Experience Bliss

Past Life Regression

Past life regressions are often considered as effective therapies for overcoming fears and understanding the root cause of several problems in our lives. If you have read the books “Many Lives Many Masters” by Brian Weiss or “Journey of Souls” by Michael Newton, you would understand the purpose of the soul, reincarnation, as well as its’ journey from death to birth. We almost always hear the success stories of past life regressions but we do not hear about how difficult it is to gain a glimpse of even one life time. Most people visit a hypnotherapist for a past life regression, but this requires several sessions and may be expensive.

In this article, I will share with you one of my past life experiences, the insights I have received from it, and tips on how you can induce one by yourself.

About six months ago, around 6AM I had a dream. There was an old man resting on a bed in the hospital and he had a nurse and few of his family members and friends beside him. I could feel that this man was very kind and made a big difference to society, and at the same time I could feel his pain, as he did not want to die. There was so much more that he wanted to do in life; but could not, because he was sick. He even tried to get up from the bed, but could not because he was too weak. As I watched this man struggle, my heart was crying. The man then asked the nurse if he could have something to eat, but the nurse simply stared at him as she could not gain the courage to say “no”. I could hear the thoughts of the old man, as he said to himself, “I understand, you have already fed me through the tube”. The nurse then asked the man to stop talking as she placed the oxygen pump around his nose and mouth. She started to pump gently so that he was able to breathe. Suddenly, the old man grabbed the oxygen pump with both hands and started pumping very fast as to get as much oxygen as possible because his lungs were no longer responding. As he continued to pump with force, after a few seconds he started to slow down and eventually stopped breathing. Once he stopped breathing, I woke up extremely distressed. Throughout the entire dream my heart was crying. Only after I woke up did I realize that this man was me. I knew, without any doubt that this man was me.

I have had many lucid dreams where I have been able to interact with the dream such as ask questions or change the direction. But, this was different. I had no control. I was simply a witness and had to feel every emotion that the man and everyone around him was experiencing.

This experience offered me some insights about reincarnation. Everyone knows that they are going to die someday, and many believe that they will be reincarnated. But, reincarnation is only a concept to many people because they cannot remember their past lives. They simply assume that if the masters have discussed it, and it’s written in books, then it must be true. Even for me, up to this point, reincarnation was only a concept.

Every experience in our lives creates an impression in the mind. Joyful and painful experiences create extremely deep impressions. This is why, whenever we hear about past life experiences it is often of someone’s death. These impressions are stored in the subconscious mind as memories and carried forward as the soul progresses in lifetimes. I believe that as a protective mechanism, these memories are suppressed. Imagine if you remembered every experience of every lifetime? In this life alone, we are having problems letting go, forgiving, and forgetting. Have you wondered why a certain person is your spouse, parent, child or friend? What is the connection that you share with that person? Why is that person making your life so difficult?  These answers are all hidden in the subconscious mind, and can be retrieved. But the question is whether you would like to retrieve these answers. What if the physical or mental abuse that you are receiving from a spouse is a result of the physical and mental abuse that you caused that person in a previous lifetime. Would you like to suffer that pain in a past life regression, simply so that you can understand the cause of your trauma? Or would it be better to make peace with the present situation and respond in the best way you can?

Another insight is realizing that death is as important as birth. Why do we grieve when someone dies and celebrate when a child is born? If reincarnation exists, then we can understand that only because one soul had to pass away, was another soul able to be born. As we celebrate the birth of a child, someone is mourning the death of a loved one. And, as we mourn the death of our loved ones, someone else is celebrating their birth. Would you like it if you lost the privilege to have children because someone would not let go of their loved one?

With this wisdom we also realize that our lives are temporary. Each one of us will die, and will be re-born. So, why should we take life so seriously? You may have noticed that many people are living as though they will never die. They are always hoarding and accumulating as much as they can, and because of this they do not enjoy the present moment. If we truly know that we WILL die, we would live a life of purpose. We would ensure that whatever we do in this life is going to make a difference, and that every challenge we encounter is not such a big deal, because it will end eventually. This is why you may have noticed that when people are fighting through a terminal illness, they suddenly become wise, humble, loving, and cherish every moment that they have been gifted with. And all this requires is the realization that life is temporary.

If you would like to experience a past life regression, you do not need to visit a hypnotherapist. All you need to do is meditate to quiet the mind. This may take several months for some people depending on how chaotic and cluttered their minds are. The quiet mind will allow you to question the sub-conscious mind, and it will raise your awareness so that you can experience the past life regression.

As a warning, I would like to emphasize that many past life regression experiences can be extremely emotionally painful because the impressions are very deep. Please proceed with caution if you would like to explore this area. Experiencing my death was insightful, but also very painful. At the moment, I do not want to experience any more past life regressions; instead, I would prefer to simply make peace with the present.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

Emotional Intelligence

Very often we are praised for our intelligence or IQ. Corporations and educational institutions accept us based on our intellectual capacity. However, many institutions that we consider higher authorities, do not stress enough the importance of emotional intelligence. The destructive power of intelligence is clearly visible to us. Individuals who lack the ability to listen to their conscience develop weapons of mass destruction, atomic bombs, war strategies, and other immoral innovations. There have been many incidents where extremely intelligent individuals have caused a tremendous amount of sorrow to society. Other geniuses are also unable to manage their emotions and go on a killing spree if they catch their spouse having an affair or encounter unfavorable situations in their lives.

We must understand the importance of emotional intelligence, and focus on cultivating it and helping others develop it. We can become emotionally intelligent by practicing self-awareness, self-management, empathy, social awareness, and relationship management. We must become aware of our thoughts, the feelings of others, and consider situations from different perspectives. Eventually, we will realize the power of our thoughts and choose not to ever complete a negative thought in our heads.

We can always remind ourselves to watch our thoughts, as thoughts become words; words become actions, actions become habits; habits become character; and ultimately character becomes our destiny.  In addition we must also encourage our children to cultivate emotional intelligence so that they can live a life of integrity and achieve “true” success.

Early in life, I realized that most of my despair was due to mixed emotions. It became clear to me that I was unable to understand and manage my emotions such as sorrow, anger, anxiety, and frustration. Through the practice of meditation, I was able to maintain a state of peace in spite of the chaos around me. As my awareness was raised, I was able to communicate with others more effectively and consider situations from a broader perspective.

Stay tuned for the next article, as I will discuss the negative impact of one of our major emotions and how to overcome it.

Read more: Dino’s Words of Wisdom > Unleash theLeader Within

Bliss with Sai

Bliss withSai is a new blog published by Dino.

This is a spiritual blog for the seeker within you.

The articles in this blog are all based on personal experiences and will resonate well with those who are already on a spiritual path, and who have moved far beyond doubt, towards faith and surrender.

I have decided to name this blog Bliss with Sai, because it is through the guidance of Shirdi Sai Baba that I have been able to overcome all the challenges in my life through the wisdom He has shared with me. For several years now I have had numerous interactions with Shirdi Sai Baba, through dreams, meditations, and in physical form. I have only shared these experiences with very close friends and family, but today I have decided to share this in public as I believe it will inspire spiritual seekers and encourage them to share their experiences.

Many of us have had spiritual experiences but are afraid to share them. This is often because we are afraid of the judgment of others. Sometimes, these spiritual experiences are so strange, intense, and inexplicable, that we have to refrain from sharing it because others will simply not understand.

My spiritual journey has been fascinating. Experiences with the unknown often begin with fear, but over time the fears fade away through wisdom, and ultimately transform into faith and surrender.

Through this blog I will share the insights that I have received from Shirdi Sai Baba as well as my interactions with Him.  The subject of this blog is different from Dino’s Words of Wisdom blog as this is focused more on spirituality, while the other blog is focused on personal development for daily life. For me, the two blogs coincide with each other, because it is only through the guidance of Shirdi Sai Baba (especially in dreams) that all the articles were written. It is often difficult for me to take credit for those articles because the ideas had all come to me during dreams.

Some of the topics that I will discuss in this blog:

·      My experiences with Shirdi Sai Baba
·      Invoking a higher consciousness for guidance
·      Understanding destiny and free-will
·      Tapping into the sub-conscious mind to clear old beliefs
·      Transforming the negative aspects of your nature
·      Moving beyond doubt, towards faith and ultimately surrender
·      Clearing old habits and creating new ones
·      Raising your level of awareness
·      Tips and benefits of meditation
·      Using dreams to find answers to challenges
·      Recognizing synchronicities in your life
·      Feeling the oneness with the universe
·      Living with bliss and a constant sense of wonder 
·      The beauty of mindfulness in every aspect of your life
·      Using energy medicine to heal your mind and body
·      And much more.

I hope you will join me by participating and sharing your experiences in the comments so we can grow together and continue to shine brighter every day. 

Click here to visit Bliss with Sai.

This makes me wonder: Compassion

I often see parents posting photos of their children calling them "precious angels". At the same time, I tend to wonder why their love is only directed towards their own children or family? I would think that having a child would be such an enlightening experience, that the parents would realize the beauty of this universe, and what unconditional love is, especially because the child is so dependent and unable to do anything without the mother's love and care.

In spite of being a child or having a child, why are we lacking so much compassion towards others, and especially animals? Do we have to reach the point when we see a loved one suffer so much that we are forced to learn the art of compassion?

I have learned compassion through my own challenges. And, today this is the most important virtue I focus on cultivating within myself. Compassion is a continuous work in progress for me, but this thought often makes me wonder.

Read more: Dino's Words of Wisdom > Renew Humanity Through Compassion

Express the Healthiest Emotion

Have you ever wondered why some people are just plain rude, always frustrated, constantly complaining, and blaming everyone else for the problems in their lives? Their presence and speech is extremely negative which makes us avoid them as much as possible. Even if we don’t personally know them, we can sense the bitterness. They may be shop owners, teachers, or a random person in line in front of us at the supermarket. You may have noticed that such folks often interact amongst themselves, which is acceptable, until we need to interact with them. It then becomes frustrating, and soon enough their behavior influences us.

It can be observed that the early years of this group of people may have been quite challenging. They may have had to, and continue to struggle with family, health, finance, careers, or relationship issues. As this persists without any hope of a resolution, their attitude begins to turn bitter. There is a limit to how much pain a person can endure, no matter how much patience or persistence one has. It becomes even more difficult when they notice that their friends and family are progressing with less effort, while they continue to strive and burn themselves out without seeing any results.

Very often we condemn this behavior and avoid interaction with such people. We respond to this type of behavior with exactly the same attitude that is projected. Instead, it would be wiser for us to understand what has triggered this behavior in them, which can assist us in guiding them and transforming their attitudes. We all struggle with challenges in our lives, even though some have a higher coping ability than others. These challenges are meant to help us become better, not bitter human beings. Each one of us is a like a diamond, and if we are agitated and irritated by every rub, which is disguised in the form of a problem, we cannot be polished, and will not evolve beyond the bitter state that we reflect.

If we have become bitter human beings, one way to overcome this is by changing our perspectives. It’s clearly evident that those who are responsible, trustworthy, and capable are the ones that are ‘offered’ more challenging roles. So, why don’t we consider ourselves blessed instead of doomed? This simple change in perspective will encourage us and continue to fuel our will power to persevere under any condition.

In addition to the change in perspective, expressing the attitude of gratitude is extremely powerful, and is an instant cure for bitterness. By changing our focus from the negative to the positive we will realize how lucky and blessed we actually are. However, the challenge is to remind ourselves to switch our focus while we are in the negative state. To achieve this, it is crucial to make gratitude a part of our daily routine. Maintaining a gratitude journal is the most powerful technique to remind us how blessed we are, and to refrain from the habit of constantly complaining. Every night, before going to bed, we can review the activities of the day and write down the events and people that we are grateful for. We can take this a step further, and write down the tasks that were accomplished on that day, and the tasks to be completed on the following day. This will not only lead us to more happiness, but it will also increase our productivity. This is a simple and effective technique, that we can start doing right away. Gratitude is the healthiest emotion and we must constantly express it in order to transform our lives.

The fact is that problems will never cease to exist, but our bitter behavior can. We can remind ourselves that when there is ease and simplicity in our lives, it is because of the lessons we have learned through our experiences over time; however, when we face obstacles and resistance, it is because there is more to learn. Finally, we will realize that the goal of life is to learn and grow.   Therefore, with a positive attitude let us consider every struggle to be an opportunity to become better and humble human beings.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

The Five Words

Since the past few years, I have had several spiritual visions, interactions, and healings from beings of higher consciousness in my dreams; such as Shirdi Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Baba, Lord Shiva, Krishna, Guru Nanak, Lord Shani Dev, etc. In this blog, I will share details of many of these dreams as well as the insights that I have received.

Yesterday, I visited the Sathya Sai Baba centre for His birthday celebration bhajans. While I sat there listening to the bhajans, I had a feeling that I would experience something in my dream. Although, I was not completely sure.

Around 4am this morning, Sathya Sai Baba appeared in my dream. He was extremely tall and walked towards me. I was surprised and very happy to see Him so I walked towards him to bow down. He did not say a word, simply blessed me, and I woke up. As always, when I have such experiences in my dreams my heart rate rises and it’s difficult to go back to sleep. This experience reminded me of a dream interaction with Sathya Sai Baba I had several years ago. I hope you enjoy reading it.

March 2, 2007, 5:30AM, Taipei– I saw a flash of lightening, time froze, and Sathya Sai Baba’s picture flashed in several bright colors. I was astonished and could not figure out what was happening. I thought to myself: "what was that lightening flash, a flash of awakening, or is this what people describe as one of Satya Sai Baba’s miracles?” Once the colors stopped flashing, I saw Sathya Sai Baba wearing a blue robe standing in front of me. He was very tall and his hair transformed into a triangular and then a square shape before returning to normal. I was simply standing there as a witness, confused as to what had just happened.

I did not feel any love as one would expect, nor did I feel any emotions of guilt, fear or joy. I walked towards him, bowed down and touched his feet. I then took a few steps back to take a better look at him since he was extremely tall. I joined my hands and said "I do not have any questions to ask you, but do you have a message for me?" He walked towards me, bent down, placed his hand on my chin, looked directly into my eyes and said five words in a language that I did not understand, and then disappeared. 

I stood there thinking to myself "What? Baba, wait! I don't understand your message; it’s not in English”. A moment later, I woke up.

The next day, I shared this dream with a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, expecting him to decode the message for me. Unfortunately, the five words were not the numbers to the next week’s lottery, as I had hoped. The five words were Sathya Sai Baba’s virtues by which we should live our lives: truth, right conduct, peace, love, and non-violence.

Prior to this dream, I visited Puttaparthi only once, and had a chance to see Sathya Sai Baba from quite a distance. I realized that distance was not a limitation to experience his grace. Even though, Sathya Sai Baba is no longer in his physical form, he can cross all boundaries of existence and connect with us, if we simply invoke for his blessings. His purpose is to elevate the consciousness of humanity, and he will creatively reach his devotees to spread his message in ways that we cannot even imagine.  

I believe the vision of Him in my dream this morning has reminded me of the wonderful feelings that we have experienced through his grace and to continue living by the five virtues that he has shared with everyone.

“Devotion is not a uniform to be worn on certain days and then to be put aside.” – Sathya Sai Baba

The Power of Acceptance

In 2009, after several eye surgeries, I was devastated to realize that I may not have 100% vision again. It seemed as though my life had ended at the age of twenty-nine. In fact, I believed that I would have been better off if my life would have ended, instead of having to live with low-vision for the rest of my life. I was under thirty, living in an amazing city, had a wonderful career, and great hopes for the future. All of my hopes shattered in an instance. Questions began to arise in my mind such as, how would I live a life dependent on my parents? Which company would hire me? Who would marry me? Who would take care of my parents when they age? Who would take care of me when I age? All these answers were unknown and I was feeling a deep level of uncertainty.

The repetitiveness of these questions resulted in a serious state of depression; to be more precise, suicidal depression. If I heard of any deaths on the news, I would feel so unfortunate that I wasn’t one of those victims. Over time, I passed through the different stages of grief such as denial, anger, depression, and finally acceptance. Reaching the state of acceptance is extremely difficult, and many people in similar situations either do not reach this stage, or take a lifetime to reach it.

Acceptance may sound simple, but it is not a destination to reach; it’s a journey. It is only after accepting the situation that we are able to motivate ourselves to continue. Acceptance allows us to move from the question “why me?” to “why not me?”. It empowers us to dig deep within our subconscious and far beyond the super-conscious. This means digging out limiting beliefs and fears, and searching for the truth.

I would like to focus on one common question that we all ask when we encounter unfavorable situations. The question is “Why me?”

The answer we usually hear from the world is that the unfavorable situation is due to the negative karma of the past. Moreover, the subject of reincarnation also surfaces, because we are unable to remember any negative action in this lifetime that was so intense. Society dictates that due to our positive and negative karma, we are forced to take birth on earth to suffer the consequences or enjoy the benefits. And only, after we neutralize both the positive and negative karma, we can attain liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth.

Instead of this, another approach seemed to make more sense and offered me more clarity. The purpose of life is expansion of the soul, and this growth may only be achieved through overcoming adversity. The soul has a desire to express itself, and it can only do this through a body and the mind. This is why it chooses to incarnate on earth. It also selects the parents that will offer it the opportunity to express its desires, as well as fulfill the desires of the parents. It is a mutual understanding on a soul level. While expressing its desires through the mind and the body, it generates the positive and negative karma.

Karma is not designed to punish the soul based on its negative actions. It simply teaches the soul that some actions can cause pain and suffering; and in the future, the soul should choose to act positively. Through the lessons taught by negative karma, we gain wisdom, and cultivate love, compassion, and a sense of unity.

Consider the world as a stage and all of us actors. Would you want to play the same role in every lifetime? Of course, every actor wants to attempt a variety of roles so that he can measure his potential. This is why sometimes the soul chooses a role of a hero, a villain, a comedian, or a physically/mentally disabled person. Does this mean that because you chose the role of a hero, you have more positive karma, and because you chose a role of a physically disabled person, then you have negative karma? Haven’t we noticed in so many movies that the best actor award goes to the individual who plays the role of a physically or mentally challenged person? I invite you to consider this idea when you encounter challenges in your life. You are simply playing a certain role, and your job is to play that role in the best way that you can. I have chosen the role of an individual with low-vision, and I am going to play this role so well that I win an award for performing in the best way that I could with all the abilities and limitations that I chose. 

By viewing life from a broader perspective we can also gain a tremendous amount of clarity. When we realize that we have lived many births, this one lifetime does not seem so serious. Imagine taking a test of fifty questions, and if you answered two questions incorrectly, would it be a big deal? Similarly, if you have lived fifty lifetimes, and two lifetimes did not go so well, is it a big deal?

We all face challenges in life, and will continue to do so. This is the nature of existence and the key to our expansion. However, because we do not accept our current situation, we slow our growth. I encourage you to view life from a broader perspective, and play whatever role you have chosen to the best of your ability. Through this mindset, you will find the purpose of your life and make a significant difference in your life and those around you.

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” – J.K. Rowling

A Relationship with God

I was raised in a very religious family. The temple in our house looked like a shop where we displayed all the deities as statues, pictures, and calendars, along with their holy books. As a young child this was extremely confusing for me, as I did not know whom to pray to. So, I was taught that I should pray to all of them. Like an obedient child after my shower every morning, I paid my respects by touching the pictures without any intention, simply not to disrespect any of the deities.

Once we start encountering challenges in life, we are encouraged to pray more. Chanting, singing, reading the holy texts, and visiting temples become mandatory, because we must please the deities. The deities were always portrayed as extremely powerful, and if we did not follow them by being vegetarian on certain days or by being virtuous we would be punished. On the contrary, at the same time we were taught that these deities were very compassionate and forgiving. How was it possible for any compassionate deity to punish? Without questioning these beliefs, I continued to pray and live a virtuous life out of fear of punishment. What other choice did I have, all I was exposed to was witnessing my family members sitting for hours in the temple reading the same holy text every single day. I always wondered, why would God want someone to recite the same holy text every single day, and especially a text that God Himself has written? Would you want your child to read your book to you robotically everyday, simply out of fear of punishment? Clearly, there is a deeper meaning for this practice, but that did not seem to be the intention or understanding. I could say that I was raised religious, but not spiritual.

Spirituality is a seed that stems from within us when we realize that in spite of all our efforts, we are unable to find happiness. In my late twenties, I encountered major challenges with my vision, and had to go through several surgeries. To make matters worse, I was made to feel guilty that it was due to a return of my karma as punishment. I could not remember anything that I had done in this lifetime to deserve this. So, I was told to pray. But pray to whom? I knew the names of all the deities, but because I mostly prayed to them out of fear, I could not face them. After all, I was being punished, right?

This is when I remembered that the deities were compassionate and forgiving. However, this time I did not want to communicate with the deities, I wanted to talk to God directly. No one in my family had ever communicated with God directly, it was always through some deity. I felt a resonance with Shirdi Sai Baba, so I figured that He would be my bridge to God.

This was the first time in my life I felt that I was communicating with God. I did not chant His name or read His scriptures back to Him. All I did was talk to Him as if I was speaking with my father or my best friend. I poured my heart out to Him, and questioned every belief that I was raised with. It was only a matter of days later, that I started receiving my answers. The biggest misconception I had was that I was being punished. I was visited in a dream by Krishna and Shirdi Sai Baba, and was told that I had to go through these challenges, and that they were holding my hand at every step of the way. This was extremely comforting and insightful. Since then, I have had numerous interactions with beings of higher consciousness and gained insights that have transformed my life. In future articles, I will share details of many of the interactions and insights that I have received. 

I would like to share my insights with parents who are forcing their religious beliefs upon their children. We must encourage our children to form a relationship with any single deity, the universe, or the supreme God. Through this honest and direct communication let them discover for themselves who God is and what it means to them. How can we expect our children to recite the name of God when they do not even know who He is? It is by example, that we can teach them to live a virtuous life.  Many children these days are going astray because they cannot be completely open with their parents, because of the fear of judgment and punishment. And to make matters worse, children are also taught that God punishes. So, whom are they supposed to turn to when they need help? This leads to the wrong company, bad habits, and peer pressure.

As parents we may say that we love our children unconditionally, but we do not. No matter what our children do, we do get angry and upset. And even though we give our advice, it is tainted with judgment. A relationship with God is the purest and most compassionate relationship we will ever experience. God can play the role of a father by offering guidance, a role of a mother by being compassionate, and a role of a best friend by being supportive.

I encourage you to forget all the beliefs that you were raised with, and form a clean relationship with God. Similar to any other relationship, forming one with God requires an investment of time, effort, patience, and trust. I assure you that this will be the most empowering relationship that you will ever experience.

“A relationship with God is the most important relationship you can have, embrace it every day.” – Zig Ziglar

Coconut Munchkins with Dino

In this special Diwali edition Watch & Learn video, Dino teaches us how to make Coconut Munchkins. Enjoy this video.

Unleash your Virtues

Quick Wisdom - Unleash Your Virtues

Increase Productivity & Reduce Stress

One challenge that many individuals face is the ability to balance all the tasks of the day such as their goals and priorities without getting stressed. Organizations are also empowering their employees with techniques that can be used to improve their productivity while reducing stress. Stressed employees are bad investments for organizations, because they project a negative attitude, take more sick days off, lack creativity, and reduce the morale of the other employees.    

If we are facing this challenge of stress associated with productivity, we can ask ourselves whether we are being productive or just plain busy. We often feel stressed because there is so much to do, and so little time. We have put so much emphasis on the importance of being busy, because we feel devalued if we seem less busy than someone else. It has become a competition and sense of pride to tell others how busy and stressed we are. We have conditioned ourselves to believe that being busy and stressed is a measure of success and productivity.

For those of us who are honestly seeking for a way to reduce stress, we can follow these three techniques.

1. Drop the Emotional Baggage – We have a tendency to carry all our memories and scars with us wherever we go. These memories and scars occupy space in our brains and do not allow us to focus on the task at hand. When we are working on a specific project, our minds recall incidents, interactions, and emotions from the past that distract us. To make it worse, worries about the future also distract us in the present moment. For us to perform our tasks efficiently, we must unclutter our brains from unnecessary thoughts.

Imagine holding a glass of water, initially it is very light; but the longer we hold on to it, the heavier it starts to feel. The same concept applies with the emotions that we are carrying. The longer we hold it, the heavier it gets; and eventually when we can no longer hold it, we breakdown.

In addition, we can replace the word “should” in are vocabulary with the word “must”. Often saying that “I should do this or should do that” and then not doing those tasks creates energy of regret. Instead, if we say that “I must do this or that” creates and energy of empowerment, and results in the tasks being completed.

Once we transform our speech and drop the emotional baggage that we have been carrying for years; we will notice a rise in our energy level as well as better focus to complete our tasks.

2. Relax and Restore – It is said that through our five senses we receive approximately 2 million bits of information per second. This is through our senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The conscious mind is unable to process so much information that is received so it filters it down to only approximately 134 bits per second.  The conscious mind filters the information by deleting, distorting, or generalizing the information that is received. The purpose of the conscious mind is to retain only the sensory information that we feel is important. For example, if we are walking on the street we do not notice the smell of the flowers; remember the benches that we have passed or whether there is a step or a ramp on the pavement. We also rarely listen to the birds singing, or feeling the minor temperature changes in the air.  Moreover, we also have misunderstandings with other people, because the filter of the mind distorted the information that they had presented. Due to this we also generalize the information since we cannot remember the specifics.

Now, imagine how magnificent every moment would be if we could sense the environment around us with a higher level of sensitivity. Fortunately, this is possible. We need to raise our level of awareness and sensitivity of the sensory preceptors.

We can achieve this by practicing on stilling the mind. When the mind is quiet, the sensory preceptors become more receptive. For example, at the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, music is played for about two minutes every hour. This is referred to as a “traffic stop”. During the two minutes, everyone must stop what he or she is doing and become present in the moment. This reduces the traffic of thoughts in the mind, raises the level of awareness, as well as relaxes and restores the body.

By incorporating this simple and profound technique into our daily routine the amount of stress is reduced. Every hour or two, if we pause for a few minutes we will realize that the mind and body have been recharged, and then we can continue working with more clarity.

3. Time Management – Effective time management can significantly improve our productivity and reduce stress.  We must first be very clear about our priorities and goals.  Throughout the day, we waste our time on so many tasks that are unimportant; that by the end of the day we wonder where did all our time disappear. This is also due to our habit of procrastination. The good news is that this is very simple to resolve.

A small amount of planning can produce magnificent results. As we start each day, we can divide our tasks and goals into four categories.

1)    Important and Urgent – List only the tasks that are important and need to be completed as soon as possible. Set this as priority 1.
2)    Important and Not Urgent – List only the tasks that are important to you, but do not need to be completed immediately. Set this as priority 2.
3)    Not Important and Urgent – List only the activities that may not be important to you, but may be important to someone else. The most effective option is to delegate this task to someone else, because it is clearly not that important to us. If it were that important, it would be labeled as priority 1.
4)    Not Important and Not Urgent – List the tasks that are not important and do not need to be completed as soon as possible. This is so simple to understand, but consider how much time we waste doing tasks that are not important and not urgent. Label this a priority 4, and then ignore these tasks.

Think about how many of the tasks listed as “Not Important and Not Urgent” do we prioritize as “Important and Urgent”? This is a complete waste of time and energy. Imagine how much more productive we would be if we focused on priority 1 instead of priority 4. Furthermore, as we complete the priority 1 tasks on schedule, we will eventually complete priority 2 ahead of schedule. We can then delegate priority3 to someone else, and not perform the tasks listed as priority 4.

Procrastination is another time management issue related to productivity. Many of us procrastinate either because the task is too difficult or the task is too boring. All it takes is a shift in attitude to overcome procrastination. If the task is important (priority 1), do not procrastinate and complete it as soon as possible, and if it is boring, shifting your attitude to one of acceptance and enthusiasm will make the task more bearable.

It is often a misconception that high productivity leads to happiness. On the contrary, it is the other way around; happiness leads to high productivity. If we recall the patterns in our past, we will notice that it was when we were happy and enthusiastic that we produced the best results.

If we simply follow the principals of letting go of past emotions, relaxing the body and mind, planning our time effectively, and ultimately performing each task with joy and enthusiasm; we can enhance our level of productivity while reducing stress.

“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” – Leo Babauta

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