Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Renewal... one of Oprah's Tips on How to Live Your Best Life

The following post is all about what Oprah wrote in her book LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE which I am currently reading. I am just so inspired with her article that I decided to repost it here. I'm sure you will feel enlightened too after reading her piece. You see, many of us have this tendency to be on the verge of a meltdown whenever we get so buried with work. Oprah reminds us all to have time for renewal... a time to love ourselves even if it's just one day or few moments in our very busy, driven lives...

"I was in my 20s when I figured out how to regulate my energy. I'd taken a job as a reporter and was working hundred-hours weeks, trying to be a team player. It was only after I became depleted that I realized I had only a certain amount of energy -- and I needed to conserve and restore it. I understood that I had to keep giving back to myself to refill my tank.

Now, when I begin to feel exhausted, I pull back. If I'm at work and people are lined up at my desk with one request after another, I literally go sit in my closet and refuel. And I always give myself Sundays as a spiritual base of renewal --- a day when I do absolutely nothing. I sit in my jammies or take a walk, and I allow myself to BE -- capital B-E -- with myself. When I don't, I absolutely become stressed, irritable, anxiety-prone, and not the person I want to be in the world.

The way you eat makes a difference in terms of sustainability, which is why I avoid sugar -- I don't want a high followed by a fall (see my Food Blog for some tips). I don't do energy bars or caffeine. I've learned to listen to my body. I know I'll be hungry at ten o'clock every morning, about the time I finish taping my first of two shows. At four in the afternoon, I'm ravenous. "Must be ten of four," I'll announce during a meeting, "because I could eat this cushion." That's when I have my biggest meal of the day --- usually a protein and some kind of fruit or vegetable.

But feeding yourself is more than food. I believe we're all connected to each other's energy fields -- whenever you walk into a roomful of people, your energy is either restored or taken away from you. If I'm around someone who saps me, I have to put up a barrier -- a nonphysical wall that keeps that person's negative vibes away. I also have a couple of energy idols --- people whose energy amazes me. Diane Sawyer is one. I don't know what I would do if I had to get up at three or four in the morning. And there's nobody like Tina Turner. How does she do that in Manolo Blahniks?

Energy is the essence of life. Everyday you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach your goal, and by maintaining focus. That means asking yourself: Is what I'm doing part of my overall plan and can I release the energy I'll need? ------

The last line definitely blew my mind away. Over the last couple of months, there have been some opportunities offered to me which after much thought, I simply refused. I don't have a definite answer as to why, but I just mostly relied on my gut feel at that time. They just didn't feel right. I had queasy feelings in my stomach which are definitely a bad sign. After I read this article, and considering the fact that I just accepted a new job without even thinking so hard about it, it was all because those that I've let go were not part of my overall plan while this one that I've accepted, is. Therefore, I have the energy to release for it, despite my very busy, hectic schedule.

Having shared my simple food for thought, I wish you also gained a bit of wisdom from the article and I wish you all well in your present and future endeavors. Should you need some more enlightenment in a more unconventional way, do head to my Wiccan Blog for some magical help. The Kicking Pinay also does positive spells and tarot card readings. ^_^

Sunday, February 7, 2010

All About Prudence

It is not your passing thoughts or brilliant ideas so much as your plain everyday habits that control your life. Be directed by prudence, or wise forethought; be circumspect with all your actions; be careful, discreet, and sensible. Intelligence is a mark of God. Live simply. Don't get caught in the machine of the world --- it is too exacting. By the time you get what you are seeking your nerves are gone, the heart is damaged, and the bones are aching. Resolve to develop your spiritual powers more earnestly from now on. Learn the art of right living. If you have joy, you have everything, so learn to be glad and contented. Laugh at the world! Have happiness now. --- A Para-Gram by Paramahansa Yogananda

I have worked in the corporate world for almost a decade and as I was going up the so-called corporate ladder, that's where I saw and experienced the dog-eat-dog world that I kept seeing in novels I read before. I saw executives, people of high caliber and mega power slowly die... if not spiritually, then literally get sick and die... all because of the pressure and stress they get from their high-paying jobs, not to mention marriages and relationships being broken because of deceit, adultery and practice of bad judgment. In my experience, the more money I get, the more sick I became. Some people can survive this but at a price. I was one of them. You may be one of them too. But like me, you have a choice. You can be cunning and ruthless if you have to... if you really want to get at the top of your field. But what will that do to you? And at what price?

You can also choose to live with prudence... with joy in your heart. Through constant mediation, you can develop your spiritual powers and from there, learn the art of right living. You can do this everyday if you really want to...

Set a time during the day, even for just a few minutes, where you can be at peace. It can be after you wake up, before going to bed at night, during your lunch or snack break in the office or while you are commuting to/from work... it's up to you. Sit in a comfortable sitting position, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Think of three things that you are grateful for. It doesn't matter if it's as simple as being able to wake up that morning or as big as getting a bonus at work. Whatever it is that you declare will put your mind in an abundant state. And when your mindset is that of abundance, more blessings will come to you.

Next is to visualize and feel the things that you want in your life. Picture them vividly in your mind. What is it that you really want? You can form a mantra that you can recite either out loud or in your head. Then with every breathe, release them one by one. Then believe that all these things are in the process of coming true. Know and feel it deep down. By the time you open your eyes, you will feel more rejuvenated, you will have clarity and the rest of your day will be easier to handle.

In the long run, you may either stick with your job or the life that you are currently having, or you may pursue the things that you are really passionate about. But now that you are living with prudence in your heart, you will be able to discern which things are more important and which are superficial and be able to live your daily life with more joy and contentment in your heart.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Fundamentals of Success #6: Become an Inverse Paranoid

This next principle has proven to be very valuable for me. You see, the past several years, I have been conditioned by certain events in my life to be a little extra careful. And there are times when I get too paranoid that I start thinking people are out to get me!

At some level, this kind of paranoia can be helpful. I tend to be cautious of my surroundings when I travel, I double check everything before leaving the house and before going to bed, I make lists, I have contingency plans in case things go wrong. I am O.C. that way. On the other hand, it would be better and more helpful for my well-being if I apply this principle of being an inverse paranoid. Instead of thinking that bad people are out to get me, why not think that people and circumstances are out to help me get what I want? And so, I have this mantra that I include in my daily meditation: "All great things are coming to me. People and opportunities are part of a plot to enhance my well-being." Because of this mindset, I am slowly letting go of my paranoia and replacing it instead with good, positive vibes. After all, there is opportunity in everything, no matter how difficult certain circumstances might be.

If you take the approach that "good" is not an accident --- that everyone and everything that shows up in your life is there for a reason --- and that the universe is moving you toward your ultimate destiny for learning, growth, and achievement, you'll begin to see every event, no matter how difficult or challenging, as a chance for enrichment and advancement in your life.

And when that time comes that things seem to fall apart, just know that God must have something better in store for you. Rather than thinking what a loser you are, change your paradigm and believe that it's just not meant and something greater is about to happen. Practice this and see how it goes.

The Fundamentals of Success #5: Believe in Yourself

The 5th principle is very much tied with the fourth. Now that you believe anything is possible, then go the extra mile by believing in yourself first.

You weren't an accident. You weren't mass produced. You aren't an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on Earth by the Master Craftsman. - Max Lucado, best-selling author

Believe in yourself. How simple is that? It doesn't matter whether you are the smartest one around or the one who didn't finish college. Believe in yourself... in your capabilities and everything else will follow. How many billionaires do we know who never even finished college? And how many people do we know who have gotten their masters and doctorate degrees and yet are still not financially successful?

Don't let others dictate how you should live your life. And in times when no one else believes in you, you have to believe in yourself. This is what will make you a winner. What others think about you is none of your business. Whether you like it or not, Dr. Daniel Amen's 18/40/60 Rule is very true:
When you're 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you're 40, you don't give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you're 60, you realize that nobody's been thinking about you at all.

This is such a revelation isn't?! Here we are, wasting our time worrying about what others think of us. When in truth, no one really bothers coz everyone else is also busy thinking about themselves! So stop wasting time and start using it doing more productive things that can help you achieve your goal.

As a young kid, I've always known that I was the shy type. I did have tons of friends and acquaintances both in school and wherever I go but I know deep down, I'm happier by myself. But, I also know that the world does not operate that way. If I wanted to succeed, I made myself believe that I should get out of my shell and explore my options. So what I did was, I just believed in myself that I could do it. Whether it was to lead a class, or to act on stage, or to talk in front of so many people, or to deliver a speech during oratorical contests, I just know that I can do it, nervous and all.

As an elementary and secondary student, I was always sent to various quiz bees, seminars, workshops, etc. and I was expected to lead and mingle with people. No matter how shy I'd get, I just start by faking it at first. I have always been good at acting anyway, so I might as well use it. It did pay off. The confidence that grew in me was brought about by years of practice, of believing in myself that I can do it. And even if at times I fail, I just get up again and again. I don't want to waste my time believing that I can't. This is why I love venturing into new things. I've given up "I can't" a long time ago. And whenever I do feel like I can't, at least I know that I always have a choice of whether to believe it or not. And so do you. It's just a matter or attitude.

The Fundamentals of Success #4: Believe It's Possible

When I started this blog, sharing about what I learned in Jack Canfield's book THE SUCCESS PRINCIPLES has been one of its main focus. It still is. And because I want to practice the principles I've gone through before putting them here, it usually takes a while before I get to write my thoughts.

So far, I've already told you the first three fundamental principles of success:

1.Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life
2.Be Clear Why You're Here
3.Decide What You Want

Now, let me share with you the next principle I have learned in this favorite book of mine.

The Fundamentals of Success #4: Believe It's Possible

In 2007, when I first read the book, The Secret, I learned that whatever the mind can conceive, the body can achieve. This was actually coined by Napoleon Hill, one of the greatest minds of our time. And true enough, whatever it was that I believed can happen, no matter how big (achieving my first million) or small (getting free coffee) it was, as long as I believed it could happen, it really did. And until now, as long as I feel good, as long as I remain faithful to the universe, great things continue to come to my life simply because I believe I am blessed and lucky.
"Neuropsychologists who study expectancy theory say it's because we spend our lives becoming conditioned. Through a lifetime's worth of events, our brain actually learns what to expect next --- whether it eventually happens that way or not. And because our brain expects something will happen a certain way, we often achieve exactly what we anticipate."

This is why those who grew up thinking that they will always be poor do end up poor while those who believe they will rise above it all, actually do. Just look at Oprah, a molested child, now one of the richest and most influential people of our time. So begin by believing that it is possible. Imbibe it. Discipline your mind to thinking so by saying mantras or self-affirmations every time you wake up. Sooner or later, your brain will be conditioned to expect what you want and will actually bridge that gap between your present reality and your expected reality, thus making your dream, whatever it is, come true.

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