”Tears- Crying For No Reason”

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”When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry”.

As men age, we’re more prone to — and able to — express our pain and connect to our emotions. That’s not weakness, it’s hope.

I begin many days by crying. I’m not depressed, it’s not something I intend to do and I’m not a sad person. It just happens, often when I’m reading the morning paper. And it’s been going on for several years. A patient comes to a psychiatrist because he’s having sudden bouts of crying for no apparent reason. The doctor diagnoses depression and prescribes an antidepressant. The patient’s crying episodes are reduced, but there is still a problem.

In both cases, the diagnosis may be correct, but the reason for these bursts of uncontrollable crying and, less often, laughing may be due to an illness called pseudobulbar affect (PBA). (The illness may be known by several names, and more recently has been called involuntary emotional expression disorder, or IEED.)
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What Is PBA?

The main symptom of PBA is sudden, unexplained and unstoppable crying that occurs multiple times a day for no apparent reason. Similar sudden laughing can also occur, as well as bursts of anger. Very often, patients become socially isolated out of embarrassment, which can lead to other depressive symptoms.

Pseudobulbar affect is a condition that occurs due to other neurologic conditions and may occur in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Traumatic brain injury via accident or stroke may cause PBA to appear as well. Sometimes PBA symptoms uncover a hidden brain injury.
A major study found that 51% of people with PBA reported spending little to no time with friends and family, and 57% little to no time talking on the telephone. Thus the impact on daily life and functioning of this illness is extreme.
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Differences Between PBA and Mood Disorders

The primary difference between pseudobulbar affect and other mental illnesses like depression and bipolar are that the outbursts of crying, laughing and/or anger happen for no reason, last a very short time, and can occur many times in the course of a day. Still, one can see where a patient who only has bouts of crying might be diagnosed with depression, especially since one study found that almost 90 percent of PBA patients also had significant depressive symptoms.

Since social withdrawal/isolation is so often a symptom of major depressive episodes, the reason for it has to be determined. In depression and bipolar disorder, this is a primary symptom, while in PBA, it happens because patients are fearful of being in social situations. Imagine bursting out laughing during a funeral, or suddenly crying in the middle of a board meeting. Such events could easily make a person avoid any situation where PBA symptoms would be inappropriate and embarrassing.
Some symptoms of depressive episodes aren’t associated with PBA, such as changes in appetite and inappropriate feelings of hopelessness or guilt.
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Treatment

It’s only recently that a treatment specifically for PBA was found, and then only by accident. Researchers were testing a combination of two drugs to see if it helped symptoms of ALS, and although there was no effect on ALS, those patients who had PBA reported that the experimental treatment decreased their laughing and/or crying.

The combination consists of dextromethorphan and quinidine, a heart medication. Although dextromethorphan is a common ingredient in cough medicines, patients should not try to self-medicate for PBA, as the prescription medication is quite different.

More research is needed to determine whether the drug is safe for people with disorders like Parkinson’s disease. There are concerns about problems arising from mixing it with medications for these illnesses. In addition, patients taking antidepressants that act on serotonin, or those with any risk of heart rhythm problems, need particular cautions.

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Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis?

Some reliable tests for PBA have been developed, and more are in the works. Because so many people are misdiagnosed as having depression, bipolar, or other illnesses such as anxiety disorders or even schizophrenia, it’s impossible to know how many people in the U.S. actually have pseudobulbar affect. Estimates put the number of patients with PBA between one and two million. With time and education, more people will be identified as having PBA and have access to proper treatment.

At last, Perhaps social scientists will eventually find a way to exhaustively quantify the changes. Right now, though, it’s important simply to know what I and other men are seeing and feeling. We are more willing to admit to and feel the terrible pain of our losses; to weep in celebration of our own and other’s loving connections; to know and feel the threat that individual and collective greed and selfishness, and the fear that feeds them, pose to all of us and to generations beyond us. That our tender emotions are hopeful signs, not of weakness or pathology, but of a necessary and welcome growth — in our compassion, wholeness and, perhaps, our wisdom.

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Manifestation- “Create Your Own Reality”.

 

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“The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.” “When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.”

A great many of my teachings are about how the mind creates the reality you live in. I teach people how to create their own reality. Many spiritual teachers do. The benefits of doing that are obvious. But what I want to talk to you about today is the shadow side of manifestation. The shadow side of “create your own reality”. I want to outline some common pitfalls that we might unintentionally tumble into once we have committed to the path of manifestation. Keep in mind that there is a lot of nuance in spiritual practice.

1. The first pitfall is that once we find out that we can make whatever we want to be true, become true for us, we will actually make true whatever we want to be true for us. We enter the la-la land. That may not at face value sound like such a bad thing. But take a look at the downside to this, if we have not fully questioned WHY we want something to be true, or WHY we want something to happen for us, we could be manifesting directly from our suppressed shadow side. For example, one woman who was an avid manifestation practitioner, but who was also an environmentalist, started dating a man who was an off-roading enthusiast. She loved this man, but the thing that was preventing her from being close to him was that he did not seem to care about harming the environment. He was not open to changing his principal past time so she was in an existential crisis. She decided that to be with him, she needed to have an open mind to off-roading. So she went with him on an off-roading trip. On the trip, they ended up killing a small sapling that was in the middle of one of their steepest routes and they ended up driving over some cryptogamic soil. She was thrown into a guilt spiral. She wanted desperately to be free of guilt. So she began to subconsciously and also consciously manifest proof that what she did wasn’t all that bad. Sure enough, she was a match to a meditation experience where she saw that death must occur for anything that is created and that the destruction of the environment was inevitable because it was created. She began to see proof that by adding to destruction, she was clearing the path for a new creation and that death could not be wrong so inherently, the killing cannot be wrong either. She was right. That is one perspective about destruction. But it is not the only perspective. It is not the only truth. And it is certainly not the full objective truth. She decided to invest further in the past time of off-roading in order to be close to her boyfriend.

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Did any of that feel off to you? If the answer is yes, here’s why… You can manifest whatever you want to be true. She wanted it to be true that what she did wasn’t a bad thing. So she manifested proof of it. But the thing to consider is why did she want it to be true? Because A) she wanted to not feel guilty and B) she wanted to be close to her boyfriend. Instead of asking for those two things directly from the universe, she began to manifest justification for something being right that she, in fact, knew felt wrong to her. She was unaware completely of the shadow aspect behind why she wanted it to be ok to go off-roading. The shadow aspect must be COMPLETELY unveiled for a manifestation to actually be completely in alignment. A serial killer can convince himself that by killing women, he is keeping them safe from an even worse fate. He will be able to argue that this is true. He will make it true for himself. But does that make it objectively true? More importantly, is it healthy or in alignment for him to make that thing he wants to have been true, actually be true in his own reality?
Being able to convince yourself of anything is only as good a mental tool as it does. In order to really create well, you need to come out of denial and use the shadow to enhance the light. Use the awareness of what is unwanted to design your perfect life and move towards that instead of trying to change the unwanted into want. We need to question why we want to manifest the reality we want to manifest, especially the shadow reasons. This is how to avoid becoming a serial killer who can justify killing people because, in his reality, he is keeping them safe.

2. The second pitfall is that often when we practice manifestation, we begin to disbelieve in objective truths that we don’t want to have been true for us. We go into a state of denial. For example, many of us don’t want to believe in danger. But the danger exists for people on earth. We may not want to believe that children are sold as sex slaves but they are. We don’t want to believe that there is radiation in the ocean, but there is. We don’t want to believe that the holocaust happened but it did. We don’t want to believe that corporations sway the government, but they do. There are a great many things that exist on earth that are real and objectively true that people don’t want to include in their subjective reality.
Is there an objective truth outside of subjective truth? Yes. Everyone and everything’s subjective truth combined into one big picture is objective truth. To be aware and enlightened, we need to remain open to seeing that truth. Regardless of how tempting it may be, you cannot progress on the spiritual path and live your life inside a bubble reality made for only one. It is a disconnection. We live in a consensus reality. Even though we absolutely can create a reality that is separate from everyone else’s reality, we came here to this consensus reality to co-create, not exempt ourselves from the co-creation. Why might I say the opposite to someone who is in a state of victimization and why might you hear me contradict this last statement while talking to someone in the future by telling them to “create your own reality without caring what is objectively true?” I might do that because they are currently thinking they have no hand in creating reality. They are powerless. But that is not where the truth ends.
Ask yourself these questions, is it a virtue to disconnect from the consensus reality to the degree that you are not even experiencing the same things as anyone else? How do we maintain a view of objective reality while living in our own subjective realities? Last week, I was over at someone’s house and I saw multiple low vibrational beings there, feeding off of someone’s energy field. But the owner of the house is a positive focus junkie who is unaware of the suppressed shadow aspects of himself. Because of his ‘everything is awesome’ vibration, he could not perceive them. The fact that he couldn’t perceive them does not mean that they weren’t there. It just means that he could not perceive them being there.

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You could ask why it is important to see what is there if it is unpleasant. I will tell you that awareness is the answer. Consciousness is the answer. When we discovered enlightenment and discovered how to create our own reality and started teaching it to each other, we did not mean create your own reality by willingly becoming ignorant. I will tell you that it is important to open up and become aware enough to see all of what is there the FULL picture. Not just half of the picture. Not just the light half and not just the dark half. What causes many of us pain is that our eyes are closed to the light half. Not that they see the dark half. Likewise, what causes many of us pain is that our eyes are closed to the dark half, not that we see the light half.
We need to expand on the idea that ‘create your own reality’ can lead us into the pitfall of denial. Mankind is one of the species on earth that is the most objectively self-aware. This has its upsides and its downsides. One upside is, with such a strong sense of “self”, enlightenment is often realized in human form. One downside is, with such a strong sense of self, there is strong motivation to have a positive sense of self and world, this means anything about the self or world that is perceived as negative is often denied.
The human consciousness becomes unaware of what is negative because the human consciousness has developed many beliefs which have made negative not ok. When we make something “not ok” we cannot admit to its existence. We must think we are good to such a degree that we cannot open up our vision wide enough to recognize aspects of ourselves that are out of alignment. Denial prevents us from moving forward as a species because we cannot even admit to what there is to transform. Denial is so much a part of the human consciousness since our species gained the ability to objectively conceptualize identity, that denial is now a self-preservation function of the human brain. Denial is a defense mechanism. It is fascinating to me (when I am not directly suffering because of it) that human consciousness tries to protect itself from itself.
Why are we unable to admit to an obvious truth we see? I suppose I should say, why, (when we are in denial) is obvious truth not obvious to us? Denial allows the ego to protect itself from things that the ego is convinced it cannot cope with. For example, if we are attached to the idea of being the best mother, we usually develop extreme resistance to the idea of not being a good mother. We feel as if we cannot cope with the possibility that we are not a good mother. This is where denial kicks in. The ego protects you from objectively seeing yourself because of the potential for pain. It sweeps the times you were a “bad mother” under the rug and only allows you to selectively remember the times when you were a “good mother”. You have stopped seeing the truth of yourself objectively. Your reality now consists only of what you want to believe. You have whitewashed over everything unsightly. A great many manifestation experts would tell you “good because your reality should only consist of what you want to believe is true”. I do not agree. I think your reality should consist of things you want to make true for yourself and beliefs that work for you whilst being acutely aware that other equal truths do exist in this world.

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Many of our spiritual practices are in fact not spiritual practices, they are excuses not to see or feel certain things that down deep we are afraid to exist or are true. We call this spiritual bypassing, which is the next pitfall. A selective focus for the purpose of manifestation is not the same thing as denial. But the selective focus for the purpose of manifestation serves as a very good excuse to go into a state of denial. You do not have to deny something to validate something else.
Denial is not only about a flat-out rejection of an evident truth. It is also about minimizing the importance of something that is already evidently true in your reality. If we are bypassing by denying or suppressing something, it means we are resisting something. So by encouraging someone to bypass, deny or suppress, we encourage them to resist. We need to allow and explore whatever we feel the need to deny, even if it is just a possibility. The longer we are in denial, the harder it is to come out of it. It is possible to positively focus on something without denying the negative.
The rule of thumb is that if we have extreme resistance to the idea of something being true, we are probably in denial about something. And the more committed we are to AVOIDING our painful emotions, the more in denial we will be. We need to practice non-aversion.
A very common thing to see in the manifestation community is people putting a positive spin on everything. While doing that can help you to see the full picture, and discover the more objective truth behind what happened to us (and thus not get stuck in negativity), the positive focus should not be used to avoid or whitewash over the negative side of the picture. When we do this, we are using positive focus as an analgesic. This is symptom relief, not real and lasting change. Our car broke down because we were supposed to see the pretty sunrise. We are smoking pot because it expands our consciousness. We are proud that our friend stabbed us in the back because she was getting her suppressed anger out. Our mother was a good mom to have because her addictions helped us to find out who we really are. We ignored our own intuition about going somewhere dangerous because we were the hero that was meant to ward off the bad guy. There is a very big difference between creating the kind of world we would prefer (which involves admitting to the full truth of how the world is currently for us) and covering a murder scene with yellow paint so it does not feel so bad. Are you manifesting an improved world for yourself and others? Or are you manifesting yellow paint?
3. The third pitfall is spiritual bypassing. Spiritual bypassing is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs. Never has a spiritual belief system been invented that opens the door to spiritual bypassing wider than ‘you create your own reality’.

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4. The fourth pitfall is that Manifestation allows you to step into a judgmental state that is void of empathy and compassion because you have convinced yourself that people bring painful experiences onto themselves. I’m not going to go easy on this one. How many times have you heard the following… “They brought on their cancer. They are choosing to be depressed and focus negatively. They created poverty. They could just as easily change their mind and create something different”. It is easy to convince yourself that people either want to experience the painful things they are experiencing or that they are ignorant of creating their own reality and that’s why they are experiencing painful things. This is a disconnection in and of itself from others. And a kind of piousness. Just because someone was a match for cancer because of thoughts or childhood pain, doesn’t mean they deserve cancer and doesn’t mean that the cancer is not real. It also does not mean that they are deliberately consciously choosing it. Much of what occurs in people occurs subconsciously and to act like it is just a matter of attachment to pain or stubbornness or ignorance that makes someone create negative experiences in their reality, makes it feel terrible to spend time around you. Just because you know that you can create your own subjective reality that feels good to you all the time, does not mean that others (who do not currently know that or who have not perfected that art) are less evolved or less spiritual or are choosing to be attached to their pain and egos. In other words, the fourth pitfall is the risk of invalidating people, trivializing people’s experiences and losing compassion by becoming egotistical and holier than thou more manifest.
5. The fifth pitfall of manifestation is the avoidance of negativity. Once people learn that they create their own reality, the very next step people take is to avoid all things negative. You can’t think it if it’s negative, you can’t look at it if it’s negative, you can’t acknowledge it if it’s negative, you can’t do it if it’s negative or else you will create negative things in your reality. When we teach people to use their emotional guidance system by following their joy, people do set themselves free to create the reality that they envision. But the trap of this particular path is that all other emotions become “unacceptable” and one runs from unacceptable feelings.
Denial keeps these unacceptable feelings out of one’s consciousness. While our emotions are a guidance system, they are absolutely not guiding us to avoid all things negative. Suppression and denial of the negative abound as a result of creating your own reality. We avoid our entire shadow side. You don’t need me to tell you just how dangerous that is. Suppression and denial will do nothing but make your shadow larger and make it manifest even more intensely externally, regardless of how aware or unaware you may be of those manifestations.

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6. The sixth pitfall is that critical thinking (not to be confused with criticism) goes right out the window. The baby goes out with the bathwater. Critical thinking is the act of awakening the intellect to the study of itself. It is an open-minded stance. Critical thinking allows us to see multiple viewpoints before deciding what is actually in alignment to manifest. Many manifestation gurus are directly opposed to critical thinking. But the reason they are opposed to it is that you can and will manifest proof for anything you believe and then call it reasonable proof or reasonable thinking. But I happen to be of the opinion that our capacity for critical thinking actually makes us better at manifesting. It means we can develop awareness of all viewpoints before deciding a course of action in terms of creation. The more information we have, the better decisions we make. The more awareness we have, the better chance that our manifestations will be in alignment manifestations instead of out of alignment manifestations.
7. The seventh pitfall is never being able to access the present moment. If we are always focused on creation, we are never in a state of stillness and peace. We never really truly experience the now-ness of life or how the now-ness of life feels. We are never really present with ourselves. When we are using the unwanted to move towards the wanted, we are in a state of perpetual movement, always after the next best thing. This can be a kind of suffering in and of itself. It also makes it so you cannot fully be present with someone else unconditionally as they are right here and now so it can be a barrier to intimacy. If we are living only for what is coming and if we are living in our own LaLa land, we cannot really connect with other people. We can potentially even manifest a reality where we cannot really relate to them and they cannot really relate to us.
We need to practice present moment mindfulness and embracing what is, along with manifestation. We need to stop using manifestation to avoid the current state of ourselves and instead join ourselves in the now with our own unconditional presence. , Even the most exquisite spiritual methodologies can become traps of unconsciousness. You are practicing the art of manifestation. It is a practice that is full of nuances and complimentary contradictories. As frustrating as it is to navigate that minefield with no real solid truth to hold on to, it is an art form that brings you back to the awareness of being the infinite creator and teaches you to sculpt reality itself.

If you are interested in expanding on this concept, please check the link below:-

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”Introversion- The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”

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“It’s a very powerful thing to be quiet and collect your thoughts.”

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts.

If you had to guess, what would you say investor Warren Buffett and civil rights activist Rosa Parks had in common? How about Charles Darwin, Al Gore, J.K. Rowling, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Google’s Larry Page? They are icons. They are leaders. And they are introverts.

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Despite the corporate world’s insistence on brazen confidence–Speak up! Promote yourself! Network!—one third to half of Americans are believed to be introverts, according to Susan Cain, author of just-released Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. She contends that personality shapes our lives as profoundly as gender and race, and where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum is the single most important aspect of your personality.

Introverts may make up nearly half the population, but Cain says they are second-class citizens.

“A widely held, but rarely articulated, belief in our society is that the ideal self is bold, alpha, gregarious,” says Cain. “Introversion is viewed somewhere between disappointment and pathology.”

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The terms “introvert” and “extrovert” were first made popular by psychologist Carl Jung in the 1920s and then later by the Myers-Briggs personality test, used in major universities and corporations. By Cain’s definition, introverts prefer less stimulating environments and tend to enjoy quiet concentration, listen more than they talk and think before they speak. Conversely, extroverts are energized by social situations and tend to be assertive multi-taskers who think out loud and on their feet.

It was over the last century, says Cain, that society began reshaping itself as an extrovert’s paradise—to the introvert’s demise. She explains that before the twentieth century, we lived in what historians called a “culture of character,” when you were expected to conduct yourself morally with quiet integrity. But when people starting flocking to the cities and working for big businesses the question became, how do I stand out in a crowd? We morphed into a “culture of personality,” which she says sparked a fascination with glittering movie stars, bubbly employees, and outgoing leadership.

In the last few decades, this “Extrovert Ideal” has transformed workplaces, says Cain. Independent, autonomous work that favored employee privacy was eroded and practically replaced by what she calls “The New Groupthink,” which “elevates teamwork above all else.” Children now learn in groups. Ideas are formed in brainstorming sessions. Talkers are considered smarter. Employees are hired for “people skills,” and offices are designed to be open and interactive.

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Yet, according to Cain, it’s only worked to damage innovation and productivity. Research shows that charismatic leaders earn bigger paychecks but do not have better corporate performance; that brainstorming results in lower quality ideas and the more vocally assertive extroverts are the most likely to be heard; that the amount of space allotted to each employee shrunk 60% since the 1970s; and that open office plans are associated with reduced concentration and productivity, impaired memory, higher turnover and increased illness.

If we all lose in this situation, introverts lose more—with skills that are more likely to be overlooked and underappreciated. “Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women living in a man’s world,” says Cain. “Our most important institutions are designed for extroverts. We have a waste of talent.”

Cain is not seeking introvert domination. She acknowledges that big ideas and great leadership can come from either personality type. What she wants is a better balance and inclusion of different work styles. “In most job interviews, people say they are looking for people skills and emotional intelligence,” notes Cain. “That’s reasonable, but the question is, how do you define what that looks like?”

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Furthermore, she believes that extroverted and introverted leaders excel in different areas and can learn from each other. Studies show that introverts are better at leading proactive employees because they listen to and let them run with their ideas. Meanwhile, extroverts are better at leading passive employees because they have a knack for motivation and inspiration.

While extroverted leaders could learn from their counterparts to take a more careful approach to risk and let others speak up, Cain says introverted leaders need to push themselves to be more social. She offers John Lilly, former CEO of Mozilla, as an example. He would force himself to walk the halls and make eye contact because he hadn’t realized how much it offended people when he didn’t greet them.

Ultimately, Cain believes, as a society, we are starving for stillness and need to turn down the noise. “It’s a very powerful thing to be quiet and collect your thoughts.”

 

”This Realization Is The Key…”

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”External nature is only internal nature writ large.”

Swami Vivekananda

The world is suffering because of pollution. There is no point in shouting from the rooftops that carbon emissions are rising substantially. Every individual can act with the realization that his actions can make a difference in decreasing pollution levels across the world. This realization is the key. If each of us decides to act, it will make a difference.

If we do not act now, we will end up destroying ourselves. Already the number of people getting sick, who require treatment for diseases caused by air and water pollution, is on the rise.

To respect nature, we have to learn to accept ourselves. Scientists keep reminding people of global warming, of glaciers melting. But has that led people to lead less ostentatious lives?  No, nothing has changed.

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It is only when people realize that each of their small interventions is going to make a difference, little by little, that they will begin to act differently. Each of us can start by planting trees, saving water, walking or using a bicycle whenever possible. We are planting trees in the compound and in all the surrounding areas.

Each of us must start with our immediate surroundings. First, start by keeping your room clean. If we want to change our surroundings, we have to first change our own lifestyle.

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Pollution level in Delhi, India:-

Every year, there is so much smog in and around Delhi. Other cities in India are also getting polluted. Look at how the rivers in India have become so dirty. Let me remind you that nature knows how to act by itself. She knows how to balance things out. But when she creates a balance, this balance could go against us.

The present practice whereby the natural flow of rivers is being blocked or water diverted in huge quantities – all these go against the laws of nature. This is because the natural flow of a river is like the network of veins in our body. When we begin re-channelizing the flow, it could adversely impact the riverine system and its surroundings.

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If we are going about changing everything in nature, we are going against the natural flow of energy on this earth. It is important not to block energy sources. Often, people pretend to be what they are not in order to please others. We cannot go against the laws of nature.

Technology has taken over our lives and people have stopped thinking for themselves. They have allowed their brains to get frozen. They seem to forget that they too are part of nature.

This complete denudation of nature must be seen against how our freshwater resources have begun to shrink substantially. All this will affect the world sooner than later. We must never forget that this could happen. And once that happens, we will be in serious trouble. Water is a basic requirement.

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I recommend to everyone who has the means, that they must have a garden however small it may be. In this garden, we must grow an Ocimum tenuiflorum or Tulsi plant as it helps to purify the air. A garden reminds us of the need for us to respect nature. Each of us has to make a contribution to the planet and we need to start doing this right away.

”The Year We Fell Apart And That’s Okay”

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“Look for something positive each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.” 

Not because I don’t think it will be (because, okay, it will be). But because that’s not helpful to you where you’re standing right now. That’s a thing we say to each other when we can’t find any other words.

It will be fine. It will be okay. Everything will work out.

These are all real and true statements that apply to you, no matter where you stand. I have enough trust and faith for the both of us that everything you and I are walking through at this moment, we’re both going to come out the other side wiser and happier than we ever thought possible.

But the truth is, those words don’t help. Instead, they usually cut us on a level we didn’t know pleasant words of comfort had the ability to cut.

Because even if it’s true that it will be okay… it’s not okay right now, and sometimes that’s all we can see and feel and hear. Sometimes that’s all we can register inside our weary bodies.

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It’s not okay that someone you loved is no longer living and breathing and giving their gifts and presence to this world. It’s not okay that everything is falling apart around you, that your world is imploding more and more every moment of every day. It’s not okay that the bank accounts are at zero, or possibly into the negative, with no sign of relief. It’s not okay that someone was nasty or cruel to you in ways that shattered your heart. It’s not okay that you’re exhausted to the point you can’t make it through a single day without curling into a sobbing ball on your kitchen floor. It’s not okay that you’re swimming in failure or shame or a grief like you’ve never known.

Whatever it is for you… it’s not okay right now.

So we tell each other it will be okay… because we don’t know what else to say, and we don’t know how to climb into the sh*t with someone and just hold their hand while they cry or scream or rage it out.

I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be okay:-That everything is going to work out.
I’m not going to tell you it will be fine or to buck up.
That you’ve got this and you’ll see it soon.

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Instead, I’m going to tell you that I see your pain:- I understand how much it sucks right now. How your heart is heavy and your spirit is weary. How it’s taking everything you have just to get through the day. I see you. I feel you. I love you. I know… I get it, I really do. And I also know exactly how much willpower it takes to not punch someone in the face for telling you it will be okay. Especially when it feels like “being okay” is completely out of reach, no matter how hard you fight to find your footing and dig your way out of the darkness that’s nearly consuming you. I see your pain and I’m holding you in my heart with all the love I have to give. Because it’s okay that everything is not okay right now.

I’m going to tell you that you’re stronger than you know:-Because you are, my friend. You are powerful beyond measure whether you know it or not. You have a purpose and a contribution to this world that only you can make. I know it doesn’t feel like it when all you can do is find a way to get yourself out of bed each morning when the hours begin to weigh on your chest like a ton of bricks and breathing becomes more difficult the longer you’re forced to be awake and upright. But you’re doing it, love. It may not be at a rate or pace that you want, but you’re doing it. Just by getting out of bed and finding a way through the next moment that smacks you in the face. And you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.

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I’m going to tell you that trust and faith go a long way:-I’ve never tried to pretend that trust and faith are easy. They’re not. Not even a little bit. But they are all we have when nothing is okay and everything is falling apart. They are all we have to make it through to what’s next. I say this from a place of walking through some seriously dark life chapters.

Chapters filled with depression that nearly killed me by my own hand, with being so broke that I owed the bank money and was being threatened with losing my house. Chapters that ripped someone from my life in the most abrupt and tragic way, and that have torn everything known and stable and secure from my hands. Somewhere along the lines, I found trust and faith, and I’ve never let go, regardless of the chaos around me. Trust and faith. It’s all we have, and they go a very long way when everything feels impossible.

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I’m going to tell you that you’re not alone:-Even though I know it feels that way like you’re the only person in the history of the world who has experienced this much loss and pain and struggle. Even the happiest and successful people have been through some sh*t, or are probably walking through their own storms right now.

You’re not alone. You do not have to do this alone. If ever there was a thing that lifted me out of the depths of grief, it was being reminded that I wasn’t alone. That I didn’t have to do this alone. You, my friend, are not alone.

I’m going to tell you that I love you:-Because I do. Because you’re here and you’re having a bad day. Because you’re human and that makes you beautiful and messy and all things lovable.

”Rising Storm-Everyone’s Doing The Best That They Can”

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”Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

Albert Einstein

I’m sometimes amazed and embarrassed by how critical I can be — both of other people and of myself. Even though I both teach and practice the power of appreciation (as well as acceptance, compassion and more) when I find myself feeling scared, threatened or insecure (which happens more often than I’d like it to), I notice that I can be quite judgmental. Sadly, as I’ve learned throughout my life, being critical and judgmental never works, feels good or leads me to what I truly want in my relationships and in my life. Can you relate to this?

I’ve recently been challenged by a few situations and relationships that have triggered an intense critical response — both toward myself and some of the people around me. As I’ve been noticing this, working through it and looking for alternative ways to respond, I’m reminded of something “It’s important to remember that people are always doing the best they can, including you.”

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The power of this statement resonated with me deeply when I heard it and continues to have an impact on me to this day. And although I sometimes forget this, when I do remember that we’re all doing the best we can given whatever tools and resources we have, and the circumstances and situations we’re experiencing, it usually calms me down and creates a sense of empathy and compassion for the people I’m dealing with and for myself.

Unfortunately, we tend to take things personally that aren’t, look for what’s wrong, and critically judge the people around us and ourselves, instead of bringing a sense of love, understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, and appreciation to the most important (and often most challenging) situations and relationships in our lives.

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When we take a step back and remember that most of the time people aren’t “out to get us,” purposefully doing things to upset or annoy us, or consciously trying to make mistakes, disappoint us or create difficulty (they’re most likely just doing the best they can and doing what they think makes the most sense) — we can save ourselves from unnecessary overreactions and stress. And when we’re able to have this same awareness and compassion in how we relate to ourselves, we can dramatically alter our lives and relationships in a positive way.

Here are some things you can do and remember in this regard:

1.) Give people the benefit of the doubt:-Most of the time, people have good intentions. Many of us, myself included, have been trained to be cautious and suspicious of others, even seeing this as an important and effective skill in life and business. However, we almost always get what we expect from people, so the more often we give people the benefit of the doubt, the more often they will prove us “right,” and the less often we will waste our precious time and energy on being cynical, suspicious and judgmental.

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2. Don’t take things personally:-One of my favorite sayings is, “You wouldn’t worry about what other people think about you so much if you realized how little they actually did.” The truth is that most people are focused on themselves much more than on us. Too often in life, we take things personally that have nothing to do with us. This doesn’t mean we let people walk all over us or treat us in disrespectful or hurtful ways. (It can be important for us to speak up and push back at times in life.) However, when we stop taking things so personally, we liberate ourselves from needless worry, defensiveness, and conflict.

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3.) Look for the good:- Another way to say what I mentioned above about getting what we expect from other people, is that we almost always find what we look for. If you want to find some things about me that you don’t like, consider obnoxious or get on your nerves — just look for them, I’m sure you’ll come up with some. On the flip side, if you want to find some of my best qualities and things you appreciate about me, just look for those — they are there too. As Werner Erhard said, “In every human being there is both garbage and gold, it’s up to us to choose what we pay attention to.” Looking for the good in others (as well as in life and in ourselves), is one of the best ways to find things to appreciate and be grateful for and we remember that not everything is about us all the time.

4.) Seek first to understand:- Often when we’re frustrated, annoyed or in a conflict with another person (or group of people), we don’t feel seen, heard or understood. As challenging and painful as this can be, one of the best things we can do is to shift our attention from trying to get other people to understand us (or being irritated that it seems like they don’t), is to seek to understand the other person (or people) involved in an authentic way. This can be difficult, especially when the situation or conflict is very personal and emotional to us, however, it is one of the best ways for us to liberate ourselves from the grip of criticism and judgment, and often helps shift the dynamic of the entire thing. Being curious, understanding and even empathetic of another person and their perspective or feelings doesn’t mean being in agreement with them, it simply allows us to get into their world and see where they’re coming from — which is essential to letting go of judgment, connecting with them and ultimately resolving the conflict.

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5.) Be gentle with others (and especially with yourself):-Being gentle is the opposite of being critical. When we’re gentle we’re compassionate, kind and loving. We may not like, agree with or totally understand what someone has done (or why), but we can be gentle in how we approach it, talk about it and engage with them. Being gentle isn’t about condoning or appeasing anyone or anything, it’s about having a true sense of empathy and perspective. And, the most important place for us to bring a sense of gentleness is to ourselves. Many of us have a tendency to be super judgmental of ourselves. Sadly, some of the harshest criticism we dole out in life is aimed right at us. Another great saying I love is, “We don’t see people as they are, we see them as we are.” As we alter how we relate to ourselves, how we relate to everyone else and to the world around us is altered in a fundamental way.

As the Dalai Lama so brilliantly says, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Everyone around us — our friends, co-workers, significant other, family members, children, service people, clients and even the people we don’t know or care for — is doing the best they can, given the resources they have. When we remember this and come from a truly compassionate perspective (with others and with ourselves), we’re able to tap into a deeper level of peace, appreciation, and fulfillment.

”Make or Break”

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”The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.”

Charles R. Swindoll

In the journey to create freedom in every area of your life, healthy relationships are important. The support of your partner can make or break your dream. Relationships are hard work and an area of our lives that we constantly have to work on.

I made five important choices that helped keep her in my corner and grow our relationship. You can create freedom in your life and relationship by making the right decisions.

 Accepting that your partner’s needs should come first. 

Let’s be honest, we like it when we’re the center of attention. That, however, doesn’t work well in a relationship. This isn’t to say you worship your partners every word, but you do make a conscious effort to put their needs above your own.

A wise man told me long ago that love isn’t a feeling. It’s a decision. Choosing your partner’s needs above your own is one way to demonstrate that decision to love. During those times when you’re tempted to fight—over something that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things—choose to work through the issue on your own. Choose happiness over being right.

Fostering a healthy sex life.

Sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but make no mistake, it is important. An unhealthy sex life can lead to stress, a negative self-image, and fights. It can also create thoughts that eventually result in one partner being unfaithful.

With the chaos of life, finding time for sex can be hard, but it is important. Sometimes you just have to pull your partner aside and let the animal instincts take over, but you can find time for sex if you decide it’s important to you. We always make time for the things that are important to us.

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Being fully present. 

When you’re making changes—with a day job and other responsibilities—it’s easy to get distracted. You have 100 things on your mind all the time. We go through our daily lives distracted and miss so much because we’re never really in that moment.

Those little moments are what make life interesting. Being fully present allows you to focus and understand. In a relationship, it helps you understand what’s going on with your partner.

 Talking until you get sick of each other. 

I think we all know communication is important in any marriage. You have to talk honestly about what you’re both going through. We don’t, however, take communication as far as we should.

In us, is a desire to “figure things out” on our own. There are things we should be telling our partner, even if they seem trivial to us. Learning how to communicate this way helps us open up in a way that builds a strong bond. It becomes a habit to communicate, and your love grows stronger.