a better life, anger, authenticness, awareness, balance, beauty, care empathy, Energy, forgiveness, game of life, genuineness, God, happiness, self-respect, spirituality, truths, Vitality, you

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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The unexamined life.

Being honest with yourself and being brave enough to be allowed to be examined in front of a mirror is critical to successful body re-engineering. Like muscle, life requires that you regularly examine yours.

Being honest with yourself and being brave enough to be allowed to be examined in front of a mirror is critical to successful body re-engineering.
Like muscle, being a “Student of Life” requires that your life is regularly examined for increased awareness.

It is quite alarming at the prevalence of people living day-to-day without reflecting on their ways – their lives.

In my time owning and managing a gym for seven years, I have gained a lot of insight in to life. I spent a lot of time listening and observing life through other peoples’ experiences (OPE), from people from all levels of society. From the very rich (I had a member that was one of the Top 100 wealthiest people in Australia) to the very poor.

It has taught me a lot.

The examined body leads to positive improvements. The examined life leads to a life more worth living. Only if you desire it so.

The examined body leads to positive improvements. The examined life leads to a life more worth living.
Only if you desire it so.

From OPE and my general curiosity, I have found that among the many problems that man has, a very big problem with the modern man (and probably has been this way since the dawn of time) is that the majority lead unexamined lives. Most men (and women) have not carefully plotted their life view and purpose.

Most use the ‘scatter-gun approach’ and hope to get a hit, similar to the concept of the lotto and why it taps in to the very nature of people’s inner sanctity.

They have not really taken the time to ‘think’, to really reflect and honestly examine their life so far and the life they would like to live in to the future. A lot just go about life copying the generations that has passed before them or what they are told by the media. Very dangerous and not wise I think!

It is akin to using a cassette tape player to listen to music in the technological age we’re in now. It is not relevant. The model is not relevant.

I can put it down to one thing: it is people’s inability to search for truth and obedience to GOD! This model has stood the test of time and is still relevant today. It is the only way to salvation.

In the modern world we live in, it seems everybody is in a rush and are ‘busy’. It’s almost as if it is a competition. Everyone is trying to be busier than the next person. People are rushing from task to busy task but are not taking enough time-out or ‘pit-stops’ to reflect on life’s larger meaning and purpose.

Instead most are living from day-to-day-to-day. Most are living under the burden of today’s problems. Most are consumed in action(s), constantly reacting to a never-ending in-box of stimulus vying for their attention. A seemingly endless menu of options of reactions to constant interruption. Interruption to your life … your hours … your seconds.

People are spending a big portion of their 86,400 seconds per day just reacting to interruption (via the various technological inputs we have today in addition to other mediums). People’s attentions are being hijacked and in turn, so are their lives (time) and money.

What is all this rushing around for? Where will it ultimately get you?

I think it was Ghandi that said once “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

In body re-engineering, fast improvements are the result of excellent feedback from excellent coaches. Here, constant examination of my physique by my coach (and 2 x World Natural Body Building Champion) allowed me to reach my peak performance and placing 2nd in Australian Titles.

In body re-engineering, fast improvements are the result of excellent feedback from excellent coaches.
Here, constant examination of my physique by my coach (and 2 x World Natural Body Building Champion) allowed me to reach my peak performance and placing 2nd in Australian Titles.

I think a lot of people in modern society have lost their spirituality, their belonging to something greater than themselves and places of worship (churches) have seen a dramatic drop in numbers.

As a result, sadly, too many become “lost souls” and are just going through the motions. Their minds mostly occupied by office or superficial problems that is slowly eating away in their guts like a cancer and stripping away at their inner-self, their soul!

Most don’t get a chance or don’t make the time to reflect on the true meaning of life, their true meaning of their life. Sad, but true. They don’t get a chance until it is too late.

Re-think: there is a God, believe it so! All he wants is his people to believe. To believe without a doubt that he is God.

There is holy spirit in every Christian. Give it some time in your busy schedule. Allow the holy spirit to speak with your creator – God. “Seek and ye shall find, ask and ye shall receive” as the Bible says. Allow him to shower you with all his love, all his grace. And why? Because you deserve it because you try to mirror what you expect out of life.

Like everything else, practise helps. As a lawyer or an Accountant or a sportstar is no better than the effort he puts into keeping up with his profession, so is the Christian no better than the effort he puts into self-examination of life’s big questions.

So, if you have not done so already, make time to reflect and examine your life today … before it is too late. It is your life, you only have one life after all. Achieve your salvation.

As Socrates said a long time ago –

“The unexamined life is not worth living”.

Start praying for answers to life’s big questions. I believe that your most important task is to not only be unafraid to ask questions but to ask the right questions.

For your sake, if you have not done so already, start examining the most important person in the world to you and that is: YOU!

It can be very scary and a very difficult thing to do. As a start, release all fears and release all doubt to aid you to release the unexamined life and embrace the examined life. Find your way, your true path in life, even if it is a path less travelled.

Become increasingly Aware; take sufficient and appropriate Actions. Adapt (My Triple A philosophy to self-improvement in all areas of life).

Examine life. Examine you. To become the best you. Then, by default, everyone else gets the best of you too.

The examined life may not be all that flash either but I think it would be a life worth living as it would attract what you expect and reflect what you desire.

All the best!

 

Until next time,

In the heat of competition. Vv.

In the heat of competition.
Vv.

~~Life &; wellness COACH~~

~~Life &; wellness COACH~~

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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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