Spiritual person

The Mindful World

The first thing that caught my eye about The Mindful World is just how beautiful their site design is. This is one good looking mindfulness blog.

It takes more than just good looks to be included in this list of the best spiritual blogs, though. And, indeed, The Mindful World has a lot of depth behind that pretty exterior.

The Mindful World is a group of individuals who are passionate about spreading mindfulness around the world. Their articles are very in-depth and some of the most professionally written pieces on any spiritual website.

Excerpt from CONFRONTING REALITY: The lie of Evidence-Based Treatment and how it affects psychological therapy for abused children

“The scientific process is supposed to be the golden standard for the pursuit of knowledge and truth. When asked to think of a scientist, many people will imagine a somewhat “nerdish” individual who’s often more comfortable with numbers than people.

We imagine these scientists as being wholly dedicated to their research and unwavering in their pursuit of the truth. The idea that many published scientists are heavily influenced by politics, that scientific journals often compromise their standards for publications, and that many universities look the other way to secure federal funding, often comes as a shock to most people.”

Change Your Energy

Change Your Energy is a spiritual healing blog. It reads like a self improvement blog, packed full of excellent advice on articles on all manner of self development topics. Every article is full of spiritual guidance and offers inspiration for developing your spiritual life. Change Your Energy is is also one of the most professionally presented spiritual blogs.

My favourite excerpt : From the article “Sing As If Speaking, Dance As If Walking”

“Do you pick up your smartphone, look for people to chat with, or go to the TV or Internet because time alone is lonely, strange, or difficult? You can be a wonderful friend to yourself, incomparably better than any person or any machine.

Here is a suggestion for enjoying spending time with yourself: Sing and dance for 30 minutes every day. Try to sing as if speaking and to dance as if walking.

Enjoy being immersed in yourself, regardless of what other people think. The time you enjoy spending with yourself is time for changing your energy and for accumulating energy. You can encounter your soul as you sing and dance.

Mom On A Spiritual Journey:
Mom on a Spiritual Journey is the blog of Sarah Lawrence Hinson. Sarah gives spiritual coaching sessions and writes articles about both her personal life and about spiritual energy.
My favourite excerpt:
From “6 tips for driving your car as a spiritual practice”
“MAKE YOUR CAR A NO PHONE ZONE LIKE OPRAH SAYS.  I’ll be the first to admit that I am useless at using a phone and driving, in fact I’m a downright danger so don’t do it at all.  Just because you might be better than me doesn’t mean you should do it too though.  If the phone rings and I am alone, I pull over if I know I’m waiting for an important call.  If you work a lot on your phone, get hands free…it’s not the greatest idea but it could save your life.  If I have the girls in the car then they answer the phone for me.  When it’s their turn to learn to drive, texting and driving will not be acceptable because I DON’T DO IT

Spiritual Awakening Process:

Spiritual Awakening Process discusses many aspects of spirituality and offers practical advice to improve your spiritual life. The best part of Spiritual Awakening Process is the one hour sessions that can be booked and which offer help for you on your spiritual journey. Definitely a great spiritual blog.

LINK: SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Favourite Except: From “Awakening”

“Life inside the awakening is a whole other beast. Many people focus on the singular point of awakening, that amazing “Ah-ha!” moment. However, while that is a critical piece of the awakening process, so is the transition from sleep-mode to every moment awakeness. The awakening ushers in a time of transition that is unsettled, unstable, and unique. It is a time of embracing new and amazing parts of you and then trying to crawl right back into bed. It is a time of expansion and contraction as you grow and then shrink back to the core issues that are still unresolved and holding you back.”

Spiritual Awakening Process:

Spiritual Awakening Process discusses many aspects of spirituality and offers practical advice to improve your spiritual life. The best part of Spiritual Awakening Process is the one hour sessions that can be booked and which offer help for you on your spiritual journey. Definitely a great spiritual blog.

LINK: SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Favourite Except: From “Awakening”

“Life inside the awakening is a whole other beast. Many people focus on the singular point of awakening, that amazing “Ah-ha!” moment. However, while that is a critical piece of the awakening process, so is the transition from sleep-mode to every moment awakeness. The awakening ushers in a time of transition that is unsettled, unstable, and unique. It is a time of embracing new and amazing parts of you and then trying to crawl right back into bed. It is a time of expansion and contraction as you grow and then shrink back to the core issues that are still unresolved and holding you back.”

Tiny Buddha

Tiny Buddha is an absolutely wonderful spiritual blog that is mostly a mindfulness blog. It matches cuteness and fun with insight and wisdom. It’s also got more Facebook followers than anyone else on this list, partly because it was a pioneer of the whole spiritual blogging movement.

Excerpt from : Boost Your Happiness: 10 Mindfulness Tips for Busy People

“Do you ever feel as though you would be happy if only things were a little different?

You know that happiness is important, but you keep putting it on the backburner because there simply isn’t enough time to prioritize your own inner joy.

And at the same time, you know that meditation would help, but you can’t even imagine where you’re going to get the spare time you need to sit still and meditate.

In an ideal world, we would schedule moments every day in which to cater to our health needs, because health and well-being are paramount. Yet despite our best efforts we will inevitably face those times when we’re busy every minute of the day. I know I’ve been there.”

The Case for a New Avenger

S.H.I.E.L.D. might have missed assembling team members from India, but it is never too late to correct an oversight. Imagine our larger-than-life superhero, Rajinikanth, partnering with other Avengers in a combined mission to save the planet from dangerous predators with bad intentions. Some aliens, some familiar ones! Yes, India is far from America, and the distance seems to have increased during the pandemic, but Rajinikanth could give some worthy company to Iron Man and perhaps teach him a trick or two, too, through holographic interfaces and augmented reality. Who knows, he could also kill all the mutants of Coronaviruses in this quest!

I wish to present some facts now to give you a background of my strategic human resource and leadership plan for S.H.I.E.L.D. India has one of the largest numbers of gig workers in the world. As per a March 2021 report by consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the gig economy in India is expected to soar to 90 million in approximately a decade from now. Choose any vocation here and you will be spoilt for choices. Almost everyone is an expert on politics, economics, socio-cultural issues, fashion, sports, career, marriage, children, nature, animals, traffic, the dos, and don’ts … the list is endless. People can even advice others on how they should lead their lives. It’s affection, silly!

War for talent? Clearly, recruiters have not been able to explore the depth of this vast pool. To reiterate, India is a land bubbling with high potentials. Now let us go back to the topic of superpowers. There is plan B too. Rajinikanth could have a serious competition in a plain-looking community here. S.H.I.E.L.D. could consider appointing some members from this fraternity too.

You are rolling your eyes? Why? Hear me out. Presenting to you the case of beholders of the mighty pen (over a sword or a gun), and the upholders of fine speech. Their words hit no less than the missiles unleashed by Israel over the Gaza strip. Let me walk you through the innate gifts of a less publicized community with an immensely amoeba-like (plasma membrane) flexibility.

The teachers.

The extremely sturdy ones can stand the whole day, operate (teach) without a table and a chair, or, the basic infrastructure, and sometimes work even at low or no salaries for months. The strengths, struggles and coping mechanism of the privileged ones out of this lot are embedded in different realms. More on that, later! You will be astonished to learn how many hats teachers can don at the same time. They juggle between being a mentor, coach, counsellor, Devil’s advocate, friend, philosopher, or guide. Interestingly, even their DNA personifies versatility. Over the years, the mutations in their genetic material have helped them learn how to make milestones of the stones thrown at them by students unhappy with their marks, and parents unhappy with the teachers for giving those marks! Talk about heightened senses, their eyes can easily observe and sense the intention behind each greeting, smile and calls to the office. They are like Sharma ji ka beta/beti’, always expected to excel at everything and set an ideal example for the others to emulate.

Here, I would take a detour and ask you to recall the violinists who continued to play music for as long as they were alive, just to calm the passengers on the sinking Titanic ship. On similar lines, teachers continued to teach while the pandemic unleashed havoc around the world. The unlearning of years of classroom teaching was replaced by the immediate need to adopt new technological tools and re-learn the art of virtual teaching. The new and changed landscape was no less than the one post Thanos snapping his finger.

Aren’t convinced yet? Go to the polling booths and follow the polio immunization drives, you will know what I mean.

Now the final hook. Except for some teachers working with elite institutions, the rest won’t even charge much for their services. You can simply smile, appreciate their work, show some respect, and boy, see how they melt! Just watch how it lights up their faces. They are so motivated, especially on September 5 every year in India, that even Abraham Maslow bows to them from time to time from his grave. Had told you about their genetic sequencing earlier, remember? I do hope I have presented their (our) case well, S.H.I.E.L.D. Hopefully, you will have a relook at your current team now.

On a sidenote, can I be a contender too? Just saying. I can take it up as a gig assignment during the semester breaks. Imagine the newest Avenger on the block and that too a female from India! It will further boost the diversity and inclusion factors for you. If you can give equitable salary and perks, you could even find yourself on the pages of Harvard cases.

You might want to provide supplements of Vitamin T(eacher) to your team if Rajinikanth’s diary of appointments is full. Professor Hulk would not mind some more erudite company. In return, I vow to start quoting your example in my classes as a great employer brand with an excellent employee value proposition. Who knows, I might even write a research article. Told you, pen and words are the weapons here. Think about it. What say? Are you game?

P.S. I have recently bought a telescope to keep an eye on the stars and planets too. Taking my possible future role tad too seriously, eh?

Suicide effects

Suicide affects all people. Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts. 

Unfortunately, our society often paints suicide the way they would a prison sentence—a permanent situation that brands an individual. However, suicidal ideation is not a brand or a label, it is a sign that an individual is suffering deeply and must seek treatment. And it is falsehoods like these that can prevent people from getting the help they need to get better.

Debunking the common myths associated with suicide can help society realize the importance of helping others seek treatment and show individuals the importance of addressing their mental health challenges. 

Myth: Suicide only affects individuals with a mental health condition.

Fact: Many individuals with mental illness are not affected by suicidal thoughts and not all people who attempt or die by suicide have mental illness. Relationship problems and other life stressors such as criminal/legal matters, persecution, eviction/loss of home, death of a loved one, a devastating or debilitating illness, trauma, sexual abuse, rejection, and recent or impending crises are also associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Myth: Once an individual is suicidal, he or she will always remain suicidal.

Fact: Active suicidal ideation is often short-term and situation-specific. Studies have shown that approximately 54% of individuals who have died by suicide did not have a diagnosable mental health disorder. And for those with mental illness, the proper treatment can help to reduce symptoms. 

The act of suicide is often an attempt to control deep, painful emotions and thoughts an individual is experiencing. Once these thoughts dissipate, so will the suicidal ideation. While suicidal thoughts can return, they are not permanent. An individual with suicidal thoughts and attempts can live a long, successful life. 

Myth: Most suicides happen suddenly without warning.

Fact: Warning signs—verbally or behaviorally—precede most suicides. Therefore, it’s important to learn and understand the warnings signs associated with suicide. Many individuals who are suicidal may only show warning signs to those closest to them. These loved ones may not recognize what’s going on, which is how it may seem like the suicide was sudden or without warning.

Myth: People who die by suicide are selfish and take the easy way out.

Fact: Typically, people do not die by suicide because they do not want to live—people die by suicide because they want to end their suffering. These individuals are suffering so deeply that they feel helpless and hopeless. Individuals who experience suicidal ideations do not do so by choice. They are not simply, “thinking of themselves,” but rather they are going through a very serious mental health symptom due to either mental illness or a difficult life situation.   

Myth: Talking about suicide will lead to and encourage suicide.

Fact: There is a widespread stigma associated with suicide and as a result, many people are afraid to speak about it. Talking about suicide not only reduces the stigma, but also allows individuals to seek help, rethink their opinions and share their story with others. We all need to talk more about suicide. 

Debunking these common myths about suicide can hopefully allow individuals to look at suicide from a different angle—one of understanding and compassion for an individual who is internally struggling. Maybe they are struggling with a mental illness or maybe they are under extreme pressure and do not have healthy coping skills or a strong support system. 

As a society, we should not be afraid to speak up about suicide, to speak up about mental illness or to seek out treatment for an individual who is in need. Eliminating the stigma starts by understanding why suicide occurs and advocating for mental health awareness within our communities. There are suicide hotlines, mental health support groups, online community resources and many mental health professionals who can help any individual who is struggling with unhealthy thoughts and emotions. 

Top Five must read Ray Bradbury books.

To open the pages of a Ray Bradbury novel is to enter an imagination that has travelled far beyond the bounds of our rocky globe, into the most fascinating and perplexing realms of human life.

Bradbury had a productive career as one of America’s most successful novelists, short storey writers, playwrights, and screenwriters, best known for his works Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury, in a strange blend of the futuristic, the spooky, the bizarre, and the nostalgic, could be considered a genre unto himself. Bradbury was a Renaissance writer if there ever was one.

It’s hard to think this isn’t a scenario from one of Bradbury’s books because his writing career began in such a magical way. When he met Mr Electrico at a carnival when he was twelve years old, he was taken around a tent of misfits that would later stalk the pages of his most morbid books. Mr Electrico touched Ray with an electrified sword later that day and whispered to him, “Live forever.”

And Bradbury took Mr. Electro’s vow to heart, writing every day for more than seventy years, establishing a literary legacy that will live on in perpetuity, employing his prodigious storytelling abilities to craft tales that have enthralled millions of readers and inspired a slew of imitators.

He said that he was neither a science fiction, fantasy, or magical realism author, but rather a word magician who was written by his books.

It’s impossible to choose a Top Five list from Bradbury’s seemingly endless works, therefore this will be a list of my favourites and recommended must-reads.

A Ray Bradbury Top Five must-read list must include the following, in no particular order. 

1. The Illustrated Man (1951)

The Illustrated Man — a former carnival worker whose crawling tattoos spun stories of dread and delight — weaves together a series of short stories in this dark and wonderful novel.

Several stories are connected to The Martian Chronicles, and many of them resemble Bradbury’s early futuristic work, such as “The Veldt,” a cautionary storey set in a children’s nursery that conjures up the contents of the imagination. When the children’s parents consider shutting off the nursery, they discover that virtual reality has become all too real, and “Kaleidoscope,” in which an accident rips open a starship and spews its space-suited crew into space, where they meet a variety of ends. This narrative is so amazing that I read it at least twice a year to see how a master works.

Exploring this live canvas with Bradbury as your guide becomes a riveting investigation of the human condition, putting The Illustrated Man among the best Ray Bradbury books.

2. Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Guy Montag, a fireman in a dystopian society where books are forbidden and most people spend their days in front of television screens, doesn’t put out fires; he causes them. Montag is assigned by the authorities to burn forbidden publications that promote free and complex thought, and he works diligently to complete his task. That is, until he meets Clarisse, a lone late-night pedestrian who reawakens Montag’s awareness of his surroundings. Montag begins to have doubts about his technology-dependent civilization and attempts to save the secret realm of printed knowledge that still exists.

Bradbury was inspired to create this grim essay on a post-literature future by the Red Scare of the 1940s, which saw America seized by anti-communist hysteria. While Fahrenheit 451 may be a parable about McCarthyism and Stalinism, Bradbury’s warnings about the pitfalls of political correctness and technological advancements appear to be becoming increasingly prescient.

This short novel, based on his short tale “The Fireman,” is perhaps most recognised for the Francois Truffaut film starring Oscar Werner and Julie Christie. And if that’s the case, people are missing out on a classic science fiction storey with a chilling Orwellian theme. Read the book and watch the movie. Fahrenheit 451 serves as a admonitory tale.

3.  The Martian Chronicles (1950)

The heat from the rocket burns blazes through an Ohio winter in January 1999, as pioneers depart Earth for Mars. In this superb epic about the colonisation of a new frontier in space, waves of settlement missions land on Mars until the planet’s cities are nearly destroyed. Things take a turn when humankind is on the verge of extinction on Earth, and the survivors seek refuge on the planet they once exploited, now a barren wasteland. 

Mars and the ethereal Martians are fanciful imagination in Bradbury’s hands. Despite the fact that he eschewed the hard scientific truths of regulated science fiction writers and preferred old technology to modern — bicycles over cars, typewriters over computers – he possessed a remarkable foresight into the future. Bradbury utilises the unusual light of an alien world to question humanity’s constant avarice in The Martian Chronicles, which might be interpreted as a mirror of postwar life in the Midwest. He reminds us that technical growth is only worthwhile if it improves our lives.

Rather than sticking to science fiction conventions, each chapter is an experiment in style and atmosphere. It does, however, take place on Mars, but it is the Mars of Edgar Rice Burrows and Barsoom, not the world we know from various landers and orbital photographic surveys. In Bradbury’s universe, Martians exist, and when Earthlings come, all hell breaks loose, albeit in a calm, retrospective, and masterfully portrayed manner

The text alone in The Martian Chronicles is worth reading; from “The Off Season”: “The wind threw the sand ship keening across the empty sea floor, past upturned pillars, past derelict marble and brass docks, past dead white chess cities, past purple slopes, into the distant…”

4. The October Country (1955)

Despite his fame as the author of the book-burning apocalyptic classic Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury was first and foremost a short-story writer. Dark Carnival, a collection of weird and melancholy stories published in 1947, was his first book. He trimmed, altered, and expanded to this collection eight years later to create The October Country, his ultimate tome of the macabre and bizarre.

Such classics as The Small Assassin, Skeleton, and The Wind, among its lovely bits of autumnal sweets, upend the familiar, creating a world where the mundane is exotic and terrifying. Bradbury’s horror stories aren’t surprising or exciting. It’s the terror of realising that something inside you is out to get you, whether it’s an unborn child or a pile of bones. It’s the terror of living in a world where the winds are conspiring to bring you down. But, though Bradbury avoids gore and the stock creatures of spooky literature, I defy you not to feel a shiver running down your spine as you read The October Country on a dark and stormy night.

5. The Golden Apples of the Sun(1953)

Bradbury abandoned frame narratives for his fourth ‘fix-up’ of short stories and simply juxtaposed tales from a variety of genres. The result is a stunning fusion of his familiar, wistful fantasy, such as “The April Witch,” a haunting tale about a teenage dream-traveler yearning to fall in love, and visionary science fiction, such as the title storey, a terrifying yet beautiful description of a spaceship’s flight into the Sun’s atmosphere.

A seemingly uninteresting storey is tucked within amidst these treats. The film “The Pedestrian” is about a man who enjoys getting out of the house and going for a walk. In a nod to Fahrenheit 451, this society is one in which individuals are cooped up in their homes, engrossed in television — and going for a walk results in arrest. Bradbury warns that technology progress can steal people of their humanity and enforce adherence to the current quo by depicting neighbourhoods as graveyards and people as mindless insects.

A fascinating account of a spaceship’s journey into the Sun’s atmosphere in order to sample some of its composition. Scientifically improbable, but a masterwork of heat, terror, and beauty in Bradbury’s hands. It’s also the title storey in a wonderful anthology of 22 pieces, including “The Fog Horn” and “A Sound of Thunder,” which are both classics.

Happy reading guys.

The Psychological Connection to Hobbies

Most of us have had a childhood interest or a hobby which was our favourite pastime. With not much to do all day, we would spend our time engaging in different unique and creative activities. Not only saving us from boredom, these hobbies have provided us with lot of benefits and shaped us into becoming what we are today.

Almost everyone had a favourite pastime activity which would keep us busy in our childhood. Starting from painting, doodling to collecting stamps, pebbles, train tickets and what not. When asked about their hobbies many people were found to narrate happy tales of their childhood. In today’s busy world where it is difficult to even take a day off from work, we tend to lose touch with our creative sides. Thinking about our childhood days makes us realise how long it had been since these hobbies were a part of our lives. Sports, music, crafts have all been pushed aside in adulthood by our busy schedules and responsibilities. In the midst of all these we have not realised how important these had been in shaping us and how amazing it would be to revisit these days by going back to those hobbies.

As children we had many different ways to spend our times. Some of us were into painting and crafts, some were into musical instruments, while some had the interesting habit of collecting stuffs. All these hobbies seem simple but studies show that there is a lot more to it.

There’s a lot of factual information about the importance of art in a child’s development. Researches show that individuals who have been into art and crafts in their childhood are found to be more expressive and have better communication skills. Experimenting with art makes children open to broader ideas and help them handle unexpected situations with ease.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Collecting is believed to be a psychological impulse. Collection is a historical practice and it ranges from stamps, books, tickets, coins to leaves and pebbles. People maintain the habit of collecting due to various reasons. Some collect due to an interest in the things that the collections represent, while others view collection as a pleasurable form of owning something. The different aspects attached with it makes the psychology behind it so interesting. It has been known that individuals who had the habit of collecting grow up to be careerist individuals in future. As the saying goes “An individual’s childhood is reflection of their life”. Collectors are also known to make better social connections and more friendships.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

Individuals engaging with music from a very young age tend to enjoy musical instruments. Engaging with music makes us happy and lifts our spirits. Studies show that music improve our brain functions and it keeps the brain active. It has also been known that music helps in retaining information and develops memory. Children who have had such hobbies grow up to be smart individuals.

Google had encouraged its employees to devote 20 percent of their time to side projects of their interest. It was a very innovative decision on the part of the company and it yielded amazing results. It has been known that following this, employees have performed more productively in their work and have achieved more. There are innumerable ways in which hobbies help in one’s overall growth and development. Most of us have lost touch with these but we can surely try and revive those habits. In fact, discovering childhood hobbies can make our lives better and make us happier. It feels amazing to revive those countless memories we have with an instrument or a habit. This will also help us become more productive in our work. Investing one’s time in areas of interest alongside their career can yield incredible results and, in the process, will make us better individuals with a more holistic outlook towards life.

Turning your Hobby into a Career

Hobbies are very essential for personal development and relaxation, but the last thing you want to do is turn a means of relaxation from daily life’s hustle, commotion and grind into something exhausting and pressurized. So, in what group do you fall within? Hopefully, after following these tips, you’ll have a better idea. Well, it depends what type of hobby you have and whether the full-time career version of it is the right person. For many of us, it’s a dream-to splurge your working day doing what you love. However, sadly, for most people, it’s not the case. Then, there’s typically a difference between your professional career and the interests you’re doing outside working hours. But what if you could pair the two together? Here are a few tips on how to make the dream come true:

8 Things to Consider Before Turning Your Hobby into Your Career ...

Speak to somebody in the area to which your hobby relates. A good place to start is to speak to someone who already works in the field to which your hobby relates. As a fellow enthusiast, approach them – use your mutual interest as an opening to start a conversation. Ask them about the trajectory they have taken to get to the position they are now in. What was it they were studying? What were the concessions they had to make? Are they satisfied in their current role?

Consider even farther study. You may want to consider examining some additional study that closely correlates to your hobby. You can spend hours dedicated to your hobby, but the odds are that you will still be completely self-educated.

Short courses can be searched online; you might find something in your local area. Even TAFE courses are another perfect choice if you want to get the additional training you may need to turn your passion into a profession. Be patient, and devote your hobby more time. It doesn’t matter how well you’re at your hobby, there’s always room for improvement, says Farrow Jamieson’s Managing Director. Take a plan to dedicate more resources to your hobby. Make a list of all the contexts you want to improve and put together a strategy on how to do it. Allocate your hobby extra time per week and stick to your schedule.

Place yourself versatile. Things don’t necessarily go according to schedule, so be prepared for any setbacks. What is crucial is that you remain focused on your overall objective of transforming your passion into a profession. Tackle them as rationally as possible when you’re faced with certain challenges. Re-assess and see if that negative can be turned into a positive. Ask yourself: What do I need to do to get back on the right track with my vision?

Do not be afraid to start tiny when you embark on your quest to turn your passion into a profession. Start applying some of the suggestions above when you’re still in your present position. Understand the marketplace you want to enter, and start taking steps to position yourself for any future opportunities.