Radiate love

Osho 1

I could have chosen to listen to Donald Trump.

Thank heavens I didn’t do that. Instead I chose to listen to Osho (that’s him in the picture). I’d much rather identify with that mischievous, grinning face than go anywhere near the stressed, angry, violent, racist and very unenlightened image conjured up by Trump.

Wonder why? Here’s a typical quote from Osho:

“Sitting alone in your room, be loving. Radiate love. Fill the whole room with your love energy. Feel vibrating with a new frequency, feel swaying as if you are in the ocean of love. Create vibrations of love energy around you. And you will start feeling immediately that something is happening, something in your aura is changing, something around your body is changing; a warmth is arising around your body… a warmth like deep orgasm. You are becoming more alive. Something like sleep is disappearing. Something like awareness is arising.”

I rest my case.

 

Fifteen pointers to happiness

According to research by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, you can make yourself happier – permanently – because 40% of your happiness is under you control. That’s because that portion is determined by your habits, attitude, and outlook on life.

All you have to do is adopt new habits and get rid of old ones, easier said than done you might say, though breaking habits that make you unhappy is not actually as hard as you think. Here are some bad habits you could drop with a bit of awareness that would revolutionise your life:

  1. Immunity to awe. Wake up to the amazing things that happen around you every day. Don’t take things for granted.
  2. Isolating yourself. Socializing, even when you’re suffering loss or bereavement, is great for your mood.
  3. Blaming. If you want to be happy you must take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Blaming others is utterly fruitless.
  4. Controlling. The only person you can control in your life is you. If you try to control others, or events, you are on a certain road to unhappiness.
  5. Criticising. Criticising others is an unconscious negative strategy to make us feel better about ourselves. Unfortunately, it just creates a spiral of negativity.
  6. Complaining. By constantly talking, and therefore thinking, about how bad things are, you drive people away while reaffirming your negative beliefs.
  7. Impressing. Only people who like you and accept you for who you are can make you happy, which is why trying to impress never works.
  8. Negativity. An attitude of gratitude will never fail you. Focus on counting your blessings and make your limited time on this planet count.
  9. Hanging around negative people. Negative people are the kiss of death if you seek happiness. Don’t get sucked into their negative emotional spirals. Create strong boundaries and surround yourself only with people who inspire you.
  10. Comparing your own life to the lives people portray on social media. Facebook and social media in general rarely represent reality, more an airbrushed, colour-enhanced look at the lives people want to portray. Don’t take it too seriously.
  11. Neglecting to set goals. Research has proven that people who set goals and write them down are more likely to succeed. Moreover, working towards those goals makes you feel good about yourself. Any good coach can show you the best ways to create goals.
  12. Giving in to fear. People who want to be happy flip fear on its head. You will regret chances you didn’t take far more you will your failures. The worse thing that can happen to you is not dying, it’s allowing yourself to die inside while you’re still alive!
  13. Leaving the present. No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future. It’s impossible to reach your full potential if you’re constantly somewhere else, unable to fully embrace the reality (good or bad) of the very moment.

Finally, a couple of things you must embrace if you want to live properly in the here and now:

  1. Accept your past. If you don’t make peace with your past, it will never leave you alone and it will create your future. Happy people know that the only good reason to look at the past is to see how far you’ve come.
  2. Accept the uncertainty of the future, and don’t place unnecessary expectations upon yourself. Worry has no place in the here and now.

As Mark Twain once said, “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.”

Someone else once said, “the only certainties in life are birth, death and taxes.”

And I said only this morning, “one thing is certain – I will never die young.”

Believing the incredible before breakfast

I’d completely forgotten how achieving serious goals can be so much fun! And so exciting!

I’ve been on the third phase of the Ducan diet for almost a week now, and the results are nothing short of mind-boggling. This is the part where I’ve reached my goal weight and I now need to train my body to stay at that level.

Now I have added a few more food groups that have really made a big difference to the enjoyment of my life – for example 40 grams of cheese per day (has to be a hard cheese like Cheddar, not soft like Brie or Camembert), one piece of fruit per day (some fruits excluded), and one portion per week of starchy foods such as rice, cuscus or pasta.

I thought this would be really hard because I believed I’d have to eat miniscule portions or my weight would immediately shoot back up. But no! As long as I don’t stuff myself and stop eating when I am no longer hungry, not only has my weight remained pretty constant but it’s even gone down a bit on some days. So I’m gently oscillating between 1/2 a pound over and 1/2 a pound under my goal weight, which as far as I’m concerned is pretty much flatlining at exactly my desired weight.

You may wonder why I’m making such a big deal out of this, but I’ve been struggling with my weight for some years now and suddenly the problem has literally disappeared. To me it’s nothing nothing short of miraculous. And it’s so easy.

Now here’s the rub. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool cheese fanatic and forty grams a day seems like virtually nothing. But because I’m back in control somehow it’s OK. I’m also a great fan of pasta and one portion a week seems a bit meagre. But hey, I look forward to these treats so much that that’s OK too.

I am now actually eating most of what I love, though I do miss avocados and cashew nuts, and that still includes lashings of smoked salmon. This certainly wouldn’t work for vegetarians.

Once again I must add the caveat – I am aware that this is work in progress and I can’t afford to be complacent. One lapse of conscious awareness and I could be back at square one in double quick time. Normally I wouldn’t share and talk about successfully taking steps towards achieving a goal until I’ve achieved it, but this is too important to keep it quiet. I know for a fact there are many people out there who are also struggling with their weight. If you are one of them, I invite you to share your journey too.

It’s a great exercise in mindfulness – a real life exercise that can really make you feel a lot happier. Bearing in mind that this diet might not suit you, have a look online at the Ducan diet and please feel free to ask me any questions or to share your experiences on this page. We who worry about our weight need all the support we can get!