Only Light Can Drive Out Darkness

Yesterday was MLK Jr. Day and in his honor people and businesses posted motivation quotes by him to social media profiles. I saw some really good ones but the one that really struck a cord and made me stop to think was as follows “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -MLK Jr.

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It might only be me but when I read quotes like that one I think “it would be great for the masses to show unconditional love” or “world peace is possible”. In other words, I imagine the quote affecting large groups of people. Not until yesterday did I see that the light to remove darkness has to come from with me. The love to remove hate has to happen within me.

For example; I cannot hate that someone is racist. It only fuels more negativity. Instead I have to shed light on the love people need to have for each other.

Now, I say “me” but mean “us”. If each of us finds the light and love within ourselves it will soon become the masses. As MLK Jr. said; “confidence is taking the first step without seeing the whole staircase.” Without knowing how you will affect the community, find what fuels the light within you and share it.

So my task for you today is to join me on this fist step towards a lighter more loving world. Whether it is your religion, practicing the true meaning of Namaste or simply organizing an aspect of your life, take a moment to discover what drives your light and love. By working on ourself, we will become a better group. A greater society.

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Be Kind

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Watching adults sometimes makes me sad. Manners used to be important, but they seem a little scarce these days. The most painful thing to see? Negativity and intolerance! People often respond to a conversation with a negative comment as an attempt to be accepted. You’re an adult, so act like one. Come on, let’s be real.

Here are some observations that can help us be more tolerant.

  1. People typically like people who are nice.
  2. If you have not experienced something, don’t speak poorly of it. Especially to someone who has expressed interest or enjoyment in it.
  3. Negativity often appears rude and close minded.
  4. Negativity is considered to be bad manners and our everyday manners shape how people view us.
  5. As a role model, being negative sets a poor example to anyone watching. People will say “I don’t want to be a role model” but you don’t get to choose who looks up to you.

Life happens though, we have to roll with it. If someone offends you or is close minded don’t take it personally. Other people should not have a negative effect on you. Who knows, maybe your positivity will even rub off on them!

Time You Think You Have, But Don’t

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I have always told myself that if I say “There is not enough time in the day”, I am taking my life in the wrong direction. It’s how I have kept my priorities straight, my work life balance in a good place and have stayed fairly content with my life.

BUT this weekend I realized something. There really is not enough time in the day, not enough to spend your time doing things you dislike at least. I though to myself, “I will not let a 9-5ish job dictate my day, I will still get everything done that I want to do. But as I broke down the sections it made me more & more anxious.

8 hours of sleep, 8 hours at work, 8 hours a free time! Awesome! Oh wait… an hour to get ready in the morning, an hour to & from work, an hour for dinner… that’s 5 hours of free time. Then factor in cleaning, chores, errands etc. and really there is not much time to ourselves.

What I have realized from this though is that you can streamline tasks and organize your day so that you have the maximum amount of “you time” possible. Think about what chores and errands take up the most time in your day, how can you consolidate them?

1. Do not put off tasks that take less than ten minutes. This would be dishes after a meal, making the bed, not letting the hamper overflow….
2. Cook Meals in Advance & Combine Days. If you know you love lasagna, make a tray (or two) and eat it for lunch a couple of days in a row. Or freeze it for later, that’s even more of a time saver!
3. Do a bathroom clean every time you leave it. I let makeup build up for weeks – gross. Wiping it down keeps the sink clean and I don’t have to spend an entire Saturday putting in some serious elbow grease.

What do you want to get done during the day? How will you start to save time to get it done?

brahmacharya

8299_10151724145097732_576006781_nThis image is part of lululemons shopper series exploring the yamas and is in stores now!

Over the weekend, I noticed that the mall closest to me opened a lululemon.  Now, I try not to go into lulu if it is not the purpose of my shopping because I just can’t control myself in there. But of course I ended up going in and purchasing pants in less than than 5 minutes. I’m serious, I can’t control it.

Their new bag (always exciting getting a new shopper) is part of a line specifically exploring the yamas. This shopper design is Brahmacharya which  asks us to think twice and listen to what our mind and body needs. It teaches us to pay attention to where we focus our energy. Are we using our time, thoughts and efforts in a useful way or are we wasting precious time?

“In the long run,” says Brad Waites, “brahmacharya is about allocation: using your resources effectively to achieve your aspiration. To hone our practice of this principle, we must learn to conserve and not waste energy on things that do not serve our purpose.”
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Being mindful and practicing Brahmacharya will help remove the clutter from your life, mind and not to mention your refrigerator. So I am challenging myself and you to be mindful. Think about what you are currently doing, thinking, worrying about, eating etc. and whether or not it is good for you and your future. So yes, maybe for dinner eat ground turkey or lean chicken rather than an entire meatloaf. What I will try to focus on most is attempting to detox my life of worry. I waste so much to worrying about what could happen.

Crazy to think I bought a pair of pants that I didn’t need causing me to go against this yama but it also lead me to it and to some life improvements. hmm.

Welcome Monday

Monday Monday, how the WORLD hates you. Well, I love you. You are a new week, a new start and a new chance to have a great experience. People always say “ugh, Monday”, “I hate Mondays” or “it feels like Monday”– what a negative way of thinking! Why would you ever want to start a day, or week (or anything really) negatively?behappy

Yes, sometimes it’s hard to see the positives in days like Monday and yes you may have to search for it but there is always something to be happy about! Be open to learning and open to having positive experiences.

Choose to better yourself and see how the universe wants to help you and better your life.

Negativity breeds negativity & positivity breeds positivity. Make the choice to bring happiness in the world; even if it is just a smile or holding open a door for a stranger.

So here is my challenge to you this Monday: Do one thing to better yourself (mentally, professionally, spiritually), do one kind thing to a stranger and be active for a minimum of 10 minutes.