Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Highest Honor

Everything natural on this earth is alive, if fact earth itself is considered to have a soul, called Gaia and she is female in her form. The soil germinates seeds and grows food for us. The plant itself is alive as it grows, water brings life, in fact without it; there is no life, just like air. All the natural elements (earth, water, fire, air) are a culmination of life and all living beings are an embodiment of these elements. You need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and sun for warmth. This applies to all created animals, they are a combinations of all elements of life. We are therefore no different from any living thing on this earth, but we are somewhat superior, one might even say we are at the top of the food chain. Have you ever wondered though how was it decided that one would manifest as a plant, an animal or human being? If lives of animals were not sacred, they would not be afraid of dying. While, we’re at it, who decides which animal spirit will be a rat and another a lion?

Well, according to Vedic literature there is actually a science that determines who is born in what form. They believe that existence starts in the most basic form and evolves to the highest level, which is spiritual enlightenment. Where one is no longer subject to the limitations of the elements, nor gets to be born and die again, but live in the purest form reminiscent with the source of their soul. According to them, existence therefore, begins on the earth as rock and with is the densest vibration and gradually over time, that manifestation changes form into something else. Think of how mountains go through erosion and what was hard rock now becomes soil. The soil can germinate life and eventually graduate into manifesting as a plant. The next stage existence is that of animals, which is a more enhanced experience of the elements and less dense dimension. Animals can protect themselves; reproduce with intention and most importantly are driven by their instincts to ensure survival. I would assume it starts off small and climbs the ranks, over time to being an elephant, maybe.

The next, not final, stage of existence is that of being born as a human. In this dimension of existence it is considered the highest honor compared to all living things on this earth. We are not driven by instincts, but we have our intelligence, will power and insight to spiritual enlightenment. Art is the highest expression of human intelligence and all of us have that gift, whether creating or enjoying it. Most importantly we all have eternity engraved in our souls. All of us, at some point wonder, where exactly do we all come from and where we are going, ideally none of us want to die or age for that matter. Ancient Eastern texts (Vedic) believe being born human grants you the opportunity to change the destiny of your soul by how you exhibit your human experience. We cannot merely exist to eat, reproduce, protect and die; this would make us no different to animals. Likewise spending all our days wanting to have more than others, when in actual fact the value of lives is exactly the same. “All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough. Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless – like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 7).

 “Once we take human birth, our destiny is shaped by karma. Karma are actions pertaining to the development of the material body and such acts sentence us to future births in the material world where we reap what we sow. If we act according to good moral code we produce good karma, likewise if we engross ourselves in fleshly desires we create bad karma. If we don’t learn good lessons we are sent back to try again, with a better starting point if we were good, or worse off if we were vile. The material world reforms us, teaching us through reward and punishment to acknowledge God’s supreme position. – (Swami Prabhupada, Veda, Secrets of the East).

I may not fully understand the evolution of the soul as described above. Whether our souls evolve over time, arrive as is or travel from one dimension to the next, is not important. What is important to is that we realize the strength of what we possess within our souls. The bible says God created us in His image. He spoke things into existence and we possess the same power. We have dominion over earth and all things created, therefore, it is expected of us to experience life on a higher level. It should be above the animalistic instincts. Our vibrations can change the course of humanity and digging deeper within ourselves for the eternity we yearn for, will lead us to attain our individual pursuit of excellence. Remember, a plant only graduates to the next level by blossoming to the best of its ability and bear the maximum amount of fruit it possibly can. It has mastered the dimension of being a plant, and it needs a new challenge, and we are no different. We need to live with the desire to rise up above our current form of existence, master it and move on to the highest and purest form of existence where we are not tied down by cumbersome bodies. Consider the Lotus flower; its seed sprouts in mud and it rises up from the murky mud to flourish on water effortlessly basking in the sunrays. The murkier the mud; the brighter the flower becomes. Some people rise up from the lowest points of life to become noble citizens, which is a reflection of how quickly they have absorbed life’s lessons. We too can learn the lessons presented in our mud, and the most important one is the humility of acknowledging that there is a God and we are not He. 

We cannot control the circumstances of our lives and existence and perhaps may never know all the mysteries of life. But we can live each day with the gratitude of being alive and being who we are. Many yearn for the gift. We must appreciate our souls for being different and gifted, in this way we honor He who created us. For we no matter how difficult things can get, we are bestowed with the highest honor that exists in this life and we need to be mindful of it. Finding our passion, doing the best with our abilities and sharing our light with others, adds its own flavour to this earth. Let us not despise our lives over the meaningless comforts of modern life, whether we live in abundance or lack thereof. It should never overshadow the sound of our souls that should be listened to.

If you are young and healthy, you are the wealthiest being on this planet. Sometimes it may take lying in a hospital bed or an old age home to realize the value of your youth. Use it wisely and: Give thanks for it. Everyday!

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget you Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say –‘Life is not pleasant anymore’. Remember Him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young before the silver cord of life snaps and the bowl is broken. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. – Ecclesiastes 12

 

Life begins at the End of your Comfort Zone

comfort-zone

Just like when we are born. The moment we leave the comfort of our mother’s womb, life begins. The comfort of being carried, fed, warmth, safety and being thought for ends. Then, only then, do our real lives begin. Our lives take on that same cycle of growth throughout lifetimes. Our comfort has to be compromised for us to rise to the next level. It’s our nature, we learn through pain or passion.

Allow me to illustrate

 

As a child, you learn to walk learn because you are frustrated with not being able to reach the many things that make you so curious. You endure the discomfort of falling many times because you know, once you get it right, your life will never be the same again. As a teenager you fast learn that to stop people from bullying you, you have to stand up for yourself, find your own voice. It forces you to overcome your fear of conflict or confrontation. As a young adult you know that for you to get your degree/diploma, you have to forgo your comforts of sleeping and passivity and strive hard to get what you need to get. We all know what happens to those chaps that attempt an easy way out of varsity; they either dropped out, or kept on repeating years until they got their work ethic right. There’s just no other way.

 

Challenging our comfort zones, has taught me 3 things about life;

 

  1. Grow, or die. If a plant is not growing, it’s dead. If you insist on your comfort, you are slowly dying an invisible death inside. When you bask too much in the comfort of your achievement, your ambition dies. If you get comfortable with your partner and assume their affection\attention will remain perpetual without any extra effort from you, well, sooner or later, their excitement for you will eventually die.

 

  1. Life will repeat the same lessons until we learn what we need to know. Only then will we graduate to the next level of thinking, being and succeeding. Ever wondered why the same life experiences keep on happening to you? It’s like there’s something you do that invites these experiences. In Eastern texts they attribute it to your karma or darma that you need to fulfill before life can present you with new experiences. You need to either change your mentality, they way you do things or interact with the world. You need to learn; otherwise you will repeat that grade in life over, and over again. Unfortunately most people are never aware of what hinders them within themselves and they get stuck on the same level for most of their lives

 

Lastly, I have learnt that once you know something, you know it! No one or anything can take it away from you. It becomes embedded in your character because you have gone out of your way to attain it. As a child you only have to learn to walk once and that’s it! You only learn once (the hard way) that nothing good comes easy and from there on you appreciate the good things your have and are weary of the ones to come too easily. If you’re not ready to grow, then you’re not in enough pain.

Life is a continual journey. As we grow physically, we also evolve mentally, spiritually and metaphysically. Nothing is a hindrance to your development except yourself. The only competition you have in life right now is your thinking and attitude towards life. Everyday presents an opportunity for growth, no matter how small. Staying in comfort will not open you up to new ways of thinking and risk stagnation.

 

Be alert. Life is a test from when we are born until we die. Because, think about it; had you resisted exiting your mother’s womb when circumstances required you to do so, you would be dead. And be still born.

Lady Wisdom

Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? 

Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?

She’s taken her stand at First and Main,
 at the busiest intersection. Right in the city square
 where the traffic is thickest, she shouts;

“You—I’m talking to all of you,
 everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
 I’m telling you how to live at your best.

My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—
I can’t stand the taste of evil!
You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth;
not one syllable will be twisted or skewed.
You’ll recognize this as true—you with open minds;
 truth-ready minds will see it at once.

Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,
 and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.
For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.

“I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
 Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
 I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.

With my help, leaders rule,
and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
 along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me; those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me—
also substantial Honor and a Good Name.

My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
 at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
 filling their arms with life—armloads of life!

God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—
 before he did anything else.
I was brought into being a long time ago, well before Earth got its start.
I arrived on the scene before Ocean, yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes.
Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape,
I was already there, newborn;
Long before God stretched out Earth’s Horizons,
and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather,
And set Sky firmly in place, I was there.

When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean,
 built the vast vault of Heaven,
 and installed the fountains that fed Ocean,
When he drew a boundary for Sea, posted a sign that said no trespassing,
And then staked out Earth’s Foundations,
I was right there with him, making sure everything fit.
Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause,
always enjoying his company,
Delighted with the world of things and creatures, happily celebrating the human family.

“So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
 those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
don’t squander your precious life.

Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
awake and ready for me each morning,
alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
 to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.

But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
 when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”

_Proverbs 8

Here and Now

value

 

The above picture resonates a lot of truth doesn’t it? Somehow once we have something it feels like we’ve had it all our lives and we get comfortable with it…until we loose it. Is it really because we take things for granted? Or we procrastinate gratification? But even some of the most grateful people on earth still experience the above phoenomina to a certain degree.

Maybe its because we quickly adapt to what we acquire, tick the box, and move on to the next exploit. We don’t take time to savor the moment, our minds are never present, even while we think we are enjoying something, we are subconsciously occupied by other thoughts. Let me illustrate;

Ever wondered after you’ve had a very long day all you want to do is sleep, but somehow you struggle to fall asleep because your mind is racing? – you just cannot stop thinking. At times this may go on for hours until its time to wake up and you face a new day with very little or no sleep. Have you asked yourself exactly who is trying to sleep and who is busy thinking? If its just one you, why cant you just decide to sleep and everything switches off? And somehow there’s always this song that’s constantly playing in the back of your head! It’s like your life has a soundtrack to every situation, and you have no choice at what song plays, but most annoyingly you don’t know how to switch that invisible radio off!

As human beings we are mind, body, spirit and these aspects of our being operate in unity to bring us the full experience we call life. But we often tend to live from the bodily and mental aspects of our being and expect the spirit to automatically follow suit. When in fact we should be existing from the spiritual dimension which is the essence of who we truly are and allow body and mind to follow. By the way, your brain is not your mind – but that’s a topic for another day.

So I struggled for a while to grasp this concept of me being a spirit with a body and how my mind needs to be mastered for me to fully exist in the now. How do I shut my mind to hear what my soul says and be present, in every moment? When a person can halt the incessant stream of thoughts and ‘get out’ of the mind, he or she can then truly start to feel the inner body and stillness that lies much deeper within. When a person can truly embrace and live fully in the present moment and operate from the heart space, he or she is met with a formless, timeless presence that holds vastness. A deeper dimension which uncovers the language of the universe where we are creators. The heart is actually the one portal through which you can access your soul, but that deserves a whole article on its own.

For me to fully understand the concept of now, I came across this very technical description which somehow totally made sense to me: “Absolutely everything you see, touch, and feel is energy. All matter is a construct of atoms, positively charged particles that are bound together by an electromagnetic static charge. This static charge is what keeps the particle constantly orbiting the nucleus. The majority of atomic make up is the formless light spacing between the nucleus and orbiting particles. Everything you perceive to be solid in reality, at the deepest level, is actually formless”.

So in actual fact the only thing that truly exists here is YOU, and you are only alive now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but now! So whatever it is you are doing now is the only true manifestation of your existence, everything else is perception. The things we have embedded in our subconscious mind usually direct the perspective from which we see our reality and are also the exact same things that bring noise in our minds coz think about it; every song that plays in your back ground you have heard before.

Learn to truly appreciate the present moment because its all that you have. It is being here now that is important. There’s no past, there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there ever is, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relieve it, and we can hope for a future but we don’t know if there is one. I wish I knew how to control the mind and be fully present at every moment of everyday, but unfortunately I can only do it at the moments at which I raise my awareness and intentionally choosing to be present.

I have probably created more questions than provide answers in this article, but that’s a good thing because now you will search for your own truth. Do not take what I say as absolute truth, only believe that which resonates your soul. In life we only find what we look for and if its knowledge you seek go find it! It all begins with awareness. We are eternal beings and nothing is too great for our minds to comprehend.

 

Refferences;

The Yusa guide to balance

The power of Now

M_eye_nd

Sooooo Annoying

I’m sure all of us have a few things that annoy the living day light out of us. Not that you’re in a bad mood or anything, it’s just that you would rather not experience that act. It’s so funny that we are usually annoyed by things we cannot change, we are just victims, lol. When annoyed by something, just laugh about it, walk away and forget it ever happened. Little things should never steal your joy.  They make life as dynamic as it should be. Here are a few things that really annoy me, I hope you can relate with some of them.

  1. When you’re rushing to the coffee shop to buy coffee before you start work and there in front of you is a person buying coffee for their whole team. I mean really? 8 cups of coffee, all at once? At that moment you wish you can negotiate that they make your 1 cup of coffee and then they deal with his/her bulk order. But you can’t, you just have to wait. Cant people can’t come buy their own coffee? So annoying!
  2. You go to the movies, you get there nice and early and you have comfortably chosen your spot. You are digging into your pop corn and you’re slowly watching other people walk in and fill the place up. Just as the movie is about to start; the tallest person of all time decides to come sit in front of you. Eish, Girrafe man himself decides to show up, almost all the seats are full, the movie has just started and you were so comfortable in your seat. Moving will just be too much effort, you just have to sit and enjoy the added view in front of you. *Smh*
  3. Another thing that really annoys me to the n’th degree is a DJ who sings along to the song on radio. Are you serious dude? Please shut up and let the song play, we hear enough of your voice when you’re running competitions and talking about other’s people’s business. Leave the music alone; microphones are switched off for a reason. I promise you I have heard Glen Lewis do it, just as the song is about to end, he jumps in and hums along. Nigga please give us a break. This goes for all other Dj’s that do it. It really is so annoying, you don’t understand!
  4. Speaking of radio, there is no DJ that annoys me as T-Bo Touch (excuse the spelling). They way he speaks, the things he talks about and how he does things is absolutely annoying. I am still to meet a person who is impressed by that guy, it baffles me how Metro fm gave him a second term on that afternoon drive show. That American accent and name dropping (“I was with my man Akon in NYC”) is enough to make me boycott that radio station. Ok I can give them credit for the evening talk shows and deep house shows on the weekend. Mara Tboz yena wabhora, ubhora hooray!
  5. Another annoying item is ill disciplined kids, argh! I love children, don’t get me wrong, and I trust they love me too. I see them as little angels who only act out as they are taught. So I come to your house for a visit and your 6 year old is all over me, my cellphone, busy touching our food and changing the channels while we are talking. That is not AYOBA. In fact it is super annoying. What annoys me more is when the parent does not call their child to order. Now this kid is busy slapping my thighs and pulling my ears and you as a parent see nothing wrong. This topic should really be an article on its own. But parents make sure your kids are not a nuisance, it doesn’t matter if it’s at home or outside. It annoys the hell out of people who teach their kids manners or those who have none!
  6. So you walk into the Loo at work to do your very serious business and you happen to walk in at the same time as a colleague, from the other team. You say your hello’s and then go into your respective booths. Then the person starts talking to you from the other side. Really? How awkward. Can’t it wait until we finished our business? I’m not sure if people are even allowed to open their mouths in that place, who knows what kind of air you will swallow. Yuk. Plus toilet business is private business. Please go in, do your stuff, shut up and leave me in peace to do mine. We will see each other in the work space. Ours is a working relationship, not a private one. And can we all admit that talking while “doing it” totally disturbs the process and makes it less pleasurable. Vele! So annoying!
  7. This one day you decide to be a health nut and bring veggies to work. At lunch time you go warm up your food and when you get into the kitchen you are greeted by the smell of the richest mutton curry ever! This person is happily warming up their delicious curry that you can almost taste just by smelling it. Your turn comes and you put your boiled vegetables into the microwave and when you open it, guess what, that rich curry smell comes out still. How annoying! How are you supposed to look forward to eating your vegetables after being  while being reminded how good meat can be. People should warn us man!
  8. I don’t like carrying cash, for obvious reasons, I think electronic transactions are the future and I use that as often as I can. But there’s that one time when you have to withdraw a substantial amount of cash because you only have the option of making cash payment. You get to the ATM and you see a little picture of bank notes with little red stars at the top. This means that the machine does not have those notes and unfortunately for you only R20 notes are available and you need to withdraw R 500, yho! Such annoying trauma. Now your wallet thinks you’re rich and you have to do an awful lot of counting when you make your payment. ZERO!
  9. Writing in the “book of truth” annoys so many things out of me I could scream. I know it’s a security “measure”. Security guards make sure you fill out all the details accurately and you sign at the right place. Some even request ID and if you don’t have, you won’t be allowed entrance. I understand the crime dynamic in this country, but I just wish someone can invent a better method of implementing this security measure. How are they guaranteed that everyone writes the correct details?
  10. My biggest annoyance ever is self imposed really. You know those times you wake up in the middle of the night and you check your phone quickly to see how many more hours of sleep you have before you wake up. You do this half asleep and looking forward to going back and enjoy your sleep with the added hours. You check the time, only to realize that it is actually 7mins before your alarm clock goes off. Sooooo anonoying!

I trust you enjoyed and related to some of the annoyances. I am not being a snob or anything, but we all have different levels of tolerance for different things and what annoys me, might not necessarily annoy you.  Please feel free to share some of the things that annoy you as well, we won’t judge again, if something annoys you, avoid it. If you can’t, laugh it off and forget about it.

 

Don’t take life too seriously; no one gets out alive anyway”