Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Buying a property or buying a lesson?

Recently someone said to me - "If you are going to attain something, attain something permanent."

This has been playing on my mind for a few days now. I have heard this many times from people and read it in spiritual books but somehow I was unable to put it into context for myself until now.

My husband and I are currently in the process of purchasing
a property in North London. Any of you who have bought or are in the process of buying a property know how tedious and precarious the whole process is. I found myself caught up in a whirlwind of questions - 'why', 'when' and 'how' along with the buying process.

the statement above had been playing in my head for a few days I realised that I had lost sight of our initial reason for buying a property and become too caught up in wanting that so-called-perfect-house. Initially we had agreed to climb onto the property ladder to find a place that we could call home and that would mean not having to keep finding ourselves moving every year, when 'our landlord' decided to raise the rent or sell their property.

I realised a home is a feeling which is created and not something to do with bricks and mortar
. You could have the most beautiful house in the world but if it is filled with sadness, unhappiness or grief no one would call that a home and most of all no one would look forward going back to that house.

It is my presence, my pure feelings, my positive energy which make a home loving, caring and full of hospitality. The house is just the scenery
where this plays out. If we just stopped chasing after our tails for a second, we might just find what we need deep within ourselves...

(That's what I'm doing now. I will let you know how I get on).

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Life Opportunities

Yesterday I left my meditation session feeling really good – we had talked a lot about kindness and I walked to the underground on my way to work thinking about what it really means. I generally walk very fast and on getting to the underground there was an old lady pushing a little cart. I passed by her and proceeded to run down the stairs. When I was at the very bottom I heard a man who had entered the underground with me ask her (he was just then at the top of the staircase): ‘Madam, can I help you going down?’. I then realized that whilst I was thinking about kindness I had just lost the very opportunity to put it into practice! Very much in the same way that many times we proclaim our values with such moral righteousness and yet fail to express them practically when we are “tested on them”. Well, I said to myself: “I hope I learned that lesson, but I lost that opportunity”. Later in the day I was again in the underground and, as I was going up the stairs, there was another old lady trying really hard to carry her luggage down. I rushed up and offered to help her. She accepted with a broad smile on her face. I had a broad smile on mine and felt really good! Not only because I had given something of myself and exchanged a moment of tenderness, but also because of the beauty I could then see in life: when we really want an opportunity to express something positive, life will provide!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Spiritual Joke #12

An engineer died and ended up in Hell. He was not pleased with the level of comfort in Hell, and began to redesign and build improvements. After awhile, they had toilets that flush, air conditioning, and escalators. Everyone grew very fond of him.

One day God called to Satan to mock him, "So, how's it going down there in Hell?" Satan replied, "Hey, things are great. We've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next."

God was surprised, "What? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake. He should never have gotten down there in the first place. Send him back up here."

"No way," replied Satan. "I like having an engineer, and I'm keeping him." God threatened, "Send him back up here now or I'll sue!"

Satan laughed and answered, "Yeah, right. And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?"

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Can we turn around time?

I finally made it to the Sports Centre the other day. After all that hard work in the gym and the swimming pool I decided to treat myself with a sauna.
I was thoroughly enjoying sitting in the sauna when someone asked me: “Could you please turn the time around?”
There was a sand timer on the wall next to where I was sitting and the lady was obviously asking me if I could turn the timer over, which I did.
However, sitting in silence made me think whether it was possible to turn the time itself around? To make time work for us rather than against us, to make time
make the effort to catch up with us rather than us making the effort to catch up with time?
I guess this means doing things with love and enjoying them, so that they are done before the time rather than postponing and then rushing to meet a deadline.

Does anyone out there have more thoughts on this?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Spiritual Joke #11

Sid and Al were sitting in a Chinese restaurant.

"Sid," asked Al, "Are there any Jews in China?"

"I don't know," Sid replied. "Why don't we ask the waiter?" When the waiter came by, Al said, "Are there any Chinese Jews?"

"I don't know sir, let me ask," the waiter replied and he went into the kitchen.

He quickly returned and said, "No, sir. No Chinese Jews."

"Are you sure?" Al asked.

"I will check again, sir." The waiter replied and went back to the kitchen.

While he was still gone, Sid said, "I cannot believe there are no Jews in China. Our people are scattered everywhere."

When the waiter returned he said, "Sir, no Chinese Jews."

"Are you really sure?" Al asked again. "I cannot believe there are no Chinese Jews."

"Sir, I ask everyone," the waiter replied exasperated. "We have orange jews, prune jews, tomato jews and grape jews, but no one ever hear of Chinese jews!"

Monday, August 14, 2006

The LOVE Story

Once upon a time there was an island on which all The Feelings lived. There was Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge and all the others, including Love.

One day it was announced to all of The Feelings that the island was about to s
ink to the bottom of the ocean. So all of The Feelings prepared their boats to leave, apart from Love who decided to stay. She wanted to preserve their island paradise until the very last possible moment. Eventually, when the island was almost totally under water, Love decided it was time for her to also leave. She began looking for someone to ask for help.

Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat. Love asked, "Richness, can I come with you on your boat?" Richness answered, "I am sorry, but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere."

Vanity passed by in a beautiful vessel and Love cried out, "Vanity, help me please!", "I can't help you", Vanity said, "You are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat."

Next Love saw Sadness passing by. Love said, "Sadness please let me go with you." Sadness answered, "Love, I'm sorry, but, I just need to be alone now."

Then, Love saw Happiness and cried out, "Happiness, please take me with you."
However Happiness was so overjoyed that he didn't hear Love calling him.

Love began to cry, then she heard a voice say, "Come Love I will take you with me."

It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that she forgot to ask the elder his name. When they arrived on land the elder went on his way.

Love realized how much she owed the elder and when she met Knowledge she asked who it was that had helped her.

"It was Time", Knowledge answered. "But why did Time help me when no one else would?", Love asked. Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."

*This story was sent to me by a friend. Thought I share it with you.

Monday Spiritual Joke #10

A clergyman was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about a dozen boys, all of them between 10 and 12 years of age.

The group surrounded a dog. Concerned lest the boys were hurting the dog, he went over and asked "What are you doing with that dog?"

One of the boys replied, "This dog is just an old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we've decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog."

Of course, the reverend was taken aback. "You boys shouldn't be having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed. He then launched into a ten minute sermon against lying, beginning, "Don't you boys know it's a sin to lie," and ending with, "Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie."

There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the reverend was beginning to think he'd gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him the dog."

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Beauty tips:-)

The following was written by Sam Levinson and it somehow found its way to my inbox the other day. I loved it, so I thought you might like it too.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My responsibility

Last night, arriving home at the same time, my husband JC spotted a car parked on the side of the road with its headlights still turned on. We did not know who the car belonged to. This being London it is quite common not to know your neighbours, you just get on with your day-to-day life and maybe say a 'hi' and 'bye' to your neighbours if you bump into them - that's about it though.

Anyway, if I had been on my own yesterday I would not have taken the initiative to find out who the car's owner was, because it could have been any house on the street. As it was JC, he was quite adamant to look for the owner of the car. After knocking on 5 doors, he found the car's owner, a grey haired man nearing his 60s. He was very grateful because he knew that he would have been in trouble the next day.

When we went back to our flat I asked JC what made him do that? Was it because he wanted to do something nice for someone or was there another reason behind it? He said he felt responsible having seen the car and knowing the despair the person would experience when he/she went to start his/her car the next morning only to find that the engine was dead initiated his action.

I thought to myself (and thinking aloud here), if we all felt such a sense of responsibility towards the world, the world would be a much nicer place to live in. I am not at all innocent in this aspect, I too have been/am negligent and sometimes play ignorant to what is going on around me and to what we are doing to the environment.

This does not mean that I am going to start knocking on the front doors of my neighbours if that's what you think, but I will definitely pay more attention to them when I meet them at their front gates or on my way out, rather than just mumbling 'hi' as I dash in or out of the house.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Spiritual Joke #9

There was a religious lady that had to do a lot of traveling for her business, so she did a lot of flying. Flying made her very very nervous, so she always took her Bible along with her to read as it helped relax her on the long fights.

One time, she was sitting next to a man. When he saw her pull out her Bible, he gave a little chuckle and smirk and went back to what he was doing.
After awhile, he turned to her and asked, "You don't really believe all that stuff in there do you?"
The lady replied, "Of course I do. It is the Bible."
He said, "Well, what about that guy that was swallowed by that whale?"
She replied, "Oh, Jonah. Yes, I believe that, it is in the Bible."
He asked, "Well, how do you suppose he survived all that time inside the whale?"
The lady said, "Well, I don't really know. I guess when I get to heaven, I will ask him."
"What if he isn't in heaven?" the man asked sarcastically.
"Then you can ask him," replied the lady.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Patience pays back

A set of lights on my car didn’t work properly and not having much time on my hands, I took the car straight to the garage. I arrived there just after 9am, which is the time they normally open. However, the front door was shut. I inquired in the car-wash next door why the garage was still shut and they didn’t know.
Now I had a choice: get irritated and leave (consequences: waste of energy, faulty lights still there) or wait patiently and see what happened.
Having already invested some of my precious time I decided to wait. Whilst I was waiting I decided to see if I could figure out what was wrong with the lights (I am kind of a DIY person at home, but considering that I don’t know anything about cars, this was a brave decision on my part– well, I just couldn’t stay still:-)!

Anyway, I opened the working lights on the other side of the car and checked what they are supposed to look like when working properly, then compared them with the ones that were faulty and managed to fix them. All done in 10 minutes and for free!!!
I am so glad I didn’t get irritated and left earlier. Being patient allowed me to be creative with my time… well it saved me some money too:-).
By the way, the garage was just starting to open as I was leaving…

Friday, August 04, 2006

Do you believe in research?

........... I DO!
Especially in this!

It is believed that certain compounds in chocolate called flavanols may be responsible for producing positive effects on health. In vitro (that means, in the lab) studies found that flavanols in chocolate may actually decrease the oxidation of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol ". When LDLs become oxidized they promote the build up of plaque along the inside lining of blood vessels, this can reduce blood flow which supports the development of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Additional in vitro studies found that flavanols may reduce platelet aggregation (these aggregations can cause obstructions in blood flow). Preliminary clinical studies (with real people these times!) have shown that participants consuming flavanol-rich cocoas and chocolates have manifested a number of positive effects relating to cardiovascular health, including decreased blood pressure and improved blood flow through the blood vessels!!

I knew it something that is so tasty and made of a fruit (cocoa!)

should be good!
As not all chocolates have stable amounts of flavanols I would suggest trying different brands!!! Enjoy!!! Be happy!

Do not forget that it can increase your weight, blood sugar and triglycerides if you over do but, after all, nobody is perfect!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Embracing Diversity

I went to a multifaith event on Sunday the theme was "embracing diversity". I know this is currently one of those hot phrases we hear, especially in the corporate world, but it's actually very important that it is there as a "must have" for the world in general. I stopped to think how this embrace goes beyond race and religion, recognising those times when I don't celebrate these differences. Such as, when I come across someone being rude or sharp in their tone and I keep hold of that image of them, and see that moment as defining who they are. Reflecting on this: when I get caught in these "diverse" moments of the day, that seem to be are ever increasing, and I find myself in conflict it's as if life is pleading with me to embrace diversity. To change my attitude so as to not get caught in differences of behaviour; to let go of expectations and let the good wishes flow like a river; to interact with love; to realise that I cannot change anyone and so instead let them feel the embrace of my good wishes and loving feelings as a gift to help them feel better. I know I will feel a lot more united doing this.