The Color Project

Because color is life and happiness…

A compilation of colorful objects that attracted my camera’s lens. I hope you enjoy the joyous rainbows as much as I do…

1Boilers 2CandlesDiverse IMG_2524 4CandlesThick2CandlesThick3 Misc CupsDishesCandleSticks9CandlesThickPaper4   Misc2Paper4   CandleSticks2Mugs PaintPaper3  Pots Paint3Peads2  Paper3  PaintCandlePlacemats Paper5Robbins2    Pots2 Peper4PotsandContainersRobbons PotsLids   TeaPots Thermos Threads UnderGround Yarn2 Yarn3

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Header photo from: http://www.designboom.com/art/rainbow-roses/

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I have Learned…

I have learned that…

  • Self love is the key solution to all my problems
  • Being aware of the present moment is the portal to realizing that all is well
  • Having low to no expectations is a fertile soil for relationships to grow
  • Happiness can be found in gratitude for the smallest things
  • Inspiration of great ideas strikes in the shower
  • In conflict it’s better to talk to each other than talk about one another
  • When people become parents they don’t necessarily become capable of unconditional love for their children
  • Animals are smart and they’re simply tolerating humans
  • There is a heaven within each one of us, its up to us to find the key
  • True happiness comes from oneself & not others whether partners or friends
  • Some people posing as friends listening to your troubles don’t necessarily care, some enjoy the misery of others to feel better about themselves
  • This is a man’s world & it easier being a man, but I’m proud & happy for being a woman
  • My opinion of myself is the one and only that matters
  • Comparing myself to others is as useful to comparing apples to oranges
  • Everything has a character; animals, plants, buildings & places, and if we listen carefully they can tell us their stories
  • Following the crowds isn’t always the right thing to do; the majority isn’t always right (thank you Socrates!)
  • Ultimate happiness lies in being in the now & accepting it however it may look
  • A parent of many children can love them in varying degrees that can converge to 0
  • There is wisdom in delaying response to unpleasantness
  • To appreciate the beauty of innocence and purity in children, animals and plants
  • Sometimes it’s best to stand for myself than ignore others’ inappropriateness
  • Controlling breathing does wonders for mental health
  • Change comes really, truly and honestly from within
  • What goes around does come around. What you put out there will eventually come back to you sooner or later, so be kind with your words and actions
  • I and only I am solely responsible for my own happiness
  • I never was nor ever will be perfect and that is perfectly alright
  • It is more genuine to draw self confidence from self love and approval rather than arrogance
  • I only need to love and forgive myself instead of depending on others for love, acceptance and approval
  • Happiness is the way and not destination

The Light at Rock Bottom

“We should be thankful for the difficult parts in our lives because without that there would be no awakening” [1]  Eckhart Tolle

These words echoed recent thoughts of mine that filled me with gratitude. It is only through awakening and becoming aware of the “now” that we can look back and realize hitting rock bottom was a blessing, without which we would have carried on with our miserable lives not knowing that it can be a different way. Hitting rock bottom is the wake-up call for those who are wiling and yearning for a turning point to shift their lives in a different, healthy and fulfilling direction.

To listen, write, and think is to give yourself the chance to reinvent yourself into a new existence with fresh perspectives on life. Thank you God for all the lessons from which I have learned, thank you for all the experiences through which I have changed, and most of all thank you for the gift of wisdom that through all the suffering I have earned.

Johan Cruyff -a football player- once said “Every disadvantage has its advantage” [2], learning and changing through suffering is a classic example of that.

Peace and love to all…..

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[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqX5IFKYFWk

[2] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johancruyf326436.html

No Comparison….No Judgement

Two words of wisdom that I have learned from the lovely Louise Hay [1]. Its scary to consider the amount of unhappiness that we can incur upon ourselves by these two destructive mental processes.

#Comparison

I have learned that comparing myself to others in any respect is just as useful as comparing apples to oranges. We each have a unique life story, we have different backgrounds, different lessons, and different purposes to fulfill in our lives. Thus, expecting to achieve the same things as others, or hitting certain milestones around the same time others do is a moot point. These thoughts don’t serve any purpose other than self torture. It is not to say that you shouldn’t work towards your goals, but it is definitely to say that you shouldn’t beat yourself over not having a life that is a replica of others’ goals and meeting their timeframes. It IS OK to be different, there are no laws dictating that certain goals have to be met at certain times. A great example of this is the inspirational life of Louise Hay; this woman is well in her 80s and she taught me that it is never too late to learn something new, do something different and pick up new hobbies.

[2]
[2]
#Judgement

This one is quite easy; an important concept in your life is to fill your heart with #love and #forgiveness for yourself and everyone else in the world. Judgement negates that, when you’re being judgmental you’re not acting with love. Learn to accept others the way they are; whether its what they wear, they eat, to where they travel, whom they choose as friends/ partner, or who they worship……just accept them, try it….it feels great.

[3]
[3]
From my own experience I can say two things: first, learning to let go of judgement is funny; because at first you realize how often you’re used to judging almost everyone you come across during the day, and sadly how harsh your judgements can be. It is amusing to observe yourself becoming aware of this side of yourself and trying your best to curb it. Second, letting go of judgement does feel great, and has a positive influence not only on your mental/ emotional state but also on your overall interaction with people and events around you.

So fellow humans, these are my #PearlsofWisdom to you today; let go of comparison and judgement…. there’s no room for them in your happy and peaceful life.

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[1] https://www.facebook.com/louiselhay?fref=ts

[2] http://consciouslivingtv.com

[3] http://quotesgram.com

Me, Myself and My Ego

I’ve had a writer’s block but I’ve been wanting to write about ego for a while now. With new teachers new lessons come along; and this time Dr.Wayne Dyer -may he rest in peace- taught me something about ego.

Edge God Out = EGO, that’s how he explains it. Dr. Dyer states that ego is a collection of the following concepts:

1- I am what I own

2- I am what I do

3- I am what people think about me

4- I am separate from others

5- I am separate from God

6- I am separate from all that I would like to attract

What I found striking is that ideas 1 through 3 were my semiconscious de facto state of being for most of my life. Of course I am what I have! that’s why I liked owning nice things that I can afford and aspired for owning more things that I perceived as factors define what a perfect life should be, such as a car, house…..etc. Again, of course I am what I do! that’s why I’ve always worked hard and took pride in my achievements, without which I would’ve felt like a looser. Finally, of course I am what others thought of me; everything I did/said until not so long ago was carefully calculated to reflect the perfection that I am ….not. Of course it didn’t help that I was raised in a society that believed “what people thought of you either made or broke you”.

Listening to Dyer talk about ego was a moment of simultaneous yet conflicting thoughts: yes I am those things, No it shouldn’t be that way. Why should my possessions, achievements and reputation matter? I couldn’t come up with an answer. I reflected further on my past interactions and reactions to people and events, most of it seemed to be triggered by ego. Being offended, hurt feelings, irritation from rude strangers….etc. It is all feeding from my ego.

From my personal perspective I see a link between ego and self love (self love is a very important and beautiful concept that I’ve learned from Louise Hay). By giving myself unconditional love I’ve become more secure and confident. I no longer seek approval or demand respect from others because I already have all that from the most important person in my life: me. It then became possible to believe that people’s words and actions are a reflection of themselves but not of who I am. It became clear to me that the ego is inversely correlated to self love, such that the more you give yourself unconditional love the less need you have for ego, as depicted in the figure below.

Relationship between ego and self love
Relationship between ego and self love

Another realization I’ve had is that it is easier to react to people and events via love and forgiveness than ego. I was amused to discover how I already now know an interaction protocol -so to speak- that is based on love and forgiveness (explained below), but couldn’t think of such protocol based on ego, which is a huge surprise since almost all my life I’ve subconsciously opted to respond through ego.

To respond via love and forgiveness is rather simple; upon being subjected to hurtful words/ actions from others you carryout the following steps:

1- affirm your love and approval to yourself and remind yourself that all is well

2- forgive the person who has done you wrong, and release them with love. Releasing with love was an awkward concept for me, and I wasn’t sure how to achieve it. One way that works for me is the Ho’oponopono (a small explanation is included below)

3- set boundaries by speaking up for yourself; this is a form of loving yourself.

4- carry on without holding grudges.

[2]
[2]
On the other hand; resentment, anger, blame, guilt and the desire for revenge are all sentiments that drive and result from the ego. As I pondered these notions it hit me that in the past whenever I felt the need to inflate my low self-esteem I would act in what can probably be perceived as arrogance, a behavior that stems from the ego. It is such a beautiful feeling to reach a level of awareness that allows drawing self confidence from self love/acceptance/forgiveness/ and approval rather than from the ego.

I hope these thoughts can help someone make the shift they aspire for and enjoy positive changes as I do….

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Ho’oponopono: “is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Similar forgiveness practices were performed on islands throughout the South Pacific, including Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand” [3].

Basically, to forgive and release others with love one should repeat the four following phrases when thinking of a particular person who needs forgiveness, which cleanses one’s data and perceptions about others:

1- I’m sorry

2- Please forgive me

3- I love you

4- Thank you

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[1] http://www.peacebeyondunderstanding.org

[2] http://onpasture.com/2014/06/23/bits-of-your-heart/

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoʻoponopono

Struggling With Deserving

Part of the soul searching journey I have started a while ago was learning about deserving. The idea is that to incur change we want in our lives we should change our way of thinking in many ways. Not only should we think happy thoughts, and visualize the life we aspire for, but we should also believe that we deserve what we aspire for. Ouch!!!!

It was a painful surprise to discover that subconsciously I didn’t believe I deserved the thing I wanted the most despite that I desperately tried to achieve it all my life. At first it seemed counter intuitive, I mean I desperately want it so of course I should believe I deserve it….obviously not. It was then more painful to discover that once I’ve zeroed in on the ingrained negative thoughts behind my feeling of undeservedeness, that I am unable to shake these thoughts off. They’re stuck with super crazy glue! I confirm verbally to myself daily my worthiness and deservedness of that particular aspect of my life, but I’m aware that the words uttered by my lips are not spanning far enough to reach my sub/conscious.

Image source: http://digitalbloggers.com/AdamAlessi
Image source: http://digitalbloggers.com/AdamAlessi

Sad and hopeless? most certainly not! I chose to think of it as part of my self healing journey; a tough part but rather an important one that I cannot discard from my homework list. Ultimately, I choose to focus on the positive side of it; first, when I embarked on this journey I didn’t really know the extent of the reform needed, so I take “deserving” as one of the surprise lessons down the road. Second and most important, now I know; the cause for keeping this target away has a label, therefore I am empowered with that knowledge to explore the possible remedies.

There is a reservoir of abundance on all aspects of life for each and everyone of us. We need to believe we deserve it and accept it to be able to receive and enjoy it. Change the way you think to change your life.

Love and peace to all, and all those out there working so hard to learn more about/ and reinvent themselves, please hang in there! whether your journey is short or long if you persevere then you aught to reach your destination sooner or later!

Image source: http://www.englishtown.com/blog/rewards-reaching-english-goals
Image source: http://www.englishtown.com/blog/rewards-reaching-english-goals

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[1] http://avrilcarpenter.com

Life Shift

Since weeks now I have unknowingly embarked on a new journey; one that encompassed many parallel and sometimes crossing tracks. I don’t remember the exact reasons or what was it in particular that I was searching for, but I know it is at a point where it was becoming clear that my healing/ recovery journey path from a rough a critical period of my life was rather weird and like nothing I’ve seen before. Every time I thought that the extent of my internal (physical, mental) or external (work, marriage, and relationships) struggles was fully revealed to me I as proven wrong; it felt like cleaning an old painting darkened with time, except that the exact size of the painting isn’t known to me, and now I realize that perhaps I will never know, and the cleaning and restoration work is just part of a healthy life that shall continue until the last breath I draw.

MENAGEOT_Francois_Guillaume_The_Death_Of_Leonardo_Da_Vinci_In_The_Arms_Of_Francis_I-large
Image source: http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/artwork.php?artworkid=33285&size=large

What are those paths of the journey? well the greatest intent is to change myself and my life, and to rid myself of old negative patterns that no longer work for me. I started reading in psychology, sociology, philosophy and metaphysics. I started writing my thoughts down and analyzing my life where it was then and where I want it to head. I listened a lot to metaphysical coaches and few trusted people, who introduced me to new dimensions of knowledge and experiences.

https://realityofchrist.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/paths-we.jpg
Image source: https://realityofchrist.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/paths-we.jpg

What came out of all this is revelations and lessons that shocked me! most importantly, I now know that my destructive pattern of self loath and criticism just had to stop. the damage was far greater than I originally thought of just feeling unpleasant. I’m learning now to love myself, of course I had doubts and it was difficult but once I committed to the process I started noticing some pleasant changes: I’m more peaceful though part of me is still scared of the change and all it brings or takes away but I take it as normal. I’ve become slightly more positive and hopeful and most surprisingly I’ve become very gentle in judging others and myself!! yay!! I feel like I now have a new best friend within myself who loves me unconditionally, and what a great feeling this is!

http://www.blendinforwhat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/self-love1.jpg
Image source: http://www.blendinforwhat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/self-love1.jpg

It IS true! we have to love and forgive ourselves first before we can adopt that toward others. I found myself using gentler words in forming opinions about others, and even bothered by considering harsher choices of words I made in the past.

I (almost) no longer criticize myself, all I do is great just as is and tell myself how much I love myself. I thank God for this amazing change and I’m happy with (almost) all that it brings me.

This is not to say that I am now living happily ever after. The journey is just beginning and I am equipping myself with the knowledge I need to make positive changes and healthy choices.

The Exploding Door Mat

Do you ever notice a pattern in your behavior where you can’t say “no” to others? where you would avoid conflict at all costs even if it means its at the expense of your own peace of mind or standing up for who you are?

doormat
Image source:http://www.featheredprop.com

It took me a while to recognize this, but recently I have come to admit that I am a people’s pleaser, a.k.a. the door mat. The extent of my problem didn’t stop at my being that only, it gets worse. I tend to accept others’ insensitiveness, rudeness or thoughtlessness while making up excuses left and right for their behavior, mostly because I don’t want to create awkward situation or to avoid confrontation; both of which to avoid losing friends or straining work relationships. And though this could be a life style for many, the flaw for this strategy of mine is that I have a threshold of tolerance per person, after reaching which I will explode…figuratively speaking of course. I always seem to reach a point of saturation where I just can’t accept being mistreated anymore, which results in cutting people off my social circle, or creating tension in work relations. Funny enough the exact same results that I try to avoid by being a door mat.

dealing-with-angry-people1
Image source:http://angermentor.com/

It would be awesome if I can state now after long soul searching and reading in psychology that I have managed to fix myself and learned how to stand up for myself. However, I’d like to think I’m getting there! I did/still do both soul searching and reading in psychology and philosophy, and I learn a great deal of new things. But perhaps one of the most valuable pearls of wisdom is this: learning to say “no” can be the kindest thing you can do for yourself. People will always test your boundaries (socially and professionally speaking), the more we give the more they will demand. Which leads me to another pearl of wisdom: we MUST set boundaries with others. We must let that good friend know from the beginning that it isn’t cool to make a habit of canceling plans last minute, yes things can come up but if it happens regularly than that’s disrespectful. Yet if you don’t speak up then people assume that it ok with you and that they shan’t worry about you or your feelings because you’re “flexible” which in reality means you’re not really worthy of their respect. You should also know that former colleague that you won’t be doing any more joint work (that’s really not part of your job but you’re just doing to help someone out) that adds up to your overwhelmingly high work load. It is ok to help out once but for them to make a habit of it to ask knowing you won’t say “no” and that you will end up doing the whole thing while they take credit for it is just shameless on their part.

Life would be more easier and fun if we learn to put ourselves before others- with moderations but you know what I mean!- and we shouldn’t take lightly the importance of investing time into learning the art of saying …no.

recovering_doormat_tshirt
Image source:www.teapartytribune.com

She = He

Without a doubt this is a man’s world. This statement cannot be generalized across all societies due to their various degrees of development, yet in principle it is true to some extent both in eastern and western societies.

Over the past decades human societies evolved, some more than others, some one dare say hardly ever. A society’s degree of development or maturity can be measured against the status of women in said society. Without a doubt the correlation between the two is strong such that the more women are given equal chances to those of men (e.g. Freedom of movement, education, employment…) the higher level of development the society attains.

In the past, several women’s emancipation movements have successfully elevated women’s position in societies and granted them more rights. Unfortunately, this movement of liberation did not erupt everywhere across the globe, which left many women deprived from basic human rights.

I’m not going to talk about men’s role in the restrained & difficult position many women suffer, but I’ll tackle the sheer arrogance & ignorance many men have when it comes to the struggles of many women, and the bold statements some men make to that effect. An example of such statement would be that women know nothing about life other than fashion and shopping. These men didn’t bother to ponder on the hardship many women endure either to obtain rights men were born with or to achieve results in their careers that men can reach with relatively less effort. Such men do not think about the mental and emotional harassment some women face in the work place – especially men-Dominated fields- nor about the fact that a woman needs to work twice as hard to prove their worthiness of a promotion. Men do not have to put on a brave face and ignore mean sexist jokes or comments.

I had the unpleasant experience of working with a sexist who seized every chance he got to make jokes about women; for instance their inability to navigate. I opted to ignore him to preserve the professional relationship, however after a year I realized that not only was I fed up but that this poisonous experience caused me more psychological damage than I thought possible. I had no more energy to put up with that nastiness so I ended my involvement in that assignment to regain my self respect and confidence among other things.

It is still beyond my comprehension why some men belittle and control women in their lives, but regardless of the reason I have become convinced that the remedy lies within women as well as men. In many parts of the world this abuse is part of the daily lives of women and it’s considered business as usual. As crucial as it is to reach out to boys and men to engrain in them the value of women’s equality to them yet it is not sufficient (an example of gender equality initiatives is HeForShe). It is equally crucial to educate girls and women about their worthiness and entitlement to equal rights to those of men, and that they must learn to standup for themselves in the face of misogyny and sexism to make this man’s world simple a humans’ world.