Sunday, March 17, 2013

I can't take it anymore

Finally Melbourne has decided to face autumn, the temperature is settling into high teens and the delayed autumn rain has just begun. I visited a close friend of mine and as soon as I walked into her home, I sensed a heavy discontentment in the air. No doubt I had walked into the aftermath of another one of their arguments. I felt hopeless to help; all I could offer was simply a listening ear to my friend.

As I drove home I could not help but kept thinking of my friend. Why are people not happy? Despite the nice home, the luxury car, the private school education and frequent overseas trips for holidays, why is there yet unhappiness in my friend?

"The sense of who you are, determines your perception of your needs. This sense also determines what matters to you" the Universe interjects my thoughts.  

"Nice timing mate - I have just got home. Please keep your thoughts" rushing to get my laptop.

"Take your time" Universe knows I rush around too much.

"My friend is not coping too well with life. Every little thing seems to trigger anger and it is usually directed at the spouse"

"As I said, the sense of who you are determines what matters to you and whatever matters to you have the power to upset and disturb you. Being aware of what matters to you is a strong indicator of how you see yourself and how much you know yourself" the Universe starts.

"So you are saying that we ought to watch what we say or what we believe in? If we believe we are great we will be great"

"What I am saying is your action and reaction to matters is a more accurate signpost of who you see yourself to be"

"Ask yourself what are the things that upset or disturb you? If small matters upset you then, who you think you are, is just that: small. That is what you unconsciously see yourself"

"How can you say that? I know many people are very conscious about wanting to he happy, they see their therapist, they read appropriate books and has a general awareness of what they need to be happy and be great" I protest.

"There is no doubt that there is an increasing awareness by people wanting to be happy or at least not to be unhappy. But being aware about happiness and truly knowing about happiness are two separate experiences. You will find that you can read all the books about playing golf - and yet that will not make you a good golfer."

"You might say to yourself - I am tired of my life and want to change and be happy. You then consciously seek change and seriously start to do something about it. You might even see a therapist or read volumes of new age books to help you feel better about yourself. Your friends suddenly see the new you, your colleagues notice the change and you even attract the occasional flirt from strangers you meet at a restaurant. The new wonderful you has emerged and you generally feel good about yourself."

"Then you find out your spouse is not coming back, yet again, for dinner or he tells you he needs more space and he doesn't give you attention and never says he loves you. Suddenly there is the surge of anger and anxiety, before long you are consumed by this feeling of anger, hopelessness, frustration and even hatred. Not getting what you need from your spouse made you feel forever trapped and say  'I cannot take this anymore' you start to scream. You then attack, blame, complain, scream and justify your reactions all done on auto-pilot."

"Hang on here - what is wrong in wanting love and attention from your spouse? Everyone has a right to be loved especially by the spouse? There are certain expectations within a marriage and both people in the union surely must fulfill these expectations? Otherwise what is the point in being around someone who continues to belittle you?"

"Well what happened to the new wonderful you we talked about a moment ago? What has changed? Could this wonderful new you change because of the opinion of your spouse? "

"What do you mean? If someone treats me with no love or has no care for me would you not expect me to do something about it?" typing on my laptop furiously.

"Its a matter of choice. If you choose to be that wonderful new person then BE that wonderful new person regardless of the opinion of others. See yourself as that person and not react to small matters like the opinion of others to give justification to be the new you. You need no justification by others. In challenging situations you remain non-reactive and alert that these situations do not change who you are. Then out of this alertness you respond to the situation. This response will come from the inner you, the real you, the wonderful you - not the small you. Your response will be appropriate and effective and it would make no person or situation the enemy. You simply accept the situation and deal with the situation."

"So what would you say to my friend?" I want to get some practical outcome out of this conversation.

"Know who you want to be and when you do, remain as that person regardless of the opinion of others. Do not beat yourself up because of the opinion of another - simply stay in the know that you are a wonderful person and you live your life as this wonderful person. On the contrary, see yourself as small and you will react to small matters - see yourself as wonderful and these small matters suddenly will become insignificant. The rest will take care of itself."

"So in short you are saying is, if you sense yourself as a great, beautiful and wonderful person small matters will not bother you? But staying in this frame of thought must be difficult? How can I help my friend stay in this state of thought?"

"Just like playing golf - practice, practice and practice. Treat anger, blame, complain and every challenging situation as an opportunity to practice non-reaction. It does not mean you do not do anything about situations that you do not like. It just simply means that you now can deal with the situation from the perspective of your higher more wonderful self. Try not not to let small things bother you as you are beyond and above all these small matters. Soon your friend will find out that her life will turn for the better, as a wonderful person cannot help but affect every thing or person she comes in contact with turning them into a just a wonderful person as she is"

Silence........... Thank you dear Universe.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Moment of death

What does it feel like at the moment of impending death?

I want to change the conversation to involve a little sharing on my part. I want to share this with you - dear Universe. It is a true account of an incident related to me by a friend. 

My first trip to the Gold Coast beach, Queensland's sunshine coast, almost ended up in disaster. With an advertisement tag line "Beautiful one day perfect the next", the Gold Coast became a mecca for young sun-seekers and surfers. I decided to take on surfing foolishly thinking it was no more than simply hiring a surfboard, paddle out to sea far enough to catch a big wave back to shore. How hard would that be and I have seen it all on TV? I was soon to find out.

Just like the surfers on TV, I paddled out to sea, riding the waves easily. When I thought I had gotten far enough and the breaking waves were sufficiently large enough to catch back to shore, I positioned myself for a fun ride back to shore. With great effort I tried to turn around to face the shore and struggled with the board and the waves. I found it hard to stay on the shore-side of the waves before they broke. With the buoyancy of the surfboard I floated easily over the waves only to be dragged further out by the rip current. Realising imminent danger, I struggled to keep control trying to stay on the shore side of the waves but failed every time. With every wave, I was dragged even further out to sea.

After numerous attempts I started to feel tired and thought it was time I got off the surfboard and waded ashore. It was then I realised that I was out too far; my feet did not touch ground. I was in deeper waters than I thought. A sense of panic gripped me as I looked towards the shore. It looked too far for me to swim, as I was not a strong swimmer. I thought a better option was to hang on to the board and try to 'surf' back to shore. The waves pounded on me continuously; I kept slipping off the surfboard struggling to stay afloat, knowing if I let go, I would not have enough energy to swim ashore. By this time I knew I was in trouble, too exhausted to swim and unable to 'surf' back to shore. Panic turned into trembling fear making it even harder to hang on to the board. The waves continued pounding and I knew I was fighting a losing battle. I was in near exhaustion fighting to stay afloat whist dealing with the gripping fear of drowning.  Just as my energy level was just about depleted, one particularly large wave crashed over me, dragging me under. With the board torn off my clutching hands and my body gripped with trembling fear, I was dragged down into the depths of the ocean. It felt like I was in a large washing machine going through its final washing cycle.

 As I tumbled underwater, I realised it was all over. It was the end of the struggle to hang on to my life and to survive.  Overwhelmed by intense fear and panic I remember saying to myself "You are gone now! You will drown."

Suddenly there was complete silence.

The moment moved in slow motion.

And with outstretched arms, my final thoughts were "Take me!"

The feeling then was one I would never forget. At that moment there was no more fear, just complete peace in readiness to be taken. It was as if once I had given up the struggle and surrender to the moment the end was peace and quietness.

Death and peace seemed to co-exist. Fear did not exist in the moment of death.

Then my feet touched the ground. I found my balance, got to my feet and stood up to ear-high water level. The large wave must have pushed me towards shore. Almost immediately fear and panic exploded in me. I had a fighting chance to survive, I was given a second chance in life. Struggling to maintain balance on tiptoes, I headed for shore trembling and perspiring. When I reached the warm sand of the shore, I slumped on the beach, breathing life sustaining air - lying in the sun, thanking the universe for not taking me.

"Breathtakingly true"....... Universe finally said something.

What is Success?

We are already a few days into Autumn, but Melbourne is refusing to let Summer go showing a perfect day with 27 degrees, bright sunshine and light breeze. I have just finally set my chilli plant free from pot to the ground - a successful transplant. I am looking forward to more wonderful red chillis in months to come.

Admiring my new chilli plant amongst the Loofahs and chives, I thought. "I had a successful day in the garden"

"What is being successful in life means?" Universe interrupted my mind.

"Wow, a little heavy at this time of the day?" sipping my cool ice drink reaching for my keyboard to record this conversation.

"May be a Ferrari and a villa in the South of France, exotic dinners and parties, power, recognition, status, happy family, children, etc, etc " I could go on and on and on..... testing the Universe.

"Is that so?" Universe interjected.
If you ask the same question to 100 people I bet most would say similar things but with varying emphasis.
"Is that so?"
Frankly I am getting tired of this answer. I thought it serves no purpose and it is rather annoying to get the same answer all the time.
"Can we stop the "is that so?" bit and move on?" Getting frustrated.
"The world will tell you that success is about achieving what you set out to do. They will tell you that success is about winning, being financially secure, recognition and so forth. But let me tell you they are only by products of success. They are not success"
"I am listening" getting interested.
"You cannot become successful, you can only BE successful. The world doesn't tell you this, because it doesn't know"
"I really do not get you" keeping my fingers poised ready for the answer I am going to post.
 "What is "BE successful?"
" Simply instil a sense of quality in everything you do, even for the most simplest things. You do this by realising that the outcome of your future rests entirely with what you are doing now. Realise that there are no other moments except this moment. So give this moment its fullest attention. In other words be successful in everything you do NOW."
"Wait a minute, well does this not mean that we do not plan? What about what we want to achieve in the future? Our careers, our family etc?"
"I never said not to plan and I never said you do not consider the future. What I am saying is if planning is what you can do for the moment - give it the fullest attention. Even with a plan/journey, the primary step is the step you are doing now, because this moment is all you ever have. What you encounter at the destination can only be determined by quality of this particular step at this particular moment."
"So what has this got to do with successful?"
 "Simply this, when your doing is infused with the quality of Being, then you cannot help but BE successful. This will apply to whatever you choose to do."
"Well if this is case then would we ever achieve something big if all we ever do is focus on minute little moments every second?"
"The great can only arise out of honouring and caring for small things. Do you not know that Apple Corporation came out of passion and attention to small details in the garage of Mr & Mrs Jobs? Did Steve Jobs ever think of having a company that has the largest capitalisation in the world when he was in this garage? He only gave his full attention to doing what he was doing at that moment and at every moment. When Steve and Wozniak first assembled those 12 circuit boards they focused on making the best boards."
"Heard of the saying - The journey of a 1000 steps starts with this step - each step being just as important as the next."

"You will only ever have the present moment - regardless of our grand plans and past experiences, we only have this moment to create and the result of this creation is totally dependent on the quality of what we do NOW. When you make what you do or where you are as the main purpose of your life, until the next change, then this awareness becomes very powerful. It means acceptance, it means doing the best and it means none attachment. Change is a given, accept it, work with it and know that in whatever situation you find yourself in, it too will pass"

"Practice this and this will be your success"