The Magic of Loving Yourself

Love Thyself ...as you are!

Love Thyself …as you are!

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment, so I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is not good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!

——————-
This post originally attributed the text to famed comedian Charlie Chaplin. There is, however, no evidence it is indeed Chaplin’s work. Online hoaxbusters attribute it rather to a retranslation of “When I Loved Myself Enough” by Kim McMillen.

YOU have the POWER! It is INSIDE

State Of Mind
We may not completely control our careers, but we are in full control over
  • Which skills we choose to acquire, refine and master.
  • Which talents we nurture and refine into our Perfexcellence toolbox.
  • Which passions we pursue and what problems we deploy our skills and talents at.
  • What impressions we make on the people we meet.
  • Whether we respond, or react to the curveballs that our careers throw us.
These are the things that largely determine our career success. The rest is mostly luck and as someone once said “Good luck is opportunity meets preparation”. So how are we preparing?
We may not have full control over every aspect of our health, but we do largely have control over
  • Those little habits that make up our personal hygiene.
  • What we eat, how much of it and how often.
  • How physical exercise we put in regularly.
  • How long we let each feeling and emotion (good or bad) live in our hearts.
  • How we choose to perceive the ‘injustices’ in the world.
And these largely determine how healthy we are – physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are no sustainably fulfilling careers in unhealthy bodies. So how are we ensuring that our health won’t sabotage our careers and dreams?
We cannot dictate people’s actions but we can chose and do control
  • How we perceive people and consequently treat them.
  • How we serve, help and appreciate those whose paths we cross.
  • Whether by our deeds and words, we leave people better off than we met them.
  • Whether our actions paint a consistent picture of our character.
  • Whether we leave each encounter better in some way than we got into it.
  • How well and often we make and keep our promises.
And these things touch people’s hearts and minds and is the stuff of influence.  When that influence makes their minds dance to that song we put in their heart, they reward us by letting us lead them.
Ultimately, we all create our futures and destinies, by the very thoughts we choose to dwell on,  the acts we choose to do in the present and what stories we choose to tell ourselves when things don’t go as planned.
The dirty office politics, the dubious colleagues, the bad boss, the unfair compensation schemes are only part of the story but they can also be tests and launchpads to true greatness, if only we can find the power within to overcome them, as often as they rear their head up in different forms.
Yes, there is tremendous power within us but we must be willing to pay the price to wield it.
  • Can we muster the strength to sacrifice the mundane for the significant … or vice versa if the mundane is what enriches another life?
  • Will we have the courage to deny our senses pleasure now that in order to gratify our spiritual yearnings?
  • Will we be able to say no to eating the fruit today and rather plant a tree of whose fruit neither we nor ours may eat but that will feed a small nation tomorrow?
The path to perfexcellence is riddled with such choices and we must find that courage, that willpower, that love and that vision to make the right calls and do it consistently no matter how many times we fail.

Living … in a Nutshell

Stephanie ...don't doubt it.

LIVE, for without life, nothing matters. That’s why you take good care of your health.

LEARN, for that’s how you gain the knowledge and skills that enable you to exercise the divine within you by creating things. That’s why you feed and take care of your mind.

LOVE, for nothing created without love can be truly divine and life isn’t worth living without love and the divine. That’s why  you remain steadfast through pain and darkness in building relationships and exercising your heart.

DIE, for a sad as it is, it is what makes life precious (it will come, don’t rush for it)

Leave a LEGACY, for that’s the only way to conquer death, and that’s why you listen to your conscience and reach out to the world with LOVE

And DEATH may well be a break between one life well lived (loving, learning and leaving a legacy) and another life of PEACE and GLORY. Even if death is the end, a life of loving, learning and living a legacy is ENOUGH!

An Old Couple’s Love Lesson

Blue RoseWhenever I am back on the island of Mauritius, saturday mornings are my moments for feeding my body and spirit, so I usually jog round the lush green streets of Ebene, sit and meditate in the spiritual park near Rose Hill then walk back home. It was on one such trip when I met this man pushing a woman in a wheelchair. I exchanged pleasantries with them, the man and I had a little chat, after which bid each other good bye and I went my way. I also found out they were married and I deduced she was wheelchair bound.

The next saturday while at routine, I met them again and we talked, exchanged pleasantries…and went our separate ways. This happened for about six times, and then one day as I came round the corner, I saw the wheelchair backing me, seemingly on its own…and when I got closer, I realised the man was squatting infront of the wheel chair, massaging the woman’s feet. The care with which he did it … as if he were touching something sacred … fragile …priceless, the gentleness with which he spoke to her, as would a mother speaking to her only child, all that struck a cord within my spirit and I stood there mesmerised. When I got closer and greeted them, the man asked me “Are you married?”. I froze at the question (it wouldn’t be the last time), then quickly recovered and told him that I was not. Then I noticed something else…the twinkle in his eye when he asked the question, you would think he were asking me “would you like to join us in heaven?”. Yes, I felt in his eyes love, no regret and … and almost sensed pity for me for what I was missing by being single.

And I thought to myself wow!!! The woman is wheelchair-bound, I doubt they go dancing, or how often they make love … that is if they even get round to doing it at all or … she that she cooks for him. In short, I just didn’t see her giving him all the things our culture has brainwashed us into thinking women must do for their men and yet there in his eyes was all proof I needed that he was in love, … and loving it. He did go on and tell me I must get married but it was what he didn’t say, or more accurately, how he behaved that left and imprint in my spirit to this day.

I walked home … meditating on what I had just seen (did I really witness this? or had my hyperactive mind gone into overdrive again?) and I offered a prayer of thanks to God. In my heart I believe God sent those old lovers to teach me (or more accurately remind me) of a key lesson about what love is …. not first and foremost a feeling (something I know but have a hard time actually getting to grips with), like Stephen Covey will say …it is what you do (a verb). Love the feeling is a fruit of love the verb, it manifests itself in the loving things we do, like care for others, like put their happiness before ours especially when it is not convenient to us. If we could do that even 60% of the time, we just could live our romantic dreams … to love the woman/man in our life, with every breath we take, every day we wake up (I know a bit of how that might feel, I once fell in love with my own girlfriend). Isn’t that amazing?

Now I don’t know how far those two have come to get where they are today, what quarrels, arguments they’d had, but somehow, they never lost sight of what mattered most. That, and the fact that they probably dealt with their mutual challenges in a way that made love blossom in their lives. It might not even have been ‘they’, sometimes it just takes one person to not lose sight of what matters during the thick of things and to sacrifice a bit of their ego … to give love a chance to grow further.

That was the last time I saw that couple; I have gone back to jog on that same path, and I keep hoping to see them and maybe thank him for the lesson he had taught me, but I never saw them again. They serve as a reminder to me, that romantic fairy tales do exist. If you are reading this, I hope their story inspires you and I hope you will join me in praying: “Father, please teach me how to love like that man, selflessly and totally, with devotion worthy of a child of the path of light. Amen”
[Thanks to Stephanie for editing this post]

Purpose in Life – A Daily Perspective

“Why was I put on this earth?

What is my purpose in Life?”

These are questions that every person who aspires to self mastery must ultimately ask and answer of themselves. And the answers don’t come easy, it might take the first 15 years or more of your life for those question to even cross your mind, probably another 10 years of ignoring them and then maybe another 10 years or so to get an idea.

By the time we get the answer to the question, refine it into a clear and compelling personal vision and mission and develop the resources, relationships, capabilities to actualise it, probably we’d be in our forties. Of course some lucky ones or divinely touched ones can figure it out earlier.

Yes, it can be frustrating and this morning I had a thought (as usual it came to me in the bathroom). While pondering the bigger question of purpose in life, we should not ignore the smaller and probably more important question of purpose in the present, in the NOW. Afteral, we can only live life in the now, by being present and if we could ask and answer the questions:

a. What is the purpose of this task I am doing right now?

b. What is the purpose of this encounter?

c. How may I serve in this situation?

Then we could bring purpose to the present and our day need not be a ‘grind’ but a dance to the tune of clear purpose that changes and responds to each situation and in interlaced moments of spontaneity, we’ll find rest from purpose and just BE …be tools/instruments to be used by the divine, for good, for peace, for progress.

And if we can find purpose and meaning in each day, is it possible that our lives will be without purpose? I don’t think so.

 

The NEW has GONE, the OLD has COME – The Transformation

I stand at a threshold in my life, one I know so many other people have stood at – looking back at 3 decades of life (thanks to all that have been there, even the obnoxious ones) and looking forward with my physical eyes to at least another 5  decades (Insha Allah) and with my spirit, to an eternity.

The cracks of degradation of my physical body are beginning to show (I can no longer work for 48 hours without sleep) and rather than cling to the vanishing sands of my past and youth, I must now make the decision to either embrace the winds of the future, or languish in fires of regrets of what could have been in the house of yesterday. A transformation is going on …whether I choose to accept it or not. I make the choice to accept it and intentionally make what ever adaptations I must make in other that this transformation be one that will bring me and those around me more peace, more love and more fulfillment.

Part of that transformation will be to give up the ‘glory’ of youth for that of old men, and to do this I must transform or let be transformed :

  • Youthful strength into strength of character.
  • Reliance on my intellect into knowing by intuition and awareness.
  • Desires to make myself better into a yearning to serve others and make another life better.
  • The need to take into a desire to share and give.
  • Independence in for interdependence.

I know it is a journey and it won’t be easy, but it is a journey I must make – one I have chosen to make because I KNOW that it is one filled with reward … I cannot lose and there is ultimately only happiness and peace on that path.

Thus, as I thread this path of light, I pray that a life of discipline, of learning, of service, and of contribution will bear the fruits some of which I have always desired but never had: Patience | Selflessness | Spontaneity | Presence | Silence | Oneness with God.

This I wish myself, every moment …and I wish it to you too.

Alone …But Not Lonely: Taking Home with U

What is home? Where is it? Those are the questions I have had to face for myself lately. I have spent more than a third of my life away from the house in which I was born, away from the people that conceived and raised me (God bless them). If that is what home is …. and I have thought so for a long time, then that part of my life spent away from it has been …. a huge loss.

I once read somewhere that “a home is any house with love in it” and I have experienced it to be true. For I  twice (completely different countries) lived with other woman who neither fed nor clothed me but I knew as well as my own breath that they loved me like any one of their own children. Different women have tended me when I was ill, fed me, chastised me and at those moments, I have felt the same thing I have felt at home in the arms of my mother: the embrace that felt like it could protect me from a bullet, the hug that heals my heart-ache, the eyes that see into my soul and the look of gratitude and pride that says “My son, I am proud of you” without using a single word.  But then because I have had to move often, it(that physical proximity) hasn’t lasted.

Now, I have come to realize, that if you can’t carry your home in your heart, you will always be lonely. It is those thoughts of love, of care, the fond memories, the scars of shared care, of sacrifice that make home. And so I woke up this morning, so far away from my mother she couldn’t hear me if I screamed (a scary thought), four hours difference between us, i felt lonely, but reached into my heart and summoned home. … all of them, all of the ‘homes’ across different physical places I have lived, I carry them within me and I am grateful to God for this revelation. Now, I can go about my business anywhere I am, knowing that even though I am a lone, I am not lonely, for my home is in my heart and Allah watches over me.