peace builders in action starting with myself.  I began to volunteer with the Peace Revolution Project for a year. Then, there were no structure or any form of organization.

We developed a structured platform to enable qualified young peace-builders to join us as a Peace Coach and offer quality and a support system for others undertaking the self-development program online. My biggest encouragement was the ability to help people and see them smile from the work we do.

Q3: Wow! So, how did the first Peace Architect come about?

The first architect was a small group of 10-15 people who supported the Peace Revolution work in their regions and were invited to come back and share in the bloom of the personal transformation somewhere back in 2012.

Then, an idea to form an international team of committed peace builders came to realization and I felt the need to join the team. Wonderful people came in from across the world with a passion to contribute… to the beautiful journey they had started. Everyone did something in their own country in the form of PIPOs (Peace In, Peace Out Seminars). By end of 2013, we had experienced a quick growth in the Peace Architect program, with several structures coming up.

Q4: What are some of the highlights in starting and growing the Peace Architect Program to what it has become today?

First, we felt that our teaching monks were not enough and we needed more people in their local languages who understand the context and could share inner peace tools with their communities. Of course, this came with a challenge to maintain the quality of service; yet, we realized that real society experiences which are a very important element in teaching were a big boost too.

Q5: Such a tremendous decision to make peace-building contextual, where are you now, based on the current projections regarding The Peace Architect Program?

Peace Architects preparing to guide meditation on International Day of peace in their own country and Language, on FB Live

We are holding the 6th training in December 2017 with over 50 people diverse from different countries and continents! Currently, we have close to 100 people becoming peace architect across the world and forming meditation communities to share the inner peace wisdom with their friends, families and community members.

From diversity, there is a common connection in the thirst for peace…and real life transformation! Peace architects are leading several aspects of the summits and training in over 100 countries! Local languages and cultures included.

Q7: Incredible! For people reading this right now and wondering how to join the program, what criteria do you use to become a Peace Architect?

Our first and basic qualification for anyone wishing to become a peace architect is to be passionate about sharing the concept of inner peace.

This person must have attended one of our international fellowships called Global Peace on the Move or Amani.

Afterwards, they are invited to qualify to be peace coach guiding other peace enthusiasts, we call, peace rebels, to complete the 42 days Self Development Program, before they can express their interest to become an architect of peace.

On the other hand,

In the coming years, we have also opened a platform where our partners or anyone interested in guiding meditation and inner peace activities (who haven’t attended our international training) can join and become a peace architect with us after meeting a few requirements that we set.

Q8: So, I understand that one also qualifies for an interview after meeting the requirements set?

Yes! After meeting above requirements, one is called for an online interview to determine their ability and skills to teach and train others on any peace related topics.

The beautiful thing is, our peace architects come from different language groups, professions and careers. For example, this December, we have over 50 nationalities, major speaking languages, professionals and trainers, university professors and major influencers joining to learn the art of facilitating mindfulness meditation spaces.

Q9: After the training, we understand that one gets a certificate, what benefit does the certificate hold to the trainer?

After the training, a trainer has the ability to guide meditation and mindfulness programs in various places. In a world that needs quality and some kind of authentication, the certificate gives one the confidence to organize training with proof that it is affiliated to our organization. The certified trainer can also represent the organization in major training and professional spaces where we are involved.

The certificate is valid for 1 year and is often renewable after taking an online refresher test.

A peace architect, Nesreen, left, after a successful meditation session at the UN

In the community…

We got curious to find out what it looks like; life after becoming a Peace Architect. Watch out for the next episode with real life stories of Peace Architects engagement in the community.

Are you the next Peace Architect of your community? Contact Kuldeep Singh (kuldeep@wpifoundation.org) to get full information of the upcoming training in June 2018!)

Want a happy life? 5 tips advice from Google’s Chief Evangelist

How do you know that you are alive?

 

 

(Pause)

 

 

 

Perhaps, it’s because you are reading this, you are breathing or you can see what is written here!

Now, most people can tell you this, yet, very few can really make what they call life truly meaningful.

In a recent interview with Peace Revolution, Gopi Kallayil, the Chief Evangelist at Google, touched on the core of living, with his life as an example. Choosing to call himself a happy being, he says everyone who intends to get the most of life ought to integrate certain principles and boundaries into the way they live and experience life.

Consider this…

How do you say yes to things in your calendar? Is it because you have time, or the activity serves your purpose?

The world is quickly moving towards more and more distractions and Gopi shares essential tips on how to focus on what matters most in life.

    1. Do you have a personal spiritual practice?

Spirituality means different things to different people. Whatever the definition you choose, Gopi says spending some amount of time to connect with your inner self and the core of who you are is essential to make sense of the impermanent nature of the world.

2. Do you have a core group of family…?

“When I say family, it’s not just blood family, but a core group of family, friends and people who support you…” explained Gopi. Adding that, spending time with this group of people occasionally is useful to our growth and development.

3. How do you take care of your health?

Health can be physical; as we all know it, yet our emotional balance, and financial wellness are essential aspects of our health too. Having a balanced diet, exercising and learning to keep watch of our emotions are core to our happiness. Similarly, financial wellness routines such as saving, wise investments and having clarity of our needs and wants are all an integral part of what we can all do to start attracting more happiness into our lives today.

4. What is your Professional passion?

It’s now becoming common that we all have a contribution to make the world a better place. The intersection where our passion meets the world becomes our mission. This mission could be our profession when we are paid to offer these services. An example is Gopi’s professional path finding the intersection between technology and business for greater good at Google.

5. Do you have a Personal passions?

On the other hand, some of the things we love do not necessarily attract any pay; we still do them. These become recreational passion that we do to grow and take breaks from the professional life. They also become points of connection to other people who share the same passion as us. It could be travelling around the world, dancing or sports.

It’s now your turn…

Do you have essential aspects of your life? The guiding principles that determine how you spend your time, energy and attention?

You don’t have to crack your brains now, take some time

and make or refine them following Gopi’s advice above and share with us your insights in the comment section below.

 

Watch the full interview replay here:

 

 

How Finding Inner Peace Changed My Life

Let’s face it! We all have a preoccupied life… Our daily life is all about waking up in the morning, rushing into the kitchen making breakfast for ourselves and our family, running off to work, getting back home exhausted and cranky, falling asleep in front of the TV and then repeating the same cycle (with some ups and downs) all over again, for the rest of our life.

Well, try my version: some time ago I started combining my Master´s studies (which is a crazy amount of homework, essays, lectures and presentations), an internship at the United Nations and working in a hectic job, while I am writing my thesis and translating a book. In the past, I used to come back home, crawl up somewhere in my house and cry over this stressful situation. During this time, I felt miserable and even when I was trying to sleep I wasn’t able to as the nightmares were sneaking in to haunt me.

But on one great day, it all changed.

Being Curious Finally Paid off!

It was a boring afternoon… I went to the kitchen to make tea and started surfing the internet looking for new internship opportunities. When I was surfing the internet I came across a website that was teaching self-development and inner peace lessons for free. I got curious and signed up.

During the first lesson, I had to sit down for 30 minutes and try to think about nothing (It felt impossible as I had so much work to do).  As the lesson went on, I categorised all the duties in my head instead of paying attention. I simply could not concentrate. But after 15 minutes, I was out of duties for the day and my body started feeling relaxed and I couldn’t feel my fingers (to be honest I freaked out, opened my eyes and counted my fingers before going back to meditation again!). After 30 minutes, I felt weirdly calm. It was in the afternoon but it felt as if it was six in the morning and that I was ready to wake up and start my daily routine.

Finding Nemo

The main point of meditation method was learning how to “be at the center of yourself”. The whole concept was vague to me for a while. The teacher would count down steps to calm the body down and then ask us to find the center in our body. Yet every time I was thinking:  where is the center?!

One night it happened. I was dealing with some problems regarding my studies and was in a desperate need of some minutes away from reality. When I got home, I changed out of my uniform, lit some candles, closed my eyes and sat down in the lotus position ready to start meditating. After a few minutes, it happened just like that. I was there – in the center, looking at my meditation object (the moon). It gave me a feeling as if I was finally in my own home. I could not hear anything, I could not feel anything, I was not even thinking as I was experiencing a genuine silence from the bottom of my center and was listening to the delightful sound of “nothing”.

Turning point

This practice that I started out of curiosity suddenly became a daily habit. It was the only “me time” during the day. I could not wait to finish my work and studies, get back home and start my inner journey. After practicing the inner-peace lessons for 42 days, I started to experience unique visions. I was visualizing myself in my most favorite place on earth, sitting by the Yara River looking at the magical sunset. One day, my visions took me to a mountain, where I was looking at the clouds passing by, caressing my face. The next day I felt the center of my body, reaching neutrality and felt deeply relaxed. The feelings were so deep that I was afraid to tell someone in case they would spoil it! Little by little, it changed my behaviour. I was able to make better decisions, think more clearly and be more focused on my work and studies. How incidental it was that a small moment of curiosity could change my whole life!

Want to be a Peace builder? Start with yourself!

We all want to change the world. I used to be obsessed about United Nations, following their pages thinking, “Wow, these guys are changing the world! It’s amazing; I want to do that too”. However, if you had asked me back then, how I was going to pursue this ambition, I literally had no idea. I would simply be waiting for someone to tell me what to do instead of taking initiative myself.

I believe it is great to have ambitions about changing the world, but now that I have more experience, I know that you can only achieve your goals if you start from within yourself. It is impossible to be a famous worldwide peace builder in one night. The most important thing is that you start somewhere, whatever method works for you. For me the inner peace lessons were very helpful. It does not have to take much of your time – 10 minutes a day is a good start and then before you know it, you are ready to change the world.

How to begin your inner-peace journey?

Here are a few suggestions if you are interested in experiencing the same journey to find your inner self like me:

  • Take your meditation posture on the floor,  chair,  or a sofa;
  • Relax your body and then your mind;
  • Concentrate and be aware of your surroundings. Find a central place within yourself and imagine it is a mental object, such as the moon;
  • Reach complete silence and equanimity in your mind. From this moment onwards, neutral observation and detachment to whatever may arise or occur is important. If thoughts arise, one can combine the mental object with a phrase (i.e. “Clear and Bright”)
  • Before getting up: spread the LOVE to all beings.

See you at the center!

How to Overcome Anxiety in the Digital World

Technological advancements in the areas of communication have given us the ability to process colossal amounts of information in a short period of time. Smartphones and tablets ensure that you are constantly in touch with the world around you and your many social networks.

Recently a hot topic of discussion has been the impact that this massive degree of stimulation has on our mental health and cognitive abilities. The way we observe and react to events in our world has been revolutionised with the emergence of social media and instant news updates.

While this constant flow of information is beneficial in many ways, there is some evidence that this overload can affect the individual’s physical and mental well-being.  By understanding the human emotions of fear and anxiety, we can learn how to deal with anxiety and fear in today’s age.

Causes of Anxiety and Worry

The human mind is complex and can only process a few tasks at a time consciously. The rest of these tasks are filed away to be completed at a later date. If there are too many tasks to be completed, the mind starts to feel overwhelmed, “thinking” of all the things left pending.

This causes the mind to obsess over the unfinished tasks, only stopping once they are complete. This sense of helplessness and anxiety is only enhanced by technology.

A classic example is something you will come across each day with your smartphone. The minute you see a notification on your phone, whether it’s a message, an alert or an email, you probably experience a strong urge to check it and tick it off your list.  This is the mind experiencing anxiety over getting things done.

Unfortunately, most of us can’t have all our tasks finished at all times. Some things can take longer, and some require collaboration and the participation of others. This causes the task to remain unfinished in the mind. In such a situation your mind will remind you constantly of the task and create anxiety over the things left undone. Your stress levels get even worse when you try to juggle too many tasks at the same time. This can result in a loss of productivity and even keep you up at night.

Ways to Tackle Anxiety

Fortunately, there are small steps you can take to deal with the overload of stimuli and stress. Follow some of these habits to start feeling less overwhelmed, one day at a time.

1. Ensure You Get a Good Amount of Quality Sleep

Sleep is possibly the most important factor when it comes to your mental and physical well-being. But it’s not just about the amount of sleep you get, but also the quality of sleep. Following a few steps before hitting the sack can significantly enhance your sleep quality. Eliminate caffeine completely after 5 pm and stop using all forms of electronic media at least half an hour before bed. Keep your phone away from your pillow and keep your room dark and cool.

2. Get Any Negative Stimuli Out Of Your Life

If there is something or someone that brings negativity into your life, it may be time to say goodbye to it. If you interact with someone online who regularly uploads negative comments or posts, unfollow them. Watching the news can be depressing, so it is better not to watch it if it brings you down.

3. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

It’s a good idea to avoid anxiety triggering foods such as sugar and coffee. Caffeine prompts the release of adrenaline which stimulates a fight or flight response in the brain. This can induce nervousness and aggravate symptoms of anxiety.  If you can’t cut these out completely, try to limit your intake. Also stay away from junk food and eat wholesome meals comprising of veggies, protein, and healthy carbs. Avoid alcohol. Never skip breakfast and indulge in snacks like nuts and berries.

4. Take Up a Sport or Engage In a Workout That You Enjoy

Following a workout routine every day has numerous benefits for your body and the mind. Taking up an activity such as running will not only help keep you physically fit but also have a meditative effect on your mind.  In this digital age, there are a number of accessories that you can use to increase the effectiveness of your workouts such as fitness trackers and even virtual reality headsets!

Finding Peace and Joy 

Our mental health can affect everything from how we feel about ourselves to our relationships with others. Your thoughts are conscious decisions you make every day, so try to stay positive and optimistic. Try some of the tips mentioned above, and you’ll be able to find peace and joy in this fast-paced digital world. For more tips on overcoming anxiety take a look at the infographic below.

Rising Levels of Anxiety In A Digital World

De-Stress And Self-Express Through Colouring Books

In the past few years, colouring books have become a popular trend, and many people are surely buying them and sharing them as gifts. In this article, we will explore how colouring can be beneficial to your mind and what makes it so popular.

Like meditation

When we do anything with our hands, the attention moves from thoughts to actions, and we concentrate on what we do, letting go of toxic thoughts. This is why handicrafts, knitting, painting and other related activities are so stress relieving. It can also be related to sports, when the whole body is engaged and the attention is moved from the thinking mind to the actions of the body in the present moment.

Reducing anxiety

Anxiety can be caused by many reasons, and one of them is negative thoughts. The good news is that we can only think one thought at a time, and when we switch from negative thoughts to the thoughts of “which colour do I choose? Where do I colour now?” we tend to cool down and relax, and disconnect from our worries.

Pleasurable activity

Since the outcome of colouring is easily predictable and it is difficult to mess up while colouring, it becomes an easy and pleasurable activity, and relaxes the brain. We do not need to worry, we just need to be fully present and flow.

Reconnecting with your inner child

When we think of childhood, we often have good memories of safe and secure environment. The truth is, in childhood we received most of the conditioning  that our mind lives off right now, and no matter useful or not, one can work on his/her conditioning. Going back to your inner child, nurturing your inner child and allowing yourself to play is a healthy practice that will also take good care of the adult in you.

Martina from Slovakia has one of such colouring books and this is what she says about them: “Anytime I come back home, it is there, so I can colour something and it is connected to my comfort zone and precious self space. Once we had a colouring session together with my friends, it actually took the whole weekend and it was pretty relaxing. Did you know that there is even colouring app for your phone? It helps with concentration.”

“I don’t consider the colouring books as art therapy; I consider the colouring books therapeutic, which is not the same thing.” says Drena Fagen, an art therapist.

Photo credits: Google Pictures

There have been studies that show that it is more beneficial for people to create their own artwork rather than colour inside the designs that someone else has created. It indeed sounds more reasonable to unfold your own creativity and allow yourself to be a creative being. When you are too afraid to make the first step, I believe colouring a postcard or colouring a book can be useful too.

Have you ever engaged in this activity? Do you have colouring books at home? We are happy if you share with us in comments.

How Changing Meditation Place Can Affect Your Experience?

Every day I wake up in the morning, I realise how blessed I am to be alive and healthy. After I have sent my prayer, the second thing that I look forward to is meditation. It highly helps me get through the day without over-reacting to any situation that can tamper me in any way.

I normally practice meditation twice a day for 1 hour: 30 mins in the morning and 30 mins in the evening before I sleep.

I have always been practising meditation in my room, and it is a place where I feel more relaxed and comfortable, but I soon realised that sometimes I get distractions during meditation as I’ve always been doing it at the same place.

After I attended Peace Revolution Amandla Eastern & Southern Africa Fellowship in Nairobi this early August,  I experienced something quite new which was to meditate in different places. Especially when we meditated outside the room, we got close to the nature itself.

When meditating in the nature, I felt from my experience that it was very easy to connect to the centre and channel my thoughts to focus on meditation. When my mind started to wander, I immediately returned it to the centre.

It was an amazing feeling meditating close to the nature with fresh air and sunlight touching my skin. I realised that changing meditation place can also help improve meditation experience, and hence one can easily connect to the centre and avoid distractions if any arise.

Why don’t you try out the new experience today? Try meditation in a new place once in a while to enjoy that good, pleasant feeling.