Tuesday, October 29, 2013


When working with computers ~ and who isn’t nowadays ~ it is important to make a back-up every once in a while. To place all your ‘files and stuff’ on some kind of different, separate memory; be it a memory stick, an external hard drive or a number of DVD’s.

In doing so, it gives you the expectation ~ if not the certainty ~ that you can recover your work, fun, and whatever else is on your computer in case of an emergency. Things that can happen as computers are ~ like us humans ~ sturdy yet fragile. When pushed over the edge, the fall can be long and hard...

So as we feel it is ‘normal’ to create regular back-ups of our computers ~ it makes me think what we do for ourselves. What do we have to fall back upon when things go wrong; when we are pushed over the edge? Where can we recover our ‘files and stuff’ if something goes wrong?

It seems that it is a good thing to take a step back from all our activities at regular intervals; to step out of the flow of things in our lives in order to see what is going on. Often that is something that is hard to see when we are in the middle of things ~ moving away from it a little bit can create just that distance we need to start reevaluating our lives, to see if our priorities are still the way they work best for us; to examine whether what we consider our values really are ours and are still helping us along in life...
One could say that this is how we would do a back-up on ourselves. On our ‘files and stuff’.

The other thing that happens when we step away from the push of day to day life is that we get a much more clear picture as to what is going on. It really does help us to decide where to put our time and energy ~ much like we would ‘clean up our computers’ before doing that back-up, it allows for a clean up of all those little things that have crept into our lives; demanding our energy and attention while we are not even always aware of how they got there or what ~ if anything ~ they have to add to our lives.

In other words ~ even if it works slightly different for us as humans as it does for our computers ~ it is still important to take the time for a back-up every once in a while...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Getting answers

I think all of us want answers; I know I certainly do. Yet often the answer that is given is not exactly the information I was after. This may result in asking the proverbial 100 questions.
Not that there is anything wrong with asking questions ~ in a sense it is far better to ask those 100 questions than to never figure out the answer.

So perhaps even more important than getting the answers is to ask the right questions. What is it you really want the answer to? And often it pays to spend time figuring out what our question really is before we ask. Doing that ensures that the answer we are given will hold the information we were after in the first place.

In this day and age there are many possible ways to ask our questions, and to get our answers.
We can ask friends, family, mentors, teachers, coaches... Or we can enter the ‘world wide web’, stating our question in the search engine of our choice ~ receiving often tens of thousands of possible answers within milliseconds.
When we ask our questions in meditation, it may take a little longer to get the answers ~ partly dependent on how well versed we are in the meditative process; partly because it is easy to doubt the answers we get that way (Did I really get that right?); and partly because when we ask our questions in meditation, the answers may come to us in many different ways. Sometimes we get the answer right away in that very meditation. Other times the answer can come to us in a dream... Very often, once the question is stated in a meditation, life will give us the answer.

That sounds really cool! Yet what it means is that we are getting the answers we are seeking continuously as we are living our lives. Through casual conversation. Through something we read in the paper. Through a bird ~ or any animal really ~ that attracts our attention...
They are all answers to our questions; the difficult part is to figure out which of our questions is being answered; followed by realizing what the answer is, and believing that this really is the answer we were seeking.

Getting the answers is not as much about asking the succinct question as it is about the acceptance if the information we are given and the realization of all of its implications. It is often more about the process and truly ‘getting it’, than it is about any one answer we receive...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Different places

That place where we live; the same place we know inside and out, that is comfortable to us ~ is often a place of which we think it has little news to offer us. We know what is there, we know how to react to it as much as how it will respond to us.

Until we start moving to other places; places that we are less familiar with. Places that are different from what we know ~ sometimes culturally, or linguistically; or just as far as the scenery goes ~ have something new to offer to us. And as we are taking all the new things in, we bring back into our lives a certain sense of wonder...

It is that sense of wonder that allows us to look at our new surroundings with an open mind. To see whatever is around us at face value ~ without immediately tying it to our own interpretation. Not comparing it to what we already know; what we are familiar with.

The nice thing is that after having visited new places ~ and have activated our sense of wonder ~ we can when we return to our more familiar environment experience it too with our newly found sense of wonder.
It is like visiting different places gives us new eyes.
A new way of looking at things that we are so familiar with...

One could say that this is a process that would be very beneficial to us if we could use it for looking at ourselves.
Thing is, that in the routine of our day to day lives, we start looking upon ourselves as a very familiar place; a place that has nothing new to offer to us. We start seeing only the familiar sides of us; those aspects of us that are comfortable to us. The parts of us that we know inside and out...
And it is a good thing to every once in a while place ourselves in a position from where we can look upon ourselves differently; from where we can discover new and unknown aspects of ourselves.
It is a good thing to step out of our comfort zone every once in a while.

As soon as we step outside of our comfort zone, it is like we are visiting different places. And pretty soon a sense of wonder may overwhelm us, as we start seeing ourselves from a totally different perspective; doing things we never thought we could ~ or things we never thought we would be able to do.
Bringing those new discoveries about ourselves into our every day lives is no doubt the greatest advantage of visiting different places...

Friday, October 18, 2013


Nothing gets us worried as much as economic hardship, or trouble with a family member or loved one. And in this point in time one may well lead to the other. In other words, pretty much everybody has something to worry about nowadays.

As soon as worries creep into our minds, it seems like they start to blow themselves up ~ getting bigger and bigger, until we cannot see a way out anymore. At which point the worry has pretty much taken over all our rational thoughts about the issue at hand. It also has taken over our inner peace; that place from which we may start any meditation which can bring new insights into the situation.
In other words, as soon as we start worrying about something or someone, we may be stepping into a space that can be paralyzing us, ensuring no real movement to a solution will be possible.

The Dalai Lama says the following about worry:
“If a problem can be solved it will be. If it can not be solved there is no use worrying about it.”

To me, the interesting part of this quote is the first one; ‘If a problem can be solved, it will be.’ It doesn’t say that we need to solve it; it only states that if the issue or problem can be solved, it will be solved. Often this happens fastest when those who are directly involved take steps to solve it. If we are not directly involved, we may be able to guide and give direction to those who are ~ yet often our influence is limited. We cannot solve another person’s problems or issues. And when we start worrying about another person’s problems or issues ~ how ‘natural’ that worry may be ~ we are in danger of placing ourselves in a position where we have a hard time moving along in our own lives.

As such, worry is a negative energy to give to any situation. It has a tendency to add to the problem rather than to the solution.

When we feel worried, it is a good thing to evaluate whether we can influence the situation and bring it to a solution, or not. If we cannot solve the situation ~ as the Dalai Lama says ~ there is no use worrying about it.

When we are not worried, we can use our minds and our energy in a more open and productive manner. We can keep taking productive steps on our own paths. We can meditate, and send lots of Light and Peace to that situation we feel needs a solution ~ and in doing so perhaps we can illuminate the situation to such extend that those directly involved may find their way out of that, often scary, always unwanted situation.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


For most of us waiting, or having to wait, equals lost time. Time spent doing nothing while we would rather have done something. Sometimes that is something work related ~ especially when we are really busy and can use all the time we have. Waiting can then throw us off our game and send our schedule spiraling out of control. Other times we would rather have done something fun, something relaxing ~ yet here we find ourselves waiting.

Often when we find ourselves waiting it is a matter of timing. For that appointment to start; or for participants in a meeting to arrive. And truth be told, when any number of people have to wait starting a meeting because one person hasn’t arrived yet ~ especially if that person is known to be ‘always late’ ~ that is a little annoying...

There is also another kind of waiting ~ a kind that perhaps has more to do with time, rather than with timing. For instance waiting for the first warm day of Spring or Summer. Or waiting for the time when that birthday party is finally going to happen. Waiting for a vacation, for coming home, for starting that new job, for Christmas... We have all times throughout the year that we really like and we ‘can’t wait’ until that specific time finally arrives...

This kind of waiting has a greater sense of anticipation associated with it.
As a child we were counting the nights until our birthday would arrive ~ and with it the special attention and the presents ~ and the closer that day came, the greater our anticipation of how good it was going to be!
In a sense one could say that this type of ‘waiting’ is a journey in itself. And instead of letting our impatience build up; allowing our irritation to grow ~ in short seeing it as something that is plain wrong ~ we can look at it as a journey we are taking until we arrive at that moment where time and the anticipated event come together ~ our arrival, in a sense.
When we have built anticipation rather than stress, that ‘arrival’ is filled with happiness.

That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t call that person on being always late for meetings; having a stern conversation in order to make clear what (if any) the consequences are for future tardiness.
It does mean, however, that when we are looking at waiting as a journey in and of itself, we don’t get stressed quite as much when we have to wait for something.

We are more apt to start looking what a few moments of waiting have to offer us ~ to see where this particular journey may be taking us...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Grocery shopping

There are many ways to do the grocery shopping ~ from going to the small ‘mom-and-pop’ stores in the neighborhood, to going to a well stocked supermarket; from the farmers market to the ‘week market’; or even doing the grocery shopping online and having your groceries delivered ‘into your kitchen’ as the TV commercial proudly proclaims.

Chances are the well stocked supermarket will give me the best chance at a ‘one stop shopping experience’. It is efficient, as I only have to visit that one store and I am done... So whenever I want to save time, it is most definitely the way to go.

But when I want to save money, experience tells me that I will be better off in visiting a number of stores ~ or markets ~ buying specific items at each store. It can easily add up to 10% to 15% of the weekly grocery bill. That doesn’t sound as much ~ looking at the percentage it may not even be worth the trouble ~ yet it means somewhere between €10 and €15 each week. In a month that adds up ~ and over a year it becomes ‘real money’.

Logic would suggest to take the money-saving route every time.
Time pressure makes me realize that I will happily spend the extra tenner to save an hour of grocery shopping.
Any kind of stress I may be experiencing can push the decision either way. Sometimes stress can be relieved by moving around ~ multiple store shopping ~ other times to get rid of stress it is best to take time to sit down with a cup of tea ~ which indicates that single store shopping is my best option.

Pretty much any decision we make in life is based on any number of circumstances, and often many options are available to us.
In reality, depending on what is going on in our lives at that particular time we make a choice of the options that are available to us at that time. This means that in similar circumstances, but at different ‘days of the week’, we may make different choices. Because all things considered, going ‘right’ was our best option on Monday; while going ‘left’ may make more sense on Thursday.

This is not inconsistent. It is being flexible. Choosing what is best for us at that moment, rather than choosing once and then sticking with that choice for the rest of our lives.
And it is therefore this flexibility that can help us a lot in our lives in the energy of this point in time...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When life is taking over

Every once in a while we may find ourselves in a situation where ‘going with the flow’ means that we drift from one thing that needs to be done right now, to the next. Even when we have our priorities straight; our energy levels and the time we have in a day seem to dictate what we do. how we actually use that time and energy. Especially if we are intend on ‘going with the flow’.

When something like that happens for a day, it is usually just a busy day. One of those days we can look back upon totally fulfilled because we got a lot done.
As it happens for a week ~ we chalk it up to experience, and we vow to change something in our planning next time such that this doesn’t happen again.
If it takes even longer, there is a chance it is becoming a pattern. A pattern that can bring with it quite a bit of frustration at that! Because there is never any time to do the things you wish to do...

I can’t help but wonder whether it means I am ‘going with the flow’, or if ‘life has taken over’; or even if it is just a case of ‘bad planning’.

‘Going with the flow’ implies a certain ease of living. We drift into the direction we want to go anyway, without an enormous effort on our part. So clearly this situation is well beyond ‘going with the flow’, as ~ while we are doing a lot of things each day ~ it tends to be harder and harder to also find fulfillment in the way we are spending our time and energy.

It also seems to be outside of the realm of ‘bad planning’ ~ specifically when we really do feel we have our priorities straight. After all, we are doing the best we can with what we got ~ and still have a really hard time to make it work.

That leaves ‘life has taken over’. A situation in which we are directed from a very different level of (Universal) consciousness, in order to get things done that otherwise may fall between the cracks ~ whether these things are prevalent in our own lives, or in the life of someone else.
The frustration comes from our own wishes and desires that ~ at least for the moment ~ are incompatible with the wishes and desires of the Universe.

Of course we always have the right to choose, to make a choice to not do all those things we find on our path. But that doesn’t make things going more smoothly necessarily as it means we are stopping life itself from ‘taking over’.

Yet as we shift our attitudes from what we want out of our lives, to what the Universe needs at this point in time ~ things start getting easier...

Friday, October 4, 2013

The energy of the weather

As the weather changes, the energy around us changes.
This is fairly obvious looking at the different seasons where for instance Winter has an introverted energy while Summer has an extraverted energy.
But even on a day to day basis, the energy changes as the weather changes...

Looking at the wind; it always has a flow, a movement ~ yet the energy of each movement is different. It is like the movement of the wind has an energy of dancing...
That way, the soft southern breeze is like a waltz, with flowing movements caressing all it encounters in its path. When it picks up in force, its energy may change into samba, or a rumba...
The northern breeze could feel like a tango, with a rhythmic, or perhaps more staccato quality. And when it picks up in force its energy could become something like an Irish jig.

The energy of a gentle rain is cleansing, purifying, and also nurturing and life giving. When it becomes a rainstorm its energy can change into a cleansing and transforming ~ or changing ~ energy. The rain ~ and later its runoff ~ will shape and mold the environment into something new.
A thunderstorm often has an energy that is more rejuvenating, bringing a new alignment into being.

The energy of the sun is a happy, upbeat, outgoing energy. Yet as it grows in strength it turns into a burning, fiery energy. A sharp energy that can cut like a knife.
It reflective energy; the moon energy is a much softer, kinder energy. A cool energy.

The temperature also adds its part to the picture. Crisp, cold temperature can be invigorating, where a more ‘covered’ cold tends to brings us together around the fire. And while the warmer temperatures may give us a ‘get up and go’ energy; once the heat gets to us it lets us take cover and rest.

Observing the weather from this perspective, all kinds of combinations of wind and weather can bring about different flows, different movements, different dances...

A soft, southern breeze under a full moon, with clear skies may feel like the enchantment of ballet. A western wind with bright sunny weather can have the activity and unexpected excitement of street dancing. An eastern wind under cloudy skies may carry the energy of a rave where all are moving in their own way to the same music.

The energy of the weather changes day by day ~ sometimes hour by hour ~ giving us the opportunity to change our step and move with it... It invites us to join in its movements and to start dancing!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back to the core

It is just one of those terms that are used often, nowadays. In a business sense, going back to the core business means that (part of) the other activities that particular business is involved in ~ activities that may have grown out of the ‘core business’, the ‘core activity’ ~ will be stopped. If these new activities have been set up as separate businesses under the umbrella of the ‘core business’ ~ they are likely to be sold off.

The perception is that in going back to the core business, the business will become ‘leaner and meaner’; more flexible and better able to ‘roll with the punches’. And as such be more profitable ~ or at least will be able to survive the economic ups and downs...

On a personal level, back to the core means becoming centered again.
It is a perspective that is much like the way businesses look at it, as it is a process that brings us back to our true selves. Our core selves.
In order to get there, it is a good idea to eliminate all the background noise; all the things that we feel are scattering our focus and our energy. And in doing so, we become more flexible, and better able ‘to roll with the punches’.

In today’s world this is something that is easier said than done, however.
There are so many things required of us, so many questions asked, situations that need solutions, etc. that it is easy to loose track of what our core being is all about. We may find ourselves in a situation that we are so much jumping from one thing that needs to be done right now, to the next that needs our attention, to the next, to the next... that we lack the time or the focus to take a step back in order to see what is going on. Making it more and more difficult to recognize that we are scattering ourselves, our focus, our energy.

Yet there are things, kind of like ‘red flags’, that can help us come to the realization that it is a good idea to do things differently. That it is a good idea to go back to the core of ourselves.

For me this is when I start having trouble coming up with topics for this blog.
When my mind draws a blank on what to write about; when there are no words flowing onto the computer screen in front of me anymore... That, to me, is a sure sign that I need some ‘me-time’ in which I can center myself. Time to start walking that path back to my core...