All posts filed under: Hope

Be happy. Be productive. Build PERMA.

We all want to be happy. When we’re happy we look on the bright side of life, take ourselves less seriously, become more motivated, loving and generally better people. Scientist know our genes and upbringing influence around 50% of the variation in our personal levels of happiness and our circumstances, (like income and external environment) about 10%. Which leaves as much as 40% accounted for by our daily activities – the relationships we keep, the things we do and the choices we make. So our actions strongly impact our happiness levels, which is great news because it means we can easily improve them! Respected positive psychologist Professor Martin Seligman developed a well-being theory called the PERMA Model. It combines five building blocks, which need to be in place for a happy and flourishing life. The five elements are – POSITIVE EMOTION (P) Experiencing feelings of joy, hope, love, inspiration, satisfaction, gratitude or any positive emotion allows us to experience wellbeing. ENGAGEMENT (E) When we’re fully engaged in a challenging task and time seems to stand still, we experience a state of flow (see blog post ‘How do you find your flow?’). We lose our …

International Day of Peace

Next Monday, 21 September is the UN’s International Day of Peace. A day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, within and among all nations of the World. The theme this year is “Partnerships for Peace, Dignity for All”, highlighting the importance of all people in all societies to work together to strive for peace. It’s up to each and every one of us to unite against war and conflict, and help bring these ongoing issues to the attention of others. There are lots of ways you can get involved, here’s a few to get you started – Help Make #PeaceDay Trend on 21 September Create Peace Doves and Display Them Join an Event Near You Make Peace With Someone Join The Movement Share this TedTalk Buy the Peace Day Anthem Try Meditation with Colleagues at Work What will you do?

An Inspiring Expression of Man’s Heart and Mind

I often share the words of Kahlil Gibran in my Poetry Friday posts, so today is dedicated to the source of that poetry – his best selling book The Prophet. The Prophet is a collection of 26 essays written in English by the Lebanese artist. A masterpiece, it has been translated into more than 20 languages and is considered one of the most loved classics of our time. Gibran was also a philosopher and each chapter provides us with wise insight on how to approach different aspects of our life. These topics include love, children, giving, work, joy and sorrow, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, pleasure, beauty and death. It is a profound and spiritual read containing many a simple truth, expressed with poetic fluidity. It is a book that can be read over and over again, or dipped in and out of when inspiration is needed. I would highly recommend you invest in a copy – and another for a friend, because it makes a great present and is certainly a book that needs to be …

The Power of Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a big and powerful topic, yet Brené Brown handles it with simplicity and humour in this poignant TED Talk. A researcher in human connection, Brené talks about shame and fear and their power to stop us from connecting with others. She shares a deep insight from her research – a revelation that resulted in her seeing a therapist for twelve months – and the factors that need to be present for a strong sense of love and belonging to be present in all our lives. It is a wonderful 20 minute talk and if you enjoy it, please share its message with others.

Poetry Friday

Then a Woman said, speak to us of Joy and Sorrow. And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits, …

The Art of Letting Go

It’s human nature to attach ourselves to things. People, places, ideas – we grasp at them in the hope of finding happiness. Trying to manipulate each one to fit into our lives just the way we had imagined. But the reality is, this attachment is the cause of our suffering. This clinging to ourselves and an idealised life, sets the path for disappointment and dissonance. We find ourselves in situations we can’t control, meeting people with different perspectives and fighting our own egos in the face of adversity. ‘You can only lose what you cling to.’ — Buddha Letting go is an art form. For the more spiritual or those that lean towards the ‘being’ side, it may come more easily, but for the doers it is incredibly difficult to give up control and the desire to try and ‘fix’ things. So learning takes time and commitment. Here are 6 useful words to aid in your learning – 1. ACCEPTANCE If you find yourself in a toxic situation or conversation, first remove yourself from it and take …

How Well Do You Look After Your Mental Health?

Our brains produce up to a staggering 50,000 thoughts per day (National Science Foundation). 95% of those thoughts are habitual and repeated on an almost daily basis. If you’re a naturally skeptical or negative person whose mind is filled with worry and anxiety, it’s inevitable this storm of gloomy, negative thoughts is going to have a frightening impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Especially since our thoughts govern our actions – “All that we are is a result of all that we have thought.” Buddha One very important way to look after our mental health, is to take a regular mental inventory of our thoughts to assess what we’re creating in our lives. How much time is spent worrying or complaining? Criticising ourself and others? How much time appreciating the things we do have instead of noticing everything we don’t? Looking at our lives with wonder and gratitude?  If what we experience now is a result of our past thoughts, then we’re creating our future with every new thought. If our thoughts are positive and encouraging, then we’re more likely to act in an uplifting …

Alone, by Maya Angelou

Alone, a beautiful poem by Maya Angelou to reiterate Wednesday’s blog about the power and importance of human connection. Lying, thinking Last night How to find my soul a home Where water is not thirsty And bread loaf is not stone I came up with one thing And I don’t believe I’m wrong That nobody, But nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. There are some millionaires With money they can’t use Their wives run round like banshees Their children sing the blues They’ve got expensive doctors To cure their hearts of stone. But nobody No, nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. Now if you listen closely I’ll tell you what I know Storm clouds are gathering The wind is gonna blow The race of man is suffering And I can hear the moan, ‘Cause nobody, But nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, by Maya …

Poetry Friday

And a man said, “Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.” And he answered, saying: Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always known in thought. You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams. And it is well you should. The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea; And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure; And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless. Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking on my path.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For …

Happy Earth Day!

April 22 marks the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, started by Gaylord Nelson in 1970 in which 20 Million Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, with more than a billion people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities participating and celebrating simultaneously around the globe. Growing out of the very first Earth Day, the Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 50,000 partners in 192 countries. Their mission is to ‘broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.’ This is your chance to be a part of the largest environmental service campaign in the world! Visit EDN’s website and sign the climate change petition, join the campaign to protect the Asian elephant or partake in A Billion Acts of Green. Whatever you do, make sure you do your bit to help sustain our beautiful planet!