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A Happiness KEY: Be naked, exposed and vulnerable.

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In the heat of battle at the World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, NY, USA. Me (4th ranked) and competitor (3rd placed) striking a “Triceps Pose”.

A wise friend told me once a long time ago that if you love life, life will love you back.

I have seen them, so perhaps have you – people who seem to have been freshly scrubbed or newly minted. They have taut skins and great smiles. How do they do it?

They do it partly through increased respect for their body, spirit/soul, heart and mind.

If you see one of these people, ask them their secret and then … get in touch with me and we can tell it to the world. Their secret would be worth more than a pot of gold!

Well, after twenty five years of helping people, help themselves work towards a better version of themselves, I believe a key factor is in better energy management and also that these lucky people have better experience of happiness, daily.

Managing energy better does not only refer to raw materials taken in and outputs expanded from the human machine that is the human body, it also refers to our state of mind and state of heart and spirit.

It seems that many people are of the belief that constantly ‘being happy’ is desired and so they spend all of their day choosing and stressing about being happy. I believe that striving to constantly be in a state of happiness takes you further and further away from the elusive happiness. They do so to such an extent that the drive to be constantly happy leads to unhappiness and an empty feeling.

Why is that so, I ask?

Well, it is because, a human being is also an emotional and spiritual being. I believe that to be truly human, one needs to be able to feel ALL emotions, not just being happy all the time. A human being needs to feel emotions including those that are unpleasant – like anger, hatred or sadness amongst others. One needs to FEEL the whole gamut of emotions in one’s life to be truly closer to happiness.

So, in essence you have to experience UNHAPPINESS to experiencing growth towards happiness in your life. There is no other way. This is a key to happiness.

There is a catch though, as (like anything worthwhile getting), it isn’t as easy as it sounds. To get closer to genuine happiness in your life, you need to strip bare (be honest and brave to oneself); be naked, expose oneself to the world and allow oneself to be vulnerable.

This is a difficult task and for some people, impossible.

Being vulnerable is liberating, it is a genuine taste of freedom. Being vulnerable is truth … it is peace. Being vulnerable is harmony and symmetry … being vulnerable is beauty.

I believe part of the reason people don’t allow themselves to feel the full range of emotions, particularly the unpleasant ones is that we’re all sort of brainwashed to some extent, that ‘getting in touch’ with your inner negative feelings is not recommended and frowned upon.

There is a high need and practise in modern day society to reason and provide an objective and logical explanation to everything, without any feeling. That is the key phrase – “without any feeling’. It seems that people think that they must express everything like this – giving well thought out, logical, step by step reasons for a situation without any empathy and feeling.

You see it everywhere, where people frown upon or look at you with surprise when you voice your disagreement, disgust, anger, frustration and so forth because you actually allowed yourself to experience that emotion.

Oh no, that’s not civilized, not good behaviour … you need ‘anger management’ help. A load of c%ap!

And why is this so?

Well, I have told my wife this many times over the years – that the lack of ‘feeling’ is increasingly a sure sign that peoples’ spiritual lives being poverty-stricken.

Basically, one cannot give and share what one does not have in the first place. In other words, we cannot mirror, cannot radiate the tenderness (of God/positive energy) because people have not experienced it themselves. Sad, but true.

If you believe in God, in a God, please understand one thing: I believe that God expects us to show all of our feelings to him – happy and unhappy feelings, everything. Nothing is off-limits!

However, I believe that before a man or a woman can really FEEL his or her own feelings and be able to express them fully, you have to go back to your past and deal with any hurt or anger. Ask for forgiveness and ask God (and your God) for your forgiveness.

There are few certainties in life – death and taxes are two of them. A third one and one that is relevant to my message in this blog is that God does not change, God is a certainty.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Because of this, if you believe in him and you believe in his healing power, you can let go. You can forgive and be forgiven for your past, because it can be UNDONE and off-loaded on to God forever, releasing the shackels you’ve put yourself in.

This is what is meant by being naked.

Allowing you to feel empowered again in your own skin – to be unarmoured … to come out from the wall of invulnerability on those deeply sensitive spots that hold you back from truly feeling the whole spectrum of feelings.

So, being naked, being totally exposed, ironically, provides you with the ultimate armour: increased spiritual connectedness.

A man or woman who has embraced this heightened spirituality, invites wonderful healing of painful memories formed in his or her past. This healing, in turn is the key to be more caring, more empathetic outward expressions (including unpleasant ones too).

Increased awareness of your spiritual part to your whole being allows you to let down the walls of invulnerability, allows you to drop the façade’. It allows the TRUE SELF to be set free, the TRUE YOU.

A great thinker once said that the most difficult thing for a person to do in his or her lifetime is to BE HIM or HERSELF, in a world that is constantly trying to make you somebody else.

So, building your spiritual self allows you to be more of who you really are, not somebody else, not a fake you. You get to love yourself more which ultimately shows in how you show love to others (outwardly), because you are now naked and exposed and vulnerable.

This vulnerability allows you to experience not only the happy feelings but also the unhappy feelings or the undesirable feelings and be more complete.

You see, to me happiness is more than simply feeling pleasure and avoiding pain. Happiness is about having experiences that are meaningful and valuable, including emotions that you think are the right ones to have (others may not think so). All emotions can be positive in some contexts and negative in others, regardless of whether they are pleasant or unpleasant.

Happiness is also about being content, a sub-set of happiness.

So, if your goal is to be more happy (and almost every human being has this goal) then to be more happy, learn to feel more. Learn to be unhappy occasionally (when appropriate), don’t be afraid to. It is human to feel these less-than-desired emotions.

To get closer to the elusive happiness – be naked (and honest with your spiritual self). Be real and authentic. Be You. No one else in the world can play that role better than you can …. The role of YOU.

Here’s to your happiness (and unhappiness)!

 

Until next time,

 

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Keep on keeping on.

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Life, what is it?

How do you define what ‘life’ is? What does it mean to you when you think or hear people say ‘live your life?

To keep things simple, life to me, is just like building and hanging on to muscle (after almost a quarter of a decade of working with it).

It – Life, depends heavily on two principles – simplicity and continuity.

You can read about this analogy in an earlier blog. What I would like to elaborate on, however, is Life and what it means. People view life through different lens. I believe, life – all life, is intended to have purpose.

From my interactions with and observations of people over the last four decades of my existence on this planet, it seems that many people live their lives almost as if they worship it. Yep, they put it up on an alter – they exalt it to almost Godly status!

The question I ask is, why?

Is it in the genes or has it been instilled in us by our environment.

Perhaps we all too easily become worshipers of life. Life itself, is likened to that of an idol. It seems that all the marbles are put in to the one basket called life and there is nothing after life. People seem to be very busy, rushing around, trying to squeeze in as much as they can while they can – experiences, places to visit, ticking off ‘bucket lists’ and promotional ladders at work.

Most people just seem to focus on what they can get out of ‘this life’. Why? I just don’t get why this insatiable desire for more, more, more …

The thing is that if we put all our eggs in one basket – this basket called life, I think that death or the mere mention of death would most likely be an unwanted trespasser, an uninvited purposeless intruder. Probably part of the reason why a lot of modern day society revolves around avoiding the question of or conversation of death and dying. So much so, that the aged population get segregated from society in to over-hyped ‘aged care’ facilities, separated and out of sight from the rest of society. Nobody in modern society wants to be reminded of death, no, it is life that is celebrated!

This is a sad state of society, not only for the seemingly unwanted aged put aside, in a patient room, waiting to die. But, it is also a sad state for those that are left behind, those in society that would benefit greatly by having the aged pass on knowledge and wealth of experience through the long lost art of story-telling.

It would benefit the younger generation immensely. If only, people had a little more patience.

Sad indeed.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t live life and live it to the full. No, but to exalt anything – another person, an object, rock bands, a job, a position and including even life itself, into the ‘be all and end all’ takes a critical ingredient out of the picture. Do you know what this critical ingredient is?

It is God.

Worshipping anything, even life, squeezes God out of the picture, out of the equation of a truly successful life. It becomes a life that is purposeless, something that is an increasing symptom of many people in today’s very fast, busy worlds.

They are growing more distant from God and appear to be soul-less as they are searching for him in all the wrong places. There is an hollowness in their soul. Even though they have more social media connections, they have less genuine relationships. What is missing is their spirituality.

Remember, that it is your relationship with God – your God, in your life that enables you to make sense out of the countless nonsense out there. Having God in your equation, your life gives you hope, hope that even when sense and purpose seem to escape you at times, one day you will understand.

It is true, that you should live your life as if it were your last in this world.

But, understand that worshipping it to the status of an idol is not needed if you believe. Believe that Jesus Christ was the resurrection and the life. Believing in him and God allows you to live (even when your physical body dies from this world).

So, live and believe in all your heart and soul. This belief will mean that you will never die, that you will live forever in to the next life. Believe that your life now, this life, is only a small part of your life in the time continuum – that you, me, we are all living out days of our eternal life.

Now.

Keep it simple. There is no end to life, there is only continuity and simplicity, which as I mentioned at the start is the two fundamental principles that life and funnily enough – muscle is built on.

All you need to do is believe and be redeemed by our saviour, the son of God – Jesus Christ.

Close your eyes. Breathe. Keep on keeping on …. Don’t stop believin’.

Amen.

 

Until next time,

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To know the unknowable.

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Do you know what love is?

Do you believe in it? Do you desire to share your love with others? Do you act on that desire? To ‘know’ what love is, is I believe, to know the unknowable.

But where do we begin?

It is too large a subject and too deep to truly understand and I believe there are insufficient words to describe what it is. There have been many attempts to define love and by now you will have formed your definition of love, from your experience and perception of truth.

I believe that to love – either oneself or another, you have to desire to and act on nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. Yep, spiritual growth.

I have helped many people on their individual journey’s to become better versions of themselves, adopting my unique framework. I tell them at the start of the program that it is as much a spiritual journey as it is physical. What I have found is that each time I journey with them and helped them, help themselves, to extend their limits and evolve in to the person they imagine themselves to be, I feel profoundly satisfied.

Each and every journey and as they evolve and re-engineer themselves, I feel that I also evolve. It seems as though, through reaching toward change and evolution for someone we also evolve, just like it is in the process of adaption that muscle grows.

I know one thing for certain about love: we are incapable of loving others unless we love ourselves, just as we are capable of teaching our children self-discipline unless we ourselves are disciplined or just like we cannot be a source of strength if we do not nurture our own strength. We cannot teach what we do not own or know.

Ultimately, self-love and the love of others go hand in hand and more and more I believe that they are one and same. They are indistinguishable.

Just like love, muscle needs sufficient and appropriate stimulus to adapt. It is in the process of adaptation that muscle evolves/grows.

Just like love, muscle needs sufficient and appropriate stimulus to adapt. It is in the process of adaptation that muscle evolves/grows.

I have deduced though that many people think they are loving but when in fact, they are not! It seems that in our modern culture, many desire and have intentions of being loving but they are not in fact loving. How? Why? Well, firstly, the desire or intention to love is not the same as love. Let’s make that clear.

It is simple: love is as love does!

It is a choice, a personal choice. We do not have to love (and many decide this).

We choose to love.

So, it does not matter how much you think you are loving, if you have chosen not to love, you do not love! Full stop! You have made your choice despite your good intentions.

The topic of love is truly totally unknowable and almost unexaminable. To fully know the unknowable is one of life’s wonders and challenges.

However, in my experience, to love, to really love, I believe one does not have to feel love. I believe that real love is often present when the feeling of love may be non-existent or is lacking. Real love is what happens when we act lovingly when we don’t actually feel loving.

Try to get your head around that one.

So, back to my earlier definition of this unknowable subject – love is what love does.

In my heart, I believe that to love (whether oneself or another person), one has to help the person (including you) journey towards being a spiritually better person. This brings more balance back in to your life, amongst other things.

This is one of the major keys to life: balance. Without it, everything becomes more difficult than what it needs to be.

The act of helping another human being evolve spiritually is the foundation of knowing this unknowable, an important part of love. Even though, ultimately, you will only know a little bit of what love is.

But that is ok, persevere as life is short and like someone once said “… none of us will get out of this alive, anyway”.

Think. Desire. Act. Love.

Re-establish your balance within.

Choose well.

 

Until next time,

Work on strengthening the spirit within. It is par of the foundation of love - the unknowable.

Work on strengthening the spirit within. It is part of the foundation of love – the unknowable.

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A Re-think.

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not. Enjoy 'moments' in life. Live your life, by life and through life. Don't live your life by 'time'.

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not.
Enjoy ‘moments’ in life. Live your life, by life and through life. Don’t live your life by ‘time’.

Just turned a year older today.

Am blessed to have experienced yet another birthday and spend it with my family and the people I love dearest.

Made me stop for a few fleeting moments to reflect and appreciate all that I have had so far in my short life on this earth. Truly a blessing to be alive and each breath I take reminds me of this blessing.

However, I was thinking about ageing and time, in particular.

Now, progressing through the second forty years on this planet, from my observations, most of us a reminded almost daily of our pending death. Most, if not every person thinks that they will live forever and you can see it in lot of the behavioural aspects of modern day humans.

There is inherently a strange kind of appetite or hunger for eternity, don’t you think? I mean it’s everywhere. Almost everywhere you turn, you get reminded and frustrated by society through the way it communicates ‘time’.

A big portion of our innovations and inventions are marketed to ‘save time’. Let’s have a look at a few – the washing machine, the dish washer, the fast car, information technology in all it’s forms, the jet flight and so forth. But I would like to ask the question – ‘what for?”.

In all of history, never has there been a time where people have been required to be more hurried than they are now – we have alarms, watches, buzzers, countless meetings, the overly structure education system, the categories of different ages – toddlers, teenager, twenties, trying thirties, topsy-turvy forties, and so forth and the precise daily schedules …

What for?

Ex-Australian Wallaby Captain - Phil Waugh performing a set of squats. "Feeling the essence" of the exercise is vital to attaining desired results. Experiencing the 'moment' to 'feel the essence' of the exercise. It is 'moments', not time, that is the essence of life.

Ex-Australian Wallaby Captain – Phil Waugh performing a set of squats.
“Feeling the essence” of the exercise is vital to attaining desired results.
Experiencing the ‘moment’ to ‘feel the essence’ of the exercise.
It is ‘moments’, not time, that is the essence of life.

What is it that seem to remain embedded in our memories forever? It is ‘moments’. Why do we really ‘enjoy moments’ and long for this and remember these ‘moments’ well in to the future? Even as we age, we cherish ‘moments’. What does this suggest?

The fact that we seem to lose all sense of time when we enjoy these ‘moments’ may suggest that we were maybe created for eternity. We just don’t ‘get it!” I mean despite thousands of generations, we seem unable to get used to – time!

Maybe, we were never meant to be just ‘temporary beings’ on this planet. Maybe, instead of seeing ourselves as a being on this earth for a limited time, we should see ourselves living forever, even after our external bodies’ age and wilter away.

There is a constant fascination for it or of it – time, that is. Scientists are still trying to figure it out? We don’t really understand it but we are always amazed by it. How fast it goes, how slowly it goes, how much of time has elapsed or gone? Does it really disappear? We are constantly reminded of the passing of time in a lot of things in our daily lives, in particular, on our birthday. Birthdays and birthday messages reinforces this infatuation with the passing of time.

I got a message from a very good friend (all the way from grade 1 in primary school) for my birthday and a line in his message “time surely passes by” prompted me to write this blog.

So, it seems we as individuals and as communities and as a whole civilization constantly demonstrate signs that we haven’t really adapted to time. We have never and still do not feel at ease with it even after thousands and thousands of generations. Maybe just maybe, we need to RE-THINK our concept of time.

Maybe, we’ve got it all wrong all this time and the clues may just be in front of our noses and we are not seeing it.

Maybe, just maybe we need to re-think our current dominant view or paradigm of ‘time’. Maybe, we should accept our uneasiness of time as proof or at least a powerful-enough suggestion that eternity exists and we are living it.

Eternity is life and we are living it.

Re-think: Life has no beginning, no end. Every day is the beginning and the end. If the beginning is the end, then there is no ‘time’. Time is infinity. Time is life. You are living proof of infinity in this life and the next. The concept of time is irrelevant and instead we should just experience life through ‘moments’ – not time!

You are not a physical being with an emotional core. No, you are a spiritual being encased in a physical capsule. It is the physical body that ages, that rots and returns to dust, not the spiritual. The spiritual lives on forever.

The spirit is consciousness, the spirit never ages. The spirit is the real ‘you’.

So, maybe contrary to what society has and is constantly telling us, live your life as if it will never end. As if you will live forever, that maybe you shouldn’t be ‘rushing around’ trying to do a million things before you die and constantly believing you don’t have enough time in the day like I hear so many people say.

Re-think: you are alive and will continue to live FOREVER. You have enough time, you have enough ‘life’ to live, don’t rush too much, you will fulfil every desire you ever had, be it in this physical realm or the next.

Spiritually, you will live forever. For eternity. There is only one catch though – you have to have faith, you have to believe in the spirit. You have to believe in something you cannot physically ‘see’, an intangible. You have to believe there is a higher force, a higher being.

You have to have unwaveringly belief there is a GOD.

This to me, maybe our key to eternity…. To our salvation. In science and in life, a ‘truth’ will only remain a truth until proven wrong. That is the very essence of science. Maybe, the truth of time as we view it is not true. Maybe, life is not to measured in time, but instead should be embraced as part of eternity.

Re-think

 

Until next time,

B&W3284

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Balance Sheets should balance.

Body-building, like LIFE, is about balance and symmetry (harmony).  All the muscles need to flow and you 'paint a picture of the 'flow of muscle' when you're on stage.  Building muscle is hard but not s hard as attaining balance and symmetry.

Body-building, like LIFE, is about balance and symmetry (harmony).
All the muscles need to flow and you ‘paint a picture of the ‘flow of muscle’ when you’re on stage.
Building muscle is hard but not as hard as attaining balance and symmetry.

I have had some experience with balance sheets, my first university degree was in Business. I also spent a number of years working for large multi-national corporations advising and consulting towards best practises.

If there is one thing I know very well with balance sheets, it’s that balance sheets should balance. Right? The right side must equal the left. Debits and credits should balance.

We constantly read and see in the daily news large corporations going ‘bust’ or even countries in recent times, sometimes not just Third World countries. Big banks who loaned out monies to help finance these businesses or countries have to suddenly ‘write-off’ millions and millions of dollars for debts gone bad. They would have likely set a provision for bad debtors in their balance sheet in the likelihood of debts not being recovered.

When a bank does this, it is known in accounting as good practise and in compliance with accounting standards. The lenders are said to be prudent.

I have always wondered what it would be like if this approach should also be applied to us individuals, in every area of our lives. I mean if some person has done you harm, must we retaliate with the same or worse force? Or should we set aside a provision (like doubtful debts in the balance sheet) for such actions to be ‘written-off’ against and forgiven?

There are many examples over the last two decades at the least, of companies demonstrating how accounting can be more of a creative art than a science.

Balance sheets should balance like a great body-builders physique should be balanced and harmonious (symmetrical).

On stage painting a picture for the audience of the 'flow of muscle'

On stage painting a picture for the audience of the ‘flow of muscle’

As a Christian I was told in my early years of religious teachings that I will be held accountable for all my actions (sins and good) before entering the kingdom of heaven. This was my first introduction to balance sheets.

It seems that most if not all religions have similar teachings about each individual’s accountability at the end of his or her life. I have always thought that if this were the case and that most of us believe it so, then maybe, it would be a good idea to stop, reflect on past transactions (like a good Accountant), and draw up a ‘personal balance sheet’.

A personal balance sheet, maybe say, quarterly. An interim set of accounts for YOU. Drawn up from a trial balance consisting of what you have ‘taken’ on one side and ‘what you have ‘given’ back to life. A chance to review past transactions (behavioural patterns) to help predict the future. Each side of the trial balance should balance, after all …

.. balance sheets should balance.

You will find that there are some amongst us that just take and keep taking, with very little to give. I’m not talking about money here, even though this could also be considered in this point. I’m referring specifically to a person’s spiritual balance sheet. Your spiritual net worth, when you are held accountable at the gates of the after-life (whatever religion you follow).

Have you considered this?

What if God came through and acted like the large banks, with proper accounting practises of ‘writing off’ bad debts? What if your spiritual net worth was in the negative (in accounting terms)? Should you be collapsed like business gone bankrupt without any chance to continue? Should your life end, right there?

Should the receivers be called in? Or do you think you should be given some ‘slack’ because you hope to get better and can expect to get in spiritual surplus in the next accounting period? I know I prefer the latter. I’m sure we all do. Aren’t we all fortunate that we have such a God?

It nice to know that that is how God operates, isn’t it? Your sins (and mine) and all the bad debts(deeds) will be forgiven. Forgiven but not forgotten. He sent his only begotten son to live and die amongst us so that all sins may be forgiven, for all of time (this is our provision for doubtful debts taken care of).

This is prudent spiritual banking but very smart banking, I think.

Abdominal/thigh pose with the top 2 Natural Bodybuilders in the world in 2007.

Abdominal/thigh pose with the top 2 Natural Bodybuilders in the world in 2007. “Balance” and symmetry is a big part of a top bodybuilder’s winning physique.

So, I’ll ask again, what is your balance sheet, your spiritual balance sheet?

Do an interim set of your spiritual balance sheet to assess how you’re going. It may just help you lower the risk of sinking to a spiritual net worth deficit. Not a good place to be. If you’re in this predicament, seek ways to start ‘giving back’ to life to balance off what you have ‘taken’. Seek balance in your life, spiritual balance.

Balance your spiritual balance sheet and watch how more balanced life will love you back. Spirit, after all equates with or equals LIFE. Specifically quality of life. When you lose your spiritual balance, you lose or lack those qualities we all refer to as spiritual. You become devoid of humanity, love and self-respect. At the worst, you may become selfish or even violent.

So, don’t leave it until it’s too late. Do an interim spiritual balance sheet TODAY. I believe if you do so, it will help you align YOU with life better, with the life’s energy.

Work towards your spiritual net worth surplus.

All the best in your spiritual journey.

Until next time,

Overcoming many small hurdles on your way to achieving your ultimate goal is encouraging.  Progress, any form of progress is a motivating factor. So, don't strive for perfection, instead seek progress ... towards your ideal SELF. Vv

Overcoming many small hurdles on your way to achieving your ultimate goal is encouraging.
Progress, any form of progress – especially spiritual, is a motivating factor.
So, don’t strive for perfection, instead seek progress … towards your ideal SELF.
Vv

Seek spiritual balance. It will align you with life's energy better.  It will help you get internal/external balance. Vv.

Seek spiritual balance. It will align you with life’s energy better.
It will help you get internal/external balance.
Vv.

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