Living in the present: a journey through the Now

The present moment is truly a gift. It is all we have and all we will ever need. Life is so simple and yet our minds have created unnecessary conflicts. When we meditate on nature, we see how life flows, life grows and life makes wonderful creations. When we are overcome with stress, we live in a sterile, unfeeling and even hostile world. Luckily, we can always return to a more peaceful feeling with meditation. We are gradually coming back to the now: to simplicity and harmony.

  • 5 Minutes at a Time

Dr. Wayne Dyer suggests in his book “Erroneous Zones” that we should live “5 minutes at a time”. He is referring to going with the flow of life. Sometimes a decision or rule that we always used to live by is deemed null and void. What used to work for us may no longer work and so we have to adapt. This idea of “5 minutes at a time” is also a good practice for meditation. By living in the here and now we become more alive.

  • Holiday: Take a break

Everyone needs a break. No one can keep going at one pace for a long time. We all need to take some time out to relax and unwind. We can do this by taking a trip away for a day or two. If this is not feasible we can also take a holi-hour rather than a holiday. In her book “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”, Dr. Susan Jeffers suggests that we set aside some time each day to do whatever we want. It could be a bit of exercise, meeting a friend or anything that you find fun.

  • Learning to Accept

Perhaps the most challenging and most rewarding of all is the art of acceptance. Sometimes we literally cannot do something about a situation which we would like to change. We find ourselves uncomfortable in a situation and unable to escape from it. This is where we learn to accept. In his stand up comedy show, Simon Amstell says “If you can’t change something, just accept it.” This is great wisdom as we can all get rid of our struggle by accepting. It is a very worthwhile, yet sometimes difficult practice.

  • Seizing Opportunity

One of the fruits of living in the now is that we discover things that we never expected. Pleasant surprises are waiting to jump out at us. We can access these gifts when we pay attention to the now. When we take a moment to dwell in the now, we can create, discover or do something we never imagined we had the power to do. Carpe Diem!

  • Getting back to nature

One of the best ways to return to a state of peacefulness is by walking in nature. When we stroll around in a relaxed environment, we naturally become more at ease. Listen to the sounds of the trees, meditate on the flowing river and see the birds fly around. Nature is great to bring us back to the now.

Final note: Living in the now can be difficult when we feel the pull of negative thinking. However, with practice we can live more and more in the present moment. With time we become more at ease with life. Another added benefit is living in the now is that it makes us feel much happier. We can enjoy the little things in life and our need to worry diminishes.

 

5 Reasons not to Compare Yourself

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When we see someone do exceptionally well in life, do we think, “I could never do that!” or “I want to do that too!”? In life, there will always be someone faster, stronger or more talented than us. Therefore, we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Here is some of my advice on how to keep us focused on our own goals.

 

  1. You are on your own unique path:

Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. We are built differently to each other, with different ages and different backgrounds, so no two people can be compared in how they live. As we reach for life goals we will take a completely unique journey to anyone else.

  1. This is not a race:

We can reach our goal in our own time. Even if we share the same goal as someone else, set the time frame to suit ourselves. If your goal is to run 5 kilometres in 15 minutes, and it takes one month to achieve this, you still reached your goal. Some people take longer to achieve their goals than others, but we will still get there in the end.

  1. Remember you are not alone

Everyone has moments when they feel unsure about their own abilities. We have all compared ourselves to someone else. It is reassuring to know that you are not the only one to feel like this.

  1. Competition distracts you

No one else matters when we pursue our goal. Our fight comes down to ourselves alone. We can only look to ourselves to push through to the end. Watching what the others are doing around us, will waste our energy. So don’t let competition take your eye off the prize!

  1. You will have more fun!

We will enjoy life so much more when we don’t compare ourselves to anyone else. We will have the best time doing it in our own way.

Conclusion

Instead of competing with another person, turn them into your role model. Be impressed with their success. Let them inspire you to do the same. If you want to follow their path, talk to them about how they prepared for this goal. Look up to this person. They can show you the way! At the end, when you finally reach your goal, you will meet them at the finish line!

 

How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Giving Up

Its that time of year again, where we begin new projects and may struggle to maintain momentum with the new changes. How can we continue with a project when we really, really, REALLY don’t want to? If we have been disillusioned with our health or work for a while, we may lose interest or motivation to keep going. How can we avoid giving up? Here are some tips to help us keep going with relationship issues, work-related stress or our fitness routine.

 

  1. Choose a fun task

Do something you love! If you are doing something which is not your thing, try something new. Try as many styles of work and projects as you can until you find the type that suits you. You will know when you find the correct type when you enjoy it, you want to be challenged more and you feel by the end of the workday as though you really gave your best. When you do what you enjoy, believe me, you will flourish!

  1. If it is not fun, make it fun!

Sometimes if we want to focus on a particular task, our options for fun can be limited. If we cannot avoid a certain task we can find a way to make it more fun. Get creative with your mind and make this as silly as you can! Laughter will really help you through the difficult workdays.

  1. Distract yourself

A bit of background noise can help you to work better and get you more engaged in your work. Put on whatever helps to get you more motivated to work. Also make sure that your work space is inviting so that you associate work with having a positive experience.

  1. Change the routine

Here is where you can trick your mind into thinking you are doing a new routine. Simply change the order of in which you complete your tasks. It is a minor change, but it can be a new approach when your routine has become repetitive. This change can be as good as a break.

  1. Don’t be rigid.

Life will not allow you to follow a rigid work plan. You will have to learn to be flexible as life interrupts your plans again and again. This is a good challenge however, as the more you are challenged by life, the more indestructible your work habits will become. With practice you can meet every challenge as it arises and overcome whatever life throws at you.

  1. Get curious!

If you find you are struggling to maintain your good quality work, find out why you that is. Is there something holding you back from your goal? What is the reason you are not progressing with this project? Explore the reasons to find out exactly why there is this issue.

 

Final Note:

The process of becoming a happy worker is not a straight forward journey. We set out with great determination to work exceptionally well and it is not long before life starts to challenge us. These hurdles are our real test. As we make these positive changes in our working lives, we have to change our attitude so that we can keep on going. Don’t beat yourself up for being human, remember your overall goal and find the path most enjoyable to you. If there is no path, build your own one to suit you! Whatever you do, keep moving forward!

 

How to Welcome in the New Year

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At this time of year, it is nice to reflect on 2016. What did it bring for us? What do we look forward to next year? Is there anything on our To-Do list that we really need to take action on? As one year dies, another one is born. So, here are some tips on how to let go of the old year and welcome in 2017!

 

  1. Say Goodbye to old friendships

Let go of friendships that no longer feel right. Sometimes friendships have a short life span. For one stage in our lives, certain friends reflect our state, our self-beliefs at a particular time. Then, as we change and grow in life, some friendships strengthen, and some fall away.

  1. Bring in New Friends

As we let go of some friends, we make room for new ones! When we widen our social spheres, we allow in new ideas, new possibilities and even new expectations of ourselves. The people who we surround ourselves with have a great effect on how we perceive ourselves and how much we believe in ourselves.

  1. Take up a New Hobby

Learning keeps us young. Our physical health and our mental health improve when we learn a new skill. Learning a new craft or skill activates process in our brain that keep us refreshed, engaged in life and happy overall. As the adage says: “If you don’t use it, you lose it!”

  1. Take a fresh look at our Health

Our health is our greatest asset and if we neglect it, we pay for it! To keep ourselves healthy, we can take on a new commitment to our physical health. We can educate ourselves about nutrition and take part in sports classes and a new fitness regime.

  1. Take care of our Mental Health

This is the most important aspect of our health and it can be also the most difficult to approach. We can begin with one step to look after our mental health. It could be inquiring about support groups in our area, learning about how to look after our well-being or seeking help from someone.

I wish you a happy end to 2016, whatever it has brought to you! And here’s to year of greater health and happiness!