Practice Self Compassion

“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about your self”- Maya Angelou

There’s a humorous office sign that reads “The beatings will continue until morale improves!” We laugh at the sign, but many of us carry an idea that the harsher we are to ourselves, the more likely we are to change.

The opposite is true. Research shows that people who are compassionate toward themselves are better able to take on feedback, grow, and change. They find it easier to adapt because they’re already comfortable with themselves.

They’re less fragile because their whole sense of identity isn’t on the line. They know that what they did isn’t who they are. They can open up, connect, and learn.

Self-compassion doesn’t mean glossing over your failures or challenges. It means supporting yourself while you’re putting them right.

How to Stop Rescuing Other People to Feel Good About Yourself By Andrew Cain

Book of the month – December 2022 – Four thousand Weeks

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by [Oliver Burkeman]

The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.

Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.

Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on “getting everything done,” Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society—and that we could do things differently.

( Contributed by Mr Balasunder)

The Quiltmakers Gift

Customize picture quotes about friendship - You give but little when you give of your..

The author Jeff Brumbeau wrote a most insightful children’s book titled The Quiltmaker’s Gift—a message also beneficial for adults.

The story he tells is of a greedy king who has every material thing he could ever want, yet his possessions do not make him happy. The king hears of an old woman who makes the most beautiful quilts in the world and who gives them away for free to people who can’t afford them. She works all day on her quilts, and although she has few material possessions, she is very happy with her simple life. So the king decides he wants one of her quilts more than anything else, and is stunned when she won’t sell him one for any amount of money. She explains that they are only for those who can’t afford them. He is livid, but the old woman won’t bend, no matter what he does to threaten or punish her… and he certainly tries! Finally she makes a deal with the king, since she knows how selfish he is and how he doesn’t like to share any of his beautiful things. She tells him for each possession he gives away, she will make a square for his quilt. He reluctantly agrees because, though he loves all of his treasures, her beautiful quilt is the one thing he can’t have.

At first, he can’t find anything in all his treasures he can part with, but finally he decides to give away a single marble. To his surprise, the boy who receives it is so happy that the king decides to find other things to give away, and each time when he sees the joy on the face of the receiver, he can’t resist smiling. “How can this be?” the king cries. “How can I feel so happy about giving my things away?” Though he doesn’t understand why, he orders his servants to “bring everything out! Bring it all out at once!” And so each time he gives a gift away, the quiltmaker adds another piece to his quilt. After everyone in his kingdom has received a gift from him, he begins giving away his things to people all around the world, trading his treasures for smiles. Soon the king has nothing left to give, and the old woman finishes his beautiful quilt and wraps it around him, since his royal clothes are now in tatters. “As I promised you long ago,” the old woman says, “when the day came that you, yourself, were poor, only then would I give you a quilt.”

“But I’m not poor,” protests the king. “I may look poor, but in truth my heart is full to bursting, filled with memories of all the happiness I’ve given and received. I’m the richest man I know.” And so from then on, the quiltmaker sews her beautiful quilts by day, and at night the king takes them down to the town, searching out the poor and downhearted, never happier than when he is giving something away.

And never be confused between seriousness and sincerity – seriousness is not sincerity.

….If you cannot laugh, how can you weep? how can you cry? Both become impossible. When laughter and crying are impossible, your heart is completely dosed. You don’t have any emotions, you start living only in the head. Your whole reality consists of thoughts. Thoughts are dry – they cannot bring laughter, they cannot bring tears. Tears and laughter come from the heart. And clarity is not of the mind, clarity is of the heart. Confusion is of the mind.

….. Laugh more, cry more, become a child again. Seriousness is your disease: drop seriousness.

And never be confused between seriousness and sincerity – seriousness is not sincerity. Sincerity need not be serious; sincerity can have laughter, can cry, can weep. Seriousness is a blocked stage of mind, a stage where you cannot flow. A state of unflow stagnancy. Serious people are ill people.

Unblocking the Flow of Abundance

The flow of abundance can get blocked at any one of six steps:

  1. Clarify your purpose. Have a clear sense of what your life is about and what you value most.
  2. Look for lessons in your areas of shortage. The aspects of your life where there is a lack exist to teach you something.
  3. Learn to be grateful for what you do have. Move beyond distorted perceptions and see clearly the parts of your life where you are greatly blessed.
  4. Give what you can. By joyfully and freely giving, you redefine yourself as someone whose life is abundant.
  5. Expect and accept the good that comes to you. Be alert to the necessary resources in whatever form they may come—expected or unexpected.
  6. Giving and receiving build community. Be open to building or reinforcing interpersonal relations based on mutual care.

Look over the list of six points. Which one of them seems weakest in your life? That is, which one is most in need of further application? Make a personal commitment to do something about it and follow through with your resolution.

Mark Thurston from Edgar Cayce Handbook of Creating Your Future