Archive | January 2018

Acquire Contentment

There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment. – Swami Sivananda

Contentment is often defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction.

Usually, we think that happiness and satisfaction can only occur once we get the dream house, perfect mate, desired career or other circumstance we want.

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with wanting and receiving any of those desires, however, it only becomes troublesome if we wait until their arrival in order to feel good.

What usually happens when our desired dreams haven’t materialized yet, is that dissatisfaction sets in and disrupts our peace of mind.

Ironically, sometimes our mere attitude of discouragement and upset can keep away or prolong receiving our coveted desires.

For instance, the negative energy that radiates from our unhappy feelings isn’t likely to attract a potential mate or prospective career opportunity. Unfortunately, anger tends to create an unpleasant atmosphere around us, and keeps positive opportunities away, which can cause even more internal upset or confusion.

Therefore, on the way to achieving our goals, it is important to feel contended ahead of their arrival and be in a positive state of mind as if they were here today.

It is vital that we create a contended life now, and enjoy the journey or process that is involved in achieving our objectives, rather than just enjoying the outcome.

I know when writing my book, I created a mock book cover and kept it on my desk, which was motivating and brought satisfaction ahead of its completion.

At the end of the day, life is too short to wait to be happy. We can usually find something or someone to be grateful for now, and joyfully walk toward other avenues of fulfillment as well.

What helps you feel contented?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

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Assess Your Communication Style

Recently I was involved in a group where one of the participants was quite harsh in her communication style such as using accusatory language and hostile behavior. It made for an unpleasant experience for all the people concerned.

This kind of situation happens in work places as well, where a certain coworker can be very difficult to work with and makes our job environment very uncomfortable as well.

Unfortunately, we don’t often have control over the people who sign up for a particular group or the personnel that is hired at a company.

However, we certainly can speak up for ourselves, have boundaries, and not engage in the drama that can surround such individuals.

Interesting enough, people are often unaware of how inappropriate and unkind their communication delivery is, and when confronted will seem surprised by how they are being perceived.

Therefore, being mindful of how we speak and the tone of voice we use is so essential, and a very important goal for improving our relationships.

That said, it can be very valuable to assess our communication styles by asking ourselves the following questions in order to increase our awareness:

  • Am I kind and considerate when I express myself with my tone, words, and delivery?
  • Do I dominate a conversation, or do I actually listen to others, too?
  • Do I become defensive when someone indicates I’ve hurt their feelings?
  • Am I more focused on what I want to say than what others have to say?
  • Am I open-minded enough to respect the viewpoints of others even if they differ from my own?
  • Do I jump to negative conclusions about others or get offended easily?

How did you do with answering the list?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Roll with It

At some point in our life, we all experience times when something doesn’t go our way, even when we have taken all the right actions.

For instance, we might have returned to school to study a particular trade, but didn’t land our dream job right out of school. Or we might have been turned down for a promotion we worked hard for, or didn’t get the dream house we desired after saving for many years.

It is normal to have certain expectations about the outcomes we desire. However, if we don’t get the results we want, then we have to let go in the present moment, and trust that the outcome will be better for us down the road.

Letting go, and accepting a particular outcome doesn’t mean giving up or abandoning our dreams altogether, it just means we might have to find another way, or move in a different direction for the time being.

Experiencing any disappointment can be a challenge while we are going through it, and it is usually only in hindsight, that we can see the blessings behind the postponements.

Thankfully, we usually end up finding a better job, starting our own company, or finding a better house than the one we originally planned on.

However, in the meantime, a good way to move through the waiting process is to cultivate a feeling of gratitude for the things we already have, and feel the appreciation that ensues.

 

What 5 things are on your gratitude list today?

 

The Right Relationship Starts with You

 

Choose Your Word of the Year

Happy 2018!

Hope your new year has started off well.

Like many of us, at the beginning of each year I like the practice of choosing a single word or mantra, as a guiding force and direction for the 12 months ahead, instead of making resolutions.

Usually, selecting a word or phrase is an intuitive nudge from within.

For me, like last year, I am keeping my three word mantra, Keep Your Power.

So, for example, whenever I find myself worrying, I can internally utter the words, “Keep Your Power,” as a great reminder to not allow my peace to be disturbed by internal fear thoughts, and to upgrade my thoughts to something more positive.

Additionally, my mantra reinforcement can help to keep from reacting to external comments or circumstances, by remembering to not take the words or actions of others personally, thereby reducing feelings of hurt or anger.

It may sound like an easy task to keep our power, but almost all of us can attest to unintentionally giving away our peace of mind to someone else who pushes our buttons, and affects the way we think, feel, or behave.

That said, since we only have control over how we respond to external stimulus, or even to our own thoughts, and feelings, it’s important to have awareness practices in place to assist us in making healthier choices, and take more beneficial actions.

Some of those actions might be a dedicated meditation time, or special readings, that lift our awareness and feelings to a higher place.

Sometimes responding means to speak up for yourself, and resist the habit of staying silent for people pleasing purposes.

Even saying Don’t be mean in 2018 is a helpful reminder to put kindness first, when frustrations arise, and we’re tempted to react otherwise.

What positive words or mantras speak to you this year?

The Right Relationship Starts with You