”Letting Go Of What You Want Is The Only Way To Get It.”

complot-rainbow-nap-1940x900_29450

“Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender.” ~Danielle Orner

Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what’s past. “We’re living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, decoherence. We’re always doing something, and we allow little time to practice stillness and calm.

When we’re at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks. We dwell on intrusive memories of the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future. We don’t appreciate the living present because our “monkey minds,” as Buddhists call them, vault from thought to thought like monkeys swinging from tree to tree.

woman with an umbrella standing against waterfall, illustration painting

Most of us don’t undertake our thoughts in awareness. Rather, our thoughts control us. “Ordinary thoughts course through our mind like a deafening waterfall,”,  In order to feel more in control of our minds and our lives, to find the sense of balance that eludes us, we need to step out of this current, to pause, and, as  to “rest in stillness—to stop doing and focus on just being.”

We need to live more at the moment. Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. When you become mindful, you realize that you are not your thoughts; you become an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them. Mindfulness involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.

diwali-photos

Cultivating a nonjudgmental awareness of the present bestows a host of benefits. Mindfulness reduces stress, boosts immune functioning, reduces chronic pain, lowers blood pressure, and helps patients cope with cancer. By alleviating stress, spending a few minutes a day actively focusing on living in the moment reduces the risk of heart disease. Mindfulness may even slow the progression of HIV.

Mindful people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses. Anchoring awareness in the here and now reduces the kinds of impulsivity and reactivity that underlie depression, binge eating, and attention problems. Mindful people can hear negative feedback without feeling threatened. They fight less with their romantic partners and are more accommodating and less defensive. As a result, mindful couples have more satisfying relationships.

eb9545828bcce6c92a7a8c2e9748d9ee

Mindfulness is at the root of Buddhism, Taoism, and many Native-American traditions, not to mention yoga.

“Everyone agrees it’s important to live in the moment, but the problem is how,” says Ellen Langer, a psychologist at Harvard and author of Mindfulness. “When people are not in the moment, they’re not there to know that they’re not there.” Overriding the distraction reflex and awakening to the present takes intentionality and practice.

Woman-on-a-swing

Living in the moment involves a profound paradox: You can’t pursue it for its benefits. That’s because the expectation of reward launches a future-oriented mindset, which subverts the entire process. Instead, you just have to trust that the rewards will come. There are many paths to mindfulness—and at the core of each is a paradox. Ironically, letting go of what you want is the only way to get it.

Advertisements

”We Will Emerge From The Cocoon, Spread Our Wings, And Fly”

image64

‘I am closest to my mother, as she is my rock, my pillar of strength, and my world. Not only has she stood by me through all times – happy, sad, and otherwise – but there have even been moments when I had completely lost hope, and her immense belief in me had lifted me up.”

Devastating heartbreak. Sudden illness. Unexpected departures.

Whether it’s a business challenge or a personal situation, tough times happen for everyone.

Trying to “stay positive” and “keep the faith” can feel almost impossible.

And no matter how strong we think we are, unforeseen change can leave us all feeling quite vulnerable and lost.

That’s why it’s important to remember that even though you may feel helpless — you’re not.

8255b0ddf1a55a352e7662bd2195170b_antony-gormley-feeling-lost-drawings_700-465

When things fall apart, we sit still.

When things fall apart, we run fast.

When things fall apart, we hang on.

Marilyn Monroe said, “Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.”

Falling apart is to be expected in the process of life, growth, aging, and death.

What if we stop looking at breakdowns as falling apart, but rather the place between what was and what will be? The time just before things come together in a different way.

FullSizeRender

When the caterpillar enters the chrysalis and its metamorphosis begins, we can only imagine that the process of this transformation will be uncomfortable. The cells of the caterpillar literally become what are called “imaginal cells” as the tiny creature grows into something completely different and utterly magical.

Unless the caterpillar undergoes this radical transformation, it will never fly as a beautiful butterfly.

If we don’t break down, we don’t break through.

There isn’t a single successful person out here in the world who hasn’t learned to weather breakdowns and failures.

Pema Chodron said, “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”

feeling-lost

Mistakes are painful. Sometimes they are life-threatening, or send us to prison, or cause the loss of those we love. Squirming through the discomfort of perceived failure can be downright humiliating.

But when did we decide that worrying and panicking would make any difference?

When you come up against a situation like this remember that on the other end is a golden nugget of hard-earned truth molded from experience. And stretching yourself in that way will lead to expansion.

You get to become comfortable being uncomfortable. We say this a lot. Amazing things rarely happen in your comfort zone, on the couch eating Doritos. In your comfort zone is where you only dream of amazing things happening.

I will never forget the time I was at one of my early team handball practices.  Things weren’t going the way I wanted, I was pissed off, my legs were burning, and I was far from comfortable.  I was in a bad mood and complaining to myself when something literally life-changing happened for me.

image60-680x435

As I turned around to take a look at the other end of the court we were sharing with another team’s practice, I saw that this wasn’t just any team. It was a team of basketball players in wheelchairs. They were going at it hard, leaving everything on the court. Here I was complaining to myself about my legs burning when I realized in an aha moment that I was beyond blessed to have the feeling of these legs burning at all. What would any one of those players give to feel what I was feeling?

Those players could’ve given up when they lost the use of their legs or never started playing at all. But they dreamed of playing and so they did whatever it took to get on the court. Words can’t express how much they inspired me to see my life differently.

Oftentimes when things fall apart, if we just open our eyes, we will see something immensely beautiful.
We will emerge from the cocoon, spread our wings, and fly.

Are You a People-Pleaser?

maxresdefault

“When you say “yes” to others, make sure you aren’t saying “no” to yourself.”

If you’re a people pleaser, then you probably tend to put other people’s needs ahead of your own. Maybe you want approval from others or have been taught to always give to others. It’ll take some time to adjust, but start by saying “no” to some things instead of “yes” to everything. Create some boundaries and make your voice heard and your opinion matter. Above all, make time to care for yourself.

Most of us have learned that helping others at certain times is a good thing. Everyone benefits: Someone feels good because of something you did for them, and you feel good because you made them happy. That’s the way it should work. Of course, there are those you care more about, and most likely, you want to do more for them than for others. That makes perfect sense, since those are the people you feel closest to, and you are more invested in their life and what happens to them than the average person you meet and engage with in the course of daily life.

So, if it’s a good thing to do good for others, does it follow that the more you do, the better you feel? Not necessarily. Sometimes, doing good for others gets out of hand, and you find yourself spending too much time trying to please others. How and why does this happen? This post is not intended to be the definitive word on the subject, but hopefully it will give you some things to think about, and perhaps work on, so that if you are a chronic people pleaser, you can take steps to get your life back in balance.

Are you afraid of not living up to other’s expectations?

After years of people pleasing, maybe you believe that people have come to expect it of you—and you’d be right. After years of receiving from you, people may very well expect that you will continue to be available, willing, and able to treat them in the way you always have—a way they believe they deserve. In fact, you may disappoint them if you treat them differently than they’ve become accustomed to. When people are disappointed in you, that may affect your self-esteem.

 What do you get out of people pleasing that keeps you doing it?

This goes beyond why you became a people pleaser; this has to do with identity. Perhaps you’ve come to like the idea that people think of you in a certain way. People pleasing may be tied to being the “go-to” person, the one people can always rely on. Maybe people see you as the “fixer,” someone who gets the job done and makes the situation right. Maybe people see you as someone who can accomplish big things, “the host/hostess with the most/est,” creating pleasing situations designed to make people feel comfortable and good. Forget about what it takes in time and energy to pull this off.

What emotions are raised by people pleasing?

Do you feel happy and gratified by people’s responses to your efforts, or do you feel angry, exhausted, and drained because of the constant pressure to continue this behavior? Do you worry that people will be disappointed in you if you quit this behavior and stop doing for others? Are you afraid that people won’t appreciate you unless you continue pleasing them? Or worse, that they’ll have no use for you if you change your behavior?

There’s a big difference between “doing good” and people pleasing.

There’s nothing wrong with doing good deeds for others. It’s part of being human, and it’s part of what we do for the people we care about and those who need us. Giving our time, energy, and sometimes money is how we contribute to society — how we often give back to our community. Losing perspective about how much and how often one gives of themselves may take you into the territory where the balance of what is healthy giving and what is giving for the wrong reasons is shifted. When you need to people please much of the time (even with people you barely know), you’ve gone too far.

     Here are some things to consider in order to get back on track so that giving to others feels healthy, balanced, and satisfactory:

Take care of yourself and your own needs.

Giving beyond your capacity may exhaust you, leaving you to feel pressured, drained, and overwhelmed. Perhaps you neglect what’s most important to you, because you feel pleasing others is a priority behavior. When you put others’ needs ahead of your own, you’re signaling to yourself that your needs are not as important as theirs, that your needs can wait, that taking the time for yourself feels indulgent and selfish. And by the way, very importantly: What are your needs? Can you identify them? Or have you lost touch with who you are and what is important to you?

Assess your priorities.

Too often with people pleasing, you automatically jump in and say “Yes” before thinking if you really want to do something for someone else. You may feel obligated to say yes, because that response becomes the right thing to do, but for all the wrong reasons. Next time a situation arises, consciously stop to think about it before you commit to doing it. Thinking consciously takes work and practice.

Choose the people that you really want to please.

On an ongoing basis, this might be a very small group — spouse/significant other, children, immediate family, dear friends. Get clear about this in your own mind. Giving to people you really care about will, hopefully, please them. Casual acquaintances, needy people, hangers-on, and wannabe friends — as nice as they may be — should not become top priority. (The exception, of course, is when specific situations arise in life where people may really need your help.)

Please yourself first.

This may be a new behavior for you. Imagine what it would be like to do what makes you feel good, what pleases you, without worrying about taking care of others, fulfilling others’ demands, worrying what others think of you, or feeling guilty, because you’re not doing enough for those around you. Imagine what it would be like to say no, instead of the automatic, obligatory yes, so that you have the time and the energy to do for yourself. When you truly value yourself, you will know how to help others in a way that honors and respects both of you.

”Softening The Heart & Let Go Of Anger”

anger_by_liza23q-d7ejepx

”For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anger is complex, isn’t it?  You want a peaceful world, but you don’t always feel peaceful inside. Sometimes your anger burns so strongly that you explode, and then find you’ve made matters worse.  Other times, you try to restrain your fury. But what happens when you bury displeasure inside of yourself, especially if you do so consistently? It shows that anger, when overly expressed or suppressed on a regular basis, can damage your physical or emotional health.

original

What I Know About Anger:-

I’m not an angry person.  But right now, I’m dealing with exasperating circumstances in my life that make me boil at times.  I confess I haven’t been a perfect angel.  I’ve vented a time or two.  But I also see these provocations as a chance to learn how to walk through the fire without getting burned.

Given these provocative times, I want to update what I understand about anger and how to work with it without making things worse.

49d311534c7221fce95a202f9ba35216

 

How is anger for you?

I come from a spiritual tradition that strongly opposes anger.  It’s said, if you indulge in anger for any amount of time, without making reparations, you’ll go to the Buddhist version of hell.  And, a moment of fury can wipe out eons — yes, eons folks — of good karma.

The philosophers of the world offer a similar message about anger.  For example,

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. – Mark Twain

Enough to make you shake in your boots, right? What’s a normal human being to do?

Let’s look at ways you can soften anger, without turning it against yourself or dumping it on someone else.

abstract_anger_nate_by_strikefear13

A Complex Relationship with Anger:-

I have a complex relationship with anger.

It can be hard for me to get in touch with wrathful feelings towards those who have harmed me in unmentionable ways. I explain away the emotion using an intellectual understanding of compassion and don’t feel anybody sensations at all. So it sits in my physical form like a time bomb.

I can go for long periods of time without feeling much anger.  But when I’m triggered, an intense fume rises up, seemingly out of nowhere. Although I get over small things quickly, big ones can last for days.  My mind argues my case in an unceasing monologue.  Until it’s done, and then it’s done.

I fracture easily, so other peoples’ aggression feels enormous to me. As a result, I feel averse to conflict.  But, ironically, when I feel on fire, I can be the very person that stirs the pot.

letting-go

Here a few helpful things to try:

 

Deal with your past:-
Many people are hesitant to deal with past wounds, especially those that happened in childhood because they fear to dwell on the past or developing a victim mentality. But dealing with the past is not dwelling in the past. In fact, it’s only by addressing the difficult things you’ve experienced that you can truly move past them. Find a trustworthy mentor or seek a counselor who can help you work through and heal from the things that are fueling ongoing anger.

Open up:-
Developing a sense of connection with trusted individuals is crucial to maintaining mental health. Invest in a community of people who you can be open and honest with. Simply expressing the fears and frustrations you’re experiencing to persons you trust will help you gain perspective, gain insights, and learn new ways to gain control over your emotions.

Quit festering:-
Do you find yourself reliving events and wishing you would have said or done something different? Do you find yourself getting angry all over again about something that doesn’t really matter? These kinds of thought patterns create a breeding ground for anger problems to develop. Not only do these negative thought patterns lead to angry outbursts, they also can cause debilitating anxiety and depression over time.

Take a deep breath:-
Though it may take practice, you can learn to process a situation fully before responding to someone in anger. As you give yourself time to cool off, you may find the circumstance does not warrant the anger-infused response you initially imagined giving. By giving ourselves time to process, we may see that our present circumstances are not nearly as threatening (or require the level of anger) as they seemed in the moment.

Get your beauty rest:-
A very effective way to become irritable is to skip out on sleep. Even just cutting corners—an hour here and an hour there—can tremendously affect the chemical balance that allows us to keep a healthy perspective, temper our emotional responses, and maintain self-control. It’s worth coming home early from a night out or waiting until the weekend to catch up on your favorite show. Make sleep a priority and you’ll quickly gain more control over your emotions—anger and others.

Eat all the greens:-
For some, a simple change in diet can alleviate a remarkable amount of stress due to chemical imbalances in the body. If you’ve been regularly snacking on highly processed foods or grabbing fast food dinners on the run, this could be a contributor to your bad moods. Consider speaking with a licensed nutritionist about the symptoms you’re experiencing, and work to develop a healthy food plan that will help you maintain a better biochemical balance.

Take it out on the weights:-
Exercise is a very effective way to release pent-up anger and aggression. Not only does it help you maintain a healthy chemical balance (hello endorphins!) it also boosts self-confidence and alleviates stress. If weightlifting isn’t your thing, try a yoga class or walk around your neighborhood (try for 10,000 steps a day, which is 5 miles and puts you firmly into the “active” category). No matter what type of exercise you choose, if you commit to sweating it out for at least 30 minutes daily, you may quickly find you have a more positive outlook on life.

Hit the Library:-
One of the most effective ways to gain control of your life is simply learning how to manage anger. This article is a good start for sure, but continue to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of toxic anger and study the stories of others who have learned to overcome it. When it comes to mental health, understanding the thought-patterns and emotions involved is half the battle. If you can’t make it to a library, there are countless resources available online. Pour yourself some coffee and dig in.

 

Practice Mindfulness:-
Gaining control of your thoughts is never easy at first. It takes time and effort, and practicing mindfulness is a great way to do it. Meditate, do yoga, go for a walk and take in the beauty around you, or simply find a quiet place to reflect on the “automatic thoughts” about yourself and others you’ve been having that you haven’t even noticed. After that, try to get out of your own head for a while—let your thoughts wash over you without making any judgments about them. By learning to be present at the moment, you’ll gain more control over your thoughts and emotions.

The good news is if you’re struggling with anger—, you are not alone. Millions are working right alongside you to get their anger under control. They can succeed, and you can too.

If you’re experiencing reoccurring anger problems and you’re not quite sure what’s driving them, talk to someone today who can help you begin to make sense of it all, and who can help you regain control of your thoughts, emotions, and life.

''Boundless 'Ojas' Energy''

”Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.”

It is said that a subtle form of energy, ojas, can help transport you to a world without boundaries.

By our very nature, there is one part which is the instinct of self-preservation — which constantly defines boundaries and protects them. If you go by the laws of physical nature, self-preservation is naturally the main process. If it is happening well, the next immediate thing that physical existence demands are procreation. But that is also self-preservation — preservation of the species. This is all that the physician knows — and that’s good. If the physician did not have any sense of self-preservation, you wouldn’t exist.

Another Dimension

However, there is another dimension of a human being which always longs to be something more than what you are right now. It does not matter who you are, how big you are or what you have become in your life, you still long to become something more than who you are right now. This means there is something within you which does not like boundaries, which is constantly longing to become boundless — you are seeking the infinite itself.That is wonderful, but the problem is you are seeking it in installments. If you go by installments, you can go through a lifetime and realize you are still not fulfilled. You can never reach the infinite by counting 1-2-3-4-5; it will only become ‘endless counting’.Unless you use the right instrument, you will not get there.

Clear Passage

”When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.”

To move from ‘bound to boundless,’ you don’t have a vehicle right now because all that you have is physical. And it is the definition of a boundary which defines physicality. If you are looking for something boundless, it has to be non-physical. You have to create a vehicle for yourself which is non-physical but can still retain a certain form. Ojas is a subtler form of energy, a dimension where you generate a nonphysical energy, but still, it has its own individual form.That is used as a vehicle. If you create sufficient ojas around you, your passage in this existence will be well lubricated.You will see life happens effortlessly for you. Wherever you go, you move smoothly.There may be much turmoil around you, but somehow your passage is always clear, and you keep going.You can live in such a way that other people think you are superhuman, simply because you have a well-rounded ojas hanging around you. In far eastern cultures, an enlightened being is referred to as an ‘enso.’An enso means a circle. A circle is the shape of least resistance. If you create sufficient ojas around you, you become circular in your existence so that your passage into existence is with least resistance. A mediator is someone who has set up an industry of ojas.When we eat food, generally, in an individual, most of the food is converted into the physical body.A small part of it is becoming ojas.When you do your — yogic practices which involve inner energy processes — we are trying to change this ratio; we want to convert a large part of our food into ojas.The whole process of Yoga is to turn this ‘factory’ which makes food into flesh and waste, into a factory to transform the same food into a much subtler possibility, which makes the divine accessible to you. When a person has a huge ojas about him, everything that is celestial and divine becomes like normal communication.You simply see and perceive things because your energies have become so subtle.Why one individual’s presence seems to be so strong and transforming, and another’s weak is simply because of the quality, the intensity, and the volume of ojas he carries with him. There are many things people may do which dissipate and destroy the growth of ojas. Improper attitudes, negative thoughts and emotions, and various types of mental activity can do that. Certain types of physical activity, excessive sexuality, over-indulgence in food, overconsumption of stimulants, and being in contaminated atmospheres can also do it.

Plug The Holes

With Yoga and spiritual practices you fill the tank, but then because you spring leaks in it, it takes so long for a person to build ojas. If you know how to plug all the holes, suddenly you will see that the kind of energy you gather around yourself is enormous. Spirituality means going into processes that can enhance your ojas and change the very fundamentals of your life — to take you to a completely different experience and joy within you, a blissfulness which is not only yours but which will be everyone’s around you.Your meditation is not only about yourself. If 25 people become truly meditative, the whole town will become peaceful without knowing why.Without having any idea about what is happening to them, there will be a certain sense of settling. The deeper one goes into it, the more of a device you become for everyone’s well-being. It is not by merely talking about good things that true peace and well-being will come. Only when people carry the right kind of energy around them, only when their ojas is such that a hundred people can sit under their shadow and experience it, will well-being truly happen.

”Boundless ‘Ojas’ Energy”

”Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.”

It is said that a subtle form of energy, ojas, can help transport you to a world without boundaries.

By our very nature, there is one part which is the instinct of self-preservation — which constantly defines boundaries and protects them. If you go by the laws of physical nature, self-preservation is naturally the main process. If it is happening well, the next immediate thing that physical existence demands are procreation. But that is also self-preservation — preservation of the species. This is all that the physician knows — and that’s good. If the physician did not have any sense of self-preservation, you wouldn’t exist.

Another Dimension

However, there is another dimension of a human being which always longs to be something more than what you are right now. It does not matter who you are, how big you are or what you have become in your life, you still long to become something more than who you are right now. This means there is something within you which does not like boundaries, which is constantly longing to become boundless — you are seeking the infinite itself.That is wonderful, but the problem is you are seeking it in installments. If you go by installments, you can go through a lifetime and realize you are still not fulfilled. You can never reach the infinite by counting 1-2-3-4-5; it will only become ‘endless counting’.Unless you use the right instrument, you will not get there.

Clear Passage

”When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.”

To move from ‘bound to boundless,’ you don’t have a vehicle right now because all that you have is physical. And it is the definition of a boundary which defines physicality. If you are looking for something boundless, it has to be non-physical. You have to create a vehicle for yourself which is non-physical but can still retain a certain form. Ojas is a subtler form of energy, a dimension where you generate a nonphysical energy, but still, it has its own individual form.That is used as a vehicle. If you create sufficient ojas around you, your passage in this existence will be well lubricated.You will see life happens effortlessly for you. Wherever you go, you move smoothly.There may be much turmoil around you, but somehow your passage is always clear, and you keep going.You can live in such a way that other people think you are superhuman, simply because you have a well-rounded ojas hanging around you. In far eastern cultures, an enlightened being is referred to as an ‘enso.’An enso means a circle. A circle is the shape of least resistance. If you create sufficient ojas around you, you become circular in your existence so that your passage into existence is with least resistance. A mediator is someone who has set up an industry of ojas.When we eat food, generally, in an individual, most of the food is converted into the physical body.A small part of it is becoming ojas.When you do your — yogic practices which involve inner energy processes — we are trying to change this ratio; we want to convert a large part of our food into ojas.The whole process of Yoga is to turn this ‘factory’ which makes food into flesh and waste, into a factory to transform the same food into a much subtler possibility, which makes the divine accessible to you. When a person has a huge ojas about him, everything that is celestial and divine becomes like normal communication.You simply see and perceive things because your energies have become so subtle.Why one individual’s presence seems to be so strong and transforming, and another’s weak is simply because of the quality, the intensity, and the volume of ojas he carries with him. There are many things people may do which dissipate and destroy the growth of ojas. Improper attitudes, negative thoughts and emotions, and various types of mental activity can do that. Certain types of physical activity, excessive sexuality, over-indulgence in food, overconsumption of stimulants, and being in contaminated atmospheres can also do it.

Plug The Holes

With Yoga and spiritual practices you fill the tank, but then because you spring leaks in it, it takes so long for a person to build ojas. If you know how to plug all the holes, suddenly you will see that the kind of energy you gather around yourself is enormous. Spirituality means going into processes that can enhance your ojas and change the very fundamentals of your life — to take you to a completely different experience and joy within you, a blissfulness which is not only yours but which will be everyone’s around you.Your meditation is not only about yourself. If 25 people become truly meditative, the whole town will become peaceful without knowing why.Without having any idea about what is happening to them, there will be a certain sense of settling. The deeper one goes into it, the more of a device you become for everyone’s well-being. It is not by merely talking about good things that true peace and well-being will come. Only when people carry the right kind of energy around them, only when their ojas is such that a hundred people can sit under their shadow and experience it, will well-being truly happen.

The Moirai (Moerae)-'' Decide Fates Or Person's Destiny''

The Moirai (Moerae), also referred to as the Fates, represent the idea of “destiny” in Greek mythology. The Ancient Greeks had a habit of creating deities to represent abstract concepts as a way of explaining their world. However, the Moirai do more than just represent destiny – they are the personification of it. It is understood that the Moirai controlled people’s lives in different ways from the time they were born to the time they died.

It is interesting to note that the word, Moirai, meant a portion or a part of a whole in Ancient Greek. The connotation here is that it referred to a portion of a bounty, as would be the case if people were to divide up a treasure. Thus, the Morai were seen as being keepers of a person’s destiny, or her specific allotment of life. Here’s more information about who the Moirai were and the role they played in Greek mythology.

Who the Moirai (Moerae) Were

It is largely understood that the Moirai, or the Fates, were three of the six children that Themis, the goddess of Justice, and Zeus, the king of the gods, had together. The other three children were the Horai, or the Hours. The names of the three Fates were Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. They each had their own, unique characteristics.

  • Clotho. She was known as the spinner because she “spun” the very thread of a person’s life. She spun the thread from her Distaff directly to her Spindle.
  • Lachesis – Once Clotho spun the thread, Lachesis would measure it for each person. Each person had different lengths of thread, indicated that they all had different life spans.
  • Atropos – She was responsible for cutting the thread, which indicates that she controlled when life would end. She also chose the way each person would die.

As you can see, Clotho was always associated with the beginning of life. She essentially created it by spinning the thread. Lachesis controlled the length of a person’s life, and Atropos was always associated with death. Thus, the three Fates essentially represent Birth, Life, and Death.

The Appearance of the Moirai

Unlike their siblings, the Horai, the Moirai were always depicted as ugly old women. Note that the Horai were always depicted as young, beautiful women. The Ancient Greeks appeared to have feared the Moirai. After all, one of the Fates (Moerae) were said to have controlled every aspect of a person’s life, including their death. As a result, most Ancient Greeks feared them and as a result, they imagined them with unflattering appearances. They were also depicted as crippled, stern, inflexible, and severe. They were usually depicted together as a group of three and they were often depicted with their objects. For instance, Clotho was usually shown with her spindle and Atropos was depicted with her cutting shears.

The Moirai, also referred to as the Fates, were an interesting part of Greek mythology. They were three of the children of Themis and Zeus and they were always associated with a person’s destiny.