Do we need to compete to feel good?

A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it.  It just blooms – Zen S

As I entered the gym elevator three children, between the ages of three and five, entered before me, along with their parents.  One child said I pressed the button and then the second one repeated after her and the third one said, “I also pressed the button.”

It just made me think why is it that when we are children, we, instead of competing, say or do things to be a part of a group, but not to compete with each other. Competition is so deeply entrenched in me as an athlete that I can’t but compete even later in life, whether it is eating competition or any other.  My immediate focus goes to the thought, “I have to win this or I have to be at the top of everything.”

Children do have egos but adults teach them to compete.  It could be a parent or teachers praising a sibling or another classmate for their achievement.  That’s not to say we shouldn’t praise children for their achievement but giving a message that other children follow the example of the child being praised  is what instills the spirit of competition.  Ego latches onto it.

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Do your habits chain you down?

“You are not meant to crawling, so don’t.  You have wings.  Learn to use them to fly,” Rumi.

As I thoughtlessly took the last few sips of the remaining bitter and cold coffee, I slide-069-630x315wondered why was I drinking it because I only like freshly brewed aroma-intact coffee that is warmish hot.   Then I remembered that for years I have sipped cold coffee that for some reason I conveniently forget to drink and a few hours later I delightfully discover it’s there.

This last time when I sipped the bitter cold coffee I realize that I had developed this habit irrespective of whether I like the coffee or not.  “Why do I drink something I do not like,” I asked myself.  Because the 1353c69af291bcde421f472680d55777time stops for me when I drink coffee.  I do not want to let go of those feelings. The first time leaving a few sips in the cup may have been by accident, but later they sure were not.  And over time it became my habit, despite disliking the cold and bitter coffee, for cold coffee tastes bitter to me. The reality is that time keeps moving whether I finish the coffee in half an hour or over a few hours.

I thought how many other habits have I developed that I am unaware of.  I continue to practice them because there is a payback for me.  Drinking bitter sips of coffee is not a big deal but what about other habits I have that may not be serving me.

Do you have habits that do not serve you?

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Relationship with self is like riding a mono cycle!

Only my condemnation injures me, Only my own forgiveness sets me free – ACIM

 fdf96527bb03b4f9aca0f31bf39142491New Year Resolutions: At the end of every year we usually make resolutions for the coming years.  Some of such resolutions include working on our weight, healthy eating and relationship with others.   Somehow we do not write improvement in relationship with oneself.  This is not to be confused with selfishness or self-obsession, or rather it’s how to free ourselves from entangling with others in a way that do not serve us.

Relationship with oneself:  It always reminds me of mono cycle 212908_dkng_unicyclebecause it’s like balancing on one wheel without the clutter of other wheels and other things.  Riders on mono cycles seemed to be always in the present, focused on nothing but balancing themselves.  It’s this focus in our present life, not the past or the future, that frees us of the gripe, pain and other things that do not serve us.  And somehow we always think it’s because of others, instead of looking inside ourselves to see where and how do we trigger our pain and discomfort.

 

9d517fb6ebb5a737766636db37879b9c-self-care-tips-self-care-ideas1Sometimes voice of an air hostess before taking off of the plane and landing echoes in my ears when I think of relationship with self.   It goes something like this: “In the unlikely event of an emergency oxygen masks will drop.  Put your mask before helping others…”  It took me decades of flying umpteen flight to realize why they say that.

                                                           

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Is your self-esteem driven by ego or spirituality?

“We should all aim for a ‘loosening of thinking” – Max Born 

We always think of self-esteem as either low or high.  People with low self-esteem, it is self-esteem-quotesaid, would think themselves as less than others, while the ones with high self-esteem are thought to be thinking of themselves as do it all.  In other words, they can do whatever they put their mind to.  These are successful people who seem to have it all.  It’s considered a wonderful place to be.

Both self-esteems are driven by ego and sometimes even those with all the success can come down crashing and it takes time to build the former success for the pieces have to be picked up, analyzed, and strategized.

The above types of self-esteems are based on judging others or oneself.  This judgment takes place when a prosperous person feels great because they have done so much better than their peers.  Or when we look at our peers who have more than us, we either complain about it openly or internally for not having enough as our peers.

Self-judgment, in terms of self-esteem, is when people compare themselves with who they were in the past. Self-comparison results in self-bashing and over time it can turn into the belief of being a failure.  It could also mean that despite the progress in many other areas,  people, due to self-comparison, start demanding from themselves that why haven’t they progressed in certain areas(s) as per their own expectation.  The downward spiral of self-bashing and putting oneself down starts, and ends up with self-sabotage.  Such people never look at accomplishments in other areas of their life or work.

self-esteem-quote-7lIn my view, this is the worst kind of self-esteem.  Ego loves self-sabotage because it means it totally controls us, or rather we allow it to control our mind, and our behavior.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t look at our past and learn from it.  There is a balance between introspection and making corrections,  and constantly questioning ourselves.

Spirituality based self-esteem is something that brings contentment, success and abundance because there is no comparison, no complaining, and no competition.  It is seeing the way things are and accepting them.

 Spirituality based self-esteem is when we:

  1. Feel we deserve abundance. encouragement-300x300
  2. Feel connected with all other humans.
  3. Take success at its face value instead of thinking it as better than others.
  4. Do not compare our situation with those who have less than us.
  5. Focus on being grateful for what we have.
  6. Do not complain even when or if we suffer a loss.
  7. Embrace the reality with love even when things don’t go our way.
  8. Value humans instead of planning to control others.

What sort of self-esteem do you have?

 

 

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Is abundance material things?

copy-of-square-abundance-academy1Huge bank balance comes to mind when we think of abundance.  In reality, abundance is not what we stash away.  Rather abundance is when we have something when we need it, neither before we need it nor after our need is fulfilled.

We never look or appreciate the abundance of oxygen we have in the air.

It’s not that abundance is not there but when we don’t realize how fortunate we are to be alive, then noting seem to matter and we start thinking of lack.  When or if we complaint about lack of something then it means life is really good.     joelosteen1

A friend was complaining about how her husband doesn’t like the design she chose on her checkbook.  I said life is really good if that seems to be the complaint.

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Perhaps she was never taught any different!

“I didn’t find Gabriella very affectionate with the boy,” says the woman, about her daughter, to her son-in-law after her ten or eleven year old grandson played piano for the family.  Present were the woman,her husband, her son-in-law, and her daughter (the mother of the boy).  After the boy finishes playing the piano, everyone goes to the boy to tell him how good he played.  But the mother of the boy remained seated.  In the next scene, the daughter went out the room and that’s when the mother and the son-in-law are sitting in the living room and  she talks about her daughter not giving affection to the son.

“Perhaps she was never taught any different,” says the son-in-law.  The scene was from a French movie, “From the Land of the Moon”.

So, if we are not shown love growing up, then how can we love others.  When we receive love growing up we start loving ourselves.  It’s how we I see ourselves is the basis of how we see the world.  Our relationship70b849eacd501730cc8ec1aa54f306ae-aurora-relationships-love with ourselves is the basis of all our relationship with others.  There are different personalities when it comes to self-love.

  • Self loving
  • Selfishness
  • Self-absorbed 

a221bcdfbe737bf9637487895786e7b6Both selfish and self-absorbed people have tendency to become abusers because to avoid the vacuum created by lack of self-love they want to control external world.  Of course, we learn these behavior growing up, or should I say, “Perhaps they are not taught any different.

However, as adults we have to power to change ourselves and our ways so that we reduce our infliction of harm on others.

Traits of three categories of people: 

People who love themselves are

  • Assertive: They express themselves and listen to what others have to say
  • Respect themselves and respect others
  • Value their own opinion and opinion of others
  • Happy and content most of the time

Selfish people

Self-absorbed people

Are demanding in every way Find faults in others
Think their way is the only way Are always depressed
Are extremely unhappy Have no friends
Use others to their own advantage Have addictions
Befriend those who can serve them Never want to look within
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What does abundance mean to you?

Somehow we relate abundance to having a big bank account and money stashed away.  We also associate abundance with material things only.  Google the meaning of the word and the first definition comes up is this, “a very large quantity of something.”  Or, “the quantity or amount of something, e.g., a chemical element or an animal or plant species, present in a particular area, volume, sample, etc”.  Why do we relate abundance to one thing and that also material things. abundant-living-quotes

But in reality abundance is having enough of everything in the moment.  It could be laughter, joy, money, food or anything that makes us happy.  Take a look at your thoughts when you feel lack of something in your life.  Look around where you are physically when the thought of lack comes to your mind and ask yourself: What is abundance to me?

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