joy

LOVE EACH OTHER, AND ENJOY THE RIDE

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The world can be a very scary place.

Everything seems to change daily.

Uncertainty in every aspect of life surrounds us.

We are all faced with one tragedy after another. On any day you can read about plane crashes, politics, racism, opioids, politics, politics, politics—

NO MORE POLITICS PLEASE – but we do need to pay attention.

You may be wondering; how does this affect love?

The current divorce rate around 50 per cent.


Can you imagine the impact on the children?

On one hand, no wonder relationships are struggling, and the divorce rate is so high. We are living in a world of "me" time. Consumption is king.

We all need to take a deep breath and slow down. Life is moving too fast.

We need to get back to a day where we say “Hi” to our neighbors instead of fearing them.

On the other hand, it's not all bad: I'm happy, in fact, I'm individually optimistic, yet, globally pessimistic.

Can we change the course of things to come?

I don't know.

We've messed it up badly.


“I suggest in the future for those of you walking down the aisle could you please uncross your fingers and take your tongue out of your cheek.”


Just think about it for a moment. The family unit is in a state of crisis; the institution of marriage may be failing.

I suggest in the future for those of you walking down the aisle could you please uncross your fingers and take your tongue out of your cheek. You're only screwing up your kids and, in turn, our world.

If everyone meant, “till death do us part,” the divorce rate may only be 20-25 per cent resulting in:


  • At least a 50 per cent reduction in unwanted children, in turn resulting in:

  • A smaller global population, in turn resulting in:

  • Less consumption, in turn resulting in HOPE!


Wait a second, if that was the equation. I might not exist.


We have certainly left one messed up world for the next generation to try to fix. It's too bad that most of them come from broken homes. How are they going to fix the world, when they can't even fix themselves?


My radical suggestions:


  • Be aware of what is going on in "our" world.

  • Look at yourself first and the people in your life who matter and try to encourage, nurture and love.

  • TURN OFF THE NEWS.

  • Laugh, smile and cry from time to time. Have a blast. Treat others with kindness. Make your “moments” memorable. Don't have kids just for the sake of it - kids aren't puppies.

  • Avoid confrontations: life is too short.

  • And, most important, remember to hug each other.

  • If you do find yourself in a relationship that isn’t working, that’s okay, cherish the good parts, and move forward in a positive fashion.


We may not be able to fix the mess; however, we can have a blast during the ride.



This article was written by Lindsay Wincherauk.

Click HERE to Learn more about his work.

www.lindsaywincherauk.com


Finding Pleasure and Joy in the Combination of Contrasting Experiences

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No doubt about it, life can—and undoubtedly will—have its challenges. For a variety of reasons—some self-imposed, some not—there are bound to be times in your life when you experience some fairly undesirable situations.

In those circumstances, you may experience fear, sadness, disappointment, or anger. But believe it or not, underneath it all, there will also be . . . joy. Not joy in the typical sense of feeling elated in the moment, but the joy of your inner divine spirit. It's the kind of joy that embraces all of life and living . . . not just the peaceful parts.

Consider this: When you go to an amusement park, don’t you choose to go on the scary rides as well as the more pleasant ones? Why is that? Isn’t it because you feel fundamentally safe? And isn’t it the combination of those contrasting experiences that brings you pleasure—even joy?

So it is with your divine spirit. To your spirit, life is one big amusement park. And since your spirit is eternal and indestructible, it always feels safe enough to enjoy (to have joy in) the experience of life as a whole.

Are you experiencing some kind of stress or distress in your life right now? Then remember to take a moment to affirm who you truly are at the core of your being. In prayer and meditation, consciously connect with your inner divine essence—your eternal spirit—and get in touch with the unending joy that resides there. It’s the joy of just being alive and in the world. And it’s a joy that is there no matter what kind of ride you happen to be on.


This article was written by Steven Lane Taylor.

Click HERE to Learn more about his work.

WEBSITE: www.rowrowrow.com

The Kind of Love that Knows No Limits

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As the saying goes, “You are not a human being having an occasional spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a temporary human experience.” And there is no better time of the year to affirm that for yourself than Easter.

For me, the Easter story is a dramatic demonstration and profound illustration of something that I believe is just as true for you now, as it was for Jesus over 2,000 years ago—that you are in this world, but you are not of this world.

How so? Your true essence is spirit, not body. And unlike the body, your spirit is eternal and indestructible. Your authentic self is, in a word, divine—an individual expression of that all-pervading energy that many of us call God. And you are here for one purpose, and one purpose only: to express your divine nature in the body, and in the world.

And what, exactly, is that nature? Love. Unconditional love. Divine love.

It’s the kind of love that knows no limits . . . the kind of love that forgives—no matter what. It’s the kind of love that Jesus fully expressed throughout his life, right up to the final moments of his earthly existence. And it’s the kind of love that you, and I, and all of us are called upon to express on a daily basis.

Today, and every day of the year, may you remember who you are, and why you are here. May you remember that the journey of life is not about getting somewhere. The journey of life is about being something. It’s about being the love that you are in every single moment of that journey. And it’s about experiencing the absolute joy that your love brings to the journey, and brings to each and every spirit that you encounter along the way.

Happy Easter!


This article was written by Steven Lane Taylor.

Click HERE to Learn more about his work.

WEBSITE: www.rowrowrow.com


JOURNEY TO THE HAPPY YOU!

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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 about physical attractiveness and health?”

The answer was very simple, yet also 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 to realize who we are in the spiritual reality.

When you know that 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 in order 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 reaching the happy you. Listening to the heart, so that we can 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 

LOSE WEIGHT - FIND JOY

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Below you will find a sample of the diet that I was on for about two years before I competed with WBFF – World Beauty Fitness and Fashion. This dietary system, combined with weight lifting, can be of great help for losing weight, staying in shape, and building muscle and strength. But as I have mentioned throughout my book, Fit for Joy, this type of regiment mainly focuses on the physical body, which is only one aspect of our being. We are so much more than just our bodies! The approach to fitness that works the body in isolation from our mind and our spiritual heart is not what I do today, professionally or personally. My work at the moment is about integrating conventional physical fitness with spirituality.

These meal suggestions are only to illustrate what my personal journey was like. They are not approved meal-plan recommendations.

BREAKFAST Option One

8 oz cold water with a probiotic supplement

1 tablespoon matcha green tea + ½ lemon

7 walnuts

1-2 whole eggs

BREAKFAST Option Two

1 salmon filet oven-roasted with coconut oil

5-10 walnuts

Steamed Kale

BREAKFAST Option Three

Steel-cut oats, almond milk, berries

Green tea

 

LUNCH

Any lean meat of your choice: white fish (sole, cod, flounder, or halibut), grass-fed red meat, tuna fish, wild salmon, chicken breast, turkey breast, sardines in water.

Eat with steamed veggies or a green salad.

Avoid sauces; instead use olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and avocado oil for salad dressing.

Snack - Best Options:

1 tablespoon spirulina shake with ½ oz. frozen organic berries and a teaspoon of coconut oil

Green juice (no fruit added)

Protein shake (whey protein)

Nuts (walnuts, macadamias, pecans, Brazil nuts)

Raw coconut flakes

Celery, cucumber, or carrots with almond butter

Kale chips or dried seaweed

Raw cheese (unpasteurized)

Sweet potato chips (homemade)

 

DINNER

The same options as lunch

*Important – Avoid:

Alcohol

All sugar and sweets

Regular fruit, except for berries and green apples

Starchy carbs such as pasta, bread, rice, wheat wraps, white potatoes, etc.

 

DRINKS

Water

Kombucha drinks or tea

All kinds of tea, but especially green tea (no sugar added)

Coffee (no sugar added)

 

OTHER DETAILS

Sleep 8 hours or more per night

Drink a gallon of water every day, as well as green tea

All vegetables and fruit should be organic

Adding lemon to your meals is great – it alkalizes the body

You can have a small piece of dark chocolate 85% cacao or higher, but not every day

Use stevia powder as the only sweetener

 

Much love!

Valeria

 

 

BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU FEEL INSIDE

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Children sleeping
Snow is softly falling
Dreams are calling
Likes bells in the distance

We were dreamers
Not so long ago
But one by one
We all had to grow up

When it seems the magic slipped away
We find it all again on Christmas Day

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate

Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe

Trains move quickly
To their journey's end
Destinations
Are where we begin again

Ships go sailing
Far across the sea
Trusting starlight
To get where they need to be

If you just believe
If you just believe
If you just believe

Just believe
Just believe...

May the heart guide our next steps!

Much love!

Valeria 

 

Source:  Song "Believe” by Josh Groban

 

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. However, our peaceful state won’t change as long as we don’t identify with our "must do" actions (and likes and dislikes), but rather keep ourselves open to embracing it all. What is amazing is that we can live in that space, starting right now, by recognizing we are joyful and serene beings living a human life!

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, without falling for preconceptions regarding physical attractiveness and health?

The answer can be very simple, but highly complex and paradoxical at the same time.

The closer we live to our spiritual hearts, the less we tend to engage in physical activities as purely 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!

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 we also suffer dissatisfaction, confusion, and disappointments, and we lack wisdom in the face of sickness and death. It’s hardly fun to dwell on the past, worry about the future, and constantly fight to maintain what we think we have or to 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 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 

EXERCISE AND LOVING-KINDNESS

Exercise, diet, and even therapy can become traps for a painful reality; in some ways they 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 such worthiness. This mindset, however, creates the trap of sustaining habits out of fear, turning exercise and diet into negative forces and compounding the root problem as we live for our bodies through abusive mechanisms. Disharmony within the heart occurs when we forget to recognize that love and kindness are what life is all about.

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 about physical attractiveness and health?”

The answer was very simple, yet also 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 to realize who we are in the spiritual reality.

When you know that 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 in order 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 reaching the happy you. Listening to the heart, so that we can 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 

BEYOND FORGIVENESS

A difficult past can trap us in negativity.

If you find yourself wandering away from the domain of the heart, you most likely are dwelling in the past. In my life, I have met all kinds of people—religious, spiritual, philosophical, psychological, young and old—who assured me that forgiveness was necessary for a happy life. I heard what they were saying, but it never resonated with the deeper truth in my heart.

When we understand that we are all prone to making mistakes, the idea of forgiving someone is not as compelling as treating those who have “wronged” us with compassion and kindness.

Think of how many times in the past you were unkind to yourself and others. If we are really honest, we’ll admit that we were unable to act differently.

To forgive implies that someone outside of ourselves has the power over our emotions, or that we have power over theirs. How about accessing true forgiveness that only the heart is able to offer? I don’t know anything more powerful than compassion.

Those who are compassionate understand the cause of their own pain and how unnecessary suffering can be avoided. Such understanding drives a compassionate person to be kind and loving toward everyone, including those who have hurt them in the past. This attitude transcends forgiveness.   

Much love!

Valeria