Success – Not the Finale but just the First Step to Dream More!

Success Steps
Success Steps, July 24, 2013. Source:

Everyone speaks of success, but as you have explored in the previous posts on dreams, motivation, commitment and effort, there is a lot of work that needs to occur to achieve your dreams.  However, along with these tasks, I truly believe in what the German and French theologian, philosopher, physician and missionary, Albert Schweitzer says, “Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk responsible for raising interfaith awareness and bringing to the forefront the Indian philosophies of Raja Yoga and Vedanta eloquently summarizes success as follows: “Take up one idea.  Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea.  Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

When we are busy dreaming and becoming committed to our goals, we think that once we get there and are finally successful, you will be so much happier.  However, as you proceed through your tasks, one realizes that since you are working hard towards something that you truly believe in or know that it is your calling, you are happy and fulfilled.  There is a peace and an enthusiasm to do more.  A voracious appetite to learn more and give it your all develops on its own.

Success does not only mean the acquisition of more money or accumulation of material possessions.  And if you have the above goals, there is nothing wrong with that but they can be achieved with perseverance and in the framework of your dreams.  If you are happier, content, positive, kinder, nicer and fulfilled today compared to yesterday, you are already successful in your path.  Also, the thought that you just want to do a little better, is already pushing you towards your dreams and well being.  Clutch on to this notion hard with both hands!  Sometimes in our negativity and false ego, we forget to celebrate the small victories.

When you are wallowing about the past and think about how good it used to be, you are depressed.  When you think about what is going to happen now and how is everything going to occur in the future, it causes anxiety.  However, in the right and uplifting frame of mind, you will analyze your past and see that you have grown and learned so much yielding you to a successful present.  Also in this state of mind, for the future you will be excited to attain more knowledge to improve further.  This optimism and love for yourself will propel you towards your happiness.  That is why it is important to make that one idea, goal or dream your everything and concentrate on the tasks ahead.

Of course, there will be road blocks, pot holes, construction zones and detours, but every step of our hardships and difficulties is just one more step towards success.  The small or big failures are not that at all but a way for us to amend, refine, enhance or enrich our map and the roads in it.  You may also experience the disheartening and disparaging thought of wanting to give up and throw in the towel along the way and it is alright to feel those things and have those thoughts.  Just realize that this is exactly the moment that you are really getting close to your goal and the fear is creating a false sense of imminent failure that does not exist.  Don’t drown or let your negative thoughts control you.  Forge ahead, you can do it!

As we near International Day of Friendship on Thursday, July 30, 2015, let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family as the eighth Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has stated.  The idea behind this observance was to inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities by promoting friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals.  So let’s do the same for ourselves and our loved ones as we dare to dream, become motivated, make the commitment, put in the effort and become successful!

Source:  'Success kid' uses fame to help raise $90,000 for father's kidney transplant, The Independent, Jamie Campbell, April 16, 2015
Source: ‘Success kid’ uses fame to help raise $90,000 for father’s kidney transplant, The Independent, Jamie Campbell, April 16, 2015

PS: Read the above article for true inspiration!

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Effort – Effective Force for your Dreams

Effort Invest Time like Ant, Source: Putting in Effort, The Zombie Shuffle 23-Jan-2015,
Effort Invest Time like Ant Source: Putting in Effort, The Zombie Shuffle, 23-Jan-2015,

So over the few weeks you have dared to dream and assessed your calling.  You have become motivated and are fully committed to making your dreams come true.  Now comes the long and strenuous part: effort.  This week, I have given some thought to the quotes by the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955, Sir Winston Churchill who says, “Continuous effort not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking your potential.  Never, never, never give up.  If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  As per the American essayist, lecturer and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson who was the leader for the Transcendentalist movement: Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.

Many of you may think that Churchill’s words are a little harsh but keep in mind that effort and its related tasks are difficult.  Merriam-Webster defines effort as work done by the mind or body; a serious attempt to do something; the conscious exertion of power and lastly an effective force as distinguished from the possible resistance called into action by such a force.  Effort requires a lot of determination and should be fueled by motivation within the framework of commitment.  In addition, effort does not have to be perfect or right the first time around, it matters so much more that you tried and kept trying!

Effort has to be continuous because based on your effort you will see the results. If you put in a half-hearted attempt towards your dream, don’t be surprised if you get half of the result.  Now the result is truly not up to us, there are circumstances, situations, people, time and other conditions that might not bring our efforts to its proper fruition per our expectations or time table.  However, your effort will yield the result at a later date or when it is feasible.  In the end, it is still worth it to make the effort because it will never go to waste.  Hard work and perseverance rarely do!

During this period of exertion and steadfastness what will keep you going?  The answer is your enthusiasm and your curiosity.  Your willingness to find out what is on the other side, the excitement of what will be next and what happens when you do a certain task will help in accomplishing your goals.  These thoughts and actions will prop you up as you make your effort.  Many people who love what they are doing, never think of their duty or work as drudgery, they get out of bed with excitement ready to tackle their day.  The reason being their curiosity and enthusiasm of what will happen next propels and drives them through their effort.

What are the biggest detriments that stop the efforts?  Four major ones are listed below along with solutions on how to deal with them to ensure continuous and steadfast effort:

  1. Perfection: A feeling that the work should yield the best outcome the first time
    • Your effort does not have to be perfect, it just has to be step by step and should be about the ability to put one foot in front of the other.
  2. Disappointment: Effort not producing the results as expected
    • Your hard work is will never go to waste, as long as you are doing all the right things.  Don’t worry about the results, make a promise to yourself to show up.
  3. Excuses: I don’t want to do this or can’t do this
    • Start and keep giving yourself the pep talk that the bigger picture is about your dream.  Assess your motivation and commitment at this level.
  4. Attitude: This is too hard or this is not worth my time
    • You control your attitude and having the right attitude will keep the drive alive so that the right effort can be put in towards your tasks.

Your effort and hard work through constant evaluation, correction, operation and review will lead to the necessary transformation.  So don’t give up!  Wednesday, May 20, 2015 is International Clinical Trials’ Day that acknowledges the life changing achievements that result from the work performed by clinical researchers.  On average, to bring a  prescription drug to market takes approximately 15 years of non-clinical and clinical research.  Let’s be thankful of the efforts of organizations, clinical trial researchers, patients, animals and other supporting entities that bring treatments to market that help combat diseases and contribute to public health, safety and medical progress.

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Commitment – Framework for Dreams to Become Reality

Hierarchy of Commitment - Conversation Circles, May 24, 2010.  Source:
Hierarchy of Commitment – Conversation Circles, May 24, 2010. Source:

So over the past few weeks, you have taken the risk and are motivated to bring your dreams to fruition.  You may not have realized this but these were the first steps that you are taking towards commitment.  According to the 16th President of the United States, who preserved the Union and was an astute politician, Abraham Lincoln believed that “Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.” While the designer of the “Great Society” and the one who expanded the role of the US federal government in education and healthcare, the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) has said, “The test before us as a people is not whether our commitments match our will and our courage; but whether we have the will and courage to match our commitments.”

Commitment is the allegiance that either you DO or you DON’T, there is no middle road.  Interest in doing or achieving something occurs when it is convenient to us and if circumstances permit.  However, commitment is when you accept no excuses, face the hardships, focus on the positives, understand the negatives and move forward with courage.  With this type of determination towards your dreams and being so motivated, how can you fail?  However, you have to make that pledge that you are all IN and there is no turning back so that your dreams can become your reality.

Commitment is a hard thing to sustain and you will go through various stages and may also move backwards.  As long as the drive to achieve is strong, you will become committed again to forge ahead and attain your dreams.  Jeff Janssen, the founder and president of the Janssen Sports Leadership Center, has created the popular concept of the commitment continuum that has the following six stages:

  1. Resistance – This is the dream killer stage where you focus on the negatives and what you CANNOT do.
  2. Reluctance – This is your wish stage.  You have an idea but are hesitant to put it in practice.
  3. Existent – This is your hope stage.  The dream is taking shape and there is some motivation.
  4. Compliant – This is your like and try stage.  Where you are finally putting the work towards your dream and are motivated.  You are excited to see the results and do the work.
  5. Committed – Now that you see some results and you feel good doing the work, you want your dreams to come true.
  6. Compelled – This is when your dream is your calling, your motivation is at its peak and your commitment is in full force.  There is no turning back now!

As you review, the commitment continuum scale, assess and analyze the stage that you are experiencing.  If you are in the first two stages, quietly think about what is stopping you.  The answer will come from within you and mostly is driven by fear.  If you have arrived at the middle two stages, then ensure that you are motivated to keep performing.  There is no room for complacency at this point.  If you are positioned at the last two stages, then the work is natural and comes from within you.  Don’t stop now!  Moreover, if you fall back in the continuum, it is okay.  Be kind to yourself and think about what changes you need to make to transform your dreams into reality.  All of us fall, it is about how quickly we can dust ourselves off and move steadily and swiftly on our path by learning from those difficulties.

As we partake in the celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10, 2015, let’s honour these wonderful women who were committed in their goal(s) to give their children a better life, safe environments, a good education and values that make us better human beings.  In return for their sacrifices, persistence and hard work, let’s take on the duty towards our dreams with the fuel of motivation and the framework of commitment.

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Motivation – Fuel for your Dreams

Source: …Inspiration…Would You Say No To Some…?, Darren Christopher Rowland, 11-Feb-2015,

Now that you have learned how to keep your dreams alive and take a chance, let’s explore how to attain those dreams.  The 13th century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic Mawlana Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī commonly known as Rumi has influenced me a lot in understanding one’s purpose and goals.  There are many beautiful poems that he has penned and has touted philosophies that transcend borders.  I would like to share a few of his wonderful thoughts that I hope you will find motivating in achieving your dreams:

“You were born with wings, why do you prefer to crawl through life?”

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray.”

“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”

“Stop acting so small, YOU are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

If this does not inspire you, I am not sure what will.  Realizing your dreams and the strength within you, will motivate you to stay on your course that is your calling and purpose in life.  It is not easy but hard work and determination will keep you on this road towards the ultimate destination.

As you travel on the path, you have to explore the reasons for your dreams.  You should analyze and think about why you want to pursue your dreams or do something – your motivation.  This motivation will provide you with the necessary desire to attain those dreams.  Your motivation can be anything such as a person, place, thing, thought or act.  Regardless of what motivates you, it has to be strong and compelling enough so that you can overcome the difficulties and hurdles that will be on the route.  Don’t get bogged down by the stress and hardships, but turn it in to the hunger and yearning for your motivation.

As you feel this drive, don’t forget about your internal force and uniqueness, because you were meant to soar and reach heights but time, circumstances, situations and maybe even YOU have put the boundaries around your spirit.  So ask yourself, as Rumi writes, “You were born with wings then why am I acting small?”  Let your light shine through, it has the power to influence not only you but others around you.  When you understand the change you can bring about by changing your outlook, your dreams will come true.  Rumi explains this thought as follows, “Yesterday, I was clever so I wanted to change the world.  Today, I am wise so I am changing myself.”

Your dreams and purpose is all about what you love to do.  Be sure of them.  Rumi further elaborates, “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and that desire for that work has been put in every heart.”  If this work is your aim and ambition and it is has been put in your heart, wouldn’t you automatically love it?  So why not pursue what you love and need to do the most?

As we commemorate the International Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, let’s remember the workers who have been killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.  This observance started in Canada in 1984 by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and now has been given international recognition.  According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), each year approximately two million people die as a result of work-related accidents and diseases in the world.  Let’s honor these individuals that risked and sacrificed their lives for their dreams and to make our lives better.  This should be motivation for all of us!

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Dare to Dream – Take a Chance

Source: Vine Your Earth Day Good Deeds With #GivingVine by Eric Larson, April 22, 2013

Lately, I have been thinking and reading a lot about envisioning your success and do what is your calling.  Something that has been very motivating to me in this quest are the following two quotes.  First is from the longest serving First Lady of the United States Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  With her dreams and perseverance, she made great strides for human rights by overseeing the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Second inspirational quote comes for the Canadian athlete, humanitarian and cancer research activist, Terrance Stanley “Terry” Fox, “I just wish people would realise that anything is possible if you try.  Dreams are made if people try.”  Just with that thought and his wonderful actions he left the Marathon of Hope as his legacy that to date has raised over $650 million (Canadian) for cancer research.

Sometimes when you speak to people about your dreams, they will deter you from your path, will want to protect you from disappointment, may want you to be practical and tell you maybe how to go about achieving your tasks.  They are really trying to be helpful and care for you.  However, when you dream, you have to be willing to take a risk and make a change.  For all humans, risk and change are very scary concepts.  Out of fear and concern, many well wishers may want you to rethink your path as it is not easy and is filled with perils and hurdles.

Nevertheless, these are YOUR dreams.  They can be achieved and will require tears, blood, sweat, hard work and steadfastness.  It might not be per your timetable and it might not even be how you envisioned it, but this is your dream so you need to live it.  According to Merriam-Webster, one of the many definitions of a dream includes “a strongly desired goal or purpose and something that fully satisfies a wish.”  So why are we giving up on our goals and something that makes our wishes come true?

Fear and anxiety paralyzes our wonderful quest to continue the travel on our created yellow brick road.  We will worry about people’s opinions of us, what will happen, what if we fail and many other considerations.  Yet, if this is your purpose in life then shouldn’t you give it at least a try and continue in its pursuit.  It is and will be a difficult road but I think in the end it is worth it!  Just the self-satisfaction, that you tried will inspire and empower you.  Terry Fox further elaborates: “Even if I don’t finish (Marathon of Hope, his dream), we need others to continue.  It’s got to keep going without me.”

Think about it this way, your loved ones especially your parents and grandparents had dreams that their children will do better and achieve more than them.  They made all the sacrifices to ensure the security of your future and were successful.  However, in some cases, they might not have been around to view the fruition of that dream but that did not mean that the aspiration had to stop.

Our ideals and purposes are powerful and have the ability to change many things and people around us for the better.  Let’s not give up on these dreams that can make a wonderful difference in this world.  Instead, let’s be supportive and helpful so that we are all allowed to dream big and feel that they can be achieved if we just tried.  Lets realize the beauty of our dreams so our futures can be bright.

As we approach Earth Day or International Mother Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, let’s make every day earth day and help the environment.  Let’s dare to dream to make this earth a better and healthier place for all of us on #EarthDay2015.

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Perfection – A Mathematical Concept not a Human One


The title of this blog is courtesy of the Franciscan minister and inspirational speaker Richard Rohr, OFM who states that, “Perfection is a mathematical concept.  It is not a human concept.  Humans are inherently imperfect.”  Even the preeminent leader of the Indian Independence Movement and fighter for truth and non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi states that, “Once you believe you have achieved perfection your further development stops and starts moving backwards.”  So why as humans are we obsessed with perfection when we are inherently imperfect and when that imperfection makes us unique and diverse.

As we approach, the celebration and events for the International Day of Pink, a day against bullying, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia and transmisogyny on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, the concept of perfection has been on my mind.  What does perfect mean?  According to Merriam-Webster, perfect means having no mistakes or flaws; completely correct or accurate; being without faults or defects; satisfying all requirements and corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept.  Just looking over that definition, who in this world has ever been without mistakes, without faults, without defects or always correct and accurate?  Our flaws and imperfections make us beautiful, vulnerable, inspirational, strong, special, distinctive and most of all human.

As a civilization and a race, we should celebrate our differences and diversity.  Everything that surrounds us in nature is different and two things are never the same.  Think about if all the trees in the world were Oak trees, all birds were crows, all animals were dogs and there were no changes in the seasons.  How boring and uninteresting!  Even within species there is diversity and variety.  Discussing the above example, there are approximately 600 species of Oak trees; there are 40 members of the Corvus (crow) genus and for the domestic dog there are about 700 million to 1 billion members worldwide.  For dog owners, I do not have to explain how unique their pet is within the same breed of that type of dog.  So why as humans can we not accept the differences, flaws, particular attributes and varying thoughts that each of us have?  It seems so counter intuitive that we want everyone to be like us, to do like us, to think like us and to feel like us, who made any of us so perfect that our way of thinking is the only right way.

Our differences, diversity and flaws are our strengths not weaknesses.  Seeing, understanding and interacting with many different people from all walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, disabilities, sexual orientations, religions, ages, gender and many more facets, will broaden your horizons and make for a great, productive and enjoyable life.  So lets not seek perfection anymore in our fellow humans but seek the good qualities that we admire and not dwell on their faults.  More that that, accept your own flaws and imperfections, because there is only one you and that one you is an individual who is special.  No one is like you in this entire world, not even your identical twin!

In closing, Mahatma Gandhi further elaborates that “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  So lets try to attain the goal and inspire our vicinity to accept others and ourselves as we are because in our inherent imperfection we are loved and admired.

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Gratitude – An Open Door to Abundance

Source: How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times, Robert Emmons, May 13, 2013
Source: How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times, Robert Emmons, May 13, 2013

Reflecting back on my life, even with its successes and hardships, I feel immensely lucky and deeply grateful for the love and support that I have found in my parents, my relatives, my loved ones, my friends, my colleagues and even strangers.  So the following quote from the Gautama Buddha seems to fit perfectly: “Let us rise up and be thankful.  For if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little; and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick; and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us be thankful.”

Gratefulness is about being appreciative of the benefits that you have received that allows us to afford with pleasantness and/or contentment.  Of course, many of us will say that we worked hard, toiled and troubled for our achievements.  It was because of our perseverance, desire and drive that we are triumphant and prosperous.  However, in our egoistic views, we forget the sacrifices that many have made for us along the way.  We disregard the gifts that many have given us without any expectations.  Of course, people who are in our close circles have provided all the right opportunities and have always guided and supported us.  In addition, there are other people who we might not even acknowledge or who even hurt us at one point or another.  Nevertheless, they have taught us many valuable lessons and have helped us understand our strengths, so we should be grateful for those experiences as well.

Moving on further, we should be grateful to our environment that has provided us with the air we breathe, nature we enjoy, water that we drink, the heat and cold we feel, the food that we eat, the birds that sing and chirp, the trees that clean our air and the soil that grows everything beautiful.  The beauty of finding gratitude in our environment is that we will realize that everything provided to us is without any expectations of anything in return.  Does the tree ask you for payment with taxes for performing photosynthesis?  Think about if the earth were to ask us to return all of the ores and crude oil that we have removed.  As humans, we plunder but nature still gives.

Let’s go even deeper, when was the last time you counted your breaths to make sure you took a breath enough times?  Did you ensure that your food was properly digested and that the nutrients went to all the right places in your body?  What about making sure that your heart beats the proper number of times every minute?  So, our body, our senses, our mind, our intellect, our concentration and our spirit are working for us and sustaining us.  But when was the last time you said thank you?  Do it right now and you will feel the joy and abundance embrace and uplift you.

The gratitude that you are alive to enjoy your life is a gift.  It is not meant to be taken lightly.  The more you practice gratitude for every step that you take in life, all your woes and sorrows will feel manageable and in time insignificant.  In general, you will feel more positive and optimistic about life.  The Buddha also elaborates, “You have no cause for anything but joy and gratitude.”  Practicing thankfulness is not that hard, all you have to say or think is that I am glad to be alive.  It is that simple.  Everyday you can also count five things that you are grateful for to keep your mind in the present.  Many people write gratitude journals and thank you notes as an appreciation task.  Those little and big things are all helpful in practicing gratefulness.

For the month of April, there is the observance of World Health Day on Tuesday, April 7.  This year the focus is on “How Safe is Your Food? From Farm to Plate, Make Food Safe.”  So let’s practice gratitude towards the plants, animals, workers and along with the chef(s) (mostly parents and spouses) who have been instrumental in bringing delicious and nutritious food to our plates!

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Addendum: Silence – The Ability to Touch Souls

Total Solar Eclipse Source:

For those who are not aware, on Friday, March 20, 2015, a total solar eclipse occurred between 5:45 am (EDT) and 7:50 am (EDT).  I was extremely lucky to watch this live celestial event on the Slooh Community Observatory network as it happened.  They had a live feed from the Faroe Islands but due to the clouds playing their game of hide and seek, the visibility was not apparent.  However, using their partner networks and courtesy of NRK news, Slooh was able to broadcast an entire 3 hour event from Svalbard.

It was the most moving, emotional and wonderful experience of my life.  So if you need some help practicing silence, here I share with you an approximate five minute experience of what happens in the galaxy.  You cannot help but be affected by this.  The music is not there for a reason and I hope that they don’t add it in the editing process.  You will see the beauty and enjoy the silence of the galaxy as it goes through a transitional period.  So please take a look at the Total Solar Eclipse in Svalabard 2015.

The small bead like structures that you see during totality in red and purple are called Bailey’s Beads.  After the moon starts moving away, there is a Diamond Ring Effect.  Ladies, hide your engagement and wedding rings, because this celestial event will put all diamonds on earth to shame!

Try practicing your five minutes while watching the Total Eclipse of 2015 on the Spring Equinox!

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Silence – The Ability to Touch Souls

Source: Understanding the Meaning of Silence, Mark's Daily Apple, 05-Jul-2011
Source: Understanding the Meaning of Silence, Mark’s Daily Apple, 05-Jul-2011

This week I have been thinking a lot about silence and how it gives rise to a peace within.  According to the Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary who lived most of her life in India, Mother Teresa has sublimely stated the following, “In silence, we will find new energy and true unity.  Silence gives us a new outlook on everything.  We need silence to be able to touch souls.”  If you would like to read further, I have included excerpts of her book In the Heart of the World (Copyright 1997) by New World Library where she writes about the silence of the eyes, ears, tongue, heart and mind.

As she further elaborates, silence is found in nature, where trees, flowers and grass grow in silence while the stars, sun and the moon move in silence.  This universe that is eons and ages older than us regenerates and retracts in silence.  Human civilization has been in existence for approximately 12,000 years considering the Neolithic Revolution as the start of human culture towards agriculture and settlements.  We believe that since we are so progressive and advanced that we know better, we know everything and we have all the answers.  However, the age of the earth and the universe are approximately 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years and 13.798±0.037 billion years respectively.  So shouldn’t we give some credit to what the earth or the universe might be telling us.  How do we listen to these entities that try to sustain us and work in our benefit?  The answer is to practice silence.

In silence, you will see the solutions to problems that have been plaguing you for a while.  In silence, you will hear the voice that has been trying to tell you what is best for you.  In silence, you will feel the energy and the positive vibrations move through you.  In silence, your speech will finally take rest so that your thought process can take over.  In silence, you will finally touch your own soul and those of others.  The unity of your senses, to your mind and heart will be felt as you practice silence.

And guess what, it is not that hard to practice.  The best thing to do is to take five minutes out of your busy 24 hour day to remain in silence.  This doesn’t just mean that you stop speaking.  It means silence in your movement, in your surroundings, in your thoughts and to start actively listening.  It is best to practice silence either in the morning so that your day improves many folds OR to practice silence at night as you go to sleep as it works as a form of meditation yielding peace.  So to practice silence, find a quiet place anywhere; turn off your phones, computers, televisions, radios and other distractions.  That’s it, you are practicing silence.  Let your thoughts come but don’t react.  Don’t say anything or move, just be in this stillness.  Once you start, you will be addicted and you will move on to longer periods.

The acoustic ecologist, Gordon W. Hempton who records the steadily vanishing natural soundscapes says, “Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.”  When you practice this form of silence, you will finally hear, feel, see or touch what was present for you all the time but in the noise found in your environment inside and outside, you could not make sense of it or could not experience it.

As we start the new week, March 16 to 22, 2015 is Brain Awareness Week (BAW).  It is a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.  By practicing silence, each of us will be contributing to this wonderful campaign and important research as we will realize the full power and potential of our minds and hearts.

Author: Anjali Chudasama

Humanity’s Survival: Compassion

Compassion and the World Source: Dalai Lama explains compassion and the world, 21-Sep-2010, Pswinson,

On this auspicious day of Holi, the Indian Spring festival of colours and love, the 14th and current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso has inspired me to write about compassion.  The Dalai Lama has beautifully stated, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them, humanity cannot survive.  If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

All of us discuss compassion but what does it truly mean?  Per Webster Merriam, the full definition of compassion is the sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it OR in simple terms a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry or in trouble.  In this era of consumption and fear, we have chosen financial and technological progress over humanity.  However, there are many people out in the world practicing compassion otherwise we would not be a planet of close to 7 billion.  So we should take pride that as a collective group we are practicing some form of compassion.

However, there is more work to be done.  As the Benedictine nun, author and speaker Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B succinctly says, “Serving others with love and passion is compassion.”  We can easily adapt this principle in our lives.  It can be as simple as thinking that the work we do eight hours a day is not a chore or a burden but that we are making a significant contribution to improving the lives of many in terms of technological means, in the health field, in finance and other such areas.  Once we consciously acknowledge this phenomena, we will automatically stand up against the ill treatment of others and injustices that we observe.  As contributing members of society, you will be a voice for those who do not have a voice or means to be heard.  Wouldn’t that feel great?

Why do we just have to extend our compassion towards our fellow humans?  Lets elaborate and stretch further.  Nature has always practiced compassion towards humans.  For example, we might all be sick of the snow in the East Coast of Canada and the US but we easily forget that without that snow we might be victims of drought and water shortages in the summer.  Let’s outstretch our compassion to the animals that are endangered, the forests that are being destroyed, our planet that sustains us and this universe where we are nothing but a mere speck of dust when the vastness of it is considered.  It is our turn and time to practice compassion to nature, the environment and the many galaxies.

Compassion should not be mistaken with sympathy because in sympathy we just feel and victimize the opposite party.  There is no action in sympathy but compassion consciously allows you to relate with the other entity in order to help. To practice compassion, all one has to do is change their mindset.  Changing this mindset in turn will allow you to be happy and make others happy.  You will see the world differently and it won’t be a pessimistic outlook.  This compassion will allow you to see and enjoy the beauty around and beyond you in this world.  You will appreciate yourself and others more.  If being happy can be this easy to practice, shouldn’t compassion be a necessity for all of us?

So as we quickly approach International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8, 2015 where the theme is “Make it Happen”.  Let’s make compassion happen in our sphere and domain of action, interest and knowledge.

Author: Anjali Chudasama