The illusion of reality

stein - The illusion of reality

 

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

 

Albert Einstein

 

We are what we think, we are what we eat, and we become who we hang around with.  I learned these lessons the hard way.  I sometimes have to question my own intelligence, I remember the days I watched hours of news, and then wondered why I suffered anxiety attacks.  I reminisce about the times I would eat pop-tarts for breakfast, and then questioned why I got so depressed.  I remember gossiping with my room-mate about other people, and then marveled how easy my brain could find the bad in anybody.  I was creating a miserable existence for myself.

 

I truly believe that our minds and bodies vibrate certain frequencies, just like a tuning fork or musical instrument.  And if I am vibrating negativity, then negativity will come to me, like a mouse coming to cheese.  I always knew our minds were powerful, but I never quite grasped the spectacle of how powerful it is.  This is true, most of the time the medications you are taking for your body do not work, but they do work because of your belief. 

 

So, I am going to make you happier, then you ever thought was possible, just through this one simple step:  All I want you to do, is say to yourself over and over again, for an entire day, “I am happy, and good things are coming to me.”  And I also want you to say it out-loud multiple times.  The power of belief, comes through repetition.  It really is that simple.  You say something enough, you begin to believe it, that is why companies sink millions into commercials, it is the power of repetition.  So, whatever you want in life, just say it, like it is already here.

 

Reality truly is a delusion, it is only the hypnotic spell we put ourselves under.  So, why not put yourself under the spell of happiness and success, instead of depression and sorrow.

 

I will be writing more about how to create your own reality through the week.  I hope you have a wonderful day, and please respond! I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

 

 

Frustration

moment

 

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

Elbert Hubbard

We all know that life is not fair, we should eliminate that word from our vocabulary, because for me, it causes anger. Fairness is one of those extremely vague, and general terms that we use, to try to make sense of the world.

With that being said, that is why I will not give up, and at the same time, not take this life so seriously.

Pain for me comes when I take things to seriously, when I feel I have to complete all my missions. I think real peace comes in when you let go, and just enjoy who you are in the moment.

I remember writing an article on frustration, and how to not be so frustrated. The ironic thing was, I was extremely frustrated while writing the article. I was frustrated that I didn’t have more subscribers, or more clients. I was frustrated that school was costing me so much, and that my job was paying so little. I was angry at how old I was becoming, and that there is nothing I can do to stop time.

That was when a big smile crossed my lips, and I realized how much all those things don’t matter. It is an illusion that all those things would bring me happiness. With that mind frame, if I had a thousand subscribers, I would then wish I had a million. If I had 50 clients, I would want a hundred. It was a terrible mind frame to have, that is why so many millionaires are unhappy, they still believe they are not making enough, and that life is treating them unfairly.

It all boils down to appreciating what we have in the moment, and enjoying the moment. Just feeling good where you are at.

That is achieved by turning off the conscious chatter, and looking at the sun rays that are splashed on your table or floor, looking at the shapes, and the miracle of light. It is done by hearing the drones of the cars outside, and the chirping of the birds, let their sounds free you of thought and worry.

It is knowing that everything is going to be OK, and that everything is OK.

I want to learn from you! Please join the discussion or join me on Twitter.

Have a wonderful day.

How to come out stronger, a quote by Chetan Bhagat

painting

 

“Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some Italians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.

Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.”
― Chetan Bhagat

Frustration if used right, is the energy, that gives you the power you need.

The choice of happiness

old-man

There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.

Buddha quote

 

It is hard to be happy. Sometimes I wonder if it is even a choice for some people. For some people, happiness is probably something that comes every once in a long while, like a harvest moon or a four leafed clover. I have talked to people who cannot even remember the last time they felt good, safe or felt things were going to be okay. Some people live out this life like it is a prison sentence, a lot of people are suffering alone, keeping their demons to themselves.   Some people are conditioned to keep their pain quiet, and their reasons are many.

I have a friend named Jake (not his real name), and he is probably one of the loneliest souls I ever met. He goes to work, and then comes home to watch television alone. He is going on 40 and has never had a real relationship, he will occasionally have a small fling, but rarely anything that lasts longer than a couple weeks. When he does muster the energy, he would go out to the bars and look for people to talk too, but then he would quickly run out of energy, and retreat home. When I asked him why he does not go out more, he tells me he is tired of being rejected.

So I am sure what ails him is more than just a negative attitude, but a complex web of genetics, chemical imbalances, socioeconomic factors and other things. He has the same attitude when it comes to getting help, he will begin the process, but then quickly run out of energy and optimism.   Or he will get help from the wrong people, making the situation even worse, causing him more anger and sadness, pushing him down further then he was before. So he then retreats into the dark recesses of his mind, going deeper into the void of his life, losing whatever inertia he had.

So I asked him what would make him happy, he shrugged his shoulders and then told me that if he had a girlfriend who loved him, and that he loved back. I then asked him, even if he was able to achieve that, would that truly bring him happiness? He gloomily looked at me and said, “dude, I really don’t know.”   So I then asked him, what if you just chose to be happy? He looked at me like I was crazy, and I guess I don’t blame him, because it seems we are always looking for outside circumstances or things to make us happy. But what if we just chose to be happy in the moment, no matter what the moment was?

My friend of course needed help to see that it was a choice. That is what my main goal is to do with this website. To have people receive help right on the spot, through certified counselors either it be one on one, or through a group chat. It is through support we get through pain. It is knowing that we are not alone, that gets us over the hump.   This though, is a blog for another day, I will be writing about it soon.

I am guilty of course of not choosing to be happy in the moment. I think that once I get that car, or that job, or have the respect I always wanted from the community, then happiness and satisfaction will inevitably be mine. I then realized though, this was a fallacy in my thinking, because once I achieved one thing, something else would pop up, something that I felt I needed, and I soon understood that the process would never end. I would always be looking to the future for my happiness, but the problem with the future is that it is always in the future, and I would forever only be in the present. So, why not just choose to be happy now? To not let the outside world influence my decision, just to say, hey, I choose to be happy, and then let myself be happy.   It really is a choice, we have just been conditioned not to think that way. If we were satisfied with just happiness, the capitalistic society would crash, because we would stop buying things we didn’t need.

I really would like to hear what you think, write back and tell me your thoughts.

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Little Box

genius

“Creativity takes courage. ”

Henri Matisse

Have you ever played the trumpet before? You should go pick one up, and start playing it. Just the act of doing something new, something completely different, will change the way you think. It will create different neural patterns in your mind. With new neural patterns comes a healthier mind, and a healthier mind decreases the chances of you getting dementia.

You say your seventy years old, and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, then forget about the trumpet, and start learning Japanese, or better yet, do both. Not only should you learn new tricks, at any age, but it is important for your mind, body and soul that you do. Your brain is just like a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Scientist have recently discovered that neurons can regenerate, that means you can become smarter at any age.

What’s that? You don’t have time to learn the trumpet or Japanese? It’s not relevant to your life. Now, not only should you learn the trumpet and Japanese, but you should also take some karate lessons. The fact you say you have no time, that it is not relevant, is a symptom of a “lazy” mind. The mind naturally does not want work out, just like most people would rather drive then ride a bicycle. It is imperative that you work that mind. A good working mind, has a better capacity of making better choices, and understanding empathy. A good mind is just more fun!

So, get your keister out that door, and learn something new. Anything, start small and build up. In fact, you can start so small, you can watch another television show, or just try a new cereal. Let’s get out of the box.

Tell me what you think! Please respond

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happiness

swings

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.

When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.”
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
– John Lennon (Singer, songwriter, 1940-1980)

I can remember the happiest time of my life…

I was seven, and I just heard the bells ring for recess. The air outside was warm, and full of electricity, probably because of the coming storm. The wind filled up my lungs as as I ran as fast as I could to the swings. In my mind they were not swings at all, but a spaceship of my creation.

I ran belly first onto the swing, launching myself into the air, my arms spread out in front of me like superman. I saw flashes of lightning, probably a thousand miles away, in the distant clouds. It just added to the excitement. I could smell popcorn in the distance, the school carnival was tonight. I would swing for the full fifteen minutes, pumping my legs, feeling the speed launch me into the air. When the bell rang, I jumped off the seat, feeling my body fall. I would land on the ground, and then roll because of the force of gravity. I liked the jolt I felt when I hit the earth, I pretended I was a G.I.-joe, and I just jumped from my helicopter in hot pursuit of Cobra.

We all sat down on the carpet inside the first grade room, which was the color of steel grey, and had all kinds of colorful stains on it from years of activities . It told the story of youth. The teacher read us the book, where the wild things are, and I was fascinated with the pictures of the giants, and how they danced with the little boy.

Life was simple back then, my parents and I went to the school festival later that night. The evening radiated with an orange light from the afterglow of the storm. I got my face painted as a tiger, and would roar at anyone who dared come my way. Back then, I didn’t even think about if I annoyed people, just never occurred to me. I wore my red oshkosh bibs, and my hair was a mess, just how I preferred it.

I won a gold-fish that night, and named it Tony after myself. They put the fish into a plastic bag, and later I had to put it into a lemonade pitcher, because I did not own a goldfish bowl (we’d get one the next day.) Later that night, I would lay in bed and stare at the glow of the sticker stars on my ceiling. Their glow was faint, melting into the darkness of the room, my eyes would then close.

If I ever lived in the moment, completely, it was then. I had no idea at that time, that one day the imagination I loved so much, would hurt me as an adult.

When I was a child, happiness was just there. It wasn’t something I had to work for, or read about how to achieve. It was just my natural state of mind. Today, it is a much different story, but that is for another post.

John Lennon was right, happiness is not something that is acquired over time, it is a state of mind. It is a choice. We can choose to be happy right here, right now.

I think later today I’m going to find some swings.

Please respond, I want to learn from you! Or join me on Twitter, or YouTube.  Click here for the music to this post.

Miles to go

dog2

A short poem by me, Tony

I see my face it’s growing old

My is hair is fading, so I’m told

My memory is not what it used to be
Who said that? I cannot see

Time marches, taking me away in pieces
I feel like my life is a series of short leases

I just want peace, in my mind
It is peace I wish to find

A little respect for what I’ve done
Have a little love, a little fun

Play my guitar under the October sky
I want to live, I don’t want to die

I want to feel safe, above the ground
With a lovers whisper, a gentle sound

The lick of a dog on my face
So wet and warm, in my favorite place

Through the woods, leaves colored in red
Remembering what Frost had said,
About miles to go before I sleep
Miles to go before I go back to the deep.

 

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Act like a dog

dog

“When an eighty-five pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.”

Kristan Higgins (author, In Your Dreams)

When I visited my parents the other day, I saw him again. His large black eyes staring at me intently from behind the dining room windows, his two front paws tapping on the pane of glass with anticipation. He begin whining when I got closer to the house door. As soon as I enter, he comes barreling towards me, running, gaining momentum, his small fingernails sliding on the smooth wood. When he reaches me, his body launches onto my leg, latching on. I feel his energy, he is so excited a noise comes out of his muzzle that is not recognizable. He cannot take the excitement anymore, he detaches and starts running through the house, around and around he goes, sprinting, barking, jumping, just stopping abruptly for a lap of water from his dish, then off again. And while he does this, I think of how I have never in my entire life, have ever been so happy or thrilled. In fact, I don’t really recall anyone being so happy or thrilled that they had to run around the house because the happiness and anticipation was just so much. The funny thing is, I just saw sprinkles (not really his name, just covering it up for confidentiality) early that morning, not even two hours ago.

Why can we not achieve such happiness? I have heard people say that if you act like a dog when they are happy, then you will eventually feel the happiness.  So out of pure curiosity,  I acted like a dog, (when no one was around of course.) I ran around the house, jumping, with a big smile on my face. After the initial feeling of foolishness past, I actually did start to feel good, actually felt like a dog might have felt. That was until I looked out the window, and I saw my neighbor staring at me. Naturally I burst out laughing when I saw him looking, just because I can’t even imagine what he was thinking.

The point of this ridiculous story is not that I’m jealous of dogs, or that the fact my neighbor now thinks I’m crazy, it’s that our minds and bodies are in constant synch.  One follows the other.

My physiology affects my thoughts, and my thoughts effect my physiology. If I am sad, then the simple motion of smiling, will make me feel better, because my body is telling me that I’m happy. It may sound weird, but try it. Act like a dog for a couple minutes, I bet you will start feeling better almost instantly. I’m not a huge fan of the phrase “fake it until you make it,” but when it comes to being happy, there is definitely some good truth to it.

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Simplicity

tits

If it’s working, keep doing it.

If it’s not working stop doing it.
If you’d don’t know what to do, don’t do anything.
-Dr. Melvin Konner

 

 

In our attempt to make things simpler, the world has grown exponentially complex. I find myself lost in a web of confusion, standing still not knowing where to go, because my mind is jammed up with to much “stuff.” Sometimes I feel like everyone knows how all these things work but me. Such a weird feeling, the explosion of technology and gadgets, and how we really don’t have much of a choice but to be plugged into society. It’s a funny feeling knowing that everything I say, and where I go, is recorded. It’s weird knowing that I can be seen from outer space by satellites.

Maybe things have always been this way, when I step back and look at evolution taking place. Subconsciously we are programed to advance ourselves, every species has to do it if they are to survive. If they do not evolve, they will die.

On a personal scale though, I know that if people keep themselves too busy, trying to keep up with the maddening pace of society, it is not healthy physiologically.

So I am going to evolve myself, by slowing down. By not thinking so much, and simplifying life. I am going to evolve by turning down my conscious patter, and learn how to be satisfied and appreciative of what I have, instead of what I don’t. I am going to evolve by giving away a lot of my possessions, because keeping a hold onto so many things is stressful, and less is easier. I’m going to evolve by getting off the computer and start taking walks in nature, and being thankful for the moment.

Iv’e realized that gadgets, like the mind, can work for you or against you. Through the internet we have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and thousands of apps. It is an invention that has taken the world by storm, and is nothing short of incredible. But like anything, it is only a tool. Some of the loneliest people I know have thousands of friends on Facebook and other sites.

The greatest social site I have ever seen, is not through the computer at all. It is you plugging yourself into the outside world, and connecting with people on a deeper level. It is smiling at the stranger, bowling with a group of friends, or sharing a laugh with colleagues. Every time you talk to a new person, your mind creates thousands of new neural connections, because it is so alive with activity. It is not just what they say, but who they are, all the tons of little nuances of the non-verbal mixed in with the mysterious connections that we may never fully understand. It is the tingly nervousness of this new person because there is no hiding behind a screen. Have you ever heard of love at first site through an internet connection?

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