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December 9, 2018 / deepaklodhia

Life’s journey

Our individual journeys take us into many unexpected situations where we encounter a wide variety of people–some quite like ourselves and some very different. We cannot anticipate these meetings, but we can make the most of them when they take place. When we are courteous as a matter of course and open-minded in our assessment of the individuals whose lives briefly touch our own, we are more apt to stumble upon surprising gems of wisdom that open our eyes to new worlds of possibility. Every person we meet can affect us profoundly, just as every situation we find ourselves in can teach us something new. 

To fully embrace this fact, it is essential that we acknowledge that everyone is valuable in their own way and capable of expanding our horizons. Since we never know when we will happen upon those individuals who will unveil truths before us, we should extend to all people the same generous level of kindness, care, compassion, and understanding. When we assume everyone we meet is special and treat them as such, we can develop a strong rapport quickly. By making an effort to adopt a positive attitude toward others at all times, we ensure that our emotions do not blind us to wisdom that may be lurking in difficult or distressing situations. We are accordingly receptive to knowledge that comes to us in the form of examples, advice, and direct teaching. 

These brief relationships ultimately have the potential to enrich our lives in a very concrete way. But the wisdom we gain is proportional to the attention we pay to the world around us. The responsibility is on us to maintain a state of awareness that allows us to recognize when we are in the presence of someone consciously or unconsciously in possession of knowledge that will change us significantly. When we are cognizant of the potential for unexpected enlightenment, we make a habit of turning strangers into friends, thus ensuring that we are never without a font of wisdom from which to draw.

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December 7, 2018 / deepaklodhia

So what are your intentions?

We tend to associate the energy of intent with complicated or profoundly meaningful actions that require our full attention and effort in order to succeed. For example, walking a tightrope, taking a test, and taking a vow are all tasks that call us to be fully present and single-minded. However, intent can also be applied to everyday events, like eating breakfast or going to work. In fact, everything we do benefits from the presence of intent, which has the power to transform seemingly mundane tasks into profound experiences. You only have to try it to find out. 

Intent is one of the cornerstones of the Zen tradition of Buddhism in which monks work for years to develop the stillness and sharpness of mind to do only one thing at a time. Most of the time we are doing one thing and thinking of something else, or even doing three things at the same time, such as talking on the phone, doing dishes, and boiling water for tea. There is nothing inherently wrong with multitasking, which seems necessary at times, especially in the midst of family life. However, balancing this with a healthy dose of intentional activity can provide valuable insight into the benefits of doing one thing at a time, being fully present with whatever the task at hand happens to be. 

From the moment we wake up, we can apply intent to our situation by simply saying to ourselves, “I am aware that I am now awake.” We can use this simple tool throughout our day, saying, “I am aware that I am driving to work.” “I am aware that I am making dinner.” Or even, “I am aware that I am breathing.” As we acknowledge what we are doing in these moments, we come alive to our bodies and to the world, owning our actions instead of habitually performing them. We may realize how often we act without intention and how this disengages us from reality. Applying the energy of intent to even one task a day has the power to transform our lives. Just imagine what would happen if we were able to apply that power to our entire day.

December 1, 2018 / deepaklodhia

The bigger picture

Most of us are adept at seeing the big picture. Caught up in the hectic pace of modern life, we feel compelled to immediately distinguish what is important from what is not. The assessment is an easy one to make when we are mired in the daily grind–everything relating to success seems significant and everything else seems comparatively trivial. But what is most precious in this life cannot be measured in affluence or influence. The truly noteworthy events in our lives are often the least momentous yet the most wonderful. They are the magical moments in which we are simply awestruck by the wonderment of life. Though our perception of magical moments may be blocked by worldly concerns, our days are filled with such moments. To experience them fully, we need only open ourselves to their existence. 

Magical moments are not measured by the composition of an experience but rather by our reaction to it. Since such moments come and go quickly, they should be consciously savored and noted. They stick with us only when we recognize the impact they have had on our mood, our day, and our lives. In such instances, we may find we are suddenly and blissfully aware that we have evolved or that those around us have changed in some positive way. We may stand in awe at the beauty of a familiar object or derive great pleasure from an everyday activity. Or we may witness incidents of supreme kindness and compassion that do not directly involve us yet touch our hearts intensely. Nature is a constant source of magical moments. When we cherish such occurrences, we condition ourselves to take note of them when they happen and appreciate the value they add to our lives. 

An idea for increasing your awareness of the magical moments in your life is to record all such happenings in a journal kept for that purpose. As these moments are personal, your journal can be a documentation of small joys or a testimony of grand revelations. You may begin to notice that there is more magic in your life than you initially imagined. In striving to make the most of each of these magical moments, you grant yourself permission to experience new levels of joy, surprise, tenderness, and personal fulfillment.

November 27, 2018 / deepaklodhia

Friends and heartbreak

When we are going through a difficult time, we may hesitate to call even our best friends because we don’t want to burden them with our troubles. This can be especially true if we’ve been going through a series of challenges, and we’re starting to feel as if we sound like a broken record. It is important to remember that at times like these our friends sincerely want to be there for us whenever they can. We can always check with them to make sure it’s a good time for them before we start talking, and if it’s not a good time, we can call back at another time, or call another friend.  

We know for ourselves that when we have a good friend, we don’t want them to suffer alone when we are just a phone call away. We want them to call us and share their sorrows with us, as well as their joys, because this is what sharing a life through friendship is about. It is at our lowest points that we really need to rely on our friends without worrying that we are a burden. If you are feeling self-conscious about having a tough time, you can bring this fact into the conversation by acknowledging it. Chances are your friend will reassure you that she is happy to be there for you. In fact, rather than feeling taxed, most of us feel better when we have helped a friend simply by listening empathically while they share their feelings. 

Without our friends, we would be hard pressed to get through the tough times and celebrate the good ones. If we leave our friends out of our process when the going gets tough, our friendships can begin to feel shallow. On the other hand, when we include our friends in the full story of our life–the good, the bad, and the ugly–we build authentic relationships in which we can be who we truly are. When we do this, we invite our friends to bring their whole selves to the relationship as well.

November 27, 2018 / deepaklodhia

Brexit – Certainty or Uncertainty- how does it effect your business?

Though much human fear is based on uncertainty, foreknowledge does not always ease the mind. It is often when our futures look brightest that our resolve crumbles and we veer off course. We can recognize that success is on the horizon, but we cannot discern how it will impact our lives. Because success can affect us in complex and unpredictable ways, taking us out of the status quo and pushing us into new circumstances that test our limits, the mere idea of attaining the life of our dreams can shake us to the core. Fear of the future is often closely intermingled with the fear that growing into your own potential will both change you irrevocably and force you to face situations for which you aren’t ready. It is normal to unconsciously project ahead into the future and see success as a great weight bearing down on you. It is important to remember, however, that all the life changes the future will bring will be implemented into your life slowly and gradually. 

When we visualize the future, we tend to focus on outcomes rather than the steps we will take to reach those conclusions. Thus, we may forget that growth is progressive. Your soul longs to fulfill its purpose–a purpose you agreed to in the timelessness in which you existed before your birth. Because of this, neither you nor the universe will set any circumstance before you that you are not capable of handling. Fear of the future can paralyze you, preventing you from living in the moment and from working toward your goals in a mindful manner. The key to conquering this fear lies in awareness. When you can identify the irrational thoughts that frighten you, you can replace them with logical, self-affirming ideas. If you are afraid that you won’t be satisfied when you accomplish a certain goal, remember that no one achievement represents an end in and of itself. And if you fear recognition or feel unworthy, consider that even now you are deserving of praise. 

Should fear of the future strike you as you strive to create, to excel, to grow, and to evolve, assert your courage. Assume that your fear is based on a false assumption and quell it with facts. Try to disregard past patterns and focus on the present by stilling the inner voice that comments critically on all you do. Tell yourself that the inevitability of your success is based not on luck or a universal mistake but on your already established talents, drive, imagination, and inner strength. Each time you overcome your fear of the future, you chip away at its very foundations. Eventually, you will clear a gap through which you can gaze upon the future with unhindered optimism.

November 9, 2018 / deepaklodhia

Finding Grace in what …..

Grace is always with us. It flows like a river through our lives, artfully reminding us that there is magic and power beyond what our eyes can see. At times we catch its subtle beauty, like during chance meetings, near misses, and insights that seem to come from nowhere. Other times we experience grace in all its powerful surety such as when a job or relationship comes to an end. Though we may forget that this is grace at work too, it is indeed influencing our lives, helping us to move forward and take the next step. Grace exists in all situations, in every moment, yet all too often we may overlook its presence. 

Imagine how it would feel to live an entire day in grace, to fully appreciate that your day is unfolding in absolute perfection. Whereas usually you might miss the magic in ordinary events and interactions, on this day you would recognize them all as little miracles. Perhaps you could begin with your first deep breaths in the morning, becoming aware that there is an abundant supply of air for you to breathe. Your lungs know just how to carry oxygen to your blood, and your blood knows where to carry it from there. This is grace at work. You might appreciate the brilliant sunshine, the warm summertime rain, or the possibilities for learning that greet you at every turn. You might notice the ease with which you do your job or laugh with a close friend. These things are also grace. Even laying your head down at the end of this day and resting in the stillness of night is grace. 

With each opportunity you give yourself to enjoy this current of benevolence, you may discover a deeper peace. Your faith may strengthen and your heart may open. You might begin to wonder if struggle is really all that necessary after all. By living this one day in grace, you might open the door to many more.

November 1, 2018 / deepaklodhia

Still making a difference

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