How to Break Your Old Habits and Stay Sober

Breaking old habits is easier said than done. Here are 3 things that will help you get better and stay sober.

The road to sobriety is fraught with challenges. In the early stages of recovery, it often seems like things are moving at a fast pace. Everything you’ve known up to that point has been upturned, and there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. But you shouldn’t fall prey to the thinking that your recovery is about to achieve completion. In fact, you haven’t even started yet.

If you think getting sober is difficult, try staying that way indefinitely. Many people have likened it to running an endless marathon. Sure, you have the support of your friends and family, and that can be really helpful. But recovery is a solitary road, and you will experience isolation, loneliness, and exhaustion. That’s why you have to be constantly on guard to keep your impulses in check. Otherwise, you might relapse.

Relapsing isn’t as big a failure as people say it is. It’s a perfectly normal part of the recovery process, and many people in drug recovery have experienced it at least once. Hours turn to days, days turn to months, and eventually, you’ll get to a place where you feel like you can be yourself again. Even then, you should be mindful of your triggers.

Getting and staying sober is a full-time job. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help lessen some of your struggles.

  1.  You need a change of scenery

You will undergo so many changes and transformations in a short period. To break the vicious cycle of addiction, what you may need is a hard reset. You’ll have to get out of what you know and embrace the new and unfamiliar. In the social, mental, and physical sense, a change of scenery can allow you to break free of your habits and give you a chance at a new start.

Of course, it can be difficult to manage your impulses, especially in the beginning. But you need to surround yourself with healing energy to improve your chances of recovery. The support of your friends and family, and the healing powers of nature, can go a long way in changing your state of mind. Even a quick stroll in the park can give you the serenity you need.

  1.  Find new passions

A need for stimulation drives people. While some turn to physical or mental pursuits to fill their time, others waste their lives on vices. Many people in recovery fall off the wagon because they haven’t found a new way to spend their time. If you’re serious about getting better, it helps find a new passion or outlet that will help you express yourself in a healthier and more meaningful way.

Take your time to explore your interests. Who knows? Maybe you can unlock some hidden passion or talent. Whether it’s through art, science, or sports, learning how to better yourself is always a good thing. Finding a passion isn’t just about making your mind or body stronger. It’s also about finding joy in life.

  1.  Put yourself first

Recovery is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to face, and there’s no point in being too hard on yourself. You need to accept that there will be good days and bad days, and the key thing to remember is to put yourself first whenever possible. Try to remove all your sources of negativity and stress, whether it’s the people in your life, your job, or your environment.

For instance, if your current job is one of your triggers, it might be smart to start looking for new work. If you live near your old haunts, consider moving to a new area. Stay away from people who can’t respect your sobriety. Eventually, you’ll get to a place where you can manage yourself better. But in the meantime, try to limit your stressors and focus on getting better.

A final word

It’s not easy to overcome our issues, and we will exhaust all our focus and energy to get better. These pointers will help you stay on the road to recovery and that you may find solace in the fact that you are not alone. Even when you feel isolated, always remember that people are rooting for you to succeed.

From Having a Mantra to Listening to Lizzo, Here’s How to Beat Low Self-Esteem

Feeling confident about yourself is important as you go about your day. It helps you accomplish your goals and beat whatever challenges life brings you.

Low Self-esteem

Some days, you feel like you can conquer the world. You look so fine that you can’t stop looking at yourself in the mirror. Then, there are days when you’re down in the dumps. Sweatpants and an oversized shirt serve as your armor, covering everything you want to hide.

That’s OK. Everyone has their bad days. The good thing is there are ways to turn that upside down and emerge a star.

First, positive affirmations only.

Allowing yourself to have negative thoughts is fine, but carrying them on for a long period is not healthy. Let the moment of weakness in, then actively shove it away. This way, you can treat yourself better by entertaining positive affirmations.

Having a mantra would be a good way to do this. The definition of a mantra, as cited in a Psychology Today article, is “a phrase that you repeat to yourself to help control the rage.” You can repeat a mantra until you believe it for yourself.

When done in silence during a meditation, a mantra decreases activity in the “default mode network” of the brain. This is the part of the brain responsible for our internal thoughts, self-reflection, and self-judgment. Have you ever noticed that your mind wanders off when you’re quiet and idle? That’s the default mode network. By having a mantra, this function of the brain calms down. By simply saying, “I am confident in my own skin” over and over again, you can beat a slump.

Listen to music that can boost your confidence.

There’s a Spotify playlist to boost your confidence, for sure. Lizzo, for one, has music to make you feel like you’re the queen of the world-“I just took a DNA test turns out, I’m 100% that b****.”

Besides, music has been proven to have positive effects on mental health. Music increases dopamine, so much so that it can be likened to a drug. Music also triggers emotions and helps you control fear.

Music influences the way you think and respond to it, thereby affecting your mood. The next time you don’t feel so confident, try walking to the beat of a Lizzo song.

Don’t let other people bring you down.

Yes, this is easy to say, but one must strive to make it happen. Closing your ears to other people’s useless criticisms will do great wonders for your mental health. It is true that you should learn to take criticism, but it’s different if it targets your body and things that you have little to no control over. It’s your body and your confidence; therefore, other people should not have an input in it.

Whether you curled your hair or got a tummy tuck, it’s your choice. If it makes you feel better about yourself and your body image, then flaunt it. At the end of the day, it’s yourself that matters.

Feeling confident about yourself is important as you go about your day. This kind of positive thinking helps you accomplish your goals for the day and beat whatever challenges life brings you.

Three lessons for 2016 and beyond to make you more successful in everything

3 Lessons for 2016 pic

This is my first article on this blog for the year 2016.  I sincerely feel it is just a beginning of many such articles you will see here soon.

Just like most of you, I am a simple guy from an urban city. My life involves a day job, a family to support and many other responsibilities to shoulder. As a result, I am on constant look out for more time for myself, my family and my passions : Meditation, Reading and Writing etc. This results in my constant search for finding productivity hacks, software and inspirational articles to make my life a little bit easier and comfortable.

Therefore, today, I am going to share with you three lessons I learned recently, which I feel can be of immense benefit to you also, for the remaining part of 2016 and beyond.  Let us start:-

Lesson 1 : The most powerful productivity (& confidence) hack of all time

We create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003

– Eric Schmidt (See source)

In this huge ocean of content, very rarely  we came across an article which has its worth in pure Gold. Today, I found one such article. If I had my way, I would make every youth in every university of the world to read it as a pre-requisite  before getting his/her degree. This article is about the most powerful productivity (& confidence) hack of all time. Before, I tell you about the guy who wrote this article or the website where you can read this article, let me tell you in brief what it is about.

I have lifted heavily from the original source to save time. Please read carefully as you are going to learn the most powerful productivity hack of all time.

The productivity secret of Richard Branson

One day a hand full of people were on a small boat with Richard Branson heading out to his private island, Necker Island, for a few days . During the journey, one of the guys on the boat asked something along the lines of “Richard, how can I be more productive?”

Richard on his yacht Picture Credit :http://yachtpals.com/
Richard on his yacht
Picture Credit : http://yachtpals.com/

Keep in mind, Richard is the founder and operator of a 400-company conglomerate. He also has dyslexia and a pretty piss poor academic track record.

Yet somehow, from space travel to deep sea exploration, to music and cell phones, this guy has literally been able to accomplish a bazillion times more than the average Joe. And he’s still only 61.

Hence, the crowd of boat passengers hung on the edge of their seat cushions in anticipation of what turned out to be an unbelievably simple answer…

Richard responded: “Work out.”

That was it.

And that has turned out to be the answer to so many seemingly ‘hard’ to solve problems:

  • How do I get more energy? Work out.
  • How do I get more confidence? Work out.
  • How do I keep from getting sick? Work out.
  • How do I find more time? Work out.
  • How do I stay focused? Work out.

And of course the obvious…

How do I look and feel better?

I’ll let you answer that one.

Believe me. Daily work out in a gym or even at your home has the potential to do miracle. It can do wonder for you in every sphere of your life. The reason being the fact that when we work out, we start shaping our body in a better way. There may be zillions of thing we want to control but unfortunately there are again zillions of reasons which will stop us from controlling them. However, we all have full control over our body.  Therefore, it is the closest thing over which we can exert our control. And here lies the magic. Once you start making it better-physically and mentally, an inner confidence starts developing inside you. This confidence is the real thing. It can, then be molded into whichever direction we want our life to proceed.

A work out does not necessarily means pumping iron at the local gym. It means any physical activity like running, aerobic, yoga, weight lifting, walking etc.

Though I can tell you so many things about this tip regarding ‘Work Out’, I will be doing a huge disservice to the guy who actually wrote the original article. So let me introduce him to you.

This article on ‘Work out’ was written by Scott Dinsmore from Liveyourlegend.net.

Unfortunately, Scott is no more. He died last year after being hit by falling rocks while climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanjania. This expedition was  a part of his tour to travel the world and live his life to fullest.

Scott was a fitness fanatic. He was into extreme sports, marathon, running and challenging his body to achieve new targets. Apart from being a fitness geek, he was a prolific blogger, an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker and a visionary. His TED talk on How to Find & Do Work You Love  is one of the most popular TED talk ever and has been seen by more than 1.8 millions times at the last count. It is rather unfortunate that he died at such a young age of 33 !

However,  just like the name of his website, his legacy lives on.

Read Scott’s  full article on the ultimate productivity hack of all time  :

http://liveyourlegend.net/productivity-guide-how-richard-branson-does-so-much-the-power-of-fitness/

I am sure that after reading this article, you will not be the same person as you are right now. Go ahead and read it now.

Lesson 2  :  The ultimate trick to remove writer’s block and awaken the muse of inspiration within you.

If you are into any kind of creative activity, be it blogging, writing, designing, singing, dancing, painting, acting or a research work of any kind then you must be aware of the fact that the inspiration does not come easily. We often find ourselves blank with nothing to say about our work or art. It is so paralyzing and devastating yet almost all of us – the creative artists – suffer from it. In the world of authors, this problem is known as ‘Writer’s Block’. It is something so powerful that we all feel helpless about it.

So what is the ultimate way to remove the Writer’s Block ? Is there a sure shot solution that helps us break the mold of inaction and start our creative juice with full steam?

Yes. There is one.

It is called : Everyday Grinding.

In simplest terms, it is nothing but sitting daily and working on your art work (in whichever field you are) without fail and consistently working on it irrespective of the quality of your output. Slowly slowly as you keep working in a consistent manner, you will start encountering various spark of brilliance in your art that will come from an unknown source. The muse of inspiration will start helping you in your creative pursuit.

Perhaps, I am sounding too simplistic. However, it is nothing but truth. It has been the secret of success of some of the most brilliant authors of all time.

Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) is known as one of the most prolific writers of 20th Century.  Someone once asked him if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.

Everyday grinding is the key to awaken the inspiration within. Every thing which has some value in art arises from a different realm altogether.  An artist does not create it. It comes through him but not from him. The most important thing to understand is that it does not come by the mere wish of the artist. It arises on its own in the fertile ground of consistent hard work.

The most important book on this topic is the [easyazon_link identifier=”1936891026″ locale=”US” tag=”meditationise-20″]‘The War of Art[/easyazon_link]  by Steven Pressfield. It is a masterpiece on the subject of overcoming the ‘Writer’s block’ and everyday grinding is the key message.

Here  are  some useful straight lifts from ‘The War of Art’

The writer is an infantryman. He knows that progress is measured in yards of dirt extracted from the enemy one day, one hour, one minute at a time and paid for in blood. The artist wears combat boots.

The professional arms himself with patience, not only to give the stars time to align in his career, but to keep himself from flaming out in each individual work. He knows that any job, whether it’s a novel or a kitchen remodel, takes twice as long as he thinks and costs twice as much. He accepts that. He recognizes it as reality. The professional steels himself at the start of a project, reminding himself it is the Iditarod, not the sixty-yard dash.

He conserves his energy. He prepares his mind for the long haul. He sustains himself with the knowledge that if he can just keep those huskies mushing, sooner or later the sled will pull in to Nome.

(On a side note, you will not found the words ‘everyday grinding’ in the book despite the fact that the entire book revolves around them. I took the concept of everyday  grind from another book -[easyazon_link identifier=”0986369322″ locale=”US” tag=”meditationise-20″ localize=”y”]Content Warfare[/easyazon_link] by Ryan Haley.  Ryan is a living example of the message from the War of Art. Here is what he says about the grind at one place in his book: “Working to attract eyeballs and ears is a grind, so prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.” )

Lesson 3 : Before giving up, ask yourself : Whether I have given my 100% to this task or not. If the answer is ‘No’, don’t give up.

Whenever you are faced with a task that seems impossible, don’t be judgmental and make any opinion about it in haste. See it and analyze it from all angle. Then, before going with the opinions of others that it indeed is impossible, ask yourself this question :

Have I given 100 %  of my physical and mental effort into solving this problem ?.

This is a very powerful statement. Be truthful to yourself. If the answer that comes from the core of your heart is that yes you have given your 100% in solving this problem and based on present facts and circumstances, it is not practically possible solve this problem, then  and only then accept it as impossible.

Listen to your inner voice closely. Because if you have not given your 100% to the problem at hand, then somewhere in your heart, a whispering voice will emerge that will confirm this fact. In an unambiguous way, this sound will tell you about your lack of efforts and that there is still something that can be done about the problem.

There is this wonderful story in the book [easyazon_link identifier=”1599953676″ locale=”US” tag=”meditationise-20″ localize=”y”]The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth[/easyazon_link], by John C. Maxwell .

In one cold evening during winter, a salesman looked out from a restaurant window and noticed a snowstorm brewing. He asked his waiter, “Do you think the roads will be clear enough in the morning to travel?” The waiter replied, “Depends if you’re on salary, or commission.”

The point of the story is that if you’re on a set salary, you’ll likely phone your boss and tell him the roads are too bad to travel. If you’re on commission, you’ve got to go and make the sale. Otherwise, you don’t eat.

The guy on salary can give up in the morning. Given the fact that he is going to get his salary at the end of the month, he will find many excuses about the weather for not going outside. The guy on commission, however, can’t do so. Full aware of the fact that his earning for the day will be decided only if he turns up for the job, he will find the courage and means to go outside even in a stormy weather. He will explore all the possibility of going outside in whichever way he can. He knows that if he gives his 100%, he can go outside by beating the cold wave.

Think about it.

If you are contemplating of giving up a particular pursuit due to harsh circumstances then before you take your final call, ask your conscience: Have I given my 100% to it ?.

Then listen the whispers of your heart.

You will find the answer.

Summation

Here is a summary of  the 3 key tips I shared with you above :

(1) To increase productivity : Work out.

(2) To remove creativity block : Do the daily grind.

(3) Before giving up: Ask yourself if you have given your 100%.

These three hacks are not new. They are available to everybody since the time immemorial. I have discussed them here with the intention to help you as much as I want to  help myself.

I am too a human  – full of weakness and shortcomings. But just like you, I am also learning and improving every day.

I hope you too will find these hacks useful. Feel free to share your views on above by commenting below:

Namaskar ! Its existence

Hello my dear friends,

After a very long gap, I have come back again to my favorite website. Indeed for me it is a second home. I feel so comfortable when I come and write some stuff here.

So where I was all these days ?

Well I was right here in India. Just involved and busy in my life. Doing some works which are not particularly related to meditation but has some close connection with my personal life.

Once I read some where that when you find yourself surrounded with situations which are beyond your control, those unavoidable situations where you just can’t do much – in all such situation make a realization that – Oh this is existence !!

This is existence who just came and disturb me.

This is existence who is crying, laughing and shouting at me.

This is existence who just pulled a big horn and made such a big noise.

This is existence who just compelled me to go to the market and buy some vegetable when I was expecting to mediate and contemplate on life.

In Hindi we called it ‘Astitava’ – the existence.

You need to embrace it with all its facets. A big yes to life means a big yes to existence.

You can’t fight with a storm. You’ll have to learn to play with that storm so that you can ride over it.

Make this existence your friend- not enemy. And you’ll be at peace.

May God bless you all !

The wonderful principle of Triage

Fortunately I have got an opportunity to review a wonderful book on Self Development. This book is Personal Development for Smart People written by Steve Pavlina who owns the Internet’s most popular self-help blog’ Steve Pavlina.Com‘. I have not yet finished the book but whatever I have read till now has impressed me deeply. This book is filled with golden nuggets of wisdoms. In one of my subsequent posts, I’ll post a detailed review of the book.

However, just for your interest, here is a small excerpt from the book which tells us how to give priorities to our tasks, projects and actions in the most efficient way possible.

Triage

In battlefield medicine, the principle of triage involves dividing patients into three groups:

1. Those who will die anyway, whether they receive medical attention or not

2. Those who will survive anyway, whether they receive medical attention or not

3. Those who will survive only if they receive timely medical attention

When resources are limited, medics must attend to members of the third group before the first and second groups in order to save as many lives as possible.

Triage can also help you build your authority by focusing your attention on the most significant actions. In this case you divide your tasks, projects, and activities into three groups:

1. Projects that will fail to have a significant impact, whether you do them or not

2. Projects that will succeed anyway, whether you do them or not

3. Projects that will have a significant impact only if you complete them in a timely manner

If you focus your attention on the first group, you’re just spinning your wheels while more important tasks remain undone. If you focus your attention on the second group, you’re wasting your energy for no meaningful return. But if you attend to the third group, you’ll put your time and energy to the best possible use. In order to focus on the most significant actions, you must withdraw your attention from the first two groups.

Practicing triage is extremely challenging because it requires repeatedly saying no to what you may instinctively feel are good choices. It’s the time-management equivalent of saying no to wounded people calling for help. But if you fail to master the art of triage, many worthwhile projects will die needlessly.

This process is a challenge of consciousness. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re staring at a project screaming for your attention. But you still need to muster the awareness to ask yourself: Is this the most important thing for me to be doing right now?

Make a list of your group-three projects and activities, and keep it handy at all times. Maybe it’s a list of your key goals, but it could also be a list of the life areas you want to attend to, such as your health, relationships, and spiritual practice. Review that list every day to keep refreshing its presence in your mind. This will help you make the tough triage decisions when the need arises. It’s easier to say no to groups one and two when you can see the whole battlefield.

What are the group-three projects that are dying in the trenches but that can still be saved if you reach them in time? Your health? Your relationship? Your career? Your spiritual connection? In order to make time to save them, what ones and twos are you willing to pass up?

That’s all for this week.

Keep Meditation ! May God Bless You !

Eklavya

Have trust in existence. That alone is enough

Question/Query : How do you balance trust in your life? Do you let go and trust that all will work out for the best, or do you struggle towards your goals in high velocity from an underlying motivation by fear (ever so minuscule even)?

I often question myself in many areas of everyday living my ability to trust. And I wonder – Are your motivations consciously guided by trusting that you are on the path you are meant to be on, or are you unconsciously motivated? Do you work extremely hard in the physical world doing this and that to accomplish something, or do I trust and let go of the outcome.

What do you place your trust in? A higher power, a higher intention? Or do you trust in yourself mainly?

Do you focus on your guides to assist you in endeavors, or do you feel alone in your personal actions?

Answer :

Once I was reading a book of great meditation master Osho where I cam across one of his saying – ” Have trust in existence. That alone is enough”.

The word existence in Hindi means “Astitava’ which actually means the Universe or Creation.

I can’t say of others, but it my own personal experience that having a faith (or trust) on existence (Universe) is one of the most effective method for attaining mental peace and calm.

Often I think, “What is the purpose of life ? Why in the first place we born on this earth which is so full of misery pain and struggle. Man is killing man just on the basis of Caste, creed, religion or nationality. The God just creates one earth and we divided it into numerous pieces of land. Everyday life is becoming more and more complicated. Just why we are (or for that matter all of us) here ? Just to be born, grow young, marry, have children and then ultimately die ? What is the use of all this?

Then comes many answer for this frustration. However, the answer which give me solace is that we are are part of a constant creation. The collective consciousness of every living being on this planet (and it includes every living being- not humans only) is increasing and all that we see around us is nothing but a dance of this consciousness. We all are parts of this Universe and when we reflect upon this dance, in many ways one part of the Universe reflect upon itself. All in all this is a game, a huge game which is going on since the time immemorial. We with our limited wisdom and resources can’t fathom its vastness. We are just a very very tiny drop in this enormous ocean of consciousness.

Just have faith in this huge existence. All negative forces which you see around here are also part of this cosmic force. We should have trust in the existence and should do all that we can do with our potential. Our own desires and intentions are the result of our limited wisdom. If we succeed in fulfilling them, well and good. If we can’t fulfill them owing to circumstances beyond our control, we should not make it a question of life and death. Just have faith in this huge existence and let it decide what it want to make of you. The ego, the fame , the success are as momentary as the failure or anonymity.

Have faith in existence and you will find miraculous improvement in your outlook towards life. A faith or trust in existence is enough.