Humility- The Main Ingredient of Happiness

What is humility? Humility is an attitude towards life. It is the absence of self-centeredness even you have a blissful life. It is a feeling of gratitude and compassion towards everyone, including the less fortunate ones. 

It is a main ingredient of happiness because without humility we cannot appreciate the things we have in life. So we need to teach our children to be humble by thanking those people and all other living things who support their life. As Chinese always believe, don’t forget the root of our life. 

  
English translation: Never forget the root of the heart; Happiness and freedom will follow.

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The Miracle Morning

 I just finished reading the book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I followed the 6-minute-miracle morning exercise and it really jump start my every day with a good mood! Ok so these are the things that I have been doing in the first 6 minutes of a day.

1. One minute silence (sitting meditation)

2. Set good intentions (be a kind, compassionate and patient teacher)

3. Do some stretching and power walk

4. Hydrate (drink 2 cups of warm water)

5. Send loving kindness to everyone and be grateful to what I have

6. Journal for a minute

I feel much alert and powerful after doing these activities in the morning. I just feel calmer and more purposeful throughout a day. Let me know if this work for you!

  

Filtering Life Experiences

At the end of a day, when you reflect on your experiences, do you recall mostly the happy memories or the disappointing memories? When you close your eyes and feel the energy in your heart, is it mainly compassion or anger?

When I am triggered by stress or fatigue, my mind will be filled with memories about how people have wronged me or how an outcome could be changed. But once I stop myself from going on the autopilot mode and breathe, as I sink into my body, all of the anger got filtered away. The core of every interaction with the others comes from the desire to love and be loved. It is true even for the unpleasant interactions that are filled with hurtful words, anger or distrust. Below the surface of all of these emotions is compassion. We are connected to each other because we want love, enjoy love and suffer from desiring things in similar ways. When we find the compassion deep inside all of our experiences, we are connected to the others. 

When we distill our experiences throuroughly, only happy memories remain. 

  

Uplifitng Words Vs Limiting Words

Self-talk has a major impact on our mental health. The things we keep telling ourselves may not be true. But if we hear them long enough, they will change from our expectations to reality. In order to detach from the negative self talk, we need to know the difference between uplifting words and limiting words.

Uplifting self-talk comes from the mentality of abundance, which means there is enough for everyone in the Universe.  It is encouraging, warm, hopeful, and peaceful. It help us expand our life and become more compassionate. Limiting self-talk comes from the lack mentality. It fills with anger, fear, guilt, frustration, and doubt. It puts limits on our dreams and goals. It makes us depressed and isolated from the others.

Below is a comparison between the two.

Uplifting: I feel good enough inside out.
Limiting: I will never be good enough.

Uplifting: I feel grateful for whatever happened in my life.
Limiting: Why am I so unlucky all the time?

Uplifting: I love myself no matter what.
Limiting: No one is ever going to truly love me.

Uplifting: I feel strong enough to face whatever challenge that comes into my life.
Limiting: Life is always against me.

Uplifting:  I have what I need to succeed.

Limiting: I need to be better than the others in order to succeed.

These messages can be loud and clear or they can be very subtle and just keeps running in the background. When we become aware of these self-talks, we have the power to differentiate ourselves from them and find our true voice. We can choose to play the uplifting voice more.

Can you find your true voice?

Compassion

Two Kinds of Inner Chatter

There are two kinds of chatter in the mind. One voice is always aggressive, enraged, complaining and dissatisfied. Another voice is always withdrawn, avoiding, suppressing and holding back. These two voices come from the fight or flight response of the amygdala in our brain. They are parts of us. You cannot turn them off because they are our self-defense mechanism.

Whenever there is stress, there will be a struggle between the two.  Sometimes they are quite useful. But the constant struggle between the two can be exhausting. Sometimes following either voice can be destructive. Those people who identify with the aggressive voice will be angry and difficult all the time. On the other hand, those who follow the withdrawn voice may tend to suppress their anger and neglect their own needs. Both paths are not healthy because we will hide our true self by being defensive. 

I am learning to get along with both voices and truly listen to both of them without taking actions. They both aim to protect but coming from fear. When we truly listen to the inner voices with love, we take charge of the mind. We accept everything about ourselves without hiding them. Then we will be at peace. 

  

The Fifteenth Life Lesson: Speak Mindfully

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Dear Bella,
A long time ago, I had a colleague told me that she hated gossiping because she didn’t like to talk about things that may or may not be true. And it will only make her more negative so why bother. I can’t agree more.

Gossiping is an ego-based behavior. People usually gossip about someone who have different qualities from themselves. When they gossip, they are talking about their opinions and judgements about the others. We usually hardly know a person completely. Hence, our opinions can at most be part of the truth or totally flawed.

However, when people gossip or in other words express negative opinions about a person, they usually try to make themselves sound convincing by looking for more evidence. As the conversation gets more exciting, people start reinforcing the ideas of each other. One negative or awkward quality becomes the total identity of the subject.

Most people find gossiping harmless and even entertaining. Gossiping may make us feel superior for a short time by putting the others down. Therefore it can be addictive. But negativity is pervasive. Gossiping causes serious mental pollution in a community. It spreads the seeds of arrogance, jealousy, anger and suspicion instead of the seeds of empathy and compassion. As the ego grows stronger, people who gossip will become more selfish and lonely. They may even think that they are the righteous victims and wonder why the whole world has wronged them. But in fact they have created a bitter world for themselves.

So when we speak, be mindful, say only nice words or else be silent. Stop looking for problems to fix or finding faults in the others. Focus on the present moment and learn from every person you meet. Life is more exciting with a heart full of gratitude than one filled with scorn.

May mindfulness be with you,
Mom

New Discoveries about Moms

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After becoming a new mom, I have some new discoveries:
– There is this one person whom I love so much no matter what she does, my daughter.
– I have new respect for my mother and all other moms. How did you all get through this?
– I miss my daughter and my bed all the time.
– I have new respect for my body regardless of its shape.
– My husband has become even more manly as a dad 🙂
– I start to wonder how I spent all of my free time when I didn’t have a kid.
– Taking shower becomes so much more precious and enjoyable.
– Suddenly, a lot of strangers who are moms start talking to me on the street.
– Working has become more relaxing.
– We need to buy a more powerful camera and hard drives for new photos.
– My Facebook has been taken over by my daughter.
– My baby’s smile makes everything worthwhile.

I wish all moms enjoy the coming Mother’s Day! 🙂

What is Mindfulness?

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I just read an inspiring article about the definition of mindfulness from one of my favorite bloggers today and I’d like to explore this topic more.

Most of the world’s problems are caused by wrong views of people. Most of us see this world through dirty glasses. Our judgements are usually biased by our ego, yet we always take our thoughts, opinions and beliefs so seriously as if they were absolute truths. This limitation causes conflicts and wars among people.

From my point of view, mindfulness is like the cloth that we use to clean the dirty glasses so that we can see the world clearly. With mindfulness, we can be aware of how the ego influences our judgements. Our ego influences our judgement by bringing the guilt from the past or the fear about the future to the mind.

Mindfulness brings us back to the present and helps us see the reality as it is so that we will know if there is actually a problem. And if there is a problem, what is the most effective way to solve it or if it can be solved at all. It slows us down and provides a distance between the thoughts and the ego. It prevents us from reacting to the thoughts and emotions automatically with our conditioned habits.

Mindfulness can be cultivated by observing the mind and the body in daily life. It is different from meditation that focuses on an object, which makes the mind still. In mindfulness practice, we observe how the mind and the body change.

Mindfulness is not the solution to all problems. It is however a tool for us to understand ourselves and the world clearly. It is a skill that can be learned through dedicated practice, regardless of any religious backgrounds. I think if more people practice it, a lot of problems can be avoided. 🙂

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