Living in the Moment Revisit – Finding Peace

We modern people have more or less gotten used to one way of living.
Allow me to try to sum up in a few words.

If this moment is good, I am happy, enthusiastic, excited, etc… I want more and I will do whatever it takes to get more.
If that moment is bad, I am sad, bored, frustrated, angry, etc… and I don’t want it and will do everything to avoid it.
Basically, we only want to live with the “good stuff” and never with the “bad stuff”.

Not saying that it’s wrong. It is one way of living indeed. However, have you ever thought that we do not have to live like that?

Perhaps you can try living in the moment. You may think this is just a spiritual, philosophical idea. It maybe so, but really, living in the moment is just another way to live life. Personally, I believe that this is the way to fully experience life.

Perhaps we live the way we do now because it has been repeated a million times to us by everyone and everything, in all shapes or forms, that we are to seek happiness in life. I used to think so and even wrote that our ultimate goal is happiness. That’s 2 years ago. Now, I think otherwise.

This leads to my ultimate question for the day.
What if it is not about being happy?

Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to be happy. I want to be happy if I can. Surely, we have such preference. It is only natural as human. Being happy is nice and bringing happiness to others around is even nicer. But still, what if it is not about being happy?

I asked that because… well, it is impossible to always be happy. Especially, we can only be happy if there were sad times. And after all these time through learning and self-discovery, I realize, although we cannot always be happy, there is one thing we can always be. Peaceful. We can have peace — through good times and through bad times. We can always have peace.

And peace, is a result of the ability to live in the moment. It is an innate ability that we are all capable of, if we exercise our awareness.

We, everybody, can live in the moment through awareness. With awareness you accept each moment as. Everything here and now. Both good and bad. You exaggerate or deny neither of the opposites. You stop picking and choosing which moment you want and don’t want. You honestly see both good and bad, both happy and sad, and that they are two parts of a whole.

In happy moments, you wield yourself with peace and enjoy it fully, without dramatization nor attachment (trying to hold on to it forever). In sad moments, well, I will not say that you should enjoy it. I believe such is called masochism :) Just that, in the not so good moments, if you can still wield yourself with peace and make the best of it, perhaps greater good may come from the bad times.

Living in the moment.
Seeing things as is.
Fully experience everything.
The so called enlightenment… this is it.
Nothing special.
A lot of people say they want to “get there”, but it is not a destination either.
It’s a ceaseless process by itself.
You can get better at it like everything else, through practice.

How do you get better? You may wonder… I can provide a few suggestions. A large part of it has to deal with learning about yourself.

If living in the moment means experiencing things as is… it means for you to confront yourself. Yep, both the good sides and bad sides. Both the abstract and physical. Both the seen and un-seen. Accept them.

You may have bad thoughts in your mind, and that is okay. We are humans, bad thoughts can happen, but you can choose actions to take as to not to materialize it. Accept the bad thoughts. Accept the bad emotions. There are just as many good counterparts if not more. By being aware and accepting them, you learn about yourself.

Conversely, you can learn about yourself through your actions. Actions speak louder than words. If you allow yourself to be aware of your own actions, you learn about yourself. By seeing everything, you learn to honestly choose what you do not want for yourself next time.

You can also learn about yourself through other people. By that I mean, what you often see in other people is most likely what you see yourself as. You may deny it. But if you allow this observation, you may get past the denial easier!

Nobody else can do any of these for you. Only you can learn about yourself. Other people and things may serve as mirrors and guides, but that is it. Bruce Lee said (paraphrased), “All types of knowledge leads to self-knowledge. And ultimately, there is only self-help.” I believe he is on to something.

When you can finally see your true self and accept your whole self, you can finally see the reality as it is and do the best you can. You will have inner peace. You can also do your best. You can also honestly express your self because you are no longer all the different things you are supposed to be. When more and more people awake to themselves and the moment, we can stop declaring war on everything.

As of now, we are really fighting with everything that crosses our path. We even fight with ourselves because we even reject parts of what we are but what we are not supposed to be. We reject what we are not supposed to be because we are supposed to be something else.

We are supposed to prosper (continuously?). We are supposed to become rich (quickly?). We are supposed to be righteous. We are supposed to be religious. We are supposed to donate. We are supposed to be happy. We are supposed to be equal. We are supposed to have certain level of living standard. We are supposed to have this and that.

We are not supposed to be unhappy. We are not supposed to depressed. We are not supposed to think evil thoughts. We are not supposed to be fat. We are not supposed to be poor. We are not supposed to offend other people.

I am no genius, but currently, don’t we have much more of the “not supposed to be” that “supposed to be”? And no wonder most people are tired, burnt out and not healthy, all these “supposed to be” and “not supposed to be”. So many to keep up with! We fight with ourselves internally because of these, and the fighting is manifesting itself in all the problems we face now.

Because of not living in the moment, we do not perceive everyone as human beings are of a whole, and let alone perceiving everything around us, and including ourselves, as a part of nature. We segregate by cultures, religions, families, names, groups, committees, advocates, trends, favorite celebrities, favorite sports, clothing, personalities…

I am not saying we are not to be any of the “supposed to be” or not be any of the “not supposed to be”. Neither am I saying we are supposed to be homogeneous.

It is great to have all the differences we have. That is the beauty of reality. But, those differences should not divide us. Yet, we allow them to divide ourselves, by us choosing what is “supposed to be” and “not supposed to be”. We want this and not that. We live by what we want. We each have our own incentives. In other words… Me, me, MEEEE!

Perhaps one day we can stop declaring war on everything.
One day we stop dividing amongst ourselves.
One day we can let go of all the “supposed to be” and “not supposed to be”.
One day each of us decides who we want to be through being aware, learning the self, and critically deciding actions to take.
One day we live in the moment and simply be, which is way simpler than keeping up with all those “supposed”. (Maybe then we won’t be so busy and tired)
One day everyone lives and treats other as human beings.
One day we live as a part of nature, instead of trying to be the owner. (I said trying because we will never become)
One day we can treat other creatures rightfully who are also part of this greater whole.
One day we can truly live, instead of trying so hard to live that we forget to live.
One day we can all live in the moment.

I hope that day will come.

Dare I say, this is the essense of all types of religions in the world, in their most original forms. Many of them preach love, kindness, compassion, courage. Well, true love, true kindness, true compassion, and true courage all spring forth from being in the moment, and by knowing your true self.

Dare I also say the following. Living in the moment and having inner peace may not make you the most successful and richest person in the world, but you will have something that worth way more and for now, very few have. You will have the moment, your true self, and peace.

The day the majority people can live in the moment, the day there will be a shift in the way we live as a society, but this has to start from the individual level. Each person doing his or her part.

Originally posted 2009-03-10 23:05:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Understanding Bottom Line to Solve Problems or Daily Issues

I like simplicity. As part of my continuous effort to simplify life for you and myself, I’d like to propose to you how understanding bottom line in any give situation can help us simplify it and find a quicker solution.

Sometimes, you may get stuck in a situation because you get too caught up in the details. These details may even overwhelm you and lead you to inaction. Or, these details may have little relevance in solving the problem. In such scenario, it is often helpful to revisit the bottom line instead of trying to solve the details and not the main problem. You have lost sight of the big picture, and hence, whatever you do, it has a large chance of being something that won’t solve the problem and likely something you will regret later.

What is bottom line? Bottom line means the single most essential point in a problem, as far as this post’s concern. By asking yourself what the bottom line is and once again defining it, you can re-focus on the main problem and the actions to solve it will be revealed. Let me quickly walk you through some examples.

Example 1 – You are in bad financial shape or you simply want to get rich
Bottom line: You need to spend less and make more.
There are many ways to do spend less and make more. Those would be details.

Example 2 – You want to get healthy or lose fat
Bottom line: You need to exercise and have a balance diet.
Get up from your behind now and do some real exercise. Get sore!
Oh, and stop engulfing them junk food.

Example 3 – You want to gain muscle
Bottom line: You need to adjust to a higher calories + protein diet and go pump irons.

Example 3 – You and your partner are arguing
Bottom line: You both love the other person, and therefore wish good things and happiness to happen to them.
Why are you still screaming, fighting, clawing, and divorcing each other?

Example 4 – Coworkers arguing in a meeting
Bottom line: You want to provide a product/service wanted by customers to profit the company in order to get paid.
Everyone one of us workers are just trying to bring bread home on to the table. There is no reason to fight and hurt each other…

Example 5 – Girlfriend came to talk…
Bottom line: Does she like me enough?
(At least, I believe this is the bottom line.) If the answer is no, there is no point to beg on your knees because she won’t stay anyway. If the answer is yes, there is no need to beg on your knees because she probably will stay before you get to your knees. Aha! There is no reason to bruise your precious knees.

I’m not saying to ignore details, and I’m not saying they don’t matter. Just that, next time you get confused and lost in a situation, try asking yourself what the bottom line is. If you cannot do or accept the bottom line, then maybe you are not ready to solve the problem, or there is a bigger problem.

I hope this will simplify your life.

Originally posted 2008-02-13 23:31:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Keeping an Open Mind

Last time I mentioned Awareness; however, there is one thing that goes hand in hand with it. It’s being open-minded. Being aware alone is not enough. If we’re close-minded, how do we change ourselves? How do we allow our thoughts to change and to improve?

You may already think, “Of course I’m open minded.” Well, let’s not be so sure yet and give yourself some leeway to be skeptical about that.
Continue reading Keeping an Open Mind

Originally posted 2007-02-25 21:59:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

To Give is to Receive

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. So let me take the chance to touch on the subject of giving today.

People always say “giving is receiving”, “it’s better to give than to receive”, “to give is to receive”. But why? Don’t you hate it when people say it, and you just have to agree, even though it may not make too much sense to you. You don’t understand why, but you have to nod your head anyways. Well, I hate that, and seriously, I don’t know if it makes sense to them when they said it either. Perhaps they say it… just to say it. So annoying. So despicable. So stupid. I’m just kidding.

Now following, I will share what I think about “giving” and how exactly is “to give is to receive”.

First, I declare that a prerequisite to achieve the concept of “to give is to receive”. The prerequisite is the ability to accept complete responsibility for your own action.

All of you out there, all of us, the entirety of human beings need to come to the realization that of accepting full responsibility of actions and so, whatever you do is your own choice and you must be responsible for the consequences. Now translating that, every time you give, it needs to be a direct result of your choice and your choice only, not because of obligation, not because of guilt, not because of expected return, etc.

By making your own decision to give, you can reap the full benefits of giving. You give because you are free and able to do so. You give because you have compassion for your fellow human beings, be it family, friends, or complete strangers whom you give to. You can then feel fully satisfied of yourself because you made your own choice to give, to help others, and that sense of satisfaction and joy is NOT a selfish result. You are giving because you WANT to.

Selfish is what? Selfish is when you give to expect to be given in return. How often you see people around you who give love and expect love in return, and how many of those are healthy relationships? You give because you love that person and if that person loves you in return, that’s great. If they don’t, it’s unfortunate, but if you continue to give to further expect something in return, that is not only selfish, it is also a self-destructing behavior. This is why people who truly love are the independent ones who are capable to make each choice in their life while accepting full responsibility for their own actions.

Nor shall you give as a result of guilt or obligation because that will also lead to similar result, where you feel that you have been taken advantage of, or that the other person owes you. That will become burden, which can easily cause you to feel like a victim in the future.

“I help him this time, he should help me in return next time I ask for favor.” We probably have all thought that. We’re only humans. Well… don’t. Stop it. You helped your friend because you chose to and that you will be happy to have done it. That’s receiving right there.

It is okay to accept gift, free meal, or help later if the other person chooses to do so in return. Just don’t expect so, or you are setting yourself up for disappointment, and disappointment is definitely not a form of “receiving”.

In short, to give to rececive, you must make your own decision to give.

Give to be helpful for others.
Give base on a sense of genuine gratitude. (Thanksgiving!)
Give because of compassion.
Give because you want and choose to.

Originally posted 2007-11-08 01:08:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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