28 Nov 2015

Explaining Behaviour : WORKAHOLICS

Sunset
We have all met them. We have worked with them.  We have shared an office, sat on the opposite desk, Some of us may have had a relationship with them.  At times, we may even have been them.  But what drives workaholics?

They are the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. They spend all the time stuck to their desk, with their head down, always busy.  They are sociable, polite, and interact with everyone in the office, but not very often.  They will be more likely to listen to a conversation, than to participate.  They will accept any work given to them without a word of complaint, or a flinch of disappointment.  We may often see them as the Manager's pet, or as ambitious careerists, and we may even dislike them for this.

But, let's think again.  There is something in this nature that deserve attention and compassion, instead of resentment.

There are some exceptions.  Some workaholic are truly focused people who are out to get the best they can from their career, and are ambitious, and driven.  This article however focuses on those other ones, The ones that ...

... will tend to have little or no self esteem.  They usually don't like or trust themselves and so think everyone feels the same way. They keep everyone at arms length as they are always fearful that if people get to know them they will discover that they are a fraud (yes, even if we think that they are actually very good at their job, they do not believe it!).

Their constant thought is "if I say no they won't like me, or respect me". They are usually very happy to help or actually do work for their colleagues, as that makes them feel valued and appreciated.  However this also makes it very easy for them to be manipulated and do twice the work of anybody else. Unfortunately they always second guess everything, and they do and hate making decisions just in case they make the wrong one.

If they have been promoted to a high position they cannot understand how they got there. When they are not at work they worry that they might have forgotten something important so are not very attentive at home.  They may often even bring extra work at home!

They are quite distant to their spouses because they think the only reason their spouses like them is because of the material things that they can provide. They have no idea how to be with their kids because their role model was so bad. They do feel but find it impossible to show or talk about emotions.

So, if you are like this ... believe in yourself!  You have a lot to offer, and it's not just at work.  You family needs your love as well as the income you bring.  Your work doesn't need you after hours.  Look at yourself in the mirror and say "I am a great person! I have a lot to offer!  People will like me for who I am, not for what I do!".   Repeat it until you believe it!  If you find this difficult, send me a message using my profile page, I can help you.

If you are in a relationship with someone like this, appreciate their hard work, and their continuous effort.  Talk to them, explain that love is as important as salary.  Initially, to help them cope with the transition, "schedule" family time with them, as if it were a meeting at the office.  Let them learn step by step how to be themselves, and show them how much you like them when they are like that.

If you work with someone like this, don't give them all your work.  Respect them!  Appreciate them!  Make them feel appreciated!

Balance is sometime difficult to achieve, but with compassion, love, care, and tenderness, it maybe much closer than you believe!


25 Nov 2015

What are the traps of spirituality? Is the mind one of them?

Just some lovely flowers


I was recently asked this question, which made me think quite deeply.

Firstly, I should probably to mention semantics … Trap is a negative term, and I would prefer to call them challenges and stepping stones.  Even if we look at a stepping stone, if the stone is taller than half the length of one’s leg, it already becomes a challenge.  If it is taller than oneself, the trial is even greater.

Something else worth mentioning, is that there are degrees of spirituality.  Not everybody needs to be a monk!

The degree of spirituality we aim for depends on what is the next step we want to take in our Eternal life once we move to the next plane of existence.  The higher the degree of spirituality, the higher the next plane of existence (where higher is in relation to the ethereality of the world of our choice.  It is by no means a physical height as we interpret it in our human existence.  To explain this concept in details would take quite some time, and probably will be a better option to write another post on the subject). 

But technically, if we are able to be happy with life, enjoy the gift of creation that was placed around us, and take the time to feed our soul, that is a sufficient level of spirituality to move forward.  For this basic level of spirituality all is required is kindness, empathy, the belief in the Soul, and some contact with it.

At the other extreme, there is Spirituality (with a capital initial).  In between, there are a myriad of alternative levels equal to the abundance of astral planes available to us on our next step back to the Source.

The higher the level of Spirituality we aim to achieve, the greater the challenges.  There are a few posts on this blog that discuss some of the challenges here, here, here, and here. I am also confident that other related challenges will be discussed in future articles.

The smaller challenges are the ego, kindness, altruism, etc., while the greater challenges are self-denial and solitude.  (in my opinion, others may place these trials on a completely different scale)
It would be impossible for me to make a detailed list of these difficulties in one single post.  It would probably be impossible to list them all in an encyclopaedia.  Each person’s spiritual journey is different, and the tribulations they encounter are the ones they have chosen before they were born in this world.  Each of us makes clear and definite choices long before we are born.  Which also means that the level of spirituality we aim to achieve on the next step of our journey is not something we decide on this plane of existence.  It is a decision we made a long time ago, and which we are now living through.

It is a little like choosing a career.  When we are asked by our parents “what do you want to be when you grow up”, it’s the first step (for many of us) towards the career, the education, the steps we will take from middle-schooling until retirement age, and all that this choice implies.

One thing that should be stressed very emphatically, however, is that our mind is NOT, and NEVER should be a challenge.  The only challenge that the mind poses is to quiet it for long enough to listen.  I’m sure all of us have been told “Listen to the question before you answer”, or “You need to learn to listen”.  We need to be able to listen to the external energies (call it God, the Source, the Soul, the Spirit Guides, the Guardian Angel, whatever, any term will be perfectly acceptable).

Once we have listened, and received the message, however, our mind is very important to understand it, to internalise it, and to help us make decisions that are required, etc. etc.

Because, if we have to shut our mind, we don’t have spirituality, nor Spirituality.  If we have to shut our mind, we have religion.  And, as many have asserted on many occasions, on many posts, articles, answers, debates, and questions, religion is the nemesis of Spiritual Development!




23 Nov 2015

The hour of weeping for the world

The hope of infinity


In this post, I am going to share something very personal.  I do not exactly know why, a little voice in my head is telling me to share this information.  Maybe it is because I need some self-healing.  Maybe it is because I would like other people to become more sensitive.  Maybe it is because I would like to raise people’s awareness about the pain the in world.

It does not matter why, in complete honesty, you the reader make of it what you will.

Those who know me see me as a big, strong, butch man. 

Yet, I have a very sensitive soul.  My eyes will swell with tears at the sight of suffering, as much as they will at the sight of an act of kindness.  I am quite proud of this sensitivity of mine, as it is an indication of a strong and mature soul that is willing to live through whatever happens in my life, as well as the lives of other people.  I drink a lot of water, so I am never dehydrated, and I can keep the waterworks functioning whenever the need arises.

Some may have read my post about how I raise my vibration before waking up in the morning, and always start the day with a smile, grateful for the gift of life on this planet once more.

I am very careful of always keeping a positive outlook, always be grateful for what I have, always accept those that cross my path, embracing both their faults and the beautiful aspects of their personalities.

Yet, every morning, at the risk of upsetting this joyful stability, I take an hour to weep for the world.  I try to read as many “bad” news as possible.  About Paris, Mali, Nigeria, Palestine, Syria, and wherever else people may be suffering.  About the plight of refugees, about children and families at risk or abuse and exploitation.  About the tragic deaths and suffering caused by whatever reason people may decide to inflict pain on their fellow human beings.

As I read these news, and as tears liberally flow down my face, I feel for them.  I feel with them.  I can sense their pain, their agony, their desperation … my eyes get clouded, I wipe them and keep reading.

I strongly believe it is very important that we, the lucky people of this world whose only worry are bills, and whether to eat in one restaurant rather than other at the weekend, need to sensitize ourselves to the suffering of others.  We need to feel at one with those who are actually going through true hardship, fear, disillusion, delusion, and hopelessness.

We need to share our energy with them, send them love, empathy, and caring interest.  It maybe all we can do for them, but at least it is something for our humanity to surface. 

And we need our humanity.  Nobody is happy with the current state of the world.  But until all of us, as a collective, can find our humanity buried deep within us, we will only be victims of a world order that is set up simply to help a few becoming richer and exploiting everyone else in the world.

Our humanity is all we have left that can connect us to the Creator, to the Universal Laws, and to how the status quo should, and could be.

As I am approaching the end of this post, I now know why I am writing it.

Please, take an hour every day to connect with the world, and to weep for the world.  Share in the pain, suffering, and desperation, and wish for a better world. 

If we can all do that, change might just be around the corner!



19 Nov 2015

Ego is the cause of the de-evolution of human consciousness, and it kills (in many ways) the person that places importance on it.

Starry night


Ego is the cause of the de-evolution of human consciousness, and it kills (in many ways) the person that places importance on it.

To understand the idea, we need to look at the universe (and by universe I mean the entirety of creation, the multi-verses, the energies, the entities, and everything comprised in it), as one single body.

If we look at it this way, it is then quite easy to view ourselves as individual cells in this single entity.

Now, let's compare this to the human body, and the life-cycle of a cells in it.  Every cell starts as a stem cell (similarly to how each living thing is born from the Source).  A cell is than assigned a role that depends exclusively on the need of the whole.  Some cells will become bone, some skin, some muscles, and so on.

Each cell is unique in its own way, it has a unique identity (it is that one specific cell), it has a group identity (it is bone, skin, muscle, etc.), and it has a collective identity (it is part of the whole).

It would be inconceivable that a cell decides to be something it is not because of its personal identity (i.e. develops and behaves according to its ego).  This causes deformities (cells that are not what they are supposed to be), and illness (cells that misbehave, such as cancer) in the body.

A healthy body will simply kill off and replace the bad cells, or at least this is what happens to the Universe, thanks to the Universal Laws.  The Universe is not brought to imbalance simply because a few insignificant cells (yes, in comparison to the whole of the Universe, we are pretty insignificant!). 

But those who are the ego-centred cells, are simply “killed off”, and replaced.


Fortunately for us, we are born from the Source, and we do not “really” die.  We simply return to the Source.  When our bodies expire, our energy is eventually used for something else.  Hopefully, our soul will eventually learn the effect of the ego, and will start “being” a happy, fulfilled, and integrated part of the Universe.



Raise your vibration and start the day with a smile

Somewhere over the rainbow ...


There are an infinite number of reasons why we may start our day in a bad mood. 

At the time of our waking up we spend some time in a slight haze, with our mind floating between a sleep and an awaken state.  Our mind and souls are suspended between two worlds.  The world of dreams (the astral plane), and the universe of our current reality (the physical plane)

It is at this time that all kind of thoughts start hitting us, and some may be like a slap in the face.  The demanding boss, the annoying colleague, the kids’ breakfast, traffic on the way to work, and a million other thoughts start orbiting our not yet conscious mind.

As we struggle to enjoy the last five more minutes of sleep, these thoughts weigh really heavily, and can make us start the day in the most horrible and unpleasant way.

So, here is a little exercise that helps me every morning in waking up vibrating nicely, and with a positive smile on my sleepy face.

While you are still suspended between the two worlds, and your eyes refuse to open chasing the tail end of the dream you were just having, simply say to yourself:
“Thank you Universe for this new Day.  Today is going to be a great Day!”

If you are religious too, say a prayer of thanks.  Don’t occupy your mind with prayers and thought requesting, or demanding anything.  Just simple thanks.

Repeat it a few time, as necessary.


The effects of this, are staggeringly beautiful … leave a comment to share your experience.

16 Nov 2015

From immigrant to immigrants, a word of advice


I read and see in the news how much anger and frustration is being shared by both immigrant, and host countries, of late.  I have been an immigrant for the most part of my life, first in the UK, and now in the Philippines, and I would like to share some advice, in the hope that it will help people to their new life in what will be their new home country.

I left Italy when I was 20 years old.  I just didn’t fit in, and after falling in with bad company, I was at risk of ending up in jail, or dead.  I hope my Italian friends will forgive me for this post, I love you all, and you were never the reason for me leaving.  It was my situation which was in no way helpful to me.

One day, as I was told by my then girlfriend that she was pregnant, it dawned on me that I needed a fresh start, a new beginning.

So, we left Italy, and set off for the UK in search of a better, more fulfilling life.  We were full of hope, and had high expectations of what our lives should be once we reached these new shores.

Yet, as a hot-bloodied, hot-headed 20-year-old Italian, things soon turned sour.  Forgetting that I was running away from my own country, and that I wanted a new life, I started seeing how things were different in the UK, and quite stubbornly I set out to create my own subculture in my new home country.

I only kept the company of other Italians, criticised my surrounding and the culture that accepted me no matter how different I was, and failed to learn the language and to integrate.  This went on for a few years.

I began building my new life, but continually failed to integrate, and set forth to maintain my own, very personal, and very skewed, cultural identity.

Until one day, while I was walking my dog in the park, I met this lovely woman, with her two boxer dogs.  As we were chatting, I was complaining about the UK, and how bad things were, and how different life was from Italy, and how intolerant people in general were.

She looked at me, in a very motherly and loving way, winked at me and said “well, when in Rome do like the Romans do, huh”.  She didn’t really say much else on the subject, we switched to talking about the dogs, but she did become a very good friend eventually.

That was the beginning of my cultural awakening.  It didn’t happen overnight, it took quite a few years, but I began taking an interest in the Brits.  I started communicating, interacting, and somehow integrating.

My command of the English language improved very quickly, my understanding of the rich and diverse composition of the British society increased exponentially.  I started understanding different accents, different subcultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.  My career prospect improved dramatically.  The number of people I could call friends noticeably increased.

The UK slowly begun to be and feel like my new home.  My perspective changed, and I did finally fit in.

Now, when I complain about the UK, it is not as a foreigner who wants to replicate the life and culture of his old country, but it is as a naturalised Brit, thinking about my fellow Brits, and our collective welfare.  My interest in politics is not to subvert the system, but to improve it.  My love for the country is not because I am running away from another country anymore, but because I just love the country that gave me hope, a future, and a fulfilling life.

I now live in the Philippines.  I didn’t run away from the UK looking for a better life.  The UK is, and always will be my true home country.  I am just following my heart, and chasing the tropical sun.  But one thing I learnt is that now while I am here, I am not going to criticise, or try to make this country adapt to me. 

It is my duty and responsibility to adapt to this country.  It is my honour to soak in and live the local culture, and absorb its richness and diversity.  Until I can fully integrate, I cannot, and must not complain about how things work.  I simply don’t know enough to judge.

So, as a forever immigrant, this is my advice to all immigrants.  Don’t try and change your guest country.  Don’t try and force your perspective.  Learn the culture, appreciate their tolerance, understanding, and patience.  Mix, integrate, and learn about them, and teach them about yourself.


There will come a day when you will be fully entitled to request change.  But until you learn, and accept them, just be grateful for their acceptance and welcoming open arms that they offer you.

11 Nov 2015

Transgender


For many of us, as it is for doctors and scientists, life is black and white.  We look at something, and make a decision, an assessment, a judgement, based only on the look of that thing.

So, when a baby is born, a midwife or a doctor looks between their legs and pronounces to the eagerly awaiting parents whether it is a boy or girl. Then, when the baby goes home it is in a pink world of dolls and frilly dresses, or a blue world of cars and trousers.

Gradually some babies, as they grow, find that they prefer to play with toys aimed at the opposite sex and love those clothes too. If they have friends, they soon learn to be very careful with what they say and how they come across to them.

When they are really young, they become very confused, and miserable, and don't quite know why this is. Although some intuitively know very early on, others struggle to fit in, until there comes a time when eventually the feeling that they are in the wrong body gets stronger and stronger.

To fit in with what society expects is "normal" they try to smother those feelings and become very good actors. Some appear to be happy to the outside world with the "acceptable" life, while others have trouble to keep the illusion of happiness going. Unfortunately they find that they can only be themselves in secret. Some find that the wanting to be themselves is so incredibly strong that they can't smother it any longer.

At some stage, they will likely try to be their own selves, which will give them a huge relief, satisfaction, and sense of self-worth.  Wearing mom's or big sister's clothes shoes, and make up will be thrilling liberating, as it will be trying on dad's or big brothers clothes and accessories, depending on the child's own identity.  Or if it is later in life, they will secretly buy what they think would be suitable for them, pretending that it is for their girlfriend/boyfriend. They will mimic postures, mannerism, voices, attempting to find their true identities.  Those more gender-neutral will find other ways to test and assert their own perspective of their identity.

And this will be such a delicate, sensitive, and dangerous stage in their growth.  Their sense of self-worth, their confidence, their self-love impinges on people's reactions here.  Total, complete, unwavering, and unquestioning support, as well as absolute and loving acceptance are the only correct reaction that will enable the child to explore, assess, and determine their identity.

A few are lucky.  They have families that intuitively accept, support, and nurture the child with unconditional love.  Regrettably, most are not.  As parents, relatives, siblings, neighbours and friends, we may allow our own prejudices, beliefs, upbringing, and many other factors to interfere with the unconditional love that a child/person requires for a physical, emotional, and mental healthy development.

A child wants to be "normal", and need to feel that their behaviour, wishes, and identities are "normal".  Sometimes even to use the term "special" is sufficient to make the child feel different, and may cause issues in their acceptance of their selves.

Sometimes they may be accepted, but made to feel guilty for not having "come out" sooner, and for having lied.  Sometimes they can be made to feel that their identity is a burden to the rest of the family.  Sometimes they may be just told outright that what they are doing is wrong.  There are many nuances of acceptance, many shades of grey between the absolute unconditional love, and outright rejection.

Any of these nuances will destroy that happy feeling the child had when they tried their identity, as we said above, and like it.

Children just want their parent just the way they were before their coming out, and the change in behaviour, attitude, and sentiment of their close family is equal to grief.  The way they see is that they have lost their parents or their siblings,  Some feel it is like the person has died and they are missed very much and just want them to be as they used to be.

A lot of anger and abuse is heaped on them by people who don't understand and are frightened of what they don't understand. Some just can't accept that they are still the same person but just with another name and with a slightly different look. If this coming out is later in life, probably they will lose their job, which is a huge humiliation as they have done nothing wrong; and it takes away their opportunity to better themselves in their chosen profession and to earn a living.

With the increased popularity of scientific disciplines such as Quantum Physics, even scientists are beginning to notice that what we see, is not necessarily the reality of things.  We too need to learn not to judge the proverbial book by its cover.

Please just take a moment to imagine a situation where you are not allowed to be, dress, or behave the way your feel; or you are prohibited to love, kiss, or even  to be attracted to the person of your choice, as society demanded that you are someone that you simply are not .

You would be horrified and feel it was completely unfair and it would ruin your life. Just be very thankful that you don't have to force yourself to fit in.




10 Nov 2015

Removing other people's bad emotion from ourselves


 We all have the gift of empathy, to a greater or lesser degree.

Empathy is what enables us to be good human beings, it empowers us to understand what others are going through, and it facilitates us in helping those around us who are burdened by grief, sorrow, pain, and desolation.

Empathy is not just about negative emotions.  The say "laugh is contagious" is a clear example of this.  When we see someone happy, having a good time, and overall being joyful, that can spread, and we can bask in those sentiments.

However, at times, our empathy may pick up negative emotions from those around us.  It may be from a friend, or loved one, or it may be from a stranger we pass on the street.  It may even be from watching the news, or a documentary ... emotions float in the air, and we just pick them up.

In a previous post we already mentioned about how self-awareness can help us in identifying feelings that are not our own.

We may feel something that does not fit in with our daily experience, or something that is out of character, something that we have no reason to feel.

Identifying that the emotion is not our own is an important step in counteracting negative sentiments that we have just picked up.  However, sometime that may not be enough to shed it.

Watch this very short video for a practical, and extremely effective exercise to help you discharge anything that is not yours.  If it doesn't work fully the first time, simply repeat the exercise a few times.  If you go through situations where you are constantly subjected to other people negative emotions, simply repeat a few times a day.

We hope this will help you, share your comments below ...