Daily Meditation:

This morning the sun came up
And I rejoiced
And I celebrated my gratitude
To the billions of events that took place over countless eons so the world may exist, so that I may exist
I am grateful
To open my eyes, to stretch my arms, to place both feet upon the earth
I am grateful
To not wonder where or if I will wake tomorrow
I am grateful
To know that today I will not starve
I am grateful
To live with the belief no harm will befall me
I am grateful
To live in this time and place
I am grateful
To have this knowledge, these abilities and these opportunities
I am grateful
To have these challenges and obstacles
I am grateful
To have the support of those who love me
I am grateful
I know not everyone is afforded such privileges
And this morning I vow to do my best to honor them
I know not everyone who shared this breath yesterday will awake today
And this morning I vow to do my best to honor them
I know the sacrifices those before me made so I may live such a life
And this morning I vow to do my best to honor them
By being kind
By being present
By being mindful
By being industrious
By doing service
By being grateful
By creating a world in which those who come after me can live such a life
By creating a world where others can taste the equality, autonomy and opportunity I enjoy
By living as an example of how I wish the world to be
This morning the sun came up
And I rejoiced
And I celebrated my gratitude

Daily Meditation:

This morning the sun came up
And I rejoiced
And I celebrated my gratitude
To the billions of events that took place over countless eons so the world may exist, so that I may exist
I am grateful
To open my eyes, to stretch my arms, to place both feet upon the earth
I am grateful
To not wonder where or if I will wake tomorrow
I am grateful
To know that today I will not starve
I am grateful
To live with the belief no harm will befall me
I am grateful
To live in this time and place
I am grateful
To have this knowledge, these abilities and these opportunities
I am grateful
To have these challenges and obstacles
I am grateful
To have the support of those who love me
I am grateful
I know not everyone is afforded such privileges
And this morning I vow to do my best to honor them
I know not everyone who shared this breath yesterday will awake today
And this morning I vow to do my best to honor them
I know the sacrifices those before me made so I may live such a life
And this morning I vow to do my best to honor them
By being kind
By being present
By being mindful
By being industrious
By doing service
By being grateful
By creating a world in which those who come after me can live such a life
By creating a world where others can taste the equality, autonomy and opportunity I enjoy
By living as an example of how I wish the world to be
This morning the sun came up
And I rejoiced
And I celebrated my gratitude

Things found in Vietnam: Bathtub Salad

As in, “Oh this is good bathtub salad. This guy is gonna put that other bathtub salad guy out of business.”

Things found in Vietnam: Bathtub Salad

As in, “Oh this is good bathtub salad. This guy is gonna put that other bathtub salad guy out of business.”

dogganghappened:

childofwealth:

helloimedua:

sixpenceee:

This is beautiful and it’s amazing to me that it had such a positive outcome and not lifelong hateful grudges, which is probably what these attackers deserved. 

FOR MORE PORTRAITS AND THE OFFICIAL WEBPAGE

This is perfect and beautiful and amazing

Yep, those are tears coming down. This is one of the most beautiful pieces I ever read. 

and here i am unable to forgive someone for hurting my feelings, being upset about the state of my home and finances and these people are able to let go of the hurt they felt, I have it easy. i honestly don’t think that i’d be able to look someone in the eye and for give them for taking a loved one away from me.

(via mysavageheart)

Daily Meditation:
Last year I made a lot of big decisions. I quit my job of six years at an internet startup. I decided to become a yoga teacher. I formally took refuge in the Buddha, the dharma and the Sangha. I decided to go on an extended trip through Asia. And I also made the decision to get and stay sober. Of all of these changes that last one was arguably the biggest.
Alcohol has a powerful place in our culture. Alcohol is a means to relax, socialize, celebrate, experiment, expand your palate and just have a great time, man. To abstain from it is to risk being marginalized or stigmatized as…psst..*looks around*…an alcoholic. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. In fact, for every one person who thinks I’m weird for not drinking I get two people who take the time to shake my hand and tell me they respect me for my choice and one who wishes they could do the same.
I quit drinking for a lot of reasons. Practically, it was a big distraction during a time in my life I couldn’t afford any. I was working four, ten hour days at my big kid job and spending 15 hours a week in yoga school. Add on top of that my regular yoga practice, reading, homework and classes at the local monastery and between them you easily have 70 hours a week. I couldn’t afford to wake up late, foggy and not at my best. The things I was doing meant too much to me.
I also recognized how much of my life was spent on a barstool. And honestly, it disturbed me. I have friends who own a great brewery and pub, working at which helped to finance my trip, and many others who own or work at bars and restaurants. To see them required a drink or two or five hours later being at your sixth bar and talking about who is closing where and whether you can get there in time for post last-call shenanigans. While I love those friends and value them greatly I was tired of feeling like I was wasting my life in dark rooms with loud music having great conversations about nothing of consequence. Drinking also represented a drain financially at a time where I had set a non-negotiable departure date for my trip, if only in my head, and thus really needed to be conservative with my money.
But most of all I felt I was compromising my personal integrity. While reserved and mild mannered, I am an all out kind of person. I don’t do moderation well. Case and point, I wanted to be a businessman so I became a traveling sales executive at 22. I was not the type of person, despite the endless list of instances where I insisted it was the case, to only have one beer. Or smoke one bowl. Or share one kiss. Or, well you get the idea. Therefore for me to honestly pursue my most pure self boundaries and discipline are something that must be part of the equation. When I chose to become a yoga teacher it was not because I was enamored by the practice, although I am, it was because I felt called to serve. To educate. To help other’s live a happy, fulfilled, empowered life the way my teachers had helped me. How could I honestly stand in front of a class and talk about discipline, morality, patience, surrender, change, courage, humility and the pursuit of self actualization if I was not myself exhibiting those traits? How could I ever hope to achieve mastery of my mind if I had to poison myself to subdue it? For me drinking represented holding myself back. Compromising the person I knew I could be for a few laughs and a delicious buzz. In order to teach and share peace, self love and respect I had to first possess it for myself. In short, to be who I really was I had to quit.
In the year since I’ve stopped drinking I’ve experienced the most enjoyable period of my life. I’ve done things and visited places I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve met innumerable people who have had a profound impact on my life. I’ve learned the value and incredible reward of experiencing all my life, its hardships, its emotions and its triumphs purely with no adulteration. I’m not here to convince you to stop drinking. Nor am I hear to demonize it. As a bartender at a craft-beer only alehouse in Seattle I greatly enjoyed getting paid to taste the many delicious styles of brews, spirits and cocktails. What I am saying is it was the right decision for me. Abstaining has changed my life only for the better. It didn’t make me weird. It didn’t make a social misfit. In fact I’ve laughed and had more fun than I ever did when I drank. And if you’re like me and have felt for a while that quitting for good might be the best thing for you I encourage you to be brave and strong enough to go for it. If you remain open and unapologetic the universe will provide you with a support system of like-minded people almost immediately. It happened to me. Your life will only change for the better. If I can help in any way please don’t hesitate to send me a message.

 

Daily Meditation:

Last year I made a lot of big decisions. I quit my job of six years at an internet startup. I decided to become a yoga teacher. I formally took refuge in the Buddha, the dharma and the Sangha. I decided to go on an extended trip through Asia. And I also made the decision to get and stay sober. Of all of these changes that last one was arguably the biggest.

Alcohol has a powerful place in our culture. Alcohol is a means to relax, socialize, celebrate, experiment, expand your palate and just have a great time, man. To abstain from it is to risk being marginalized or stigmatized as…psst..*looks around*…an alcoholic. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. In fact, for every one person who thinks I’m weird for not drinking I get two people who take the time to shake my hand and tell me they respect me for my choice and one who wishes they could do the same.

I quit drinking for a lot of reasons. Practically, it was a big distraction during a time in my life I couldn’t afford any. I was working four, ten hour days at my big kid job and spending 15 hours a week in yoga school. Add on top of that my regular yoga practice, reading, homework and classes at the local monastery and between them you easily have 70 hours a week. I couldn’t afford to wake up late, foggy and not at my best. The things I was doing meant too much to me.

I also recognized how much of my life was spent on a barstool. And honestly, it disturbed me. I have friends who own a great brewery and pub, working at which helped to finance my trip, and many others who own or work at bars and restaurants. To see them required a drink or two or five hours later being at your sixth bar and talking about who is closing where and whether you can get there in time for post last-call shenanigans. While I love those friends and value them greatly I was tired of feeling like I was wasting my life in dark rooms with loud music having great conversations about nothing of consequence. Drinking also represented a drain financially at a time where I had set a non-negotiable departure date for my trip, if only in my head, and thus really needed to be conservative with my money.

But most of all I felt I was compromising my personal integrity. While reserved and mild mannered, I am an all out kind of person. I don’t do moderation well. Case and point, I wanted to be a businessman so I became a traveling sales executive at 22. I was not the type of person, despite the endless list of instances where I insisted it was the case, to only have one beer. Or smoke one bowl. Or share one kiss. Or, well you get the idea. Therefore for me to honestly pursue my most pure self boundaries and discipline are something that must be part of the equation. When I chose to become a yoga teacher it was not because I was enamored by the practice, although I am, it was because I felt called to serve. To educate. To help other’s live a happy, fulfilled, empowered life the way my teachers had helped me. How could I honestly stand in front of a class and talk about discipline, morality, patience, surrender, change, courage, humility and the pursuit of self actualization if I was not myself exhibiting those traits? How could I ever hope to achieve mastery of my mind if I had to poison myself to subdue it? For me drinking represented holding myself back. Compromising the person I knew I could be for a few laughs and a delicious buzz. In order to teach and share peace, self love and respect I had to first possess it for myself. In short, to be who I really was I had to quit.

In the year since I’ve stopped drinking I’ve experienced the most enjoyable period of my life. I’ve done things and visited places I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve met innumerable people who have had a profound impact on my life. I’ve learned the value and incredible reward of experiencing all my life, its hardships, its emotions and its triumphs purely with no adulteration. I’m not here to convince you to stop drinking. Nor am I hear to demonize it. As a bartender at a craft-beer only alehouse in Seattle I greatly enjoyed getting paid to taste the many delicious styles of brews, spirits and cocktails. What I am saying is it was the right decision for me. Abstaining has changed my life only for the better. It didn’t make me weird. It didn’t make a social misfit. In fact I’ve laughed and had more fun than I ever did when I drank. And if you’re like me and have felt for a while that quitting for good might be the best thing for you I encourage you to be brave and strong enough to go for it. If you remain open and unapologetic the universe will provide you with a support system of like-minded people almost immediately. It happened to me. Your life will only change for the better. If I can help in any way please don’t hesitate to send me a message.

 

Daily Meditation:

One of the reasons our actions are so important is because they are the only way we have to express the world in our heads within the world we share with everyone else. Actions are the furthest progression of thought and each represents a choice. In fact, despite our insistence to the contrary our actions are one of the only things in life we can actually control. This coupled with the impermanent nature of all material things means our actions are also our only true possessions. They are the only thing we can ever actually own. We are the sum of the choices, or actions, we make.

As we begin to accept these truths we are compelled to accept responsibility for our lives. We realize our frustrations or perceived shortcomings are our own making. Our happiness and success are in our own hands. There is no one else steering our ship. Along with this responsibility comes a sense of empowerment. A sense that we can determine our own destiny. If we are not satisfied with the direction we are headed we can change course. We can start over. We don’t have to react to life. We can choose where we go. The only things holding us back are our fear and lack of humility. Fear of change and our inability to admit that what we had been doing wasn’t working.

However, it is not enough to simply know this. Knowing something intellectually is easy. However, knowing it deep down inside of us. Making that knowledge part of our soul, part of our being, part of who we are is more challenging. And applying that knowledge. Acting upon it is a choice. We sear this knowledge within us by sitting with in. By meditating on the aforementioned truth s of action and incorporating it into our personal ethos. By reprogramming how we view our life and our mobility within it. We act upon it by daily creating small, easily accomplished tasks that direct us to our desired destination. We shed mental clutter and develope routines that focus our mind and fuel our motivation.

Life is not a sprint, its a marathon and with a thousand steps strung together we can reach the fulfillment of self actualization. But first you must choose. You must choose to take control of your life. You must stop reacting to what happens in it and start choosing what you want for yourself. You must create the life you’ve always dreamed of for yourself. There is no reason to wait. We all have a set number of breaths. You have no way to know how many you have left, but you do get to decide how you use them. Choose to spend them acting.

Daily Meditation:

One of the reasons our actions are so important is because they are the only way we have to express the world in our heads within the world we share with everyone else. Actions are the furthest progression of thought and each represents a choice. In fact, despite our insistence to the contrary our actions are one of the only things in life we can actually control. This coupled with the impermanent nature of all material things means our actions are also our only true possessions. They are the only thing we can ever actually own. We are the sum of the choices, or actions, we make.

As we begin to accept these truths we are compelled to accept responsibility for our lives. We realize our frustrations or perceived shortcomings are our own making. Our happiness and success are in our own hands. There is no one else steering our ship. Along with this responsibility comes a sense of empowerment. A sense that we can determine our own destiny. If we are not satisfied with the direction we are headed we can change course. We can start over. We don’t have to react to life. We can choose where we go. The only things holding us back are our fear and lack of humility. Fear of change and our inability to admit that what we had been doing wasn’t working.

However, it is not enough to simply know this. Knowing something intellectually is easy. However, knowing it deep down inside of us. Making that knowledge part of our soul, part of our being, part of who we are is more challenging. And applying that knowledge. Acting upon it is a choice. We sear this knowledge within us by sitting with in. By meditating on the aforementioned truth s of action and incorporating it into our personal ethos. By reprogramming how we view our life and our mobility within it. We act upon it by daily creating small, easily accomplished tasks that direct us to our desired destination. We shed mental clutter and develope routines that focus our mind and fuel our motivation.

Life is not a sprint, its a marathon and with a thousand steps strung together we can reach the fulfillment of self actualization. But first you must choose. You must choose to take control of your life. You must stop reacting to what happens in it and start choosing what you want for yourself. You must create the life you’ve always dreamed of for yourself. There is no reason to wait. We all have a set number of breaths. You have no way to know how many you have left, but you do get to decide how you use them. Choose to spend them acting.

(via shakriel)

mymodernmet:

Renowned Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei has just launched his largest solo exhibition to date, called Evidence, in Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau. The show is expansive, sprawling across 3,000 square meters and 18 rooms. The centerpiece of the exhibit is an installation called Stools, which features a staggering number of 6,000 wooden stools arranged in the atrium.

Evidence will be on display from April 3 to July 7.

(via kind-of-like-spitting)

Daily Meditation:

Let’s talk about perspective. Its a valuable thing to possess. It keeps us focused on what is important. It makes trivial inconveniences wholly manageable. It reminds us why we do the things we do. Today so many of us are addicted to being busy. We have to do this and then run to do that and then pick up this and I don’t know if I’ll have time but I really need to figure out how to get this done. “There are not enough hours in the day!” We overschedule ourselves…and the truth  is as much as it stresses us out, we like it. Why else would we keep doing it? Well if I don’t do this, this will never happen and Suzy will never be a well rounded human being and people will think that about me. We get attached to the rush and the frantic madness of trying to fit square pegs into round holes so that at the end of the day we can sit back with our cup of booze, exhale and feel good about ourselves. I was a good little ant today! And then we wake up and do it all over again.

But why? What is the underlying purpose of your checklist? What is really motivating you to run around like a decapitated hen? What’s the bigger picture? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself these questions? In Buddhism there is the idea that when faced with a difficult choice or situation you ask yourself, “At the moment of my death will this matter?” It admittedly seems a bit extreme, sure, but its a question that immediately puts things into perspective. We hear all the time about cancer survivors or people with near death experiences who, “See the world differently now.” and go on to do amazing things. And we admire them for it, as we should, but you don’t have to wait for something really scary or terrible to happen to shift your view. The difference is they had no choice but to change their outlook, in some cases it is a survival tactic. For others the result of an intimate confrontation with the disorder of their priorities. They stopped staring at the leaf as if it was the only piece of foliage left in the world and looked up to find a big, beautiful, blossoming tree.

This isn’t to say tasks don’t matter or we should be lazy. Rather, that we remind ourselves why we do the things we do with the understanding that some may not be as critical as we convince ourselves they are. In fact, very few are. So next time you’re tense, you’re feeding off that adrenaline like a morphine drip as you stress about how you’re going to get everything accomplished stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Will this matter tomorrow?” then “Next week?” followed by, “Next month? Next year? In 5 years? 10 years? At the moment of my death?”This will tell you where on your list of priorities things should lie. This will help you drop the leaf and take in the beautiful forest of perspective. Don’t allow your tightly framed focus blind you to the perfect life you already have. Your life is not an exercise in crisis management. Your life is not a leaf.

Daily Meditation:

Let’s talk about perspective. Its a valuable thing to possess. It keeps us focused on what is important. It makes trivial inconveniences wholly manageable. It reminds us why we do the things we do. Today so many of us are addicted to being busy. We have to do this and then run to do that and then pick up this and I don’t know if I’ll have time but I really need to figure out how to get this done. “There are not enough hours in the day!” We overschedule ourselves…and the truth is as much as it stresses us out, we like it. Why else would we keep doing it? Well if I don’t do this, this will never happen and Suzy will never be a well rounded human being and people will think that about me. We get attached to the rush and the frantic madness of trying to fit square pegs into round holes so that at the end of the day we can sit back with our cup of booze, exhale and feel good about ourselves. I was a good little ant today! And then we wake up and do it all over again.

But why? What is the underlying purpose of your checklist? What is really motivating you to run around like a decapitated hen? What’s the bigger picture? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself these questions? In Buddhism there is the idea that when faced with a difficult choice or situation you ask yourself, “At the moment of my death will this matter?” It admittedly seems a bit extreme, sure, but its a question that immediately puts things into perspective. We hear all the time about cancer survivors or people with near death experiences who, “See the world differently now.” and go on to do amazing things. And we admire them for it, as we should, but you don’t have to wait for something really scary or terrible to happen to shift your view. The difference is they had no choice but to change their outlook, in some cases it is a survival tactic. For others the result of an intimate confrontation with the disorder of their priorities. They stopped staring at the leaf as if it was the only piece of foliage left in the world and looked up to find a big, beautiful, blossoming tree.

This isn’t to say tasks don’t matter or we should be lazy. Rather, that we remind ourselves why we do the things we do with the understanding that some may not be as critical as we convince ourselves they are. In fact, very few are. So next time you’re tense, you’re feeding off that adrenaline like a morphine drip as you stress about how you’re going to get everything accomplished stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Will this matter tomorrow?” then “Next week?” followed by, “Next month? Next year? In 5 years? 10 years? At the moment of my death?”This will tell you where on your list of priorities things should lie. This will help you drop the leaf and take in the beautiful forest of perspective. Don’t allow your tightly framed focus blind you to the perfect life you already have. Your life is not an exercise in crisis management. Your life is not a leaf.

Lumbini love.

Lumbini love.

Daily Meditation:
There are few guarantees in life. We’ve all heard this. We were born, duh, and despite how much we refuse to talk or think about it will we also die. Another universal truth is that of impermanence. The reach, power and scope of change is absolute. It applies to humans, mountains, galaxies and energy with little variance. Even Gods wax and wane with popularity and cultural priorities. How many people do you know who still make offerings to Athena??
So how can you use this knowledge in your daily life? One of the great things about yoga is it inherently teaches us about change. In the pose you absolutely hate? Wait 3 breaths and you’ll move on. Really tight and uncomfortable? Relax with your exhale and feel your muscles lengthen taking you deeper. The same applies to a regular meditation practice. Is your monkey mind jumping from thought to thought with reckless abandon for stillness? Wait. Eventually it will run out of places to visit and as you continue to observe your breath your thoughts will slow. Still haven’t had that mega, huge, life changing breakthrough? Wait. Its coming I promise. But if you get anxious and give up, well I guarantee it never will.
The trick to using change to your advantage is not to fight it, but to accept it fully and roll with it. Accepting change, especially change we don’t desire, is easier said than done but it requires two things, surrendering control and patience. Again, this is why a yoga and meditation practice is so helpful. These lessons are built in. Giving up control for many people is one of the most difficult things they will do in their life. Control makes us feel safe, secure and in charge. The problem is it’s a lie. It’s a coping mechanism. If you think about it there are very few things in your life you can actually control aside from your actions. Patience for some may be just as challenging. In today’s world of go, go, go; now, now, now and the conditioning for instant gratification we get from social media and our convenience obsessed consumer culture practicing patience is a lost art. However take a moment to think of a time in your life where you were really, really, really upset. You truly experienced and knew suffering. Now ask yourself, was I being patient? Was I giving up control? Chances are your answer is a big N-O to at least one if not both of those questions. You see by attaching to our ego and trying to impose our will on the universe. By deciding things are meant to go this way because that’s how we arbitrarily decided they should due to the convenience it affords us we create so many problems for ourselves. We create our own suffering and stress. Sometimes life is really, really hard. But if you try to fight change with stubbornness and force you will always lose. Even mountains lose. Even planets lose. By doing this you only add fuel to the fire of your torment.
So become a champion of change. Welcome it. Give up control and open yourself up to the new possibilities change brings. Have the patience to learn the lessons change is offering and then make change work for you. Because its coming no matter what. It’s happening right now. You can fight it if you want, but its much more useful as an ally.

Daily Meditation:

There are few guarantees in life. We’ve all heard this. We were born, duh, and despite how much we refuse to talk or think about it will we also die. Another universal truth is that of impermanence. The reach, power and scope of change is absolute. It applies to humans, mountains, galaxies and energy with little variance. Even Gods wax and wane with popularity and cultural priorities. How many people do you know who still make offerings to Athena??

So how can you use this knowledge in your daily life? One of the great things about yoga is it inherently teaches us about change. In the pose you absolutely hate? Wait 3 breaths and you’ll move on. Really tight and uncomfortable? Relax with your exhale and feel your muscles lengthen taking you deeper. The same applies to a regular meditation practice. Is your monkey mind jumping from thought to thought with reckless abandon for stillness? Wait. Eventually it will run out of places to visit and as you continue to observe your breath your thoughts will slow. Still haven’t had that mega, huge, life changing breakthrough? Wait. Its coming I promise. But if you get anxious and give up, well I guarantee it never will.

The trick to using change to your advantage is not to fight it, but to accept it fully and roll with it. Accepting change, especially change we don’t desire, is easier said than done but it requires two things, surrendering control and patience. Again, this is why a yoga and meditation practice is so helpful. These lessons are built in. Giving up control for many people is one of the most difficult things they will do in their life. Control makes us feel safe, secure and in charge. The problem is it’s a lie. It’s a coping mechanism. If you think about it there are very few things in your life you can actually control aside from your actions. Patience for some may be just as challenging. In today’s world of go, go, go; now, now, now and the conditioning for instant gratification we get from social media and our convenience obsessed consumer culture practicing patience is a lost art. However take a moment to think of a time in your life where you were really, really, really upset. You truly experienced and knew suffering. Now ask yourself, was I being patient? Was I giving up control? Chances are your answer is a big N-O to at least one if not both of those questions. You see by attaching to our ego and trying to impose our will on the universe. By deciding things are meant to go this way because that’s how we arbitrarily decided they should due to the convenience it affords us we create so many problems for ourselves. We create our own suffering and stress. Sometimes life is really, really hard. But if you try to fight change with stubbornness and force you will always lose. Even mountains lose. Even planets lose. By doing this you only add fuel to the fire of your torment.

So become a champion of change. Welcome it. Give up control and open yourself up to the new possibilities change brings. Have the patience to learn the lessons change is offering and then make change work for you. Because its coming no matter what. It’s happening right now. You can fight it if you want, but its much more useful as an ally.

Happy Songkran from Chiang Mai!! (at วัดพันอ้น (Wat Phan-Ohn))

Happy Songkran from Chiang Mai!! (at วัดพันอ้น (Wat Phan-Ohn))

Daily Meditation: 

What do you really want in life? Like, really. Don’t just answer. Take a moment. Be informed by your instinct. Listen to your natural intuition and then investigate it. Ask it questions. Explore. Question. If you’re answer is a material thing throw it out. If you’re answer is a situation, what is it? If you’re answer is a feeling, you might be on to something. Get down to the core of what it is you want in your life, break it down to its smallest elements. If you do this what you’re likely to find is its simply, to be happy. Or perhaps, to put it another way, to be free of suffering. This is what every human in the history of humanity wants.

So, what are you doing about it? What are you doing about it daily? What are you doing right now? Where does happiness lie on your list of priorities? In life we don’t get something of value without giving something of value. So what do you do daily? Do you buy your coffee because you, “Have to have it?” Do you complain about a coworker or “friend” you don’t really like? Do you check your Facebook or Instagram account? How many times a day do you do these things? But can you name something you do consistently, at least daily, in an active, engaged pursuit of happiness?? I’ll say it again, to gain something of value you have to give something of value. Whether its your time, attention, money, resources, opportunities to do other things. All things have a cost. So if you’re answers to the previous questions were, “Well I don’t know.” or perhaps, “Nothing.” that is exactly what you’re going to get.

I don’t say this as a punitive statement. I say it to aid a shift in perspective. We all want something for cheap. Better yet, free. But the really important things in life, the best things, don’t come that way. We give our time to them, our attention, our focus. We even make sacrifices, sometimes extremely difficult ones, in order to achieve or preserve them. Our life is so extremely precious and its fleeting nature demands action if we are to gain that which we seek. To really realize this, to experience gratitude for our experience and opportunities and to actively work towards a sincerely happy, fulfilling life is to understand the value of our existence.

You get out what you put in. Stop working so much. Stop obsessing about the things you don’t like. Stop longing to be somewhere or with someone else. Start living in the here and now. Start realizing you hold the key to gaining everything you want. Start structuring your time to reflect the importance of happiness in your life. Start building a foundation for lasting and sustainable personal fulfillment. It will be worth it. Because what do we desire more than happiness? I can’t think of anything.

Daily Meditation:

What do you really want in life? Like, really. Don’t just answer. Take a moment. Be informed by your instinct. Listen to your natural intuition and then investigate it. Ask it questions. Explore. Question. If you’re answer is a material thing throw it out. If you’re answer is a situation, what is it? If you’re answer is a feeling, you might be on to something. Get down to the core of what it is you want in your life, break it down to its smallest elements. If you do this what you’re likely to find is its simply, to be happy. Or perhaps, to put it another way, to be free of suffering. This is what every human in the history of humanity wants.

So, what are you doing about it? What are you doing about it daily? What are you doing right now? Where does happiness lie on your list of priorities? In life we don’t get something of value without giving something of value. So what do you do daily? Do you buy your coffee because you, “Have to have it?” Do you complain about a coworker or “friend” you don’t really like? Do you check your Facebook or Instagram account? How many times a day do you do these things? But can you name something you do consistently, at least daily, in an active, engaged pursuit of happiness?? I’ll say it again, to gain something of value you have to give something of value. Whether its your time, attention, money, resources, opportunities to do other things. All things have a cost. So if you’re answers to the previous questions were, “Well I don’t know.” or perhaps, “Nothing.” that is exactly what you’re going to get.

I don’t say this as a punitive statement. I say it to aid a shift in perspective. We all want something for cheap. Better yet, free. But the really important things in life, the best things, don’t come that way. We give our time to them, our attention, our focus. We even make sacrifices, sometimes extremely difficult ones, in order to achieve or preserve them. Our life is so extremely precious and its fleeting nature demands action if we are to gain that which we seek. To really realize this, to experience gratitude for our experience and opportunities and to actively work towards a sincerely happy, fulfilling life is to understand the value of our existence.

You get out what you put in. Stop working so much. Stop obsessing about the things you don’t like. Stop longing to be somewhere or with someone else. Start living in the here and now. Start realizing you hold the key to gaining everything you want. Start structuring your time to reflect the importance of happiness in your life. Start building a foundation for lasting and sustainable personal fulfillment. It will be worth it. Because what do we desire more than happiness? I can’t think of anything.

Tourist boats waiting to take passengers to the incredible Tam Coc Caves near Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Tourist boats waiting to take passengers to the incredible Tam Coc Caves near Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Koh Tao, Thailand. If you go where I went its actually a very quiet, calm, peaceful place.

Koh Tao, Thailand. If you go where I went its actually a very quiet, calm, peaceful place.