Sometimes the universe will send you messages when you need them most.
The last few weeks have been a real struggle for me, and last night I went in for a massage that Matt got me for my birthday. I’m not a very outwardly emotional person. I push it all down deep inside. Which isn’t very good for your health. I was in all kinds of knots, and even after two hours, we didn’t break them all up. I went home, Matt made me a bubble bath, and all the emotions I had been bottling up came to the surface.
This morning, I used my free drink gift card that Starbucks sent me for my B’day, (Thank You Starbucks!) and got myself a Venti Chai Latte, and then headed across the street to Serendipity. It’s like an outlet for costume jewellery. My Mother in Law gave me a Benjamin for my B’day, so I thought I’d treat myself to something pretty. I got a few really nice pieces, then came in to work. My boss was highly impressed with my bounty, and immediately called his wife to let her know where to go shopping.
Then, like the fortune cookie that seems to make so much sense, I opened up my email to find two very similar themed emails, telling me that everything was going to be OK.
The first one, was from What’s Your Dosha, an Ayurvedic site.
Mental health care is an important aspect of Ayurveda. Everything is connected, mind-body-spirit, so one aspect affects all the others. Ayurveda recommends certain techniques to keep mentally fit so that we can function optimally. Remember that we have the freedom to choose our mental states, so we can practice keeping our minds in good shape.
-Meditation. Meditate regularly. Every day, twice a day, for 20-30 minutes each time.
-Cultivate a constructive mental attitude. Develop optimism, cheerfulness, and the habit of possibility-thinking. Remember that challenges are temporary, so don’t let them get you down.
-Use your powers of intelligence. Pay attention to your intuition, and look for synchronistic events; there are no coincidences. Choose your words with the best of intention, and speak constructively. Act with purpose to support ordered thinking.
-Keep memories in perspective. There is a difference between the information that we garner from memories and the emotions that are attached to those memories. We can access our memories without having to be influenced by feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, or regret. We can allow memories of success to remind us of the goodness of life. We can let memories motivate us to make better choices in the present moment. Live in the moment, and not in the memories.
-Witness your emotional and mental states rather than becoming identified with them. Remember that these states come and go, so focus on thinking rationally and being emotionally balanced and mature.
-Live with purpose. Have intention behind your actions, and develop constructive habits. Focus on what is important, and what is real. Live the knowledge that you learn.
The second one came from my Buddhist Meetup Group.
You Can Choose To Be Happy…
What if I told you that you have the ability to decide if you are happy or not.
You would probably say that I’m crazy. 1. I’m not crazy and 2. Happiness is a choice.
You can’t depend on someone else to make you happy. That is a lesson I learned later on in my marriage. I realized that I couldn’t rely on my wife, my children, my house or my job as my source of happiness. I learned that my happiness depended on me and not my wife’s or children’s actions. I learned that you have to choose to be happy.
You can choose your emotions. True happiness comes from within; it can’t be forced by outside forces. So how do you choose happiness? The same away you choose to smile or choose to wear a certain outfit. You choose it because that’s what you want to experience in your life.
You want to buy a new pair of shoes so you choose a pair that you like and feels good. You wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes that you don’t like or that don’t fit well, right? So why do we keep choosing emotions and feelings that don’t make us feel good?
Well most people don’t realize that you can choose feeling happy over feeling angry or upset about something. It’s not wrong to feel angry or upset but dwelling on it (attachment) and letting the anger simmer for too long can have bad results. Choosing to be happy after you realize your anger has shown up (or even choosing to be calm) can be beneficial. You end up acknowledging your anger and moving on instead of harbouring those emotions until there’s a flare up. We choose our feelings; no one can do that for us. If we let others get to us, influence our emotions – we are giving them power over us. When others cause us anger or pain, we are giving them our power.
What about those who irritate us or make us mad? We have the power of choice but most times we react out of anger. Instead of taking a mental time out and knowing that what that person said is about them we unconsciously choose to react. The reaction is usually out of anger or fear. It’s a re-action, not an action.
How do we stop this behavior? We need to keep our feelings in check and not react automatically to what is thrown at us. We need to think our actions out instead of just reacting to what someone says or does. Reacting is responding to someone else’s actions. What we need to do is act on our own accord and not let the actions of others influence us. By doing that we stay conscious of our own thoughts and feelings and not let what others do to us affect our moods.
Remember that we can always choose happiness. At first it will be difficult to just switch your thoughts and feelings from anger, self-doubt, or fear to joy and happiness.
But it is only a thought away. Don’t dwell on what happens to you unnecessarily but realize what is causing you to feel that way. Realize that thoughts, feelings and emotions can change. Then move on and choose to be happy.
That is why I find these words of Buddha so inspiring: “We are what we think, and all that we are rises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak and act with a pure mind and happiness will follow.” If only we were to remember this, keep it in our hearts, and keep our heart and mind pure, then happiness would really follow. The whole of Buddha’s teaching, then, is directed towards taming this mind, and keeping our heart and mind pure.
Just do like the song… don’t worry, be happy!
I thought it was odd that two very different groups sent me an email about choosing my state of mind. I guess the universe is out there talking to you, you just have to listen to it.