Rest and Reflect: What is Your Word for 2016? It Matters, because You Do.

As the year is powering down to an end, 9 more days to be exact, do yourself a favour. Take a moment to hug this question to sleep and in your waking hours: What is YOUR WORD for 2016?

If you could begin a new life story with just one word, what would it be?

In 2014, I invited you to think about your word for 2015. A few of my friends took up the invitation. They picked their word, grew with it, as I did with mine. And on Sunday, my friend Mel shared with me her story.

She said, “I’m so happy. My word is Bold. I can see how I became bolder this year, and happier, too. This is why I want to spend the next 11 days (her precious end year leave) thinking about my word for 2016…”

I was so happy to hear that. And I believe her experience is possible for anyone willing to make time to rest and reflect on their word.

My word for 2015 was Grace. It turned out to be a fitting word, as it has been a massively challenging year. I found myself thrown into a lot of messy situations that required Grace, and learning what Grace means.

Thankfully, I get to experience Grace over and over again, as much as I need to learn what Grace is all about. And I can only hope to show the same measure of Grace I’ve been shown in my life. It’s not easy, but the hope is in the trying. And I know I will spend a lifetime learning what Grace means, even as I continue to grow in it, through it, and with it.

The good news is, every word you pick for one year, comes with you into the next. It continues to be a part of you, if you let it. It’s just parked under your new word. You will find yourself growing more and more into your word/s, or rather, the word grows more and more into you.

You and your word will become one. You live it in your life, until it becomes you.

So, if you’re ready to level up (shoutout to my awesome babe Estee for bringing this awesome term my way!) and grow, make time for yourself  to choose Your Word for 2016.

Choose a word that makes you curious, challenges you, and pushes you out of your comfort zone. Make it a word you can GROW with, that you would like to be a part of you. Make it a word you feel at rest and alive with.

Make it matter, because you do.

Love,

Mish.

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“The Growth of one blesses all. I am committed to grow in Love.” – Julia Cameron

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Let’s plant good seeds in the garden of our hearts. May we be nourished with a fruitful harvest of Love, Joy, and Peace

fruitsoflove

 

Let’s plant good seeds in the garden of our hearts. The seeds of truth, and kind, loving thoughts. May it bring forth a fruitful harvest. May we be nourished, with Love, Joy and Peace. – The Love Culture

 

Love, Mish

FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

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“The Growth of one blesses all. I am committed to grow in Love.” – Julia Cameron

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.” – Hafiz

Could it be, Life has SHAKEN you to AWAKEN you? 

Here’s another radical idea: What if that moment your world as you knew it was crumbling down and flipping over, was a divine moment of Grace? 

If this idea isn’t sitting well with you, WAIT, check this out before you go:

“While on an expedition to Antarctica last month, photographer Alex Cornell witnessed a massive iceberg flip, revealing a strangely translucent blue underside that’s completely free of snow and debris. According to Science World, almost 90% of any given iceberg is below the surface, making iceberg flips extremely rare.

Much larger iceberg flips are even capable of causing tsunamis that can overtake nearby ships.” – thisiscolossal.com

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Stunning Iceberg Flip captured by Alex Cornell: http://www.alexcornell.com/#/antarctica/

 

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Stunning Iceberg Flip captured by Alex Cornell: http://www.alexcornell.com/#/antarctica/

 

On YouTube, in a video entitled ‘Iceberg flipping over…’ the person who posted it described the phenomenon like this: “… the huge berg lost a part of itself (look at the right side sinking) and then flipped over with a huge roar.

In the process of melting this happens all the time, but it is seldom that it is captured on video WHEN it happens…”

As I read all these and marvelled at these stunning shots, I was graced with a moment of clarity, which led to an inner hush of silence and gratitude…

…For the ‘Divine Meltdown’ that led to the Flipping Over of my world.

It was a scary and painful episode of my life where every false external securities, addictions and attachments I had clung on to and mistaken as my Identity, Worth and Purpose, melted away in a blink of an eye.

It was terrifying while it was happening.

But all along, it was Grace at work, a blessing in disguise. It marked the moment of my Awakening. For that to happen, my old world-view was turned Upside Down, Inside Out.

More than that, it was an answer to my prayer. All year long, no kidding, I’d been praying, “Upgrade me! Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically-TOTALLY!” Of course when I prayed that dangerous prayer, I had no idea I was inviting into my life, an extreme internal makeover.

What I had in mind, and what the DIVINE had in store for me, were worlds apart. I got more than what I could ever ask, hope or imagine for myself.

But again, it was NOT EASY when things went down the way it did. I had not anticipated that a total Upgrade would mean Growth, and lots of Growing Pains. And just like an iceberg in the process of melting, it looked as if I was losing a part of myself and sinking under. When the flipping over happened, I was flipping out, BIG TIME. There was a huge roar of fear. I protested and resisted the massive change that was about to happen.

And no matter what I did, there was no turning back. The flip was still happening, ready or not.

As I went under, I thought I was dying.

As it turns out, it was a rebirth.

ALL that had been hidden from the surface of my consciousness all these years, began to reveal itself, and is still revealing itself. What seemed like a ‘Rude Awakening’ is, and continues to be, a Grace-Filled Awakening.

“Almost 90% of any given iceberg is below the surface, making iceberg flips extremely rare.”

Are 90% of us still below the surface, still not Awakened? Are we choosing comfort, over the pain of growing? Security, over the risk of change? Are we resisting a massive ‘flip over’? And flipping out when it happens?

During a conversation with a friend the other day, he shared that he’ll rather have a smooth, monotonous existence where life may be boring but at least he’d never have to grow. He prefers it to the jarring pain of growth.

I know I can’t live like that. If you’re not growing, you’re ‘dying’. For me, that’s an even greater pain. I hope to keep growing till the day I die. And in this light, for every Flipping Over that has happened, is happening and will continue to happen, I say, bring it on. It’s always scary and painful and frustrating at first. But again and again and again, I am rediscovering that ‘what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’ — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It takes the flipping over to reveal what’s buried, and hidden within.

It’s not easy. And nobody likes painful experiences. But we can all give an empowering meaning to whatever we experience in life and be so much better off for it. Perhaps today is another opportunity to relook into a painful / challenging moment in your life, and be reminded of this truth:

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.” — Hafiz

 

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“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Hey Love, are you Patient with You?

It’s funny (and I love it) how time and time again, I am reminded that the very thing you teach, is the very thing you need to learn.

On Sunday, a beautiful young lady was sharing her heart out with me and we got to the topic of Self-Love.

I listened to her idea of Self-Love and suggested for her to check out 1st Corinthians 13. “Love is Patient, Love is Kind.”

Are you Patient, with You? Are you Kind, to You?

When we are patient with ourselves, we are kind to ourselves.

How we are with ourselves, is how we are with others.

That’s why learning and practising Self-love is important.

Last night, a good friend of mine was smiling kindly when he asked, “Are you a Patient person?”

I came up with all my answers and reasoning, the flipside of Patience and Impatience, how each virtue has its Pros and Cons. I concluded that I’m working on it, and that compared to last time, my level of Patience with myself and others, has increased so much more.

So he got specific, “In a scale of 1 to 10, how Patient do you think you are?”

I said 5.

“There you go… Ask any of your trusted friends. Would they describe you as Patient? You need to be Patient for what you want to do…”

Good reminder.

But at first Fear does what it does best, freaks out, and asks, “Does that mean I cannot do what I want to do, since it’s not in my nature and I’m not PATIENT ENOUGH?”

I listened to my Fear, and allowed it to Inform me.

Love picks up from there, and says, “It’s good you’re Aware of what you need. All of us have different strengths, and different area of struggles. You CAN do what you want to do. Keep GROWING and cultivating Patience, that’s all. 

Sounds like a good deal.

Looking back at past relationships, the ONE quality that stands out to me in a Loved One is Patience. They never speak about patience or announce that they are being patient. They don’t even ask of it, from me. They just exude patience, and show it in the way they are with me—the best way they can, for as long as they can, before they hit their human limitations.

I love how GENTLE they are, when they point out something I need to pay attention to. For me, a sure sign someone is Patient with you, is how Gentle they are with you.

It leaves a lasting impression, long after that moment has passed or when they’re gone. This lasting quality is LOVE in action. It feels warm and gentle to your soul.

It feels LOVING.

You feel LOVED.

It’s true what Maya Angelou says. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Last night, though the question, “Are you a Patient person?” made me uncomfortable at first, the way it was being asked felt gentle, felt loving, in the end.

That’s Patience, in action.

Being reminded that PATIENCE always feels good in the end, makes it worth the effort of practising Patience, though it’s not easy, initially.

It gets easier with practice.

And I have a feeling, it gets easier and easier because you’re reminded more and more that being PATIENT with yourself and others feels good.

It feels really good.

And you know, as an encouragement to others who are more hot-blooded like I am (LOL!), they say that what you admire in others, already exists in you.

You can’t possibly see and admire something in others, when you don’t already have it within yourself. We see others, as we are.

The idea is to really dig in, and find a way to unearth that quality you admire in others, that’s already hidden within you.

It takes Patience, but You’re worth it.

“Have patience with all things, but first of all, yourself.” – St. Francis de Sales 

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

What do we know about Loving Relationships? Invest 45 Amazing Minutes with Leo Buscaglia for an expansion of perspective… “Life is a celebration of ALL relationships, not just the limitations of a man and a woman and a marriage…” – Leo Buscaglia

“There’s so many myths about relationships… the minute I talk about loving relationships, everybody immediately flashes on MAN-WOMAN-MARRIAGE.

And we forget that that’s only ONE relationship in our lives.

Think of a myriad of others. Think of mommas, of pappas, of sisters, of brothers, of neighbours, of friends, of in-laws, of co-workers and they go on and on and on…

And life is a celebration of all those relationships, not just the limitations of a man and a woman and a marriage… If that’s all you do, you’re going to be lost.

You’ve got to go out and bring in these others, because they feed you, they nourish you, they make you healthy…” – Leo Buscaglia

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Flow

Life is movement… in every moment.
Even in stillness, we can kiss the sky.

…Fly

…Flow

…Go

“…Breathe, breathe in the air.
Set your intentions.
Dream with care.
Tomorrow is a new day for everyone,
Brand new moon, brand new sun.
So follow, follow the sun,
the direction of the birds,
the direction of love.
Breathe, breathe in the air,
cherish this moment,
cherish this breath…

…So which way is the wind blowin’,
and what does your heart say?” – Xavier Rudd, ‘Follow The Sun’.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

If you’re ANGRY, good! USE IT, WELL. Manage Anger, don’t let it manage you. Direct that heated charge of energy towards finding a winning solution.

ANGER is amazing when we’re angry enough. It can fire us up to find a solution, right on the spot!

If I’m angry from facing the same problem day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year with no change in sight, it means I AM THE PROBLEM.

It is also a clear indication of Wasted Anger. It shows we’ve been busy directing that charge of energy towards a torrent of counter productive, “feel good” verbal bashing–doing nothing constructive about the issue.

Use and manage anger.

Let it direct and motivate you and I towards finding an actual solution.

The good news is, if we’re still not getting it, PAIN is a very good motivator. It comes in increasing doses until we’re finally forced to surrender and do something about it.

I’m writing this post right after a jubilant moment of riding that wave of anger through to finding a solution.

Now I can stop cursing out loud and going into shock every time I have my earphones on, music blasting at full volume, only to have my ears bombed by a whatsapp notification! It’s so loud I once heard a popping sound go off in my skull. It’s a mini explosion. And it feels like I’ve been punched in my head by an invisible fist!

Right after the ‘assault’, I’d frantically find the non-existent silent option for whatsapp. Every time, I’d find the same thing. There is no such option, except for mute in group chats.

But today is the day I had enough. I got angry enough to stop doing what I’ve always done, yet expecting different results. I got angry enough to ask for help. My boys figured it out in a few seconds. I finally found the NONE option. It’s hidden out of sight but it’s there all along. I could’ve found it if I had just scrolled up instead of down, like I always do!

I once read this quote on Stephan’s FB, and it comes to mind today:

“It takes a lot of things to change the world: Anger and tenacity. Science and indignation, The quick initiative, the long reflection, The cold patience and the infinite perseverance, The understanding of the particular case and the understanding of the ensemble: Only the lessons of reality can teach us to transform reality.” — Bertold Brecht 

And as we all know, we’ve got to BE the change we wish to see in the world. It begins in us, in the little things, in the daily things.

So are you ANGRY today? Good! USE IT, WELL. Manage Anger, don’t let it manage you. Direct that heated charge of energy towards finding a winning solution. Get angry enough. Then use it.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Love, Choice, Responsibility by Leo Buscaglia

Felice Leonardo “Leo” Buscaglia PhD (March 31, 1924 – June 12, 1998), also known as “Dr. Love,” was an American author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Sourthern California.

While teaching at USC, Buscaglia was moved by a student’s suicide to contemplate human disconnectedness and the meaning of life, and began a non-credit class he called Love 1A. This became the basis for his first book, titled simply LOVE.” – Wikipedia

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

“When people see my images, a lot of times they’ll say, “Oh my God.” Have you ever wondered what that meant? The “oh” means it caught your attention, makes you present, makes you mindful.

The “my” means it connects with something deep inside your soul. It creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard.

And “God”? God is that personal journey we all want to be on, to be inspired, to feel like we’re connected to a universe that celebrates life.

…aren’t we grateful for our brains that can, you know, take this electrical impulse that comes from light energy to create images in order for us to explore our world? And aren’t we grateful that we have hearts that can feel these vibrations in order for us to allow ourselves to feel the pleasure and the beauty of nature?

Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.

So I have a gift I want to share with you today, a project I’m working on called Happiness Revealed, and it’ll give us a glimpse into that perspective from the point of view of a child and an elderly man of that world.” – Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude. 

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Image by MariLucia, Deviantart

Image by MariLucia, Deviantart

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember. – The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A good reminder, as we step into the first day of a brand new Month. As we each continue on our own journey, let’s remember the essentials…

Love,

Mish.

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“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture