All posts tagged: inspiration

Stop. Breathe. Release.

Sitting in the neon lit room, enclosed by cream walls, I can see speckles of the signature blue trickled throughout the room, in the notepads, the notices on the wall and the student’s vacant gaze. I glance down at the textbook and regurgitate yet another lesson in English 101. Feigning interest, I smile and pretend to be enjoying myself. Days and days go by like this, but the student knows the truth, they can see through my plastic smile, and feel it in their bones. resistance (n): the refusal to accept or comply with something. Resistance shows its destructive face in many ways, acting as the saboteur of our lives: when we decide to follow a creative calling; commit to a health regime; feel the urge to launch a new venture or simply get ourselves out of the present moment into a perceived better one, in my case, lying on the beach somewhere with a pina colada in hand. Resistance seems to come from outside ourselves, like an uncontrollable force emitted from jobs, partners, circumstances that poison us and cause us to be unhappy.  It …

What To Do When The World Says No

The easiest option is of course to join in and say ‘no’ with them. To accept that you really aren’t that great and don’t deserve more. Of course you can’t have anything you want, I mean that’s ludicrous, it just doesn’t work like that. Go out, have that 2nd, 3rd, 4th beer or that double chocolate cookie and slip back into the hum drumness of everyday existence. I don’t believe it has to be like this. Most of us accept that a select few get to live their dreams. That they are blessed with luck and that things just come to them without much effort. We believe that we can’t really follow our dreams – whether it’s starting that pottery business; making toy airplanes, or opening a specialist sweet shop – these are just fantasies that can’t be realised in the ‘real world’. I think this is all bullsh*t. Excuse my French, but it had to be said. Perhaps the real issue is that most of us just aren’t prepared to put in the effort. To apply ourselves daily to achieving our dreams, however simple …

Slowly, Slowly…

Step by step. I placed one foot in front of the other, pressing gently into the wooden steps as I made my ascent. Up, up and further up I went, slowly, steadily, with ease and flow. Until soon these steps became somewhat effortless, as if I was floating up the mountain. This was my experience hiking up Shoushan 壽山 (Monkey Mountain) today; very unusual for me because usually I’m puffing and panting all the way to the top. So what was so special about today? I decided to take it slow. I wanted to see what it felt like to feel each step, and keep my awareness there in that moment. To my surprise, something magical happened. I hiked and hiked and didn’t have to stop once along the way. My heart rate stayed steady, I felt full of strength, like I could go on forever. I felt connected to my surroundings – the beautiful old trees, butterflies, and monkeys. Perhaps because today I actually took time to look around, instead of forging ahead. Everything seemed wondrous. When someone came past me, I felt myself wanting …

Why, Hello There…

As part of WordPress’s Blogging 101 challenge, we have to write a post about who we are and why we’re here. Ok, so Day 1 was 2 days ago, but here goes… Who Am I Really? I could start by telling you a list of things about me, like who I am and what I do in this world. But does any of that really matter? Instead, I’d like to tell you about what moves me. I’m inspired by beauty. It’s all around us, waiting to be seen. We just need to open our murky eyes, rub back the dirt, and look. Really look. I see it in people’s stolen smiles; I see it in trees, mountains, sunsets and cups of tea. Aaah… the beauty of it all. I’m inspired by travel, exploring unknown lands. Spending some time there, maybe a few years, and uncovering the essence of the place. Getting to know the people, the food, and the culture. It’s all very exciting. I’m moved by yoga. Everyday it gives back to me more and more. It teaches …

Wisdom from a Tree

I got chased out my apartment this morning by very loud drilling resonating from downstairs. There was just no way I could meditate at home, so I got dressed and headed out to the park. Even though I love meditating in the park, I was slightly annoyed. So off I trotted and found a spot of shade under a big, beautiful tree that I often meditate near. As I was about to begin, I couldn’t help but be disturbed by the obvious traffic noise beside me. I considered moving deeper into the park but it was already very sunny and hot and not much shade available. Then I thought maybe I should stick with this. I looked up at this big, sturdy tree in front of me and wondered how he manages to stay so calm amidst all the chaos. So strong, so serene, so steady. The complete opposite of me. I wanted some of that. And then it hit me. There’s always that quiet, peaceful place within us. I know people often say that, but have you ever …

A Month Without Facebook

Well 7 days so far, and counting. Inspired by Leo Babauta of Zen Habit’s “A Year of Living Without” blogs I decided to take on the challenge. He is one of my favorite bloggers and every month he writes a beautiful piece on something he’s lived without – be it sugar, sitting all day, restaurants, coffee or all day internet, every blog is insightful and inspiring. I have had a break from Facebook once before but only lasted about a week until I was lured back in. There are of course some things that I love about Facebook, especially as an expat living abroad, but lately it’s felt more like an energy vampire than a friend. This past week I have been super productive. I feel like I’ve had more time (and energy) to focus on things that I love doing or that I’ve wanted to start but have procrastinated over. So far this week I’ve: – started going to early morning chi kung classes in the park (followed by some yoga) – started learning Chinese – been blogging again – …

Food. Shelter. Love.

What else do you need? I really enjoyed this recent Ted Talk by Mathias Lefebvre (aka Piano Man). His message is simple yet profound. And although it sounds idealistic and completely impossible in this current state of living, it’s most definitely something to aspire to. He asks us this question – what do we truly need to be happy in our lives? It’s a lot, LOT less than we think.

Taste Totally

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately… mostly how I can get more of it in my life. The thing is, it seems balance can’t be forced. After all, it’s a natural law of the universe. I love this story from “The Book of Understanding” by OSHO: “In paradise one afternoon, in its most famous cafe, Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Buddha are sitting and chatting. The waiter comes with a tray that holds three glasses of the juice called “Life,” and offers them. Buddha immediately closes his eyes and refuses; he says, “Life is misery.” Confucius closes his eyes halfway – he is a middlist, and asks the waiter to give him the glass. He would like to have a sip – but just a sip, because without tasting how can one say whether life is misery or not? Confucius had a scientific mind; he was not much of a mystic, he had a very pragmatic, earthbound mind. He takes a sip and he says, “Buddha is right – life is misery.” Lao Tzu takes …

(Ha) + (Tha)

People often confuse yoga for some sort of religion. They couldn’t be more wrong. It is in fact, as Yogi Bikram Choudhury states, “the science of living life correctly so that we can get to that point , our ultimate destination.” So why does Mr Bikram refer to it as the science of life? “Science helps us understand the physical world. Yoga helps us understand not just the physical body but also the mind and the Spirit. Yoga helps us understand nature; and nature helps us understand the voice of our spirit, or God.” The Symmetry of Hatha Hatha Yoga refers to the practice of yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and relaxation. In Sanskrit, Ha means ‘Sun’ and Tha means ‘Moon’. Isn’t that just perfection in itself? I’ve known this truth for a long time, but I love the way Bikram expresses it so simply and aptly in his book, Bikram Yoga. Let me share it with you… “In nature there is a strong symbiotic movement between the Sun and the Moon, a balance between …

Lonely Isn’t a Dirty Word

It’s simply a momentary state of being. It’s not the unspeakable demon that we sometimes prescribe it to be. It doesn’t need to be suffocated or suppressed. Perhaps it just needs to be recognised and nurtured. Maybe it just needs a little love. Not the kind of love that’s found in externals, but rather that deep, deep wholeness that we all feel oh so deep within. You know what I’m talking about. You know that you really are loved. You really are beautiful. You really are perfect, just as you are. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself otherwise, but deep down you know. “Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  ~ Rumi I know that sometimes it can feel like you really are alone and infinitesimal in this big, colossal world. But don’t forget that every day, every step, every thought you think and feeling you feel, Mother Earth is there supporting you. Enveloping you in her sturdy grounds …

Do Something Good

“We are visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety, or a hundred years at the very most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. Try to be at peace with yourself and help others share that peace. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.” – Dalai Lama (Awakening the Buddha Within, Lama Surya Das)

Connecting With Your Dharma

“Connect with your talents and begin a project that employs your natural gifts and really inspires you to serve. Don’t think about what is possible, think about what will really move you. Then begin with what you have from where you are at. The moment you start your project, the moment you do one little thing to move closer to your goal, everything shifts. Purpose, focus and inspiration increase. Things start to happen to move your project forward. Out of the blue, people and situations show up to help you. It is one of the mystical secrets of success that the world hears what’s in your heart – and responds.” – Mahatma Das

Into The Wild

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” ― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

My Inentions for 2013 & beyond

Another year is upon us and I have high hopes for this one.  I can just feel it’s going to be a great year… a year of change, adventure and excitement. Now is a good time to reflect upon the previous year and so below are my 2012 Intentions. I prefer to set intentions rather than resolutions because everything starts with an intention. As Deepak Chopra explains, “Intention is the starting point of every spiritual path. It is the force that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love. Intention generates all the activities in the universe. Everything that we can see – and even the things we cannot – are an expression of intention’s infinite organizing power.” I most certainly did not achieve all my intentions from last year :(  I didn’t do the 5 Tibetans daily or dance enough (actually hardly at all!). But I do feel like I explored the others… and I think that’s the whole point of intentions, the result/desire unfolds naturally as it should according to universal law – sometimes …

Give love & more love

“Appreciation and love, and alignment to that which is Source, is the ultimate “giving back,” so to speak, for in your pain or struggle, you have nothing to give back. What you are living is always an exact replication of your vibrational patterns of thought. Nothing could be more fair than life as you are living it, for as you are thinking, you are vibrating, and as you are vibrating, you are attracting—and so you are always getting back the essence of what you are giving.“  – Abraham

Find your ‘zero place’

“Be a fool in the Taoist sense, in the Zen sense. Don´t try to create a wall of knowledge around you. Whatsoever experience comes to you, let it happen, and then go on dropping it. Go on cleaning your mind continuously; go on dying to the past so you remain in the present, herenow, as if just born, just a babe.” – Osho Zen Tarot

Why I Meditate…

I meditate because: – when I don’t, I feel disconnected and get ever more caught up in my ‘monkey mind’ and all of its fears, uncertainties and contradictions – it sets the tone for the entire day. I seem to be able to handle situations better (not be so reactive), have more understanding and acceptance of people/situations and everything feels lighter and brighter – it is the only time (apart from sleeping) when we connect back to source, to our soul and universal consciousness. Everyday we live our lives distracted by the mind’s constant chattering… regrets about the past, worries about the future. Meditating brings us back into the present moment, it centres us and breeds clarity, opening us up to unimaginable spheres of love and creativity – it reminds me that we are all connected, everything and everyone on this planet. It helps reestablish that connection within me and brings about a sense of gratitude and appreciation of the beauty that surrounds me – of course it opens us up to new levels of …