There’s a time for everything: the seasons of life

Every human being knows, understands and accepts that planet Earth goes through seasons every year. Depending on your location, we usually experience four and while we may prefer the beauty of Autumn to the coldness of Winter or the vibrancy of Summer to the rebirth of Spring, it’s pretty evident that these seasons are a natural part of our Earth’s cycle. So why do we often fail to embrace and live through our own personal seasons in life? Why the lack of acceptance and resistance to change? Why must we be so attached to certain expectations and cause ourselves emotional turmoil? Why do we judge ourselves for being in a less favourable season of life instead of allowing ourselves to live it and remember that “this too shall pass?”

Author and spiritual teacher, Wayne Dyer often shares his insights on the ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. One teaching which struck me like a lightening bolt was that, “there’s a time for everything.” Whenever life reaches a point where things seem to slow down or we feel there’s no significant progress being made in certain areas, we feel stagnant and start to feel bad about ourselves. If we’re not busy enough, or the relationship isn’t working out, or we’re not accomplishing many goals at once…we deem ourselves boring, useless or a failure. This is when it’s imperative to remember that there’s a time for everything and everything happens at the right time.

Do you think you could take over the universe
and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.

Everything under heaven is a sacred vessel
and cannot be controlled.
Trying to control leads to ruin.
Trying to grasp, we lose.

Allow your life to unfold naturally.
Know that it too is a vessel of perfection.

Just as you breathe in and breathe out,
there is a time for being ahead
and a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion
and a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous
and a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe
and a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way
and resides at the centre of the circle.

Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

Accepting that we’re not always going to be on a high and that low tides are a normal part of life sounds easy in theory but when we’re in the midst of a less favourable season we judge it and do everything we can to change it. Instead of letting go and practising patience, we struggle and yearn for life to be different. Whenever I find myself complaining about what-is or obsessing over things ‘not working out’ I bring myself to the present moment and remind myself that, “there’s a time for everything.” By releasing my judgements on whatever the life circumstance is, I allow room for peace to enter my mind and heart. Please note that surrendering to what-is does not mean resignation or complacency. Surrendering to what-is allows one to remember that this too shall pass.

“Nothing in nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself.” – Karen Salmansohn

We feel great when everything in life is going our way, things are magically falling into place and we’re encountering success after success. However these seasons can be so alluring that we become attached and wish for them to never end. As a result, when our world slows down, life just isn’t good enough anymore.

“There are cycles of success when things come to you and thrive and cycles of failure when they wither or disintegrate and you have to let them go in order for new things to arise or for transformation to happen. If you cling and resist at that point, it means you are refusing to go with the flow of life and you will suffer. Dissolution is needed for new growth to happen. One cycle cannot exist without the other.” – Eckhart Tolle, The Power Of Now

Each season serves a purpose and so to deny one season and only accept another is futile. It’s become the norm to place expectations on ourselves and our lives wherein a season of harvest means you’re worthy and successful and a season of solitude or peace is mistaken for being a waste of time or a sign of laziness. Do we curse the Earth for slowing down in Winter? No, we know it’s a natural part of the Earth’s climate and it’s inevitable. Instead, we prepare for it and make the most of it whilst knowing there’ll be Spring again.

“Sunshine all the time makes a desert.” – Arab Proverb

When one learns to respect the impermanence of life and receives each season with open arms, there’s room for serenity and clarity. Instead of being afraid or attacking what-is, we remember that everything is temporary and nothing lasts forever; not even the so-called ‘bad’ times. Cycles on Earth are natural and necessary; they restore balance and regulate the atmosphere. So next time we find ourselves in a season we don’t like, let’s not judge ourselves. Let’s remember that there’s a time for everything and this too shall pass.

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Image credit:
Matt Lewis

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Overthinking will not change your life

There are times in life where we feel that things aren’t how we’d like them to be or how they ‘should’ be. We then fall into the trap of overthinking in a feeble attempt to find the solutions to our problems yet as Einstein says,

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” – Albert Einsten

Overthinking will never provide the clarity we desire since that’s what got us feeling so crap in the first place! It’s a vicious circle as we start to observe our life, think about what we’re unhappy with, go down an endless pit of over-analysing the problems in the hopes to find a solution, realise we’re creating problems that we didn’t even notice before, start to overthink every aspect of life as if we need to fix it (when in fact life is never ‘broken’ or something that needs ‘fixing’), then we’ll notice we’re overthinking everything and so worry about that, and then stress ourselves out trying to stop overthinking and so on it goes.

“Too much thinking leads to paralysis by analysis.” – Robert Herjavec

In my own personal experience, overthinking tends to stem from feelings of ‘not good enough.’

“I’m not good enough.”

“My job isn’t good enough.”

“My house isn’t good enough.”

“My life isn’t good enough.”

While it’s normal and healthy to look at our external world and think about what we’d like to improve, there’s a difference between being in a state of flow and working towards that improvement and being in a state of displeasure and working hard to change everything. The former acknowledges that you have the power to improve your life but you’re not dependent on those external circumstances to feel good, therefore you’re not questioning your self worth. Whereas the latter projects feelings of resistance to what-is wherein everything is perceived as wrong, incomplete and a failure. These labels and judgements can then result in feelings of apathy, unworthiness, self blame or self doubt. Pitiful thoughts such as the following start to creep in,

“What am I doing with my life?”

“I’m such a failure because I’m not where I should be in life.”

“Maybe I’m just not good enough otherwise I’d have everything I want.”

Yes we all have goals we’re working towards, yes we each want to fulfill our potential as an individual, yes we want to live the best life possible however feeling sorry for yourself or putting so much pressure on yourself to obtain those achievements will not and does not work. Those thoughts and feeling only cause more grief and so solace seems even further away.

Our ego-mind believes that peace, self worth and fulfilment is elsewhere; it’s anywhere but here. Thoughts such as “I will feel good enough when I have that dream job” or “I will feel loved when I have the perfect relationship” are filled with insecurity and they’re fixated on outer events as if those events will give us salvation from the inner turmoil we feel. Not only do we become attached to the outer world but we start to base our identity on it as if having a lot to show for yourself makes you a better person. Yet it’s when we’re going with the flow of life and doing what makes us happy without overthinking that we have all of the energy and inspiration we want to naturally become the amazing person we’re striving way too hard to be.

“Detachment is the only vehicle available to take you from striving to arriving.” – Wayne Dyer

Detach yourself from your overthinking and from looking to your outer world to find the feelings of peace and worthiness you so truly want and which are already ever-present.

“But if I just accept my life as it is when I now see there are so many things I’m unhappy with, I need to think about them in order to make a change” is the next thought that may appear. There’s a false belief that by accepting and surrendering to the present moment and life circumstances we will not elicit any change, as if appreciating what-is will make us complacent, yet life is ever-changing. It is this resistance to the present moment which creates suffering and as a result makes us feel like we’re stuck in a rut.

I can look back on my life at moments where I could say my life wasn’t ‘perfect’ and I wasn’t where I wanted to be in certain areas yet I still got to where I needed to be and it wasn’t by overthinking; it was by enjoying my life as-is which in turn allowed room for grace and for events to effortlessly fall into place. My overthinking could not have come up with or strategised the ways I entered my desired career, the relationships that grew stronger or any events which have brought me true fulfilment and wonder.

“A Course in Miracles rightly points out that, whenever you are unhappy, there is the unconscious belief that the unhappiness “buys” you what you want. If “you” — the mind — did not believe that unhappiness works, why would you create it? The fact is, of course, that negativity does not work. Instead of attracting a desirable condition, it stops it from arising. Instead of dissolving an undesirable one, it keeps it in place. Its only “useful” function is that it strengthens the ego, and that is why the ego loves it.” – Eckhart Tolle

Our minds are wired for survival and so will naturally look for problems to solve and things to change but try not let yourself go down that dark road of overthinking. Remove yourself from those worrisome thoughts and take away their power by accepting that they’ll occur. Befriend those thoughts and your mind by giving them thanks for caring about you and your life so much! Then leave it at that and remind yourself as much as possible that you are already an amazing human being who doesn’t need to strive so hard to be happy or work so hard to prove yourself.

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Image credit:
Xavier Sotomayor

“…each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.”

“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.” – H. G. Wells

Whether life is too busy or too boring, it’s easy to get caught up in constantly trying to achieve ‘the perfect moment’ but therein lies the problem; trying to achieve something that’s already ever present.

Our minds are dominated by this time-space reality and so instead of letting each moment be, the limited ego-mind often tries to define or capture the moment. This can be seen in situations wherein we find ourselves looking back or forward and wishing we were experiencing ‘that moment’ and so completely depreciating the here and now. This can also happen whilst experiencing a moment of bliss and then letting worrisome thoughts such as, “This moment isn’t going to last forever” tarnish what was so pure and beautiful.

Clocks and calendars are great tools for organisation, staying on schedule and for planning fun events. However where’s the line between being organised and being too rigid? If we’re too busy living every day on a schedule or too bored to appreciate the moment, there’s no room in our minds to let life’s magic and mystery in.

There’s also an assumption that only happy moments are worth appreciating or chasing however without the variety of emotions and feelings we have, life would be mundane. There would be no room for growth or nothing to trigger change. Our happy days give us fond memories, and our sad days can be our biggest teachers.

Next time you find yourself stressing over time or yearning for tomorrow, remember that the Universe is limitless and there will always be magical moments to experience. Let go of trying to make ‘the perfect moment’ happen and choose to let today be.

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Image credit:
Fabrizio Verrecchia

Perfectionism is fear of failure… 

Feeling loved and enjoying life comes from being authentic, not perfect. That’s the lesson I’ve learned this Summer.

Having had experienced another failed romance (romantic relationships just don’t seem to fully bloom into commitments for me),  I thought, “OK there’s clearly some inner work I need to do in order to dig deep and find out why I’m repeating the same experiences in my romantic relationships.”

Now I hate to admit that I have any fears or weaknesses but this time I finally faced up to the fact that my biggest fear is rejection. While I’m a confident, independent and happy woman, the belief I held was that rejection equals failure which equals ‘not good enough’.

So in order to prevent rejection, I adopted high standards which were actually perfectionism. Attaining perfection is tiresome as the idea of ‘perfect’ is an illusion, it’s subjective, and forever elusive.

I realised that I was so fixated on being “the perfect girl” in order to avoid rejection because I believed that if I ticked all of the boxes, I could never be rejected. Yet I wasn’t getting the full love and acceptance I desired in romance.

That was because I had been rejecting myself all along without even realising it. The high standards I had placed on myself were conditions; conditions I had to fulfill in order to feel good enough. This included everyday thoughts which would go unnoticed such as,  “I’ll feel 100% good about myself once I’ve had my hair done” or,  “Next week I’ll feel better once I’ve cut out the junk food.” No, the time to feel good and love yourself unconditionally is now.

I now understand how important authenticity and unconditional self approval is. Without them, we will unknowingly seek approval outside of ourselves and latch onto it once someone gives us the acceptance we’ve denied ourselves. This happens without realising as the lack of fulfilment and connectedness is masked with egoic ‘high standards’.

However when we unconditionally love and accept ourselves, other people’s opinions, whether positive or negative, become unnecessary.

Let go of the fear of failure and the need to be perfect. Instead, embrace yourself and be fearless about putting yourself and your happiness first! 

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“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” – Carl Sagan

I just came across this quote and it really sparked up something inside of me,

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” – Carl Sagan

My interpretation of this quote resonates with something I have witnessed happen with my feelings and emotions all of the time. I interpret this quote as saying that when we have those moments of great happiness, immense feelings of love and joy; we feel so elated and on top the world and in result feel indestructible. We assume those positive feelings and highs will never end once we have attained it. However, they do.

The fact that we come down from that place of bliss is natural. However I have now come to understand that that feeling of bliss, is temporary pleasure. It is a feeling mistaken for what we’re really meant to attain which is inner peace,

“Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional” – Buddhist Proverb

It’s very easy to get into a trap of justifying and putting a label on where you are in life. This could be due to maybe feeling stagnant and without realising, looking outside of yourself to find a reason to feel happy, successful and loved. Another thing that gets brought into this mixture is beating yourself up about feeling bad. You know how to be happy and positive yet here you are feeling low. It’s as if you’ve let yourself down as you are not appreciating everything you have or you’ve somehow not used your abilities to their best potential. Those thoughts only make the situation worse, they are not beneficial and are useless. We have the power to change things and the first step is to focus solely on what you wish to see, feel and accomplish rather than looking back or at your current situation and not feeling good about it.

Online, individuals have suggested that the meaning of the Carl Sagan quote is about time. The universe is timeless and limitless however we are in a time-space reality. Time is all an illusion as we only truly have this NOW moment. Our ego will think about the past and future and we rarely become mindful and bask in the current moment.

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” – Marcel Pagnol

The ego deviates us from our true state of bliss, freedom and relaxation. It makes us worry, overthink and become ungrateful. I find it hard to accept that I have moments of great appreciation and happiness and yet find myself still having moments of frustration and lack at times therefore we must remember,

“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.” – Ekhart Tolle

Being unemployed for the past few months has resulted in negative thoughts creeping in such as “how will I explain employment gaps?”, “I’ve wasted time”, “There’ll be new graduates graduating this year, what have I done with myself?” I have forgotten my accomplishments and that life is fun and a journey. I have so much going for me and an amazing future ahead of me! Everyone has their own individual path and we are all destined for different things. Such feelings and thoughts of negativity can arise through comparison of yourself with others. It’s also a result of worrying what others think about you. This is your life, you don’t need to justify yourself to anyone and whoever is worth your time will recognise you. I am so blessed to have family and friends who always support me and love me, I must return that love to myself. I have let time discourage me.

We don’t have to have a very busy and active life to be grateful for times of peace and relaxation. Boredom can get the better of us, I know it gets the better of me and so it results in me feeling demotivated and useless. We must know that life happens the way it’s meant to and this time out is just a part of the process. The best thing to do is not label it as anything such as “unemployed” or “trying to figure out my life.” Life happens and is always moving, stay positive and do not let circumstances outside of you rob you of your peace. Nothing lasts forever and everything is temporary including outside situations and inner emotions. This too shall pass.

It’s normal to have good days and bad days, that’s life. The best thing to do is to just work on feeling better. Relax in the thought and knowledge that everything works our perfectly for us, life happens FOR us, we are life! We are always connected to source and we feel bad when we disconnect ourselves through letting our ego get the better of us. We are humans and we will experience a variety in emotions and feelings, we are learning and expanding. We need to let ourselves of the hook. To finish off, I will quote something that I said to a close friend of mine last night,

“We are human and we’re not perfect but we’re also more powerful than we think.”

Never dis-empower or belittle yourself with feelings of “failure.” Know you are important and expect success.

“You can’t get it wrong and you never get it done” – Abraham Hicks

Happy New Year

It’s the last day of 2012 and when I look back at this year and how much has happened; I feel immense liberation. This time last year I was in a relationship however I could tell it was coming to an end. I was in my final year of university and truthfully, I felt dissatisfied with life. I was depressed and would have to convince myself that I was happy however my mind and heart were contradicting eachother. I was definitely out of alignment.

A lot of soul searching has occurred this year. The tipping point for me where the quality of my life really improved was in July this year. I finally felt that all of the pain and bitterness towards the split from my ex was gone. I loved myself and began genuinely enjoying life. Thereafter things just got better and better. I became a redhead in May which was actually accidental but nothing is ever really an accident is it ;). My red hair has become my identity and I love it! Everyone compliments it and tells me it’s my colour and I really can’t imagine myself going back to black or brown any time soon.

I graduated on 21st July with my university degree in Media which I had a great time studying. It was the end of an amazing chapter in my life and I was ready to move onto the next one. I was enjoying being back at home and around my family more, I was getting to spend time with my friends from back home and loved meeting up with university friends. I started listening to the teachings of Abraham Hicks frequently and began to truly embrace and bask in every moment of happiness and so felt continuous appreciation for life. Great people and experiences were coming to me all the time and since the bigger picture of life has remained my focal point, I feel detachment. I see that life is just one big lesson whereby we continue to grow and evolve, if we let ourselves. Holding onto pain is just a huge and unnecessary delay in attaining happiness as well as the biggest thief of our true power. Everything we do and think is a habit and I’ve made happiness mine. Negative feelings and thoughts have been quieted,

“Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death”

I can honestly say I feel in top of the world and so strong right now. The final six months of this year, especially this past month have been so fun and fulfilling. I am so in love with life and myself. If you love life, it will love you back. I have learned so much about how important it is to focus on your desires and to enjoy life. I have a continuous feeling of contentment with life as well as excitement 😀 .

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

I am very excited to see what 2013 will bring me as I’m filled with tremendous hope and know that the universe gives me everything I want in abundance.

“Feelings of love, joy, passion, exhilaration, fun, interest….. are indications of your vibrational match to Well-being.” – Abraham-Hicks

Attachments are a hindrance

I have a book called Angel Messages  by Juan Nakamori which I have had for years and love to look into for little messages of guidance and positivity. My cousin gave it to me at a time where I was very depressed and whenever I’ve found myself feeling lost or upset, I will randomly open a page or think of a number and take in the message I see. Today the message I was given read:

“As you free yourself from attachment, you will gain spontaneity. As you remove restrictions, you will gain freedom.” – Page 34

This message resonates with me very well. I believe that attachments to people and things hold you back and as you become so conformable with what you have, you lose the spontaneity to do exciting things and progress in life.

I believe that the perfect mate is someone who you can be spontaneous with and someone that you are so close to where you feel like yourself at all times. You can do whatever you want in life and achieve your ambitions without the fear of that person leaving you or hindering you in any way. Many relationships are restrictive without us realising. Sometimes we resist our true selves out of fear, fear that our actions will upset others. However we need to remember that our lives belong to ourself. The people we cherish will stick with us though whatever we wish to pursue. People who try to knock you down or hold you back are insecure and not people you want to surround yourself with. I’ve found that I’m at my happiest, most free and spontaneous when single and focused on loving my friends and family. The men that have come into my life have been good to me however it’s very easy to fall into the trap of compromising yourself for them which results in holding yourself back without realising. I have seen this with my friends and other girls. I’ve always been aware that I need a man as adventurous and as free as myself who I can have an amazing relationship with. You can definitely maintain your independence and pursue the life you dream of with the right person, however my main point is that it is very easy to become attached, reliant and comfortable in a relationship which can result in loss of ambition.

Focus on yourself and trust that the right people will enter and stay in your life. Allow yourself to enjoy life and stop letting your attachments and restrictions hold you back from being your truest, most authentic self.