The ancient sages of India referred to the bliss of Being as “Ananda”. I believe that all of us can experience Ananda on a daily, regular basis if only we are more aware of what causes us to lose this state of living in bliss and become more aware of what we can do to increase it. Surprisingly, with a little effort and awareness, it is amazing how quickly our souls can tune in to new patterns when we decide to live consciously.
People often compliment me for having an upbeat and positive energy and I am drawn to people of the same. I think that although I am naturally a happy person, ( I thank God that He infused me with this feeling of happiness since I was born) I have also consciously decided to live a full, blissful and soul-full life. It does not mean that bad and stressful things don’t happen in my life. What it means is that I choose my response to situations because I choose to live in the present and to look down on situations from my higher self. Since I believe that our inner worlds attract what happens on the outer world, I also question what I did to attract a negative/dark energy to my life. 99% of the time, I can trace my own thoughts that manifests in a physical form. I have learnt to call my negative emotions to my higher self and talk to them – it is surprisingly how I laugh at myself as those negative emotions teach me more about my humanness and become more my friend than my enemy. Many of the times when I swing back and forth with those negative emotions, it is because my mind cannot remain in the moment. My brain swerves between the past and the future and brings on all kinds of anxiety which can tremendously shake my feeling of inner, blissful peace.
The journey which I share through this blog is a personal journey of growing consciously from within since I was 16 years old… I can’t believe that I have been into this practice for over 25 years!!! I would like to share a few tips with you about things which I can testify to that has helped me increase my Ananda along the way. As soon as you change your mindset to the positive, life immediately rewards you with a lighter feeling. This lighter and happier feeling is essential to attracting beauty and love around us.
1) Find time to breathe in and out . Our breath is our source of life. When I simply lie down and just practice breathing in and out, I become more conscious of the life force within me and a feeling a deep gratitude grows within me for being alive. By the end of this practice my body becomes totally relaxed.
2) Enjoy being immersed in nature. If you walked in a forest, you will quickly discover that it is in perfect order. There is no need to rearrange anything. Can you use this same analogy to your life?? All perfection is already within you. I love the sound of the rain, the waves of the ocean, walking on green grass, planting a garden, walking in the snow, listening to the sounds of lightning and thunder (even when I am scared) because all these things connect me so strongly to the presence of God and the life force within me. 20 minutes in nature is medicine for my soul when my soul feels so thirsty. Can you imagine the boost I feel when I am immersed for an entire day?
3) Decide to create an amazing and beautiful life which overflows with goodness. Since I made that decision myself several years ago, I often tell people that I am not stressed with bad things in my life but keeping up with all the good and amazing things can also be overwhelming. But I would not trade it for anything. When we take a position of HOW we want our lives to be, we immediately begin to differentiate between what is healthy for us and what is not. I can consciously choose where I want to be, with who I want to be and what I want to do… that which will bring more positivity into my life.
4) Invest something good in life every day. I make it my business to invest something good into the world and bring a smile on someone else’s face. This last week, I can give you a list of over 20 small investments that just created a happy feeling on both sides. I blogged, I brought two of my friends some snacks from St. Lucia, which my daughter brought home from her vacation, I sponsored a family to help with back to school supplies, I prepared dinner for friends at my house, I spent time chatting with a friend I had not spoken to for 16 years, I spent three hours with a couple in crisis….the list goes on and on. Our investments in the world returns huge dividends to us when we do them from our hearts, unconditionally. The world gives me so much every day… what can I give back? People who know me, don’t understand how I don’t get exhausted…. the truth is that those investments actually energize me.
5) Express gratitude to those who have blessed your life and even those whom you had difficulties with. It can be a colleague, a family member, a friend, a stranger, a religious person, a medical practitioner, a teacher… You can express your gratitude by writing a note of gratitude, sending a card, an e-mail, making a phone call, send some baked goods over, bring someone flowers… expressing gratitude opens this inner space in our hearts, makes us feel good and enables us to also receive gratitude from others. Yesterday it was nice getting an e-mail from a lovely young woman I have not see for over 20 years. She simply said “Just need you to know that you motivate and inspire me from afar. I love your positive energy!! Thanks for that!” Thank you Zania and the many other wonderful people who send me back such beautiful messages.
6) Affirm some positive statements to yourself. You can do so by writing them in a journal or sanding in front of the mirror and repeating them. Some examples are: I am beautiful. I am kind. I am compassionate. I am loving. I am intelligent. I attract all that is good and pure to me. I am worthy of true love. I am happy. I am capable of dealing with xxx issues in my life. Listen to and read what is good for your soul – this can be positive songs, positive programs, good books with strong messages…. don’t spend time engaged with negative news. It wrecks you emotionally and brings darkness into your emotional realm.
7) Give away what you think you need the most. This is perhaps another blog all of its own and it is sometimes hard to explain it. By some greater universal force, when I give away something I really need, somehow more of it comes back to me. If you need money – give some away; if you need new clothes, give some of your old ones away; if you need friendship, become a friend to someone; if you need love, love someone; if you need forgiveness, forgive someone who has hurt you; if you need a job, do an act of service for someone who need something done; if you need a house, open your door to someone else….; if you need books, give away what you have already read… knowledge shared brings more knowledge back to you.
8) Create or revise your goals for your life/career. Sometimes we feel down because we don’t have anything specific to work on. When this happens, we cannot measure our accomplishment or progress. Spend a few minutes and identify some long and short-term things you want to do and create some deadlines to get them completed. It could be simple things as de-cluttering a cupboard, filling in some overdue forms, getting our college/university application/revamping your résumé… One of my simple goals this year was to write a blog a week and live to my theme of tuning in and stepping up to what I needed to do to live my life mission. I am so glad that I got that clarified because I am accountable to myself now.
9) Help a person who is vulnerable. This can be a person who is homeless, sick, has a disability, is a child or youth, a friend who is in crisis, a single mom or dad, a lonely person….. Whatever you do with them, do it from your heart and you don’t need to let anyone know. I practice this act because I see my own vulnerability in this world every day. It takes only a moment to move from being completely healthy to having a disability, losing life or having a complete mental breakdown. By honouring those who are less fortunate than us we acknowledge the full circle of life.
10) Exercise, eat healthy goods and take care of your body as the temple of God. Daily exercise increases our energy, relaxes our body, calms our mind and makes us feel good. Natural foods support our immunity system and keeps us healthy. My routine for the last few years has ensured that I have at least a long walk daily and my food has now increased to more raw and natural foods… I have never felt better!!!
These are ten of my top practices to increase the flow of Ananda. You can print it out or keep a journal to help you monitor your progress. I would love it if you could share your experience with other readers. Collectively we can continue to add to the great positive energies of this amazing world and take our souls to this blissful inner space. I am also mindful that what works for me may not necessarily work for you – there are no absolutes.
TuneIn to what is stopping you from living your Ananda. StepUp to live a consciously tuned in life. You are so worthy of all that is good, pure and beautiful.