Thursday, 20 April 2017

Don't Numb the Pain, Feel It

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."- Buddha 

In this world we experience everything through our senses in the form of feelings. So feeling pain & pleasure is an integral part of our lifetime on planet earth and really they are two sides of the same coin. Your best friend not replying to your Whatsapp the minute he/she reads it causes pain as well as getting dumped by the guy or girl you love causes pain too. Anything and everything can cause pain because of how we perceive and feel the situation. However, what we do with this pain is really our choice.

There are 3 ways people deal with pain-

  • Suffering Because of Pain- This is where you play the victim. You think the whole world is plotting against you and that nothing ever goes your way. You are always in the fight or flight mode. You constantly stress, depress and anxiously worry about your pain or problem. Your problem becomes your life and causes a domino effect of further problems. 
  • Numbing Pain- The most rapidly spreading disease in our world today is numbing pain. You do this by trying to ignore the pain through alcohol, substance, sugar binges or junk food binges or obsessive shopping, eating, sex etc. This will numb your pain temporarily and the relief from pain is very short-lived. When the effect of your numbing agent fades away, the pain comes back multiplied and intensified with other ingredients such as guilt, shame and anger.
  • Feeling the Pain- This is where you own it. You acknowledge it. You give it the respect it wants from you. You see, any pain or any problem is an indicator that something needs to be addressed internally within yourself. Feeling the pain is dealing with it by asking yourself questions such as "Why am I experiencing this pain?" and "What can I do to make it better?" 

There are various ways to ride the waves of your pain and you could try any of the following-
  1. Journaling- When you have crazy destructive thoughts bouncing off in your head, just transfer them onto paper. You are literally purging your pain or poison out. You will feel loads better and definitely calmer when you have penned your feelings out on paper. Try and define the pain, objectify it. Affirm that even though you 'have' the pain in this moment, the pain does not 'define you' or 'own you' or 'is you'.  Measure it and soon you will realise that it isn't as big as you thought in your head it would be.
  2. Meditation- There are a million ways to meditate. Get on YouTube find a guided meditation and see how that pans out for you. 
  3. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping- This is an amazing technique where you gently tap on the end points of meridians of your body and while tapping you say words like "Even though I am feeling 'this' pain, I deeply love and accept myself..." It is a known technique that can get rid of physical as well as emotional pain and suffering. If you are curious search for Nick Ortner on YouTube and he's got some AMAZING content teaching this powerful technique. 
  4. Gratitude- Gratitude is the antidote to all pain. Feel grateful. You can't feel sad, upset or pain when you genuinely feel grateful. Do guided mediations centred around gratitude. Or write a gratitude journal. Writing makes gratitude come to life.

The key difference between numbing and feeling pain is that when you numb your pain, it comes back multiplied but when you feel your pain and let it flow through you, it comes back diminished. When you consistently deal with your pain by acknowledging and accepting, it will eventually pass.

Some of the biggest problems have been solved by people who feel pain and some of the most beautiful creations in the form of art, music etc come out when people feel their pain. So I urge you to dive deep within and ask what is your higher self is trying to tell you through your pain. Ask empowering and solution based questions. The answers will come eventually! Let this pain move through you and transform you into the biggest and the best version of yourself.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Audiobooks Versus Paperback or Kindle

I labelled myself  'Not a Reader' pretty much all my life. But then I discovered Audiobooks and Audible and I realised that I was and am a 'Listener'. Audible for those of you who don't know is Amazon's audiobook website. They have a fabulous monthly membership subscription system and you can additionally buy as many audiobooks as you like at great value.

Now before I get into this, I just want to throw this disclaimer out there. Liking audiobooks over physical books is just a personal choice.  I am sure avid book readers will disagree with my choice. I get that! The feeling of holding a book in your hands, the smell of a new book or simply having your collection of books on a book shelf in your living room could be the ultimate dream, pride and joy. I respect your choice but I have some solid reasons why I prefer audiobooks over paperback or kindle.
  • Reading is just painfully difficult for me. I mis-read words, I can't sit still and it's not stimulating enough for me. I am not a fast and focussed reader however, if someone is narrating it out loud to me with full emotion, I am in!
  • The flexibility of listening to an audiobook whilst doing mundane house chores, driving or travelling to & fro work, meetings etc is magical. Now delayed flights and trains or traffic jams simply do not bother me as I have a great source to entertain and/or educate me during that time. I would have otherwise spent that time plotting murders! For me this is GOLD and life changing.
  • Audiobooks allow me the luxury of travelling light. When I travel I usually have my laptop, camera and often a cabin case full of things. On top of that I have snacks, a water bottle and coffee. Then imagine buying 3 books to read as well on the plane or train. The bulk is real people! I just don't like travelling with loads of things in my hands. The freedom of not having to lug around books (because I have them downloaded on to my phone) is a game changer.
  • If you particularly love the audiobook you are listening to, take it with you on a walk or a run, you will end up walking, running or jogging a lot more! 
  • I am able to share audiobooks with my family across the globe through my Audible account. Sharing audiobooks with my mom knowing that she will benefit from these books sitting in a different country, brings me immense joy!
  • I am all about cutting the clutter and am trying to be as minimal as I can. Audiobooks are a great way of reducing that clutter. It also means reducing extensive use of paper. Again book lovers might have a different view on this and like I said before, I respect that. To each their own!
  • When I listen to an audiobook, I feel like I have connected with the author on a deeper level especially if he or she is the one narrating it. The story and/or concept comes to life and I feel like I am able to relate to the author more. 
  • Most authors are public speakers too and listening to them is a great way to learn how to speak effectively, if you aspire to be a public speaker as well. It's also a great way of learning how to correctly pronounce certain words that you may not have picked up, just by reading.
  • For me having an audiobook app on my phone is a great way of getting off of Instagram, FaceBook and Twitter and spending my time on my phone more productively. 
Let me know if you are a listener or a reader? I am curious to know!


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Lets Go For a Walk

I am fortunate enough to be living in the English country side and have the privilege of walking in the woods or around fields every single day. I have come to realise that I absolutely love walking and it has become a sacred ritual for me. If I could, I would walk every single day for at least half-an-hour. If for some crazy reason (read British weather) I can't walk on some days, I make sure that I get some fresh air at least 3-4 times a week.

It allows me to get close to nature and getting close to nature is incredibly healing and energising. It is a great form of gentle exercise and if on a busy day you are not able to squeeze a workout in, just go for a walk. You won't burn as many calories but you will definitely feel loads better for it!

Going for a walk always clears my mind. When I have a problem and can't seem to find the solution, I leave it and go for a walk. The answer comes to me effortlessly and usually when I am walking or right after it! I get loads of inspirational ideas and insights when I am walking.

If you are upset, anxious, sad or depressed going for a walk really helps. Sometimes when you are walking and close to nature, let out a cry. It feels like a big burden has been lifted off of your shoulders. Share your sorrows with nature, it feels wonderful!

There are so many benefits of walking and some of them are mentioned down below.
  • It brings instant happiness & joy
  • It makes you feel alive
  • It recharges your body and your soul. Every time I go for a walk, I come back feeling energised and invigorated.
  • I don't exactly know what magic happens when you walk but walking activates inspiration and creativity. I get most of my creative ideas whilst walking.
  • Lets not forget the health benefits of walking. It lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis... the list is endless. Reports indicate that daily walking could add up to 7 extra years to your life!
  • For me being close to nature and walking is like mediation in motion. I consciously focus on my breathing whilst walking. My breaths are not shallow. And it is during this time that I feel highly connected with everything and everyone. It makes me feel at one with the planet, the universe, the source energy.
I would highly recommend that you make walking a regular habit. Even if you live in a crowded city, I am sure there will be parks around and just taking out half-an-hour from your day is enough to reap the benefits of walking. Being close to nature and being in motion is so therapeutic! Try it, you won't regret it!

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