THE VOICE OF OUR HEARTS

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Today I speak calmly and I walk slow

'Cause I used to rush to plant seeds of love in lands it couldn’t grow.

I carry this smile on my face

'Cause I've cried too much

But now, when I close my eyes there is grace

And when I open my heart there is space.

Today I feel stronger and happier

‘Cause love is the way and telling the truth a game I live to play

But I also know how little I know

I know enough to practice what I believe

Enough to sleep in peace and wake up whole

Enough to know when to just let go

We need love for a true life

We need divine confidence to be funny

Nature doesn’t thrive because of money

I think to understand life is a matter of courage

To feel safe is a matter of trust

To trust is a matter of the heart.

We come and we go

We laugh and we cry

The choice is not always a choice

But to walk slow and to meet our destiny

Takes listening to the inner voice…

... The voice of our hearts.

By Valeria Teles

THE HEART RULES  -  PART ONE

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I don't want to control anyone. That's not my business. I’d like to help everyone, if possible, Americans, Indians, the kind, the unkind, black, white, children. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that when we listen to their hearts. We want to live by each other's happiness — not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another.
In this world there is room for everyone. Mother Earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be JOYFUL AND BEAUTIFUL, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned people’s souls, has blinded the world with hate, has made most forget they have a beating heart that cries for love. We have developed technology, but we have shut ourselves in. Business opportunities that give wealth and abundance, have left us in a poverty state of dissatisfaction, wanting more and more. There is meaningful purposes. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than technology and opportunities to make money we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent, untrusting and all will be lost.

It’s paramount that we try to revive these precious and valuable qualities in our daily lives.

Much love!

Valeria 

 

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain

 

** Credit: The Heart Rules content was paraphrased and inspired by The Final Speech of the Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin

GOLDEN RULES FOR A HEALTHY BRAIN

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Following the golden rules for healthy living lowers the risk of developing dementia by more than a third.

Regular physical exercise, eating a Mediterranean diet, not smoking, and drinking alcohol in moderation were all found to decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

In addition, decreasing stress, preventing and treating diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity was also found to reduce the risk.

But while heavy drinking was linked to dementia, drinking moderate levels of alcohol was found to be beneficial.

The changes that we need to make to keep our brains healthy are already proven to be good for the heart and overall health, so it’s common sense for us all to try to build them into our lives.

At an individual level we need to look after our brains - sharpen those chess skills, read more, meditate, practice deep listening, ditch sugar, add antioxidants rich foods to your diet and sleep well. - Read more... 

Much love! 

Valeria

 

Source: The Telegraph 

 

 

 

LET IT BE JOYFUL

If we can learn how to create space for action without losing touch with the joy in our hearts, we can live with serenity.  We become stressed, anxious, and depressed because we have limited our minds to act and react according to our psychological, emotional and physical aspects only. 

Think of it this way; when we are in our hearts, living a kind and positive life, we can be overloaded with thoughts and physical activities, and our peaceful state won’t change as long as we are not identified with our "must do" actions, and likes and dislikes, but rather open beings that embrace it all. What is amazing is that we can live in that space, starting at this moment, by recognizing we are joyful and serene beings having a human life!

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

OUR OWN CREATED PRISON

Given how exercise, diet, and even therapy can become traps for a painful emotional reality, it’s crucial for us be aware of the fundamental causes of our suffering. Think of how we can consciously or unconsciously believe we are not good enough or not worthy of happiness. We then begin to work hard in pursuit of this worth. As a result, anything external that gives us the illusion we deserve happiness for our effort will also become our own created prison. This cycle of sustaining habits out of fear makes exercise and diet or whatever our external source of happiness is into negative forces, thus compounding the root problem as we live for our bodies and for conditioned emotional stability through abusive mechanisms. This can cause disharmony within the heart, a state of mind where true happiness cannot exist.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

ESCAPISM & FITNESS HABITS

The links between a painful past and fitness became clear to me after a period of major inner turbulence. I knew that most compulsive behaviors had their roots in traumatic experiences, but I never connected my obsession with fitness with lingering inner pain from the past. I believed I was a strong person who had overcome pain because I had a fit and healthy body to prove it, as well as a life that seemed to be driven and built by authentic and exciting experiences. However, the truth was that my fitness habits, to a great extent, were escapism.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

PAST: "LESSONS OF LOVE"

Bringing back our traumatic past experiences is one way to understand the pattern of our limited view of life, especially a spiritual one. When we learn to reinterpret hurtful past events as “lessons of love” in the sense of recognizing that everything that happens to us is an effect of a cause we have created ourselves. It took the Buddha’s teachings of karma for me to understand my own life and mind. However, it’s my belief that we don’t have to be Buddhists to see how painful past events can turn our present lives into a nightmare when we view them as purely negative.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

DIET OF THE HEART

Many of us experience the feeling of compassion when preparing or eating animal flesh, and some even reject meat at childhood. This is not an accident. We all live in different spiritual realities and levels. What is interesting is that those of us who have had profound spiritual experiences often don’t trust them to be real. I believe this is because we are too immersed and attached to our physical reality. We are basically in denial of the interconnectedness of our reality.

The way I see it, food cravings (though certainly not all of them) are directly connected to anxiety and fear. This may be because the mind has associated happiness with pleasure, and since pleasure and pain are closely related, suffering becomes a tasty experience. The body, on the other hand, craves food and sex for self-preservation and perpetuation, not pleasure. It’s interesting to notice that only the heart is rooted in love and kindness. It has no cravings that can cause us suffering. The heart cares for our being as a whole, and also for others, thus happily and healthily embracing everything as a big family.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

MOVING WITH CONTENTMENT

When you’ve found joy in your own heart, you’ll have a much different experience when exercising. There should be a body and mind connection where you are in the moment; there is enjoyment, no fear, or less concern with your physical health; you are simply respecting the natural law of cause and effect; satisfaction before, during, and after your exercise sessions; you feel anxiety-free about your next workout.

 Exercise is a great habit to cultivate, but should not be an obsession. There should be no expectation to get specific results apart from improving your overall health. There should be no guilt when you don’t exercise. The main motivation is to live longer and be physically healthy so you can do more of the spiritual work on yourself and help others to do the same.

My advice is that you find your own unique way to connect with that deep feeling of love while moving your body.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

UNHEALTHY MOTIVATIONS TO EXERCISE

Although physical health is an important asset, the reasons we engage in exercise can still become unhealthy. Being mindful about your motivation for hitting the gym or engaging in any physical activity is helpful if you are looking for spiritual growth and self-knowledge. Be on the lookout for these unhealthy motivations to practice exercise:

·      The need to be thin to feel good every day.

·      Pressure to look good and lean to attract a new partner or to please an existing one.

·      Feelings of insecurity about a specific body part.

·      Fear of not being loved by others if you are out of shape.

·      Guilt for not exercising every day or more often.

·      To release stress caused by a changeable situation.

·      To release anger.

·      To show off, get attention, compete, or provoke envy in others.

·      To fight or to intimidate others.

·      Out of pure habit and without enjoyment.

·      Shame.

·      Pressure to be a role model in your family, work, town, or society.

These are just some examples. Keep in mind that behind all these reasons to work out, there is fear, and it is fear that makes them unhealthy. 

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

LET'S BE HEALTHY TOGETHER

If you are like me, someone who can’t stay away from physical activities, integrating fitness and spirituality is essential. How many of us have struggled to answer the question of how to take good care of our bodies, but not fall for preconceptions of physical attractiveness and health? The answer can be both very simple, but highly complex and paradoxical at the same time. However, the closer we live close to our spiritual hearts, the less we tend to engage in physical activities purely as beautifying or self-cherishing methods, even when these activities promote good-looking bodies, health, and higher self-esteems. At this point, we are wiser, joyful, and peaceful enough to work on our bodies, so we hang around longer to support others with our virtues. 

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving!

A "HEALTHY" DISTRACTION

Fear and insecurity can turn physical fitness into an addiction. While most of us consider the pursuit of physical fitness to be a great habit, for me, it was a painful cycle disguised a healthy practice. The more unsatisfied I was with myself, the more strenuous, restrictive, and consistent my exercise and diet became. Looking back, it’s clear to see that dissatisfaction, not lack of health, was what propelled me to dedicate more than twenty years of my life to fitness. I strongly believe that the reason fitness and fit people are so popular is because most of us are attracted to the idea of having a “healthy-physical distraction” for our inner conflicts. Although it is true that exercise and physical attractiveness can improve our overall health and lift our self-esteem, to use these methods to hide our pain can also result in increased, unnecessary suffering. I don’t know anything healthier than having the courage to dive deeper into our own hearts for answers.  

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving!

EXERCISE THE MIND FIRST

The pursuit of a fit and healthy body can only be a wonderful thing when we’ve already recognized our spiritual hearts as perfectly fit to provide us with a life of happiness and peace. In other words, consider that a fit body can make us smile more often for all the compliments we get, improve our health, and give us a temporary “happy” feeling of accomplishment. However, without a content mind and a joyful heart, this feeling won’t last long.

Since our health and feel-good state depend on external conditions and constant hard work that can propel us into an endless cycle, my proposal is to reverse this; to work on our minds for a more stable feeling of happiness rooted in kindness that can then result in a healthy and fit body.

What do you think?   

Much love!

Valeria

TRULY STRONG

In one of my “fitness role model” training day, I was climbing a high set of steps outdoors in an intense workout session. Many people passed by me, including an overweight mother who was having a hard time carrying her baby down the steps in its stroller. I passed her at least three times as she struggled to get down, but it never occurred to me to help her. All my mind could say was that by passing her as fast as I could and as many times as possible, I would inspire her to engage in exercise so she could lose weight and be healthy. Later, a couple went by me and called me strong and courageous. Had I actually been strong and courageous, enough to be listening to my spiritual heart, I would have stopped to help the mother and her baby. Yes, I would still be exercising for enjoyment and physical health, but I would be motivated by love and compassion. It would have been an action not from “look how good I am,” but “here I am and look, someone needs help.”

Much love!

Valeria 

EXERCISING FOR THE WRONG REASONS

Most of us engage in exercise and clean eating for the wrong reasons. I did it for many years. For some time, I went through a rough period in my marriage. It didn’t matter how physically fit and healthy both of us were, our relationship wasn’t a happy one.

            I stopped exercising for a few months. I gained about ten pounds. My body felt incredibly good, no more soreness or joint pain, though my marriage was falling apart. It didn’t take long for a heavy cloud of shame to settle over my head. Not even hours of meditation could save me from the pressure to go back to the gym and clean up my act. It had been about three months at this point, and the feelings of shame and fear were unbearable. How many of us exercise because we feel pressured to be lean and thin to fit the rules of society, please others, or because we are ashamed of our bodies?

Much love!

Valeria 

LEAVING HOME WAS A DREAM!

The limited physical reality most people live in is a painful one. We entertain ourselves with achievements, pleasures, and excitements, but also suffer dissatisfaction and disappointments, confusion, and lack of wisdom in the face of sickness and death. It’s hardly fun to dwell in the past, worry about the future, and constantly fight to maintain what we think we have or acquire what we believe we lack. This kind of worldly life is an endless marathon toward suffering, but it can be replaced with joy when you access the truth inside your own heart.

After investing so many years in physical and psychological health, I finally realized that true health comes from knowing the depths of our own hearts and the nature of life. With this knowledge, all my external searches for happiness and peace ended and a joyful celebration began. You don’t need to find the way back home when you realize that leaving home was only a dream. 

Much love!

Valeria 

HAPPINESS AND SERENITY

Happiness and serenity have a lot to do with being in the present moment. However, many people do not achieve this state because they dwell in the past or become preoccupied with how to escape it by living for a “better” future. When we project or stake our happiness on the hypothetical achievement of a future circumstance, we sabotage our ability to be happy in the present and reinforce a self-destructive mindset that likely will persist into the magical “future” we are hoping for. 

To release yourself from this trap, you must shift your life toward a spiritual reality that transforms pain into joy. When you understand that the essence of your nature is not the thinking mind but rather a spaceless and timeless quality inside of you, compassion will arise and you will be free of unnecessary pain. Once you establish yourself in that place of love and kindness, everything will become love or a lesson of love. While physical and mental health are valuable, realizing who you are at the heart level is much more critical for happiness and serenity.

Much love!

Valeria  

EXERCISE AND LOVING-KINDNESS

Exercise, diet, and even therapy can become traps for a painful reality, and in some ways can make it worse. For example, if you consciously or unconsciously believe you are not good enough or not worthy as a whole human being, you might work to become fit in pursuit of this worth. This, however, creates the trap of sustaining habits out of fear, making exercise and diet into negative forces and compounding the root problem as we live for our bodies through abusive mechanisms. This can cause disharmony within the heart when we forget to recognize that love and kindness is what life is all about.

Much love!

Valeria 

 

 

INTENTION MATTERS

Where I come from in Brazil, an attractive body is worshipped as if it were a god. I was not only taught to strive for physical beauty, but also to be obedient, to serve and to smile. It took years of inner conflict for me to accept my imperfect body and find my way back to the intuitive faith in my heart. This heart had always known my true identity as a spiritual being, even though my rational mind could not accept that as truth. You might know well what I am talking about.

This was the main reason I pursued a fit and healthy body pretty much all my life. To this day, daily exercise is still something my mind craves. What I do, then, is integrate exercise for the body with food for the soul! Every experience can become spiritual when we have the intention to be loving and kind. 

Yes, we can enjoy our fit bodies as long as we know that the true happiness only comes from our own hearts! 

Much love!

Valeria 

JOURNEY TO THE HAPPY YOU!

If you are like me and are inclined to engage in physical activity, integrating fitness and spirituality is essential. For many, many years I struggled to answer the question, “How do I take good care of my body but not fall for preconceptions of physical attractiveness and health?”

The answer was both very simple and highly complex and paradoxical. The closer you live to your spiritual heart, the less you tend to engage in purely physical activities and beautifying methods, even if they promote a healthy body and high self-esteem. This is because your spirit knows that sickness, old age and death are inevitable. The time we have on earth is too limited to concern ourselves with the impermanent aspect of our existence. Every second becomes a valuable chance to recognize our true nature and realize who we are in the spiritual reality.

When you know there is a lot more to you than a body and a thinking mind, but you don’t know how to access that deeper part, you end up struggling between the two. This journey in limbo can be interesting, especially because it can teach you to have compassion for your own body. The paradox is that even giving attention to thoughts about fitness and health can lead you to believe that you are a physical being whose psychological needs must be met to feel good or to be whole. At this level, you are not living a spiritual existence yet.

However, this is all part of the journey to the happy you. Listening to the heart to live more and more as a spiritual being can bring our existence to a conscious space where life becomes a loving and joyful adventure that renews itself with every moment.

 

Much love!

Valeria