Recently, the question about free choice/will was posted on a social media site’s discussion forum. Free will – it is and it is not. I have three children whom I’ve raised to (hopefully) be independent thinkers. When they were very young I would let them make their own choices -however, the options were based on what I gave them (this was to ensure their safety and/or any option selected would enhance their being in some way). I see life being just like that. There are situations in which are out of my control yet -I have free choice to handle, deal, or work through them any way I wish.
I am deeply saddened by the news of Cecil, “Zimbabwe’s most famous lion and the star attraction of Hawange National Park” (The Independent).
How can someone -my own species- commit such atrocities? How can humans be so cruel to other species?
Such news makes me sad, and very ashamed to be of same species as the killer, Dr. Walter Palmer, a dentist with a family with two children, who paid $55,000 (bribe money) to skin and decapitate Cecil -for a thrill.
She is a Mysterious woman because one can rarely tell the secrets and desires locked within so she may put you first. She is a being who is Original in her ways -having birthed you. She is Timeless because her ways leave behind markings and footprints, even when she has passed on. She is a Healer nursing anything from cuts and bruises to mending your broken heart. She is Enlightening with endless guidance through inspiration and motivation encouraging you to be the best you can be. She is Radiance because her light of love ever illuminates the path to find your way home….
…back into her arms.
Are you always on the go with little or no time to stay in one place to reflect, relax or even get a good night’s rest? If you’re finding it difficult to balance the different elements of your life, you’re not alone. 58% of Canadians report “overload” associated with their many roles in life.
The various roles we take on in our lives may include being a worker, parent, spouse, friend, caregiver and more. Achieving balance in all of these roles can be difficult and time consuming, to the point where we will forget (or forego) taking care of our own physical and mental well-being.
Are You Balanced?
While a moderate amount of stress improves efficiency and mental sharpness, a high stress level can be harmful to your health. Unlike the ability to measure physical health with scales, endurance tests, blood tests, etc., assessing our mental health is more complex. Fortunately, there are some signs we can look out for:
- Feeling like you have lost control of your life
- Often feeling guilty about neglecting your different roles
- Frequently having difficulty concentrating on the task at hand
- Always being tired
Nearly half of the people surveyed by Desjardins Financial Security indicated that money is the main cause of stress outside work.
How Do You Find Balance? Take Control!
Take brief breaks throughout the day to slow down/change the pace, reflect, recharge, and while at it get a healthy dose of social interaction with fellow co-workers! A good laugh triggers healthy physical changes in the body by strengthening your immune system, boosting your energy, diminishing pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. This will help you increase your productivity, effectiveness, and give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the work day.
Before leaving work, set your priorities for the following day. Be realistic about what you can accomplish within your work day and factor in your coffee & lunch breaks.
Work to live (and not the other way around)! This means it is important to make a distinction between work and the rest of your life. One way to achieve this is to make a conscious effort once you step out of the building – leave work behind. Turn off the devices or avoid checking work emails.
Develop a transition between your work and home life by listening to some music on your commute home, taking a walk after work, doing a crossword puzzle or anything that gives you pleasure before beginning the evening’s routine. Once in full gear at home, determine what chores need to be done and what can wait. Make it a family/team activity and share the chores. This will give you more time with family, friends, or even just for you.
Physical activity, whether exercising at a gym or playing sports, has great benefits for the body and mind which will make you feel energized and refreshed. So let determination in and excuses out the door!
Fun activities need not be expensive, nonetheless set a household budget by keeping aside some money from each pay cheque. Use some funds for a gym membership, sports club or a league. Give yourself a break from the cooking and cleaning by ordering in or eating out once a week with family/friends. Get creative with these nights by theming it to make them fun for you, the family and friends.
In Your Community
You make the choice! Social, community and volunteer obligations can pull us in many directions. Choose the ones that are most fulfilling and learn to say “no” to the rest. After all, contribution can only be made if there is abundance of time and commitment.
Work-Life Balance Benefits You and Those Around You!
Get the support & results you desire by:
- Being clear on what it is you need to ensure work-life balance
- Researching programs, policies and benefits available
- Providing examples of practices that have worked in the past
Some of the options that might be available include:
- Flexible hours: adjust start and end times to balance work and home life
- If supported by your employer, work from home: work a day from home to alleviate stress from commuting long distances
- Job share: share your role with another fellow employee
- Graduated return: gradually work up to a full-time schedule after a long leave
Talk to your supervisor or Human Resources representatives to confirm what options may be available for you.
Mental health is just as vital as our physical health in ensuring our well-being. We need to take care of it by reducing harmful stress and take important steps towards protecting and nurturing our mental health by bringing all aspects of our lives into balance.
**If available at your place of work, take advantage of the Employment Assistance Program (EAP).**
Reference(s): Canadian Mental Health Association
“Life situations and experiences do not define us. We define ourselves by how we get through these times.” –Angela Seth
This story commenced in the 16th century. A dark night lurked at my open door taunting me with what was to come while the cunningly cool breeze made its way to me. This was the blackest of night for my lover’s duty was taking him from me across a vast body of water where he was to make his mark.
The lingering scent of jasmine lends a sense of calmness and comfort as fear of losing him besieges my heart. Years of loving a man of a status who could never be husband to me, yet with my every being I knew that I alone was in his heart.
Standing in a dark room I quickly turn towards a single lit candle burning on a mantle radiating its glow off an age-old mirror. I carefully watch my lover’s mirrored reflection. His body reveals sadness as he speaks yet I hear not his words, rather just sounds. I feel anguish, sadness and fear while I stare at his reflection coming close behind me. The touch of his hand ignites heat through my body. He gently pulls aside my long dark hair, his warm breath by my ear. Closing my eyes, I embellish in the sound of my lover’s voice for the last time – “I love you”. His lips gently glide down the side of my bare neck imparting devotion through his caresses before sealing it with a kiss.
Watching his reflection turn away to leave, I deliberately remain facing the mirror sensing that seeing him leave this way would be bearable and perhaps grant me hope that I may see him again. Having taken only a few steps away, he pauses and quickly turns towards me. My back still to him, our eyes lock onto one another through the mirror, my lips gently part to express my love -yet can make no sound. With disappointment he heads out disappearing into the awaiting night.
“This is not good-bye my love.”
Centuries have come and gone, yet this love is timeless. Our stars have finally aligned in the 21st century so we may complete our journey.
The night we met again was our turning point.
Standing in a room with those who stayed behind to reflect upon an evening of pure nirvana – in you walked. Without use of sight, I “saw” you. As I stood conversing with others, I sensed you moving about the hall until you finally made your way to me. Images of our past were quickly unearthing. Emanating such strong aura, you quickly introduced yourself and from that moment on our journey began from where we left off.
On June 14, 2014, I finally expressed the words you had been waiting to hear since you sailed away. Two days later you left this life.
We shall be together again.
(We live in world attached to materials and tangible outcomes. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, the images & memories I have and the feelings associated with them are very much real “to me”, hence rather than ponder why, I choose to simply accept my experiences and share with you my stories.)
I thought I’d share a few of my mantras with you -with love. 🙂
Be void of expectations.
Intuition IS knowing.
Love yourself so that you may love others.
Be selfish to be selfless.
Seek harmony in this world.
Don’t hold onto love, give love.
Intuition is your true guide through life.
I have love. I AM love
To open your mind is to walk in unfamiliar territory – wherein true “freedom” awaits you.
People will say “free” or “open” your mind to the world around you. What exactly does it really mean? More importantly, how does one open or free a mind which has been so programmed since birth – or even before for some who believe?
This is yet another advice amongst the many sayings & quotes which exist. We are inundated with them, yet amazingly we beings remain lost. Have we simply become desensitized?
Let me help – or at least try to. The very first step is to understand and be very honest with one’s self. Hear yourself when you speak -what is your tone? What words do you use? When something unexpected happens do you react impulsively or are you able to take a breath before reacting or saying something you may not be able to take back? Do you have many expectations?
The second step is to replace the why-based questions with how. If something terrible occurs, dwell not on “why”. I equate asking “why” to a cat chasing its tail – you’ll just go in circles. Instead question how you may deal or work through the situation at hand. Somehow, we often default to only asking “why” which in fact leaves you feeling helpless. Asking how leads you to towards possible options which shines hope and quickly alters your mental state.
Freeing your mind is to be void of attachments. Being void of attachments is to clear away expectations. Clearing away expectations is to avoid disappointments.
“I’ll believe it when I see!” How many times have we heard this? Our sense of scent, sight, taste, sound and touch are very important to us because these very same senses help us to believe what we see, hear, touch, smell and taste. These very senses solidify and validate acts, incidents, events and even facts. These senses are tied to this materialistic world.
Due to our reliance on these senses we -as beings- have placed much importance to symbolism such as the cross (crucifixion) representing the church, little idols representing different gods or even pictures of prophets to make our selves believe what we (deep, deep down) already know. Our “sense” of being is slowly stripped away from time of birth, however, remains intact within us. This explains the inner conflict we feel at times and intuitions that come into play.
If we are being programmed from time of birth by our parents, culture, religion, social status, etc.., then I suppose its important to ask if we are living our life fully as opposed to how others want and/or expect us to live. Born of Southeast Asian family -and being female- I had expectations and ideas laid on me. I experienced violence, abuse, segregation and more first hand and that’s just relating to “culture”. Having received education through a Catholic system, another set of expectations and ideas were imposed such as the importance of “blind faith” and simply accepting the church. Up until about five years ago I regularly attended a French church -then I asked questions to which the priest could (would) not respond to…silence speaks volumes.
How well do you know your inner being -your “core”?
The Relation of Worldly & Spiritual Senses
The sense of hearing is to hear the vast sounds of the world = in the spiritual world we call “vibrations”.
The sense of sight is to look at the world around us = see the auras of the world through our inner self (third eye)
The sense of touching is to feel things around us = to feel the energy within & around us (a.k.a. intuition)
The sense of scent to smell the aromas of this world = to smell intuition
The sense of taste to feed our bodies = taste the spiritual world
This physical life & spirituality need not be two worlds. Look at it as one and discover harmony.