Category Archives: Lifestyle

Steve Jobs: What His Deathbed Regrets Teach Us About Happiness

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“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to”

Steve Jobs

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Happy Christmas, wee ones. Christmas isn’t a time of joy for everyone – but however you feel about the impending festivities – excited, romantic, lonely, irritated – cherish your time off the treadmill of life to consider what matters most.

Steve Jobs, the man who seemed to have it all, said it pretty well from his deathbed.

So pour yourself a mug of summit warm and absorb every nugget of wisdom in the words below – for those for whom time is short are the ones who truly see life for what it is, how it should be lived and how it shouldn’t:

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“At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life support machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of death drawing closer…

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth…

There should be something that is more important:

Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days.

Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.

God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.

The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.

Those are the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.

Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.

What is the most expensive bed in the world? The sick bed…

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you.

Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.

Treat yourself well.

Cherish others”.

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The Uplifting Truth William Blake Teaches Us About Suffering

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Happy Monday, wee one :)

Here’s a magical tool from William Blake to help you traverse life’s challenges, minimise neurosis and maximise calm – no matter what’s going on around you.

“Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.”

Whether relationship breakdown, work stress, ill health or general life uncertainty, remember – we are made for both joy and woe.

It’s the woe that helps us to recognise the joy and the experience of both which enriches wisdom, empathy and love – the greatest gifts of life.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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So next time you feel yourself polarising situations or emotions – as the media and social media may have us do – remember this – nobody ever said life would be plain sailing.

So be kind to yourself during the tough times by all means – but take a step back and remember Blake’s words. Remind yourself of the very real benefits of suffering and resist seeing yourself as a victim. That’s a slippery slope to nowhere fast.

Instead – learn how to suffer – remember the bigger picture and remind yourself that realising the lesson in every test is the only thing to focus on – for that’s how we grow, learn and are ultimately rewarded with joy.

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If You’ve Ever Felt Obsessed By Something, You Need To Read This…

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“The root of suffering is attachment”

Buddha

A wise girl once told me – ‘the one piece of advice I’d give you is never lose your head over something or someone’.

I was in a toxic relationship at the time – hanging on to someone who wasn’t right for me at all – and she could see I was doing just that – losing my head – desperately trying to stay attached to something that was just plain unhealthy.

She had struggled herself once upon a time trying to stay attached to someone who wasn’t as committed as she was. Happily, after a spell teaching in Argentina, he came to his senses and they’re now happily married – wise man – but I’ll never forget what she said.

I’d like you to take a few moments now and think of a time when you felt out of control attached to something or someone – maybe bordering on obsessed.

You know the feeling – when your emotions begin to engulf you like rising flames – stifling inner peace and rational thought. When you feel yourself slipping out of control – like you’re losing yourself in something dangerously addictive but inescapable.

What was the focus of your attachment? A ‘bad’ man or woman? A job you were desperate about? Killing yourself to earn more money? Anxiety you weren’t good enough for something or someone? Fear of losing out in someway? Or maybe just worry.

How Did Chasing Make You Feel?

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How did you feel when you attained it? Better, worse, indifferent, disappointed? Or maybe you never attained it at all. Maybe it slipped away – maybe it was meant to.

Whether chasing money, love or material things, attachment gets us nowhere fast. Take the hedge fund I’ve been working at for the last month. Stamina, performance, back-breaking hours and soaring salaries – off the scale impressive in some ways – but there’s a darker side to attachment which doesn’t make the headlines or dinner party chats.

For overwhelming commercial forces – overwhelming anythings in life – are the very things which can erode what matters most – relationships – friendships – sanity – health – peace – fun – and most of all – our sense of self.

Why We Need To Learn To Let Go

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As the momentous Dr Wayne Dyer put it:

“Part of the meaning we gain by letting go is a movement toward real contentment. Most stress in our lives results from hanging on to beliefs that keep us striving for more, because ego stubbornly believes we need it. When we make the shift away from attachment, the influence of our ego fades. We replace attachment with contentment. Chasing and striving—and then becoming attached to what we chased after—is a source of anxiety that feeds Ambition, but it won’t satisfy the need for Meaning at our soul level.”

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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So work on being less attached to people and things this weekend, wee one. Cultivate an attachment to the self through doing what YOU love, what brings YOU peace and joy and what leaves YOU feeling centred and grounded.

If you’re not sure what that is, take a stroll in nature amongst the autumn leaves. Stop and listen to the wind in the trees and you will start hearing that little voice within – pure as crystal and far removed from the ego. For that, wee one, is where the real stuff resides.

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…and as for my friend who is now happily married – maybe it wasn’t just about him coming to his senses – maybe it was also about her coming to hers – learning to become a little less attached – a little less emotional – a little more centred – and just more her.

4 Wayne Dyer Quotes To Lift Your Soul

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‘You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you’

Wayne Dyer

Happy Friday, gazers.

Here are some soul nourishing quotes from the fabulous Wayne Dyer, internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development.

Enjoy :)

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The Magical Tool To Finding The Right Next Step…

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How Else Do You Know What The Right Path Is?

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Where does your mind wander when you’re sitting at your desk job?

When you’re feeling listless – pretty sure there must be more but maybe unsure where, what or how you get there?

My mind wanders to wide open spaces with mountains, lakes or the crashing sound of waves – and buzzy social hubs nearby – rich in social opportunities as well as the peace that spectacular natural beauty affords.

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Above is me near such a place on the beach at Lacanau near Bordeaux. A day in nature replenishes my soul in a way that’s hard to capture in words. It also brings me professional inspiration on a level far beyond office walls.

So I ask you this today, dear Gazer.

Where is your bliss?

The Simple Way To Move From Where You Are Now To Where You Want To Be

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“Come forth into the light of things,
Let nature be your teacher”

William Wordsworth

Where do you feel most at home? And how can you be sure you really know? How much of an explorer are you – whether geographically, socially or otherwise?

How often do you talk to people from different worlds or even objective third parties – whether counsellors, coaches or wise old sages – about you – your life – and what you really want but have never given yourself the time – or permission to explore?

How often do you listen to that quiet voice inside and dare to hear what your shadow self is whispering?

How Do You Know If You’re Where You’re Meant To Be?

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If you’d have asked me where I saw myself 5 years ago, I probably would’ve seen myself climbing the corporate ladder as a family lawyer and I can safely say I wouldn’t have even thought of moving abroad.

And while family law seemed to tick many boxes, I now see why it niggled – even before I started down that path – because it neglected those deeper parts of my soul which need feeding – like work-life balance, creative expression and the freedom to work wherever and with whoever I choose.

I now know that that freedom lies at the heart of who I am – even the struggles and fears that run alongside exploring the world – whether geographically, socially or otherwise.

And if you’re not yet sure what you want out of life, ask yourself how you want to feel on your deathbed looking back at your life.

When I ask myself this question, I see myself as a wrinkly old lady having lived in various countries, speaking various languages, having mixed with people at all levels of society and having inspired people to find their true paths in life.

How Do You Know If You’re Living Your Life In Accordance With Your Values?

What brings you awakening, wee one? When do you feel truly alive, excited and right where you’re meant to be? If you’re not sure, ask yourself when you feel truly frustrated and turn this on its head.

For me, that moment of clarity came after I realised that having time for fun was quite simply – top – of – my – list. You got it – FUN. An unashamed, liberating – but clear – as – mud – truth!

How did I know this was so important to me? Because every time I felt angry, tearful and worried – whether sitting at my desk late at night at work missing another dinner party with friends – or ending up fighting tears in the work car park on a Saturday – it was because I felt I was missing out on having fun. And turns out that mattered. A LOT!

How Can You Implement Your Truth?

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How can you change your life when you’ve realised what lights you up? How can you implement your new reality?

Simple – baby steps – and logic.

For me, this was quite simply writing a list of the things I loved and wanted to do after leaving law – not necessarily with any longterm certainty – but starting point activities that made me feel good.

Here are some of the things that featured:

\\ Writing
\\ Learning Spanish
\\ Becoming fluent in French
\\ Doing a life coaching course
\\ Going to New York – skiing – and possibly Europe

And what a journey that list has taken me on.

My brief spell doing a Spanish course in Madrid truly awakened my creative energy – and in that calm, free space it was clear writing had to feature in my life – as I’d wanted it to, deep down, from the very beginning.

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Taking the next step and moving to Madrid and Chamonix awakened my senses further – to sounds, smells, tastes, landscapes and paths I now can’t believed I’d never truly tasted. The friends I made from across the globe – Americans, Canadians, French, Spaniards, Swedes, Brazilians, Australians and beyond – opened my eyes to new worlds and free-thinking spaces which freed me to hear my instincts – loud and clear.

Picture one at the top of this page is where my heart lies now – far from the cityscapes I thought fed my soul. Near nature, near trees and near the landscapes I had such a connection to in the books I studied at school.

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I can now see that maybe there was a reason why teachers commented on the way I wrote about nature. A reason why I was drawn to the lakes of Geneva in Frankenstein and the powerful effect nature had in soothing his overarching ambition and bringing him balance.

Maybe there was a reason why The Crucible moved me so powerfully as a young girl – before I knew who I really was. I’ll never forget the surge of admiration I felt at John Proctor’s defiant refusal to submit to societal pressure at the end of his life – to be anyone but his authentic, flawed and real self.

What Do Less Authentic Choices Teach You?

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I now see that living your life in accordance with your true values is the greatest gift of all – and my greatest wish for my coachees and friends.

Being true to yourself and having the courage to live the life you want, even if it creates ripples – is the difference between fulfilment and disillusionment – between living and existing.

So I ask you today, wee one. Where do you feel most at home – most at peace – most alive – most joyful?

Forget what others think, forget the ‘shoulds’, let go of the ego and listen to that voice inside, no matter how quiet and tucked away.

And even if you don’t know where, with whom, or how you want to live your life – yet – take this first step.

Make A List – Write It Down – Manifest Your Truth

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Make that little list of what you love doing and what you want in your life – and follow the most comfortable thing on there first.

Don’t look too far ahead. Just implement the first step.

The rest will take care of itself, I promise.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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Once you’ve dared to put your authenticity out there – you’ve made the crucial first step. And from there the universe will guide you where you are meant to go – one – step – at – a – time.

The key is being authentic – putting the real you out there – that’s what lies at the root of the magic.

So do what scares you, do what you’re not meant to, forget the shoulds and indulge the wants – only then will you really awaken your soul. And that, wee Gazer, is where joy and peace align – and where happiness takes root.

#authenticity

#truth

#happiness

#peace

#fulfilment

The Surprising Truth Why Negative Self-Image Just Ain’t True

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As my journey reading the life-changing book – ‘The Art Of Happiness‘ – draws to a serene and soul-enriching close, here is another bountiful Buddhist insight on a modern neurosis that’s affected us all at one time or another – negative self-image.

Shaped by our parents and upbringing, the implicit messages that we pick up about ourselves as we grow and develop can easily topple into negative self-talk that we carry with us through-out our lives.

Where Does Negative Self-Talk Come From?

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Self-hatred can creep into our lives and be exacerbated when our behaviour fails to live up to our idealised self-image – a self-image culturally reinforced by environmental factors like Facebook and Twitter which can feel as stiflingly present as the air that we breathe.

Why This Negativity Ain’t Real…

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But here’s the good news! The notion that self-hatred is a widespread human problem is challenged by the reality that it is virtually unheard of within cultures such as the Tibetan culture.

This strongly reminds us that this troubling mental state, like all other negative mental states, is not an intrinsic part of the human mind.

It is not something we are born with, irrevocably saddled with, nor is it an indelible characteristic of our nature.

It can be removed.

This realisation alone can serve to weaken its power, give us hope and increase our commitment to eliminate it.

How Real Are The Burdens You Carry Around?

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And that’s one of the great beauties of this wonderful book – so rich in spiritual learnings. Based on a western psychiatrist’s interviews with the Dalai Lama, it unites learnings from the East and the West to powerful effect – challenging all sorts of burdensome assumptions we carry with us in the spaceless vortex of city life.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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So next time you feel weighed down by the noise of life – like the walls of social media are caving in on you – like you can’t recall what’s special about you – or life – pick up a book like this one and treat yourself to some deep-healing, Eastern meditation that will replenish your mind and soothe your soul.

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#selflove

#spiritualhealing

#dalailama

#buddhism

 

Why Giving A Little Love Will Bring It Back Tenfold

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What are you chasing as this week unfolds?

What is your driver at the moment and what is it made of? A car shaped treat, a handsome stranger who’s yet to realise your worth or something a little more abstract?

The Buddhists believe real happiness lies in giving – and since they know a thing or too about life – this soul-nourishing instalment from Kahlil Gibran’s spiritual bible, The Prophet – seems pretty compelling.

\\ It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

For what are possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?

There are those who give little of the much they have – and they give it for recognition and their hidden desires make their gifts unwholesome.

And there are those who give little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.

There are those that give with joy, and that joy is their reward.

And there are those that give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.

And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue.

Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth \\

Why Bother With Acts Of Giving?

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Whenever we’re involved in acts of giving, we feel markedly happier and more at peace. And acts of giving need not be on a Mother Theresa scale – little acts of kindness go far and wide, whether making someone a cup of tea, making time to ask them how they are or just thinking of another.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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So as you make your way through this new week, make giving a part of each day. You’ll feel a true inner contentment and find abundance flows your way

#buddhism

#giving

#love

#peace

Kahlil Gibran’s Top Five Thoughts On Making Or Breaking Your Future

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Is What You Want What You Really Want?

If you’ve ever sought – or still seek – the approval or your parents (maybe without realising) or if you’ve ever felt worried about disappointing your nearest and dearest – whether through career, relationships, geographical environment or otherwise – remember – you have your own mind, your own heart and ultimately your own path – and it’s yours and yours alone to discover.

So in the spirit of finding your authenticity – and helping others to find theirs – here’s your third soul-nourishing instalment from Kahlil Gibran’s spiritual bible, The Prophet – this time on children.

\\ Your children are not your children.

They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you \\

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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It’s all too easy to default to child mode in this busy, topsy turvy world – to do what you’ve been brought up to do and to follow what you feel you ought to do. To over-focus on the ‘should’ path of the mind, not the ‘want’ path of the soul – and to seek the approval of those that that we hold dear over and above listening to that quiet voice inside.

But the only question of REAL value – the most important thing of all – is working out YOUR authentic path – what YOU really want – deep down inside – not your best friend, your sister or any other – just – little – old – you.

What’s The Bottom Line?

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You’ve only got one life – so do what feels right – for you and only you. And if you’re struggling to work out what that is, take some time out and ask yourself – if you had two years to live, what would you do?

#authenticity

#alignment

#liveyourtruth

 

The Surprising Secret To Work Out What You Really Want

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Happy Tuesday, wee one.

If You’re Struggling With…

\\ Transition of any kind whether job, relationship or environment; or

\\ You’re having difficulty blotting out what everyone is telling you you should do and working out what your instincts are really saying; or

\\ There’s so much noise around you – whether internal or external, it’s hard to get in touch with what’s really going on in the silence of your soul – read on and be taken closer to your authentic self – the real you – and what makes you truly happy, peaceful and joyful – and right where you’re meant to be. 

Sound Idealistic? It Doesn’t Have To Be – And Here’s Why…

Photo by Oriana Fowler

According to Milton Erikson, a world renowned hypnotherapist, being in a state of trance is when learning and openness to change are most likely to occur. And far from being some wacky, out of body experience, trance is actually a natural state experienced by everyone. Here’s why…

Our most familiar experiences of trance take place when we daydream, but trance-like states also occur when we:

\\ Meditate;

\\ Pray; or

\\ Exercise (‘meditation in motion’) – whether jogging, yoga or otherwise.

In these situations, we are more aware of the vividness of inner mental and sensory experiences and external stimuli such as sounds and movements assume lesser importance. Peace – yes. This leaves us with the head space to access those vital soul signposts which tell us what we really need to know – deep down inside – cleansing us of more toxic sensations like confusion, fear and doubt.

You only have to read the lovely Rachel Brathen’s tale in her incredible book, ‘The Yoga Girl‘, to observe the powerful, life-changing effects that trance can have in healing the mind, body and soul and moving us away from pain and trauma towards weight-lifting clarity and peace.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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So next time you feel overwhelmed, disembodied, ungrounded or removed from yourself, try one of the above suggestions and sink into the power of trance – for it is in trance that people often intuitively understand what is really going on underneath – accessing their values, their truths and ultimately, their power.