The Unbearable Brightness of Being

Every single day bursts with opportunity. So much to see, so much to learn, and so much to do! Sometimes I can barely contain my happiness — how fortunate am I to be born on this bountiful planet — that too at a time when mankind is witnessing its greatest technological advances as well as a resurgence of spiritual values.

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At times it seems futile even to try and learn a single discipline — music, art, engineering, photography — each worth several lifetimes of study.

How much could I possibly grasp in this infinitesimal interval which I have been given — to play, to live, to learn, to give?

Challenges, doubts, distractions and obstacles abound; yet they pale in comparison to the overwhelming good it has been my humble privilege to witness. Helping hands in an apparently selfish world; simple, innocent love in a place where trust is reported absent; abundance and generosity where lack would seem to loom large.

And running through it all like a leitmotif — wonderful, complex music coupled with moments of utter stillness, Samadhi (higher level of concentrated meditation). The Master’s grace wafts through this existence, a fragrance of rose and sandalwood, turning each breath into intense prayer.

It’s as though a giant hand obliterates the din, the traffic, the pollution, the crime and the grime in a fraction of a second; I stand renewed, recharged and refreshed — helplessly and hopelessly unable to express my bliss.

Cheers to my beautiful life, Los Angeles and the people who have made it worth living for!

Love

SS

PS: Its officially Shubham Singh now…so SS made more sense;)

Posted from my MacBook Air

How to Make Everyone in the World Like You

Do you want to be liked by everyone in the world? Here’s what you need to do for each and every person you want to be friends with:

Read on::

Approve of everything they do

Put their needs ahead of yours at all times

Stay submissive

Feed to their ego

Follow their schedule

Listen to their stories

Admire their lives

Do what they want you to do

Stay in touch with them at the level that is comfortable for them.

Don’t need or demand anything from them – they can take care of their duties and responsibilities themselves.

As contrived as this list seems, we do tend to do these things at the beginning of a relationship, and quite naturally too. We want them to like us. We want to make them feel special and loved.

At the start of any kind of friendship or relationship, people tend to be on their best behaviour. Everything seems to flow easily, effortlessly and seamlessly. Oleg Torsunov describes this period of a relationship as commercial or a movie trailer/preview. This period is a “preview” or advertisement for what your relationship with this person COULD be like IF you both do all the self development work that you need to do to work on yourself to achieve personal growth.

Of course, people tend to slip back into old habits, and trying to make someone like you starts to get more tiresome, and then you end up with a relationship which is astonishingly different to how it was at the beginning. And you wonder…what happened?!

Under the assumption that you didn’t do anything drastic to really piss someone off, do you ever wonder why friendships can suddenly turn sour?

(I’m speaking more about friendships here, because when you are in a relationship, you tend to have more of an obligation to eachother, and since you will probably monitor your feelings for eachother on a day to day basis, it’s unlikely you will be too surprised)

The reason people start disliking you over time, is because you probably stop doing some of these things. This is the dark side of trying to make everyone like you.

There is a fine balance between being liked and being respected. Up to a certain point you can (and should) have both. But once you cross a certain threshold, it becomes an either/or scenario. They either like you or they respect you. The more you worry about making someone like you, the less they will respect you.

Does this mean I am suggesting to be respected by everybody and not put any emphasis on being liked? Nope!

But I do think it’s more important to work on yourself and become a likeable person, rather than a person who tries to be liked.

If you google “How to be a nice person” I’m sure you will get a plethora of information that will instruct you how to be “nice”. But y’all should know that instinctively already.

So here are some other points I think are equally important in making yourself a likable person:

Keep your conscience clear

Likeable people tend to want to keep a clear conscience, whereas people who want to be liked tend to feel like they need to self censor.

Your conscience is your own responsibility and yours alone. Similarly, it is not your responsibility to pass judgement on other people’s conscience. The only thing you have to do is try to keep your conscience clear. Do things with integrity and do the best you can. Know your strengths and limitations.

2 Examples of feelings that taint your conscience are:

1) The feeling that you should have done more.

2) The feeling that you did something intentionally to harm someone.

You can control these feelings by controlling your actions. You can control your actions by having a little bit of self-awareness through self-inquiry. Try to eliminate these feelings by

1) Doing what you should do. Fulfill your duties and responsibilities to that person completely. Make sure you know your strengths and limitations, and let them know it too. Let the other person know what you are capable of doing and what you are not capable of doing for them. If you have the feeling that you should have done more, the way to correct it is to do what you should have done. And if that is too late, open your heart, and ask the universe to give you another opportunity to redeem yourself. You will be given this opportunity in time.

2) To eliminate the feeling that you did something intentionally to harm someone you must correct your Karma.  The first step is forgiveness. You should ask for forgiveness, although you may not be granted it by the person you have wronged. That’s okay. You need to ask the universe for forgiveness. By doing this the universe will give you opportunities to correct your Karma, through your life. You must work through what life will show you. It may not always be easy, but if you work through your Karma correctly, this feeling will fade away over time. (More on this in the next point) Other things that may help with this feeling, is taking the time to understand why you were motivated to intentionally cause suffering to another person. If you did not do it with the intention of making someone suffer, you need to ask someone how this resulted as a by-product.

And of course, to avoid this feeling, we need to try not to cause any deliberate harm to others.

Correct and work through your Karma

Likeable people tend to correct and work through their karma, whereas people who want to be liked need immediate harmony.

Everybody has their own Karma. It is wise to begin to correct, clear and work through your own karma, while you maintain friendships. If you ignore your Karma, then you enter a friendship with a person who also has their own Karma, and you can get confused about what is yours and what is theirs, and what you need to do to become “clean”. It’s best to start working on yourself first.

Karma is very easy to spot, because it’s what you are going through in your life right now. There is good Karma and bad Karma, but they too are just labels that we put on it to make sense of it. When something happens that causes us pleasure we call it “good karma” and when something bad happens that causes us suffering to work through it, we call it “bad Karma”. But in the universe there isn’t any “good” or “bad”, there is just cause and effect.

Look at all the “sore spots” in your life right now. When you work through your Karma correctly, the soreness will fade away.

To be a likeable person, we should be in charge of our karma, the good at the bad. We should have an idea of where it is in our lives, and how we are planning to work through it.

Fulfill your duties and responsibilities excellently.

Likeable people tend to fulfill their duties due to a strong sense of purpose and responsibility, whereas people who want to be liked only do the things that will result in them being liked.

We all have duties and responsibilities. If you think you the world owes you something, you are wrong. The world doesn’t “owe” you anything. In order to be a likeable person, we need to make sure we are fulfilling our duties. When we don’t fulfill our duties, we generate more Karma to work through, and people start to grow suspicious of us.

People are drawn to people who have a sense of responsibility and purpose in this world. Finding your life’s purpose begins by accomplishing all your existing responsibilities and duties right now.

Examples of duties are: Your responsibilities as a student, a parent, a worker, a friend, an artist, a teacher, a healer etc…

Serve your community.

Likeable people tend to want to create a good life for their community, whereas people who want to be liked feel that their community owes them a good life.

Likeable people tend to exist in places outside of their own little head space. Give back to your community in whatever way you can. Reserve part of your time and energy to contribute to something of a larger scale than your own needs or just the needs of your closest family.

Do things that add value to your life, and to peoples lives.

Likeable people are valuable people, whereas people who want to be liked need to be liked by people who can bring value to them.

Likable people are valuable people. People just want to be liked don’t tend to bring much value. Likeable people are valuable to themselves, to the people around them, and to society. You become a valuable person by adding things of value in these different levels of your life. Go through the three levels and ask yourself:

How can I make myself a more valuable person?

Educating yourself? Pursuing hobbies and interests? Developing your body? Becoming a better parent? What qualities do I need to train myself to have to engage in personal growth?

How can I make myself more valuable to my friends and family?

How can I help my friends and family without taking away their independence?  How can I live my life as an example? How can I become a better daughter/son/friend/sister/brother? 

How can I make myself more valuable to society?

What new ideas can I bring to my community? What can I offer my community? How can I make my community a better place? How can I be a better worker at my job? What skills do I have? What can I teach?

Be a calm person.

Likeable people tend to develop their calmness, whereas people who want to be liked tend to develop their appeal.

As I mentioned in a previous post, something I really want to work on is an inner wealth of calm and peace. Likeable people tend to develop their calmness, whereas people who want to be liked tend to develop their appeal (beauty, sex, sense of humour, zesty personality – And while these are okay to develop, a solid sense of calmness and peace must first be established. Beauty, sex, confidence, humour, zest  are all very subjective and depend on a time and a place. Sometimes it is appropriate, sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is tasteful, sometimes it is vulgar. Sometimes it is appreciated, and sometimes not.)

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At the end of the day, not everybody is going to like you. This is a hard lesson for me to learn, but I am slowly becoming more and more comfortable with it. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

It’s easy to get caught up in the need to be liked. When this happens, I just have to check myself. I have to ask myself – is it more important to be respected or liked right now? Am I focusing so much on being liked that have I neglected being likeable?

Hmmm…. now I don’t know how to end this post eloquently so….adios peeps!!

Cheers

Good to be back!!

S

Posted from my MacBook Pro

Life Lessons from a Pup – by Bruno

Hi. I’m Bruno. I’m Shubi’s puppy. Here’s what I know about life.

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1. Never underestimate the power of puppy dog eyes.

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2. When life throws you a stick – take it!

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3. When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

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4. If you walk around with your tongue hanging out, pretty soon, you’re gonna get some dirt on it.

5. Always respect the one who feeds you, bathes you, keeps you safe, trains you and picks up after your shit.

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6. If you want to find the shit, follow the flies.

7. Sometimes there is just nothing to do but to take a nap.

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8. Always be excited when someone comes to the door. Whether they have been at work for 9 hours, or if they have literally stepped out of the door to pick up the newspaper and stepped back in, always show the same level of extreme excitement.

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9. It is completely reasonable to expect cuddles in the morning after you wake up. It is even okay to bug people until you get it.

10. It doesn’t matter if it’s a $5 treat or a 25 cent treat. A treat is a treat and I’m gonna eat it in under 0.5 milliseconds anyway.

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11. When in doubt, sometimes the best thing to do is to chase your tail until clarity comes.

12. There is nothing more fun than making friends.

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13. If you can’t help someone with housework, sometimes just hanging around and providing friendly company is enough.

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14. In life, you must always find your own patch of sunlight, and lie in it.

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15. Run with your crowd.

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16. If you want to reach your dreams, you have to jump high.

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17. There is nothing more peaceful than watching the sunset.

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18. When you get to the top of your mountain, it is okay to rest.

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I love you BrunoSmileDog face

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How to make time for the things you love to do

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Occasionally somebody will ask me “How do you even find time to write in your blog?” and this question is a strange concept for me. The only answer I can think of is – I find time to write in my blog because I love writing in my blog.

You can replace “time to write in your blog” with pretty much anything.

Another question I get asked a lot is “Don’t you find it difficult to cook during exams and stuff?

Once again, same answer. I find time to cook (and not only take the cooking stuff, but all the other many aspects of being a cooking freak – which is finding time to generate inspiration for a good meal, to try making new dishes and of course taste them) because I freakin’ love cooking!

Is it difficult for me to do it? No. I love it, so it’s easy. I love it so cooking is my pleasure, not my job. It’s so simple.

You can replace “time for writing in your blog” to “cooking” to “cooking” to “listening music” to “reading comics” to “dancing” to pretty much anything you do just because you like to do it.

How do you make time for it?

You make time for it because you like to make time for it. That is the single best incentive for making time for something.

You don’t really consider “making time to shower” or “making time to eat” because you like doing them. You like the end result (being clean and full!) and perhaps you even like the process too.

So the excuse “I love to ____, but I don’t have time for it” just doesn’t cut it for me…aka “not my lookout” brother!

This essentially translate to “I think I enjoy doing ____, but at the moment I have to prioritize something else in my life.”

And that’s okay too! We only have 24 hours in the day, and we have to choose wisely how we want to spend our time – it is an important life skill to learn. Another important life skill we have to learn is to stop making excuses.

So if you are still stuck under the belief that you don’t have enough time or space in your life for something you would like to do, here are some tips to create some more space in your life:

How to make time for the things you love to do:

1. Stop doing things you don’t love to do or need to do.

It’s pretty obvious that we won’t always love to do everything we need to do. Sometimes we need to do things because we will love the end product. You might not LOVE getting up and going to work from 9-5, but you love the financial stability it gives you – which in turns allows you to create a life that you love.

Then there are the things and you definitely don’t NEED to do all that much, that you might enjoy doing from time to time, but don’t need to do it in excessive amounts. Make a list. Examples could be: Going on facebook for 5 hours a day, watching tonns of TV etc.

I’m not suggesting that TV or facebook is “bad”, but this is time that you could use for these things you “love” to do, and you need to determine which is more of a priority to you at this time in your life.

2. Find out how to be more efficient at the things you do need to do.

The things we “need” to do can sometimes feel like they get in the way of the things we truly “want” to do. One way to start minimizing this belief is to learn how to become more energy and time efficient with the things that we do need to do. Some examples of these types of activities  could be cleaning your home, cooking, laundry, studying. How could you make your engagement in these activities more effective and efficient? How could you get things done to a higher standard, but faster than you have been doing them.

For example, when it comes to cooking (which I assume is something we all need to do), to be more time efficient, we could:

  • Cook in bulk and freeze the left overs so you can eat it on the days you don’t really feel like cooking.
  • Create a meal plan for the week and shop accordingly, so that “O.M.G it is 9:00pm on Monday, I am completely ravenous, and I have no idea WHAT to cook” does not happen.
  • Repeat your favorite recipes so that you can prepare them faster without thinking much about it.

3. Decide what you want to do more of in your day.

You must choose your priorities and commit to them. If someone asked me what is important to me in my daily schedule (if not daily, pretty darn close to daily), I could literally list them off. This is what is important to me:

  • Studying
  • My personal relationships
  • Cooking
  • Keeping things organized and clean.
  • Clicking photos
  • Writing in my blog
  • Manchester United/ soccer matches
  • Reading/learning
  • Meditation/ My spiritual connection.

That is my life right now. My priorities shift occasionally depending on outward circumstances. For example, during exam time, a few of those bad boys get knocked off the list to provide me with extra time to study – just because I know that is what I have to focus on. But for the majority of the time; this is my life. It is a wonderful concoction of things that allow me to express myself creatively, intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually while simultaneously keeping up with the things in life that I personally feel I need to do. But I want to do everything on that list.

I want to be rich, so I want to study. I want to have a beautiful home, so I want to clean. I want to eat and share delicious meals, so I want to cook. You get the idea…brother?!?Nerd smile

I also am not being too hard on myself and promising myself that I will do everything every day. Because come on – watch soccer every day? Let’s be realistic here and not be so organized that I suck the fun out of a hobby. I watch soccer when I want to and I won’t do it when I don’t want to, but in my heart I know it is a passion and something that I will always allocate time, energy and love to. That’s why it’s on my list.

We might not have the same list. You might not choose to prioritize “photography” or “reading” or “dancing”, because maybe it just isn’t your joy. Maybe instead you would have other joys, such as “watching the best latest movie releases” or “your business” or “playing the guitar”. It really is a very personal thing. What is important to you? What connections are meaningful to you and important for you to maintain and strengthen?

If you can’t answer this question, you might find that you are not completely satisfied with your day, and yet still find yourself “busy” all the time, doing things you don’t really want to do!

So. Figure it out.

Make sure you are selective about what hobbies you choose to commit to. It’s very difficult to commit fully to many different hobbies and interests. It’s better to choose a couple that really make you excited, and excel fully at them.

4. Schedule time in your day for it.

Ok, so now you know what you want to do, now you have to make time for it. It shouldn’t be hard if you really and truly love it, and want it. If you want to make time for exercise in your day because that is important for you, just set your timetable and affirm to yourself that you will go to the gym 4 times a week from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

This is your new schedule now.

Don’t tell me that you don’t have time. You have time. I have time. We all have time. Remember, we all have the same amount of time in our day – 24 hours. Some people make magic in that time. Wake up earlier if you have to.Smile

Our goal is to get to a stage where we are consciously doing everything we do in our day because we want to do them.

To go to sleep each night feeling satisfied that we have made steps forward.

To go to sleep each night knowing that we are pursuing the things that mean the most to us.

To know that we are in control of our time and how we spend it.

The other day Mom and I were talking about this very topic – how we have to prioritize what is important and make sure everything is happening in a nice harmonious balance throughout our day, and how there is nothing really in our daily schedule that we don’t want, or that is taking more space and time than we would like it to. I asked her what kind of things make her really happy, and what things need to happen in her day to make her feel good.

She said “Well, my life makes me happy.

And I don’t think you could get a much better answer than that.

So our final goal of this blog post, is to get to a point where we can confidently affirm that we are living by example. And that if anyone asked you what makes you happy, you would be able to tell them – hey, you know what, my life makes me happy!!Smile

Cheerio!Hot smile

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