From the desk of a psychologist!

Posts tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Building Tolerance

They say awareness is the key to fight any kind of epidemic, orthodox, illogical belief system & for that matter even our survival or any kind of success . The awareness & knowledge of the holiness of a cow in Featured imageone religion is as important as the significance of sacrificing a goat in other.

I was delighted to see my children being educated about the various Indian festivals in the same way
I was. They got Ramayana to read and I am sure this will give them great insight about how goodness prevails all.
Religion,one of the best ways to inculcate values in the young, impressionable minds.Teach them about Dusshera/Diwali, Eid, Bakried, Baisakhi, Christmas, Easter,Paryushana Parva, Mahavir Jayanti, Pesach, Shavout, Gahanbar….to name a few! Tell you honestly had to refer to google to find out about the main festivals of India ( I am not even talking about the world).
But to actually start thinking on these lines we have to deal with our demons first, our biases,prejudices & lack of awareness. Intolerance creeps out of ignorance.Education shouldn’t be limited to books. Lets create awareness which will gift us with tolerant, sensitive & openminded global young minds. A better me, us leading to a BETTER WORLD!!!

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The simple choice of happiness- Part 2

While reading the spiritual section of my newspaper today, I came across this incredible concept of happiness/unhappiness genes. This was an article by Mr. Rajiv Vij. It made so much sense, forced me to revisit my approach in dealing with happiness.

Presenting my adaptation of happiness/unhappiness genes, which actually is a sequel of my earlier post; The simple choice of happiness!

According to this article, some people are born with the happiness gene. They do get affected by sad or unhappy incidents but that doesn’t mean they get stuck there. You must have met or know a person like that. It also makes you wonder, how does Mr. X remain so cheerful at all times? The reason is out now…Mr. X is one of the lucky few, who are born with the happiness gene.

But, what about the rest of us?

Mr. Vij has put our influences for happiness under five main categories, coined under the acronym of ‘ MOODS’.  Understanding these will definitely facilitate the concept of choosing happiness.

1. ME : ‘ ME’ is our self centered instincts to take things personally.

Remember the famous poster in almost every other room which used to state our basic attitude of ‘ WHY ME?’   

How many of us could actually say with full guarantee that we take criticism very positively? Leave alone criticism, even a casual remark brings millions of doubts in our mind. We question ourselves at every step of our life. It is also very difficult for us to take compliments genuinely. We are always doubtful. We are scared of our successes and failures.

In our strides we understate the successful or happy moments ( Trust me, we get ample of it)  but as soon as there are tough situations we exaggerate it, making our life look like a journey full of thorns. This leads to the next section of O.

Mr. Vij says that we are not unique in any situation, whatever happens to us is universal. I would also like to add that we need to accept the world of duality. Pleasant lies side by side with unpleasant moments.

2. OVERWHELMED: The tendency to get totally consumed by unpleasant events.

It’s interesting to observe how we separate our positives in life from the rest of the events while as soon as it is negative, it wraps our whole daily life. We become sad and insist to be counted as born unlucky. Even if something pleasant happens we stop ourselves from feeling the happiness.

I would say always remember that positive thoughts decreases in half, while negative thoughts increases in double fold. Try to isolate life events, don’t let them overlap. It is a conscious choice which requires everyday effort.

3. OBSESSIVE:  This is our strong need to be perfect.

As in one of my posts, what if…if only? I talked about having an imaginary perfect world. We keep on comparing our present  life with this imaginary world. Whatever we have got , we are not happy, as it is not perfect.

It’s simple, if you want to be happy and contented, stop looking for it. When you look for something, you always have set parameters, let go of your criteria.

4. DIY:  ‘Do It Yourself’ yourself. No one should know that we are dealing with a problem. This thought again emerges from thinking that we are unique in our experience. We take it as a personal defect if someone comes to know about our struggle. We like to indulge in our problem, maximizing it by not sharing it with anyone.

The best way to empower yourself is by accepting our problem and seeking help. This needs a lot of strength and courage.

5. Set in Stone: The innate belief that the effect of any negative event will last forever. It feels that the journey of our life will be stuck with the unpleasantness.

Our life is divided into phases. Change is the only constant, it is always the darkest before the dawn.

Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.
Charlie Chaplin

Practical Spirituality

One useful thing which I have discovered from my sessions is the concept of ‘ Practical Spirituality’. Now, what on earth does this complicated word mean?

There are two basic kinds of human beings; the saints & the commoner.

The saints are those, who are free from the  boundaries of  greed, materialistic comfort, emotional needs or any temptation. They are the ones we seek to guide us. For them spirituality is a way of life and by looking at them we do get inspired but at the same time anything which they do seem very unapproachable to us. We take it as something which could only be appreciated but not replicated and in a way it is true that leading a saint like life is quite a challenge.

Let’s come to our level, i.e., a common man’s life. This life is full of challenges and comes with its own share of goods and bads. Everyday is a struggle between our angel and devil side. Some days the angel wins over the devil while some days the opposite happens. There is an ongoing war of choices going on inside us, which is mainly between right and wrong. It is always easier to pick up the wrongs because they come in attractive packages and also tempts us with the shortest route to our materialistic gains. But these choices somewhere also start damaging our inside harmony and disconnects us from ourselves.

The saints, we know, leave everything because the worldly glitter is too tempting. They don’t want distractions. Their main and only goal is to find the answers of their existence. They renounce to rediscover.

Our goal is mixed; we want to acquire in this world but also there is a need to understand our entity. There are various needs in us, ranging from materialistic , emotional to self actualization. When this need is not met, we become disturbed and restless. We start seeking answers from places which are incapable to do so. If the awareness of our real need doesn’t dawn on us, we start walking on a destructive path. We start filling our voids with unhealthy habits.

One major question here is:

Is it possible to find a midway which is spiritual but also connects us with this world?

I get this from a lot of people that Spirituality & Worldly are two opposite worlds. There is a strong belief that to find goodness you’ve to leave everything in this world and start living a monk life. I disagree strongly, Divine is inside us…Why are we convinced to find it in the outside world?  Sometimes a sacred bliss could be found in a simple worldly hug you give or receive from a person.

From this thought emerges the concept of ‘Practical Spirituality’. Find your connection to yourself, as worldly possible as it could be. For a common man, it is impossible to leave his responsibilities and obligations and go in search of himself. Even when he tries to lead a life as a good person, he has to consider a lot of pros and cons on an every day basis. Then why does he need to leave everything to be spiritual? Why can’t he find his road of spirituality embedded in his everyday life only?

Spirituality is a very simple concept ( No, it is not a typo).

It is trying to find an answer to your very existence, who are you & what is the purpose of your being in this world? We are all born with innate goodness and there is a lifelong magnetic attraction towards this divine part of us.   

For some, it takes ages to figure it out while for others it is there without even asking. It becomes more complicated when you start looking for it as a thing found rarely . This world is full of spiritual experiences, it is just that we tend to ignore it because we can’t believe that something so talked about could be found or experienced so easily.

Let’s talk about how can we be a part of this world and at the same time be as spiritual as possible:

  • The first step is to try to be a good human being, whether religious or not is another thing. Religion could be an excellent way of finding spirituality but not the only way.
  • Try not to hurt anyone’s feelings. It is very difficult to be at peace when you know you’ve disturbed someone else.
  • Sometimes just shut your mind & listen to your heart! This will connect you more to yourself than any other spiritual talk.
  • Have faith in a higher power.
  • Choose happiness & positives.
  • Stay away from being judgmental. Always try to be open-minded.
  • Live in the moment.

“There is a bridge to the sky within your soul and a doorway to healing and peace within your heart.

If we look inside and embrace our true essence we bless the source of life.”

– Micheal Teal

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