Coffee Date with Luna: Flowers in the Garden

Hello everyone and welcome to another Coffee Date with Luna! 

We have not had a little chat for a long time now. How are you all doing? 

There was one of my posts called Embrace your Insecurities where I discussed my insecurities and body image issues with all of you and today I want to discuss the thing that has an impact on our insecurities which is the Instagram girl. 

For all of you that are on Instagram or are familiar with it, you already saw in your mind a certain picture of a girl when you read the words Instagram girl. It’s the perfect, polished girl with big boobs, small waist, huge ass, tiny legs, Kylie Jenner lips and perfect hair. And girls like that exist in real life, but these that we see on social media, for the most part, only exist on social media and no one would recognize them in real life. I know there’s an equivalent for this girl in the male world and I suppose it’s the rich guy who drives a fancy car and has a 6pack. Correct me if I am wrong.  

I am not going to discuss in depth the impact this has on men’s and women’s body issues and eating disorders but I just want to talk about the fact that we are trying to destroy the most natural thing we have in the world and that’s diversity. Why is everyone trying to look the same? 

Have you ever come across a person that has made an impact on the world and read something along the lines of “s(he) looked, talked, walked and thought just like everyone else”? The answer to that is no because trying to be a clone of pop culture is suffocating your creativity and bringing desperation to your life. 

There is so much beauty in diversity but we are trying our best to pretend it’s not there or we have just become blind to it from years of following imposed beauty standards. Everyone can agree that nature is beautiful, but it’s beautiful because of its diversity, colors etc. If every flower was trying to look like the other flower, we would have one flower and our garden would look boring. Why are we trying to look boring?! 

I understand that people go under the knife or have cosmetic procedures done because they are insecure. I thought about stuff like that and stuff I would like to change but then I stop and ask myself – Is it worth it? Maybe in a few years, I will change my mind about this but for now, my 24 years old brain is getting really tired of this clone culture that social media created. 

When I filmed my first Youtube video I noticed that my face was very asymmetrical but I thought it was because I was filming on my phone. Then I filmed my second Youtube video with my new camera and realized that my face indeed is asymmetrical. I was trying to determine if it was the lightning, the angle or something that made my face look like that and then I realized that in reality one of my eyes is a bit bigger than the order, one side of my lips is plumper than the other and one part of my jaw was a bit “chubbier” than the other. And that’s fucking okay. Instead of believing what social media is telling me I need to look like, I will rather listen to science that has confirmed human bodies are asymmetrical and that’s perfectly fine and NATURAL. 

With the world we live in, it’s very hard to just love yourself and be there for yourself when the media is trying to tell you that you look/sound/talk the wrong way and that you are eating the wrong things and that your body is not the way it should be. Even if some find it superficial, having an honest talk about body insecurities and how social media exacerbated them is necessary. I don’t want to dive into these types of topics because I didn’t research them yet, but with the development of social media, there was a rise in suicide and more teens were entering different mental health institutions. Is this what we want?  

Embracing yourself and the way you are different, gives your body, face and soul the dignity and respect the world has been trying to take away from it. Let’s just find the beauty in diversity again and go back to nature from which we came and to which we belong. Remember: no flower is the same in the garden. 

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna 

Last Coffee Date: Recognize your patterns
Youtube videos: Luna’s channel
Latest Poem: Poem #343

Coffee Date with Luna: Addicted to the Noise

Hello everyone!

I rose from the dead, here I am actually blogging on my own blog. My last few weeks have been quite interesting and when I say interesting, I mean numbingly painful but I am still working through that bullshit. When I say that I rose from the dead I mean it.

Forgot to say, welcome to another Coffee Date with Luna. Depending on when I actually publish this, might be time for warm milk before bedtime with Luna, but that’s beside the point.

Growing up in domestic violence (what a lovely way to start a blog post), you cannot function in silence or in a lot of noise which is more common for such environment. When there was noise, when we were fighting or my father was chasing us around the house trying to beat us, I heard something and I knew that everyone was alive and conscious if they were speaking. Silence would sometimes be comforting, especially on those rare night when I wouldn’t go to bed listening to my father’s drunk rants about how he’s going to burn the house down while we sleep in it. But there’s this other thing that you start fearing about silence and it’s silence itself. I would often catch myself enjoying some moments of peace and quiet to only then be awaken by the thought that someone is hurt or that my father randomly fell somewhere while he was drunk and broke his neck. Yes people, welcome to my childhood thoughts. Don’t worry, he is still alive and back then he was mostly sleeping on the couch or the floor because he was too drunk to make it to bed.

This fear of silence made me into a person that constantly has to have noises around me. While I was living alone in Zadar, I always had music playing in the background or the TV was on. If I was going to the store, I had my headphones in. I had a playlist for bedtime. Music would be playing while I would get ready in the morning or while I was under the shower. And this routine continued.

Do you know what this does to you? It takes away your time to self-reflect and think about your problems and fears by constantly distracting your brain. I do not know how to be in silence or allow my brain to just process situations. I let everything build up inside of me until I become so emotionally unstable that I get depressed. And you want to know something? YOU ALL FUCKING DO IT AS WELL.

We live in a climate where we are encouraged to constantly be distracted by all types of shit. Our phones are always buzzing with notifications, there’s always someone talking, there’s always a new show to watch, news to keep up with etc. We all suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). We are so caught up in this era of smart devices and constant noises that we forget about the whole world that’s inside each and every one of us.

I finished reading G. Steinem’s book called Revolution from Within. There’s a part where she speaks about people being healed emotionally and physically by coming back to nature. Do you know what nature is? Quiet. When was the last time when I enjoyed spending time in nature? When I was a kid, I used to run around and climb trees because being on a high tree with the fear of falling and breaking something was safer than being inside my house. Ever since I was liberated from domestic abuse, I gravitated towards the city, the noise, the constant distractions. The only thing that changes this for me is the proximity of the sea. I have a very special bond with the sea but I don’t spend much time on the seaside.

What I’ve come to realize lately, as I’ve been spending more time at home with my mom, is that this running away from my childhood and my inner self has produced a very negative side effect. I lost my memory or suppressed it so hard that I cannot remember years and years of my life. If something were to happen to my mother (God forbid), I would lose years of my life because she is literally the only person that can tell me what happened at certain points. I just don’t remember but that’s a problem for another post. I am researching this issue currently.

This is what being addicted to distractions and to noise brought me. I forgot who I was, do not like to think about who I am or what I wish to be. In this world of noises, I think it’s time for me to put the volume down and go back to me, listen to what I have to say and go through the pain and the thoughts and the memories for as long as it takes to process everything.

In a world that doesn’t want us to think, it’s hard to take that step. It’s not a step out of a comfort zone. It’s more like a jump of a cliff but we have to see it as a leap of faith, a return to the natural, to the human, to the raw part of life that was here before the noise and before devices that became smarter than us.

There is catharsis to be found in books, art, music and creation but there’s truth to be found in the world that’s inside of us. We came to the world naked, screaming and without shame. Let’s not leave it hidden, silenced and manipulated.

Sending love and positive vibes,

Luna

 

Coffee Date with Luna: Recognize Your Patterns

Hello everyone and welcome to another Coffee Date with Luna!

Ever since I dropped out of grad school, I have been experiencing a sort of a life crisis. Sometimes it’s okay, sometimes it hits me like a wave and I am a terrible swimmer. One of the things I have learned in this time is that the only way to grow and get the fuck out of this is to review my past actions, what decisions led up to this and how to take accountability for my actions and make better choices in the future. Trust me, I do not have this figured out yet, but baby steps are still steps forward.

One of the decisions I had to review is the type of people I let into my life, especially when it came to romantic relationships. Using the word romantic linked to the toxic relationships I actually had is very amusing to me. I had the attachments, the infatuations, the beliefs I found love and that love will conquer all and now I am here 24 years old and still do not know shit about love. But I do love to write about it.

When I look back and review my relationships, there are patterns I can recognize. I would either get into a relationship that would seem great but it would end abruptly because something was missing, I didn’t feel like the person I was with had any genuine feelings about me, like they didn’t care about me. The second pattern is rushing into relationships that I knew deep down would never work and then being crushed. As if I was looking for this amazing love that would survive the obstacles and thrive. And people, I thrived in one of those relationships that ended up with me crying and smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. It wasn’t just the relationship that was toxic. The consequences echoed in my life for years and when I look back, I cannot help but ask myself: Why do I hate myself so much?

I refuse to take all of the blame for my failed relationships, but I can recognize where I went wrong. I didn’t leave people because they didn’t love me the way I need to be loved, but because I didn’t love myself. I projected my problems and my insecurities on to them. I wanted them to give me the love and attention I never gave myself. I was looking for someone who would care about me because I didn’t care about myself.

I started relationships and became infatuated with men who were bad for me because I didn’t feel like I was worthy or love. I humiliated myself to the point where I accepted crumbs off someone’s table and called it love. This is getting very hard to write but it’s something I have to face in order to be better and do better for myself.

I decided to share with you my relationship issues because you have these patterns too and maybe they just came into your mind. Writing them down, acknowledging these patterns will not solve them but it’s a start of a very long and prosperous journey. You cannot solve your problems in one night, in one post, in facing the truth but you can solve them with consistent work and by being honest with yourself always.

It’s hard. It’s fucking hard. It took me 3 weeks to sit down and write this because it’s not easy to admit that I hurt myself with my past relationships just because I didn’t love myself enough to seek what I deserve, what we all deserve which is love and respect and happiness. Do I love myself now? No. It’s a process but I won’t speed it up by not doing anything about it so, as always, I am sharing my truth here. I hope my little encounter with honesty will help you in your journey.

This is all I can take for this post, it’s hard to write about this when I don’t have my feelings sorted out but I am working on it. This is one of those baby steps.

As always let me know in the comments below your thoughts, what would you want to read about next and let me know how are you doing?

I love you all!

Sending love and positive vibes,

Luna

 

Coffee Date with Luna: 20 something crisis

Hello Everyone! 

It has been a long time since I just posted on the blog, had a talk with you or in this case, a cup of coffee. There is a reason for that. I have been going through a bit of a crisis that I do not know how to explain to myself or to others. 

I have a good job which keeps me financially stable, recently I met someone very special in my life, since I started working from home I have had more time to spend with my family, I have great friends and the list could go on about the things that are really going for me right now and still I am so miserable. There is a constant feeling of something missing in my life and it’s eating me away.  

I know that my career choices have a lot to do with my unhappiness. My goal in life was not and is not to be a customer service agent. I do like this job and I absolutely adore the people I am working with but there is still that feeling that something is missing. I have been in this career crisis on and off for the past 2 years and it’s a normal thing every 20something goes through but I can feel my mental health going to hell fast because I cannot cope with not having a purpose in life. Being aware of the fact that my degree is worthless and that no one wants to hire me in digital marketing because I have no fucking experience is not making this easy on me.  

Yesterday was my one year anniversary of working as a customer service agent. I have been feeling like shit for the last two weeks because I knew that I was reaching that one year at a job that was supposed to be temporary until I get my Digital Marketing certificate so that I can do something I am 100% invested in. But again there is this fear – what if I get into a Digital marketing agency and realize after some time that it’s not what I actually want? What if I just got that certificate to cover up for the fact that I dropped out of grad school without a fucking plan? 

As you can see, I am struggling which is why I haven’t been so active on the blog. I have had problems opening up to people about this because they either do not understand completely what I am saying or hit me with “Do you know how many people lost their job during quarantine and how many people are being paid less because of the COVID situation and how lucky you are right now?”  

Yes, I do know. 

I haven’t been fired, my job was never in question and there were no paycheck cuts in my firm. The only difference for us was that we had to work from home. That is it. Not a single person in the customer care center where I work felt the effects of quarantine when it comes to job security and money and this is amazing and I applaud the company for that.  

I don’t know if I am able to put this nicely, but I do not know how to feel okay and satisfied with my life just because others have it worse. Other people being in bad situations shouldn’t be a standard for me to feel good about myself and about my life but I have often felt under attack if I expressed any of these opinions out loud which made the struggle in my head even worse because it is all in my head. 

And then I opened up my laptop today and decided to write this mess out because this is my safe place and I often stray away from it when I’m in trouble but I am glad to be back. Thank you for putting up with my annoying rant about unhappiness. I know that our Coffee Dates are usually reserved for happy thoughts but I just had to get this off my chest. 

Please do let me know if you experienced similar issues and how did you deal with them? Let’s be the supportive WordPress community that we are.  

Also, we already passed 5,5k followers here on WordPress, my Poetry Bar inbox is full of your submissions so let me know if there’s any type of different content you would like to see on this blog. I publish from 3-5 Poetry Bar works daily, do you want more? Would you like for me to write about the current events, maybe to do story times, do you have some questions for me so we can do a Q&A type post. Tell me all of your wishes down in the comments because, honestly, I need some content ideas and working on this blog has always helped me work through my personal issues.  

I love you all, thank you for being so amazing and so supportive! 

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna 

Coffee Date With Luna: Body Insecurities

Hello everyone and welcome to another Coffee Date with Luna! 

I am keeping the theme consistent with the last one and the theme is insecurities. In the last Coffee Date with Luna I decided to open up a bit about my skin and hair insecurities because insecurities are something many of us struggle with.  

One of the top insecurities people face with is linked to their body weight and body shape. We are terrorized by unrealistic beauty standards and it is in the human nature (unfortunately) to compare ourselves to those images, especially in the social media era.   

I am not a doctor, psychologist or any type of expert in the field so I will not be touching the subject of anorexia, mental health issues and obesity since I do not think other than experts should comment on this because people spread a lot of false information and negativity when they talk about things they are not educated on. 

I actually want to talk about my own insecurities about my body, weight, body shape. I struggled with it a lot. I was never overweight and, to be honest, I was underweight as a child because I had some eating issues which followed me up to puberty where I started gaining weight and my body got a certain shape. 

The thing that helped me through these insecurities was – love. It became my answer to everything and in this story it has two sides. 

With extra pounds, my insecurities started to pile on while I was in high school. I would often feel bad about not being thin, I would go on extreme diets and workout plans and developed a binge eating problem. I started to read a lot of books during high school, some of them were self help books, and without noticing the image I had about myself started to change when I got in touch with the concept of self-love. To be honest, I am still getting in touch with this concept every single day of my life. I am still struggling but I came to a point where I would never deprive my body of food or put myself on extreme workout plans I was too weak or unskilled to follow. Working out is great but going to an extreme can cause serious injuries, I should now.  

Self-love isn’t something you wake up with or can keep without making an effort. Self-love is about creating a relationship with yourself and we all know that relationships can be hard. You will have to work on it every single day. Self-love, bodywise, means choosing a healthy lifestyle instead of an extreme diet. It means loving yourself enough to feed your body with good food while not depriving it of some sweet cravings every now and then. You can work out to get abs while loving the chubby stomach you have now. This is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight.  

When you try to change your body while being fueled with hate or insecurities regarding your appearance, it will backfire on your mental health.  

As I got older, I actually became conscious of my body image issues when I started getting into my first serious relationships. My body insecurities messed with my mind and it affected my relationships because I was not comfortable with the idea of someone’s hands on me. That insecurity was not only toxic to me, but to the person I was with as well. During that time, I had accepted my body shape and implemented self-love into my life but I was just starting to realize that it wasn’t the reflection in the mirror I only had a problem with. My insecure mind created this image of how a person, in this case a boyfriend, will see me and my body and it scared me because that image was not very nice in my head.  

This is where the other side of love came to my rescue. A person I wrote many poems about, realized I would become very distant and would “wiggle” out of his hands very fast even when he wanted to only hug me. He actually realized my insecurities, and I will get really real with you now, when he noticed I would get anxious when my bra would be off. I was also insecure about being as flat as a board while everything else about me was chubby and round. I did not enjoy him putting his hand around me because I didn’t want him to feel I don’t have a flat stomach. He would sometimes lift me up while hugging me and I hated it because I thought I was too heavy for him to hold in the air. He felt those insecurities. 

He actually taught me that love will not see that what I see in the mirror. It took some time but he showed to me that love doesn’t judge and doesn’t walk around ready to measure me. Being with the wrong person, a person who judges you and tries to aggressively change you, will only feed into your insecurities. This is a good way of knowing is your relationship toxic or not. I think it is good, actually necessary, for the person who loves you to warn you about unhealthy habits etc., but actually criticizing someone and making them feel bad about themselves is toxic.  

To quote him: To my eyes you are perfect because I see more than your looks. I love every inch of you and that includes more than just skin and a body.  

At the end of the day, love is the answer to everything including our insecurities. You need to learn to love yourself and let others love you as well. Don’t tell yourself that no one will love you the way you are because there’s someone better. To the right person you are the best and you have to be the best for yourself.  

It’s all about love. 

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna 

 

Coffee Date with Luna: Embrace your insecurities

Hello everyone and welcome to another Coffee Date with Luna! 

Today I would like to talk about insecurities, especially related to looks, because I have some and so do you. I honestly do not wish this episode of Coffee Date to be labeled as a girly episode because I think it’s discriminatory and feeds into the “macho man” narrative where men cannot have insecurities and talk openly about them because they have to “man up”. If you believe any of that stereotype nonsense, this is not the blog for you.  

Mostly, when someone brings up insecurities people first think about a few pounds they would like to lose. I had insecurities tied to my weight and body shape for a long time and it took a lot of work to get rid of them completely. I can say that today, with my 23 years, I feel very comfortable with my few extra pounds, not so defined curves and over all I just feel very comfortable in my body. If you’d like me to do a separate post about body insecurities and how I coped with them, do tell me in the comments. 

My biggest insecurities begin from the shoulders up – my face and my hair. When I say my face, I am not saying I think I am ugly. I am actually referring to my skin and my acne problem. It all started a few years back while I was at university. I have problems with my thyroid and the issues escalated one summer to the points where I started taking medication for it. My hormones were all over the place. This caused the outbreak of hormonal acne and I lost more that 20% of my hair.  

I used to have volume in my hair and it was slightly wavy because I actually had curly hair as a little girl. In one summer I lost all of that. My hair became lifeless, flat and it gets greasy in a matter of hours after washing. When I would dry it and run my hand through it, I would end up with a fistful of hair. I actually cried a few times while drying my hair because it was just hard to watch my hair fall out so aggressively. Doctors weren’t helping at all.  

And then the acne came. Doctors weren’t helping at all still. I understand it’s hard to fight such issues but I felt so awful and angry at my doctors. I gave up makeup for a solid year and a half. To this day I still refuse to wear makeup on a daily basis and put it on only for special purposes or nights out and that is hard. These acnes break out on my chin mostly, they are very red or white and my face gets very red and has that greasy shine. It is not comfortable to walk around like that especially not in a world that glorifies perfection and we live under the false social media standard of beauty. They are not around all the time, that’s the thing with hormonal acne – they break out during different parts of the month. It is a very disgusting feeling to wake up in the morning with a painful face. These acne actually hurt.  

Some of you follow me on Instagram @luna.theblog and are probably thinking that I am making this up. I am not, but on my IG pics I am mostly wearing makeup and you can’t really see my face. There are some pics, better said selfies, where if you zoom in you can see the imperfections under my foundation. My insecurities are very much visible in the fact that I never posted a makeup-less picture to my social media. That’s how much I do not like looking at my face skin. I do not photoshop my photos but I do wear makeup while taking them.  

I was told many times that I am so confident because I don’t put makeup on when going to work or grabbing a cup of coffee with friends etc. I am not confident but I do not speak loudly about it because I am scared of people then paying too much attention to my face skin. The rational part of my brain know that this wouldn’t happen. People are not standing around me judging my lifeless hair and hormonal acne and the rational part of me knows this but this is the thing about insecurities. They mess with the rational part of our brain.  

This is why you need to talk about them at least with yourself or on a blog like, well, me. Rationalize with yourself and do what’s best for you. I don’t wear makeup because it makes my skin worse and it took a lot of rationalizing to come to the point where I feel comfortable being makeup free on the daily. You have to learn how to put your own well-being ahead of people’s opinion and that voice that whispers in your ear. Giving up and giving in to your insecurities can harm your mental health and you could literally harm yourself because mostly our insecurities are about our body and the way we look. If you feed into your insecurities you will consider yourself not good enough, not lovable and people and companies who know how to manipulate your insecurities to their advantage will use them against you. I feel like I am building a conspiracy theory, but I believe you know what I am talking about. Expensive beauty procedures, strict diets, depression… The list goes on and it’s terrifyingly long (like this post) 

If you are insecure about your body or something else, it’s okay to try and change it but don’t forget to love it in the process. You can accept and love yourself while trying to change yourself.  

I could literally write on and on about this issue but I think it’s time to stop. If you would like to read more about this topic, just leave it in the comments below and also feel free to share your ideas for other Coffee Date posts. Don’t forget to let me know in the comments what do you think about this post, how do you handle your insecurities and how have you been lately. 

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna 

Positivity Press #32

Hello,

My piece of positive press is the speed that my blog page is growing. I have hit milestones way high than I expected and I couldn’t be happier to help more people

My blog page is: sweeneysblog.com. I do blogs on topics such as Stuttering, mental Health and Stress

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If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #26

With a Heart for Any Fate

Getting to “Acceptance”

Samarender Reddy

(Blogs at https://selfrealization.home.blog/)

 

“The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.” — Ramana Maharshi

 

“Suffering is due to non-acceptance.” — Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

“You cannot be both unhappy and fully present in the Now.” – Eckhart Tolle

 

It happened over a cup of coffee with my brother-in-law Suresh Boddapati in Starbucks of Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. Over the past week or so, I had been discussing with Suresh some philosophical ideas and concepts, as we often do, on this visit of his to India, and the topic of “acceptance” and “living in the now” came up. Initially, the discussion veered around, with me raising various objections as to why I did not find “acceptance” acceptable as I was not getting a handle on that concept. One objection I raised was, “Does acceptance mean we do not do anything about the situation we find ourselves in? Is acceptance a passive way of being?” He said, “No, acceptance does not mean you do not plan for the future and take action accordingly. What it means is that you are doing that from a place of acceptance, that is, without mental agitation and agony over the current situation you find yourself in.” Cracks were beginning to develop in my resistance to getting to acceptance.

 

Then a few days later as we were sitting in Starbucks and sipping coffee it suddenly dawned on me that acceptance and living in the now were great concepts and they started to make sense. Perhaps what triggered the shift in understanding were the answers that Suresh gave to these questions that I posed to him: “Suppose you were a prisoner of war, say in Abu Ghraib prison, and were being tortured. Would you still be in acceptance in that scenario?” Suresh replied as a matter of factly, “Well, what choice would I have other than to accept and bear the physical pain. But mentally I would not suffer because I would be in a state of acceptance because by being in a state of non-acceptance I would be adding another layer of mental suffering onto the physical pain.” I persisted and asked, “What if you lost your job and could not find another job and so were forced to become homeless?” Suresh replied, “Well, in that case, again, what choice would I have other than to accept and adjust to being homeless and figure out whatever it is that homeless people do to get by.” Those replies of his did it for me, in that, I saw at once that if acceptance made sense even in a state of being tortured or homeless then it has to make sense in every other scenario and circumstance or life situation you find yourself in. I was almost readying myself to say, “Life, bring it on.”

 

Over the next day or so, as I mulled over that conversation with Suresh, the following became clear to me: Stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness are symptoms of non-acceptance of “what is” or the present moment, and symptoms of not living in the Now but in the past and future. Realising that these negative states do not change “what is” or what will be and merely cause suffering one sees the sanity in acceptance and living in the now. Of course, acceptance and living in the now do not mean that if there is some action you can take to see if you can better the situation in some way you should not. Only thing is acceptance and living in the now means such action is not accompanied by unnecessary and futile thinking and mental commentary in the form of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness. You see, acceptance and living in the now calms down the frenzied and incessant thinking, and in that stillness, the inner intelligence operates and guides the mind to deal with “what is” and hence right action ensues appropriate for the present moment. Non-acceptance of “what is” is self-created suffering.

 

Stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness do not contribute to positive outcomes in the future; if anything, they contribute to negative outcomes in the future. Not only that, but they also ruin the present. So, it makes sense to dump them at once by getting to acceptance of the present or “what is’. The constant expectation of a desired outcome in the future generates stress, worry, anxiety, and fear as to whether it will come to pass or not. But “a heart for any fate”, or in other words, acceptance, eliminates them. And you need to have “a heart for any fate” because when the fate comes to fruition in some future present you have no choice but to face it and any amount of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread and unhappiness at that time, which is non-acceptance, is not going to change the situation and is merely going to ruin that present without contributing anything positive toward future outcomes. That is why Ramana Maharshi says, in the quote at the beginning, the best course is to remain silent (that is, cut off thinking in the form of stress, worry, anxiety, and fear) in the face of predetermined fate, which amounts to acceptance of any fate that befalls us – not doing so only adds to the suffering without changing the course of future events.

 

How does acceptance tie in with living in the Now? Non-acceptance means your mind will be thinking in the form of regret, stress, worry, anxiety, and fear, and what are they but synonymous with living in the past or future. Acceptance at once cuts off such thinking and leads to a still mind, and thus you find yourselves grounded and attuned to the now. And when, thus, you get to acceptance and living in the now, you reach a state of inner calm and peace. In that state whatever you do will be in a state of “flow”.  When you function in life with such acceptance and living in the now you are basically surrendering to “what is” or what life brings to your doorstep, and what is that but living in surrender to God’s will. And surrender, as Ramana Maharshi pointed out, is one of the two paths that lead one to enlightenment or self-realisation, the other path being self-enquiry.

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Positivity Press #25

Did you ever think that you might benefit from travel advice from a 65-year-old Tibetan monk? It does make sense: the image of a religious Buddhist spiritual leader (Khenpo is an honorary title) is one of a pure soul floating above day-to-day irritations and life challenges. But he would be the first to tell you that it is not always easy to face the physical difficulties and deprivations of travel. The mental trials? Well, that’s another story.

Khenpo Pema has been traveling for much of his life. A Buddhist monk since the age of 7, his family escaped from a small village in Tibet in 1959 and eventually resettled in a refugee camp in South India. Through the years he has established a center for Tibetan orphans in India and a school in Nepal. He has been teaching Western students for more than four decades and continues to travel from his home base in New York City to dharma centers around the world.

I first met Khenpo Pema in 1986, when I wanted to learn some basic Tibetan phrases before a trip to Tibet. Khenpo Pema was a very patient teacher and misinterpreted my early facility with the language as talent; unfortunately, none of it stuck. I did remember one phrase when I traveled in Tibet soon after: “You are very pretty,” which I said to everyone I met. Khenpo Pema told me that no one would ever say this in Tibet but that he could understand how it would amuse them.

Why Travel? Because “This is It!!”

Khenpo Pema travels to teach, but he also finds travel mostly a pleasure—he is constantly fascinated by and curious about what he has learned about the world and by people. Travel is, in many ways, pure inspiration.

“I am obsessed with ideas! I get hundreds and thousands of ideas when I travel. And you always have to keep trying to make things happen,” he says. “If something doesn’t work, try something else—try hundreds of times. Mistakes are good. If everything goes well you become soft. Mistakes you learn from make you better able to face problems in the future.”

“Buddha,” says Khenpo Pema, “teaches on every subject, especially about Mind. And one of the major teachings is on impermanence. Everything is so precious, since we are not going to have this forever. That is why appreciation grows. Everything that is constructed, dissolves. We learn to appreciate things: This is it! This is precious. You learn to appreciate but learn to let go when it is not good.”

How Travel Has Changed for Him

Pema believes that technology has changed the experience of travel. Fifteen years ago, Khenpo jokingly told me that, when his friend asked how GPS worked during a drive to my home for lunch, he told him that “a little plane flies above the car and lets me know where I am and where to go.”

Now, besides his GPS, Pema usually has his iPhone and laptop along. Because of that, he says, experiences have sometimes become less wondrous. “Now we are saturated with images,” he says. “That freshness and touching and seeing is sometimes not there, in my case.” Also, constant travel can take a toll. “I travel so much,” he says, that “globalizing the mind sometimes dissipates emotional connections.”

On the other hand, technology has been an outlet for him when he experiences travel delays. Khenpo Pema told me that being stuck somewhere is a great opportunity to read, write, make calls—and he believes that being sidelined in an airport makes work easier because when he isn’t at home and is surrounded by new people, his mind “is fresh.”

How You Can Change Your Attitude When You Travel (Because Your Mind is Like an iPhone)

Meaningful travel may require us to change our attitudes and to be open to new ways of reacting to the world. These changes, Khenpo Pema believes, take work. “The great part of Buddha’s teaching,” he says, “is that we learn to put our mind on a certain setting. It’s like using an iPhone—set your mind and it becomes part of your mindset. I have no psychological or emotional problem at all wherever I am. Oh, six hours you have to wait in airport when they tell me that your flight is cancelled? No problem. And I’m never bored, I’m like a kid.”

In order to develop such an attitude requires learning mindfulness. For this, Khenpo Pema meditates on a daily basis. “Getting to the point where delays and challenges do not disrupt one’s life,” he says, “is not easy. To change inside is not easy. The hardest thing to change is the way that your mind works.” That’s not to say that you will escape negative emotions, he believes. He says, “You feel what you feel. That’s O.K. as long as we do not follow those thoughts or try to justify them….when you travel, always prepare because things can go wrong. Then when they go wrong, you can smile.”

Even if he encounters a rude travel agent, Khenpo Pema retains his good humor: “If I am mindful, no problem if people are rude. With mindfulness you let it go. With meditation, that independence is there.”

Blog: https://thebabybloomer.blog/

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #19

A warm hello from South Africa, guys and girls! 

My message to you all is: Stay + 

Why?

I am speaking from my own experience when I say, I have no job certainty after July.  When a potential relationship came my way after years, it ended before it began. I am Type 1 Diabetic and recently I have taken two steps forward with my eating habits, and I’ve had moments just as recently when it felt like I took three steps backwards. My family is going through relational struggles and on top of that finances are not the best they have ever been.

That is my sob story which you may relate to. However, I choose to make these positive affirmations:

I will receive employment from the end of July onwards. 

I have been patient and I will meet the right person soon.

I will make healthy choices when it comes to my eating habits and physical activity. 

My family will heal relationally and we will get on our feet again.

My encouragement to anybody dealing with any negativity at this moment is to acknowledge it and then decide by faith that it is not the end, that things will change for the best. Each dream you have is valid and can come true.

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com