An Easier Road

Last night during a conversation with a friend who works for the military here in Trinidad and Tobago, we started discussing the training he did as part of being employed by the military. He mentioned that one of the things said to him on the first day of training was that many of them would not make it to the end, not because they would be asked to leave but because they would give up and choose to leave. It reminded me of the time I started my MSc degree, the same thing was said to us during induction week and by the third month, you stopped seeing some faces. We all have our own source of motivation for doing the things we do and based on the task at hand, our motivation needs to be extremely strong. If the journey we embark upon seems difficult and we have easier alternatives that we considered before hand, it is likely that we’ll give up. A close relative of mine also joined the military in our country as she knew she would be in a much better position to care for her daughter. Her daughter’s well being was her motivation and so she stuck with the training until the end. While it may be easy to judge someone for giving up, I’m more interested in finding out “Why?” they couldn’t hold on any longer and “Why?” they chose an easier road.

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Too Much Too Soon

Yesterday I purchased a box of Dr. Lucy’s gluten free ginger snaps from a local gourmet shop near my office. I absolutely love these cookies. I found them about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been eating them none stop. Due to my allergies, I’m quite restricted with food, so when I found cookies that were gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and reasonably low in sugar, I was exceedingly happy. I think my excitement got the best of me yesterday as I sat and ate the entire box of cookies within 2 hours. While consuming the last cookie, I felt ashamed of myself. How could I have not controlled my cravings better? The situation reminded me of someone having too much too soon or having too much at once. A very common example is one where someone has acquired a great deal of money either through inheritance or some kind of winnings. We hear so many stories of people spending the money within a short period on frivolous material items and expensive vacations and not really planning for the future. When someone has inherited wealth from a family trust fund or the passing of a loved one, this person has not really put in the work for the money earned. I will admit, I’ve wanted the quick success that I’ve seen many entrepreneurs have, earning millions of dollars from just one simple idea and sometimes I still want it. I’ve thought about all the things I’ll do with the money I would have earned and how I’ll impact society. When I pray to the God of my Heart and I express gratitude for the things in life I do have, I also express gratitude for the things in life I do not have. I understand that some things may not bring out the best in us if they’re given to us now or even in the future. Some people say that money brings out the worst in people but I truly think it shows us who we really are.

Shattered Relations

I think most of us can name at least one person throughout our lifetime who we’ve struggled to maintain peaceful relations with. For some of us it may be our parents, our siblings, cousins, close friends or work colleagues. For part of my life, I’ve struggled to maintain peaceful relations with one family member.  Most of the time we’ve been good but ever so often something happens that strains the relationship. I remember discussing the issue with a close friend who addressed it from an astrological perspective. He said that because of our individual signs, it was difficult to get along most of the time. We have shattered relations for reasons deeper than what we initially think. We are incarnated in this lifetime accepting that we will endure struggles in the relationship with this person. The spiritual side of us understands the deeper purpose in this while the physical side of us will only see the issues and the drama. An article on http://www.mindbodygreen.com explained why our relationships lead to spiritual growth. The author mentioned her relationship with her father and how it was pretty miserable. She thought he was opinionated, judgmental and stubborn but all of the things that infuriated her about her father were all the traits in herself that she didn’t want to own at that time. Once she recognized and healed the most judgmental parts of herself, his judgments either went away or no longer bothered her. Now her interactions with him are lighter, sweeter and much more authentic. Her father — and more specifically, her relationship with him, and its evolution — taught her that the things that bother us the most in others are actually the traits in us that we’re not ready to acknowledge and heal within ourselves.

Burnout

Since I started working in the city of Port-of-Spain in my country from May 2014, I’ve been pushing my body. From my mom and my aunt being in hospital, to lecturing 5PM-9PM three to five days a week in addition to my 8AM-4PM job, to focusing on my business as well as trying to make time for friends, family, spirituality, health, fitness and even love, a lot has been going on and I can officially say that I’m exhausted. I started to notice that I’m forgetting simple things, my mood isn’t as great as I would like it to be and my motivation for things I know I’m passionate about is dwindling. For the month of February, arriving at the office before 8AM was no longer a priority, I decided that a bit more sleep was necessary. It’s not something I’m proud of but it was something that was necessary. According to Wikipedia, Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Burnout has been assumed to result from chronic occupational stress (e.g., work overload). Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North have theorized that the burnout process can be divided into 12 phases, which are not necessarily followed sequentially.

  • A compulsion to prove oneself
  • Working harder
  • Neglecting one’s own needs
  • Displacement of conflicts (the person does not realize the root cause of the distress)
  • Revision of values (friends or hobbies are completely dismissed)
  • Denial of emerging problems (cynicism and aggression become apparent)
  • Withdrawal (reducing social contacts to a minimum, becoming walled off; alcohol or other substance abuse may occur)
  • Behavioural changes become obvious to others
  • Inner emptiness
  • Depression
  • Burnout syndrome

When my classes end at 9AM, I would usually be home by 10PM. I’ll spend at least an hour preparing for the next day, which takes me to 11PM, then bed time will be between 11PM and midnight. I’ve even pushed my waking time to 5AM to guarantee 5 hours sleep as I know I can function on this bit of sleep for a few days, but this does not always happen. I enjoy my lecturing immensely, so it’s something I will always work into my schedule even though the classes end at 9PM. I have some ideas for making changes to my work schedule for the May to August semester to ensure I get more rest, so until then I’ll try my best to find little ways to curb the burnout I’m currently experiencing.

Unspoken Communication

Since I’ve been dating Martin, we’ve experienced many instances where we’ve said the same thing at the same time or said what the other was thinking. Now I’ve known Martin for about 6 years now and I’m sure we’ve had times in the past throughout our friendship, where this type of connection has happened but as we’re spending more time together, these coincidences started to occur several times throughout the day. Sometimes we would randomly message each other throughout the day about something, at the time the other is thinking about the same thing. I love having this type of connection with someone as this is not something that can be easily faked and it’s beautiful when we can experience ourselves tuned-in to one another on a shared wavelength. This leads me to wonder about Telepathy between couples, does it exist, if it doesn’t exist, can it be cultivated and if it does exist, how can you strengthen it. Telepathy is the communication between two minds, separated over a distance, without the use of the five known senses.

While researching the topic online, I’ve read theories on soul mates and twin flames and many other reasons why this sort of coincidence can happen. According to http://www.twinflamesoulmates.com, the terms ‘soul mate’ and ‘twin soul’ are often used synonymously and there is much confusion betweem the two. A soul mate and a twin soul (twinflame) are two different concepts. Throughout a lifetime one has many soulmates, but throughout eternity, one has only one twinsoul or ‘twinflame’. A soulmate relationship can take many different forms such as that of a good friend, a family member, a romantic partner, or even a co-worker. Brief encounters with strangers who inspire us or help us in some way can also be soulmates who we are meant to cross paths with. Twin flames, also called twin souls and twin rays, is ‘one soul’ that was split into two souls. Twinflames are often referred to as being the other half of one’s own soul. This does not imply that each twin is only half of a soul on earth, for each individual soul is already whole. What a Twin Flame does imply is that at one time, the two individual souls were one.

I’m not quite sure of the reason behind this so called “Telepathic Connection” between Martin and myself but I do know that having a spiritual connection with someone I’m in a relationship with, is of great importance to me. A spiritual connection would mean different things for different people but what is most important, is the spiritual fulfillment both parties derive from being in a relationship with each other.

The Softer Side

About a month ago, I was having a conversation with one of my friends who is currently in a relationship with one woman and seeing another woman at the same time. While I don’t accept this type of situation, he is free to do as he chooses. He explained that one of his reasons for seeing two women at once was that his main girlfriend was too busy with work and other engagements for him and when he does see her, it feels like business. He said that some professional women attract really great men because of their qualities but struggle to keep those men around for long because they bring their work personality into the relationship. A few days later, while chatting with my friend Richard, he inquired about my dating experience so far with Martin. He also reminded me to show my softer side. As a professional woman, spending most of my day working, it can be easy to stay in work mode when entering the home or interacting with my partner.

I recently read an article online that talked about the woman who has a good job, works hard and earns a good salary. She went to college, she got her master’s degree and she is intelligent. She is personable, articulate, well read, interested in everybody and everything. Yet, she’s single. What the author found was that the skills that make one successful in the workplace are not the skills that make one successful in a relationship. Linear thinking, self-reliance, structured goals and direct action assist one in accomplishing tasks or in positioning oneself for a raise, but relationship-building requires different skills. It requires making decisions that not only gratify you, but satisfy others. It means doing things that will keep the peace rather than achieve the goal, and sometimes it means creating the peace in the first place. You may even have to stoop to conquer or yield to win.

It is important as women, that we learn to collaborate with our men, to substitute our assertiveness and aggressive energy with softness and serenity and therefore get in touch with our feminine side and subsequently, in touch with our men.

You Will Be Caught

Two of my nieces, Charlize and Faith, ages 4 and 2 respectively are sisters. Recently I’ve been hearing stories from their Mum about them and how they’ve been creating some trouble for themselves, emptying containers of food in the kitchen and around the house then covering themselves in the food they’ve thrown out. Usually their Mum will discipline Charlize, the 4 year old, as she should know better and should stop her younger sister. I know Faith is a bit naughty as she also has the habit of turning off the television, then running back to her seat as if she did nothing when her siblings call their Mum to complain. Last week however, while their Mum was giving Charlise (the 4 year old) a bath, Faith decided to empty the cereal all over the kitchen floor and have some fun with it. This time however, she had no one to blame or no one to accept the punishment on her behalf, it was quite obvious that it was all her doing. She was not pleased with the fact that she had to be disciplined, as she told her mother she would inform her Aunt (my sister) of the disciplinary action taken against her. Children…lol.

Sometimes we may experience situations where we have been wrongfully accused of something and forced to deal with the punishment and negative consequences of the actions of someone else. You should have confidence in the fact that the Universe never sleeps and the law of Karma is in full effect. Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind . . . what we sow is what we reap. Faith has only 2 years experience in this world, in this lifetime and soon she will understand the full effect of the laws of the Universe. The Great Law “As you sow, so shall you reap”, is also known as the “Law of Cause and Effect”. Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us. If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Love, Friendship…Then we should BE Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a True Friend. As is true with all things in life, Faith will continue to have the experiences necessary to teach her the lessons she needs to learn, until they are fully grasped.