Life can get us down. We can work hard towards certain goals only to find that after much sweat and toil things can collapse, leaving us bewildered and often angry. In these challenging times it’s all too easy to abandon our work in frustration and ‘throw in the towel,’ giving up on all our attempts to succeed the next time around. I know this feeling very well, but in my experience this might be the very spot where things can turn around, where, if we carry on with determine resolve, we can push forward to an eventual victory. Horace’s words very much hold true to me: “ Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.”
When we quiet our minds for any prolonged period, we can start to create the conditions for insights to arise. The clatter of our everyday, busy, ‘ noisy ‘ lives can fall away allowing a peaceful, relaxing calm to surface and it is here, in this calming stillness that we can start to see the world anew, in a different light that can take us forward in a new direction. Never pass up an opportunity to ‘ take time out ‘ and simply relax around your life – you might be surprised by what can happen.
Don’t allow ‘ friends ‘ to drain your energy. We can often feel let down, disappointed, angry even with their lack of appropriate responses to us. This is understandable as we do expect a certain level of treatment but alas, this is not always forthcoming. Accept this, agree to reconcile yourself to its reality and move on. Dwelling on ‘ friends ‘ behaviour, unfortunately gets us nowhere because we are powerless to change it. Let it pass and conserve your energy for more important issues, like, perhaps, finding new friends, decent and caring friends who appreciate and value your company and respond to you in the manner you wish to be treated.
Try to cultivate patience in your life and reap rich rewards. Attentive periods of sitting and waiting are never wasted whereas restless pursuit of anxiety around the issue of constant activity can be draining both physically and mentally and hence unproductive. Patience is a vital part of the spiritual life; in essence it’s the ability to rest with a situation in order to understand how it should unfold without your contrived and artificial input – learning to sit until you are called to act. “ They also server who stand and wait.” John Milton
The power of life is with us, in us, around us ready to be used, ready to transform the world and us in the process. Never forget this.
Life sometimes gets the better of us; we can feel this at times as an undeniable reality that we all have to confront in life. Nevertheless, we still live with another reality, another possibility – one that tells us we can always turn things around for the better. Falling down, making mistakes in life is par for the course but that’s no reason why we should remain hung up about them. We can all change our situation if we have a will to – it’s all in our attitude, the way we view our position. We can all draw on our hidden potential for transformation if we believe we can.
The real meaning of our lives is expressed within, and our truth seeking mission is to explore this inner core to find out who we are – our unique, authentic selves.
We often ponder at times on our actions at key points, whether we should go that extra mile to try and achieve ‘ success ‘ or abort because of fear of wasting too much time on what might be considered an ‘ unsuccessful ‘ venture? This dilemma of what to do in these situations can challenge us severely. But in truth there is a simple answer available to us: We don’t know.
We have to accept uncertainty, our unknowingness and do what we think is best. Often there are no blueprints we can look at, no roadmaps we can follow; each situation is unique so we just have to respond accordingly and do what we can with our limited view knowing that this is all that can be asked of us.
And finally remember: one way traffic is not a relationship.
JOURNEY WELL AND ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR EFFORTS
We often settle for less, feeling perhaps that we are not good enough for more achievements, more success. This is nonsense of course; it’s just a self-sabotaging device that is allowed to run away with debilitating feelings that prevent us from going further. Never settle for second best, never fall back from going that extra mile and startle yourself in what you can achieve.
Never measure your life in years but in the number of lives you touch.
Cultivate balance in your life. It’s right to work hard to achieve your goals but it’s also equally right to take time out for relaxing, for renewal.
Mindfulness attends to our lives peacefully and contentedly allowing things to get done at their own pace. Its special gift is its ability to connect us to an inner harmony, a natural rhythm which flows unimpeded in relaxing calm.
Don’t beat yourself up over the mistakes you make. Mistakes are an integral part of life, there as our instructors to guide and push us in the right direction.
If we look deeply enough into the problems we confront you will see a corresponding solution. Remember the words of Krishnamurti: “ If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem. “
Keeping your sense of humour in difficult circumstances is essential if we are to keep our sanity.
Be generous in your dealings with people. This will always pay you back in often unexpected ways.
Always seek out clarity in your communications with others. Ambiguity and vagueness always impede fuller understanding. Better to articulate in clear, simple, succinct terms to get your message over so as to dismiss any possibility of misunderstanding.
Death is already waiting for us so live your life fully, completely as you can, making every moment count before it’s too late.
Someone once said: “If you have a vocation you will never work again.” Let’s all find our vocation as a matter of priority and if you have been fortunate enough already to have found yours then deepen that engagement.
We must endeavour to live a life that feels nourishing, wholesome and good on the inside irrespective of our perception of how we appear to others on the outside. This is called being authentic to the true self.
Don’t compromise too much on ‘ false ‘ friendship. Because it wastes time that could be spent in finding the depth of companionship we always wanted.
Wisdom can only arise from a still, contemplative mind and for this we need to free ourselves from the busyness of our everyday activities and our inherent habitual thinking.
Relaxation is the tool we need to re-engage with balance and perspective, in other words – our sanity.
Keep it simple. Life often gets too complicated, too stressful at times to handle. By restricting our work load and relaxing around goals and achievements we can rebalance our composure and settle down to a more manageable, peaceful existence.
Living Now Magazine
“ I’m a writer. I don’t cook and I don’t clean…..Dear child this place is a mess – my papers are everywhere. It would be exhausting to clean up! When I was seven, I said to my mother, may I close the door? And she said yes, but why do you want to close the door? And I said because I want to think. And when I was eleven, I said to my mother, may I lock the door? And she said yes, but why do you want to lock the door? And I said because I want to write.”
Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.
One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.
And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.
I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget – I kept saying – that we are all children of the King.
For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.
We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.
Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago –
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef – they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.
I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.
“The experience of an enlarged intimacy is not the only reason to want art in our lives, but it is a central reason. The windows that break open the boundaries of a poem, piece of music, or painting do the same work: they awaken and give entrance to what might otherwise not be recognized, felt, or known as inseparably part of the story.”
“I can’t give up writing, and everywhere I turn I find the stuff I write sticking to me like fly paper, the gramophone inside me playing the same old tune: ‘ Admiration, admiration – You are my ideal – you are the one, original, cloistered genius, the tonsered wonder of the western world.’ It is not comforting to be such a confounded ape.”
” But then there was this shadow, this double, this writer who had followed me into the cloister. He is still on my track. I cannot lose him. He bears the name of Thomas Merton. Is it the name of an enemy? He is supposed to be dead….He generates books in the silence that ought to be sweet with the infinitely productive darkness of contemplation.”
” How necessary it is for monks to work in the fields, in the rain, in the sun, in the mud, in the clay, in the wind: these are our spiritual directors and our novice masters. They form our contemplation. They instil us with virtue. They make us as stable as the land we live on. You do not get that out of a typewriter.”
“ When Dylan Thomas was a young man he kept notebooks which he filled with words that appealed to him. He once wrote to his friend Pamela Hansford Johnson asking her if she did not think that ‘ drome ‘ was the loveliest word in the English language. Her reply is not recorded but Thomas’ work shows his fascination with words for their own sake and this continued throughout his life.”
The writer Liz Taylor