Life goes on…

To protect ourselves and to contain the virus, most of us are indoors. Below are some ways we can keep occupied while we are indoors.

book on a white wooden table
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

1. Spend more time on yourself

Each of us must try to get active for 30-45 minutes each day. There are many ways to get active indoors. Some of the ways will be through qigong, tai chi, yoga, meditation, home exercise types of equipment such as the treadmill, etc.

From The Chopra Centre, free programs: https://chopra.com/free-programs

From The Box of Happiness, yoga and many more: http://theboxofhappiness.com/yoga-sequences/

From Live & Dare, free meditation and more: https://liveanddare.com/

From Flowing Zen, [COVID-19 Support] Learn Qigong Online from Me for Free During the Crisis: https://flowingzen.com/21150/learn-qigong-online-from-me-for-free-during-the-covid-19-crisis/

From Reiki Rays, on Reiki resources: https://reikirays.com/

2. Less Clutter, More Energy Flow

The lesser things you have, the more positive energy flows in. Are there things that need cleaning/clearing at your surroundings, closets, kitchen cabinets, etc.? When you are focused on cleaning/clearing, it will relieve you from the stress.

Clean & Happy Nest, Bright Ideas for Better Living: https://cleanandhappynest.org/wpd/category/bright-nest/

How To Make Your Home Totally Zen in 10 Steps: https://freshome.com/inspiration/how-to-make-your-home-totally-zen-in-10-steps/

3. Hobbies: Handicrafts / Sewing / Crochet / Knitting / Paint / Drawing / Colouring

Focus on hobbies that increase your creativity. When your creativity levels are high, there is no place for stress and negativity. There are many online options available.

Crochet Basic Stitches from Karen Costello Soltys: https://www.shopmartingale.com/images/marketing/how-to/pdf/BasicCrochetStitches.pdf

4. Gardening

Spend more time with the plants and feel connected and grounded to nature. Some things you can consider is to grow a new type of plant, repot an existing plant or redecorating your garden space.

The Micro Gardener: https://themicrogardener.com/ten-tips-for-creating-beautiful-gardens/

Good housekeeping: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/advice/g495/small-garden-ideas/

The Spruce, Apartment Gardening for Beginners: https://www.thespruce.com/apartment-gardening-for-beginners-4178600

5. Journal writing

Are you feeling angry and stressed? You can always write out your thoughts and feelings in a journal. By doing that, not only you are releasing all anxiety to the paper, you are lightening the load from yourself.

Tips to start a journal writing from wikiHow: https://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Journal

6. Scrapbooking

Heard of this? Get creative about this.

What Is Scrapbooking? by Rebecca Ludens: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/what-is-scrapbooking-2960505

Scrapbook Ideas for Beginners: 25 Inspiring Layouts by Megan Andersen: https://www.creativelive.com/blog/scrapbook-ideas-for-beginners/

7. Sing and Hum to yourself

Sing and hum to yourself…

Singing And Humming To Yourself Can Have A Huge Impact On Your Body’s Health: https://www.littlethings.com/singing-humming-benefits

8. Cooking / Baking

With all the panic buying and stockpiling, this can be a bit challenging. Let’s be creative and create simple dishes or bake new items to try.

9. House Improvement Works

You can consider repainting your home or doing some simple home improvement works. And if you are intending to paint walls, why not use the stencils and get creative?

How to Make Wall Stencils: https://www.toolnerds.com/how-to-make-wall-stencils/

10. Write a story

Have you ever wanted to be an author or write a story? There are many online tools available to create a story online.

Commaful: https://commaful.com/writers/

For Children: https://www.imagineforest.com/

My Storybook: https://www.mystorybook.com/

11. Reading Books / Inspirational Guides

Do you still have old books stored away? It will be a good time to get them to re-read. If your nearby library is closed, you can also consider reading the electronic version of books.

12. Origami

A standard size paper of 75 x 75mm and you can make amazing crafts. It is a fantastic activity for the whole family. But do take note that origami paper comes in several sizes.

From Origmi.me: https://origami.me/

13. Board Games / Card Games

Board and/or card games will bring the nostalgic feeling of the good old days! At the same time, it will provide a break from electronics.

Top 10 Health Benefits Of Board Games: https://howgameareyou.com/health-benefits-board-games/

14. Other Ideas

Coronavirus Keeping You Home? These Fun STEAM DIY Kids Activities are Parenting Rescues! by SassyMama: https://www.sassymamasg.com/parenting-coronavirus-stay-home-kids-activities/

In short, all I can say,
Be positive! Be creative!

Blessings,
Esther

 

TOP 25 THIS TOO SHALL PASS QUOTES | A-Z Quotes

From The Chopra Centre: The Immeasurable Value of Meditation for Coping During the COVID-19 Crisis

Want to know the benefits of meditation in this difficult time?

Refer to the below link for more details:

https://chopra.com/articles/the-immeasurable-value-of-meditation-for-coping-during-the-covid-19-crisis?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=200324-March-Newsletter&utm_campaign=Newsletter2020324

For free 21 day meditation, refer to this link from Chopra Centre:

https://chopracentermeditation.com/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=200324-March-Newsletter&utm_campaign=Newsletter2020324

aquatic bloom blooming blossom
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

International Day of Happiness – 20 March

Times might not be right to be celebrating this…but it is necessary to be in gratitude and in happiness whatever that can be happening around us.

Refer to this link on how we all can come together to face the crisis: https://www.dayofhappiness.net/#new

There is also a 30-day coping calendar available for download.

Blessings,

Esther

blue banner sign posters
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Wisdom Gem No. 1

Wisdom Gem Header

“When you look at a field of dandelions,
You can either see
a hundred weeds
or a hundred wishes”.
~ Unknown

Reflection by Esther
How we view life or a particular situation is entirely up to us. No one can change the way we think of something unless we ourselves allow it to happen. Rather than looking at something, someone or a situation as negative and a hindrance, why don’t we step aside and look at ways on how we can learn or benefit from it. We all have to remember that anything negative that is taking place in our life is not permanent. Everything will pass at ease if we allow our thoughts to change accordingly. We must always see every situation in our life an opportunity to advance further. We must never let a bad situation drive us to darkness, depression and negativity.

(This was part of series of “wisdom” handouts I created in the past for my retail customers and my students.)

Wisdom Gem #1

Inspirational and Motivational Monthly Downloadable & Printable Calendars

If you are looking for a different way to motivate and inspire yourself on a monthly basis, you can see whether monthly downloadable calendars will do the work for you. I have found the monthly calendars recently and am sharing with all. I do like it as each month there is a different theme.

For non-Reiki practitioners and wants general motivation, try this site, Action for Happiness:
https://www.actionforhappiness.org/calendars
Personal remarks: Suitable for all.

I came across “Action for Happiness” website by chance and like the fact that they have monthly motivational calendars plus other interesting things.

For Reiki practitioners and believers, here is the link to the Reiki Rays site:
https://reikirays.com/68595/chillax-reiki-calendar-july-2019/
Personal remarks: This will be more useful for people who have knowledge of Reiki and the terms.

I use both calendars and it just adds more dose of inspiration and motivation to my daily activities.

Look and see whether it can benefit you too…Have an inspiring day! 🙂

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Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Be gentle and loving to your own good self

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.”
~ Margo Anand ~

Many times, I am the worst critic of myself. At times I get so hard on myself that I find it impossible to believe that I am doing it!

In the past, it has always taken much effort to love myself. Often, I was critical and even annoyed with myself over many aspects of my life and its happenings. Often, I took on the blame for other people failures. It took me a while or should say many years to realise that I do not need to carry all the burdens of everyone around me. It also took me awhile to love the person as I am. I lacked confidence in a number of aspects, for example in the way I look, dress, speak and more. While it does not need anyone to say anything negative to me, I could instantly, in a snap be very critical of myself that it brought me down in terms of emotions to negative thoughts and feelings. Often, it took plenty of courage on my part just to love myself. Afraid that I might look like a failure, I kept all of these to myself not wanting to discuss these aspects with anyone.

I am in my 40s now. Looking back, I could see many moments of life wasted just by being a critic of myself. That not only brought more bitterness to me but it also did not let me enjoy life and its moments. Spiritual knowledge or just to love myself is what I needed. While it is easy to go out to the world and proclaim, “I am the worse critic and I lack self-confidence,” I did not want to do it as society had its own expectations of me and most importantly, I had my own expectations of myself. I was afraid to talk about it to humans. Nevertheless, I turned inwards many times to my inner self and to God and his guides for direction and assistance. I am quite sure I received some kind of help from the inner self. At the same time, my self-critical voice was too loud to hear the inner voices. I wasted my life moments going around like a self-negative bomb, ready to burst on anyone that triggered it unknowingly.

The good thing to know is that your inner self NEVER gives up on you. My inner self made me search – search endlessly wanting to put an end to this very negative and dark areas. My inner self lead me to music, books and poems. The music piece that triggered in me a positive self-change and wanting to love myself more was “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins. One day many years back in my dark negative self, I just played the CD (I had purchased the inspiration moments 1 collection of music), “Adiemus” piece came. I just closed my eyes and drifted away – in peace, in love and in bliss. I was so peaceful that it is now impossible to explain in words. As of now, I play that piece of music and I can get goosebumps! Another music piece that will offer me peace and love anytime will be “Nightingale” by Yanni. This music piece brought about a closer connection to Nature or Mother Earth. It was as if it was erasing my negativity and replacing it with pure love (like a mother cradling a child with love). I wanted these peaceful and positive feelings to persists and wanted to carry it with me always and forever. I was silly not to realise that those wonderful positive feelings was always there – in me and in everyone too. We put a mask over it – by our expectations and societal expectations. Once the mask is up, we forget our true beautiful and lovely selves.

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

My search went on and then I stumbled upon Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)” and I was just so inspired and felt more loved and worthy by reading this book. It seemed that Parahamansa Yogananda was speaking directly to me on all my issues.

(The links to the music pieces and books are at the end of this post)

Another great mystic whom I love and respect is Rumi. He changes the reader with his beautiful poems. Rumi woke me from my negative sleep. He together with other Masters and Teachers made me see the positive value of my life. As Rumi puts,
“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.”

Slowly, but surely I made progress. Now, my critical self is quieter these days as I spend by being in Zen (by conscious living and living in the moments). However, my critical self is not totally “dead” or gone. It comes on and off making me think negatively over something or someone. I suppress the negative self-talk by focusing on my breath, nature (if I am outside), mantra, meditation, prayer, writing, coloring, drawing and more. I gently “kick” my negative thoughts and feelings away, replacing it with positive thoughts and feelings.

Often, it is very easy to fall into the trap of making ourselves look vulnerable and self-pitiable for so many negative and unhappy happenings in our life. The first step of remedy is to realise that we brought upon ourselves these negativity. In addition, we also need to realise that we are the Masters of our own life. Therefore, it is right that we erase it and replace it with positivity by our own efforts. It is not the responsibility of the world, society and family to get it done for us. We need to act like a Master and correct it.

These days there are many options out there to get it right. Books and music are easily available in electronic versions. Music is one way to find peace and unity with your own self. The only thing is that you just need to search for the right one to lift your spirits. Written works or books allow us to get in touch or connected with Ancient Masters. If you rather have people comfort, there are many support groups out there. If you are determined to get things right and / or sorted, the options will be available to you in many forms and ways.

The biggest mistake anyone can make is to waste his / her life precious moments in self-pity and negativity. To counter that, one need to love himself and be gentle at the same time. In fact it is so very easy to start loving our own self. We can start immediately without having to getting any clearance, approval or not doing much. After all, it is about us and life.

My friends, the year is ending soon. 2019 will be here soon. Take this opportunity to do a “self-check” and get rid of any mental clutter and negativity. It is now or never. You might not make great progress at a start. A small step is what one needs. Indeed, it is a big favor one will be doing for himself.

Imagine yourself as a positive bubble. There will be no one out there who will be able burst that bubble if you do not let them do it. If they try to burst your bubble, you can always tape it up with self-worth and self-love. I have done it and I am still doing it. Many others, who have experienced similar or different ways of negativity, have overcome it.

Let us all welcome 2019 with a big hug and wave a big bye to 2018, with gratitude…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. “
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

The links to the various music pieces that made a difference to my life

Link to Adiemus by Karl Jenkins
Video (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLjDAxHiDQ4
Audio (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX__4aHwYzM

Link to Nightingale by Yanni
Video1 (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPc5kMrStkY
Video2 (from YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inWzjwLmiPo

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

The links to the books that has made a difference to me and is continuing to make a difference to many others in the world…

Link to the Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)”
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6604259-journey-to-self-realization

Link to Man’s Eternal Quest (Collected Talks & Essays 1) by by Paramahansa Yogananda
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/648109.Man_s_Eternal_Quest?from_search=true

Link to Rumi’s Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit by Rumi, Maryam Mafi (Translator), Azima Melita Kolin (Translator)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14343182-rumi-s-little-book-of-life

Link to Dancing Into the Light: An Inner Journey Guided by Rumi by Rumi, Omid Arabian (Translation), Shilla Shakoori (Illustrations)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32165751-dancing-into-the-light?from_search=true

and more…

Be Gentle and Loving to your own good self - esther neela blog

 

Age has no limits for interests!

I am a Postcrossing member and recently at the Postcrossing blog, an article was written featuring their oldest member for now. She is Helen, 101 years old from the USA. One should read to find out that there are no age barriers for interests – even though we might have some limitations within our physical body as we age.

Among whatever that was written, what caught my eye was when Helen mentioned, “What you don’t use, you lose!” Isn’t that very much the truth? Our daily activities are at times so confined to certain matters, that we do not get to use all our talents and capabilities. It is time to look at ourselves and ask on a daily basis on what we are failing to use and letting it go to waste.

I was totally thrilled to read on Helen. I hope you do find some inspiration in this article just as I did.

Link to the article:

Title: A special postcrosser: Honney17 from the USA!

https://www.postcrossing.com/blog/2018/10/27/a-special-postcrosser-honney17-from-the-usa

Enjoy the Little Things

An Inspiration / Motivation

For those who already know, I am into PostCrossing. For those who are keen to know more about PostCrossing, you can read the details here.

2 days ago, I received a postcard (as part of PostCrossing initiative) from Jacki of USA. What captured my attention was firstly the picture of the card (an owl!!!) and also the wording printed at the bottom of the card. The pictures are posted here and I also type the words after this just in case, it is not clearly visible…

The postcard is a painting by N. Kirsten-Honshin,“Mystical Messenger of the Morning Light”

Sacred Beauty Messenger

Spirit of the Night

Recognizing Each Moment

As a Precious Gift

Your Message is not only of the Darkness of the Night

But of the returning Morning Light

My further reflection is that in each moment, be it filled with bitter moments or pleasant moments, it has always something to convey to us. It is up to us on how we wish to take the lessons and experiences. Not all lessons or experiences can be pleasant. Should we have the mindset to look at the everything around us as a “precious gift”, life will hold more value than what we think. We might not get whatever we wished for immediately or we might not even get whatever we wished for at all. The most important thing is to always look for “hidden” blessings in any situation. If we choose to look at all moments in a positive way, life would not be difficult to live and we will not carry negativeness in us. This is not easy – but for anything – it is a matter of trying – it is a matter of choices. Who else is going to make the choices? We…we choose the kind of thoughts to carry in our minds and hearts…no one is responsible.

Since we have the choice, why not make the right and wise choices now itself?

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Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi

I have ever touched on Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi topic before. This is a reinforcer on that from Mindful company…

https://www.mindful-company.com/blogs/notebook/what-is-kintsugi?utm_source=Website&utm_campaign=00785f9605-20180802_WOTM&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_657b536f8f-00785f9605-154401753&goal=0_657b536f8f-00785f9605-154401753&mc_cid=00785f9605&mc_eid=3c77398888

broken

 

Acts of Self-Love

It has been a long while since I posted something. Hope to be back at regular intervals to post something…today, I came across an article from the “Mindful Company” on acts of self-love… After all, we do not need the world to love us first. We need to love ourselves first…Enjoy loving and believing in your own self!

=========

Mindful Company – Acts of Self-Love

https://www.mindful-company.com/blogs/notebook/21-simple-everyday-acts-of-self-love?utm_source=Website&utm_campaign=00785f9605-20180802_WOTM&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_657b536f8f-00785f9605-154401753&goal=0_657b536f8f-00785f9605-154401753&mc_cid=00785f9605&mc_eid=3c77398888

self-love

 

Read and Reflect: Embrace the wounds and “scars”…

e3403-read2b25262breflect

pottery

All of us at one stage of our life will be “broken” and tested to the extremes that it can give us wounds or “scars” that can be temporary or permanent.

Instead of “masking” those wounds or scars, why not try to embrace it with an open mind and a new thought?

The Japanese believe in repairing broken things with gold – embracing the flaws and acknowledging it in a beautiful way. They call this Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi. You could have seen many potteries being adorned with gold lines, in order to repair it or give new meaning to it. Why don’t we do the same too to our life?

Acknowledge all those hurts and broken times. Be prepared to face it, with “gold”. There will be lessons we could have learnt from it that will make us stronger and wiser.

In other words, embrace the wounds and “scars”, not hide it!

kintsugi

kitsugi

Courage : Weekly Single Word Inspiration

Courage: Weekly Single Word Inspiration - Esther Neela Blog

Courage!  

Most of the times, we want to be safe and doing the usual, familiar things – that is being in our comfort zone. What about the time when we need to be in the “unknown” zone? What about the time when we need to try something that is different from what we have done in the past and what we are already familiar with? That is when fear, helplessness, and doubt creeps in. We tend to lose confidence in ourselves and in our ability. To overcome all of that, we need courage. 

As Osho once said, 

“The new is unfamiliar. It may be the friend, it may be the enemy, who knows? There is no way to know! The only way to know is to allow it; hence the apprehension, the fear.” 

Each of our life will definitely present to us situations when we have to bring out the attribute of courage out. When we open ourselves up to new adventures, the end result might be success or failure. We will never know that until we try. But our focus should not be on results only. The fact that we have already stepped out of our comfort zone to do a work, is something to be appreciated. 

If life presents to you an occasion when you had to step out of your comfort zone, always say “Yes!” Do not worry about the results yet. Just be in the present moment and live your life fully…

Who knows? The situation/occasion that calls you to be in might bring you new opportunities…

Have confidence in yourself that you are capable to handle anything that comes along your way. Have faith in yourself. 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? 

We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. 

We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, 

at whatever cost, must be attained.” 

~ Marie Curie ~

Courage: Weekly Single Word Inspiration - Esther Neela Blog

Harmony : Weekly Single Word Inspiration

Weekly Single Word Inspiration: Harmony - Esther Neela Blog

When someone mentions to you “harmony”, what comes to your mind? Or what does that mean to you? To me, “harmony” is to be in unity – it can be among communities, groups, or from a Reiki or Spiritual viewpoint, it can be a unity among the senses or chakras or mind, body, heart connection and so on…

When something is in unity or unified as a single source, there exists happiness. Without harmony or unity, there will be no happiness. Even though we claim to be happy, there will be something that will be bothering us that will cause us to be unhappy or to fuss about.

Just like Mahatma Gandhi mentioned, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” To achieve happiness in a situation or in life, it is necessary to have harmony in our thoughts and actions. For if what we do is one-sided or a sloppy job, harmony will be absent which in turn will start to damage our situation further or our relationship with others.

Before looking for approval and acceptance from others, it is best we start with ourselves. When we are in harmony with our own thoughts, senses and feelings, it is not necessary to look for approval from external people. We also have to remember that other people too have their own matters in life and challenges. Instead of putting unnecessary strain on someone to achieve harmony for our own sake, the easier way is to be in harmony with our self first.

I have personally gone through many stages of my life without harmony at times. During those times, I take regular time out and pen my thoughts down. It is easier for me to pen my thoughts and emotions on a paper. Then I think through exactly what is bothering me. I ask myself lots of questions such as whether my thoughts are in the same direction as my actions. If no, I start asking myself even more honest questions and look at where my life is headed to. At times, it is easier for me to get all answers. At times, it is a struggle as things are not as easy as what it seems. During the times of struggle, I tend to be harsher on myself which I know is wrong. I instantly take a step back and tell myself to be gentle with my good self. I give myself time to think through, and get my internal thoughts and external actions in tune.

It does take time to get in tune to our own self in harmony, but the most important thing is not to give up or get angry or displeased with our self. I feel that if one is unable to be in harmony himself, he will never derive harmony (or happiness) from anywhere. Depending on external factors such as people, situations and environments to provide us with harmony is wrong too. After all, no one owes us anything.

During the process of self-discovery and / or self-analysis, we have to be gentle with ourselves. If we are always in conflict with our own thoughts and emotions, we have to sincerely start questioning ourselves gently and kindly what exactly we hope to achieve and want in life. Not everything we need or want in life will be provided easily. We have to learn to accept things if it is not according to what we wanted or wished for. Once we have accepted things as they are, it is easier to be in harmony with anything around us.

Make a point to be in harmony with your self on a daily basis. And please be gentle and kind to yourself.

To conclude, a quote from Marcus Aurelius, 
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe”.

Harmony : Weekly Single Word Inspiration - Esther Neela Blog

An Inspiration to all….Singapore’s first female Olympian, Tang Pui Wah

Found this video on one of the many Singaporeans who inspire anyone – be it young or old….be it in any year…all of these adds to our life some meaning and soul searching too!

As such, this is one of the many videos that has captured my attention – on Singapore’s first female Olympian, Tang Pui Wah.
An Inspiration to all....Esther Neela Blog