Fear and Vata Dosha – My Experience

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Vata Dosha (Ayurvedic Body Type), as we know affects the mind, our more subtle organ quite strongly.

People of this dosha often experience anxiety, depression, worry, insomnia and lack of appetite more so than others during stressful times.

My constitution is vata-pitta, however, I experienced a major vata dosha imbalance years ago during a stressful time.

Fear is something that is a strong theme with this imbalance. Fear of the future, fear of not choosing the right path and fear of facing the here and now.

The fear mostly comes from lack of Kapha (earth) element that has a binding quality. It is the element that makes one feel grounded, gives the body the quality of cohesiveness and bring the mind a sense of safety when being connected to others. Without it, a person can feel as though there energy is diffused, they are disassociated from their bodies and they are not accepted by the community as they don’t feel whole within themselves.

There are a few key phases that one can remember that can help bring balance when vata has gone out of balance. These are; calming and soothing one self, heat, less is more, honoring the present moment and belonging to a loving community.

All of the above helps to reverse the negative vata qualities such as fear, coldness, anxiety, diffused mind and fear of not belonging.

Below is some practical steps one can take to balance the overactive vata dosha:

  1. Having a morning practice – This is something that is helping me to feel grounded. This brings the mind a sense of calm because you know what is going to happen and you don’t need to think about it. The morning practice needs to be a calming one in order for vata to feel soothed like listening to relaxing music, yoga, meditation and reading a uplifting book.
  2. Writing down thoughts – Vata persons generate a lot of thoughts due to their active minds. This often leads them to get anxious and more fearful. Often they are not able to see the forest for the trees. That is why they need to write things down. When you write things down, often you realize what you were worrying about does not really matter at all. Vata person can really benefit from writing advise for themselves because they cannot often hear their inner truth unless they write it down.
  3. Planning a Few Activities For The Day And Completing Them – Vata person can often jump between tasks due to their inner thought process. So it is important for this body type to plan only a few activities for the day and finishing all of them. It also helps to set a time limit to complete the task. Having a time limit also help the vata person not overthink or worry too much about getting things absolutely perfect.
  4. Meditation – There is only a few other things as effective as meditation that can calm the mind. Meditation just involves taking the attention away from the mind and focusing it on the breath, normally the rising and falling of the abdomen. When practiced everyday, it helps one create distance between themselves (their inner awareness) and their thoughts. It reminds us that mind is not who we and it is an organ we have. Just like the heart beats, the mind thinks. But we do not need to get fixated on the thoughts its generating.
  5. Soothing Music – Vata body type needs to really sooth and calm themselves. Music is a good tool for doing this. Specially music with high vibrations and sweet meaningful lyrics can help the vata feel calm.
  6. Self Massage – Ayurveda recommends warm sesame oil self massage for people of vata body type. I have tried this and found this to be very calming and soothing. Sesame oil is warm and heavy which are two qualities vata people need in order to feel soothed. And it works perfect specially if done in the morning and even before bed at night.
  7. Grounding Foods and Spices – Root vegetables and soups can be very grounding for the vata person. Food like kumara, carrots and pumpkins are specially good. Adding warming spices like cinnamon can also be very helpful to generate some heat in the body. To add to that, in Ayurveda sweet taste is said to calm down the vata imbalance. In my experience, this is true. As a vata-pitta my default preferences are bitter, spicy and cold food. But sweet and warm food help me curb the cold and dry/bitter quality of vata.
  8. Spending time in Nature (preferably bear foot) – There is a lot of material around about how nature helps us discharge and get grounded. Spending time in nature can help vata feel more grounded, less anxious and even get better sleep. The good news is that this is now been scientifically proven, so we know that it works. “The Earthing Movie ” which I just saw today, is about this research. It talks about how touching the ground bear foot adds electrons to the body, which act as antioxidants which the harmful free radials in the body can attach to, without destroying healthy cells. They have found that this phenomena help reduce inflammation and pain in the body.
  9. Loving Kindness Practice – Vata people are extremely hard on themselves. Because they often don’t feel belong and whole, they always think that they have done something wrong. They internally punish themselves through negative thinking. So vata needs to be very gentle with themselves. They need to remember that they are only human and they too are allowed to make mistakes. A loving kindness practice to wish oneself and others well can help with this.
  10. Gratitude Practice – Because vata tends to project their minds in to the past or the future a lot, they forget to appreciate the now. A good way to reduce this is to start remembering things that are going well in life right now. And another thing is to start doing things that bring the vata joy. Vata’s love communicating and moving their bodies. So doing something along these lines every day can be very helpful. This could just be speaking at a club, dancing, martial arts etc.
  11. Being Part of a Community – Though vata people fear being around people, they love being around people who they can relate to and are gentle in temperament. Vata needs to spend time with their community to reduce their feelings of fear and lack of belonging.

The trick really is creating a daily plan and sticking to it. Because vata is more into theories than the practice, it takes a bit of effort. (I know because I have failed many times). But once they learn to stick to it and start seeing benefits, they are likely to stick to it to the long haul for the sense of peace it brings.

Vata should not drop their self care practices because of what others say or how they may react to them. Because vata person deserve to feel a sense of calm, ease, peace and belonging just as much as anyone else. So they need to drop their fear of upsetting others and make their self care a priority.

Similarly they need to drop their habit of procrastination. Whether the vata person likes to admit it or not, their most favorite past time is procrastination.

Once the vata person start to understand how they work, they can make the necessary lifestyle changes to easily bring them selves back into balance.

The challenge is sitting down with a pen and making a plan. But once its done, and they start implementing the plan, they can see amazing benefits.

Thanks for Reading~~

Self Healing – My Experience

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We all inevitably need to heal our selves at one time or another in life.

Life is full of disappointments, losses and breakdowns.

Many of these are very temporary and we usually come out of it more personally and spiritually evolved.

In my life, every immediate loss got me to dig deeper into what it is inside of me that caused it to happen.

The underlining issues were often from early life experiences and certain belief systems.

I always felt the immediate thing I lost was because of some underling issue I needed to resolve within myself. Though it is not always that deep, in my case it has always been so.

Because I observed the same issues more than once.

The very first time it happened, I was on my way to healing. I came across all the right teachers, books and youtube videos.

However I abandonment my healing journey part way through due to my own unhealthy habits and other external interference.

The external circumstances and people I was with at the time were not very conducive to my healing process. I started to loose my own inner knowing of what I needed to do and instead ‘followed the crowed’, so to speak.

But my internal struggles never went away and they were always reflected back to me in external situations and circumstances I was creating.

Years went on, me trying to follow all the mainstream tips and tricks of trying to heal from stress, worry and anxiety.

These worked temporarily, but never gave lasting relief.

I was not surprised as I knew these issues were’t just reactions to what was currently happening in my life and were much more deep rooted.

Some were due to certain unresolved issues from years ago, buried deep in the subconscious.

My instinct was telling me that I needed to dig deeper to understand the real issues.

I knew I needed to try things that my instinct was telling me to try as part of my healing.

However, it was difficult initially to hear my thoughts or do the things I felt the urge to do because of external interference.

Years went on without any progress, until I finally detached from the external and reconnected with my inner self and intuition.

I once again got drawn to the same content, same books and videos from years ago when I first got called to look at my subconscious patterns. This time I had enough life experience under my belt to understand that this was the right path for me.

I started working on each subconscious issue that was buried inside of me.

This time I stuck to it and for the first time ever, I felt a burden lift from me.

I am feeling a lightness that I have not felt before.

You may wonder what it is that I did to get to this change.

Well, it was simple. It was about listening to my own self. Because I am the best judge of what can heal me.

All I needed to do was to be with myself and just listen.

Sure you can learn tools and tricks from teachers. You can even learn theories and schools of thought.

But it really come down to us contemplating our own selves and what is holding us back.

People outside only see your behavior and this even goes for your nearest and dearest.

It takes a bit more than knowing someone externally and even listening to what they are saying to really know what is going on inside.

As the only person who is privy to all your life circumstances, you alone is the expert of your own circumstances.

Really it is a process of narrowing in on your subconscious beliefs, thought patterns and accompanying behavior.

It takes you putting your self in the the third person and observing your own behaviors and reactions.

Once you recognize the beliefs behind the patterns, you can start changing that belief, ideally through affirmations and other related techniques.

It is not always easy and straight forward for everyone. But once you get the hang of it, it feels very natural.

It first comes down to having the intention to want to heal.

Once you set the intention, you will know instinctively what it is you need to do. You may even stubble across a book or a video that may help.

It is usually a process which takes time and involve many steps and many realizations.

There maybe some very good coaches that may be able to help kick start the process. But it needs to be someone who understand you from inside out.

So, DIY is a good option if you are willing to work on it.

I believe that healing is possible from almost anything.

Because nothing in existence is fixed. Everything is malleable including our brains.

Thanks for reading~~

How can you give someone feedback?

Correcting another person’s wrong perspectives, beliefs and behaviours is hard for anyone. You never know what the reaction will be.

You don’t want to be straight up and honest because you don’t want to risk bad feelings between you both. But at the same time you feel that you need to do something for their own sake.

You care and you want to do right by this person. But how can you achieve this with minimal collateral?

People employ many subtle ways to do this. Certain social protocols have been developed over time to break the news while sparing feelings.

The most common way is through hints and hypothetical scenarios that people concoct.

This is often times effective specially when the person is socially aware.

However, if the person is not so switched on to this type of communication, your words will be lost on them.

I think its always best to be honest when it comes to addressing these things. That way both parties know what is going on.

One skill I learnt at toastmaster when giving feedback is first to commend the person on positives, then provide advice for improvement and then commend again to lessen the blow.

I feel we can apply a similar technique here.This way the likelihood of your advice being heard is high and the chance of hurting feelings is lower.

I know I don’t always like to hear negative feedback because of my own ego or because I am oblivious to the fact that there is a problem. (like most people)

But the truth is I would much rather know if there is something I need to work on. I just hope that I will get to hear the feedback from people in the palatable form mentioned above. (*Cheeky Grin*).

~Thanks for Reading~

Why write a blog?

Many people write blogs today as a way to share their lives with others. Often times people do this as a way to express their thoughts in a creative way. And sometimes it is so they can be seen and heard by other like minded people.

Its not every day we come by people who share our exact point of view. But online there is a higher chance to meeting or rather having the chance to share ideas with such people. Why do we need to meet like minded people? Isn’t diversity in ideas what makes life interesting?

Well, I feel that it comes from our inherent nature as humans to want to feel understood. I think if we really become honest with ourselves, more than anything else, what we really want is to be understood and appreciated for who we are.

Who can better appreciate us more so than someone who can relate to our stories and opinions.

Having said that, we always do need a different perspective to scrutinize our thoughts and to make sure we think beyond just our own perspective. This is so we don’t get stuck in our small minds. And this can happen easily if we don’t expose ourselves to different perspectives.

Blogs should not be treated as a source of truth or credible advise unless its written by a credible person, who is an expert in a given field.

Best way to treat it would be like an opinion column in a newspaper or even an article in the newspaper. Somethings may be factual, but a lot of it is options and observations.

It is definitely not expert advice nor is it a scientific paper. It is just a way to share ideas in a written form.

Blogs I feel should be treated with humour and should be read with a pinch of salt.

Unless it is harming another person like injecting negatives thoughts into them, recruiting someone for a bad cause or defaming someone, it seems an ok way to share thoughts.

We just need to remember that blogs are no scientific papers.

~Thanks for reading~

2020 – Corona Virus Situation – Dealing with difficult times

Photo by Mati Flo on Unsplash

This is a rather difficult time for many of us to find peace. Covid – 19 is spreading and it is spreading fast.

Governments across the world are pleading people to stay home to minimise the spread of the disease. Because containment of the disease is so crucial. Not only to ease pressure on the medical systems, but also to prevent deaths.

Stats from across the world are now confirming that lockdowns and social distancing efforts have played a major part in flatting what would have otherwise been an exponential growth in number of cases which may have gone up to millions had they not taken these steps.

We all as humans are now required to unite and do our individual part to stop the spread of this disease. This is for our elderly and our fellow brothers and sisters who are dealing with existing conditions.

In all honesty the part we have to play is rather small. Staying home for a few days now to stop the spread of this disease. Taking quick action now means we have less issues further down the track to deal with.

This is a time we can be very grateful to the leaders of our nations for taking hard decisions to lessen the impacts of this disease to the people. The amount of work they put in day and night to tackle increasing number of social and economic issues should be noted by all us with appreciation.

And not to mention the amazing frontline health care professional who are essentially risking their lives to save the lives of others. We as a race are in debt to you.

Nations have been preparing for threats from other nations and even from outer space. This threat however was almost unexpected. Though it was predicted by many, no one expected it to reach the magnitude it has today.

It feels surreal. And it really hit home how we as tribal animals have such a large impact on others lives. The key lesson I learnt is how each of us as individuals really have a major part to play in our community.

I am keeping plugged into our local news and following the guidance provided by my local authorities to the best that I can.

~~Keep safe everyone~~

Hypersensitivity explained through Ayurveda

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Hypersensitivity is becoming a concept many people are warming up to in these times. Hypersensitive or highly sensitive people are often more sensitive to stimulation around them like noise and smell.

This is not considered a mental health disorder as per Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But the concept was popularised by a Dr. Elaine Aron who has done some research in this area.

From personal experience, I have seen that this is a trait that some people have. It is most common among introverts. From an Ayurvedic perspective, the vata body type seems to exhibit these qualities the most.

Some of the traits of the vata body type is that they are easily stimulated and subtle in nature. This subtle nature seem to cause them to be more tuned to subtle queues in their environments. Specially the feelings, emotions and thought currents of others.

This subtle and sensitive nature is said to be due to the spacious quality of this body type. Specially when the vata quality is very high, the person’s energy seems to be less contained within the body and get intermingled with the energies around them.

This is why Ayurveda strongly recommend this body type to focus their attention on their physical body, nourishing it and taking care of it. This way the energy or prana will come more into the body and the body is able to support it.

Ayurveda also recommend an Ojas building diet to build healthy tissues in the body so that life force or prana is properly supported. Ojas is a substance described in Ayurveda as heavy, rich and nourishing which builds healthy tissues in the body.

Some remedies include eating heavier root vegetables, using grounding spices, eating Ojas rich food like spiced milk, ghee, dates, oats etc, daily warm oil messages, having a strict routine to bring a sense of grounding and doing daily meditation that focuses on the body. Using certain Ayurvedic spices that supports grounding and mental clarity may also be useful.

Things to avoid include high levels of persistent stimulation, lack of routine, light, dry, cold and bitter food and too much analysis/talking unnecessarily.

Its really wonderful that Ayurveda has provided some gentle care tips for this unique trait. Because, burnout is a big problem for all of us and specially for highly sensitive folk.

Sometimes highly sensitive people don’t benefit from a main stream health and diet plan. So it is good to follow a specialized diet at least for a period to get back into balance.

Ayurveda brings a sense of comfort to highly sensitive people as it explains this trait very well. I have found the above remedies to be quite effective.

I feel that introducing some habits from the Ayurvedic system into our existing routine can have some great benefits. But it is always best to first check in with an Ayurvedic practitioner to get personalised consultation and advice.

~~Thanks for Reading~~

I found the below resource from Ayurveda College to be a very helpful:

Managing stress through an Ayurvedic life style

Over the years, I keep going back to Ayurveda every time I become overwhelmed with stress. Because I never kept this life style going for more than a few months, I am always reminded again and again each time I go back, how import this system has been for me to help me identify my unique stress symptoms and the life style changes that help me manage them.

Ayurveda is the ancient medical system of India which is over 2000 years old. It treats each individual based on their unique body type. Unlike our modern systems of treatment, in Ayurveda, two people with the same symptoms may not be treated in the same way. The focus is also on getting to the root of the problem more so than treating symptoms. What I am mostly fascinated with is the lifestyle management aspect of Ayurveda.

In Ayurveda, there are three basic body types which are called doshas which means qualities. Each dosha has its own unique characteristics under normal circumstances and also display unique symptoms during stress. The three body types are known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Doshas and Stress Symptoms

Vata body type is governed by air and ether. This body type tends to be slimmer, taller, drier specially the hair and skin, cold, easily stimulated, like movement, agile, has an active mind, fearful, restless, lively, easily changeable and talkative. When stressed all the above qualities become more extreme. The person experience more dryness, coldness and lack of appetite. Their minds start to raise and become hyper analytical. This often leads to anxiety and insomnia. Not only that, their minds become spacious and they may even experience disassociation from their bodies. They can become very fearful and often resort to fleeing their situations and circumstances.

Pitta type is governed by the elements fire and water. This body type tends to be medium build, strong, active, goal orientated, sharp, easily angered, impatient, intelligent, like being in control, make good planners and executers, have hot skin and thick hair and like physical activity. When stressed their body type experience anger, impatience, skin reactions like rashes and become super focused on achieving goals. They can become like fighters when stressed.

Kapha type is governed by the element water and earth. This body type tend to be bigger in built and has a tendency to hold on to moisture and mucus, kind and loving by nature, can be stubborn, slow to anger but once angered hard to recover, can remember things for a long time once learnt, move with slow grace, like to stay with their community and what is comfortable, responsible and have good stamina. When stressed, this body type become even slower preferring to just do nothing, can become sulky, can stress eat and put on weight, can become insecure and envious, start preferring sweets and stop physical activity all together.

A person can be one or two or in rare cases all three of the above body types at birth. This is said to be their body type in normal circumstances. But throughout our life, as we loose balance we develop negative qualities of our doshas. We may even develop qualities of another dosha when external circumstance change in some cases. The whole aim of ayurveda is to get back to our normal state using food, herbs and other life style changes. Often this involves cultivating the qualities of the opposite dosha to what you are showing symptoms of.

Stress Management

Vata type needs to cultivate Kapha and Pitta qualities to get back into balance. This means slowing down, staying rather than fleeing, trying to get involved in the community, showing love to one self and others, increase hot qualities in the body and manage anxiety and insomnia. Some lifestyle changes they can adapt include meditation and yoga each morning to manage anxiety and to become slower, use mantras to do with self love/community/belonging each morning, eat heavier root vegetables, avoid cold food, incorporate some spice in the food for heat, introduce fatty food for lubrication, do warm oil massage, introduce a routine and stick to it which will help ground the vata person.

Pitta type needs to cultivate more Kapha and Vata type qualities to get back into balance. This means meditating to avoid angry thoughts, do loving kindness meditation to develop acceptance towards others, eat light, cold and sweet food like salad, fruit and smoothie, swim for a intense yet calming physical activity and take time to just relax.

Kapha body type needs to cultivate Vata and Pitta type qualities to get back into balance. This means eating warm and spiced food to heat up the body and to cut the build up of mucus, introduce more physical activity to generate more heat in the body and more mental stimulation, try new things and move out of their comfort zone more to overcome insecurity and allow Vata and Pitta friends to take them to new places.

The above is just a very brief description of the body types and different lifestyle recommendation I learnt from reading on the internet and reading some books. Personally I found that knowing all three qualities and what to do for each is helpful as our bodies change seasonally and through out life. But our doshas at birth will always dominate through out our lives. For me this tends to be mostly Vata followed by Pitta. So for me, most of my lifestyle choices needs to be focused on cultivating Khapa type qualities. But more recently I experienced a Kapha imbalance initially triggered by medications. So it takes some awareness and paying attention to the current needs of the body to adapt our lifestyles to suit the current conditions.

I found this to be such a great way to tailor a lifestyle for my unique nature. Though given my vata nature I struggle to stick to routines, I still feel most balanced when I follow a lifestyle according to what’s prescribed for my constitution/body type.

I am hoping that this time I will continue with this lifestyle and I will still allow my self some time for my vata/pitta nature each day so I don’t loose the routine.

~~Thanks for reading~~

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Forgiveness – Is it really possible?

Why is forgiveness so hard!? Is there truly a way to forgive when you know that the apology you are waiting for will never arrive?

So people often say you need to just let go an forgive, because holding on to anger and sadness is only going to affect you, “Its like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”. But we all know that it is not that simple.

Why is forgiving so hard? It is hard because you want the other party involved to acknowledge that they were wrong before you can bring your self to forgive. But more often than not, the other party will be oblivious to the fact that they have done anything wrong by you. Or may be that they choose to ignore it so they don’t have to face the guilt or their ego is stopping them from coming forward and owning up. Or sometimes the injustice is not something you can directly address. Because it was not direct and addressing it would mean that you will be made to feel like you have lost your marbles.

Unfortunately what this means is that we find it hard to forgive and the resentment build up inside of us. Of course the ideal situation is that the two parties sit down and have a mature conversation about what’s happened and taking responsibility for their part in it. But what if this is not possible?

Well, after trying out many things over the years I think I have found a tool that potentially may help to reduce all the negative thoughts and emotions that will come up blaring inside when you think about the injustice you feel has happened to you.

This popped into my head as I was watching an animal training show on TV. Its like this. What does a duck say? “Quack Quack “. What does a snake do when it is scared. It bites. What does a rabbit do. It hops. We recognise that these are inherent qualities and habits of these individual animals. No matter how strange, disturbing or annoying the animal is, we forgive because we understand that it is their nature and we recognise that it is what makes them who they are and we find it even adorable specially with the duck and the rabbit.

So the idea is to apply that to human beings. You recognise that this person has a certain aversion to something you do with your life because it triggers something within them or they just behave this way because that is just how they are and they don’t know anything different. Imagine two fluffy animals in the same situation as you both are in having the same conversation. Then examine the side of the other person. Imagine the entire situation playing out inside your head but this time the characters are two fluffy animals. When you do this you will be able to see why the other person did what they did and it will be much easier to forgive. Once we let go of the anger and hurt we should be able to let go. But we will remember the nature of this person and avoid creating more situations where more anger could build up between you both.

Apparently this a technique that psychologist use to change the subconscious thinking patterns of people specially the ones we have about ourselves. Because images can touch our subconscious a lot more easily than any rational thinking or analysis. Also we are much more forgiving when mistakes are made by fluffy animals. Also when you intentionally become a third party to the situation you suddenly have more perspective. Sometime we need to realise this the nature of this individual. You can even give them a funny name to represent that persons species.

It so happened that a week or so after I realized this I picked up a book that was sitting in my shelf for a few years by Dr. Kerry Spakman. He uses this type of techniques with his clients and he explains why it is so effective in his book. His work is ground breaking and I think his book is one of the best self improvement books around.

So to end, I think this is good tool to employ if we struggle to forgive. Some people by their very nature is able to let things go very easily. But for others this is not so easy. So its important to have these tools which we can practice as often as we can. I know that at least this is something that has helped me and I am trying to practice this technique more.

Image Reference: Photo by Michael Olsen on Unsplash

Privacy! Is it a concept of the past?

Doxing as a form of bullying has increased majorly because privacy is something that is becoming hard to maintain.

Privacy is something we all value. Why? Because information in the wrong hands can have catastrophic effects. The reason why I got inspired to write about this is because a young man had committed suicide overnight because he had been a victim of doxing. Doxing is tactic used to destroy a person’s life by searching the person in question’s social media posts, online personas and other information of highly personal nature and sharing it with the masses.

Often this doesn’t stop just there. Further information about the person’s friends, family, address and job is shared with a mob of people who use the information to make the person’s life a living hell. So it becomes an ongoing form of bullying which can drag out for months, if not years. The person in question suffer soured friendships, family relationships, difficulty in employment to name a few detrimental effects.

It is not clear the intention of such prolonged bullying. It is often that the person had rubbed some people the wrong way or did something socially or morally unacceptable, but the actions are not unlawful and therefore is not punishable by the law. So people try to take matters in to their own hands and punish the person through covert means. In this particular case the young man had protested against persons of a certain social group doing community service with children, may be due to religious beliefs. Though I do not agree with his protest, I also do not agree that one ignorant action specially by a young person justify punishment of mass scale.

From a bystander’s perspective, it may seem that the person is deserving of this treatment because they did something negative. But one action does not show what the person is like as a whole and it may be that at the given point in time the person has been misguided. However the person is not left any room to redeem themselves or to learn. They are forever labeled a villain. The bullying on social media and in person is so severe that the person is left no other choice but to end their life. It is not clear what the mob of self proclaimed justice seekers intended to achieve by the prolonged bullying, but in this case this situation ended in tragedy.

I am not sure what the solution to this is. But this is a very common scenario that happens in our society. With the increase in use of technology and social media any misstep by a person will be recorded and shared among the masses. Though social media is allowing us to connect and share faster bringing us closer together the darker side is that it can be used as a very dangerous weapon when it comes to bullying. The effects of bullying at such a scale can have strong psychological effects which can be on going.

I think in cases like these we need to understand that we could very easily be on the other side being the victim of bullying. We may have differing view points to others and decide to voice something at a time of frustration or stress or make certain mistakes as every single person on the planet has done and is doing every day. Imagine all the content of your closet’s being exposed. Will you be able to live with that? Would you if in this situation expect others to be more forgiving and see your actions with compassion? Or would you think that you are deserving of this kind of social humiliation.

Image Reference: https://www.pexels.com/search/camera/

Who am I ?

How can one make life meaningful and feel a sense of satisfaction and sustain it for the long haul.

So, many times in my life people have said to me “Do you really know who you are ? or what do you actually want out of life?”. Often times this gets me into a big long analysis in my head about what it is that I like and who am I as a person. It seems that each time I go through this process I seem to have new set of goals and interests and what I want out of life also seemed to have changed. So I came to the conclusion that may be we don’t need to know who we are or we don’t need to have a specific thing that we want to get out of life.

This is specially a big question to younger people or people specially concerned with self help. I think this is often an indication that you are not finding satisfaction in the current state of your life at that given time. I think trying to answer big philosophical question is not really going to help us feel any better. I think instead the question we need to ask ourselves is what can I do right now to grow as a person.

I have learnt that the most import thing in life is my attention and focus. Because this is what allows me to learn new skills. Attention is powerful as my energy flows where my attention goes. So a big part of life is about learning to harness my attention and direct it towards very specific tasks and actions which will help me grow as an individual.

From contemplating, researching and trying out different things, I have found the following key areas to be helpful for me to have a satisfactory life and to curb any big questions that pop into my head about why I am here.

1. Resetting my attentionThis is harder than it sounds. Our attention is not often in our control these days. There are many things that grab it around us as well as somethings that are triggered by our basic biological impulses that takes our attention. So first thing we need to learn is how to focus our attention. One of the best methods for this I found is to take the attention away from the mind or any other external object and focus it on the breath. I normally focus my attention on the rising and falling of my stomach due to my breath for five to ten minutes. This help me reset my attention. It is like a cleanse to your attention pallet.

2. Understanding that attention can only be given to one thing at a timeI learnt that once I harness my attention by resetting it, I need to be very specific about what I focus my attention on. Think of our brain as a computer and think of what happens when we run two things in parallel. We all know that this will mean the system will slow down and would take longer to complete one task. So this means that we need to pick one specific thing that we will focus our attention on. This needs to be something that is challenging enough but it is still achievable so that we maintain our motivation though out the process.

3. Having a larger goal – We may be doing small yet challenging activities on a daily basis but may still loose motivation without a larger goal. There needs to be an underlining larger goal or a purpose which really helps us to maintain our motivation. This may be to reach a certain weight goal or to learn a certain skill to a certain level of mastery. It can also be as simple as saying I will work out every day even just for five minutes. Having a larger goal can really help us stay committed in the long term.

4. Variety – Focusing our attention daily on very intentional activities to achive a larger goal can keep us motivated. But this can also reach stalement if we allow it to get monotonous. So we need to introduce some variety into it. This may be by finding new activities to do for our daily fitness regime or by finding new problems to solve which use the skills we are trying to master. This will keep things more fun and enjoyable.

5. Lastly, find a like minded community It is all well an good that we are making improvements in our own lives and finding meaning. But what can be more meaningful than sharing it with folk who have similar goals. That is where a like minded community becomes important. This is also a way to compare notes to get new ideas from others as well as be a mentor to someone who is just starting the journey. These days this can be a virtual community if there is no physical one available where you are.

So to end, I have come to realise that knowing who we are is not really a thing any of us can actually achieve. But it is rather about who we are becoming each and everyday. Interesting thing to is that when I was pondering the question “who I am?” my background, my race, education etc didn’t even cross my mind. Because we all think of the person we want to become when we think of that question and this is something that is completely in our control every second of every day. So the next time I get asked the questions “who are you? and what do you want from life?”, I think I will say, who I am is a moving target and what I want is to grow. ~~

Image reference : http://clipart-library.com/pictures-of-question-marks.html