Thursday, March 22, 2007

Does God exist?

By definition, an atheist is a person who does not believe in God.
So, if God didn’t exist we wouldn’t be able to define an atheist.
In short, if God didn’t exist, there would be no atheists!
However, atheists exist, so… well, the conclusion is obvious:-)!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Travelling light

I went to the coast last weekend to work on a project and a friend of mine asked me to collect some pebbles for her whilst I was down there.

So, to fulfil the request, on the way back I walked down to the beach to pick up some pebbles. The car was parked a fare bit away and my neck and shoulders were aching from carrying the pebbles by the time I got back to it. These were just pebbles and were surprisingly heavier than I thought.

Driving home I thought to myself: we carry so many types of ‘pebbles’ around with us be they past hurts, emotional traumas, fears, worries or negativities. It doesn’t matter how much these 'pebbles' strain and burden our mind or heart we still hold on to them, carrying them around giving us a false sense of security within.

I felt the strain on my body just carrying those pebbles for 15mins. So what kind of impact are these negativities and emotional burdens having on us when we carry them around around 24/7? No wonder we are tired, angry, disappointed and unhappy with life! We drown ourselves looking for quick-fixes and indulgences to temporarily wipe out the heaviness of the burden we experience. Unfortunately the happiness and love we attain from externalities never lasts and even bring more disappointing after they go. They come like a spark and then leave us with nothing to hang on to and we end up looking for more and more until it completely drain us.

I have come to learn that I have to be selective about what I choose to carry in my mind and heart. My mind and heart are sacred to me. Let me begin to store only good feelings and vision and drop all the other 'pebbles' and I can start 'travelling' light again...

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Importance of Feedback

Sorry for my long absence from this beautiful site…

I was wondering why people shy away from giving honest, clear and useful feedback at work since it is so important that we understand what is going well or not so well – and what is expected or not from us. Otherwise it becomes hard to improve and when crisis comes guess who is the first one out the door? Interestingly, having been on both sides of the equation (giving and receiving feedback) I noticed that the fear factor is as high for those who are giving as for those who are receiving feedback. It does not need to be like that though. Establishing a relationship of trust is key, which may take some time to develop. However I have found that one can have a very good time giving/receiving feedback even if it means addressing one's own/someone’s weak performance. It just takes a little practice, as follows:

  1. Think and rehearse what you will say, check the tone of your voice and your body language (practice in front of a mirror and put yourself into the other person’s shoes to see what 'message' you are giving out)
  2. Give practical examples of the behaviour you are talking about (positive or not so), mentioning real situations when you saw that person do that/ or not
  3. Check yourself: what is your intention in giving this feedback? What do you want to accomplish? Are you being honest, i.e. giving feedback in such a way that it empowers the other person to progress? Are your words gentle, clear, loving (even if the subject is unpleasant)?

  1. Check yourself: have you been doing your work with honesty? Do you deeply respect your colleagues? What kind of ‘energy’ do you believe you bring to your work environment?
  2. Now check your performance: do you deliver your assignments on time and to high standards? Do you ‘walk the extra mile’ or ‘barely do the minimum necessary and out the door’? What is your attitude at work?
  3. If you are not doing your best, acknowledge it, understand the reason for it (do you not value your work? your time? ) and then decide: do you want to change this situation? If yes, then when/if you receive an unpleasant feedback, you are ready to accept, you have prepared what you will say -- and you can move on. If not, then try to see what would make you be enthusiastic -- and create that in your work!

Now prepare yourself:
  1. Sit down quietly in a clean, nice, place where you can be left in peace
  2. Still your mind (tell yourself: “I will sit here for 5-10 minutes and for that time I will only think what I choose to. Any other thoughts that may come are ok, but I will ask them to return after those 5-10 mins". Keep doing this again and again until your mind is still and focused).
  3. Then be present – feel your physical presence in that place, every muscle, every organ, every cell of your body in the present
  4. And then go beyond your physical presence – reconnect with your real self, the eternal self, and allow feelings of peace to emerge: "my original nature is peace"
  5. When you have enjoyed a silent, peaceful experience, you are ready to visualise the ‘feedback’ encounter
  6. See it going very well – visualise the meeting happening in a light, calm, respectful manner; visualise both you and the other person covered in a white light of peace, sharing a nice experience
  7. Remember: if you are giving feedback about someone’s weaknesses or talking about their mistakes, make sure to criticise the act, not the ‘actor’. And if you are receiving unpleasant feedback, remember that you are not those acts, you are the ‘actor’ -- and you can always improve or change your part! Also never let that affect your self-esteem. Know how much you are worth: a lot!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Spiritual Joke #26

From the kid's world...

Children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, "Take only one, God is watching."

At the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. Moving through the line a boy wrote another note to leave by the cookies, "Take all you want, God is watching the apples."


A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."The teacher paused and said, "but no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, "They will in a minute."