Best of Spiritualboosters 2012

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A special thanks to each of you for making 2012 an incredible year at Spiritualboosters. It’s been an amazing learning experience.I cannot put in words how overwhelmed I am by all the support and encouragement.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

As it is impossible to avoid “Best of” this time of year, so for my new readers I present the Best of Spiritualboosters 2012:

12 things to start doing in the next twelve months

The Present

12 things to stop doing in the next twelve months

Books that inspired me in 2012

Life is what you make it

10 ways to a happy life

Random acts of kindness

Declutter your life

Simply irresistible you

Rethink…Refuse…Reduce

As the New Year approaches us with hopes anew, here is wishing all of you a wonderful year ahead. Happy 2013!

5 things to do for a perfect day

My guest post  ‘5 things to do for a perfect day’ was published on 5thingstodotoday.com  yesterday. Thanks to David for giving me a chance to write my views about the things could help us in making our day a perfect one.

  • Laugh – A good time to laugh is anytime you can. Carry laughter with you wherever you go. Look for opportunities in your day to laugh and spread laughter.Read more…

I hope that more people may find a graceful way to make their days perfect without spending money.Let’s make this holiday not about giving each other presents, but enjoying each other’s presence. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 

12 things to stop doing in the next 12 months

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Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits. ~Anonymous

It’s the time for new year resolutions. In the next 2-3 days, many will make up their mind to get in shape, eat healthy, quit smoking , get out of debt and so on.

I wrote a post about 12 things to start doing in the next 12 months a couple of days back. But just doing is not enough because there are a lot of things we have to stop doing in order to move ahead. Sometimes the best way to get ahead is to stop doing the things that have been holding us back.

Below is the list of 12 things to stop doing in the next 12 months in order to improve the quality of your life:

  1. Don’t expect: Don’t expect and you won’t be disappointed.The more people expect, the more susceptible they are to pain.Expectations when not fulfilled only lead to hurt and disappointment. Expectations reduce joy.
  2. Stop procrastination: Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week. It’s just that tomorrow never comes.We all do it. We put off that dreaded task for five more minutes, then for another hour, until it doesn’t get done at all. Stop procrastinating and stop wasting time. Make your time count.
  3. Stop complaining: Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have.Stop complaining, start living.
  4. Don’t hoard clutter: We are drowning in our possessions but instead of discarding all that is obsolete, we keep on hoarding clutter.Adding more and more to the already existing stuff only brings discontent, stress and debt.
  5. Stop being judgemental: Nobody likes feeling judged.If you look around, you’ll find that most judgemental people are disliked and avoided.Yet none of us can help forming opinions of other people.Stop being so judgemental.Make sure you fix what’s wrong in your life before you start judging others.
  6. Don’t under estimate yourself: Stop under-estimating yourself. You’re simply holding yourself back from your full potential. Remember all of your past achievements and remind yourself of all that you are capable of doing.As someone has wisely said,”It’s not who you are that holds you back; it’s who you think you’re not.”
  7. Don’t hold grudges: If you really want to be happy, don’t hold grudges. It’s very easy to hold a grudge but very difficult to forgive. But if you keep holding on to grudges, you might be the one who pays most dearly.
  8. Stop giving explanations: You’re the only one who has to live with your decisions. Be confident in the choices you make and don’t feel the need to constantly explain them to others. Simply because you like it or this is what your heart tells you to do is more than reason enough.
  9. Stop holding onto past: Most of the time in our lives we waste in holding on to regrets, anger or resentment of the past. What is it that you would let go of today that’s holding you back? It may not seem easy, but start taking small steps forward, today. Shut the past and start living in the present.
  10. Stop spending time with wrong people: Spend time with positive people who can motivate you, uplift you.We are directly affected by the people we choose to surround ourselves with, so don’t you want to be spending time with good-hearted, go-getters instead of those ‘friends’ who make you feel bad about yourself with backhanded compliments or the people who are always complaining about something or the other?
  11. Don’t strive for perfection: Don’t expect perfection from yourself or anybody else. If people can’t handle your imperfections, it is their fault. George Orwell has rightly said,”The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” The thing that is really hard is giving up on becoming perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
  12. Don’t criticize:  Nobody is perfect in this world. We all have our share of virtues and vices.Instead of looking for faults in others,find faults with yourself. Have patience with all the things but chiefly,have patience with yourself.

Wisdom bytes (Sri Sri on Respect & Ego)

Editor’s Note : True personal enlightenment begins with knowledge. Anybody seeking the universal truth would do well to familiarize themselves with the wisdom by the ancient sages and the great thinkers of today .Wisdom bytes are for you to read, inspire and challenge, shed light, help keep perspective, energize, lead to thinking in a new way and enjoy some immediate gratification. Get inspired…inspire others…

Respect & Ego – H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar

There are two types of respect.

  1. Respect that comes to you because of your position, fame or wealth. This type of respect is impermanent. It can be lost once you lose your wealth or status.
  2. Respect that comes because of your virtues like honesty, kindness, commitment, patience and your smile. This respect, no one can take away.

The less you are attached to your virtues, the more self respect you have. If you get attached to your virtues, you look down upon everybody else, and the virtues start diminishing. Non- attachment to virtues brings the highest self respect.

Often one confuses ego with self esteem. Ego needs the other for comparison; self esteem is just confidence in oneself. For example, a gentleman claims that he is thorough in Mathematics or Geography, this is self esteem. But to say that I know better than you, that is Ego.

Ego simply means lack of respect to the Self.

Ego upsets you very often. Self esteem is immune to getting upset by external factors. In self respect, everything is a game, winning or losing has no meaning, every step is joy, and every move is celebration.

Causes close to my heart

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“What is the use of living, if it not be to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?”— Winston Churchill

Charity blesses both the giver and the receiver. In the words of Noah and The Whale, “If you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own”.

There are numerous organisations working for various causes, from helping to prevent children’s diseases to societies aiding abused animals but it is not possible to support all. One simply cannot give to all.

It’s very important to deciding which charity or cause is close to your heart. Giving to the causes which are important to your values and life makes you feel worthwhile and gives a sense of purpose to your life.Bless yourself and your cause by donating your money or time where your heart tells you.

Here’s a list of the organisations that are close to my heart and are doing an amazing work in making this world a better place to live in:

  • Art of Living: The Art of Living Foundation is a not-for-profit, educational and humanitarian NGO engaged in stress-management and service initiatives all over the world. It has been working in about 152 countries on diverse humanitarian projects like disaster relief, sustainable rural development, women empowerment, prisoner rehabilitation, education for the under-privileged and environmental awareness. I joined Art of Living four years back when I did Part I course and my life has been transformed. I have been associated with Art of Living since then, first as a volunteer and then as a teacher and it has been a wonderful and immensely satisfying experience.Nothing is more fulfilling than being an instrument of change in someone else’s life. One can either be a volunteer with the organisation and work for the betterment of society or can donate for its initiatives through Dhama Sthamba Yojana.
  • 29 Gifts: I came to know about this when I read the book ’29 gifts’ by Cami Walker about a year back. I was touched by her story and immediately signed up for 29 days giving challenge.29 Gifts is a global giving movement with a mission to revive the giving spirit in the world. The idea is to change our lives and change the world by giving one gift a day for 29 days. 29 gifts has made giving and kindness acts a part of my daily routine. Learn how our 29 days giving challenge works and sign up now.
  • Jyoti Sarup Kanya Asra Society: It is a small orphanage for girls set up in village,Kharar. With a mission to help the destitute, and abandoned girls irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, JSKAS is a home to 55 girls.It not only takes care of their basic necessities but also offers them personal care, good living conditions, proper education, and security, which they have been deprived of. My office team goes to the orphanage once a month and we donate in whatever capacity we can.

If you find my post helpful,it would mean so much to me for you to take some time and check out these non-profits. Please donate as a THANK YOU.

Books that inspired me in 2012

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The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce

Books are rightly said to be the most accessible and wisest of counsellors and the most patient of teachers. To sit alone in the bed snuggled in a warm quilt with a hot cup of coffee by your side and a book spread out in front of you – it is a pleasure beyond comparison.

Books are an inexpensive form of entertainment and also a powerful source of learning, capable of changing your life. Here I have compiled a list of the books which inspired me in 2012 and have enriched my life beyond words:

  1. 29 Gifts: This autobiographical account by Cami Walker narrates how her life changed by giving away 29 gifts in 29 days. I was so moved by Cami’s story that I immediately signed up for 29 days giving challenge and I have been on a giving journey since then.
  2. Who will cry when you die : The title itself is powerful enough to set you thinking and question about the purpose of your life. Robin Sharma is at his best in this little book filled with potent life lessons and powerful wisdom. As I was reading the book, I was reminded of Rishi Nityapragya ‘s words ,” Consider your life as a project for attaining Nirvana.”
  3. The Present: Since my journey into spirituality with Art of Livng, the most powerful life lesson which transformed my life has been “Live in the present.” So simple, yet so profound. This classic parable by Dr Spencer Johnson follows a young man’s search for an elusive gift that holds the promise of work fulfilment, a quest that is complicated by his fears about the future.
  4. The Leader who had no Title: A must read for all those working in a corporate set-up. The book contains valuable leadership advice from Robin Sharma where he insists that regardless of a person’s standing in an organization and in life, he must live up to his full potential and be the best in the world in whatever he does.
  5. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A different approach to success by Deepak Chopra where he gives seven principles to attain personal and professional goals. I particularly liked the way he beautifully describes the ancient principles of Karma and detachment.
  6. Many Lives, Many Masters: It is a real-life account of Dr. Brian Weiss ‘s life changing discovery of past-life regression during his patient’s therapy. We have a similar process in Art of Living called ‘Eternity Process’ which is a guided meditation that takes you through your previous lives. I have yet to do it but inspired to enrol at the earliest after reading this book.
  7. The Power of Less: Leo Babauta tells us how to simplify our life by identifying the essential and eliminating the clutter. This book has inspired me to start decluttering my life and focussing on the goals that can change my life for the better. A must read if you are interested in simplifying your life.
  8. Eat That Frog: A great book for someone like me who is always procrastinating and doing things at the last minute.  A powerful quick read which will immensely improve the way you manage your time.

What books inspired you this year? Please leave a comment and share your recommendations. 

12 things to start doing in the next 12 months

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When we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out. ~ St John Chrysostom

This is the time of the year to start looking back at the past and more importantly, forward to the coming year.It’s time to reflect on the changes we want to make in our life and resolve to follow through on those changes.

This is the time of the year when most of the people start making their new year resolutions. but the truth is that most people are not going to keep their resolutions all year long. Everyone starts out with the best of intentions but the worst of strategies and eventually they fail when by giving in to temptation.The loftier the resolution, the tougher it is to hang on to. It takes steely nerves to live by what you resolve.

So instead of making new year resolutions, I have made a list of 12 things which I plan to do over the next 12 months.Here it is, a positive ‘to-do’ list for the upcoming year – 12 things to start doing for myself:

  1. Learning a new skill : On countless occasions, I say to myself, “I wish I knew how to do this.” There are a no. of things that we all want to learn but various excuses come in our way.With the vast amount of knowledge online, you’re now your only excuse. So stop making excuses and gear up to learn something new in the coming year. I am going to learn astrology in the coming year, what about you?
  2. Fit in Fitness: We all know the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. Still, it’s one of the most neglected area in our life. Instead of making a resolution, my focus is going to be making healthy eating and physical activity a new lifestyle.
  3. 5 am Club: 5 am club is a productivity method of rising early and consistently so as to be able to accomplish more during the day. I enjoy meditating in the early hours when everything is so quiet and serene. But I don’t do it daily, so focus will be on being an early riser daily.
  4. Help others: Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local orphanage, mentoring a child, or donating to charity, there are many non-profit volunteer organizations that could really use your help.
  5. Get out of debt: Money has been a source of stress for me and countless others in the past year.Take a serious look at your finances and take a pledge to live within your means.It’s a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year ahead.
  6. Declutter your home: It’s been a while since I have been decluttering my house but a lot still needs to be done. In fact, I have realised that decluttering is an on-going process.The moment you become careless, clutter will start accumulating. If you still are bogged down by all the clutter in your house, the time to start is NOW!
  7. Simplify your life: If stress is wearing you down, it’s time to simplify your life.For everyone who is overwhelmed by the increasing demands in their lives, slow down and find peace of mind by cutting down on unnecessary commitments and simplifying your life.
  8. Keeping a journal: I have never written a journal but I am seriously thinking of starting it now. Many people keep journals as a record of the day’s happenings and their feeling towards them. Some write in a journal to explore their thoughts. Some use the journal to jot down their blessings. You can do anything you want in your journal.It’s your personal space.
  9. Savour the moment: Not only it’s important to live in the present, but it’s equally important to enjoy each and every moment of life.An important thing to remember about life is that in all you do make sure that you enjoy it, because with every minute that passes, lies time spent that you will not get back.
  10. Making happiness a habit: Money and circumstances have nothing to do with happiness. The real secret to happiness is making being happy a habit! With practice and patience, I am going to see the upside of things my second nature.
  11. Count your blessings Instead of worrying about everything that is wrong in your life, focus on what you are blessed with. Learn to appreciate the small things in your life, for one day you might look back and realise that those were the big things. I have downloaded Random Gratitude Journal on my iphone which is a gratitude journal of its kind. Try it!
  12. Be the change you want to see – The only way to raise yourself up is to raise others up – to raise your world up – to raise all of life just a little higher.  Joy comes to you when you give it.Give one hour a week for the betterment of your society. There is a wonderful initiative by Art of living called ‘Volunteer for better India’ which aims to bring the youth together to address the critical issues affecting India.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen.  Get out there and DO something!