Between oversimplifying and overcomplicating there is balance

I think that whether or not we realise this, we are all seeking balance. Some go to extremes to find a bit of peace, while others go through peace to find the extremities of the world.

There is much to say about acceptance and finding this place where as our own Self we can finally just Be. In fact, if I might suggest, it is a fine balance between over simplification and over complication !

Caught in constant questioning and turmoil I had figured that the best way to Be, was to accept things as they were and be content with how Life was presenting itself. Only, I was not respecting Life’s course rather I was closing my eyes to what it was telling me, to what it kept offering me.

Realising this a few years down the road was destabilizing: how could it be that after finding what I thought was peace I had instead being burying my head in the sand? And knowing this now, how do I go about Life understanding that what I may see as reality may in fact be the result of the full construct of my mind wanting me to see it this way?!

Heavy eh?! I know… but I think I’ve figured it out!!

Don’t stop questionning yourself, and here I don’t mean doubting, always move in constant awareness, open to Life, open to new opportunities. Take the time to recognize what it is you feel and how it makes you feel. Trust yourself, your gut feeling but above all, know that you are worth every little bit of “it” and that who ever you choose to surround yourself with, will also see “it”.

Trust your heart. Love, feel, heal, give, receive, be compassionate. Believe that you have what it takes to be you.

Namaste.

Conscious Abundance

Look around you, Spring is here, anything more beautiful than the whole world coming back to life?! Sure, I’ve got some nasty allergies, but I am so happy to see all this life, the leaves on the trees, my garden blooming and heck, even the mosquitos!! (well, only because they bring dragonflies and that I love dragonflies!)

Conscious abundance is about realizing all that surrounds you. Abundance is health, friendships, sharing beautiful moments with those you love, knowing that there is plenty more to come while just enjoying the Now. We live in a world of such abundance that if one cannot even get a glimpse of all that beauty, then perhaps it is time for an eye exam!

So many people around the world do not even have half of what you have – no food, no home, no running water, no shoes, no security, no health, you name it. Yet, many of those who live in “need”, well at least to our Western standard, have something many of us here are struggling to get. Can you guess what it is?! Yes, happiness. Simple happiness.

Happiness comes from acknowledging and being grateful for what you have, but it also stays with you much longer if you do not take it for granted (and this includes the people around you). So, take a moment here to be grateful and become conscious of the abundance around you. I hope you enjoyed this long weekend with friends and family.

Much Love.

Sometimes, things happen for a reason

I know, I know, you’ve heard that one WAY too many times. Plus, isn’t it annoying when someone says those words while you are in the crux of a particular situation? Don’t you feel like telling them, thanks, but no thanks? But then, when all hell has finally passed, when we realize that Eh! it had in fact happen for a reason, don’t things start to make sense again?

Over the years I’ve become confident and trusting in what Life brings me. I do not mean to say that I never get angry or frustrated, but I do look at things and events differently. Ok, you’re right, maybe not always immediately, but once I’ve taken a step back and a few deep breaths, I often realize that everything is fine. In fact, everything is the way that it should be.

Sure, I’ve been accused of being a defeatist, but I think of myself as an open-arm, bring-it-on type of person. I mean, it is not because I do not wish something to happen that it won’t. However, it is not because something might happen that it will. And that being said, there is no need to worry about things that do not yet exist. Easy to say, yes, but if you think about it, this is how it IS, and no, kicking and screaming will not get you where you want to go.

So take a step back and take that deep breath, maybe two or tree even. Understand that there is more to life than this. Trust that whatever you are going through right now will make you stronger and will have been worth while in the end. I know that this is not something you want to hear, but sometimes, things just happen for a reason.

Friendship and laughter

If you have good friends in your life consider letting them know how much they mean to you. I am lucky to be surrounded by amazing, compassionate, caring and true people. I am grateful and thankful to have them in my life.

They make me laugh, think, cry, love, and enjoy life as it comes. Above all, they take me as I am, happy or sad, silly or serious. They offer shoulders to cry on or lean on, and I am certain that as I would go out of my way for them, they would do so for me as well.

So take a moment to acknowledge the people around you. Consider yourself lucky for this chance to have such people in your life. To my dear friends, you know who you are, thank you all for being in my life and for bringing me so much joy everyday. Much love.

What’s happiness about anyway?

Chatting with a friend, we came to talk about the main idea or subject of this blog: happiness. More accurately, how we can bring more happiness into our lives. We both agreed that it’s all about the little things. We get so caught up by all the things we have to do and the many other things we think we need: we are blinded.

What I would like to suggest to you today, is for you to take a step back, really look around you and see what you have (life, health, family, friends, a sense of smell, etc.). See and realize the beauty that surrounds you each and everyday, even when it’s grey. It made me smile to read a recent wall post where someone had written that even though it’s wet, cold and grey, it’s still so sweet – talking about Ottawa in the middle of winter.  The way you choose to look at things is the key.

I know it’s hard not to get caught up, but as Stephens writes it so beautifully in the Wisdom of Yoga, what you practice gets stronger. This is true for everything. Think about it. If you’re grumpy, find that everyone else should smile at you but the vibe you send out into the world is this grim negative and pessimistic view and attitude, I don’t know why it be so surprising that this is how you will be greeted.

On the other hand, if you genuinely are grateful, compassionate and happy, this is what you will attract. Of course this is not something that happens overnight, but shifting your own perspective and understanding that it really might be you who’s influencing the way people address you, will create immense changes in your life. I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the most amazing life changing book I have read on this was the Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute. Not a spiritual book, not a yoga book, simply a book about the way everybody acts and reacts – everybody.

I am not saying that you should always be happy no matter what – or pretend to be – and you can read this article I published in the elephant journal if you want my take on this subject. In the end, what I am saying is that happiness is within you to find and it is really up to you to take the steps to find it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Namaste.

Cultivating inner peace

Some say we are entering a New Era, a world that will see its evolution grow to the next level. Many are becoming more aware and conscious of the world we live in. Whether it is through social responsibility, environmental sustainability, or spiritual growth, we understand that there are certain things we can no longer accept.

As we become increasingly aware that certain habits, things and way of life no longer serve us, and as we recognize that these will not lead to a happier life, we choose to release and get rid of them. As we shed the physical, material and even moral weight we have sometimes been accumulating for years, our spirits are uplifted and we are liberated leaving us with the right energy to serve our purpose.

As we let our true nature guide us through life, our mind becomes free of worries. We are satisfied with who we are and have grown to Be and we recognize this in others as well. This is no longer a time to judge, to hold grudges, to be afraid and to hate. Now is the time to love and walk peacefully among others in all confidence.

With our head high, we do not pretend to know more or be better than anyone else, as we simply understand that we are all part of the same world, woven from the same light. And so, as we let ourselves laugh and smile genuinely, we fill our hearts with gratitude, breathing in the beauty of life, and bringing forever more stillness to our hearts. We are filled with tranquility. Om Shanti.

(inspired by a Meditation on inner peace)

Surrender

Last night I attended one of my favorite yoga class. I felt very focused and grounded throughout my practice. It was great. In fact, I hadn’t felt at peace and this calm for a while. Perhaps I had been searching for it too much. When I spoke with a friend after class, he told me: “but you just have to surrender”. He was right. The difficulty is that you cannot try to surrender or force yourself to do so, it just has to happen…

Some definitions suggest “To relinquish possession or control of” while others indicate “To give up“. Surrendering, in the sense explored here, means that you accept things and people the way they are. That you no longer choose to battle life rather, you enjoy it as it comes. Easy when life is good and everything is falling into place. Not so much when we are faced with difficult situations that are imposed upon us. Yet, I believe that we can still make a choice.

Before I explain these choices, lets take a ridiculous but concrete example. Falling snow. Some people would rather run around with a lighter melting every single snowflake then see them covering the ground. Sounds exhausting doesn’t it?! Another approach could be to stick out your tongue and catch as many snowflakes as you can! Much more fun if you ask me. Now think about the emotions that would arise, the energy that would be expanded running around melting snowflakes. And as many more fall, frustration builds and a greater feeling of lack of control mounts, leaving you to feel vulnerable and incapable, victimized and helpless…

And so, back to the choices you can make, based on Fear or based on Love.  In all life’s situations you can decide to fight against the flow and live angry and constantly disappointed or, you can see what will happen and surrender to what life is offering you. One thing for sure, I can guarantee you that you will struggle with life and have a hard time just being happy in the first scenario, while in the latter, you might just have some great moments filled with laughter, peace and happiness.

So surrender. Give up the fight. Enjoy life as it manifests itself to you. Reach out to others. Breathe. Simply Be. Namaste.

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