Monday, May 10, 2010

The Relationship With Self

The most important relationship any of us will ever have is not a relationship with another, but The Relationship With Self. I know NEWS FLASH right? This goes against a lot of things our media broadcasts to us daily. We are bombarded with many images and ideas which suggest being alone is bad, unacceptable and may even signify depression. Also, in our Western culture, we are taught to sacrifice our needs to please another, sometimes even at our own expense. We are oftentimes even made to feel guilty for making time for self nurture and self renewal. In a lot of ways, it seems we have it backwards. In the highest sense, you have to be happy, content and satisfied with yourself before you can ever be content and satisfied with another. As a society, we look to another to complete us, when a great secret I have found is, the satisfaction we are looking for in another must first be found within. I will go so far here to say that not until you find inner bliss, inner harmony and inner satisfaction in yourself, can it ever be experienced with another. Also with that being said, the more honor, value and respect you give your own self, the more you can honor, respect and appreciate another.

I was married for almost ten years to a lady who treated me with a great deal of disrespect and dishonor. She was ungrateful for me and showed me very little compassion a large portion of the time during our marriage. It did not matter how kind, loving, thoughtful or compassionate I was towards her, she could never appreciate me, but instead, always found things in our relationship to be unhappy about. The intriguing thing is, she was never really content and happy with her own self, which I think was a significant reason she could never be happy with me.

This type of thing is common in many relationships today too. I think part of where the problem stems from is that we live in an instant gratification, throw away society. We are not used to working for much anymore. Relationships with yourself and others require a lot of work, there is no denying that. So naturally, when relationships get tough, people bail. Not too many people it seems are content with themselves or what they have anymore, so they can never be happy or content in relationships as well. Until you are content on the inside, you will always feel like something is missing. You will always want more. The problem here is, when we feel an inadequacy on the inside, we often mistakenly start looking outside, as if there is something out there that can complete us. Unfortunately, like the search for the holy grail to give someone instant eternal life, the search for something outside of ourselves to complete us too is an illusion. If you are always discontent on the inside, nothing will ever satisfy you. And yet, on the other token, if you learn to be truly content on the inside, to stay happy and grounded, you will not need to look outside of yourself for that magic something to complete you. Instead, you will be able to give that magic something away to someone else.

In your time on this world, you will spend more time alone than with anyone else. Sooner or later, you had better learn to like and appreciate the company you keep. This may be accomplished through a multitude of ways including, but not limited to: journaling, soul searching, meditation, tai chi, yoga, prayer, getting massages, being artistic and creative, personal study, taking walks alone in nature, or plain just doing whatever it takes for you to stay in touch with your whole self. Part of establishing a relationship with self too, is learning your likes and dislikes, what you connect to and don't connect to.

Great relationships with others don't start with others. They start with the relationship you have or maintain with yourself in mind, body and spirit. Included in this, is the relationship you keep with your creator or higher power. Within each and everyone of us is a loving, magical, grand and powerful being...the atman or real self. A friendship with this being illuminates and brightens lives and has the power to transform virtually every other relationship in your life. When you nourish yourself emotionally, spiritually, physically, you are undertaking important work. Whatever you do for yourself, you do for another. You can never give away something you do not have. So, in essence, the more peace, harmony, happiness and positive energy (mojo) you are able to cultivate in your life, the more of these things you can share from your cup of treasures with another.

The Relationship With Self is the MOST important relationship you could ever nurture and develop. It is the relationship that will sustain you through all of life's bumpy roads. And with a great relationship with self, when things go awry as they sometimes will, you will be better able to handle the situations life throws at you. The world we live in can oftentimes be a noisy, busy and sometimes confusing place. Making time to stay conscious, to stay in tune with your whole self, and making a space for quiet and reflection time, helps maintain sanity and equilibrium and helps you stay grounded in the truth of your being. True self love is taking time to care for the soul, mind and body. And as you care for yourself in all these areas, you will find the more you have to give away to help a world in need.

Copyright Justin Topik 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Embarking on Your Journey

The boat which leads to your dreams, to your immaculate life is about to depart. It is loaded with everything you could ever want or need for your journey, for your highly anticipated destination. All you have to do is hop on board. So come on, what are you waiting for? Don't you dare miss this chance of a lifetime. You have been waiting an awful long time for this opportunity, for the chance to get on board the ship which leads to everything you have ever dreamed of. You have prepared tirelessly, painstakingly and ever so diligently, never losing hope, never doubting your ability to achieve your wildest dreams. Now the time has finally come to jump on board and begin the journey-to sail away to your paradise, to live in your dreams.

The question is, are you ready for the amazing journey you are about to experience? I'm certain you have no idea what a glorious opportunity you're about to have, or the magnificent views you are going to see up ahead. But, you my friend were born for this destiny, to reach the port only you can envision. And somewhere inside of you, you know the first step to Embarking on Your Journey is getting on board the ship, daring to lose sight of the shore, really daring to put yourself out there. I have great faith in you. And I know you are ready, for that is why you are standing on the dock ready to hop on board.

You are now ready for greatness. You are ready to own your power, to steer your life, to be the captain of your destiny. The truth is, you have always been the captain and guardian of your destiny. You determine your ultimate destination. You create your fate. There are of course other attributing factors though, such as guiding spirits, your God given talents, and being in touch with your dharma (or the mission your soul has come to this life to perform). All these things together assist you in creating a glorious existence.

Alright, fantastic, so I see you have gotten on board. You have just made a life transforming decision to sail toward your grandest dreams. You have always had the power to make life changing decisions and to achieve your hearts desires, but now you have finally done something about it. Congratulations you have now fully embarked on your journey. Stepping on board was by far the hardest part, I know. I'm sure you're probably scared, yet unbelievably, undeniably and indescribably excited as well. And please don't get me wrong, there will be some dark times up ahead, stormy seas you will have to cross, times when you will feel like giving up, turning back, cowering under the pressure, the fear, but you must persevere.

Facing our inadequacy, our fear of failure, and overcoming our weaknesses is part of growth for everyone. I'm sure even Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time had moments where he questioned his ability to play basketball, or to make it in the NBA. Self doubt is a part of everyones life, but you can't let it stop you from moving forward. Inside your heart of hearts you know what you have come to this world to do. And now that you are Embarking on Your Journey, you must not let anything stop you. You must stay the course even when you feel you can't go on and shine your light even when water is raging all around you trying to dispel your flame.

Now that you have embarked on your journey, you are fully in the game of life. On this playing field you must make the opposition play your game. You must closely observe the field of play and put yourself in a dangerous position where you can score. Never forget your greatest enemy will always be yourself, which can also be your greatest ally. When life knocks you down, just bounce back up, keep moving forward in a positive direction and eventually you will be victorious over self. Winston Churchill once said, "Pessimists see failure in every opportunity. Optimists see opportunities in every failure."

Sail on my friend, on your amazing journey. Never look back, only gaze toward the reddish, golden, illuminating horizon painted up ahead. Your journey is underway. You have great courage for getting on board the ship and heading in the direction of your life dreams. You can overcome anything in your path. At the end of your fears, once you break through your walls and limitations, you will undoubtedly see, the good life lies ahead.

Copyright Justin Topik 2010