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Used books

I love used books. Apart from being a lot cheaper, I love to envision the people who have read the books before me.. how the books must have changed their lives as they have changed mine. I always thank the person who sold it or probably donated it. They gave me a chance to read it too. ♥

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Reason for Obsessive Desires – Why We Tend to Want Things So Badly

Do you want something Now? You probably do. You want a better job, you want to buy a bigger home, you want a Ferrari, you want to get married, you want to go to places, you want to buy the latest iPhone, and you want… the list goes on and on.

But do you ever ask yourself why? Why do you want these things? I know your answer – “Because it will make me happy!” Well, you think it will make you happy. However, do you notice that once you get the thing you want, after some time you don’t want it anymore and you go wanting for something else.

I’ve been doing this too, all my life and one day I just realized I am tired of the cycle. I thought maybe there is more to life than just wanting things. Some people, even teachers told me that wanting stuffs is part of life, and this is why we are born here on earth; to experience things, to want things again and again to fulfill ourselves. But somehow, my inner voice wasn’t buying that. And I know and believe that when something feels off to me, then it’s off – I shouldn’t buy it.

I sat down with this question and let the Universe lead me to the answer. I found out something really interesting and profound.

Let me give you an example here.

Say you wanted a gold coin. You struggle to find this gold coin everywhere. You don’t really care about the other coins, because you only want this specific gold coin. Because of that, you aren’t really available for anything else. You think there is JOY in the gold coin. This creates confusion in your mind, it makes you struggle because you WANT the gold coin, and you NEED to have it.

One day, you finally get it, after a long and exhausting search you say “Ah! I found it! Yay! OMG, I have it, I’m SO happy!!”

You are happy, of course. For a few moments, days, months maybe, or let’s say years. You are happy for that time. But then your mind starts wanting something else again. “Hmm, maybe I’ll go get a silver coin too. Yeah, I should get that one.” And you begin the search again.

This cycle happens again and again.

Only a few people will stop and ask ‘Why am I doing all these? What am I searching for?’

You thought the gold coin will make you happy, and you did get happy when you finally got it. But happiness is not in the gold coin. The gold coin is just a coin – nothing in it. You cannot find happiness in anything.

When you found the gold coin, you became happy because in that few moments, your mind was FREE from the desire. This freedom is what you are interpreting as happiness. All the desires we have is just a quest for that short moment of freedom.

We think that the quest is in having, or in wanting and getting, but it’s actually the freedom that we all searching for.

Do you notice how the people who have renounced their worldly desires are living in such peace and stillness? It’s because they realized this freedom, and they understand that freedom is what they really are.

You may not accept this now, but maybe one day.

I don’t know what I want. I was asking myself why I didn’t know. Now I realize it’s because I have this freedom from wanting. I have come to understand that the cycle stops in me. I am liberated from obsessive desires and I am this liberation. I just had to break the walls I myself have created that prevented that freedom from emerging.

Now I am free.

Attitude of Gratitude

In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.

~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

Gracias! Grazie! Xièxie! Merci! Shukriyaa! Arigato! Thank you!

Part of my conversation with my friend the other day when we talked about planning for the future, is about being grateful. Gratefulness is something that I really aspire to practice not only in a day-to-day basis but also moment-to-moment. Sometimes, I stumble and catch myself in a rather complaining mode, but once I become aware of that, I bounce back to being thankful again.

There are times when I say my gratitude prayer, and I realize there are thousands, if not millions of things in my life that I am so grateful for. Most of the time, I sit for about 15 to 20 minutes to just say ‘thank you’, and as always, I end up in tears of joy.

Going back to what my friend told me; during our conversation, he made me do an exercise. Here’s what we did:

He told me to count all the RED-colored things that I can see from where I was sitting.

I remember I saw a picture frame with red color, a red paper bag, red roses, a human figurine wearing red clothes and a red-colored box. So I counted them and told him that there are 6 stuffs around me with the color red in them.

Then he told me to close my eyes. While my eyes were closed he asked me to recall all the purple-colored things around me, if I noticed any. Of course, I told him I don’t remember, because I wasn’t looking for purple when I searched. He then asked me to open my eyes. He now told me to see if there are any purple-colored things around me. I saw a little bowl, plastic bag, a rabbit stuffed toy and a picture frame that are colored purple.

I suddenly laughed because I kind of get what he’s trying to tell me. He told me that in life, sometimes we are so focused on searching after a specific thing and we often overlook the other things that deserve our attention.

“Learn to be thankful for everything in your life, not only the things you like, but also the things that you think don’t have value to you right now; coz someday, you’ll realize how valuable they really are.”

Now let us talk about the reasons why having the attitude of gratitude is such a must for our daily living:

Reason #1Gratitude reminds us all the positive things in our life. When you stop and think about the good things that are happening in your life, including the people that mean a lot to you, or maybe even that stranger who gave you a smile today in the subway; when you stop and think about these, it helps you feel great inside. Do it often.

Reason #2You will realize that bad things aren’t really as bad as they seem. Maybe you are having a bad day, or your boss wasn’t in a good mood, or you just got stuck on traffic which made your boss even mad. What to do? Be grateful for all these things. I know it seems absurd at first – you are angry and frustrated, why be thankful? But try to be thankful for the challenges you encounter, and know that because of these challenges, life isn’t just plain boring. Be thankful for the lessons you learn from your challenges. Be thankful that these circumstances no matter how difficult they may seem (for a moment), as they help make you become stronger – and wiser.

Reason #3You will be reminded of what’s important in life. When we are grateful for our health, for our loved ones, for our nice job, you will forget about complaining about the little things. You will forget about the stress in paying out your bills when you are thankful there is a roof over your head. You will realize how blessed you are in many ways.

Reason #4Gratefulness reminds you to say ‘thank you’. I like people who always say ‘thank you’. I, myself say thank you A LOT. When I do something nice to someone and I get a sincere thank you in return, it brings such joy inside me, and I pay that forward by saying thank you to others. Don’t be that person who seldom say thank you.

Reason #5, #6, #7…infinity – you search them out. Find more ways and more reasons to be thankful. Adopt the Attitude of Gratitude. And remember, when you are grateful, the Universe brings you more of the things you will be grateful for.

Have a great day, my friends! Peace-Love-Blessings.

~Thank You!~

Confused about what to do with the Future

Yesterday, my mind was at war again. It started when someone was telling me about his plans for his future. This person told me how he wants his future to be, and how accurate he is about the details: he wants this to be like this and that, he wants to have this and that, and so on. This kinda bugged me because when I was listening to him, I suddenly asked myself: What is my future? What am I looking forward to? How do I want my future to be? What are my plans?

Ever since I began practicing being in the NOW, I let go of trying to control how things should be. Instead, I developed this strong trust in the Universe that ‘it’ will guide me to wherever I am supposed to be. I no longer had massive plans about my future. I stopped doing New Year’s Resolutions. I was done ‘trying’ and I began to just witnessing how the Universe continuous to expand and unfold even without me trying to control the outcomes.

So when my friend was telling me about his plans regarding his future and how he wants to have the control with the outcomes of his desires, it was as if he was firing bullets on me; these bullets made me think of myself as lazy, that I do not work hard to design or plan for my future.

This is not my friend’s fault, by the way. It was me generating all these thoughts. After that, I got really confused. I thought about my future and asked the same old ‘what if’ questions. What if I didn’t get to be like this or that? What if nothing happened to me? What if I didn’t get to be successful in this field I’m in, what would I be doing instead?

That night, I went to bed and I cried. I haven’t cried in a while. But this time, maybe because of hormones too (oh well), it all got crumpled up. I said a prayer, as I always do. But this time, it wasn’t about asking God something or thanking God for something. I just said “God, I’m scared.” I’m not sure if that is a prayer, but that’s my conversation with God that night.

This morning, I sent a message to my friend/teacher/mentor from Hawaii. It was a very short message; I just said “I need your help.” Then he answered after that and we had a talk.

I told him about my confusion and that my mind is at war (again), and I need clarity. As always, my friend is there to answer me in the best way he could – and I am forever grateful for.

Here, my dear readers, was what my friend told me:

“The mind is like that, always at war.  A ping pong game. It always tries to project its own reality. You have to make your choices. You will find the answers within you.

“You have three choices: Human having, Human doing, Human being.”

“Live in awareness. Like I said you have the choice. Let me give you an example: See for instance you are going to the grocery. Some people make, so that they know they should pick up from the grocery. Some people on the other hand don’t make lists. They just go to the store and if they see something they like, they take it.

“That is co-creation right there – because they made a choice. It’s just that people use different processes as to how they can get stuffs.

“You say you don’t know what you want, it is OK. For now – you don’t know. But this happens unconsciously sometimes. When you are talking to someone for example, after some minutes of talking to them, you get hungry. You say, ‘Oh, I’m hungry; I want something to eat.’ The Universe hears you – all the time. The food is there – always. But it’s up to you what process you are going to use to get the food.

“Maybe you go to the store to buy some food. That is the process you choose. Or maybe you felt hungry, and let it go, suddenly someone is bringing food to you – maybe this friend you are talking to notices you are hungry and he treats you food. That again is a choice, because you let things be. You didn’t plan, but it was given to you.

“Let’s go back to the three choices you have: Human having, Human doing and Human Being.

“Do you choose to be the person who wants to have everything? Who go chases for more… More money, bigger house, new car, etc?

“Do you choose to be the person who ‘do’ things? Who wants to plan and do stuffs… Go to the moon, get a degree or two, or three, attend seminars, write a book or two or maybe a hundred?

“Do you choose to just let things be? Who lives in the present moment, not worrying about whatever might come but trusting that everything is going to unfold perfectly?

“Who do you want to be, you choose. But the thing is… even if you do something or not, the Universe continues to move. It will not stop – just like you are breathing naturally. You don’t have to first plan to breathe, but you just breathe. You don’t have to desire for your heart to beat, it just beats on its own.

“Your friend chooses the process of having and/or doing. And you choose to just be. You both know what you want, but you just use different processes. Neither of you is wrong. You just made your choices.

“Maybe you got caught up and say, ‘Oh, he’s doing this, so I should do it too.’ It’s up to you to follow him – if you want; that is your choice too.

“You get to choose moment to moment.

“So now, do you have clarity? Do you choose to have, or to do, or to be? Are you satisfied now?

 Of course I answered with a blissful “YES!”.

“Good. I’ll talk to you later. And – don’t think too much, you get caught up with your mind. Have a great day!”

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