Viktor Frankl: The Final Wisdom

viktor frankl quotes

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.”

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life, I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.”

“Even when it is not fully attained, we become better for striving for a higher goal.”

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.”

All quotes by Viktor Frankl

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What Does it Feel Like?

Alms Offering to 10000 monks - Chiang Mai, 2013

From the CEO hustling to make more money, or the monk standing with his alms bowl — they all have something that they want. It doesn’t matter if it’s to save the world or buy a faster car — there is a desire.

The question “what do you want?” could be asked. We can learn a lot about a person by probing a little and getting to know what they are seeking. But a better question would be, “if you had what you wanted, how would it make you feel?”

Not that this is easy to do (I think it takes massive patience, awareness, practice and trust), but I totally believe that if you work on the desired feeling first, it can attract things/goals that match its likeness. Not only that, but it can truly satisfy the root of one’s desires in general.

If the CEO felt that money would bring him the feeling of security or confidence, if he made that the primary goal instead of money, and cultivated it and imbued it in every fiber of his being, if that harnessed trait was attractive, obvious and undeniable when interacting with him — I honestly think it would influence the amount of money he would earn/generate. He would attract great wealth with much more ease and grace. And if the monk felt unconditionally content and joyful, I think people would fill his alms bowl in appreciation of the feeling that he radiates. He would gracefully attract the abundance needed to sustain his life purpose, well-being and sense of joy.

This is a quote from a blog post I wrote a few years back: “I feel that it is important to get clear regarding the feelings you want (the intangibles) more so then the things you want. I don’t believe that we ever really want things (specific relationships, bodies, homes, etc.), I believe we want how these things make us feel. So why not get it down to what it really is? It’s a feeling.”

Just to be clear, I’m not saying it’s easy to be confident or feel secure when you desperately need money, or feel content or joyful when you are feeling hungry. I’m not saying that at all. But what I am saying is; if you aren’t clear about what you really want — and haven’t accepted that it’s not about that specific thing (or goal), that it’s really the feeling you are after — then you will never be satisfied. You will always carry an insatiable missing in your being and always be plagued by never ending goals.

If you find that this is something you are struggling with, let’s get your focus and target aimed at something that truly serves you.

Think about what it is that you want or need, or crave. How would you feel if you had it? What emotion does it bring you? How does it light you up? What does it feel like to be in that state? How does it balance you and make you whole?

Is it possible to create that feeling, knowing, energy, light or sense of balance within yourself without having that thing/goal?

Is it possible that you could you do both? Could you work towards the feeling and the thing/goal? Could you make the feeling your primary focus? And the thing/goal a secondary desire?

Can you live the feeling you desire fully and intergrate it into your everyday life and way of being? And in time, with lots of practice, see all that it can do for you? It might bring some interesting things, people, resources, opportunities and experiences to you. I think it’s worth a try. (I’ll be working on it myself!)

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Dying in 6 Weeks

dying in 6 weeks

Just hear me out and take it seriously… but also, be light about it.

Imagine you are dying in exactly six weeks from this moment.

Get still, tune into your body. Feel what this plight would truly be like for you. Listen to whatever guidance and clarity might arise from a predicament where you are forced to take your life and fulfillment seriously.

Tune into your gut (or heart). What does it want for you? What does it consider more important than anything else? What does it crave for you? What does it want you to do or experience while you have the chance?

Please answer the questions below. Just let the answers flow. Don’t think deeply. Do not ponder or dwell at all. Just let answers quickly raise to the surface (without thinking, only feeling, let it be reflexive and automatic) and then immediately move on to the next question.

If you were to die in 6 weeks…

What time would you wake up tomorrow?

Where would you have slept?

What will you do as soon as you wake up?

What will you wear?

What will you eat for breakfast?

Would you exercise? If so, what type of exercise?

Would you ask anyone to join you? Or would you exercise alone?

What do you want to do today?

Would you spend most of your time indoors or outdoors?

What plans do you want to make for tomorrow? And the next day? This week? (You only have 5 more after that.)

What type of work will you do?

What would you make sure you got done?

Who are the people you would definitely need to see in person?

Who would you want to spend the most time with?

Who would you like to speak to? Even if it was only for a few minutes?

Is there anyone you would want to have a serious conversation with?

Is there anyone you would want to help?

Is there someone you’d like to ask to help you?

Are there any songs or music you would love to play/hear?

Are there any places or countries you would like to see?

Is there anything you would love to create or record?

Is there a message you would like to leave behind?

What would you like to be known for? How would you like to be remembered?

Are there any changes you’d like to make to your appearance or home or business?

Is there anything you would like to leave to someone?

Are there foods or drinks or restaurants you’d like to try?

Are there any classes you would love to take?

Is there anything you would like to give?

If someone asked you what you loved most about your life, what would you say?

If someone asked you at the end of your six weeks, if you regret anything — what would you love your answer to be?

:) I hope your answer would be a joyous “nothing”. That you did, saw, heard, tasted, felt and lived all that you wanted. That you gave all that you wanted to give.

Your life is yours to be loved and lived. Use it wisely.

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Are you turned on?

are you turned on

A few years ago, actually more than a few (it’s a decade, to be exact) — I wondered why the lights went out. I wondered why my desires disappeared. Why I suddenly found myself disinterested in everything. Absolutely everything. This included the people in my life, the city I lived in, the work I was so passionate about since my youth, all of my possessions, my diet & fitness, my past, my present & future — everything. I thought it was due to my extensive practice of meditation at the time, or to my fasting on water, or to the never-ending rat race I found myself in, or to the destruction of planet earth (I was going to say our planet, but it’s not ours) and the eco-awakening that is taking place. I don’t know exactly what sparked my disinterest in being a “human doing”, like most other humans (very-very few of us embrace or fully live “human being”.) But everything just stopped. Actually, it only stopped internally, because the external goes on. Bills still arrive, rent is still due, friends still call, work is still required — everything is in motion, the carousel continues to rotate on its axis. Whether we like it or not.

Of course this was extremely difficult for me, because it had me standing between two worlds; the world of stillness & silence imbued with disinterest & dispassion, and the seemingly opposing world of social structures & ongoing desires. I think if I could have been one side or the other, it would have been fine. But feeling wedged & conflicted between the two didn’t work at all, and it became increasingly frustrating and unlivable.

The interesting & wonderful thing is, I learned a lot and I got myself un-wedged (just recently). It’s kind of like the butterfly in the chrysalis; you have to literally become mush. You MUST surrender and face your fears, and be willing to end your life as you know it. <– Please re-read that sentence, and let it sink in. You have to fully live it out, embracing the entire experience and all it encompasses. You have to love both sides: the light & the dark (that does not mean good vs. bad or evil, it simply means contrasting perspectives).

If you want more information on surrender, you can find it here:
https://sundayisforlovers.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/meaning-of-surrender-kung-fu-panda-osho-quotes/

I'll just say that surrender really is unconditional love. And love is a form of appreciation. So think of it as unconditional & ongoing appreciation. Being thankful, being open, being patient and being loving — no matter what the situation is, no matter what feeling or moment you find yourself in.

Everything can be considered a blessing if the lesson/gift is realized. The lesson/gift could be to leave and get out. It could be to stay and continue on. It could be to completely destroy and create something new. It could be to let go and give up. It could be to see with new eyes and listen with new ears. Whatever it is, it's a gift that was born through pain. And like a muscle, pushing through the weight & resistance makes us bigger & stronger.

If you want more information on facing challenges, you can find it here:
https://sundayisforlovers.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/obstacle-problem-doesnt-exist-answers-quotes/

So if you ever find yourself in a situation like mine, or in some sort of stuck-ness, or feeling like you're "not here or there" — this is what I recommend:

You have to get turned on. I know that sounds silly, but trust me.

You have to plug in. Get energized. Light up. Activate. You have to literally turn yourself ON.

You have to get your POWER moving through you. This happens through connection and circulation, giving and receiving of energy, from being moved and inspired.

Now let's get practical. What does that look like? How does one do that?

Think of it this way, you are in a relationship with life itself (as well as in a relationship with yourself, your life happens through your senses/mind). This is your primary relationship. Your relationships with others (family/friends/lovers/children/pets) are secondary to this.

So if you were to go on a romantic date with Life, or make Life your life partner — there has to be an attraction first, right?

Sometimes we fall out of love with places or people. This is normal. But go back to the very beginning. How and why did you initially fall in-love?

How did you fall into deep appreciation for this place or person?

What turned you on? Literally.

And how open were you at the time? Were you open for new experiences?

Get clear on this. What turns you on?

Get as general as you can. Then get super-specific after that.

For most people it's the following:

beauty/gorgeousness
fear/excitement
curiosity/uncertainty
feelings/appreciation
attention/focus

Okay… now use that list to your advantage.

What is currently attractive in your life or in the world? What is beautiful or gorgeous?

What are you secretly afraid of? What excites you and makes you nervous?

What feels unknown in a big way to you? What feels uncertain or challenging?

What positive feelings come up for something in particular? What makes you appreciate it?

What makes you feel good when you focus on it? What do you love giving your attention to?

Go into your belly. What gives you butterflies?

What gives you energy?

What do you love?

Now laser focus in on whatever your "I'm turned on by…" answers are. Surround yourself in thoughts about it. Do this daily. All day, ongoing. (Like when you are in-love and couldn't stop thinking about someone.)

And if there is something scary or nerve-racking to face (and I hope there is!), I want you to face it head on. I want you to drive yourself right through it. Pretend you don't see it. Just plow right through. Meaning, fully experience how alive you can feel when you face something you rather dodge from.

If you can do this, and if you can keep these feelings & focus going… I promise you, you will be turned on and you will come alive with newfound enthusiasm.

Here are examples of what it means to be turned on by life (in your mind), no matter what situation you find yourself in:

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You Are Not a Tree

you are not a tree

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.

If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.

All quotes by Jim Rohn

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MOM = WOW :)

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 3.17.20 PM

This Sunday’s post is dedicated to Mother’s Day. If you are a mother, you know that it’s not an easy job. It’s for life and its tough. I send my heart and thanks to all mothers. Just think of the scope of mothers to be grateful for! We have the ultimate… Mother Earth, as well as mothers of all types of beings; the kind that fly, swim, walk, crawl or jump! Mothers come in all shapes, sizes and species. They also mother with different temperaments and philosophies — there is no rule book. I love the quote that says something about hindsight being 20/20. I’m a firm believer that we all have the mother that we needed to be who we are. Everything makes sense after we can fit all the puzzle pieces together and see the big picture of our lives. Somehow, in their own way, every mother did exactly what was needed for their child’s personal growth and transformation (without knowing it at the time.) I’ve written about my mom before, you can read about it in my Happy Birthday Mom! blog post. There is no doubt in my mind that I have the exact mother I needed in this lifetime. I owe so much of who I am (and the blessings I have) to my mom. The gratitude I have for her is immeasurable and beyond words. Even now, as I sit here writing and thinking… I’m speechless. I am simply filled with love and gratitude. There is no way I could ever show her how I feel, or put my feelings into words so that she can clearly understand how much I cherish her. All I can do is love her. In my own heart, in my own way… (*sigh*) simply love her. I wished it looked like more… like a boisterous parade down 5th Avenue, or the flashy fireworks on 4th of July, or like when a big prize is revealed on The Price Is Right and everyone goes nuts with excitement! I wish my love looked more flamboyant and eventful. But it doesn’t. It’s quiet and earthy, creative and silly, open and grateful — like me. :) I love my mom in my own way. As every kid does. And it may not look perfect, it may not be eventful… but it’s love. L-O-V-E, love.

I love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for all that you do, and thank you for always accepting me and being so supportive of me. I am so very grateful. And thank you for being YOU! :) I love you. So very much.

PLEASE NOTE: This blog post is reposted from Mother’s Day 2016. I’m sharing it once more! Today I’m with my mother. :) So I’ve taken the day off from writing. Wishing you all a fabulous holiday! 

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Pablo Picasso: The Chief Enemy of Creativity

pablo picasso portrait cat

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.”

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?”

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

“The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.”

“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”

“Youth has no age.”

“He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.”

All quotes by Pablo Picasso

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