Category: INSPIRATION


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What are the two most important days in your life? “The day you are born and the day you find out why,” Mark Twain famously wrote.

The search for happiness is hardwired in our DNA. It transcends age, gender, geography, vocation, and personal circumstances. But how do you achieve it?

Through inspirational storytelling, scientific evidence, practical advice, captivating exercises, and poetry, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra and Gina Vild present a powerful message that shows you how to achieve happiness no matter the challenges and stumbling blocks you face along the way. They also reveal the best way to be happy: Discover and live your life’s purpose. It’s a sure path to human flourishing. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that living with purpose can even add years to your life.

Do you know your life’s purpose? This book offers a path to discovering it by illuminating the value of gratitude, forgiveness, meditation, music, friendship and so much more. It will set you on the right path and spark sustained happiness, joy and bliss.

DR. SANJIV CHOPRA is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also a bestselling author and sought after motivational speaker. He lives in Boston.

GINA VILD is the associate dean and chief communications officer for the Office of Communications and External Relations at Harvard Medical School. She lives in Boston.

ALOHA: Dr. Sanjiv Chopra on Happiness

Happiness is a fickle thing. Sometimes it sneaks up out of nowhere and other times you spend days tracking it down. But finding happiness is not totally out of your control. Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, professor of medicine at Harvard, shares four ways to be happy. Watch the interview below to learn how!

Dr. Sanjiv Chopra on Happiness – Trailer

Dr. Sanjiv Chopra discusses happiness and how to achieve it. Do you know the difference between happiness, joy, and bliss?

Posted on December 27, 2017

Marianne Williamson: It would be easy to slip into hopelessness now, to resign ourselves to the idea that the concentrated assaults on everything from the planet to our democracy have succeeded to such a degree that it’s no longer possible to stop them.
Yet it is exactly that hopelessness we must resist now, even more than we must resist the forces that seem so intent on bringing us down. Our hopelessness is only called for if in fact miracles are not possible, and because they are, there is no cause for hopelessness.

THAT is the meaning of Christmas. (And Hannukah too!)

Hope springs eternal because life springs eternal, and life abounds with possibility. We have within us the capacity to change things, but only if we are willing to change ourselves. We have written the human story that now unfolds in front of us, and the only way we can change the story is if we are willing to rewrite it.

Are we willing to go from ego to Spirit, from faithlessness to faith, from body delusion to the Christ within?

As this year falls away, let’s begin the process of dissolving a worn-out story. Humanity is so weary now. All of us, to some degree, have been co-creators of the story we are living in now now, and all of us are needed to rewrite it. We need to atone for our heartlessness and arrogance, treat with mercy those who have trespassed against us, and get to work on cleaning up the mess and re-creating the world.

This new world cannot be forced, any more than it can be rationally calculated; it can only be invoked into expression by the deepest kind of reverance. Invocation is the priest and priestess’ task, and that is what all of us are being called to be right now.

When I was a little girl, I used to ask God what I was supposed to be when I grew up. I would always see the word “priest” in my mind but I thought it was weird…obviously impossible, because Jews don’t have priests. When I grew I realized that in the Old Testament indeed they did, and even more importantly, metaphysically a priest is anyone who invokes into expression the unlimited possibilities that emerge from the field of ultimate Reality. All of us are recruits for the new priesthood, no matter what we do, needed to invoke into expression the unlimited possibilities inherent in the Mind of God. These possibilities remain un-manifest until we have the courage to invoke them.

Like ancient priestesses at Delphi, let us summon all our powers of multi-dimensional knowing, emerge from the narrow and shallow casing of a mechanistic worldview, throw off the chains of a rationalistic approach to life, and remember we are co-creators of our future. We are not victims here; we’re merely reaping what we’ve sowed. And we can sow anew. We are here to create the good, the true, and the beautiful, and anything less than that is short of our purpose and our mission in this life.

Each of us endowed with an internal guidance system, and if we ask within what we’re to do, we’ll be guided. We will be told what to do and we will be told how to do it. We will be led to each other and we will collaborate in miraculous ways. We will dwell within the golden Light of a higher kind of knowing. We will know, and we will do. Let this be the realization that lights our way this holiday season.

Like the Maccabee’s who miraculously found that they had enough oil to keep the lights burning for eight nights and nine days, and Mary giving birth to a newborn child who has the power within Him to bring forth a new world, may all of us this holiday season find in ourselves, and in our God, unlimited possibilities to redeem ourselves and recreate the world.

Source: Marianne Williamson

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.

Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.

It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.

Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.

Biography
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

She has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of four #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone.

Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 30 million views.

In addition to her research and writing, Brené is the Founder and CEO of BRAVE LEADERS INC – an organization that brings evidence-based courage building programs to teams, leaders, and organizations.

Brené lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.

Misti Burmeister’s Review of Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Misti Burmeister shares her top learning lesson from reading Brene Brown’s most recent book, Rising Strong. Beyond the lesson, she shares how to make the lesson useful immediately.

Life and A Bamboo Tree


This is a famous analogy between Life.. and a Bamboo Tree
It helped push me through hard times.. and I wish to pay it forward..
I hope this reaches someone in need.

Posted on October 2, 2017
When you try to change your entire life in a day, chances are slim unless you’re being taken into the Witness Protection Program.

And when you think about the effort that change takes, it can be paralyzing. But there’s a much gentler option. Let a story about my friend and colleague nurse-researcher Dr. Janet Quinn, author of I Am a Woman Finding My Voice, tell you more.

Once upon a time, Janet went to Australia to spend a week with a group of aboriginal elders. One day they piled into a van to search the arid outback for bush tucker (Australian for “food”). Items such as Witchety grubs and honey ants may seem unattractive to Westerners, but they’re delicacies in the outback.

The van was bouncing along a rutted road when suddenly it slowed way down. There was a camel in front, loping along at its own slow pace. The driver honked. The camel went faster. Then it slowed down again, apparently unconcerned about the van on its tail. The cycle of honking, trotting, and slowing down was repeated over and over again. The sight of Janet imitating the wagging gait of the camel’s behind can’t be captured in words, but perhaps you get the picture.

As she sat in the van, contemplating the dromedary, it occurred to Janet that there were miles of uninhabited land in every direction, yet the camel stayed on the road. If it had made the tiniest adjustment to its course—even a fraction of a degree—it would have had endless miles of unmolested space to roam in, and there would be respite from the honking and trotting. But apparently the camel hadn’t thought this through, and it kept to its uncomfortable course.

A lot of people do the same thing. You may be stressed and unhappy about the course of your life, but you just keep on walking in the same direction. When I’ve asked people why they don’t change their circumstances, the most common response is “fear.” They know the box that they’re stuck in. Even though it’s uncomfortable, it’s at least familiar. But if they change, there’s a chance that the unknown will be worse than their current situation. The enemy you know seems safer than the enemy you don’t know. The second most common reason why people fear change is that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of work it will take. But think of the camel. A change in course of just a fraction of a degree would have resulted in unlimited freedom.

I knew a working mother named “Shawna” whose dream was to become a nurse, but for years she was like the camel and stayed on her old course. She had a lot of valid reasons: School takes time and costs money. How could she and her son possibly survive if she quit work to study?

Then Shawna took a small step. Since her job paid for continuing-education courses at the local community college, she signed up for biology and loved it. The professor alerted her to a scholarship for older women entering nursing, and Shawna applied and was accepted. Student loans covered most of her living expenses, and she waited tables twice a week to cover the rest. Shawna became a nurse during the recent shortage. The hospital she signed on with gave her a cash bonus large enough to pay off most of her loans. One small change . . . and unimaginable opportunities opened up.

Psychologist Ellen Langer discovered that people who try new things are healthier and happier than those who stay in a rut. Even choosing a different route home from work benefits you. In her book,Mindfulness, she makes the point that variety keeps us engaged in life. You might be able to zone out if you’ve taken the same route a hundred times, but if you’re on unfamiliar turf, you have to stay tuned in. Tuning in encourages curiosity and results in a more adventurous life. An acquaintance of mine chose to drive a new way to work one day and got rear-ended in a traffic jam. But all’s well that ends well. She married the man who slammed into her.

This week, try making two small changes every day. Take a different street to work, turn off the television for an evening, go to a restaurant that serves exotic food, change your brand of toothpaste, smile at someone you don’t know, show up at work wearing Groucho Marx glasses, go to a different supermarket, get a more daring hairdo, eat dessert first, or buy or borrow a piece of clothing in a color you never wear. The possibilities are endless.

At the end of the week, reflect on what these little changes produced. Then think about your life. If you’re in a rut like Janet’s camel, identify one small step you might take toward change. There’s a whole lot of landscape to explore once you leave the beaten path.

(Excerpted from Chapter 20 of Inner Peace for Busy People by Joan Borysenko)

Raphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In addition, he coaches individuals and couples, as well as organizations and their teams. Raphael’s own heart was opened by an experience of profound grief

 

Website: http://cushnir.com Books:

  • The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection
  • The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection (CD & Audio Download)
  • Surfing Your Inner Sea: Essential Lessons for Lasting Serenity
  • Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life
  • How Now: 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment
  • Unconditional Bliss: Finding Happiness in the Face of Hardship


Most people agree that forgiveness is one of the most empowering and healing things to both give and receive, and they want to be able to experience this blessing and freedom for themselves. And yet, as we all know, there is a big difference between the desire to forgive, and the ability to actually do so…and with it fully and deeply achieve a deep healing inner state of being. What I came to learn above all, when it came to forgiveness, is that the ability to forgive is not achieved with lofty thoughts or intentions alone. It comes about by engaging several few practical and grounded tools over a matter of weeks that release your body, mind, and soul, from the trapped wounding energy that has caused you to feel so much pain and then be able to replace it with new healing energy instead.


We are all on a spiritual journey. For everybody, this journey starts with birth and ends with death. Our life is a link between our date of birth and date of death. The book of our life stretches between the two end points, and this book is the chronicle of our wanderings. We have recognized that we are suffering, we are suffocated in the swamp of the multitude of beliefs and ideas, and this recognition spurs us to embark on a Journey to discover ourselves. Understanding all this is the beginning of the real JOURNEY along the road. Based on the book The Awakening of Consciousness by Frank M. Wanderer

In this eminently readable evocatively photographed volume best-selling author Raphael Cushnir provides a simple and holistic path to achieving lasting peace of mind and body. Through a series of short deceptively approachable essays Cushnir details the day-to-day practices that comprise the foundation of a stress-free life. Cushnir’s signature mix of personal anecdote and approachable metaphor ensures that each of his 18 lessons rings home. In the spirit of Cushnir’s popular How Now: 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment Surfing Your Inner Sea is a guidebook a resource and a wellspring of practical inspiration.


Raphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of five books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, In addition, he coaches individuals and teams at Fortune 100 companies, governments, religious organizations, and leading non-profits.

Look Inside

Raphael Cushnir – Warm Welcoming and Surfing Your Inner Sea

The Element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. Drawing on the stories of a wide range of people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Bart Conner, he shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that this is the essential strategy for transform­ing education, business, and communities in the twenty-first century.

A breakthrough book about talent, passion, and achievement from one of the world’s leading thinkers on creativity and self-fulfillment.

Ken Robinson on Passion

LECTURE @THE SCHOOL OF LIFE: Sir Ken Robinson believes that everyone is born with extraordinary capability. So what happens to all that talent as we bump through life, getting by, but never realizing our true potential?

Ken Robinson – The Element

Sir Ken Robinson returns to the RSA to share new thinking on ‘The Element’ – the point at which natural talent meets personal passion.

David Welch: If you were going to attempt to describe God, what would you say ?


DAVID: Love…that’s all you need to say. I have a global question and let me frame it this way…

It could be said that climate change and a lot of the challenges Mother Earth is facing right now is because the masculine is running amok; in short, we are too patriarchal. So, my question is, how do we get society to embrace and incorporate the divine feminine. Basically, how do we get the planet back in balance?

TONY: Well, I think I’d start with ourselves, right? I mean, most individuals are not in balance. If you look at our culture, under stress, most women become masculine and most men become feminine. Most men try to please and give up for the woman in their life. Most women get more controlling and more directive. So, I think, when we’re talking about healing the planet, we’ve got to start by healing ourselves and if we heal ourselves then we’ll be better. If we live in those beautiful states, that is that healing. Right?

When you’re in a beautiful state, you have the mixture because we all have masculine and feminine inside of us. But they’re not at war when you’re in a beautiful state, right? And so, if you do that within yourself, then it’s easy to pass on to other people. Pass on to other people, and now they’re in a beautiful state. You have this domino effect. I really believe that’s where it starts. In a spiritual community, the feminine is seen as far superior. It’s the solution to all horrible things that the masculine did, and I think that’s complete bullshit. I think there are levels of masculine, just like there are levels of feminine. And levels of consciousness within them. And if your level I is masculine, you tell people what to do and you’re demanding and you’re an asshole.

You use your force power or your position power or whatever leverage you have…economic leverage…to make people do things. And that’s the part of the masculine everybody’s disgusted by. And it’s kind of abusive…women, children, men…the world. That’s not masculine energy; that’s infantile levels of masculinity—somebody who is not developed, right? Somebody who is Level II is more, that person who is trying to make everything fair: I’ll do my part, but you’ve got to do your part. And that really egalitarian approach seems beautiful, and it would, but in an intimate relationship, unless there’s a polarity of opposite energies, there’s zero passion. What really looks good for balance and equality doesn’t really create much of a relationship.

You have two people that have no passion and maybe a deep friendship. That’s where most people unfortunately end up. The third level of masculine is, your needs are my needs. Not, you’ve got to figure out your part, I’ll do my part, and I hope you do your part. That’s bullshit. And it’s not, you do what I tell you. It’s like, I feel what you need and I’ll figure out what that is and I’m going to make that happen…I’m lit up by lighting you up…I’m lit up…I love you, so…loving you…whatever action of loving you, is what fills me up. When you see that kind of masculine, that kind of masculine would die for those they love. That kind of masculine is what’s kept the world alive.

That kind of masculine is the beauty that firemen on 9/11 shot into that building, knowing most of them weren’t going to make it out. I think it’s absurd to say the feminine is better or the masculine is better. What we need is more mature feminine because immature feminine is totally manipulative and uses sexuality and uses manipulation to get what it wants. Balanced feminine says, I’ll do my part, you do your part. It’s truly wonderful, but we’re dead inside. And then, Level III feminine, which is, your needs are my needs, I’d die for you. You have two people who would do anything for one another. You’re not going to have any problems. Your problems and arguments are going to be about: you’re trying to do for them and they’re trying to do for you.

Trust me, I have experience with my wife. It’s the best argument you can ever have in your life. Very quality problem. But that’s…I think what it is…I think the spiritual community…most men in the spiritual community become extremely feminized. And it’s their reaction to the bad masculine things they think they’ve done and what they’ve done is they threw out the baby with the bathwater and I find them extremely weak very often ‘cause they’re running around trying to please everybody and…you know? There’s a great guy…I can’t think of his name…I’m sure you’ve seen him…have you ever seen that video on YouTube?…the guy does ultra-spiritual and does this whole element of how to be ultra-spiritual and walks through…like, you should stare in people’s eyes for extra long times so they’re uncomfortable…you should talk in really soft tones…and he does this like, comical piece that makes anybody that’s in the community laugh because you know it’s true.

To me, I’m like, you know…I walked around a monastery in India and people were going around…namaste. And I saw all these people who are completely full of shit. They were like, bad-mouthing some people behind them and I said, fuck you namaste. Don’t tell me namaste while you’re not even in that state! That’s spiritual materialism. You’re manipulating…you’re trying to use the environment to make yourself look good and you’re not good. Right? You know, it’s like, confront this man if you disagree with him! Confront him. Don’t talk behind their back and say namaste with this phony little smile. I mean, that’s horseshit. I do not prescribe to…we need the feminine to balance out the planet. I believe we need the masculine-feminine to mature to balance out the planet.

DAVID: It’s not just the feminine, it is the mature masculine-feminine that is needed to balance the planet?

TONY: And that to me, is a much more natural, healthy thing because those…yin and yang are both needed—they’re in all of us. You’re not all masculine and you’re not all feminine. What you want is to have them aligned and working together. It’s like having your head and your heart, you know? The head by itself can be real strategic but you’ll never enjoy an apple with your head because your head will go, but is it organic, and where did it come from, and what do I do with it? You don’t even taste the apple. But if you’re in your heart, if you’re in your spirit, you’re going to enjoy it. When those two are aligned, there’s an incredible force. So, that’s what I want to do with my priming also; it’s aligning. You do an EEG and an EKG and you can see when somebody is stressed out. The brain waves, the heart waves are jagging all over the place.

You take two minutes and you breathe in your heart as they teach in a variety of disciplines and all of a sudden you literally see the EEG and the EKG together—the brain and the heart literally become rounded and they become in-sync. And when they’re in-sync, that’s when you get the answer. It takes two minutes to get yourself there. It’s one of the ways I teach people. If you’re suffering, wake up to the fact that you’re suffering…ohhh, I’m suffering, isn’t this interesting? Take these deep breaths inside yourself, so you pull back from the event inside, to a deeper part of yourself, and breathe for two minutes with your hands on your heart. They taught it with HeartMath and HeartMath…proved it scientifically. Put your hands on your heart, put your focus on your heart for two minutes, think of something you’re grateful for. You see these changes in the brain and the heart where they become completely aligned and all of a sudden, you’ve got the answer. You’re no longer there.

You say all you really need to remember, all you need to experience here is what? And your brain will know the answer when the heart and the head are working together. I think it’s the same thing as getting the masculine and the feminine to work together, as opposed to capitulating and trying to make one better or worse than the other. We need both of them for aliveness. On this planet, you have the North and South Pole and they have a kind of electricity that keeps life. In an intimate relationship, you need…whether it’s two men or two women, or any sexual relationship. Even in a gay relationship—if there’s passion, there’s one that has more masculine energy and there’s one that has more feminine. If they’re just friends it can be the same. What makes a relationship work is sameness. Things in common. What makes it feel passionate is differences. And the most important differences are not value differences—those hopefully are aligned. The most important differences are opposite energies.

So, I’m not…I’ve said this several times in different ways here…I think it’s stupid for masculine people, whether they be women or men, to make that part of themselves wrong and try to become something else, as opposed to just appreciating all parts that are inside themselves and finding the good in them and finding how to mature the awareness or the awakening of that masculine. An awakened masculine is a force of nature that is extraordinary to this planet. An awakened feminine is a force of nature that is extraordinary to this planet. But becoming one over the other will just throw you. It’s like having a bad relationship and you know that one was terrible, so you go to the other extreme and you’re equally screwed up. That’s what I see people do in the spiritual community. That’s my little riff on this.

DAVID: I like that little riff. And, what I’m hearing you say is, if I want to affect climate change, if I want to affect the planet, the first thing I do is to start with myself, in a relationship with myself, because I’m both masculine and feminine. Then, I start with my family and primary relationships, all of my….

TONY: And then there are choices that, you know, could have an impact on them. Making sure that they’re consistent for you.

DAVID: And what consistent choices would those be?

TONY: You have to fundamentally decide what you’re going to believe. Are you going to live in fear and focus on what you can control, or can’t? Are you going to focus on what I’m saying or are you going to focus on what my talking reminds you of in your own life? Are you going to focus on something you’re going to have for lunch? Whatever you focus on, you’re going to feel, even if it’s not true. And people have patterns that they focus on. Some people focus on what’s missing from their life. Some people focus on what they have. Some people focus on what they can control.

Some people focus on what they can’t control. If you’re always focused primarily on what you can’t control and what’s missing, then you’re going to be depressed. I don’t care how many…in a room of 10,000 people, I’ll ask, “how many of you know someone who takes antidepressants and is still depressed?” And 90% of them raise their hands: 90% of the room! Now, those antidepressants have side effects, like suicidal thoughts. It’s right on the box. But, why isn’t it working? Because if you keep focusing on what is missing or on what you can’t control, then you’re going to be depressed. Another pattern is, you focus more on the past, the present or the future. If you’re focused only on the past and what you can’t control and what’s missing, you’re going to…I don’t care how great life is or how many drugs somebody gives you, you’re going to still end up being depressed. You’ve got to get to the source of it. And the source is always the pattern of thinking that produces a pattern of emotion. You change those two things, you can change everything.

DAVID: I completely agree.

David Welch: What does it mean to awaken and live an awakened life?

Tony Robbins: I think it means to get outside of your history, outside of your conditioning, outside of your culture and become present in this moment and see what’s real, right now, without the filters. It’s the ability to witness the mind and be the master of the mind, instead of having the mind master you. This mind is not going to cooperate and say, “well, let’s do this together.” I’ve found in my life that your heart, your soul and your spirit have got to direct that mind, to take charge of it, and use it…or it will use you. And so, I think awakening is learning how to step outside of mind’s control and step more into heart’s control and to really experience the joy of whatever is happening in your moment.

My major goal in life today is to really find ecstasy in this moment. If I can’t have this moment, with you, my dear friend, for all these years, how is some other thing in the future going to do it? I always tell people, if you can’t find ecstasy in this moment—more love, more joy, more acknowledgement, more economics, more rock and roll, more sex, more drugs…or, whatever you think you’re going to need to find it—it’s not going to make you happy long term. So, to me, that is the ability to see what’s real and to enjoy the moment completely and fully, and I think the more awakened we are, the more we see. I think that is the absolute grace in everything in our lives, including the things we call problems or challenges.

DAVID: Problems. Turn them into challenges, which is something you can deal with. Problems are something you worry about, but challenges….

TONY: There is another way to think about it, though, as I tell people today, when they come to Date With Destiny—especially, because we go so deep, you know, we get underneath what creates those problems. Which is that, the beliefs and the values and the rules that control the meanings we make up, and out of our meanings come emotions, and out of emotions come our lives. If you think this is the end, you’re going to have a very different response than if you think this is the beginning of a relationship, right? It changes what you feel, changes what you do. So, my whole view is, what you really have to be able to do, is decide once and for all that this is what my life is about. I want to be clear; I want to be opening to what is really real. I’m not going to let my past history control me and I think when people break out of that, there is a freedom they can’t experience any other way. There’s no material thing that can get people the joy that that freedom can get them.

DAVID: Excellent. Witness and Master the mind, drop into the heart, and experience freedom and joy. You have to love that!

What has happened in your life that you feel is significant in your awakening?

TONY: Gosh, there have been so many things along the way. My wife is a part of that. My children are a part of that. I mean, I believe motive does matter. I believe that if you focus on yourself, life is still going to support you in your endeavors because you are part of life. Life supports life. If your focus is how to take care of your family, motive does matter and you’re trying to support more of life and I think you’ve got a different level of insight. If you’re trying to support a community, you’ve got a whole different level of insight.

I look at my own life, you know, without bullshit and without exaggeration. It’s really been humanity for me as long as I can remember, that I want to make a difference with, and so the types of insights that you get are extraordinary. So, I think the demands of the situations I put myself in over the years, have caused me to have spiritual insights and breakthroughs and then I’ve also just pursued all the great teachers, just as you have, to see what I can learn from them so that I can take that information in, and find what rings true for me, and how can I articulate in my own experience what they’re teaching. There’s a variety of great people out there. As you know, my friends at One World Academy, Krishnaji and Anandagiri—dear, dear friends of mine, and I’ve learned an immense amount from them and have been able to share a lot with others. I think Byron Katie is just a real thing. I love her to death. She’s pure and her intent is only to serve and she brings people back to reality so quickly. Teaches them not to believe their limiting thoughts and to question them and find the real truth.

There are some great teachers out there, so over the years I’ve, of course, looked for all of those. But, I think about a year and a half or two years ago, if you would have asked me, “do we have—my wife and I—do we have a magnificent life?” I would say, “are you crazy?” I mean, it’s like, I have this magnificent mission…I’ve got millions of people out in the world that I’ve been privileged to help, and I have all the love that comes from them because I get stopped every day of my life by people who say, “oh my God!…you’ve changed my life!” I always say, “no, you changed your life!…take some of the credit!…but I’m glad I helped.” So, I get that reinforcement every day of my life. I have four amazing kids, three grandkids. I’ve got 18 companies; we’re doing five billion in sales now. It’s just been amazing growth from nothing, from zero, and so, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, everything…I would say, we have this magnificent life. If you had asked me if I suffered, I would say, “what are you crazy?” ‘Cause most achievers don’t even think they have fear; they just have “concerns.” The achievers work for fear of stress. You know, I’m just stressed all the time. Well, if I follow your stress, it will take me to your deepest unconscious fear. And, so, suffering was not a word I would relate to in any way, shape or form, but about a year and a half ago, roughly, I started thinking about my life.

I started thinking about how the more that I’ve grown with all these companies…you know, when you’ve got 1,200 employees on three continents and eight different industries, what are the chances of somebody screwing up, right now? They are basically 100%. Somebody is doing something that’s not going to work and it’s not that people don’t care, it’s not that they’re not dedicated, it’s just that there are so many moving parts in my life. And so, the more people I care about, the more chance that somebody is upset or sad or hurt or worried, and if you care about people, it never stops. And so, I realized I was experiencing stress and frustration and was overwhelmed at times, along with my joy and ecstasy and happiness and gratitude. So I just said, “well, that is part of the process.” And, what I decided a year and a half ago is…it’s not. And part of that is how to deal with it, you know.

Sri Bhagavan, who created Oneness, is a dear, dear friend of mine. And I’ve had these beautiful experiences of spiritual states being around him. But, the states were magnificent, but it’s like…how do you create the consistency? I just began to look around and say, “my happiness is too cheap.” I give up my happiness because someone didn’t do what he or she is supposed to do. No, if your only way to be happy is if everybody in your life is going to do what they’re supposed to do, and your version of what they’re supposed to do, then you’re definitely never going to stay happy, especially if you’ve got a lot of people. So, I realized, I’m always going to have these upsets.

There are always these challenges to come back to. So what I’ve got to do is just decide I’m going to enjoy, no matter what happens, and I think that’s the most important decision of your life. You know, my friend

Krishnaji, talks about (the idea that) there are only two states. I’ve always talked about peak states and low states or high energy—energy-rich experiences or energy-poor experiences, ‘cause your energy is everything. My friend Krishnaji…I like the way he likens this to (the idea that) there are two states: empowering and dis-empowering states, like I would normally say. He said there are suffering states and there are beautiful states of being, and I like the language of it. It’s different and it made me think, you know? Suffering…I don’t suffer. But I thought, “isn’t anything other than a beautiful state a form of suffering?” I mean, if you’re frustrated, you’re angry, you’re overwhelmed, or you’re stressed…you’re not present for the people you love during that time and it doesn’t give you a better solution. But, if there’s a problem, if you’re in a beautiful state, a beautiful state doesn’t just happen, this beautiful state could be driven or creative or feeling playful or curious or a sense of awe.

There are just so many beautiful states to be in, so it’s not like you have to be happy every moment. You get all this beautiful diversity, but in both states, if there’s a problem to solve, you’re going to find it much better than if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and fearful or disappointed or depressed or whatever people are feeling. So, I just decided to draw a line in the sand and say, “you know what?…I’m going to live in a beautiful state of being every day!” And Krishnaji…I really liked his language. It really appealed to me because everyone is teaching the same thing on suffering. There are so many teachers, talking about how we create suffering in the mind, and then we feel it in our bodies and our hearts. But what I liked was the idea—he said have a spiritual vision.

A spiritual vision is to live in a beautiful state. Most people have a vision for their business, they have a vision for their intimate life, hopefully, their personal life, their religious life, but really, do they have a spiritual vision? And, the idea that by living in a beautiful state, your whole life is changed and you change the lives of everyone else, I find to be really true. So, if you were to ask me before if I had a beautiful life, I would have said, “yes I have a beautiful life,” but the difference is, it’s like business; if you measure something once a year, you’re going to have bad years. If you are going to measure it once a month, the worst you can have is a bad month because you have 12 times to make it better.

When I’ve taken over companies, I’ve learned to measure some aspects three times a day from the beginning. Because the more you measure it, the better you get at it. The more you know what the truth is, the truth sets you free…you make new choices, and you can shift things. The more times you shift, the closer you get to where you want to be faster, so it used to be if you asked me if I had a beautiful life, I’d look at my life as a whole…a magnificent life. Now, I look at it moment to moment and if I’m suffering, which everybody does, it comes up like the sun, I just kill it while it’s little. I kill it while…I don’t wait until it’s Godzilla taking the city, I kill that little bastard when it’s just starting to show up…when I’m just feeling that little bit of tension inside and, you know, I breathe inside, I come back to the center of my being and I just release it and let it go and trust that there’s something deeper and richer in the experience. I start to appreciate something around me. I learn something. I grow.

I focus on love, which to me is an action, what I’m grateful for and the energy goes away. In fact, the more you do it, the better you get. I’ve found, in the last year and a half, my wife and I at least, as great as our relationship was and as great as our life was, the level of joy has multiplied ten-fold—that would be a minimum. My wife would probably tell you a hundred-fold and I don’t think she would be exaggerating, just because we don’t have those pauses in between that inevitably are always there. It’s like, oh, this is so great, oh, but this happened, oh, but that happened. And so, I tell people the most important decision of your life is not what you are going to eat for dinner tonight, although that’s pretty damn important because it will affect your physical destiny; I believe the most important decision you will ever make is who you spend your time with, because who you spend time with is who you become, whether it’s your wife, family, or co- workers.

The most important decision is, are you going to live in a state of happiness or a beautiful state for the rest of your life no matter what? Not, “I’ll live in a beautiful state, I’ll be happy, unless my wife leaves me.” Well, if she leaves you then you’re not really committed to being in a beautiful state. It’s like, oh…I’m going to be happy as long as my health is good. I mean, I got tested on this as I shared with you off audio just recently because you know, as I developed all this beautiful state approaches to things and I’ve been really living it and then life of course throws you a bigger challenge, like severe spinal stenosis and nerve pain down my arm at a level just under 10.999 where you can’t breathe, you can’t sleep, you can’t do anything and I haven’t learned how to separate pain from suffering. The pain is what’s going through my body; the suffering is, how could this have happened to me after all that I’ve done?…oh, my God, how am I going to survive this?…oh, my God, what’s going to happen to me? The story is the suffering. The pain is a different piece. You can deal with pain.

So, I’ve had a chance to practice it and it’s given me, as life always does, a chance to live something even more intense because I know if I can figure this out, then I can help millions of other people. So, that’s the direction that I’m heading in my life now. What’s even more so, is helping people find that beautiful state in every moment of their life and not accept, not tolerate all those other emotions. You know, we all get what we tolerate and if you tolerate feeling pissed off or frustrated over people not doing what they’re supposed to do…well, you’re going to be feeling those feelings all the time. So, now I know when I go to my email or my text, I know, you know, in a few hours there will be lots of other new challenges. But, it’s like, well that’s what I’m made for…I solve those challenges and it’s kind of fun and what are they going to be today? Instead of thinking they shouldn’t be there.

My biggest message to people is: The biggest problem you’ll have is that you’ll think you’re not supposed to have them. Problems are a sign of life, problems cause us to grow, problems basically provide the stimulation for the greatest expansion in our spirit and our soul…if we don’t just let them hurt ourselves. It’s like pain…you know, pain is a sign to get you to move into action, not to suffer. But most of us take pain and just suffer and try to manage it.

DAVID: Right, I realized for me it’s the mind that kind of starts all that stuff. As soon as that thought starts that is not really serving me, not really serving the moment and not serving this blissful state, I just say, “I love you David.” Out loud, if I can, and the thought goes away.

TONY: That’s really cool.


David Welch: is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of AWAKEN.com. He is the Producer of the award-winning movie “Peaceful Warrior” and a member of the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild. David is a master practitioner of Neuro-linguistic programming, a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and has a continuous, committed and daily yoga, meditation and Qi gong practice.
Source: AWAKEN


“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” ~Wayne Dyer

One day, I was complaining about not having enough days off to escape work and treat myself to a vacation. I was feeling stressed and tired. I can recall my stepfather looking into my eyes with a deep sense of peace and compassion.

“I hear you,” he said. “I know you work hard. Sometimes, I imagine myself jumping out of bed and going for a walk, whenever I want to.”

His words came like thunder. It was a wake-up call to remind me how blessed I was and how much I was taking it for granted, as if nothing was ever enough. And there he was, my stepfather, trapped in a wheelchair by a severe form of multiple sclerosis, dreaming of a nice walk in nature. That day, he was my teacher.

For too many years, I spent a lot of my precious time complaining. I thought I never had enough time, money, or love.

Many of us get stuck in the habit of projecting our happiness into an imaginary future instead of living in the only reality that is, the present moment. We often think thoughts like:

The day I get married, I will be happy.

The day I can afford a bigger house, I will be happy.

The day I make x amount of money, I will be happy.

Looking back on my life, I came to realize that I didn’t know how to be happy. I continuously kept myself busy, always running somewhere so I could achieve more or better. Turning my happiness into a project and waiting for “the big things” to happen so I could finally feel joyful and satisfied.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was a rat racer. Here’s what I mean by that:

In his book Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar (a Harvard professor, leading researcher, and author) defines four different happiness archetypes:

Nihilism

Nihilists have lost their joy in life, both present and future. They find no pleasure in their work or private life and expect no future benefits or rewards. They’ve given up and resigned to their fate.

Hedonism

Hedonists live for the moment and give little or no thought to future consequences and plans. Because they feel unchallenged by future goals or a purpose, they are often unfulfilled.

Rat Racing

The rat race archetype often sacrifices current pleasures and benefits in anticipation of some future rewards. This is likely the most familiar archetype to many of us (continuously setting new goals, never pleased, always busy).

It doesn’t mean that setting clear goals for the future is a bad practice. We all need a purpose and a clear vision. If we don’t even know what we want, how could we ever get that? The problem occurs when we attach our happiness to future outcomes without being able to see and appreciate what’s already good in our lives.

Rat racing is all about hunting for happiness, chasing an illusion, and never feeling content. The more we achieve, the more we want: another house, another car, another job, or more money.

Happiness

True happiness comes from keeping a healthy balance between the present and the future. It’s when we are capable of enjoying both the journey and the destination, focusing on today’s gifts, as well as our dreams, goals, and desires.

“Happiness is not about making it to the peak of the mountain nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain; happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.” ~Tal Ben-Shahar

The day I shifted my perception from stressed to blessed, everything changed. Here’s what I have learned and what worked well for me:

1. Happiness is a verb.

Research has shown that happiness is 50 percent connected to our genes, only 10 percent attributed to life circumstances, and 40 perfect correlated with our thoughts and behaviors. That’s why happiness is not a noun; it’s a verb. For those of us who are mentally healthy, it’s an attitude, a continuous inside job.

Many people are afraid to be happy, since they could lose it one day, and they let their worries ruin their joy.

I cultivate optimism and trust the flow of life. I shift my focus from what could go wrong to what could go right. Whatever I fear, it hasn’t happened yet. I embrace my future with the genuine curiosity of a child, and I choose to believe that something wonderful is waiting around the corner—that we live in a supportive Universe where everything unfolds perfectly, and things happen for my highest good.

If I see life with negativity, fearing that bad things could happen to me, my actions will likely attract the very things I’m trying to avoid. I’ve stopped letting my mind play with me and stress me with unnecessary fears, worries, and concerns about things that haven’t happen yet.

I nourish my mind with healthy thoughts, like this one:

“Life loves me. All is well in my world, and I am safe.” ~Louise Hay

2. I sweeten my life, every day.

I have seen that many beautiful moments and small pleasures come at a low cost or even for free.

If I don’t have time for my hobbies, I make it. I read a good book or watch a fun movie that brings me the joy and laughter.

I gather with non-judgmental people who love me just the way I am. The mere act of having a good conversation over a cup of coffee charges me with a high dose of positive energy.

I go for nice walks in the park and connect with nature.

I play with my dog.

I sometimes light a candle or some nice smelling incense. (Jasmine is my favorite.) It stimulates my creativity and makes me feel good.

I’ve stopped waiting for the VIP moments of the year (like my birthday) to embellish my house with fresh flowers.

I have created the habit of drinking water from a wine glass with a slice of lemon in it.

I enjoy my morning coffee from a beautiful cup with a red heart on it, to remind myself that love is all around.

I use the beautiful bed sheets and the nice towels instead of saving them for the guests, just because I’m worth it.

“Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift; that’s why we call it present.” ~Unknown

3. I grow dreams, not regrets.

The need for stability and security (including on a financial level) is a basic human need. No wonder we start rat racing if we don’t have enough money! But what is “enough”? Isn’t that a subjective qualifier, based on our individual needs and expectations?

I have met many wealthy people who were unhappy because their ego always wanted to get more or better. It’s like when we think, “Okay, I’ve got this house now, but when I can move my family into a bigger one, I will finally be happy.”

Another reason we project happiness into the future pertains to limiting (often culturally inherited) beliefs around money that keep us stuck in a survival mode.

Take my example: Years ago, I used to work in China. I lived in a beautiful compound in downtown Shanghai, all paid for by my company, and I was single, with no loans, debt, or financial commitments. It all looked wonderful, but deep inside, I was so unhappy!

I knew I always wanted to travel the world and meet people from different cultures. I had enough money to afford that, and still, I was so afraid of spending! Even today I am thankful to the good friend who insisted on me following her on a trip, because that’s how I finally managed to break that wall.

You see, I was raised in an Eastern-European middle-class family. As a child, I often saw my parents saving money for the “black days” of their pension years (the time when one would not earn a salary and could potentially “start starving.”) As a result, I followed the same behavior once I started to make my own money.

So here’s what I’ve learned: I won’t spend my precious younger years saving everything for my retirement. Saving money is a form of self-care, and something I currently do. However, I know I won’t die with my savings account, and I won’t look back on my life with regrets once I’m older. I invest in myself and in my learning, and I spend part of my money on experiences, making sure I gather more precious memories than material things.

“You will never regret what you do in life. You will only regret what you don’t do.” ~Wayne Dyer

4. I do what I love and love what I do.

We spend the majority of our lives at work. So if we’re not happy with our jobs, we’re not happy with most of life—another reason some of us start rat racing and hoping for something different.

Too many people live their precious lives in survival mode, like robots. Frustrated or drained on Monday mornings and looking forward to the weekends so that they can feel alive. When we’re happy with our work, there’s nothing wrong with Monday mornings.

If you find yourself stuck in a job you don’t like, know that you always have a choice to step outside your comfort zone and work toward something new. It may not be easy to change careers, especially if you have limited education and people depending on you. But it’s possible to do something you believe in, something that brings you genuine joy and fulfillment.

The key is to work toward that something new while also cultivating joy in your daily life so you don’t fall into the trap of waiting for the future to be happy; and also, to remind yourself that no matter what happens, even if your circumstances are never ideal, you can still be happy.

“The most important two days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” ~Mark Twain

5. I stay away from perfection.

To me, being a rat racer felt exhausting. I didn’t know how to have fun and relax. I was too busy trying to be perfect and do everything perfectly. It was tiring, and it made me feel like I was never good enough or worthy of the best things life had to offer.

Even when I transitioned into the job of my dreams, I was still unhappy. I kept thinking:

“The day I get to make that much money a month, I will be happy.”

“The day I know everything about this job, I will be happy.”

You see, even people who love what they do can be rat racers, if they are struggling with the need for perfection.

Today, I aim for progress instead of perfection, and I enjoy each step of my professional journey, celebrating every new lesson and every kind of achievement, no matter how big or small.

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never feel content.” ~Lev Tolstoi

6. I mind my own journey.

Another thing that keeps us trapped in rat racing is the behavior of comparing ourselves to others—the money we’re making, the status at work, the house we live in, and so on.

I now know everyone is on their own journey, and each time I dedicate moments of my life comparing, I find myself in someone else’s territory, not mine. It’s like trying to live in their story and life experience instead of my own.

I’ve come to understand that when I shift my focus and attention from other people to myself, I suddenly have more time and energy to create good things in my own life. So many people complain about not having enough time for themselves. If you want more time for yourself, mind your own business and see what happens.

“Comparing yourself to others is an act of violence against your authentic self.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

7. I am grateful.

In the past, I rarely said thank you or counted my blessings. Today, I practice gratitude as a morning ritual. I focus on what I have, rather than on what’s missing.

I make sure I start every day being thankful for my health; for having a loving family, a wonderful life partner, and a great job I love; for the creativity flow that helps me write such posts and the opportunity to share my insights and experiences with the world; and for the air I breathe and the sun that caresses my face.

“If the only prayer you ever say is Thank you, that will be enough.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I might not always get what I want, but I know I always get what I need. I see every day as a fresh start, a new opportunity for me to taste more of this juicy experience called living. Life is a precious gift and I intend to spend as much of it happy as possible.

And now, I would like to hear from you. What is your happiness archetype? What makes you truly happy?

About Sara Fabian
Sara Fabian is a women’s empowerment coach and inspirational speaker, on a mission to help professional women to discover their unique strengths, gifts and talents, boost their confidence, find their calling and live a meaningful life of purpose. For weekly inspiration, subscribe to her free newsletter at sarafabiancoaching.com or follow her on Facebook.

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