Go Like Graham!

Dream as if you’ll live forever and live as if you’ll die today

The man in the photo above is called Graham Sayer and he is 80 years old; he works out five days a week but not to keep his body looking good or even to keep fit. In Graham’s own words:

 “It’s so that as I get older, I can continue to do all the things I love so dearly: to have adventures, to always have new experiences, to play, climb, swim, kick and punch to my heart’s content”

If Graham thought ‘I am 80’ every day and subscribed to society’s and the media’s notions of old age he probably wouldn’t do half of what he does but the fact is, to him, his age is just a number. His desire to live a full and exciting life is so strong that he doesn’t consider that there are any negative connotations attached to his chronological age. He’s had challenges along the way, including throat cancer, but he hasn’t let that stop him.

If he can do it why can’t you?

James Dean said: “Dream as if you’ll live forever and live as if you’ll die today” but most of us do exactly the opposite; we live as if we have forever – in short, we exist. However, it doesn’t need to be like that. If we can forget the fears that we have about growing older we can maintain the same mind set that we had when we were a child. Children don’t worry about what other people think, they don’t worry about falling over or hurting themselves, for them every minute of every day is an adventure and there is no reason why we can’t continue to think and live that way throughout our entire lives.

Can you go Without?

we would not suggest that you move to a 12 foot high platform or sit inside a tree

Do you really need a car? If you absolutely had to could you live in one room? Could you live without holidays? Do you really need so many clothes? How about food? Could you live without that? This man did:

devraha barba

Devraha Baba was a famous sadhu who was believed to be 250 years old when he died; he never ate food and drank only water from the river. His home was a 12 foot high wooden platform and he spent his days in a state of extreme meditation.

As he didn’t eat his body was free of toxins and his meditations ensured that his metabolic rate was very low which meant that his body did not suffer the wear and tear sustained in ordinary, everyday life.

Such was the power that he had over his own mind and body that he rarely wore anything at all , even when the temperatures were freezing!

He’s not the only one who has gone to extremes to escape from the outside world in order to find inner peace and tranquility:

This video puts a western perspective on the story of Ram Bahadur Bamjon who apparently remained in a state of meditation, without food or water, for a period of 10 months. He drew the attention of many, many visitors and this boy, who was only 15 when he began his meditation eventually left his chosen spot because he could no longer find peace there.

There are many such examples of people who appear to have extended their lives and enhanced their physical well-being through yoga. Whilst yoga-medi for months on end, there is a great deal of evidence to support the benefits of a vegetarian diet, regular meditation and regular exercise so perhaps we have much to learn from ancient wisdom.

 

Burning with Energy

The video below shows a man doing the impossible….

Whatever faults we may have as human beings we can also amaze and astound when we look inside ourselves and harness the power that’s lurking there.

The video below shows a man doing the impossible…………. or maybe not. He is, in his own words, only a healer who uses Chi energy to help his patients; however, he can also use it to spontaneously create fire:

Put simply, chi (qi) is that which gives life. In terms of the body, chi is that which differentiates a corpse from a live human being. A strong life force makes a human being totally alive, alert and present while a weak force results in sluggishness and fatigue. You can increase and develop your chi to overcome illness, become more vibrant and enhance mental capacity.    [Source]

Many believe that, through meditation, we can change our internal chi which will promote healing and boost our energy levels so that we can live longer and healthier lives. In Chinese medicine it is believed that Chi mirrors the flow of our blood and nourishes every cell in our body. Therefore, if our Chi is strong our bodies will be strong.

If we want to change our internal Chi there are several things that we can do:

Breathing: this may sound obvious but deep breathing exercises are wonderfully beneficial for our minds, bodies and spirits and are an essential part of meditation.

Exercise:  specifically Tai Chi which is designed to help you balance your Chi. It is a series of slow and gentle movements which will teach you to regulate your breath and focus on your inner self. Tai Chi is suitable for just about anyone.

Explore Qigong: To truly develop your Chi you must take your mind to a higher level of consciousness and unleash the real power of your life force.shaolin monks chi 2 These Shaolin monks demonstrate what can be achieved after years of intense study and training.

The smooth, balanced flow of Chi – your life-force energy – is the single most important determinant to your health, vitality and happiness ~ Taoist Lineage Master Bruce Frantziz

 

I Blame the Jeans

Remember that one day you’ll be dead and none of this will matter!

To some extent or another we are all creatures of habit, we tend to get up around the same time, go to bed at the same time, eat the same foods…..you get the picture. Unfortunately, we also have mental habits, not all of which are good for us.

The mind is an incredible piece of engineering, way beyond the limits of our current understanding but, if we let it, it will control us to the point of self-destruction. To use a simple example, have you ever worn something out for the night and then had a bad time, worn the outfit a second time and had another bad experience? Did you consign the outfit to the back of the wardrobe convinced that it was responsible for your rotten evening? We’ve all done it and we file it under the heading of ‘bad luck’; that outfit was just unlucky. We all know logically that a new pair of skinny jeans and a shirt can’t have mystical or divine powers but we still make that association because it’s natural to look for reasons and explanations for the things that happen in our lives.

Unfortunately the kind of logic that makes a pair of jeans a garment from the deepest pits of hell can also be applied to ourselves, our personalities. We all know people who never seem to have any kind of luck and others who seem to have the Midas touch but is it really that or is it just a case that the individuals in question only focus on either the negative or the positive and therefore that’s all that you hear from them? How many times do you hear the ‘unlucky’ guy say ‘I just knew it was going to be a disaster’ or ‘Nothing good ever happens to me’ and, conversely doesn’t the ‘lucky’ person always seem to be confident that life will go his way? Taken to extremes and without something to break his mental patterns, the ‘unlucky’ guy will eventually start telling himself that nothing good will ever happen to him and, like this, he has pretty much guaranteed a future of unhappiness for himself; whatever opportunities present themselves, he will have already decided that they’re not for him.

However, just as we can create negative associations and patterns in our minds we can also do the opposite and train our thoughts in such a way that our lives become easier, fuller and more pleasant.

Try replacing ‘I know’ with ‘perhaps’

Every night before you go to bed think of 3 things that you’re grateful for

Every morning when you wake up be thankful that you did actually wake up

Take 15 minutes out of your day to meditate, it will help you unravel your mental spaghetti

If you’re worried about something think ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ and then come to terms with that rather than considering all of the things that could potentially go wrong.

Shift your focus to the things that are right in your life not the things that are wrong

Remember that one day you’ll be dead and none of this will matter!

 

“OMG Disaster! I broke a nail!

we live within the confines of our imagination

Human beings are wonderful; there is nothing on the planet that quite compares to the marvellous piece of machinery that is the human body. However, the human body comes with the human mind and sometimes it can be a little bit tricky to deal with. Imagination is a great thing; so many amazing inventions, stories and artwork have come into being as a result of human imagination but sometimes and for some people it can create darkness and despair. One negative thought can turn into a full blown disaster in our minds within a matter of minutes and, if we are not careful, the disaster can become our reality.

It seems almost trite these days to say that ‘it could be worse’ but this really is the case. In reality there are always people who will be far worse off than ourselves but we often don’t live in reality; we live within the confines of our imagination and, what is in fact a very small problem can take on enormous proportions. Sometimes we have to bring ourselves back to the real world and realise that what is a problem for us could be a real opportunity for someone else.

For instance, the man in this video is called Nick Vujicic and he is a motivational speaker.

Right now you may have a sprained wrist or perhaps you’ve been unlucky and you’ve broken your leg; Mr Vujicic was born without arms or legs. Despite this or maybe because of it he has found a way to turn his life around and now he spends it helping other people to do the same.

He wasn’t always so positive; at the age of 10 he tried to commit suicide………….

This wonderful young man has no idea how old he is because he was abandoned, along with his brother, in the middle of a war zone when he was a baby. He and his brother also suffer physical disabilities.

All of this has not, however, diminished his beautiful spirit in any way at all. He dreams of being a singer and his song of choice for this audition? Imagine by John Lennon

Last and not least, this video shows that you don’t need to be classically beautiful to be a success in the modelling world. All of the people featured are ‘different’ in some way and they’ve made that something incredibly positive and are now recognised for it.

Next time you look in the mirror, just remember that we are all unique and, because of that, we are all beautiful.

 

Not Just Bend and Stretch

There are people in the world who appear to have found ways to slow down the aging process……..

There are people in the world who appear to have found ways to slow down the aging process; one group are known as sadhus. They can slow down their heartbeat, slow down their breathing and live for weeks and even months on end without food. They meditate to distance themselves from their surroundings and to turn their focus inwards; they empty their minds so that they are free from all emotional and mental disturbances. Their bodies are not subject to the stresses that are caused by anxiety or depression and their life energies are retained within and therefore not expended.

They practice yoga, not the bending and stretching in lycra that we all know as yoga, but something far more ancient and spiritual. It’s believed to date back to the 5th or 6th century but was only introduced to the West in the late 1900’s by the Indian mystic Swami Vivekandanda. Yoga means ‘unite’ and the practises are designed to lead to the joining of the body and the mind in perfect harmony so that the practitioner can live in a state of complete freedom; free from all sufferings.

 

This video demonstrates traditional Hatha (meaning force) yoga; a series of physical exercises which allow the practitioner to master their body, whilst at the same time, focusing on their breath which will enable them to clear their minds.

swami_yogananda

The picture shows Swami Yogananda who, at 99 years old, shows the power and flexibility that the body can retain through the practice of yoga over many years.

The mix of deep meditation and movement brings a profound sense of peace to practitioners and has a very positive impact on the body.

Yoga combines the physical, spiritual and emotional and the absolute best part about it is it’s available to everyone:

We Have an Expiration Date People!

No-one wants their last words to be ‘I wish I had…..’

“1 Million people did not wake up this morning but, you and me, we woke up so we should smile.  If everyone you love woke up this morning, smile because if 1 million people died last night at least 10 million people lost someone dear to them….” Saghguru

Many people go through life as if they were immortal; they do things they do not enjoy and put off, until tomorrow, the things that they really want to do but without knowing  for sure that tomorrow will actually arrive. Everyone has some responsibilities and not every day will be perfect but if we remember that we do have an expiration date we are more likely to include pleasure and fun in our lives. If we truly accept that one day we will die we will do all the things that make our hearts happy. If you have an unfulfilled passion what are you waiting for? Are you an accountant but you have a secret desire to become an artist? Are you an artist and would love nothing more than to be an accountant? What is stopping you?

For most people, the only things that stops them from living the life that they truly want are, on one side, fear and on the other the non-acceptance that life is short. There is nothing we can do about death – he will come at some point whatever we do but we can do something about fear. The first and the simplest way is to deal with the physical manifestations of fear; the fluttering in your stomach, the shortness of breath etc. If you are not faced with your fear at the time you have these feelings, if you are afraid of flying and are thinking about a forthcoming flight for example, change the image that you have in your mind.

If you went to the cinema and saw a really bad movie you wouldn’t do back and watch it again and again so why play negative thoughts over and over in your mind? To use the fear of flying example – don’t visualise yourself sweating and digging your finger nails into the arm rests, visualise yourself chatting and smiling with the person sitting next to you. If you feel the familiar fluttering in your stomach, remind your brain that you only have that feeling because you are excited and looking forward to the experience. If you hear the words in your head ‘I’m scared of flying’, change them to ‘I’m a little apprehensive but I know I will enjoy the experience’. In many ways the mind is quite accommodating, if you tell it that you ‘know’ something or you are ‘certain’ of something, it will take you at your word so, if you say ‘I know I will be scared on that plane’ you are 100% right, no question, you will be scared. Instead say ‘I am certain that I will have no fear on this flight’. Try it, with anything you are afraid of, you have more control over your life than you may think.

As we get older our existing fears often get worse and we find new ones to worry about – why? Maybe we think that we are less physically capable than we were when we were younger but that’s only a question of perception and perseverance. Again, if we listen to the mind telling us that we cannot do something, it’s as damn sure as mustard that we won’t be able to do it; if we tell the mind that we can who knows what we will be capable of. Do you think that any of these people told themselves that they couldn’t do it or that they we afraid to try?

Stop telling yourself you can’t, stop allowing fear to rule your life and realise that it won’t last forever. No-one wants their last words to be ‘I wish I had…..’

 

 

Beauty and the Bitches

We have only one life. It’s very short. Love who you are and find happiness

THE BEAUTIFUL YOUNG GIRL IN THIS VIDEO SHOWS US, IN THE MOST HEARTBREAKING WAY, THE EFFECT THAT OTHER PEOPLE’S WORDS CAN HAVE UPON   US. SHE SAYS: “SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LET PEOPLE GO BECAUSE THEY ARE TOXIC TO YOU. LET THEM GO BECAUSE THEY TAKE AND TAKE AND LEAVE YOU EMPTY LET THEM GO BECAUSE, IN THE OCEAN OF LIFE, WHEN ALL YOU’RE TRYING TO DO IS STAY AFLOAT, THEY ARE THE ANCHOR THAT’S DROWNING YOU”.

BE HAPPY WITH YOURSELF.

LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND LOVE WHO YOU ARE.

YOU ARE UNIQUE AND THEREFORE VERY SPECIAL.

REMEMBER THIS, BELIEVE IT AND NO WORDS WILL EVER HAVE THE POWER TO HURT YOU.

If people attack you with words, it’s not because there is something wrong with you but because there is something wrong with them. They don’t like themselves and they can’t cope with that feeling or find a way to resolve the issues that they have so they lash out at others. Often you will find that the people who are the most cruel with words are the ones who hurt most inside.

Young women who are bitchy to other girls often seem to be very popular, not because they have the sort of personality that naturally attracts other people but because it’s easier to show affiliation than to risk becoming a target. For them there is the illusion of popularity which is the very thing that they need to boost their self-esteem but, unfortunately, it  stems from cruelty to others. Therefore, in order to maintain their own self-esteem they must bully others and so the cycle continues; pity them and don’t allow them to crush your beautiful spirit.

In order to be hurt by the words of others we must, on some level, believe that what they are saying is, at least partially, true. If someone says that we are ugly and that’s what we fear ourselves, those words will cut us to the quick. However, if we accept that the way we look is the way we look and there is little that we can do to change it, the cruel words have far less impact. Further, if we are at peace with ourselves and accept completely our personalities, flaws and all, we will find pleasure in the company of others, whatever their faults, and equal pleasure in spending time alone.

We have only one life. It’s very short. Love who you are and find happiness

Growing Up is Not Obligatory

So what would happen if you started saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’?

If you think about it, it’s much easier to say ‘no’ than ‘yes’. Saying no doesn’t require any thought or any commitment from you whereas saying yes effectively means that you have promised to do something or be somewhere.

Unfortunately, saying no becomes easier and easier as we get older because we have more experience of negativity. If someone asks you to go bungee jumping with them you will no doubt recall a story of someone being killed whilst bungee jumping. If someone asks you to go on a bike ride with them, you may remember that the last time you rode a bike you had a pain in your knee for two or three days afterwards. You’d really love to get in better shape and wish that you could go to a gym but you just know that the pain in your back just won’t allow it…….

Eventually, saying no becomes a habit and the list of things that you say ‘no’ to becomes longer and longer until the only thing that you’re comfortable with is sitting in a nice comfy chair in your living room watching the TV and wondering what to have for dinner. This may sound harsh but, when you reach this point, really you are just waiting to die. So what would happen if you started saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’?

This is 109 year old war veteran Richard Overton speaking about his life, his experiences, his relationship with 91 year old Ms Love and the fun that they have together. His attitude is that ‘if you give up, you’re through’. As he points out, none of us knows when we will die so we just need to forget about it, get on with life and never give up!

Tao Porchon-Lynch was 94 years old when this video was made. She truly believes that anything is possible. She says ‘don’t procrastinate, don’t put it off until tomorrow because tomorrow never comes’. Tao is the world’s oldest yoga teacher and she inspires pupils who are decades her junior with her amazing spirit and zest for life. She is not interested in people telling her what she can’t do, only in what she can do.

sen0707irene-xqgum3hk42nidmlbdo2_t620This is Irene O’Shea and, at the age of 100 she decided to do her first sky dive to raise money to help combat Motor-Neuron disease. Irene traveled around the world on her own when she was 84 and at 92 was taken out for a ride on a Harley Davidson. She says that she does all these things because she “is very happy and still capable”.

Of the sky dive she says “I loved it and can’t wait to do it again…I wasn’t scared at all”.

All of these people have the same energy – they, quite simply, live a happy life, doing what they want to do and enjoying each day as it arrives. The more time we spend telling ourselves that we can’t do something, the less chance we will have to do the things we could do if we actually believed that we were capable of doing them. It’s easy to be negative and it’s easy to say no but just trying saying yes and see what happens – you might surprise yourself!

 

Don’t Panic

Your mind has taken you from sitting on the plane to it crashing within the space of a few minutes and that’s before you’ve even set foot on the damn thing!

Have you ever had a niggly little pain in your back or your neck which becomes worse the more that you think about it? Don’t worry, we all do it. It’s the same thing when we have something that we’re not looking forward to; the human mind, wonderful as it is, has a tendency to exaggerate the things that we focus on. For instance, if you’re not that keen on flying, do you find yourself thinking more and more about the flight the closer the time comes to you having to step on the plane? Does it go from a vague sense of uneasiness to imagining yourself sitting on the plane, fingers clenched around the arm rest, to imagining what it would feel like if the plane caught fire? Your mind has taken you from sitting on the plane to it crashing within the space of a few minutes and that’s before you’ve even set foot on the damn thing!

Fortunately there are things that we can do about it. Going back to the niggly pain and the mind exaggerating what we focus on; if you feel a twinge of pain when you’re doing something you really enjoy you probably won’t take any notice of it and it will go away but if it happens when you are at work or sitting at home with little to do it can turn into real pain and discomfort very quickly. If this goes on for any length of time, your exaggerating mind will do its thing and you will start imagining that there’s something really wrong with you. This is because we tense up when we experience discomfort or sometimes even the thought of discomfort. If you have a slight headache and you start to worry about it you will probably, unconsciously, tense the muscles around your neck and shoulders which will then make the headache worse. So the answer is to not panic and to relax your muscles which will relieve tension and help your headache. Find something else to focus on; try a guided meditation, let someone else talk to your mind:

 

When you listen, don’t feel like you have to try – your mind and your body will do the work for you and afterwards you will feel relaxed, calm and hopefully pain free.