Are we in control of our lives or are we not?

Well, for many years I believed that I was not in control of my life, I just felt lucky when things were working as I wished, and then I felt like a victim when things went wrong… all in all I felt pretty powerless about most of it.

But things have changed for me, completely changed I would say, as I have slowly realized that I can live my life “by design” as opposed to just “by default,” but to be honest with you, this truth took a long time to take hold, and a lot of inner work on my part… as many good things do 🙂

So, Are we in control of our lives or aren’t we?

Here is the thing: we will never be able to control most of what surrounds us: the weather, the traffic, the constant changes, and mostly: the people around us. But we are always in control of our actions and our reactions to those variables, so in a way, we are in control of our lives.

If we see ourselves as victims of our surroundings then we will never feel we have control, but if we switch our perspective and realize that the way we decide to act or respond to everything that surrounds us will determine our true experience, then we will feel truly empowered and in control.

Is what happens to us a product of simple fate or is it something we bring onto ourselves (consciously or not? )

How much of our experience is self-made and how much is just imposed into our human condition?

I truly believe that what happens to us, to a great extent, is the result of our own making, whether we like it or not, I know most people cringe when they hear this, and so did I for most of my life, but I have come to realize one major thing:

We are often totally unaware of how we bring things into our lives, so we cannot possibly take responsibility for it, until, we become aware of our internal patterns, deep seated beliefs and subconscious workings. And gaining that kind of awareness is no small feat!  Sadly, a lot of people never do.

On the other hand, yes, there is a part that we can call fate, and this is because we do not live alone nor isolated, we live in a big wide world with millions of other people and living creatures as well as natural forces, and because of this, we do depend on all of them, to a certain degree as well.

However, the more aware we are, the more in control we can be, simply because we realize our own part of responsibility and we can begin to take control of what we can indeed change, and for the remaining of it, what we would call “fate”  we can also be in control, in the sense that our reaction to what happens is definitely under our control.

There is a lovely “Serenity Prayer” that my parents had on a wall at home for years, and it has always been in my mind… here it is:

Serenity Prayer This little prayer illustrates what I am trying to convey in this post.

Yes, there are things that I cannot change, but the way I look at them will change my experience (accepting as opposed to resisting.)

And there are things I can definitely change (they are under my control,) in fact, a lot more things than I think.

However, I need to be wise enough (aware enough,) to tell the difference, which means: I need to do my work of introspection and self-discovery in order to gain that awareness/wisdom.

So, in my newly acquired view, we are pretty much in control of our lives, but this is a “control” in which our ego does not play an important part, it is not about getting things “my way” but rather it is about merging in with the flow of life, learning to dance with it, and co-create our experience through this dance. 

Have a lovely week!

Health and Spirit, the connection that matters!

As I was listening to some friends talk about illness and health… I got inspired to write this post.

pink-flowers

I first would like to share with you that one of my worst fears used to be the idea of loosing my health.

I was not only scared about loosing it, I was rather obsessed about it. Every time I saw a weird stain or pimple on my skin I would start to worry; every time I had any kind of pain or sensation in my body that wasn’t normal I would start to panic and consider all the possible worst-case health scenarios out there. It was exhausting!

It wasn’t until my first exposure to the idea that our thoughts have an enormous impact on our health that I started to change this obsessive pattern, until it completely disappeared, to my great relief. After seeing this incredible shift in my own life, I started to pay more attention to the way people see and manage their health.

Health is one of the most important elements in our human existence. Some people take it for granted, others obsess about it, others abuse it, others believe they have no control over it, others feel responsible for it, etc. The list can go on and on and on, we all have a different attitude towards it.

Can you think of the way you see your own health? the way you manage it? Why don’t you take a minute and think about it… What does your health mean to you and what are your thoughts about it?

I was recently with a friend that was diagnosed with a progressive illness. She seemed to be totally resigned to her fate since it was, as the doctors put it, “genetic.” So in her mind, she was bound to get it and there was nothing she could do about it, except for alleviating the symptoms with drugs. That was that!

This is not uncommon, in fact, many people believe that if their parents or close relatives had an illness, there is a great probability of them getting it as well, and doctors support this point of view, unfortunately. The part that nobody tells us is that genetics plays a very small part on developing any disease, very small.

There are people who are diagnosed with a terminal disease, and they resign themselves, even worse, if a doctor tells them how long they have left to live, they believe it without question, because Doctors know best or because the statistics say so. They see no way out.

On the other hand, there are people who challenge their diagnosis, who fight the disease, who take an active part on their fate, and some become those lucky cases that make it, that beat the disease. Finally, there are the so-called miracles, when people heal completely and beat the odds without any medical explanation for it. There are as many scenarios as there are people alive.

One of my favorite phrases from Deepak Chopra (who was a Medical Doctor too) was: “You can accept a diagnosis but never a prognosis.” And this is very important to keep in mind. Having a diagnosis is one thing, but what will happen after, is a completely different one, and it depends on many factors that are unique to each individual.

As for medicine, we can’t deny that traditional western medicine has helped increase life expectancy and fight disease, however, this does not take the responsibility of our health away from us. In fact, the more complex and sophisticated medicine has become, the more we need to get involved in healing our bodies. Also, we should never dismiss other ancient, and more modern types of medicine such as: Oriental medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Herbal medicine, Energy medicine etc. There is a great amount of knowledge and wisdom in each and every one of them.

But aside from the realm of medicine, there is one major truth, and that is: nothing controls our health more than we do… can I say it again? nothing controls our health more than we do…

A lot of people will strongly disagree with this statement, and I totally understand, a lot of people may even find it offensive, and that too, I understand.

Nevertheless, if we come to grasp the complex workings of our health, we start to see the truth in this statement. Our health is the result of a balance between our physical body, our mind and our soul, if we disregard any of these three inseparable parts of us, we are not seeing ourselves as a whole and we fall out of balance. This imbalance is what creates disease, and even accidents (yes, believe it or not!). In fact put in one phrase: our health depends solely on the level of harmony and connection that we have with our soul, that is all.

We could write volumes on the last paragraph, but to keep it simple and short for this post lets say this:
Emotions are deeply implicated in the causation of illness or in the restoration of health. When we have negative emotions, and we do not know how to handle them, or we are not even aware of them, they can create blockages in our body, if not dealt with properly, these blockages will create disease and later death.

Now, emotions are caused by our thoughts and our thoughts are mostly based on beliefs that are often unconscious. If we can disconnect form our thoughts and connect with our soul (our true consciousness) we can be in control of our emotions, and therefore our health.

The particular symptoms or diseases are quite irrelevant, as long as we are dealing with symptoms, we will always have symptoms to deal with (in different organs and different diseases). In other words, handling the symptoms is not the right way to restore a person’s health.

Being in good health means being in balance, so what a sick person needs is to regain his/her balance, and there are many ways to do this, and there are many types of healing techniques available, including of course traditional medicine, but the ultimate outcome will depend on the person’s awareness of their own body-mind-spirity connection.

This is a simple yet also very complex statement. Awareness means we need to “unlearn” a lot of things and we need to open up to a totally different point of view and devote the time and effort it takes to embark in this journey, probably the most important journey you will ever take in your human lifetime.

Just some food for thought…Take care of yourself and consider what you just read…

Have a great week!

and make sure you check the announcements below, there are 3 wonderful free events coming up!


Announcements:

Don’t miss these AMAZING free events!

*March 8th The Women’s International Summit for Health is totally free and starts on March 8th.

Register here: http://www.wishsummit.com

*March 11th21-Day Meditation Challenge.

Join Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey for this wonderful journey to Perfect Health. Register here

*March 12th Healing with the Masters, Session 11.

Register here: http://www.healingwiththemasters.com

Our Plans vs. Our Destiny

One of my favorite authors, while describing an unexpected encounter that drove her to start an organization that she had never dreamed of, she said this phrase: “It was not part of my plans but it was definitely part of my destiny.”

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I do not believe that our destiny is written, in fact, I strongly believe that we have the freedom to direct our lives and we are not tied to a set fate. However, it is undeniable that many things just happen, whether we like it or not, and we can’t really avoid nor escape this truth.

Many of you have probably heard the expression: “God writes straight with crooked lines.” Regardless of whether you are a person of faith or not, this phrase states that sometimes we can’t possibly make sense of things and the way they happen, but in the end it all makes sense, and if we are lucky we will see it.

Lets say that making plans and having goals is good, in fact it is healthy, but becoming attached to them or inflexible about them is a great mistake.

What happens is, along the road of life things are constantly changing and we have no way to predict everything, we have no control over a lot of factors. We are deeply interconnected with everything and everybody around us, so there are way too many variables that can and most likely will influence our plans. But if we keep an open mind and an open heart and welcome changes as they come, if we remain always flexible, the chances are we will turn many unexpected events into wonderful opportunities to fulfill our goals, our true goals (there is a distinction there!).

What I mean by true goals, are those goals that bring a sense of purpose to our lives, those goals that are really important for us (and they may differ from those goals WE think are important for us). For instance, you may be set on getting a specific job that you believe is the best for you, but in reality there are many things about it that you are not aware of, so if you don’t get it, it may be for the best.

So where is the real freedom of creating your life?

It would be unreal to pretend we are in control of everything, but to a certain extent we are! at a different level than we may think. We always have a choice on the way we perceive what happens and on the actions we take as a consequence of it. This to me is freedom.

You can have plans and follow your goals and take actions towards what you want, but then, life may take you in different directions and it is up to you to seize the moment and take your destiny in your own hands by looking at the new opportunities, exploring the doors that may be opening for you; or you may stubbornly resist change and get stuck in your old plans and expectations, and THAT is when you really become a prisoner.

I personally believe in a greater intelligence that guides our lives, but does only that: guides our lives, and it may do so by taking us in different directions, it is up to us to understand how to make the best of this guidance and bring about the best in our lives. We have a choice in every situation and that choice will determine how the given situation will affect us, so no matter what it is, we always have a choice and that means we have freedom to create our lives.

Even little decisions or actions that we take every day can change our lives, but we are not always aware of them because we often function on autopilot and may easily miss signs that might suggest we are about to make a move that will impact our lives.

If you have never seen the movie sliding doors, I recommend you watch it, it is a very interesting story that shows one woman and two possible outcomes, one simple instant of her life will determine whether she will go one path or another, and the movie shows both paths in parallel to see how different her life can be based in one tiny small decision she makes unconsciously.

Sometimes we know we are faced with clear choices and we have to make a decision, but other times we don’t even know we have a choice, we don’t see it. By being more open to change, more flexible and less attached to our goals, we can also be more present in the moment and more able to see the signs that can guide us to make the best decisions for our life, no matter how small they may seem.

So, there is our plan and there is a destiny, but the way I see the destiny is not as a written fate we can’t avoid, but rather an intelligent guidance that will direct us towards better outcomes, only if we are capable to perceive it and make the right decisions about it.

The capacity to perceive this guidance comes with finding our inner voice, disconnecting from the outside noise, quieting our minds, etc. and all those important skills that take practice, but are accessible to every single one of us.

Have a great week!


Announcements:

*The Art of Asking, presented by Women’s Wellness University, starts October 15th.
Finally Learn How to Ask for and Get What You Really Want and Forever Banish Any Ideas That You Might Not “Deserve” It!

*Spiritual Cinema Circle Get a free trial and change the way you see movies, make this pastime a life changer