Still a dreamer, yet more of a realist than ever before, I knew this was my time to sail. On the horizon I saw the shining future, as before. The difference now was that I felt the wind at my back. I was ready.
—Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness
In the moment of conception, we enter into this world alone unaware of what is happening around us. We are oblivious to our surroundings, and of all the newness that is about to occur. The five senses—taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing become a journey of discovery throughout the aging process as children. We are at complete peace, oneness with the experience of life.
There is such an innocence and pureness when we are young. Happiness, confidence and self-worth are etched into our core. We are fearless, speak our mind and have no concern to what others think about us. There is a sense of resilience and creativity is what makes the soul blossom. We see at a young age how children are painters, chefs, writers and teachers. As one develops from being a toddler to adolescence and finally an adult there are many twists and turns. We sometimes forget who we once were and what truly made us content.
Let us liberate ourselves from any form of control. Let us focus at the inner drum, where the rhythm aligns with that of our heart. The measure of responsibility, equals to the need for evolution. Just listen, the inner child, let it whisper in your ear.
Are we born happy or do we have to work at it? Is it a conscious choice we make? These are the questions that have been pondering over the past few months. I believe happiness is an internal process and there are times we have to work towards creating it. There are numerous times when I would mask emotions of fear, anger or envy in order to keep that happy momentum. I was not being authentic whatsoever, and felt like I was avoiding parts of myself. I do believe happiness comes naturally when we are in alignment and we follow our hearts desires. When those moments happen, I bask in them and remind myself of the simple pleasures of life.
Our we a product of our environment and does epigenetics play a role in our development? I’m in no way a physician, however believe we absorb characteristics from our family relationships that determine some of our innate behaviours. Becoming an emotionally intelligent adult is clearing those blockages and experiences we endured as children. We are cleansing our spirits as we gain self awareness and personal power. We may blame our parents however there will be a time that you will see them as your teachers who gave you unconditional love. As they say the spiritual journey is coming home to yourself.
As we get older finish our education and follow a certain path, we live a certain way even though internally we have a deeper longing. We get caught up in the routine, work-life balance and forget about the importance of connecting to others. Is happiness in a job, car, relationship, or material status? Is that what makes life meaningful or is there something more?
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
There is something more! I attended a Buddhist Monk Meditation in February and it gave me the direction I have been seeking, along with inspiration for the remainder of this article. What I learned from that significant meditation is that INNER PEACE = HAPPINESS! Meditation brings you back to your core of who you are and that stillness is the key to your happiness. I’m in the process of applying the principle of non-attachment to situations and outcomes . By just being still is the source to happiness.
Here is insight from the meditation session that has ignited clarity into my life:
We all have attachments, fears unfilled desires and this creates inner turmoil. Breathe into your discomfort and surrender. Inhale white light and exhale black particles that do not serve you
When you are wavering into anxiety or stress learn to get touch with your feelings
You have all the wisdom and knowledge within, when you meditate answers appear
Stop going outside yourself and trust your divinity
Stay close to the centre of your heart, the mind is like a diamond, nurture it, feed it and water it with love
Let go of expectations to the way you think life should be and be so engrossed in the presence
Appreciate silence, it is connected to your soul
Love and self-love is the antidote you are seeking
I leave you with the story of Gautama Buddha. He was born into a wealthy upper class family in India surrounded by prestige and influence. Buddha was inquisitive spirit and knew there was a deeper meaning to life and would ultimately forge his own path. One day, he decided to leave and became a humble man who lived the life of ascetic. As Buddha detached from everything, is when he felt truly rich. Meditation, prayer and living a simple life is what transformed his soul. Remember its your internal happiness that makes your soul light up just like the stars in the galaxy.
Is there a simple remedy for happiness? Why are we always searching? The concept of searching finally made sense – I had an epiphany! Happiness is not a destination, its a choice we make daily. It truly is the little things which add up to making us smile. Come back to your inner child, remember who you once were at that young age. Embrace that care-free, radiant soul who lived in pure joy. Make time and space for mediation, the more you practice you will settle into peace.
The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
I want to ask you a question, and that is: What is your life’s blueprint? Whenever a building is constructed, you usually have an architect who draws a blueprint, and that blueprint serves as the pattern, as the guide, and a building is not well erected without a good, solid blueprint.
Now each of you is in the process of building the structure of your lives, and the question is whether you have a proper, a solid and a sound blueprint.
I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life’s blueprint. Number one in your life’s blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you fell that you’re nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.
Secondly, in your life’s blueprint you must have as the basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You’re going to be deciding as the days, as the years unfold what you will do in life — what your life’s work will be. Set out to do it well.
And I say to you, my young friends, doors are opening to you–doors of opportunities that were not open to your mothers and your fathers — and the great challenge facing you is to be ready to face these doors as they open.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist, said in a lecture in 1871, “If a man can write a better book or preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.”
This hasn’t always been true — but it will become increasingly true, and so I would urge you to study hard, to burn the midnight oil; I would say to you, don’t drop out of school. I understand all the sociological reasons, but I urge you that in spite of your economic plight, in spite of the situation that you’re forced to live in — stay in school.
And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.
— From the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A beautiful piece written by Martin Luther King, Jr. to provide you with motivation. Always know you can achieve anything you set your mind too! Every little step matters in life, all things are connected. With fierce determination, faith and trust you are creating your legacy!
Down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness
surround you when you’re far from home
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you’d have done to you
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you’ll always stay
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever YoungMay good fortune be with you
May your guiding light be strong
Build a stairway to heaven
with a prince or a vagabondAnd may you never love in vain
and in my heart you will remain
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever YoungAnd when you finally fly away
I’ll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tellBut whatever road you choose
I’m right behind you, win or lose
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young ,Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young
For, Forever Young, Forever Young
Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing – right in the hub of the wheel – not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness – that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace. —Elizabeth Gilbert
Do you ever feel like your life resembles a movie? That you honestly relate to a particular character or story line? Eat, Pray, Love – I feel that this is how to describe my life in the last 15 years. I read Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s novel in 2008 and have watched the movie countless times. It is such an inspiring story about a woman rediscovering herself and creating her unique story. One thing for certain, the author kept on moving forward, she was determined to find answers but truly lived her life every step of the way. I recognize that my life has mirrored the novel–Eat, Pray, Love and here is my story!
Let us move straight to the topic of travelling and Italy = EAT! Truthfully, I must have been Italian in a past life. I’m actually Indian, however feel a deep connection to the culture, art and history of Italy. Rome has my heart and I have been to every Geleteria in that country. Similar to the author I savored every café, croissant and let’s not forget pizza, as if it was a piece of art. I could write a book on just experiencing the sensations of the food. Italians make their food with passion and eat each meal with such love and devotion. They don’t rush this process as preparing a meal is likes sharing your heart. The true essence of Italy is love–for the fashion, food, and Italian dialect. Every time I visit Italy it’s like the divine is talking to my spirit whispering be grateful, honor the soul and live. Similar to the author, I feel such a pull to Italy and truly feel that deep healing has happened while being in such a historic country.
Moving along to PRAY! Prayer is my lifeline. Every morning when I arise, I do my best to start the day with reflection and connect to the divine, universe and angels. The moment I wake up, prayers start flowing. I feel peaceful and comforted when I start the day this way. Prayer is communion with the higher power, it can be a simple request as “Please guide my day for my highest good and healing”. I truly sense that someone is listening. Connecting with silence on a daily basis can be life changing as stillness provides the answers to our questions. How I connect to PRAY like the author, is that this year I will be embarking on a journey to India with my family. It will be a trip of a lifetime and one that my soul is being guided towards. India is the key which will unlock the door to my soul. There is such an inner calling as if ancestral energy is propelling me there. The allure of sacred temples, the mystic Ganges River, ashrams, and yoga are the heart of India. There is no doubt in my mind that my soul is being compelled there for a higher purpose.
LOVE, can be a challenging topic. I have yet to unite with that soul who ignites a twin flame union. Similar to Elizabeth Gilbert, I have had valuable life experiences with relationships in order to evolve. Some relationships have been downright heartaches while others have been valuable lessons. I have entered relationships to fill a void, and this pattern has changed. It is essential to reflect on self-love daily, is the essence of our being. When you are in alignment and in love with yourself you will begin to radiate. You may not see this at first but the life force you omit is vibrant, it’s almost as if you exude a ray of light.
I was recently at an appointment with my Aestheticism Sara H, a young woman who is wise beyond her years. While at the appointment we were discussing relationships and love. It dawned upon that we may be years apart but have similar experiences as women. It was such an enriching exchange of stories and emotion. Love is special, I was reminded that one should never settle or give in when comes to matters of the heart. For every human being there is a sacred union for you. Please remember your worth and know that there is magic occurring on your behalf.
The path to healing, is never easy there is no express line for this! The author had to patiently walk through each experience with utmost faith, and face darkness in order to find the solace she was seeking. What I want to convey is that everyone has a story, and that all the puzzle pieces will fall together. You have to let go of the life you desired to create space for all that is coming your way. The hurdles you face are going to make your personal legend so meaningful. Relax, breathe and let go! Stop putting limits on yourself and be grateful for everything that has happened to you good or bad. We have to trust that our destiny is in the making, and when in doubt remember to Eat, Pray, and Love its the simplest remedy to life.
We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.
― Elizabeth Gilbert
We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.–Anais Nin
Wanderlust, traveler and free spirit! These are all words that I call myself as an avid traveler!!! Traveling started at the age of 3 months; my very first trip was with my mother in India. Although I have no recollection of this holy adventure, I do know that it was monumental for my life. Up until today my mother always tells me how as an infant I was cleansed in the holy water in Golden Temple of Amritsar, Punjab.
Growing up my second home was the United Kingdom. There are so many memories of visiting family and creating new experiences. By my 20’s that’s when the traveling bug hit! It started with Cuba, and then I fell in love with Europe. I have been to Italy four times and love all things European. My dream is to live in Europe one day! The moment my feet hit the ground of each country it feels as if I’m walking on ancient terrain. Almost like I have traveled to certain places before.
In June 2016, I had the opportunity of to travel to Europe with my best friend! We had wanted to do this for years and finally were able to make this trip happen. It was a journey of lifetime and memories we will share forever. Prior to this trip the last time I was in Europe was in 2013, I went with a tour organization called Contiki Tours! With the tour group we explored the Mediterranean — Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. I was apprehensive about going on the tour alone, as I would be with a group of complete strangers and traveling with them for a lengthy period of time. There was something inside me was saying step out of your comfort zone and embrace this opportunity. This truly was a time of growth. Little did I know that these unfamiliar individuals would become my new group of family and lifelong friends.
The beauty of traveling is life experience! This past summer especially, while being in Europe I had no concept of days or time, I was so consumed in the moment – it was exhilarating. I was never concerned of where I was heading next or fear of being alone. This experience taught me to go with the flow. While on the Contiki trip to the Mediterranean, new faces became familiar friends. I met people from all over the world and connected on such a beautiful level. It was as if there was an invisible thread that connected each and every one of us together on the Contiki tour. Something extraordinary was happening, stories were exchanged new memories were created and lives were changed. Each individual had a special gift; something to share that made them shine their own light.
Find life experiences and swallow them whole. travel. meet many people. go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. try everything. exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life. –Lawrence K. Fish
There were two significant events that I will always carry in my heart. I have always felt connected to the country of Italy. As the Contiki group arrived to Italy I had the pleasure of walking through the terrain of Cinque Terre also known as the fisherman’s islands. At the Cinque Terre, while breathing in the ocean air, many of us hiked from the city of Vernazza to Monterosso. While on the mountains I felt so close to the sky, limitless, free and so engrossed in the feeling of peace. The Vatican City was another holy experience. When I was at St. Peter’s Basilica last summer, I felt oneness and connected to something far deeper then I can imagine. It was a spiritual awakening. Time stood still and all I could think was how blessed I was to be alive living a dream of traveling in Italy, with new and old friends.
Why does one travel? Traveling open’s the spirit and the soul. It allows us to find clarity, reflect on our own lives and embrace conscious living. We gain perspective while being away from the comfort of our city and home. We encounter souls who we share our stories with and ultimately we are on the same journey. So that being said, where will you be heading next? I’m off to France for the next adventure, hope to see you there!
I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
—Robert Louis Stevenson
One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind. —Osho
Walking the spiritual path is within each soul if they chose to follow. It is a deep understanding and appreciation of all religious faiths and ideologies. The emphasis is on love, peace and non-judgment. You begin to realize that there is something greater then yourself. An inner awakening occurs; you are being led by your soul. Spirituality is a calling; once you are aligned to living this way you become awake. Your faith will be tested, challenges will come and you may face adversities. This is all happening to show you how incredibly resilient you are. The trials and turbulent time are there to facilitate your ultimate growth and healing.
I once read that the first 40 years of our life, we are trying to get over the first five years. What does this mean? We all have baggage, past grief, or had a childhood that may have not been the most encouraging. Always remember with each experience you have had in life it shapes your destiny. Observe each experience whether being positive or negative as valuable lesson. Try to always see everything as a blessing as everything is happening for your highest good. You always have a choice and each chapter of your life has significance. You are creating your story each day you are here.
Spirituality is like climbing a steep mountain. You start at the bottom of the hill, as you grow through each lesson and experience you get closer and closer to reaching your potential or even enlightenment. The goal is not to reach the mountain top but to bring awareness of everything that you have learned along the climb. You will learn every day of your life and continue to for as long as you are on the earth realm.
Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.– Richard Rohr
How did I embark on the path to spirituality? I was born into the Sikh religion, and as a family unit we would attend church each Sunday. Prayers, mantras and religious hymns were always played throughout our home. The virtues of faith, compassion, charity and love are aspects of our culture that my parents have passed along. Spirituality has been within me since I was a child not until I was in my teenage years did I really start to question life and its meaning.
It was the summer just before high school was to begin; we had family visiting from Montreal. After having a family brunch each of my siblings and I were presented a narrative from my uncle. It was called Unlimited Power, by Anthony Robbins. I remember reading it and felt so inspired. It was at the pivotal moment of my life I understood that the universe was working for me. I felt protected by angels, assisted by the higher power and a deep connection to my soul.
By my twenties I started to question more about life and its meaning. A dear friend of mine gifted me with the Holy Bible and another part of my soul awakened. Teachings of Master Christ resonated with my soul deeply and I had a deep appreciation for his teachings. I read anything spiritual I could get my hands on from past-lives, angels, and self-development. I wanted to absorb all the material I could and now realize it was all here to foster my growth. Yoga came into my life and changed my spirit in so many ways. It allowed me to feel so alive and fostered inner healing.
The Spiritual path has many twists and turns and bends in the road. There are many times when I question the higher power to why I face challenges. When the obstacles arise, I have learned to become silent and sit with meditation. I listen to the divine messages that come within. I chose this path for a reason, not only for myself but to guide others along the way. We all hold the miracle of the holy greatness within us. The path was chosen for all of us, cherish it and always know that you are a blessing to everyone you meet.
Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives. —Brené Brown