Archive for category: Self-Actualisation

Mission: Spiritual Joy At Every Moment

15 Jul
July 15, 2009

Over the weekend, I was sharing with friends that I had just discovered a new life mission: to experience spiritual joy at every moment.  In the past, I had spent years figuring out my life mission, and in the end, I always came out with something to change the world or that involved making some unique contribution.  Those are all very well, but as I think about it now, they smacked of arrogance – which suggests that I had not reached beyond the ego in coming up with what I’m here to do.

Spiritual joy is, to me, the most sublime of human experience.  Some qualification is needed for the term, and I begin by making clear what it is not.  It is not about feeling happy all the time, or looking cheerful by putting on a big, smiley face.  Rather, spiritual joy is a deep emotional experience that takes you far into yourself and expands your sense of beingness in the Universe.  You can feel spiritual joy even when you are sad or undergoing some emotionally tough experience.  This type of joy is akin to opening a big book containing sacred knowledge about life; it is enlightening and it fills us with wonder.

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Diving Into The Inspiration Of Dream-Following

22 May
May 22, 2009

Recently, I’ve been inspired by a couple of good friends who plunged into the adventure of pursuing their shared dream.  In doing so, they demonstrated their faith in staying true to their dreams.  They’ve reminded me of the value of following the internal compass of desire despite persisting fears.  Moreover, they’ve stirred up my own sense of ambition and adventure around some forgotten dreams which I’ve stored in the back burner as I buried myself in work in the past 13 months.

As I examined my own fears around pursuing my dreams, I realised that a lot of the fears are just excuses.  They aren’t that real once I put myself through an honesty test.  Whenever I spoke to my dream-following friends, I would get a spurt of inspiration to nurture my own dreams.  I knew that this inspiration would not last, so I dived into the energy of Inspiration to set forth some actions.

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Growing Through The Guidance Of Others

16 Apr
April 16, 2009

In the pursuit of spiritual growth, meeting and learning from the people we come across through our work and social life remains one of the most enriching experiences.  Who we surround ourselves with can make a big difference between staying stuck and realising our full potential.  The power of that lies in us: we can hang out with people who aren’t growing or we seek the company of those who inspire us to better ourselves.

Of course, we can also learn from those who are stuck.  By observing how they live we remind ourselves how we don’t want to live, which would give us more focus and clarity about how we do want to live.  Moreover, we can use the emotional responses we have towards them to understand ourselves better.

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Lessons On Fear From Bug-Eating

21 Mar
March 21, 2009

I finally ate bugs!  Since discovering that bugs are a culinary specialty in Thailand, I’d been wanting to one day taste them.  I had my first experience of eating an assortment of deep-fried bugs today.  My verdict: they are quite chewy and well-seasoned, slightly buttery in taste.  Not bad.

Several clients at our centre had been talking about trying bugs and I asked the kitchen staff to buy a variety of them from the market so we could all eat them together (it’s always easier to do something challenging in a group than alone).  A few hours later, I was called to join the bug fest.  On my way there, I felt a tinge of regret and fright – there was no getting out of it since it had been my idea!  I had to just get on with it, with as little drama as possible.

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The Perfection Of Imperfection

13 Aug
August 13, 2008

One of the reasons why we fail to create lasting changes in our lives is we tend to focus on what is not-yet ‘perfect’ and using that as an excuse to sabotage our progress.  We tend to begin a process of change expecting to wake up one day with all our internal conflicts gone overnight.  It’s called a “process” because it is an ongoing journey of healing parts of ourselves.  But most of us expect our issues to disappear within a short time, and when we see that we’re still struggling, we consider ourselves to have failed.  So we go back to our old habits or old structure – full on – because “it’s all or nothing”.

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The Need To Rebel

10 Aug
August 10, 2008

In the rehab centre where I work, it’s been pointed out to me that I tend to leave my coffee cups all over the place instead of putting them from where I’d taken them.  I started putting them back to their appropriate places, but then found myself wanting to leave cups at the pool, common bathrooms, etc.  I caught myself thinking it a few times, which prompted me to look closer behind it.

Clearly, it comes from a rebellious streak to do something that is considered a breach of what is acceptable to the authority or within an institution.  A minor thing to leave my cup where it doesn’t belong, perhaps, but it comes from the same place as someone who expresses their rebelliousness through substance abuse.  I believe that everyone has a rebellious tendency in them; it’s a self-balancing mechanism to correct any imbalance arising from suppressing our expression in some area of our life.

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The Joy Of Doing Meaningful Work

10 Aug
August 10, 2008

I sent two clients who had completed our four-week programme to the airport yesterday.  As I said goodbye to them, I felt a surge of emotions well up inside me.  I walked away from the departure hall blinking back tears, overcome by a poignancy that moved me on a deep level.  When you’ve had four weeks of caring and watching the personal battles of a client who’d been residential with you, you can’t help but feel a little sad when they leave.  But it was sadness tinged with an admiration for their courage in pushing through some issues that are quite painful to deal with and coming out more whole that moved me.

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New Home: Lessons About Moving Forward With Change

05 Apr
April 5, 2008

Lush surroundings in the grounds of a rehab in Thailand
I woke up today feeling light, fresh and abundant.  I am no longer in a smog-filled city, but in a beautiful resort which is to be my base from now on.  To think that I’d been mildly resisting moving away from the city to live in the ‘countryside’.  For days I’d had a running commentary at the back of my head: How will a city girl cope with living in the countryside?

On arriving at the resort where I’ve been employed as part of a team helping people with addiction problems, I immediately felt calm and at home.  This placeis beautiful – more than the aesthetics, the energy is flowing and welcoming.  The resort sits on the banks of the famous River Kwai, a stunning site that showcases the beauty of the river.  The first thing that grabs you is how alive this place is – the river flows strong and fast, yet is calm, so that it moves like a sheet of fabric on the surface.  The constant movement of the water makes the whole place come spiritually alive.

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