Tag Archives: positivity

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.

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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?

trying something new

I decided to do something new last night. Here’s what happened:

I was coming home from class, and was doing my usual routine; cleaning up the kitchen, brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed, whatever. As I was hopping in, I looked at my phone and saw that my battery wasn’t completely wiped. I thought, oh wow, I barely used my phone today. And it was kind of great. The days that I am so engaged in life and whatever is going on in the real world, as opposed to the virtual one, have seemed to usually end on a brighter/better note. Interesting. As I was hopping in bed, I looked at my phone and decided that something was going to change.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up, and the last thing you do before you close your eyes to go to sleep at night? For me, it was checking my emails, texts, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter every now and then. Literally. As soon as I would turn my alarm off in the morning, my fingers automatically jumped to the mail app, then the Facebook one, so on and so forth. And the same exact thing would happen at night. Let me just check really quick to see if anything new and exciting has happened since I last checked 30 minutes ago. Now, I get it.

Is this really the thoughts and energy I want to absorb myself with as soon as I wake up, and the last thing I do before bed? Realizing now, it doesn’t really jive with the positive, Truth-seeking life that I am trying to live. I love Facebook and Instagram, don’t get me wrong. But, I realized that it can’t be my life. There are so many more amazing things that I could be spending the last few minutes of the day with.

So, here’s what I am doing. I’m going to put aside my phone at night, and focus on what’s important to me. Get back in touch with my journaling, spend some time reading the hundreds of books that are on my “to-read” list, close my eyes and meditate/reflect on the day, actually go to bed a little more peacefully. And what am I going to do in the mornings? The same thing. Not look at my phone (except to turn my alarm off, of course), until I’ve finished my morning routine, finished my yoga and pranayama practice, and got a little meditation in. I’ve also decided to start my day with some words of wisdom, from whomever. Right now, it’s The Mother.

It may seem trivial or not even worth mulling over, but everything is sending you energy, whether it’s gross or subtle. If you want your day to be amazing and end amazing, you have to make the conscious effort to make it happen. This is how I’m doing it.

How do you start and end your day on a positive note?

From Prayers and Meditations by The Mother

November 2, 1912*
ALTHOUGH my whole being is in theory consecrated to Thee, O Sublime Master, who art the life, the light and the love in all things, I still find it hard to carry out this consecration in detail. It has taken me several weeks to learn that the reason for this written meditation, its justification, lies in the very fact of addressing it daily to Thee. In this way I shall put into material shape each day a little of the conversation I have so often with Thee; I shall make my confession to Thee as well as it may be; not because I think I can tell Thee anything — for Thou art Thyself everything, but our artificial and exterior way of seeing and understanding is, if it may be so said, foreign to Thee, opposed to Thy nature. Still by turning towards Thee, by immersing myself in Thy light at the moment when I consider these things, little by little I shall see them more like what they really are,—until the day when, having made myself one in identity with Thee, I shall no more have anything to say to Thee, for then I shall be Thou. This is the goal that I would reach; towards this victory all my efforts will tend more and more. I aspire for the day when I can no longer say “I”, for I shall be Thou.

How many times a day, still, I act without my action being consecrated to Thee; I at once become aware of it by an indefinable uneasiness which is translated in the sensi- bility of my body by a pang in my heart. I then make my action objective to myself and it seems to me ridiculous, childish or blameworthy; I deplore it, for a moment I am sad, until I dive into Thee and, there losing myself with a child’s confidence, await from Thee the inspiration and strength needed to set right the error in me and around me, — two things that are one; for I have now a constant and precise perception of the universal unity determining an absolute interdependence of all actions.images

equanimity-love and compassion

I’ve encountered this idea of “equanimity” “being equanimous” etc. recently a lot. The idea is pretty simple at first thought. Treat everyone equally, and then you won’t create any extra “baggage” with them or their soul, which is ultimately a good thing.

Upon further thinking on this idea, I realized how much harder it actually is in real life. To not react with like or dislike. To not react with your ego attached to your emotions. To not be attached to your reaction, the individual, the end result. This is really hard when you start thinking about it. And personally, something I’m going through right now.

And then I started thinking, if I should be treating everyone equally (equanimously), then in theory I should be treating my family the same way I treat classmates, peers, even strangers. For some reason that didn’t sit well with me. I don’t want to treat my parents, husband, family, the same way I treat the cashier at Target. Did I just create a hierarchy? Yeah, pretty much. I realized that I just created a system in my head where I placed my family on a higher rank of “people” then the people that cross my path once or twice. And here I am touting about how everyone deserve to be treated equally. Hello hypocrite!

What does that mean to treat someone with equanimity? In one of my classes yesterday, some students were saying things that I didn’t agree with. The first thing that popped in my head was rebuttals to their arguments. The second thing that popped into my head was that I should just let it go. It is what it is. They feel the way they do, and I can’t change it. I’m treating them with equanimity right? Wrong, because for a split second I thought that non-reaction is better than reaction. I talked to Nandan about this, and essentially the conversation lead to the conclusion that it’s not about inaction or not reacting. It’s about not having that attachment, which eventually leads to a pure love and compassion for everyone.

That’s the whole point of being equanimous (at least in our thought process). To treat everyone, spouse, parents, siblings, friends, strangers, peers, whoever with love and compassion. And that love and compassion should be the same for everyone. There is no hierarchy when it comes to who gets more compassion from you.

One of our classmates had invited the Drepung Monks to her house for a blessing, which was just so beautiful. But, after one of the monks lead a question and answer for a little while. He started talking about duality, and how everything has an opposite. The opposite of love is hate. The opposite of compassion is ill-will. The part that really stood out to me, was when he said that you can’t have both feelings in your mind at the same time. If your mind and heart are filled with hate, there is no room for love. If your mind is filled with ill-will, there’s no room for compassion. Which, then leads to un-equanimity! But, if your mind and heart is filled with love and compassion, there’s no room for hate or ill-will, and then you can act and talk from a true place of equanimity.

That was just so profound to me. We are so caught up in all these feelings of revenge and annoyance and frustration, that we literally have taken over our minds with negative emotions, that there’s no room for the positive and beautiful ones! Instead of focusing on why that person annoys you or irritates you or makes you so angry, why don’t we start thinking about how that person is just another person that deserves our love and respect? Because we let our ego get in the way, for one. But, in general it’s just too hard to love the other person, right? We’re a society of easy-way-out. However, I don’t think this method will work in the long-run.

Having love and compassion for even one person is hard, let alone the rest of the world! There are always going to be things that your friends and family do that just annoy you or put you over the edge. If we start thinking outside of our own self, and the idea that they are effecting me, my ego, we can start acting in different situations in equanimous ways, which will then leak into other realms of our life. Even the cashier at Target will feel your love and compassion!

Love and compassion are the way to go people! And what better time of year than right now to start practicing?

’tis the season

My favorite season is finally upon us! Looking back at the past week, and all of the Thanksgiving celebrations and festivities, I am just seriously humbled and overjoyed with all of the opportunities that have come my way in this life. We spent time with friends old and new, we spent time with nature and just being in God’s creations, and we even watched the square in Santa Fe get lit up with their Christmas lights. Seriously, I have so much to be grateful for. Everyone does, we just get so caught up in life and everything that is coming our way, that we just forget to pay attention to all the things that we do have. I am completely guilty of this myself.

I went Christmas decoration shopping yesterday, and got a little carried away. I wanted everything to be so perfect from the outside, that I lapsed and forgot what this season is all about, and why it’s my favorite time of year. Sure me being the perfectionist I am, I want everything to look perfect. But the Holiday season isn’t just about the outside. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a perfect Christmas tree that looks like it came out of Home and Garden or Southern Living magazine. But, did that become my focal point? And for a split second, maybe it did. It’s my first Christmas with my husband, of course it’s a big deal to me. Somehow, I got lucky with a great life partner who calls it as it is, and made me remember why I love Christmas so much.

Sure, Christmas has turned into a huge commercial holiday, but it doesn’t have to be just that. What is true Christmas spirit? I love this season because it’s all about giving and spending time with your family and surrounding yourself with people who love you. It’s about something greater than yourself and realizing that there is so much more beyond our little bubble. It’s understanding that everyone on this planet is connected in some way or other. And of course it’s about Santa coming and visiting all the children in the world and spreading true Christmas cheer.

Nandan and I decided that we are going to truly make this a season of giving. How can we spread true Christmas cheer to the people around us?

By not being a Grinch. By being loving and caring. By being kind and supportive. By being giving. By providing to the best of our capability the things our family and friends really, truly need. By having a smile on our face no matter what life brings us. By giving back to our community. By helping out at a food shelter. By being open. By being grateful.

The hardest part of this challenge? Taking these and going beyond just the holiday season. By implementing this into our lives past December 25, and into the new year. We’re not perfect. But, we can sure as heck try our best.

We went to dinner last night with our uncle. After we were finished, we were surprised to find out that the family sitting next to us had bought us dessert. Complete strangers, just spreading some holiday love. It’s as simple as that.

‘Tis the season to be jolly. And merry, loving, caring, grateful, and giving.

How will you spread holiday cheer this year?

favorite things

So, I watch a lot of YouTube videos, TedTalks, anything else people post on the various social media sites and the internet in general. I’m sure you can also tell that I post about a lot of articles and stuff I read. All of this in turn, lead me to create a new category of “favorite things”, where I will be posting these videos and articles and such. Just to share the good stuff!

And, I’m going to start with this. This video was really inspiring, and somewhat emotional; however the theme of it reflects my belief that all people are inherently good. Someone or something just needs to be a catalyst to channel that energy and flow of positivity into the right direction. So take a look, and if you cry, I won’t tell.

Enjoy!

because y’all know I love gratitude

I know I’ve mentioned something about gratitude in several of my posts. I’ve posted a few daily encouragements that mention gratefulness. One of my favorite quotes by the most influential person in my life is “To be grateful is to be human.”

I want to pass on this video to you all about gratitude. Got 7 minutes? Go ahead, watch it now.

Did you watch it? I think it’s pretty amazing how something so simple (and free for that matter!) is the key to our happiness. This just further proves that all of this stuff we surround ourselves with doesn’t create a solution to our happiness. And, this is something that is even hard for me to fully act on most of the time. Doing all of the stuff that we love, hiking, shopping, reading, painting, whatever just makes life more fun. But does it really truly make us happy? Short term, maybe. But, we can’t keep living for short-term results, because then in the long-term, it can maybe cause unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It’s kind of like this. Why do we take vitamins and work out and even brush our teeth? Because we know that it’s good for us, and can prevent disease and  rotten teeth in the future. If we can take care of our physical self so that we can be healthy later on in life, why can’t we take care of our spiritual and mental self?

Something so simple, but so hard to do. Yeah, it means putting aside our ego for a little bit to let another individual, or thing, or whatever that you’re grateful for what they did for you; that because of them you succeeded in xyz. But, in the end, a little humility and gratitude does keep ourselves in check. And that’s not a bad thing, right?

So, go ahead. Tell someone thank you. And really truly mean it. Don’t say it out of an obligatory way like when someone holds the door open for you and you grudgingly thank them for that little task. Be grateful and be awesome!

Want to read the actual study? I haven’t gotten around to it, but definitely on my reading list. Here it is!

just laugh

I just got to Philadelphia yesterday to spend time with my family in the North East, and help my aunt with my older cousin’s wedding. It hasn’t quite reached the period of crazy franticness and chaos, since it’s still just a few people here, but we are enjoying our time during the calm before the storm.

I am the second oldest cousin on my mom’s side, and I was spending time with 2 of my younger cousins yesterday. Just catching up and goofing off as 3 girls would do when left alone. Cousin #4 out of 5 is about to start her freshman year of college. While we were taking care of random things that needed to get done for my aunt, she wouldn’t stop giggling. Every single moment this girl is giggling and laughing her way through every task. Out of her entire 18 year life, I can’t recall more than 2 times where I’ve actually seen her upset or angry or mad at anyone. Thinking back, I realized that she has just always been like this.

While I was seriously thinking about this weird behavior of hers, the psychology major in me immediately jumped to, “Oh, it’s just a defense mechanism. Oh, she’s just deflecting. Oh, it’s just this or that.” But, later that night I realized that she is just an incredibly happy individual. And I realized that even though she’s my younger cousin, this one little thing is something so much to learn from. She is always freaking happy!

When I talk about living a positive life and constantly having an optimistic outlook, she is literally the embodiment of just that. If someone says something can’t be done, she thinks otherwise. When someone isn’t up for a certain task, she is there, jumping right in and finishing the job. At the age of 18, she’s mastered a skill set and created a personality that most people don’t even achieve by the time they are 80. It really is incredible.

How can one girl just be this incredibly happy? It’s because she chooses to. She is the best example of being aware, and choosing to be the positive one. This is something really hard to do, and I myself struggle to see outside of myself and outside of the smaller picture. But, it comes to show that surrounding yourself with the right people make a huge difference in your life. Every minute I spend with her is just another minute that I feel better, more relaxed. It’s all about the energy you exude.

We have to be constantly aware of what kind of energy we are sending people? Our aura can indirectly and directly affect those around us. Whether she is aware of how great of an energy she gives people, I don’t know. But I know that it is something that I strive to be more mindful of.

Confused as to how to go about doing this? One thing that I do sometimes, is when I am eating breakfast, or doing something part of my daily morning routine, I set my intentions and think about a few people that I want to send positive energy to. I don’t “pray for them”, but I think about our relationship and all the great attributes that specific individual has, and just think to myself that I hope he/she has a good day. Literally just sending some positive and loving energy to them. Whether or not it reaches them, I don’t know. But I do know that for me, there are some days that are just better than others, and I know that someone, somewhere in this crazy world, is thinking about me, and hoping that I have a good day, that I am conquering my fears, that I am achieving my goals. And knowing that is really a great feeling.

Sending all of you positive energy and lots of love on this beautiful Wednesday morning!

it’s a sunshiny day

Let’s keep it simple. Today was a good day, for no good reason. Spring is in the air, the sun was out in who knows how long, and it was just a good day. I was at the gym, in the middle of some russian twists, when I just began to smile. It was a good day. Later, when I was driving back home, I noticed how sky-blue the sky was. It was just one of those things where you could tell it was going to be a good day.

Later on, I participated in Memphis City Schools ThinkShow. ThinkShow is where students from across the city school district participate in projects based on different themes. I had the privilege to judge the projects from K-8 at Douglass School in Memphis. Spending my afternoon with the students, and learning about different countries, animals, and even the school’s passion for raising money for a well in Sudan was so incredible.

I don’t think we learn to appreciate the simple things until we actually experience them. There was nothing special about today. It was just another Thursday. But, it was a Thursday filled with sunshine, laughter, and hope, and that is what made today a better than good day.

If we look for the pleasure in the simple things, having a conversation with an elementary school student, enjoying the brilliance of the sun, or even just jamming out to your newest music obsession, there’s no room left for annoyance or frustration.

There’s not a lot I really want to say today, but just that it was a good day. Today was just another story to share on my journey to the Truth.

“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” –Isaac Newton