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A Hole In The Fence

A very inspiring story. Thanks to Echoes19 for sharing. 🙂

Echoes

I have just read this story, about losing temper and anger, about hurting people, take the time to read it and let it influence us all, Enjoy 🙂

A Hole In The Fence

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

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Drunk with Emotions

A few days ago, I watched a video of a guru in one of his talks. He talked about the human emotions, and how we are ‘drunk’ with emotions. When we are sad, we are so sad.. and when we are happy, we are so happy. We are often ‘overwhelmed’ with emotions.

For a person in stillness, he should be able to hold these emotions and not get overwhelemed by them.

As I was listening to the guru, it seemed as if he was talking to me directly and I felt ashamed. Because I know I have been drunk with my emotions. I get extremely sad and extremely happy at times. I thought that was how I savor life — that it was how I experience life at its fullest, by grasping these emotions to such extent. I was wrong all along. I felt embarrassed.

For the past few days I have been observing myself and my emotions. I have been observing the waves of feelings that come and go and I find nothing. It isn’t numbness, but a feeling of indifference with my emotions.

I realized that the reason I was drunken with my emotions before is because I wasn’t consciously observing my feelings. Instead, I grabbed unto them like desperately grasping for breath.

Observing the feelings, emotions and thoughts is a way of stilling the mind. Ah, I thought.. I’ve always known this, but I didn’t understand. And the guru has to scold me to bring me back to my awareness. Like the Zen monks being beaten with a stick when they lose concentration during meditation.

Stillness is the way of living the middle way, when there are no extremeties. It is not that we shouldn’t feel happy or sad or anything anymore… It is about having these feelings and emotions and not be overwhelmed by them.

How to Avoid Feeling Sleepy Throughout the Day

Hi lovely people! Today, I want to share with you a routine that I’ve discovered recently: how to avoid feeling sleepy during the day, either at work or at school.

Ever since I was a kid, I tend to love sleeping and I often take naps during the afternoons, especially right after lunch. When I was a younger, it was OK, but as I got older (I’m 23, btw, not that old yet..but ya know what I mean), I realized that I have to stay awake throughout the day, since I have to do my work.

Studies have shown that sleeping ‘too much’ has something to do with anxiety disorders, depression and other health problems. I did have some problems with depression before but, since we don’t want to go down that road, let’s jump to the solution.

The first thing I had to do was to change my daily habits. Take note that I work from home.

I used to take a nap around 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM. After that, I take a shower and proceed back to work. What I do now instead is take a shower right after lunch (because this is when I feel sleepy the most). The shower helps me to stay awake until night time. I don’t feel sleepy after that.

Another thing I discover on how to avoid feeling sleepy throughout the day is to eat fresh fruits. I prefer apples for this because they are juicy. I buy a bag of apples each week and keep them inside the fridge, so when I eat them, they are cold and refreshing. Fruit juices and smoothies work well too.

Drinking lots of water and/or fruit juice is very important. Studies say that we feel sleepy when we don’t drink enough water and lack of water slows down our system. This confuses the brain, and instead of telling us that we are thirsty, it gives us the impression that we are sleepy instead. But the truth is, all we need is water. Amazing isn’t it?

I don’t really recommend drinking coffee. I personally gave up drinking coffee. They say that caffeine dries up the body. Experts suggest that if you do drink coffee each day, make sure to double your water intake. So if you’re drinking 8 glasses of water each day, if you drink coffee, drink about 16 glasses. That way, there’s a balance. I gave up coffee because it was giving me palpitations and headaches. In the morning, I just drink one or two glasses of water and a cup of warm milk, that’s it. I do feel so much awake after that.

Another way of staying awake during the day is to have proper ventilation. You’ll be able to stay awake if it’s a bit cold. Warm environments make us feel sleepy.

I live in Asia and we eat rice at lunch time and I found out that too much carbohydrates intake can make you sleepy. It is not advised to eat a heavy lunch if you want to stay awake throughout the day. Sometimes, i just eat vegetables (preferably fresh), and some chicken or tuna for lunch with an apple and a banana. Mind you, I’m not on a diet or something, I’m actually trying to gain weight. lol. I just cut off some carbs from my lunch so that I can stay awake.

Light exercises also help. I do yoga now, so I prefer that. I used to do weights and aerobics exercises, but I feel a lot better with yoga. Also, make sure it’s just light exercises because heavy ones will make you feel tried and more likely to feel sleepy after.

Listening to some music is also a good thing if you’re used to working with the music on. I usually don’t listen to any music while working because it’s a bit distracting for me, since I work as a writer and i have to really focus. When I do some encoding work, I can put on some music, but I don’t often do encoding these days.

Those are the things I do to avoid feeling sleepy throughout the day. I discovered these through personal experience and I do not claim that any of these works for everybody, but they do work for me. 🙂

Have a nice day!

 

Yoga – Beginner’s Journey

I have begun practicing the Yoga Asanas (Hatha Yoga). So far, I am loving it. It just gives me this amazing feeling after doing yoga. For now I perform the basic poses. I bought a book Yoga for You by Tara Fraser, and I follow the steps there as i practice. I also watch videos from Youtube sometimes and perform the poses right next to my computer, since I am using a desktop.

The idea is to keep the mind and awareness with the breath while performing the yoga poses. At first, it can be difficult to stay on the poses for a few breaths, especially when you are not flexible.

According to the book, you don’t have to force the body to bend and twist if you aren’t ready for it yet. There are alternative versions of the poses to make it easier for the individual.

Make sure you are breathing in and out slowly. Pay attention to the breath rather than the pose itself. Difficulty bending – according to yoga – is resistance. If you feel anxious or fearful about a certain pose, thinking that it might hurt your muscles, it becomes difficult to bend.

Right before bending or twisting, take a deep breath. Breathe out while you’re reaching for the pose. This will help the body adjust and the muscles to relax so you’ll be able to bend.

The yogis say that the body has no limit. It is the mind that creates a limit to it. We are able to bend and twist the body if we know how to tame the mind.

Right now, I still haven’t tried the headstands and I can’t even reach my toes yet. But I will in time. No rush. I am practicing by myself without a yoga instructor, so I am good with the poses I can reach for now.

Here are some of the poses that I am able to do on my own:

(the following images are taken from yogajournal.com)

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

This one (Extended Side Angle Pose) is a bit difficult for me, but I love doing it. One of my favorites.

Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

High Lunge

High Lunge, Variation

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)

Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Cow Pose (Bitilasana)

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Frogs in the Kitchen

In our Facebook Page, I once talked about the little frog that is living in the kitchen. Well, it just stays right next to the faucet, sometimes hiding under a stone. Since I always see him there, I named him Freddie the Froggy. He’s been living there for a year now.

Recently, there are two other little frogs there. Very tiny frogs. Maybe it’s Freddie’s babies.

I know some people will feel like it’s gross to keep frogs at home, but I didn’t put them there. I just let the frog do what it wants and since it’s just sitting there anyway, not doing anything wrong, I didn’t shoo it away.  And now there’s additional two.

I’m thinking if I should take them outside in the garden.

Oh, by the way, I used to put Freddie outside in the garden before, but it seems to always come back in the kitchen for some reason.

I like animals and I never want to hurt them. Frogs don’t bite, they just look eww-ie but they are nice. 😛 Anyway, I don’t really touch them or pet them, I just say hi to them.

I guess they like it there because they know nobody will hurt them and we are not shoo-ing them away.

We’ll see what happens next. 🙂

Why You Can’t Eat Healthier

Article written by Leo Babauta of zenhabits.net

 

Most people have a hard time moving to a healthier diet, and they don’t understand what’s going on.

I was one of those people: 70 lbs. heavier and addicted to junk food, I would often tell myself that I’m going to start a diet, and even buy a bunch of new food, only to find myself snacking on chips, grande lattes, cookies, French fries and more after a few days.

Why? Because I used those foods to meet many of my needs, and taking the food away meant I had no way of dealing with some difficult things.

Food is a coping mechanism for most people, and to change our eating habits, we need new ways of coping.

Some examples of how we use food to cope:

  • We eat when we’re stressed. If you change to a healthier diet, how will you cope with stress instead? You need new stress coping strategies.
  • We eat when we’re sad or depressed. How can we learn to cope with these emotions in a healthier way?
  • We eat as a reward, when we’ve done something good. What will we do to reward ourselves instead?
  • We eat to socialize. How will we socialize without food?
  • We eat because we’re bored. How will we cope with boredom instead?
  • We eat because we’re angry. When we get in a fight, how will we deal with our anger instead of using food?
  • We eat for pleasure. Are there healthier ways to find pleasure that we’ll learn instead of using food?
  • We eat for love. We often equate food with love (our moms might have given us food lovingly as kids, or our lover used it to romance us), and so eating becomes a substitute for love. Where will we find love instead?

All of these (and more) are real needs. We all need love and pleasure and rewards, and ways of dealing with stress, boredom, sadness, loneliness, anger and frustration. For many of us, food has become the default way of meeting all those needs — and we can’t just take away the food without finding a healthier replacement. If we do, we’ll fall back into our old habit quickly.

It has taken me years to figure this out and to slowly build new, healthier habits to deal with all of these needs. But I can honestly say I’ve done it, and it’s possible. Do I still think about food when I’m lonely or sad or stressed? Sure. But now I have consciously built up some replacement coping mechanisms that work better for me, and I’m much healthier, leaner and fitter as a result.

Some things that have worked for me (your mileage will vary):

  • Exercise – a great way to deal with stress, boredom, anger. After awhile, a run can also be pleasure and a reward.
  • Meditation – excellent way of learning to deal with all of our emotions.
  • Tea – also great for stress, boredom, anger, but for me a great reward and source of pleasure.
  • People – I’ve learned to get my love from friends and family, and to use them as ways of dealing with my tougher emotions — talking with them, working out with them, simply spending time with them.
  • Cleaning – decluttering, mindful sweeping, mindful wiping things down with a rag (TM). A great way to mindfully deal with stress, boredom, anger, etc.
  • Solitude – I’ve found solitude a great way to deal with tougher emotions (you learn to work out your problems instead of avoiding them by eating food), and solitude can be a reward as well.

Read the original post from Leo Babauta here: http://zenhabits.net/foodaholic/

Let go, and you will see

To all the memories of the past – good or bad,
I let them go.
To all the things I should have done,
I let them go.
To all the things I shouldn’t have done,
I let them go.
To all the friends I lost that I am missing,
I let them go.
To all the lovers who came and went,
I let them go.
To all the illusions I had along the years,
I let them go.
To all my loved ones who’ve passed on,
I let them go.
To all the things that I wanted to do,
I let them go.
To all the dreams I still have,
I let them go.
To all the habits I tried to cultivate,
I let them go.

For now is the only moment.
Here is the only place to be.
Nowhere should my mind wander.
Nowhere I should be.

Let go, and you will see.

This world is nothing,
I have no expectations of this world.
I let it go, together with my ambitions.
For what is the future, but just a thought in my head.
What is the past, but just a memory.

Let go, and you will see.

To regret is to the past.
And to hope is to the future.
But what are they at this moment?
No-thing but thoughts in my head.

What is there to expect?
What is there to want?
For whom should dreams be?
No-thing, no-body.

Let go, and you will see.

All are just the mind,
Expressing itself in ignorance.
All are just the ego,
Always wanting to achieve more.
What for? Whom for?

Even God do not require us
To be somebody or someone else.
Only to remember who we are and what we are
And that is to remember that we are God, himself.

And what are you, but a soul of God.
God in spirit, expressing.
But that God-ness inside is not able to project itself,
Because of all the thoughts and ideas you guard.

Let go, and you will see.

When will you break the chains?
When will you let go of the greed?
When will you begin to reflect the God in you?
Is it not only now?
Is it not only here?

If we are all given
Every moment to choose,
Would you choose God to express himself through you?
Or would you keep the ego eating you alive?

Let it all go, and you will see.

Let it go.

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