Power Of The Imagination

The imagination should be used, not to escape reality, but to create it.

The imagination is the power of the mind over the possibilities of things.

The imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.

Power of the imagination is the ultimate creative power. It is one of the keys to living life on a new level.

The imagination is the ability to form a mental image of something that is not perceived through the five senses. It is the ability of the mind to build mental scenes, objects or events that do not exist, are not present, or have happened in the past.”

We all have power of the imagination in a certain degree and we must use it constructively. It is through the imagination that we experience a whole world inside our mind. It is the imagination that gives us the capacity to look at any situation from a different perspective, and to mentally evaluate the past and the future.

We will never go to any place without first seeing it within our mind. By imagining ourselves living life on our terms where we currently reside, will motivate us to take action in order to move in the direction of our dreams.

When we use power of the imagination in constructive way, we produce confidence. But when we use it, destructively, by fretting about our past failures, we create discontentment. The real key is utilizing the feeling of our past success in our present undertakings. We must see our life in focus; within us, behind us and in front of us. Within us we must overcome our faults and habitually rise to our creative powers. Behind us are our blunders which we should refuse to brood about, and our successes that we should reactivate. In front of us is today, potentially a glorious day, which our imagination must shape before we test it in reality.

To turning the imagination into reality is acting as if the imagined scene were real and already accomplished. Instead of pretending it is a scene from the future, imagine it as though you are truly experiencing it in the present. It is a real event in the now. If we imagine something eloquently for long enough, what we imagine will become our reality.

What is reality? Reality is what we perceive to be real. Yet we know from everyday experience that two individuals can look at the same scenery or situation and have largely different perceptions of the reality of that situation. Power of the imagination can profoundly affect our perception.  Our perception becomes our reality.  So then the question is, how can we harness our imagination to create the reality that we want? The answer lies in understanding how to use the tool of the imagination, and how to choose the correct approach.  Let’s look at these more closely.

The imagination runs on six channels of perception. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, and the internal sense that I define it as “feeling”. The more vividly we use each channel and the more channels we use in our imagination, the greater will be the impact of our imagination on our reality. We add vividness to the imagination by visualizing sharp detail, bright colours, distinct sounds, sensitive touch, distinctive odours, exact taste, and deep feeling.  We usually tend to favour the use of one or two channels as our preferred way of perceiving our environment. But despite of what our preferred channel is, we can always increase the impact of our imagination by using as many channels as possible when we imagine an outcome that we want.

In order to choose the correct approach by using power of the imagination to reach any goal, we have to cease negativity. If we acquire the attitude of “I can’t” to achieve what we want, then we will destroy the power of our imagination. Instead create positive attitude by showing excitement and eagerness. Imagine regularly, as many times a day as possible, and do everything possible to match the desired outcome that you will imagine. For example, if you have to give a speech, do your homework to get the speech researched, written, practiced and ready.  Simply imagining success without putting in the required work is a fool’s dream unless you already have a very high level of skill in the endeavour.

The imagination has an essential part in the achievement of success in any area, and if we don’t realize it’s importance, then our life may not be as happy and successful as we have wanted it to be. To live a creative day we must learn to let our imagination to function for us.

 


The Power of Self Discipline

The people with the power of self discipline are more successful. Healthier, and happier in life. 

By the power of self discipline and self control you can develop greatness of character.

The battle for cultivating the power of self discipline may leave you a bit bruised and battered but always a better person.

The power of self discipline is the silent force at work that breeds success. The power of self-discipline is your GOLDEN key, as without it, you can’t be happy. Discipline is the difference between what we can do and what we should do. In our creative day we live with the power of self-discipline, continuing to set goals, refusing to let the insects of nothingness to empty us as human being.

There are many famous people; executives, salesmen, doctors, actors who have done serious mistakes at times and have overcome their blunders with determined belief in themselves. And the power of self discipline in final analysis, has been the tool with which they have shaped their successes.

All artists are slaves to their gift before they become masters of it. All musicians are daily slaves to practice if they are to succeed. In the same way we must discipline ourselves if we are to be happy. It takes the power of self -discipline to set goals and to implement them.

“Most people think success comes from good luck or enormous talent, but many successful people achieve their accomplishments in a simpler way: through self-discipline.”

Epictetus said: “Lead the good life and habit will make it pleasant.” If we master the habit of self-discipline, the world shall be ours. And if we want to get into training to get the habit, here is what to do:

  1. Know who that “self” is: Its self-discipline, isn’t it? Will you be able to discipline yourself if you don’t know who that self is? Probably not. But won’t it be easier once you know who you are? You’ll know what you’re good at, what your weakness are, what you actually want to do, and why you even want to be more disciplined.
  2. Remove temptations: self-control is the ability to resist temptation in the moment, and it is a crucial step on gaining the power of self discipline. Remove all temptations and distractions from your environment. If you want to improve your focus while working, you have to turn off your cell phone and remove the clutter from your desk. The best way to deal with the ever-growing distractions of everyday life is by controlling our mind concentration.
  3. Don’t wait for it to “feel right”:  Improving our self discipline means changing up your normal routine, which can be uncomfortable and awkward. But keeping away from short-term discomfort often leads to long-term problems. And every time you give in, you’ll reinforce to yourself that you can’t manage distress.
  4. Create a plan and stick to your plan: Whether you want to increase good habits, or you want to banish bad habits, you’ll need a plan to turn your intentions into action. We won’t magically wake up one day with superhuman willpower. Instead, we need a strategy to help us build our mental muscle. And once you made that plan, make the effort to persevere that strategy regardless of laziness, the tendency to procrastinate, or the desire to give up
  5. Visualize the rewards: Visualize yourself reaching your goals and receiving the benefits of the power of self-discipline. Write down a list of all the things that you’ll gain when you confine yourself to achieve your goals. Read over the list when you’re tempted to give up. Spend a few minutes picturing yourself being successful and remind yourself how you’ll feel when you succeed.

The power of self discipline play a major factor in our life, leading us to success, if we possess it, or to failure, if we lack it. When our self discipline is strong, we have the option to choose our reactions, and the option to change negative habits. This skill make us feel more powerful, confident, and in charge of ourselves and our life.

 


Life Affirming Beliefs Will Change Your Life

Life affirming words help refine our thoughts and convert the dynamic of our brain.

Life affirming phrases empowers us with a deep sense of reassurance that our wishful words will become reality.

Life affirming statements are proven activities of self-improvement because of their ability to rewire our brain.

Life affirming phrases helps us to believe in the potential of the action we want to take. They help us to reaffirm our life, our self-image, and realizing that there is no life without it.

Life affirming beliefs are primary principle for planning a creative living every day. We reach our true potential through aspiration. We must aspire every day, not only for ourselves but for others; for our friends, for our community, for our church, or for temple.

“Life affirming words enhance the metamorphosis from the average mindset of lack and ingratitude, to a consciousness of abundance, gratitude, compassion and confidence. Affirmations make possibilities possible. Unless you believe that something is possible, you will not seek to actualize it.”

Life affirming remarks are positive statements that are full of creative energy. Everything we say, think, and focus on has energy. Therefore we must extend this positive life affirming energy toward others. We must not allow competitiveness to blind us to our role as a member of the great human family. We must affirm our humanity. The misfortunes of others must be our misfortunes, we must feel for others.

We must assert our life affirming belief in today and in tomorrow. Life changes every day; we must vibrate every day to the inspiration of worthwhile goals, avoiding negative feelings and reactivating our success mechanism within us.

In the sequence of thought-speech-action, affirmations play an integral role by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and, in turn, negative actions.”

We must free ourselves from harsh moral judgements, and enrich ourselves to understand and love our human brothers and sisters, if we first learn to understand and love ourselves.

A few months back I was walking down one of Perth’s crowded streets. I saw a taxi wheel around a corner, and slow down and stopped to discharge a passenger. Another car, following the corner couldn’t stop in time, and there was a mild collision.

The driver of the cab, of course, came out to inspect the damage to the rear of his vehicle. There was none. He said to the car driver: “Forget it.” He climbed in to his taxi, and pulled off into the traffic.

He could have made a big fuss; other drivers have hired lawyers for less, but his brotherly feeling for his fellow man was too strong. As I kept walking, going toward my destination, I found myself smiling at the sincere brotherliness of the taxi driver behaviour.

To me this meant an affirmation of the positive life force, a life affirming belief to reach out to people, in the midst of a traffic crowded street of a busy city.

It is a life affirming of good relations among people which, to a large extent, is life. The world needs you to share your essence. Don’t waste another minute denying yourself or others of your brilliance. Affirm Your Life Now!

 


Listening to Others Generates Creativity and Connection

Listening to others is an art, a path to other people’s heart.

Listening to others, especially those with whom we disagree, tests our own ideas and beliefs.

Listening to others forces us to realize, with humility, that we don’t have a monopoly on the truth.

Listening to others actively and emphatically, or having ears for others is hard sometimes, but we must learn to practice it so that we will be able to master it. We must develop the capacity to hear others. It is important to hear what others say, not just to hear ourselves talk.

Listening to others (Having ears for others) is the third facets in planning a creative day.

The art of emphatic listening to others is the art of understanding; it is the art of progress; it is the art of having a meaningful conversations with others. In this art of listening we have to think of our ears as two extra eyelids, we have to be non judgmental and not making assumptions. By listening to others we learn to open our ears to the opinion of other; we learn that others are just as good as we are, even if they have faults, as we have faults too. We learn to open our ears to reason because reason very often has a difficult time in this world, and people refuse to listen to it.

Listening to others is a path to other people’s heart, an effort requiring patience, sometimes a battle with yourself, and a skill you need to learn in order to evolve as a person and unleash your potential.

Many of us have gotten used to talking without listening to others. This problem unfortunately is common in our modern society; and since the attitude that characterizes our narcissistic society is “no view is as enlightened and informed as my view,” we don’t even bother to consider what others have to say.

When we listen, we communicate. And how we listen determines how well we can communicate.

The word conversation generally brings to mind talking. However, if you’ve ever seen two people trying to talk to each other at the same time, you’ll know that listening is just as important. In fact, listening is half of a successful conversation; you take turns to talk, and everyone feels heard. This is great communication.”

If we listen well and honestly, we become part of a creative communication that invigorates, challenges, renews, excites and may contribute to an exchange of ideas that benefits everyone. If we don’t listen well, we will not grow or learn or interact with others in a way that is rewarding to everyone.

Not listening to others well is to be a selfish act, as we shut ourselves off from others. It is not necessarily a form of arrogance, but it may well be interpreted that way. People don’t like to be around the inattentive, mind-wandering listeners. In fact, people flock more readily to the good listener than to the self-involved, brilliant declaimer, who mainly wants to hear himself, or herself.

Just as we sometimes need to talk out our problems, having someone truly listen to us may make us feel better about life in general. We may not even be looking for advice or counsel as much as we are looking for validation of who we are. Being listened to, is reaffirming and comforting. And listening to others, truly listening, is often the best form of learning about life or helping to solve a problem, either at work or in a personal relationship.

We have to have ears for ourselves too, to listen to the heartbeat of our mind, to the clock within us that clicks away the joys and sorrows we are heir to. If we have to shut our ears, then we have to learn to shut them to prejudices, to skirting around the truth, to the daily threat of negative feelings.

Enterprise is a matter of communication, of self image, of strength, of going toward life without fear. It is a matter in planning a creative day.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

 


Be True To Yourself and Reach Your Potential

Be true to yourself as it is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Be true to yourself, and your feelings. Those are the only things in your life that will never lie to you.

Be true to yourself, make each day your masterpiece, and most importantly believe in yourself.

Be true to yourself is a statement that we hear all the time, but it is the truth. We all have our own values, beliefs, personality traits, and desires. When we deny any part of our authentic self, we die a little death on the inside. Our uniqueness makes us who we are. By being true to ourselves, we also give everyone else permission to do the same.

To be true to yourself (Return to yourself) is the second facets in planning a creative day. In order not to retreat from life, but return to it during our creative day, we must utilize our potentialities. Thinking is a great gift; it is what makes us superior to the animal. Whatever our capacities, we can think within those capacities. Whatever we think our limitations are, we must think clearly within those limitations we give to ourselves. And we are sure to learn that we are more than we think we are. We must learn that such understanding is not mere meditation; it is a thought in action. Thinking here is not passive but an active process.

To be true to yourself, to the best version of yourself is not a onetime event. It is a continuous decision you must make every day, or even every hour. Sometimes you make good decisions and you can be true to yourself. Sometimes you betray your true self. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up, don’t rebuke yourself, and keep in mind that it takes courage to be true to who you are in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else, measuring you up or judging you at every turn. But also know this that whoever you are, you have got that courage within you. And if you make up your mind, you can search deep down and gather that courage to be your true self.

You must take time off every day, even if only ten or fifteen minutes to review yourself, to return to yourself, to return to your realistic self image. You must admit your failures, but realize that they are part of the process of living. None of us is perfect; we dare not to deny ourselves the opportunity to improve.

As a part of your creative day, you must return to yourself and remember:

  1. That you can succeed in your future undertakings as you once did in the past.
  2. That in order to be true to yourself, you can correct mistakes and rise above your failures.
  3. That every day is a new lifetime and you have to start anew to reach your goal.
  4. That in such realization you become your own creator and plan the day for yourself positively.
  5.  That negative feelings take you away from yourself and make you less than you are.
  6. That every day you must fight negative feelings and struggle to arrive at self-fulfillment.
  7. That arrogance keeps you away from learning of how to be true to yourself, to be true to others and it keeps you away from GOD.
  8. That in returning to yourself you have the opportunity to profit from your mistakes. You can compassionately remove self-hatred and improve your self image.
  9. That with a strong self image you will never need to withdraw from life, and you can always be true to yourself.

Why is return to self a face of creative day?

Because when you feel this sense of inner strength, you can be true to yourself and you will not use any excuse to retreat from life.

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

 


Mind Concentration Is The Secret Of Strength

Mind concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.

Mind concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind.

The very essence of education is mind Concentration, not the collecting of facts.

Mind concentration is the first step in planning a creative day.  Concentration means taking our mind off many things and putting it on one thing at a time. Mind concentration offers a problem though, and that problem is how to clear our mind of all distracting factors. Can this be done? Yes, and with a simple approach.

First let’s divide up this matter of mind concentration into two categories:

1- There is a long term mind concentration, such as in dieting to lose weight. We have to concentrate our mind on this single goal over weeks and months, without swerving from it.

2- Then there is short term mind concertation; that we have to focus our mind on an immediate problem, such as leading a creative day.

Think of mind concentration in terms of a book or a play, with a beginning and an end. Thought must have a beginning and an end too. Therefore we know that there will be an end to our thought, an answer; and we can feel assured that by reaching that end we will be able to develop the mental muscles of concentration.

A letter must have a beginning and an ending. The difficult part about writing a letter is the act of sitting down and starting it. But when we began it, then the end is in sight. The same way goes for mind concentration, once we start to concentrate on what we want to do, then the end; the living of a creative day, is in sight. And anything that is in sight; well we are almost there already.

Concentration is vital to our well being. When we sweep out everything except the planning of a creative day, we take dead aim at our objectives.

Then the mind concentration will be as simple as this: the mere act of willing to begin.

Begin, try, and you have solved the problem of mind concentration. Accordingly the concentration implies courage, as you must be able to take off and plunge. You must feel a sense of alliance with your internal resources, your inner power, and your self image.

Mind concentration also implies liberation from negative feelings. You must free your self image to grow. Too often we enslave our thinking; we tie ourselves with self-critical abuse; we put chains on our thoughts; and we obstruct our feelings with walls of self-consciousness.

We influence ourselves with rationalizations; we dig up false reasons for our needless limitations; and we sentence ourselves to life imprisonment, where our only crime is a series of mistakes and blunders.

You must free yourself from such thinking which makes a shrinking of your self image, and helps you to come to an understanding of your strength.

People with a good and healthy self-esteem are able to feel good about themselves for who they are, appreciate their own worth, and take pride in their abilities and accomplishments. They also acknowledge that while they’re not perfect and have faults, those faults don’t play an overwhelming or irrationally large role in their lives or their own self-image.”

If you have really big problems with depression, negative thinking and heavy moods, they probably won’t go away without professional help. But if you want to tackle the problem by yourself, the best resource I’ve ever found by far is a book called Feeling Good, written by David D. Burns. If you really want to get rid of your negative thoughts, you first have to understand what they are, where they are coming from, the different types of negative thinking that exist and how to deal with them. You can find all the answers in the mentioned book.

Many historians feel that the late President John Kennedy will grow with the years, as intellectual measure his importance to the world and place him in real perspective. If so, surely it will be a reflection of his ability to concentrate his thinking and to free it from limitations. He encouraged imagination in political life and in international relations.

Our world may not be as vast in scope as President Kennedy’s was, before his tragic death, but it can be just as meaningful to us as his world was to him.

In order to live a creative day you must first of all be able to concentrate with courage.


Creative Day Starts Today

Creative day is motivated by desire to achieve. It starts by doing something which connect the seemingly unconnected.

Creative day summarized in the time you set aside each day to achieve your goal, ignore anything that makes you consider stopping.

To lead a creative day challenge yourself every day. Experience and curiosity drive you to make unexpected, offbeat connections. It is these nonlinear steps that often lead to the greatest work.

Creative day starts when we lose our fear of being wrong. Creative day starts today, not tomorrow, when we hope that all human problems will be solved in Utopian setting. It starts today with all its troubles and calamities; with all its joys and satisfactions.

Creative day starts today, with more and more people crowded into less and less space; with its racial hostilities and nuclear weapons.

Creative day starts today, with its skyscrapers, its machine shooting into outer space, and its huge glass fronted buildings.

Creative day starts today, with its search for new ideas and values, its existentialism, its Zen, its rush back toward religion, and its self questioning.

Creative day starts today, with its car-crowded superhighways, its traffic jams, water shortages, and crippling strikes.

Creative day starts today, with its increased psychological knowledge, its greater awareness of human motivation, its free exchange of ideas, and its righting of ancient wrongs.

This is the most imperfect world, true, but it has its virtues, and these are what we must strive to find. It is in today’s world that we must live; it is in today’s world that we must learn to lead a creative and good life. Forget about tomorrow; think about today.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ― Albert Einstein

Let us make today a creative day; let us look to the day with objectives; let us regard the day as our opportunity. We must do everything we can to make each day a life in itself.

Every day we must fight off our negative feelings and negative forces in our world, to make that day a creative day, a happy day.

To live creatively means a creative day today. Then another good day, and another good day. One day at the time. We add up a succession of creative days, and we will have a creative life.

We will not achieve this creative day with our modern day mechanical marvels; they may help or hurt. We will achieve it if we can develop our emotional, spiritual, and thinking qualities. We will achieve this creative day if we understand what invisible qualities we need to face up to life successfully.

There are elven components and facts to lead a creative day which I will explain them in details in coming articles. These components are:

  1. Concentration
  2. Be true to yourself (Return to yourself)
  3. Listening to others (Having ears for others)
  4. Affirmation
  5. The power of Self-Discipline
  6. Imagination
  7. Victory
  8. Eagerness
  9. Daily Growth
  10. Adjustment
  11. Yearning for Improvement

Just keep in mind that the person who lives creatively builds a feeling of strength in himself, accepts his failures compassionately, and projects his strength out into the world in the forms of goals toward which he directs his energies. He doesn’t coddle himself with vast amounts of leisure time, which end up by boring him.

He doesn’t place his faith in material things. Expensive automobiles or cloths or houses may be nice, but they are not basic. He refuses to find magic in the names of geographical localities with pleasant climates.

He starts his creative day by placing his faith in himself, accepting himself, and he feels no need to withdraw into a passive pattern. He lives each day with enjoyment and fills his hours with goals.

“If you are pursuing a creative life because you think it will bring you money and fame, just stop now. Anyone who pursues the life of the artist does it because he or she doesn’t know any other way to live.”

In short he starts his creative day with the eager goal-mindedness not with self-pity as he is too busy LIVING.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

 


Finding Meaning in Life, Key to Satisfaction and Fulfilment

Meaning in life is found by finding your purpose in life.

To discover meaning in life, we have to find the meaning we give to life by the unfolding of our powers.

People from all walks of life share an inborn urge to find meaning in life; to discover direction and purpose in their existence.

This desire to find meaning in life appears to be as vital to our psychological development as eating to our biological continuity.

We all seek meaning in our lives and recognize meaning’s absence in lives characterized by boredom, dullness, isolation, and listless disengagement. But what is meaning in life? Is it distinctive, or reducible to other aims and conceptions? Is it a helpful category for thinking about good lives that are worth living? Is it sensible and coherent to want it in one’s life?

According to Viktor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor: “What man actually needs is not a tension less state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

Throughout our evolutionary journey, many of us spend a lot of time in the search of happiness. We attempt towards a goal more focused on a better paid job, greater status, or acquiring the latest possession, rather than spending our energy and time on things which can contribute more value and fulfillment to our lives.

“Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided.”

Although an unfulfilled life doesn’t mean an unhappy or unhealthy life, but lack of finding a meaning in life can create anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Finding fulfillment and meaning in life is more about giving to others, to the community, to the environment, and to the world.

By giving, and by finding purpose, we discover satisfaction and meaning in life, but not necessarily happiness, even though it can be a by-product. Finding a meaning in life gives us a purpose to go on despite life circumstances.

Meaning and fulfilment can be found in three activities as Viktor Frankl devised in his “meaning triangle“:

  1. Creative Self-Expression: Give something to the world through expressing your own creativity in some form, whether it be through art, music, writing, good deed.  By being self-expressed we let people see our spirit and true character; they will see the totality of who we are.  And sharing of one’s “self” fully is the ultimate in generosity and is vital for finding peace, happiness and meaning in life. It’s really the state of just being yourself. And it’s also what others refer to as the state of flow; that timeless state that we’re in where we are not really aware so much of what we’re doing, it’s more of a sense of being. We’re right there in the moment; we’re in the present moment, expressing naturally who we are. And what we’re really expressing is a state of joy and fulfilment.
  1. Experiencing the world through connection, nature, culture, spirituality: Viktor Frankl wrote, realizing that our lives has reason and purpose, will enable us to understand that we are fully responsible for our lives, and for continuing them. “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.””. Our Why gives us clarity, meaning and direction. It is a filter through which we can make decisions, every day, to bring our cause to life. A Why Statement is one sentence that captures our unique contribution and impact. The contribution is the real applicable part of our Why. The impact is the condition we wish to leave the people and world around us. Together, these two components provide a meaning in life for us and those we serve.
  1. Choosing the attitude toward inevitable situations or suffering: There’s not a single person in this world that can escape from suffering. There is always a time in one’s life that they have to face unpreventable painful situation. Often, the first thing we do in a crisis is to judge what, if anything, we can do to fix the problem. But what if it isn’t fixable?  In that case, the one kind of control we can apply is to change our attitude to this new reality.   Similar to the old saying of turning lemons into lemonade. As Viktor Frankl suggested: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms; to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Suffering comes when things change – a relationship ends, someone dies, we get fired from a job, illness attacks, a disaster happens.  Sadness introduces us to impermanence and so can help us learn to let go. By having the courage to touch our own pain and suffering, we start feeling empathy for the pain and suffering of others.  We begin to see that my suffering and your suffering are the same.  “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.” ― Viktor Frankl

Remembering and thinking about the story of our lives, will help us to reflect back on what we have found joyful and meaningful. It can clarify the tasks which we have undertaken and have given us the most sense of meaning in life. And it may suggest further goals we might want to set for ourselves now.  These tasks can be in any realm; stories to write, children to care for, lessons to learn or teach, relationships to attend to, artistic ventures such as painting or sculpture, etc.  Meaning in life can be found in the very act of bearing witness to the events of our lives.  The most important thing is that these tasks feel meaningful to us to fulfil them.  It doesn’t matter what other people think of them. It is the knowledge that we’re born with an expiration date that drives our need for a sense of meaning in life to begin with.

As Joseph Campbell suggests: “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.”


How To Give To Others Builds Our Spirit

To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.

Blessed are those who are able to give without remembering and to take without forgetting.

Give to others builds human spirit. Every act of generosity and the willingness to give of our time, our interest, concern, care, understanding, humour, loyalty conveys and nourishes love. And every missed opportunity to give and to be generous destroys our experience of love, connectedness and spirit.

In giving, it hardly matters if the love that is expressed is personal or impersonal. Being eager to give to someone who we know is wonderful. It can intensify our feelings of connection with that person. Although to give to someone who we don’t know may be less immediately rewarding, yet it expresses our awareness that other human lives matter, and the extent to which they matter is not determined by their closeness or usefulness to us.

The most intellectual healthy individuals in every community are those who are able to give without feeling diminished by generosity. They are less imprisoned by the illusion that to give something away freely leaves us with any less. They are least likely to live as slaves, protecting their own private multitude of treasures. And they may also be least mislead by the illusion that the material possessions are something that we can own on permanent basis, and to regard for safety.

The notion to give is an expression of freedom and abundance. It is a celebration of sufficiency. When done with love, it is connective, enriching and uplifting.

The ability to give is built and conveyed through the most mundane moments as well as the most profound. It is the recognition of our common humanity, an acceptance that we are all part of humankind.

The willingness to give arises out of an intention to care way beyond the limits of our own self or the group to which we are immediately attached. It is expressed in these and a thousand other ways.

Keeping our capacity for loving relationship alive demands us to be willing to give, to be generous, to be flexible and to be tolerant.

When we engage with another person, whether this is at work, a love relationship, with a member of our immediate family or a neighbour, we hardly promise to be generous. Yet the ability to give within that relationship, or the absence of it, can actually determine the quality and durability of the connection.

Sometimes the money or time are given but they are given for the sake of the donor, and not because they are what the recipient wants. That is only too easy to understand, but it doesn’t support a loving relationship and often it’s not rewarding either. To give involves two parties, at least, and flows two ways. It is often subtle, and demands that the donor has the capacity to pay close and mindful attention to whoever else is involved in the interaction.

The rich and workaholic businessman who breaks down and weeps when his wife leaves him, and cries out ‘but I gave her everything she wanted!’ is not different from the rest of us. We all learn early on to replace things for time, and praise for close attention; to build up serve-serving excuses as to why we can rarely be available and attentive even to those we declare to love best. Yet what others require from us is what we ourselves can feel most starved of: To give and to get time in which love can be cherished, nurtured and conveyed.

To give freely doesn’t begin or end with the act of giving. What precede the act of giving is at least some awareness that generosity is an expression of love. And what needs to follow is a sense of letting the act go, detaching from it, moving on into the next moment, not hanging around for a reward, a prize, or even thanks. This flow of loving, to give freely, to move on, is difficult for most of us to live out. But to give without expectation of a reward or establishing a debt that the other person will then owe us, is painfully compromised from generosity. In the face of such a demand we could even question whether this is generosity at all. Surely the only authentic expression of being generous is to act, or to be present for someone, and not expect to make them pay?

To give to others, or emptying out our own needs for the sake of others, can be an addiction, a means to avoid facing our own fear of loneliness or emptiness. But each one of us deserve better than that. The experience to give and to receive can teach us so much subtlety and discernment, about the interplay of light with darkness, and darkness with light. If to give and to receive become severely out of balance, and giving continually wear us down, it is time to ask ourselves: What do I need? How can I replenish myself? In what way am I showing love to myself also? It could be also time to ask ourselves: How to give to others generously without feeling that I am creating a sense of burden, debt, or obligation? Could I give with less attachment to the object or the outcome, and perhaps receive with less attachment in return?

When it comes to helping others, we have to be especially careful. We have to reflect on our motives and our interests. Are we willing to give because it is gratifying to us, or because there is a reward of some kind? Or are we ready to give because we really want to help others? We have to do a great deal of self-inquiry to be able to tell; we have to contemplate every ripple of thought that goes through our mind. To be compassionate, we must learn to think well of ourselves and others. Therefore a bleeding heart, which sees other people as helpless, is not a sign of compassion.


The Healing Power Of True Forgiveness

True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience’.

True forgiveness is not an action after the fact; it is an attitude with which you enter each moment.

True forgiveness is a promise not a feeling. When we forgive other people truly, we are making a promise not to use their past misdeed against them. True forgiveness is a kind of gratitude. When we forgive others we show them the mercy that we have often received and have been thankful for.
True forgiveness is an act of love. It is most healing, most profound when it grows out of humility and realism. It is a challenging act, that whether someone else is entirely to blame in a situation, and we are blameless; there is still in each one of us insufficiencies and imperfections that can be our greatest teacher.
We may not recognise true forgiveness even when we have experienced it. Yet we feel it in our body that something has left us and we are no longer carrying the load that we used to. We tend to feel sorrow instead of rage over the circumstance, and we start feeling sorry for the person who has wronged us rather than being angry with them.
The muscular tensions that we had come to assume were normal get eased. We become less vulnerable to infection or to far more serious illness. Our immune system lifts, our face muscles let down. Food tastes better, and the world looks brighter. Depression radically diminishes. We become more available to others and to ourselves.
True forgiveness doesn’t lead to forced reunions, as there may be some people whom we are better never to see, to hear from, or even think about for more than a few moments at any time. But it help us to let people go from our thoughts, to release them from any wish that could harm them, and to bring us cleansing freedom.

We may be able to discover true forgiveness in a moment, but more often it takes weeks, months or sometimes years. It is something that we have to open to it, to invite it in, and it rarely goes one way only. As we may need to learn how to forgive ourselves before we can offer our true forgiveness, face to face, or silently to others. “The most important lesson on the road to spiritual maturity is how to truly forgive.” ― Lisa Prosen
To search our way towards true forgiveness, we may need to bypass our rational mind. As it deeply offends the rational mind to forgive truly someone who has hurt us, abused us, wounded us; to forgive completely someone who has taken away the life of someone we love or has simply offended us or misunderstood us. There is no easy way to talk of bypassing it, and there is certainly no easy way to put true forgiveness into practice.
As challenging as it is, true forgiveness is the supreme virtue, the highest point of love, as it proclaims:  I will try to go on loving the life in you, the divine in you, or the soul in you. Even though I totally despise what you have done or what you stand for. What is more: I will strive to see you as my equal, and your life as having equal value to my own, although I abhor what you do and everything you stand for.
Because true forgiveness is, in its raw forms, a virtue that is disturbing and confronting as it is healing and uplifting. It is important to be clear that there is no confusion between forgiving and accepting. Extending our true forgiveness doesn’t mean that we justify the actions that caused us harm nor does that mean that we have to seek out those who have harmed us. True forgiveness is simply a movement to release and ease our heart of the pain and hatred that binds it. Forgiveness is not letting the offender off the hook. We can and should still hold others accountable for their actions or lack of actions.”

The need for true forgiveness starts with an act of betrayal, cruelty, separation or loss. Sometimes what is lost is trust. Sometimes it is a feeling of certainty about ourselves; about who we are, how we are seen, and what we stand for. The suffering that precedes the need for true forgiveness is never welcomed. It may well be the debris in our lives that we will finally and painfully turn into the gold of awareness. But we often dragged towards this knowledge only with great reluctance.
Hurt and suffering pushes us to expand our emotional arsenal, even as it pulls away the security of what is familiar. Forcing us to consider what our values are, and how they can support us; what strengths we dare own up to; and what strengths we need promptly to acquire. All of this is too invigorating to be in any way comforting. Yet as Young Eisendrath has said: “When suffering leads to meanings, that unlock the mysteries of life, it strengthens compassion, gratitude, joy, and wisdom.”
We sometimes use the word forgiveness when we are more correctly excusing ourselves for something we have done or have failed to do. Excusing doesn’t mean accepting what has been done or not done. It simply means that someone regrets what they have done; probably wishing that events could have been different; or that someone is at least optimistic that it won’t happen again; and the matter can be dropped.
True forgiveness is a different matter. It appears to enlighten another realm of experience altogether; a place that is grimmer, more depressing, more shadowy, much more confusing; a place where there is at least some element of fear, cruelty, betrayal or breaking of trust.

To extend our true forgiveness may be an act of supreme love and gentleness, but it is also tough. It demands that at least on party faces the truth, and learn something of value from it. It doesn’t involve accepting, minimising, excusing, ignoring, or pretending to forget what has been done. “Hate is not conquered by hate. Hate is conquered by love”.
Even under most dire circumstances, long before any version of true forgiveness become possible, impersonal love; the love that makes no distinction between us and all other living creatures; demands that we give up notions of vengeance. This may not mean ceasing to be angry, if angry is what you feel. True forgiveness certainly doesn’t mean pretending that things are fine when they are not. Nor does it mean refusing to take whatever actions is needed to amend past wrongs, or protect you in the future.
We often talk about true forgiveness in a way that suggests we giving something away when we forgive. Or that we accepting something in return when others forgive us. This is false. Offering true forgiveness or allowing true forgiveness to come to existence in whatever form within us, takes nothing away from us. It restores us to something that is always within us but from which we have become unbound: a sense of unity expressed through the qualities of trust, faith, hope and love.
The one who forgives never brings up the past to that person’s face. When you forgive, it’s like it never happened. True forgiveness is complete and total. ― Louis Zamperini