temporary

How long is considered short-termed? Whatever that increment is, I feel like I’m constantly trying to aim for it. I can’t say that that’s how I want to live my life, even though I fall into the trap on an every day basis, and it’s so easy to live for the short-term. The deeper I delve into life this summer, the more I realize that the things I do, think, feel are based on me wanting to be happy in that moment, but not really thinking about the rest of the day, week, or even my life. Sure, it’s really great to be happy in the moment, but if that is constantly fluctuating, what’s the point? If the next moment I’m going to be unhappy, confused, frustrated, was that one moment of happiness worth it? To be completely honest, I don’t know if it is.

I can tell you that what I want is to be happy in every moment the rest of my life. And what’s the key to that? Well, in theory, it’s pretty simple.

There’s this idea of temporary versus permanent. What is permanent in this world? Physically, on a gross level, nothing really. We are constantly changing; one day we will deteriorate back into the Earth from which we came. Our jobs, family, schools, environment is always changing. Ever internally, we can’t really rely on our thoughts and emotions, our mind because they too are constantly changing as well. Unfortunately, not many of us have the power to harness our mind’s energy and be able to control. On the flip side, our mind controls us. Our intellect controls us. Our senses control us. We are constantly chasing after all these things, the latest shoe, the best tasting dish, a great education. What is all of that doing to us? What are we gaining from it? Up to a certain point, we are benefitting. However, we are benefitting on a pretty gross level. We are just feeding our senses. And sure, that is giving us this in the moment happiness, but it also can give us in the moment frustration, anger, hatred, confusion, and so many other emotions. What use is this if we really truly want to be happy? Is this the way to eternal happiness? Is this what is going to make our souls–our true and pure selves happy? I can’t say that it will.

On this current adventure I am on, I heard a really interesting thing the other night. The speaker was talking all about what we attach ourselves to in terms of temporary and permanent. In terms of permanence, what is more true? The mind? Or the soul? As permanent as the mind seems, it is in constant fluctuation; chasing what the senses want and getting in the way of our true nature. The soul on the other hand is the truest aspect of ourselves. It is true happiness and bliss and perfection. But, unfortunately, we have lost sense of our true self as the soul and the God within (or whatever lingo you wish to use).

We need to stop attaching and identifying ourselves with the temporary, ever-changing things in this world. Bind to something that is constant and permanent. True happiness isn’t a hard thing to achieve. It just takes a lot of work.

It takes a lot of soul searching. Literally. Reconnect with your true self. Ask yourself what is real and what is not, what’s temporary and what’s permanent. Everything is relative; and it’s okay to live in this relative world, because that’s just what we have to do. What’s important is we learn to be aware of the relative, and learn how to move past that and into the permanent.

That permanent is something bigger than ourselves. Seek your path and find your way back to your true self.

“His aim was not to acquire but to realise, to enlarge his consciousness by growing with and growing into his surroundings. He felt that truth is all-comprehensive, that there is no such thing as absolute isolation in existence, and the only way of attaining truth is through the interpenetration of our being into all objects. To realise this great harmony between man’s spirit and the spirit of the world was the endeavour of the forest-dwelling sages of ancient India.”
-Rabindranath Tagore

mind space

Here’s a thought that has been recently brought to my attention more than usual–mind space. The capacity of the mind is fairly large. I mean seriously, it is filled with just stuff. And everyday, we are constantly adding more stuff to it, whether we realize it or not. I mean its constantly processing, thinking, analyzing, organizing–it never stops! The power of the mind is unreal and crazy incredible. Its remarkable how much stuff gets put into the brain and the mind every single day.

The unfortunate part of it all is that a lot of that space is taken up by a lot of negative things. Judgements, criticisms, dislikes, jealousy, ego…all that gross stuff takes up a huge portion of our brain. What the crap?! It’s okay. It’s human nature to have an ego, and it’s easy to accidentally slip out a judgement or a negative comment. No biggie folks, it happens to me all the time.

But here’s the idea that has been popping up in a few books I’ve been reading, as well as some dialogues I’ve been listening to. Instead of filling our space with negative stuff that really isn’t good for us anyways, why don’t we fill our mind with positive stuff? Love, compassion, optimism? Those things never killed anyone! If anything, they help us grow into better human beings.

I know this seems like a simple and obvious idea and concept, yet, I’m not sure why it has never been so obvious of a decision in my life. I’m not just talking about positive thoughts and stuff. I’m talking about everything that we take in from our 5 senses should be positive. All of those sensations get perceived in our mind while the mind makes choices and discriminates between what to do and what not to do. So instead of sending sensations that aren’t super positive, why not send ones that are? Our mind can become purer, happier, more content, cleaner, all of these things that just make sense.

Naturally, as anything that is good for you, it’s easier said than done. It’s about making the right choices at the end of the day. I can sit and watch some reality show (which everyone knows I have my guilty pleasures of The Bachelor/Bachelorette), or I can read a good book. I can choose the slice of cheese pizza (which, again, everyone knows I’m a sucker for a good slice of cheese pizza) or I can pick the lighter and healthier option. The decision is ultimately in our hands of what to do and what not to do. However, the better the choices we make and the more frequently we make them, the more clarity our mind receives; and when we truly are stuck in a tough situation, our mind can immediately discriminate what’s the right decision and what’s not.

It’s all about setting up for later on down the road. The more confusion and cloudiness we bring in our lives now, the harder the decision-making process becomes later on. But, we have the power to reverse that!

There’s already too much negativity in this world. Fill your mind space with the good vibrations.

travel yoga mat-review

In the midst of traveling this summer, I didn’t want to forgo my yoga routine because I’ll be in hotel rooms and what not. Luckily, my amazing sister-in-law found a sweet deal of a yoga mat that is perfect for traveling. And, let me tell you, I just did my first routing in the hotel room using it, and I loved it! Every single minute of it.

The Manduka eko SuperLite travel mat is freaking awesome. It weighs only about 2 pounds. Just like Manduka mats overall, it has amazing grip and definitely won’t make you slip and slide all over the place. We’re in a pretty humid locale right now, and that didn’t affect my mat either. The thickness is only 1.5mm. I tend to like a cushier mat, because my knees hurt if I leave them on the ground too long, but with the padding of the carpet underneath my mat, it’s perfect. The other thing that I like about this mat, is that it doesn’t slip and slide on the carpet either. It stays put, so you’re not surfing while doing your routine when you’re on the go. The best thing about this mat, is that you can fold it up like you would a tshirt and stick it in your suitcase.

mat folded up real nice to fit in my suitcase

mat folded up real nice to fit in my suitcase

And of course, it’s part of Manduka’s green line, so it makes everyone happy.

I definitely recommending getting this mat, even if you’re not traveling, but just want a thin grippy, awesome mat for your at-home practice. Thanks Manduka for making a killer yoga mat. The traveler in me really appreciates it!

 

Jim Carrey commencement speech

Graduation season is coming to a close. I like to read up on some of the more exciting ones to see if I can get any pieces of advice or inspiration for my own life. I stumbled upon one from a small university in Iowa.  Here’s a little 1 minute clip of Jim Carrey’s commencement speech from a few weeks ago. Of course, it includes his goofy antics, but definitely had some high points worth sharing.

“I used to believe that who I was ended at the edge of my skin, that I had been given this little vehicle called a body from which to experience creation, and though I couldn’t have asked for a sportier model, it was after all a loaner and would have to be returned. Then, I learned that everything outside the vehicle was a part of me, too, and now I drive a convertible. Top down wind in my hair!”

“You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world and after you walk through those doors today, you will only ever have two choices: love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Check out the full text and video of Jim Carrey’s commencement speech here!

daily encouragement: june 07

“Faith and daily life, faith and work–these are not separate things. They are one and the same. To think of them as separate–that faith is faith, and work is work–is theoretical faith. Based on the recognition that work and faith are one and the same, we should put one hundred percent of our energy into our jobs and one hundred percent into our faith, too. When we resolve to do this, we enter the path of victory in life. Faith means to show irrefutable proof of victory amid the realities of society and in our own daily lives.”
Daisaku Ikeda

into the summer

So, summer is here. Another chapter in my life is coming to a close as another exciting adventure I like to call the summer is now starting. I have about 5 days until my big oral exam with Dr. Lad, closing the doors (just the first set, I have much more Ayurveda to learn and apply in my life) of my first year of Ayurvedic education. After that, I set on another journey this summer of lots of spiritual and personal growth (hopefully!). Whether or not it turns into something exciting, I know that there is a lot to be learned from whatever will come my way these next few months.

I have a belief in setting intentions. And, you know what, I completely and whole-heartedly believe that intentions come true. You just have to make them heard to the universe. The universe is not something against you. It is here to serve you, and all you have to do, in some way, is serve it back. Anyways, I like to set intentions (sometimes unwillingly, to be completely honest) before I start something new in my life. Lessons I want to learn about, things I need to/want to work on, clarity I want to receive on some matter or other. And it just helps guide my thoughts and actions when I start something new. Seriously, y’all should try it.

Anyways, this summer for me is going to be a lot about self-discipline and self-study. There is so much I want to learn about and so much energy I want to harness from the world and the people around me. And, unfortunately, I love to take on the harder tasks in life. Without a fail, I want to work through the harder things in life (don’t ask me why, I somehow ask for this unconsciously). Well, this thing I want to work on is going to take a lot of self-discipline and lots of self study and going internally to figure out what’s right, wrong, good, bad, whatever. And, as y’all know I am a huge proponent of journaling! So, why not use this as an excuse to get a journal for the summer!

I’m going to use this opportunity to finally start a gratitude/inspiration journal. I bought 2 brand new volant moleskine journals, and dubbed them my summer inspiration journals. I’m going to start them off with my 3 big intentions for the summer, and then whatever comes to me, journal it out. And, I mean anything and everything that inspires me, comes to me, makes me think outside the box, whatever it may be. I’m even going to start writing out my “thoughts of the day” in them as well. I’m pretty stoked about this y’all.

I really believe in the power of physically writing out your thoughts and having something concrete to come back to; seeing how much you’ve changed, grown, things that excited you x amount of years ago, it’s really inspiring.

Every day is a reason to start something new. Every season is a reason to set your intention for what you want out of life. Because, truthfully, at the end of the day, nothing or no one can actually stop you from reaching your goals and desires. The hardest truth to swallow is that we’re the only ones stopping ourselves from getting what we want. (Trust me, it’s hard a truth to face…to not deflect out, and fully accept ownership for your own hinges in life). Be proud of what you want, and go out and get it.

Set your intentions, fully and truthfully, and just watch the universe literally bring those opportunities to you on a silver platter. Whether you take them or not, is all on you. But, intentions work y’all. Try it out! Write them down, and inspire yourself to go and get them.

What intentions do you have for the summer?

the road less traveled

This past weekend, I was asked to write down my top 10 desires in life, and then rank them by importance and urgency of attaining them. Not that I was baffled by the task at hand, but it took a while to think of actual desires I had for my life. The themes around which my every day actions and ideas revolve around. Sure we have goals and wishes to become something great and do amazing things, but to figure out what our actual desires are, it’s not as easy of a task as you would think.

Putting these things down on paper is one thing. But what makes them important is what you’re going to do to actually achieve these desires and make them come into fruition. Some amount of effort has to be put in, hard decisions have to be made, and every now and them the desire comes at a cost. For the longest time, I thought that it was easy to have everything at one time; that I never had to sacrifice one thing for another. Life is perfect that way. However, I quickly realized that that notion was just that, a notion; an idealistic view point on life that is much easier said than done.

I mean, think about it. Every great person that we idolize as role models made sacrifices to get what they wanted. Each Olympic athlete has to put in 10,000 hours of practice just to qualify. CEOs and the head dudes of major companies and organizations put in hours upon end to see that their business is successful. Scientists and mathematicians are continuously working on their analyses. To become Miss America takes missing more friends and family events than you would think (this I know because of one of my very good friends). Achievement doesn’t just come to people who go about their lives as if it’s just any ol’ day.

What are you willing to do make sure you successfully see your desires become real? So, the first step is to write those 10 things down. Then there will come a time when you will be put in a spot to make a really tough decision, and you’ll realize that what you want in the short-term doesn’t trump the long-term. We get so caught in making ourselves happy in the short-term, but we sacrifice long-term happiness. But why not the other way around? I want to be happy 20, 30, 80 years from now, not miserable.

I was told this past weekend that the harder decision is usually the better decision and the right decision, whether we want to believe it or not. Attachment and ego lead us to believe that the easier, more obvious decision is the better decision. But that only leads to chasing for short-term happiness. We are instant gratification seekers. I’m beginning to realize that short term situations just keep up going from one day to the next; there’s nothing that is pushing us to look past one year, two years.

This past weekend I was asked to make a decision that would essentially make me leave my plans and do something that I’m not completely thrilled about. Upon reflection in that moment, I realized my hesitance to say yes to the new idea was because of my attachment to the original idea, and my ego having control over that. Where was the surrendering that I so often seek in my day to day life? At that moment, I thought about the 10 desires that I had written on that list.

  • Have faith
  • Not be controlled by attachment
  • Be content

These were just 3 out of the 10 that I wrote down. If I had said no to the question I was faced with, I would blatantly be going against 3 out of 10 of my desires (plus more). Who wants to be a hypocrite? I’m not trying to talk big game without backing it up in my actions.

This past weekend had to have been one of the toughest decisions I have had to make. I can’t say that I’m still 110% completely excited with the new plans, but it’s about having faith. It’s about my having faith that I am being taken care of by something much bigger than myself. And if I learn to let go and truly surrender, there is a beautiful liberating feeling that awaits me.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

in denial

“When you deny the God within, you deny the God everywhere…” -Dr. Lad

This little, yet huge statement was made by Dr. Lad a few weeks ago, and I have been churning the meaning behind this ever since then. What in the world could Dr. Lad have been meant by saying this? These are my thoughts on the whole thing…

What does it really mean to deny the God within? And I began thinking, a lack of so much and an excess amount of so much all contributes to us denying the God within. Every time I look in the mirror and point out a flaw, I am denying the God within. A lack of self-esteem, self-worth, self-trust are all contributors to denying the God within. If I can’t even love myself, the perfectness that something greater than myself has created, how in the heck am I going to be able to love someone else? It always begins with you, with going internally and really loving and appreciating every ounce of your existence and being.

Our lives are clouded by judgement and criticism, towards other and ourselves. We fail to see that our external environment is just a reflection of our internal one. I judge and criticize because of my own insecurities. I am rude and mean because of something within that doesn’t sit well with me about myself. With this, I am denying the God within.

We are constantly seeking for something bigger than ourselves in every single place. Why don’t we ever just turn our focus the other way and begin to look within. Our bodies are the first temple. However, we will take care of everything except ourselves.

Tonight, Dr. Lad said that the true heaven we seek is already within us. Everything that we could ever want and need is lying within. But, we choose to deny all of that, and by denying what we already have, we are denying everything that is beyond us. Gandhi says to be the change you wish to seek in the world. Many other bright and enlightened people always focus on self-development, and going within, and seeking internally. Well, there is some validation to what they are saying. Instead of worrying about others, why not worry about yourself? One of the hardest problems I face is listening to something inspiring, and then thinking about every other person that thought or idea can benefit. But, do I ever turn the arrow to myself and really try to implement those same ideas into my own life? I essentially have just put myself in the same boat of other people judging from my idea of “non-judgement”. And where does this get me? Absolutely no where.

Nothing but in denial. I am constantly denying the greatness within me, and ultimately, I am hindering myself to see the greatness that surrounds me. After all, my external environment is just a reflection of my internal.

Luckily there are so many tools out there to alleviate this constant cycle I put myself in–awareness and mindfulness being two of the main ones. Be aware of your thoughts and actions.

Start loving yourself and then truly and purely be able to love others.