Saturday, 24 October 2015

Zen and the Art of Flow

You may have noticed by now that I try to write well. Well, I do.  I try to put art, creativity, and proper grammar into everything I write.  I can lose myself for hours in my writing. No matter how hurried I am or how close a deadline is, I make sure all is optimally written. This is my zone. My flow. I have my flow experience when I write. All else disappears and I am living in a perpetual moment of me and my activity. The activity needs to be interesting to me and I need to have it mastered to an extent that won't cause distraction. As well, it needs to be something that will push you to go one step further. 
One awesome flow I crave is the one experienced by the long distance runner.  There has to be so much concentration in your mind and the endorphins must bring you to elation. A car mechanic is another person that always seems to take pride in what he does. But my first thought of a flow activity is the Bonzai tree trimmer.  Such concentration and such exactness.
We hear of athletes who lose track of everything but the game at hand. When asked how they were able to make such an impossible play, they simply reply  "you need to be in the zone ". Focus gives us extra power and will. Losing track of time and the mundane keeps your brain healthy and your will at optimum capacity. If we could lose ourselves in flow every day, then we can empower ourselves that much more quickly. 

Flow can exist in all situations. It can help people excel in their jobs by challenging them through activities they have mastered. How many times have we been unable to complete simple tasks? We need to identify what a flow experience is and how we can use it. 

I would be glad to help you towards finding flow experiences in your life that would energize you towards optimal empowerment. 

Forgive and Heal

People love holding grudges. They love hating other people.
I  can honestly say that I am an eternal empathist.  There's a reason why I was bullied when I was young. It had nothing to do with me. It had nothing to do with the bully's true character. It had to do with his life experience. The bully made my life a living hell when I was young. I went behind him one day and had a stone in my hand ready to bash him behind the head with it. I was actually risking ruining both our lives because I needed immediate gratification. He turned around and looked at my outstretched arm and a fear gripped him. It is then that I saw him as human. I found out some time later his father had been abusive with him. But at that moment, I saw a helpless and pitiful teenager. I threw the rock away and he tried to bully me again. From that moment on, I was immune to bullying.
I later learned to forgive him. This is when all the baggage of having been abused by this child finally started rolling off my body. I was then in a position to choose a proper life path, one which included empowerment against bullying.
No matter how heinous a crime one may have committed against you, forgiveness doesn't make you weak or a loser. It helps you be happy. In the end, the best reason to forgive someone is for your happiness. There is no one more important than you, after all


How many friends do you have on Facebook?
You may not know these people, but they are part of your social network. You can ask them for guidance in times of need. But does looking at people's thoughts on paper and what they had for dinner last night make you happy? In one word, No. Interaction makes us happy. We need to belong. At the same time, we need to exist as we want to. We need to evolve more fully and this goes beyond the Internet. We need to feel love. We need to feel respect. We need to know we have achieved something. 
This is perhaps the most frustrating part a lot of my clients have when it comes to defining where they belong. All the apparent freedom involved with the ease of social interaction online takes away from reality. It fragments and truncates while making everyone just another cog in an undefined whole.
The magic is within you, and I can help you find it in order to empower you on the road to optimal empowerment.

Conquer Your Hurdles

 It is often overwhelming when a seemingly tragic situation overtakes us. It does not leave us alone and often takes away our ability to function in our everyday lives.  Often it leads to tragic and dire consequences that  could have been avoided. So many poor, abused, homeless, and unhappy people have had tragedy overtake them to the point they could no longer do what they wished. I have had clients who have had years of therapy that didn't help. There is no complex theory or a set of pills needed in most cases. What is needed is a life plan; and planning for the tragic is a big part of that plan.
I tell clients to treat every event as a hurdle in their life path. Hurdles can be merely goals that are easy to attain or seemingly heavy and overwhelming obstacles. The clearer the vision for your life path, the easier it is to make a plan on properly utilising coping mechanisms appropriate to the situation. Some are easy fixes. A seaside vacation. Meditation camp. An impromptu voyage. Joining a support group. But many situations are very serious and hard to overcome. I advise people to look at death and what may be involved in coping with it. If you can overcome that, then you can overcome anything. Many have learned to see death as a passage. Learning to appreciate life is the embryo to empowerment against death.
This is not to say all will be great right away. But suffice it to say that we are lost without anything or anyone to turn to.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

Random acts of kindness seem to be growing in popularity. But what exactly is in it for you?
For centuries, we have heard of people being humane to the less privileged.  We have recently seen big corporations giving to their community. Athletes go visit moribund kids in their hospital beds.  These are high end things that are often well meaning but that don't usually catch the essence of giving.  Especially if you're looking for a photo op.
What I'm referring to here is someone who receives as much happiness giving as the ones who receive his kindness. How often do we hear of anonymous donors?
When these acts of kindness become random, the self has learned to instinctively respect humanity by always striving to do the right thing. Kindness becomes commonplace and inner fulfillment follows. There are few greater rewards and paths to enlightenment and success more positive than respecting others.

Be Yourself

Almost all successful people avoid overthinking and social comparison. If one is part of the crowd, it makes it impossible to stick out from  the crowd and become great.  It stunts our growth and makes us resistant to success.
CM Punk, pictured, has labeled himself as The Straight Edged Superstar. Thinking this  to be a gimmick for his wrestling character, we were proven wrong when he was fired for not fitting in. He has since had a bigger following of people with clean bodies and free thought. In their straight edged world, there is no regret for your actions, just learning derived from them.  The group don't take any drugs, alcohol, don't smoke, and even cut the caffeine. They have built pride within themselves and can be true role models ----but without delving into social comparison.


How Can You Be Smiling at a Time Like This?

Cultivating optimism is even harder than it sounds.  It takes resiliency and even courage to look overboard of a difficult situation.
I went to the clinic waiting for a very young doctor to come see me. I didn't thing Dr. Yung would be able to diagnose something as serious as a stabbing feeling  in my colon. She went through the motions of examining me and looking at the ultrasound results.  She informed me there was a mass as big as a small olive yet again.  She was puzzled, saying the mass must be an indication of something too benign to be seen.  She looked at my frightened face and posture and stopped smiling. She touched me and said that the scan would alleviate some fears but that positive thinking may control the outcome of the scan. Either way, she said, the scan results would make me feel better. She rubbed my shoulders and said that it'd all be fine.
The scan was good. There were no problems. The stabbing went away and my digestion would slowly go back to normal. Dr. Yung knew all was well.  She was reinforcing the power of positive thinking. When I met her at a book signing a few months later, I thanked her for helping me understand.  "My friend is the author of this book and he taught me about cultivating optimism. He had a full time job and wrote at night after getting divorced and his  children moved out of province. He'd be poor and lonely were it not for his optimism. " She gave my cheek a slight pinch and said goodbye.
I often think of Jack Layton and other leaders who have performed small miracles and see that they all had to cultivate optimism in their assent. No pill or drug can do this.
The power of the mind is something that needs to always be explored and mastered on the road to optimal empowerment.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Expressing Gratitude

  The secret and starting point to everlasting happiness is gratitude.  We need to be thankful for what we have.  And there are so many things to be thankful for. Just sit down and make a list of all the people and things that inspire you and that you love and gratitude begins right there. We can be thankful for our health. We can be thankful for our family and friends. The list is endless.  The everyday mundane things we take for granted are building blocks towards happiness. The more we realise their significance and the more we see their role towards optimal empowerment, the more we will show gratitude towards them.
    As an exercise, think of a goal you have attained and then write down the steps you took in achieving that goal.  Who and what were involved in the accomplishment? Were you grateful for all these people and situations that brought you there?  Did you feel that some seemingly negative situation may have helped you?  Are you grateful for that?
    Gratitude is karmic and when we master the art of gratitude, it becomes  apparent that we receive it back.  That's what inner peace and serenity are all about.

How Happy Are You?

    The diagram below shows the tendencies of happy people. Isn't this what optimality is? It is peace and serenity.  And even though you may not want to do all of the 12 things listed in the diagram, you will no doubt agree the all these acts are part of a euphoric whole. This is a lasting euphoria, so it is subdued, low -key, and eventually everlasting.
    Most people may see this as something associated with yogis or people who have some kind of demons to exorcize.  What they don't realise is that these acts encompass what is empowerment.  When happiness is achieved within, it is later given outwards.  We are ready to empower others. Read on for a closer look. 

Welcome to your Optimal Self

    Optimality is the state of self -awareness that allows us to properly pursue our life goals. The pursuit of happiness is the goal of everyone, whether they realise it or care to admit it. Optimal empowerment is how we reach this state of optimality, or self -awareness. 
    There are a series of steps that need to be carefully experienced and understood before we can be in the state of optimal empowerment.  The first step begins at birth and the last one will take decades to attain. With proper guidance and coaching, almost anyone can gain this state of enlightenment that they thought possible only in a small number of select others.
    It took me over 3 decades to achieve optimal empowerment and I feel it's high time I helped you attain it. Follow me on a journey to self -awareness you have never thought possible.
    Thank you for deciding to make a difference in your life and potentially those of others.