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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Relax...!?!

Relax and Recharge Completely...! Regular relaxation is essential for a long life and personal effectiveness. Here are some techniques for relaxing physically that are used by the most successful and highest paid people in world.


Take Time Off Every Week

First of all, work only five or six days per week, and rest completely on the seventh day. Every single study in this area shows that you will be far more productive in the five or six days that you work if you take one or two days off completely than you ever would be if you worked straight through for seven days.

Get Your Mind Busy Elsewhere

During this time off, do not catch up on reports, organize your desk, prepare proposals, or do anything else that requires mental effort. Simply let your mind relax completely, and get busy doing things with your family and friends. Maybe work around the house, go for a walk, engage in physical exercise, watch television, go to a movie, or play with your children. Whatever you do, discipline yourself to shut your mental gears off completely for at least one 24-hour period every seven days.

Get Away on Mini-Vacations

Second, take one three-day vacation every three months, and during that time, refrain from doing any work. Do not attempt to catch up on even a few small things. If you do, you keep your mental gears in motion, and you end up neither resting nor properly doing work of any quality.

"Live Longer, Lose Weight and Feel Terrific"

Nowadays people are searching for their own "Fountain of Youth" through pills, powders and fad diets.

The fact is: you don't need a fountain of youth when you're given the secrets to living a long and healthy life.

Take Big Chunks of Down Time

Third, take at least two full weeks off each year during which you do nothing that is work-related. You can either work or relax; you cannot do both. If you attempt to do a little work while you are on vacation, you never give your mental and emotional batteries a chance to recharge. You'll come back from your vacation just as tired as you were when you left.

Give Yourself a Break Today

If you are involved in a difficult relationship, or situation at work that is emotionally draining, discipline yourself to take a complete break from it at least one day per week. Put the concern out of your mind. Refuse to think about it. Don't continually discuss it, make telephone calls about it or mull it over in your mind. You cannot perform at your best mentally if you are emotionally preoccupied with a person or situation. You have to give yourself a break.

Go For a Walk in Nature

Since a change is as good as a rest, going for a nice long walk is a wonderful way to relax emotionally and mentally. As you put your physical body into motion, your thoughts and feelings seem to relax all by themselves.

Eat Lighter Foods

Also, remember that the process of digestion consumes an enormous amount of physical energy. Therefore, if you eat lighter foods, you will feel better and more refreshed afterward. If you eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products, your digestive system will require far less energy to process them.

Be Good to Yourself

Since your diet has such an impact on your level of physical energy, and through it your levels of mental and emotional energy, the more fastidious you are about what you put into your mouth, the better you will feel and the more productive you will be. We know now that foods high in fat, sugar, or salt are not good for your body. The lighter the foods you eat, the more energy you have.

Action Exercises

Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, plan your weeks in advance and build in at least one day when you will relax from work completely. Discipline yourself to keep this date.

Second, reserve, book and pay for your three day vacations several months in advance. Once you've paid the money, you are much more likely to go rather than put it off.

Third, decide that you will not work at all during your vacations. When you work, work. And when you rest, rest 100% of the time. This is very important.

Tomorrow we will read a letter from a psychologist father to his son.

Stay tuned and stay healthy...!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Strategy...!?!

Today I am going to write about 'Smart Strategy to Set Goals' that I learned recently. See if you like it and if you do, don't procrastinate and put it in action right away...!


“Genius” has been described as the “ability to focus on one thing at a time.” Many people who are “geniuses” are so not only because they have a high intellect, but because they are a gift of being able to focus on the objective or goal at hand.

This same focus must come in to play when determining what your goals are in relation to success. You need to learn to work towards one major objective and juggle a few short- and mid-range goals at the same time.

One way to determine what your direction is (and ultimately your goals are) is to do a check-up. I suggest listing 7 categories: Financial; Career, Family, Personal, Spiritual, Mental, & Physical. Rank your goals in these categories and how you’re doing. This will illustrate to you where you are and where you’d like to be and exactly how balanced you are as you move about your process.

• Set goals that are smart. Big goals must be broken down in to manageable pieces. Don’t set more than 4 goals to work on during a single day. Seek divine guidance and direction on each goal.

• Then identify what the pay-off is when you achieve your goal. Nebulous rewards don’t motivate people to achieve much.

• List the obstacles that stand between you and your goals. If you’re not aware of potential problems, you’ll be side-tracked when they arise and lose sight of your objective.

• Have someone in your corner who can dispense counsel & guidance.

• Think about who can help you achieve your goal. Identify friends who can encourage and who can help keep you motivated and on-track.

• List the skills and knowledge required to attain your goal.

• Develop a plan of action to achieve your goal.

• Set a deadline for achievement. It’s hard to achieve something that has no ending date.


As you consider your goals, ask yourself the following questions:

? Is this really my goal?
? Is this morally right and fair to everyone involved?
? Will it take me closer to my long-range goal?
? Can I commit myself to start and reach this objective?
? Can I see myself attaining this goal?

You should answer yes to each of these questions. If not, re-evaluate!
And then give each goal a final test of the “basic wants” in life:

? Will it make me happier?
? Will it make me healthier?
? Will it make me more prosperous?
? Will it increase my security?
? Will it help me make more friends?
? Will it give me peace of mind?
? Will it improve my family (and other) relationships?
? Will it increase my hope for the future?

If you can’t answer yes to each of these questions, re-evaluate your goal.

Tomorrow we will learn about relaxing properly...

Stay tuned...!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Empathy…!?!

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups, and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt tug on his overalls.


He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.

"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."

"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat of the back of his neck, "these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"

"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here Dolly!" he called.

Out from the doghouse and down ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.

Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in an awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up....

"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.

The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said,

"You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."


With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.

"How much?" asked the little boy.

"No charge," answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."

Stay tuned and share the P-R-I-C-E-L-E-S-S...!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meaningful Life...!?!

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."

- Albert Einstein

We are born. We study, find a job, get married, have children, grow old. And die. In between, we chase money, fame, physical intimacy, knowledge and indirectly, happiness. But is that all there is to living, or life? Ultimately, the answer has to be individual. You have to ask yourself...

“An unexamined life is not worth living”, said Socrates the Wise One. Socrates lived in an era when people had the time to 'stand and stare'. Today, let alone examine our lives and what we are living for, we don't even have time to examine the import of his statement. There was another Wise One, this time a Chinese sage, Taoist, who implored God: "Let me not be reborn in interesting times."

Unfortunately, we are living in very interesting times. Life is a soap opera today and we are all glued to it. Wars, bombings, riots, assassinations, yo-yo stock markets, seesaw politics, vulgar scandals, list is unending. As if real life is not enough, reel life offers still more engrossing entertainment. We cannot peel our eyes and conscious off the scenery to see where we are going, what we are doing, what are we on earth for…?!?

Entertainment is but only one item on the menu offered today. 'Consume' is the banging jingle. Buy. Acquire. Make money to buy and acquire. Make time to make money. The lure is gratification of needs. And needs can be created and added on by slick ads. The bait is a whiff of future happiness, after you acquire the latest product, but the hidden aim is to keep you unhappy, in want, else why would you keep on buying and consuming. So you work your ass off. Acquire some goodies, fail to acquire many others. You remain unhappy, forever fatigued, but busy; in no condition to ask the existential questions. In any case, popular wisdom dissuades you from philosophizing, tells you to be practical that is, engage yourself ever harder in solving your endless material problems. Indeed, a case of an entire culture conspires against man, more insidiously and resolutely than it ever has been in human history.

Quite threatening and disappointing is the scenario, isn’t it? Relax. We are not here to get distressed but de-stressed! We are trying to find a (re)solution to an eternal question – What next? Well, we will take a holistic approach to unwind the complicated things by unlearning some of the basics that we’ve got wrong. The simplest and best way to start this expedition is by changing our R-O-U-T-I-N-E. The key to balancing the material and the spiritual life lies in living them in cycle. When you lead your daily life consciously, the two become one. Until this delicate equilibrium is won you can enjoy the see-saw ride of ups and downs.


To take a baby step towards our new horizon, we are simply going to have only two types of days – Working and Non-working. No third type of day would be allowed or even considered. Maintaining the ratio of W/N to 80:20 is your individual responsibility though! What we have here is a guideline to S-P-E-N-D both type of days in a holistic manner as far as possible and try to make best of them so that you can present yourself so helpful and functional that society offers you everything, before being asked of…! Now this is not a wishful thinking but a very strategic, systematic, structured and organized effort that you should have been taught long ago. Never mind. No time is wrong to start a right thing. Just read it, understand it if you would prefer and start observing with a doubtless and faithful mind right away. Unfortunately this doesn’t come with a money-back guarantee but I can assure you a wonderful life-changing experience for sure. Go ahead and experiment with life…!

Stay tuned and keep practicing...!

Don't forget to watch The Green Beautiful here

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Donkey...!?!

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

MORAL :

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your mind from worries - Most of them will never happen.
2. Expect less from people but more from Self with faith.
3. Live simple and appreciate what you have.
4. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
5. Give more.

Stay tuned and H-A-P-P-Y...!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Generosity...!?!

Dear All,

This story I received from a close friend through email and I just can't wait to share it right away in my today's post. Enjoy the story and practice the message...!


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'
'Hello, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank you. Just admiring those peas. They sure look good.'
'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'
'Fine. Getting stronger all the time.'
'Good. Anything I can help you with?'
'No, Sir. Just admiring them peas.'
'Would you like to take some home?' Asked Mr. Miller.
'No, Sir. Got nothing to pay for them with.'
'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'
'All I got is my prize marble here.'
'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller.
'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'
'I can see that. Hmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.
'Not exactly but almost.'
'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.
'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said,
'There are two other boys like him in our community; all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles. Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts... all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes. Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size... they came to pay their debt. We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband.
Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles…!
 

The Moral:

We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.

Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles

- A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself...

- An unexpected phone call from an old friend...

- Green stoplights on your way to work…

- The fastest line at the grocery store....

- A good sing-along song on the radio...

- Your keys found right where you left them. Or perhaps,

- Just a smile from someone....

Send this to the people you'll never forget. I just did...If you don't send it to anyone; it means you are in way too much of a hurry to even notice the ordinary miracles when they occur.

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS

WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!

Stay tuned and G-E-N-E-R-O-U-S...!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Autobiography...!?!

No, no don't close this window after reading the title...! I am not going to publish my biography here, it's a symbolic and insightful Autobiography in Five Short Chapters. Read on, you will love it...! 



Chapter I

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in

I am lost . . . I am helpless

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.


Chapter II

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.


Chapter III

I walk down the same street

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in . . . it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.


Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.


Chapter V

I walk down another street.

Stay tuned and walk A-R-O-U-N-D...!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Doing what you love...!?!

Following is a mail from my friend Spring. I thought it would interest you to go through...!

Dear All:

I'm searching for and interviewing as many people as possible who have been going through the discovery and exploration process and are doing what they love. I'm preparing the report "Doing What You Love" to highlight the discoveries, processes, stories, rewards and insights as a free blessing gift to inspire more people who are still in searching and struggling. Featured stories could also go into my new book Happiness Purpose.

The interview will be simple (by email and time efficient) but profound (conscious inquiry, answering and discussion).

Those who would participate in this interview, will be sharing genuine information in and be shared with the report and its updated versions, where you will get to know more passionate people who are working on what they love, their inspiring stories and insights. You will also be invited to join our exclusive “Doing What You Love” subgroup on LinkedIn to network and share more with like-minded people, which will help you to gain even more creativity, resources and success on what you love.

I have met some faithful, passionate and generous people who are working on what they love and have shared their amazing exploration stories with me. I hope this report will find as many qualified people as possible to inspire many others.

If you are working on what you love or know anyone who are working on their love, and are interested in this interview, its report and subgroup, please contact me through LinkedIn or SpringZhyL@yahoo.com, with Subject “Doing What You Love”. Please help spread the word.

With All My Sincere Thanks and Blessings!

Spring

Stay tuned and keep doing what you love...!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Not Enough...?!?

Dear All, as we are discussing about 'Being Happy' I thought it would be good idea to read some excerpts from experts of the subject...! Folowing is edited excerpt from Chapter One of Martin Seligman, Flourish; published on April 5, 2011.


Happiness is Not Enough

When I started my work in Positive Psychology, my original view was closest to Aristotle’s—that everything we do is done in order to make us happy—but I actually detest the word happiness, which is so overused that it has become almost meaningless. It is an unworkable term for science, or for any practical goal such as education, therapy, public policy, or just changing your personal life. Moreover, the modern ear immediately hears “happy” to mean buoyant mood, merriment, good cheer, and smiling. “Happiness” historically is not closely tied to such hedonics—feeling cheerful or merry is a far cry from what Thomas Jefferson declared that we have the right to pursue—and it is an even further cry from my intentions for a positive psychology.

To understand what “happiness” is really about, the first step is to dissolve “happiness” into more workable terms. When I wrote Authentic Happiness a decade ago, I thought that happiness could be analyzed into three different elements that we choose for their own sakes: positive emotion, engagement, and meaning. Positive emotion refers to what we feel: pleasure, rapture, ecstasy, warmth, comfort, and other such emotions that contribute to the “pleasant life.” Engagement is about flow: being one with the music, time stopping, and the loss of self-consciousness during an absorbing activity, experiences which contribute to the “engaged life.” The third element is meaning. I go into flow while playing bridge, but after a long tournament, when I look in the mirror, I worry that I am fidgeting until I die. Human beings, ineluctably, want the “meaningful life”: belonging to and serving something that you believe is bigger than you are. Happiness and life satisfaction, I thought, could be increased by building positive emotion, engagement, and a sense of meaning in life. This is not enough.

I no longer think that positive psychology is about happiness, or about a quest for increasing life satisfaction through positive emotion, engagement, and meaning. It turns out that how much life satisfaction people report is itself determined by how good we feel at the very moment we are asked the question. Averaged over many people, the mood you are in determines more than 70 percent of how much life satisfaction you report. If positive psychology is to be more than a “happiology” of cheerful mood, we need to shift our focus to well-being. I believe the gold standard for measuring well-being is flourishing, and that the goal of positive psychology is to increase flourishing. Flourishing rests on five pillars, each of which we value for its own sake, not merely as a means to some other end. Positive emotion, engagement, and meaning are three of the pillars, but they cannot do the “heavy lifting” of supporting human flourishing by themselves.

The Need to Achieve

Accomplishment (or achievement) is often pursued for its own sake, even when it brings no positive emotion, no meaning, and nothing in the way of positive relationships. Here is what ultimately convinced me: I play a lot of serious duplicate bridge. I have played with and against many of the greatest players. Some expert bridge players play to improve, to solve problems, to be in flow, or to experience outright joy. Other experts play only to win. For them, losing is devastating no matter how well they played. Some will even cheat to win. It does not seem that winning for them reduces to positive emotion (many of the stonier experts deny feeling anything at all when they win and quickly rush on to the next game), nor does the pursuit reduce to engagement, since defeat nullifies the experience so easily. Nor is it about meaning; bridge is not about anything remotely larger than the self.

Winning only for winning’s sake can also be seen in the pursuit of wealth. In contrast to philanthropic millionaires, there are “accumulators” who believe that the person who dies with the most toys wins. Their lives are built around winning, and they do not give away their toys except in the service of winning more toys. So well-being theory requires a third element: the “achieving life,” dedicated to accomplishment for the sake of accomplishment.


Other People Matter

Near the Portuguese island of Madeira, there lies a small island shaped like an enormous cylinder. At the top is a several-acre plateau on which are grown the most prized grapes that go into Madeira wine. On this plateau lives only one large animal: an ox whose job is to plow the field. There is only one way up to the top, a winding and narrow path. How in the world does a new ox get up there when the old ox dies? A baby ox is carried on the back of a worker up the mountain, where it spends the next forty years plowing the field alone. If you are moved by this story, ask yourself why.

Very little that is positive is solitary. When was the last time you laughed uproariously? The last time you felt indescribable joy? The last time you sensed profound meaning and purpose? The last time you felt enormously proud of an accomplishment? Even without knowing the particulars of these high points of your life, I know their form: all of them took place around other people. When asked what, in two words or fewer, positive psychology is about, Christopher Peterson, one of its founders, replies, “Other people.” Other people are the best antidote to the downs of life and the single most reliable up.

Recent streams of argument about human evolution point to the importance of positive relationships in their own right and for their own sake. Studies of the big social brain, the hive emotions, and group selection persuade me that positive relationships—key to “the connected life”—are a basic element of well-being.
Well-Being Theory: PERMA

In the new well-being theory, human flourishing rests on five pillars, denoted by the handy mnemonic PERMA:

Positive Emotion

Engagement

Relationships

Meaning

Accomplishment

These elements, which we choose for their own sake in our efforts to flourish, are the rock-bottom fundamentals to human well-being. What is the good life? It is pleasant, engaged, meaningful, achieving, and connected.

Stay tuned and stay updated...!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Being Happy...!?!

Today let’s talk about happiness…! There is no single key to unlock the Happiness which is always there within. One needs to learn the process of being happy…! And make it a habit to remain happy by practicing it relentlessly…

In this case the saying ‘Child is the father of man’ goes 100% true as elders can learn two basic things from children to start the process of being happy…

1. To be happy for no reason

2. To be always busy doing something


The only way to happiness is to look within you. Here are a few tools that may help you find your way.

Be easily amused. People who laugh and smile are happier and usually live longer - than people who lack a sense of humor.

Don't dwell on the negative. If there's something wrong, accept it and move through it. Ruminating about how bad life is won't help, and can lead to depression. If you can't stop the thoughts, consult a professional.

Trust that your life has meaning. If it doesn't, or you can't find any at the moment, act as if you have it, until you stumble on what really floats your boat.

Do something nice for yourself. It doesn't have to cost money or be a big deal. Sometimes just watching the sunset and letting the world go by can be very healing for the soul.

Always have something with you to read. This way, you'll never be bored or waste time. When you read, you are both relaxing and learning.

Do something for someone, without expecting anything in return. Help an old lady get her shopping bags into the car. Help someone stuck for parking space. These may seem like insignificant little things, but think how you would feel if someone were similarly helpful to you or someone you love.

Eat something you love to eat, at least once a week. Depravation is depressing. Even if it means you have to spend an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill, eat that chocolate cake, if it can be the reason for your bliss.

Get outside and appreciate your environment. Sunlight and fresh air are now being touted as ways to prevent certain types of cancer. The healthiest thing you can do for yourself, emotionally and physically, is to simply take a walk.

Giving love and understanding is the first step in receiving it. This is one of the oldest and wisest pieces of truth on earth. Giving away what you want, is a great way to get what you really need.

Always have a goal. Happiness comes from moving towards what you want, not from going away from it. Any time you achieve a dream, you need to replace it. Make sure you always have something to look forward to.

Remember that happiness is not constant. Some people think that if they're not feeling happy, something is wrong. The real truth is that happiness is usually found somewhere off the beaten path - between the fantasy overpass and the reality off-ramp.

Stay tuned and stay H-A-P-P-Y…!




New Year...!?!

आज गुढी पाडवा...! नवीन वर्षाची सुरवात...

जाणून घेऊया काय महत्त्व आहे या चैत्र शुद्ध प्रतीपदेचे...!    

Celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar (March-April as per the Gregorian Calendar), Gudi Padwa, considered as an auspicious occasion to buy ornaments, house and other new things, marks the New Year's Day for Maharashtrians and Hindu Konkanis in India. The Brahma Purana declares Gudi Padwa to be the time on which Lord Brahma created the world after the great deluge. One of the 3 and a half days in the Indian Lunar calendar called "Sade-Teen Muhurt", whose every moment is considered auspicious in general to start a new activity.

The celebration of springtime and Harvest

This is a time of the year when the sun's rays increase in intensity, going from mellow to hot. The crops have been harvested and the fruits of the harvest are making their way to the marketplaces. Mangoes, the king of fruit, ripening to orange under the sun's warmth, are in season once again. The ripe smell of jackfruit fills the air. Shrubs and trees are bursting into flower. Everything is fresh and new. It looks and smells like spring (or the best impersonation of quintessential springtime that the Indian climate can do).

Gudi Padwa, also known as Ugadi, is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month of Chaitra, which according to the Gregorian calendar would fall sometime at the end of March and the beginning of April. This festival is supposed to mark the beginning of 'Vasant' or spring. According to the 'Brahma Purana', this is the day on which Brahma created the world after the deluge and time began to tick from this day forth.

India was, and still is to a certain extent, a predominantly agrarian society. Thus, celebrations and festivals were often linked to the turn of the season and to the sowing and reaping of crops. There is a theory that the word 'padwa' might have its roots in the Sanskrit word for crop, which is 'Pradurbhu.' The word 'padwa' as used contemporarily means 'New Year', but this day also marks the end of one harvest and the beginning of a new one, which for an agricultural community would signify the beginning of a New Year. In the case of Gudi Padwa, it is celebrated at the end of the Rabi season. The term 'padava' or 'padavo' is also associated with Diwali, another New Year celebration that comes at the end of the harvesting season, thus substantiating the agricultural link to the festival.

The festivities

On the festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cowdung. Even in the city, people take the time out to do some springcleaning. Women and children work on intricate rangoli designs on their doorsteps, the vibrant colours mirroring the burst of colour associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is a time for family gatherings. Specialities like soonth panak and chana usal are eaten on this day.

Traditionally, families are supposed to begin the festivities by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with ajwain, gul, tamarind and jaggery. All the members of the family consume this paste, which is believed to purify the blood and strengthen the body's immune system against diseases.


The 'gudi'

While the 'padwa' part has been explained, you're probably wondering what a 'gudi' is. A 'gudi' is a pole on top of which an upturned brass or silver pot called a kalash is placed. The gudi is covered with a colourful silk cloth and decorated with coconuts, marigolds and mango leaves that symbolize nature's bounty. On Gudi Padwa, you will find gudis hanging out of windows or otherwise prominently displayed in traditional Maharashtrian households.

Some Maharashtrians see the gudis as a symbol of victory associated with the conquests of the Maratha forces lead by the great hero Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Gudis are also displayed as they are expected to ward off evil and invite prosperity and good luck into the house.

नववर्षाच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा...! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grasping...!?!

How many times you hear Advice and Suggestions and Remarks and Comments during a typical day? And what generally you do about it...!?! Today let's read to a short but insightful story from a Buddhist Master.

Coming across a monk praying while circumambulating a holy building, Geshe Tenpa said,

"How pleasant to walk around sacred places, but you know, it's far better to practice the wonderful Dharma."

The monk took his words to heart and began earnestly studying the scriptures. One day Geshe Tenpa came across him and commented,

"How commendable it is to study the scriptures, but you know, it is far better to practice the wonderful Dharma."

The monk took his words to heart and took up intensive meditation. One day Geshe Tenpa came across him and said,

"How blissful to be lost in one-pointed meditation, but you know, it's far better to practice the wonderful Dharma."

The monk was completely confounded. In desperation he begged,

"Master, teach me what to do."

Geshe Tenpa smiled and replied,


"Just stop grasping at things."

Stay tuned and focussed as well...!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Tsunami 2...!?!

In my yesterday's post I expressed my heartfelt reverence for values demonstrated by Japanese people during the times of turmoil. Today I want you to read an open letter from world’s most famous and extremely adored astrologer Susan Miller, myself being her greatest fan and follower.

Open Letter to the Japanese People
 - By Susan Miller

You are not alone, my friends in Japan. I watched in horror as news reports concerning your recent earthquake, tsunami, and the damage to the nuclear reactors unfolded from day to day. The events were unthinkable and unfathomable - almost too much for anyone to endure.

The measure of a nation and its people, I feel, is revealed not in time of ease, but during times of peril. It is always during difficult times that we reveal the genuine character that lies beneath. I suppose in those times, we have no energy but to be our truest self. Now others will see a vast beauty that is inside you that is to be unmasked. In the case of Japan, a whole nation has shown remarkable strength and fortitude and an unshakable faith in the future.

Here in the United States, we gather in front of our televisions several times a day to get reports. We were able to see, close-up, the immeasurable suffering of those Japanese people who lost family members, their homes, and all their possessions. We saw that the relief efforts were taking a long time to get to those most needy, due to blocked roads and overwhelming destruction.

Despite much sorrow, we were touched to see the serene composure of the Japanese people and the powerful sense of community in the affected areas that linked stranger to stranger in a united brotherhood. Your countrymen's strength went far beyond what anyone would have expected under such trying circumstances. The compassion for others that was displayed by those who had lost so much touched me deeply.

We noticed that in Japan, there were no riots after the disaster, borne out of frustration and hunger. There was no pushing, shoving, or shouting - instead there were orderly lines of patient people waiting their turn to receive desperately needed food, water, and medical supplies. We all asked ourselves, under the same circumstances, would we have shown the same dignity and serenity of the people of Japan? I would like to think we would, but like any hypothetical situation, no one ever knows for sure until faced with the same severe circumstances. The people who stood in line were cold, hungry, and maybe even frightened, yet all waited calmly, as if to say, "Everyone here is equal in their pain. My needs are not more important than those of my neighbor."

God bless you, my friends in Japan. Your plight weighs heavily in the minds and hearts of every American. I live in New York City, and your situation has sparked heartfelt sympathy. We discuss your plight in every coffee shop, on every street corner, and over dinner in every household. Most of us are drawing up plans to raise money as quickly as possible. We care, and it is time to show that we do.

At times like these, many ask, why does the universe impose such suffering? We are small in the scheme of the wide universe, and in the end, we must admit that we have few answers concerning life's mysteries. We are but soldiers of a God who loves us and who will never forsake us. Despite how small and helpless we feel at times, we manage to press forward, for we have faith. The unflagging optimism and resourcefulness of the Japanese people has engendered deep admiration.

I feel you already know about the spiritual truths and mysteries of which I speak. Your people seem to be saying to us, "In times of greatest sorrow there is always comfort in caring for others." One young Japanese woman was reported to have carried her 88-year-old mother on her back over a far distance to get her mother to safety. It is scenes like that that move us and show us the spirit of the Japanese people. These scenes inspire me and other Americans, and we want to help.

Indeed, the ability to be compassionate, and to feel another's pain as if it were our own, is one of the highest of all human qualities. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. Your pain is our pain.

If this catastrophe has taught us anything, it is that the world is very small. Severe circumstances can come to any country at any time. We are all united in the family of man.


We will send you our humble donations, along with all our love and our prayers. We know you will never give up, no matter how dark the days might be on the road to recovery, because resilience is woven into the very fabric of the Japanese character. Pain can, at times, make you feel lonely and isolated, especially if others around you do not understand. Yet, we do understand. I will help you. America will help you. Other nations will help you.

I realize that you have strong national pride, as you should. I sense that you wish you would not need to rely on aid from others. Admittedly, help can sometimes be hard to accept. Yet perhaps in the midst of this disaster, the universe is whispering this golden truth to the Japanese people:

"Accept the love of others with open arms, for the ability to receive love is every bit as noble as the ability to give." Your generosity to others has always been given freely and with your whole heart. Now it is your turn to see how dearly others feel for you. In accepting love and help, there will be loving results, for the bond of our friendship will deepen and grow ever stronger.

Sincerely

Susan Miller
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I would like to find a way to help the victims of the recent tragedy in Japan. Each night I watch the news, and it has become increasingly heartbreaking to see events unfold. I can no longer stand by and watch helplessly while so many people experience such grief.

When disaster hit in Haiti last year, my two daughters and I rolled into action and collectively raised $17,000 for The American Red Cross' Haitian Effort. I know that was only a small amount of money, but I feel if each of us, in every household and community in America, can find a way to raise money, we all can make a difference to those who are suffering so much.

Many Astrology Zone readers are involved with important philanthropic causes. If you happen to be working on a major relief effort for the victims of the Japanese disaster or continue to help the people of Haiti, I would like to know about your good work. If you think I may be of help to your cause, please send me your proposal. By next month, I will choose the charity I will join to help Japan and several months later, Haiti. I will choose the charity that I feel will allow me to do the most good.
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Please send proposals to Edward Rubinstein at press@astrologyzone.com
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