Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Our quest for happiness

 “Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions”  
Dalai Lama

We are all ultimately on a quest for happiness.  Every decision we take, even subconsciously, is towards happiness and away from pain. When we find happiness, we find our freedom and everything in our lives falls into place.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves why we are not happy if we feel subdued.  The answers for each person will be different but if the answer is money we are on the wrong track – happiness cannot be bought, earned, owned or consumed.  Make a list of things that make you happy and then increase that list from time to time.  There are certain blocks on our mission to happiness that we may need to overcome:
Some people feel that life has been unfair to them – difficult parents, an unadvantaged upbringing or any other obstacle they feel has held them back in their growth.  They may play the role of victim portraying hopelessness.  Well life sometimes is unfair and things do go wrong but we need to recognize that feeling sorry for ourselves does not have to be permanent.  There is a time to recognize self-pity, take control of the feelings and move forward.                                                              
We may lose loved ones or our jobs or our possessions during our lives.  Sadness and grief is human nature but time changes things.  In times of trial, gratitude can lift us out of our despair.  We become so used to the simple things in life like a roof over our heads and food to eat that we take them for granted. Sometimes it is good to write down what we have to be thankful for.  If we start appreciating all the good things around us, we start to show an attitude of gratitude and feel a lot happier within ourselves.
Unrealistic goals
It is a good practice to make goals within our reach but pressures from peers or social demands can make us be unrealistic.  The more money we make and the higher up the social ladder we climb, the more we expect of ourselves.  Life can become overwhelming if we set our standards too high.  Happiness is only achieved now in the present moment.  Making long term goals for materialistic things does not take into account our happiness. It is more important to do whatever it takes to be happy right now. So take each day as if comes and start living in the moment.         
Often we have turned down opportunities or invitations because we are not in the mood or do not want to get out of our comfort zone.  We need to start saying “Yes” more and open up to the flow of life.  Whatever emotion is holding us back from taking a simple walk to attending a work function, we need to acknowledge it and say “Yes”.  If we ever feel stuck in a rut, start saying “Yes” to more in life – do it for just one week and see what a difference it makes. 
Have you ever woken up and said to yourself “Today is going to be a lousy day?”  The chances are it will be.  Your intention sets your direction.  Rather ask yourself “What is my intention for today?”  If you change your beliefs about certain things, life will become much clearer and easier. If you need to write an article for example, make it your intention that it will be a good one – the chances are you will get it done quicker and it will be good.  A positive belief system and good intentions is sometimes more powerful than the law of attraction and much simpler.  It is a good starting point regardless to get on the right path to happiness and self-fulfillment. 
Holding onto the past
We often have mental blockages from the past.  We have to let go of feelings we have become attached to which no longer serve us now.  We are not our emotions – fear, resentment or anger is an energy that passes through us and not part of what we are.  Once we let go of past negative emotions, we can then learn to let them go on demand.  Accept the past, learn from it and resign ourselves to stop worrying about it.  Make a conscious decision to move forward and become more positive.  Happiness will follow.

“When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else”  
Joseph Campbell


I am sure we have all had to make a decision in our lives and somehow we know exactly what the choice must be – almost like a gut feeling.  They say you should always go with that gut feeling and not change your decision because somehow, without knowing how and where it has come from, it is the correct one.   Like creativity, intuitive inspiration most likely happens when we are highly focused on a certain activity in a state of joy and fulfilment.
Most of us have made many intuitive decisions in our lives.  You might meet someone for the first time and know that it is your soul mate or walk into a job interview and just know that is what you want to do.  Finding the exact home you have been looking for is a great example. These decisions can also crop up in a simpler ways like selecting a meal, your next book to read and how to dress for the day.

This is the definition of intuition:
 Immediate insight into a fact or feeling without using any process of reasoning.
The ability to understand something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning.
Intuitive decision making is far more than using common sense because it involves additional sensors to perceive and get aware of the information from outside.  Sometimes it is referred to as sixth sense, inner sense, instinct, inner voice or spiritual guide.   It is related to developing a higher consciousness in order to train these sensors and to make the process of receiving information intuitively a more conscious one.  People who can't accept the existence of such sensors may instead call it tapping into “collective intelligence" or “collective unconscious".

This is what a few famous people have had to say about intuition:
Albert Einstein
Theoretical physicist who is widely considered one of the greatest physicists of all time. Best known for the theory of relativity, Nobel Prize in Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect and "for his services to Theoretical Physics":
“The only real valuable thing is intuition”.
“There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance”.

Alexis Carrel
French surgeon, biologist and eugenicist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine:
“All great men are gifted with intuition. They know without reasoning or analysis, what they need to know”.
“Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality”.

Robert Graves
English poet, scholar, and novelist:
“«Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer”.

Lao Tzu
Ancient Chinese philosopher:
“The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days”.

Anne Wilson Schaef
Writer and lecturer:
“Trusting our intuition often saves us from disaster”.

Andie MacDowell
American screen actress:
“I think women have an innate ability to be intuitive with people that they truly love, but they have to trust that inner voice, and I think it is there. I think we are more intuitive than men”.

I have always wanted to write a book based on my life experiences.  About a month ago, I received an email saying that Steve Harrison and Jack Canfield were doing a webathon on book writing so I signed up.  As the sound was rather bad, I started following the chat at the bottom of the page and someone suggested we all open a Facebook page for authors – I think I was the first one to sign up!
Through this I came to hear of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and thought what a great opportunity to start off writing on a daily basis and get motivated.  So I signed up, rather late, for that.  Strangely enough as I was pondering what to write my next article on, I came across this interesting article I would like to share with you – definitely intuition at play! 

Jack Canfield on Intuition
For most people, early education and training taught us to look out outside of ourselves for the answers to our questions. But we have the answers we need inside. Our unconscious mind is the source of our hidden genius.
Everyone has intuition. Successful people learn to develop this muscle and follow their inner guidance. If you want to leverage your innate wisdom to create greater success, you must learn to tap into your intuition at will.
Recognize When Your Intuition Speaks
To be able to use your intuition, you must able to recognize when it is speaking. Intuition is not loud and demanding. It is subtle and appears differently for different people.
Some people receive messages as visions or images, which can appear in quick flashes or unfold slowly, like a movie. Your intuition might speak to you as a hunch, a thought or in words. You may even find that you are able to dialogue with your intuition to get more information and clarity.
You might notice physical sensations, such as goose bumps, discomfort in your gut, a feeling of relief or a sour taste in your mouth. Others experience intuitive messages through emotions, such as feelings of uneasiness or confusion when their intuition is trying to steer them away from something or, when the message is positive, feelings of euphoria and profound peace. Sometimes intuitive messages are simply a deep sense of knowing and certainty; if you’ve ever said “I felt it in my heart” or “I knew is in the depth of my soul,” chances are it was a message from your intuition.
Deepen Your Intuition
Although intuition is something everyone has, you must cultivate it to receive the maximum benefit. Here are 5 tips to help you access and use your intuition to greater effect.
    Use meditation to deepen your intuition. Regular meditation will help you clear your mind of distractions, as well as teach you how to better recognize the subtle impulses from within. As you become more attuned to your inner world, you’ll be able to more quickly and easily pick out the sound of your higher self or higher power speaking to you through words, images and sensations.
    Make time to listen. Life is busy, and in the rush to achieve our tasks and goals, it’s easy to forget to stop and tune into our higher wisdom.  Your most valuable wisdom comes through when you are open to receiving it. Devote time every day – and even multiple times each day – to consciously giving your intuition centre stage.
    Ask questions. Don’t be passive when communicating with your intuition. Step up and ask for answers to the questions you are struggling with.
    Write down your answers. Intuitive impressions are subtle and can “evaporate” quickly. Neuroscience research indicates that intuitive insights not captured within 37 seconds will likely never be recalled again. Many people find journal writing to be a highly effective way to access their intuition. Try it – you’ll be amazed at the clarity of what comes through.
    Take immediate action. When you act on the information you receive, you’ll find that you get more and more intuitive impulses. After a while, you’ll be living in flow. Intuition works best when we trust it. The more you demonstrate faith in your intuition, the more you will see the results in your life.
Whether you want to make more money, make better decisions, solve problems more quickly, or create winning plans, tuning into your intuition will help you achieve your goals. Trusting your intuition is trusting yourself. The more you trust yourself, the more success you will have.
Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:  www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

Energy Vibrations

"You are a living magnet and you attract into your life the people and the circumstances that are in harmony with your dominant thoughts”  Brian Tracy

When “The Secret” came out, I bought the book and the video.  I had heard of the Law of Attraction before, but Rhonda Byrne and the contributors made a worldwide awareness of how it can work for all of us.  Unfortunately a few people interpreted it as, for example, asking the Universe for a new car or a new house and “bang” it would just appear from the heavens.  When this did not happen, it caused a bit of an outcry as to whether this was just another way of selling a theory to make money that did not work.
Let us look at the definition of the Law of Attraction:
The Law of Attraction refers to the philosophy that likes attract likes and that the energy we release to the Universe is the same energy we attract to our lives.
In recovery we need to change our thoughts and actions to become the person we were meant to be.  Everything is made out of energy – all materialistic things like cars and houses, but also our thoughts.  This has been scientifically proven with quantum physics.  We do not need to concentrate on the materialistic things, but more on ourselves and our feelings and reactions to find true harmony in our lives.
“Power versus Force” is a book written by Dr. David Hawkins.  He created a scale ranging from 1 to 1000 called the Calibrated Scale of Consciousness, by testing the consciousness of people around the world using muscle testing.  In short, the following scale is an idea:


As we can see, negative emotions are at a low conscious level and have a low energy vibration and positive emotions are at a high conscious level and have a high energy vibration.  When we are depressed or suffering from a disease such as substance abuse, our emotions are generally at a low level and we need to raise these to turn our lives around.  Here are some of the things you can do:                                          
Choose your friends carefully
Try hanging out with people who make you feel good about yourself.  If friends keep remarking how useless or incapable you are, it makes you feel unworthy.  Negativity is contagious. When friends are willing to support you and make an effort to raise your spirits, you start feeling better and more positive about yourself.   Oprah said “Be responsible for the energy you bring into a room”.  How you feel effects the people round you – your children, your partner, your work colleagues and your friends.                                               
Let go of the past
When you hold onto a negative past it is like dragging around a ball and chain everywhere you go.  Let go of the ball.  If you have resentments towards certain people for something that has happened in the past, it is now only in your mind.  Forgive others because the only person you are hurting by not forgiving is yourself.  Your time is right now in the present moment so allowing past experiences have power over your mind is generating negative energy.
Generate love
Hurt people, hurt people. Try not to get sucked into arguments – you are allowing others to rent space in your mind.  You are in control of how you react to others in any given moment and no one can make you angry unless you let words upset you.  Remember that whenever someone carries resentment towards you, it is because they are identifying with the illusion of themselves. Of course the opposite also applies, so show love and compassion for those who do not understand you rather than harboring grudges.
Keep an attitude of gratitude
It doesn’t matter how badly we feel, there is always something to feel grateful for.  Count your blessings and it will raise your energy levels to be more positive.  When you are grateful you attract greater things into your life and fear diminishes.
Connect to your Higher Self
One of the best ways to do this is with meditation.  Take some time each day, if only 15 minutes, and find a quiet place on your own and meditate.  This is how we tap into our intuition and gain clarity.  Whether it is listening to soothing music, brainwave entrainment, mantras or just silence – we find answers to our problems and the solutions to turn things around for us.  It is in these times that we are at peace with ourselves, attract tranquility and feel serenity.

Friday, 27 July 2012

I have been tagged!

As a participant in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I’ve been tagged.  I think this is a great way to get to know our fellow bloggers.  As it is nearing the end of the challenge, here is your chance to ask 11 others any questions that you are pondering!  Thank you, Steph Nickel, creator of http://stephseclecticinterests.wordpress.com/
The Rules of Tagged
1. Post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you in his/her post.
3. Create 11 new questions to ask those you tag.
4. Tag 11 people on the Facebook page with a link to this post.

My answers to Stephanie’s  questions:
1. What was your very first blog post about?
    My lessons in sobriety               
2. Why did you decide to participate in UBC?
    To get me motivated to write on a daily basis
3. Do you belong to any other FB writing groups? Which ones?
    Successful Authors Group (closed group)
    Aspiring Authors (closed group)
4. If you could make a living pursuing just one type of writing, what would it be?
    Self-help books
5. What is your favourite social network and why?
    Facebook – I connect with all my friends and follow motivating people
6. What is your favourite time of year and why?
    Spring – winter is over and nature comes alive
7. Do you absolutely love to do something that isn’t writing-related? What would that be?
     Listening to music – relaxing and soothing
8. What do you do when you want to take a break?
    Listen to speaker tapes, teleseminars, housework and cooking
9. What’s the single best piece of advice you ever received?
10. If you had to move to a different country, which would you choose? Why?
      USA or Canada – my recovery family is there
11. What one word would you use to describe your life today?

My Questions:
1.    Why do you write?
2.    What time of day is the best for writing for you and why?
3.    What topics do you write about?
4.    How has the UBC changed your life?
5.    Who is your favourite author and why?
6.    What other interests do you have besides writing?
7.    What is your life purpose?
8.    What is the most important principle in life for you?
9.    What is your favourite quotation?
10.  What annoys you the most?
11.  If you were asked to interview one person, past or present, who would it be?

The 11 Bloggers of my choice:
Angie Hottentots-Laurel - http://dailyhottentots.wordpress.com/
Nanette Levin - http://nanettelevin.com/

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sunshine time

I am really privileged to receive the sunshine award from Miss Riki – what a surprise.  I joined UBC after the first week – better late than never – and have loved the challenge of learning to set up a blog.  Writing daily has kept me motivated and I really want to try and keep it up until the next one in September – I think?  I never have a chance to read everyone’s posts so this award gave me the chance to check out a lot more bloggers and their contributions.  What a great way to keep our minds active and to share our thoughts with others who really care.  Thank you so much Riki Cleveland – if I could pass it on to you I would.  Please check out her blog here:  http://missriki.com/

This award comes with a few very simple guidelines:
  1. Post the award on your blog with a link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 10 given questions below.
  3. Nominate and link to 10 fellow bloggers to pass along the honor.
  4. Don’t’ forget to comment on your honoree’s blogs to share the love!

Who is your favorite philosopher?
Albert Einstein

What is your favorite number?
I have three – 3, 4 and 7 – for luck I choose:

What is your favorite animal?
I love all animals but if I have to choose it will be dogs:
Here is my little monster:

What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?

What is your favorite time of day?
Sunrise with a cup of tea:


What is your favorite vacation?
I don’t get the chance to go on vacation
I would love to go to the states and meet my recovery friends

What is your favorite physical activity?
I have peripheral vascular disease in my legs so I am not too good with exercise
So I would say in summer - swimming
And whenever the mood grabs me - dancing

What’s your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
TAB which is the same as diet coke without the caffeine

What’s your favorite flower?
Roses – preferably yellow

What is your passion?
Reading and writing

The 10 Bloggers To Whom I Bestow The Sunshine Award:

Get off that pity pot

   “If you don’t like something, change it.   If you can’t change it,
change your attitude.”   Maya Angelou

It has been one of those days.  I really could have stayed in bed this morning and slept this flu away but I was woken up by the dogs barking and the sound of lawnmowers – garden service day, oh no!  So I dragged my sorry butt out of bed and decided to go to the pharmacy.
Now being an alcoholic and buying over the counter medication is another story.  You have to check for no alcohol in the cough mixture and no codeine in the tablets.  Then when she hands you the medicine and you spend hours checking all the ingredients, more than likely you have to complain that one of them is addictive.  So, putting up with strange glances from the people in the queue behind you, you have to explain why you cannot take it!
Back home with the little energy left and the dogs still yapping at the mowers, I proceeded to do the housework.  My thoughts went back to the old days when a hot toddy with a large dash of brandy in it was the best cure for colds and the little bottles of Swedish herbs all preserved in an even larger dose of alcohol was the cure for stomach ailments.  Then I start going down that dreaded path of self-pity and questioning why this all had to happen to me, me, me!
When the mowers had finished and the dogs settled down and I can hear, I sit down at the computer and through bleary eyes start reading my emails.  I keep reminding myself that I need to write two articles today but I put that off.  Then I start thinking about what I am going to say when the boss comes home and asks the same question he always does “So what have you done today – made any money?”  Gosh that puts me into even more of a mood and I think either I am going to scream back at him “Made the beds, washed the dishes, cleaned the house, picked up your dirty laundry, made your supper and no I didn’t make money” or casually ignore him and burst into tears.  I can’t say I am not feeling well because us females are just expected to carry on regardless remember?     
Then this picture catches my eye.  I start to realize how pathetic and ungrateful I have been all day.  I have a roof over my head, I have a bed to make, I have dishes to wash, I have clothes to launder, I have a computer and a car - and there are so many people out there in this world with nothing.  It is okay to feel poorly but get over it.  
Sometimes we let our attitudes get the better of us and we need to realize that the world does not just revolve around us. Feelings are only a reaction to our thoughts.  Thoughts can be changed and so in turn reactions will change.  Everything in this world happens for a reason.  Perhaps the Universe is trying to tell me to take a break, slow down and rest.  I have learned that I can start my day over any time I need to and I feel better already. 
So here is my article for today and the best thing of all is I am grateful and still sober.   

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance 
appears.”   Anthony Robbins