There is a story of about a sea captain who in his retirement skippered a boat taking day trippers to Shetland Islands. On one trip, the boat was full of young people.
They laughed at the old captain when they saw him say a prayer before sailing out, because the day was fine and the sea was calm. However, they were not long at sea when a storm suddenly blew up and the boat began to pitch violently. The terrified passengers came to the captain and asked him to join them in prayer.
But he replied, “I say my prayers when it’s calm. When it’s rough I attend to my ship! If we cannot and will not seek God in quiet moments of our lives, we may fail to find Him when trouble strikes, because we are more likely to panic.
But, if we have learnt to seek Him and trust Him in quiet moments, then most certainly we will find Him when the going gets rough!
Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect, It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections. “The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey. Happiness is not tomorrow, it is now. Happiness is not a dependency, it is a decision. Happiness is what you are, not what you have.
A story tells that, once two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the Journey they had an Argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.
After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE. The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away.
But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility. Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes; being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way.
It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. The way to live in the present is to remember that ‘This too shall pass.’ When you experience joy, remembering that ‘This too shall pass’ helps you savor the here and now. When you experience pain and sorrow, remembering that ‘This too shall pass’ reminds you that grief, like joy, is only temporary.
If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. There’s only one reason why you’re not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it’s because you’re thinking or focusing on what you don’t have, but, right now you have everything you need to be in bliss.
Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts. The practice of mindfulness begins in the small, remote cave of your unconscious mind and blossoms with the sunlight of your conscious life, reaching far beyond the people and places you can see. As long as we have practiced neither concentration nor mindfulness, the ego takes itself for granted and remains its usual normal size, as big as the people around one will allow.
Bringing mindful, non-judgmental attention to the present moment has been getting a very good rap these days, once thought of as solely a spiritual practice, its gaining increasing popularity in the workplace and in pop culture. Research has found that people are substantially happier when paying attention to what they’re doing, even happier than if they’re daydreaming about something pleasant.
While the fastest way to build up a strong level of mindfulness into your life is by developing a meditation practice, the ultimate goal is to implement it into day-to-day life, to enjoy longer and longer stretches of clear, peaceful attention on the present moment. Luckily, every day is filled with opportunities to bring your attention to the present moment; it’s just about making a conscious effort. These seven ideas are just that, suggestions of where to start. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can practice mindfulness at any moment of the day, and see how it changes the quality of your experience.
Setting an intention to bring mindfulness into the very first moments of your day is a lovely, gentle way to set the tone for the hours to come, rather than slamming your hand on the alarm clock and bolting out of bed in the morning.
Pay attention to your mind and your body. Do you feel alert or tired? Are your muscles tight? Slowly stretch your limbs and your back, noticing the sensation of each movement. Try to notice what thought crosses your mind the second you open your eyes – or even just before.
No matter what your day brings, there are going to be meals or at least snacks! Reminding yourself to come back to into the moment each time you eat is a great way to insert mindfulness into your day and it will help you to be more conscious what food you’re putting in your body too.
Pay attention to taste, texture, smell there’s so much to notice in every mouthful of food. If you’re really concentrating, even a tiny raisin can make you happy! Take small bites and chew slowly, savoring as you go and wait until you’ve swallowed to pick up your fork for the next bite.
Whether it’s doing the dishes, sweeping the floor or folding the laundry, chores present an ideal opportunity to bring mindfulness into day-to-day life. In fact, most meditation retreats encourage students to continue their practice through such tasks, outside of formal sitting hours.
Pay attention to whatever your hands are doing. If you’re washing dishes, notice the temperature of the water, the texture of the plates, the motion of scrubbing. If you’re folding laundry, feel the different fabrics. While sweeping, notice the movement of your arms, the stretch and extension, and perhaps even an aching as time goes by.
Just like eating, every day is comprised of some walking, whether it’s a long walk to work or school, or a short one to the kitchen. Every step brings with it a chance to be mindful.
Pay attention to your feet and legs. Notice how each foot feels as it touches the ground, rolls, and then pushes off again. Feel the bend of each leg as it moves forward, the stretch of the calf and thigh muscles. As your attention gets sharper, you can also notice the rotation of your hip joints, the swing of your arms, the straightness of your spine and the wind on your face.
While it is said that our best ideas come to us in the shower, washing can also be a time to step away from the non-stop flow of thoughts that fills most of the day – and really be aware.
Pay attention to the feel of the water. Notice the temperature before you adjust and after, how each drop feels as it makes contact with your skin, the sound it makes as it hits the shower curtain, screen or tiles.
Bringing mindfulness into your waiting time can turn that sigh when you first spot the long line at the bank into a genuine smile. It’s also an opportunity to notice your mind as well as your body, as emotional reactions tends to arise fast and strong when we’re forced to wait.
Pay attention to the whole experience. Notice how you feel when you realize you’ll have to wait, does your heart beat faster? Do you feel annoyed? Angry? Perhaps your fists even clench instinctively. Does your breathing change? Once you’re sitting or standing in the line or at the bus stop, pull your attention away from the mental and emotional part of your experience, and be mindful of your body. Feel your feet on the ground, your inhalations and exhalations. Notice each and every tiny movement.
You know that cathartic feeling of a deep, personal conversation with a friend, when you really felt like you got something off your chest? Chances are, your friend was practicing mindful listening whether they knew it or not. Truly being with the people around us is one of the best ways to connect and deepen our relationships, both at home and at work.
Pay attention to everything about the person who’s speaking to you and not just their words. Listen, of course, but also take stock of their body language, giving them your full, attention. Resist the urge to start thinking about what to say next before the other person has finished their sentence, just listen.
Avoid the next quarrel, never lose temper at the same time. Don’t let the sun set on your quarrels (Never prolong fights if at all started). It is OK to say “I am sorry”
Do not expect perfection from your spouse: Marriage is coming together of two imperfect beings. Don’t expect wife or husband to like this or that, accept them as they are.
Be a Good Listener: Think before speaking, it is a good idea to weigh before you speak. You are master of unspoken words but slave of spoken words. Better than listening from ear is listening through mind (with attention) and better than that is listening from heart.
Be a good forgiver: Some people forgive but they keep the memory alive or they forgive conditionally. Forgiveness should be complete and unconditional.
Grow in the spirit of humility: Be humble. Egos bring arrogance which divide and separate people.
Learn the art of appreciation: We all like to be appreciated. Always appreciate in front of others. Never criticize in a company of friends and relatives; you will get opportunities in privacy.
Do not argue, winning love and friendship is far greater than winning an argument. It is OK to discuss with a open mind. Learn to win love and affection rather than arguments.
Develop healthy sense of humor: Learn to laugh and be cheerful. It is a great tonic for healthy living and being accepted by friends. It is important to laugh with others and NOT at others.
Always lend a helpful hand: You will win over if you have this attitude of offering a helpful hand with or without asking. Before we wind up, we thought of sharing this wonderful inspirational video and hope it serves the purpose.
Bring GOD back into your home, this is one of the most important one. Have a common time for prayers. It brings families together. Families that pray together, stay together.
Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders. Know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succor you want is within yourselves.