Stay Young and Beautiful. Living from the Heart encourages you to live an authentic, healthier, happier, more joyful, purposeful life. To lead a life you can be proud of together with a lifestyle of practices that guide you towards a long healthy life. I encourage you to cultivate a set of practices to keep your mind, body and spirit engaged and strong and support your essence in the activities you immerse yourself in, changing and responding to your needs in the moment. Each moment helps you learn more about yourself and the world. People seek help when they recognise they are disconnected in some way from a life that supports and nurtures. People do not usually arrive knowing what is wrong with them, much of what causes suffering or dis-ease is often buried. People come with symptoms, which may be experienced as relationship difficulties, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, stress or tiredness. It may be that you are dealing with a bereavement, illness of a loved one, health problems, struggling with your career, or trying to create a new relationship or maintain the ones you have. When you become disconnected from what truly matters in life things can become really tough. Luckily, the answers and solutions can be found within you. Your energetic heart can be accessed through meditation, it is as vast as the entire universe. You can learn to access the power, clarity, insight, love, and peace of your heart. When you learn to listen to your heart you can gain access to the incredible qualities that you didn’t even know you had. When you have discovered and healed your heart, you can use your heart’s power and vulnerability to create a life you know is possible.
The first secret to Happiness and Longevity is to release judgements and cultivate an attitude towards not making up stories, or predefining age, or imposing limits to your true nature. The only true measure of life is not to measure it at all, but rather to simply live it fully. Live each day fully and actively. Lead a life that is rich and full of experience. This provides an edge to keep you healthy, flexible and strong. Live life according to your unique nature. Judgments provide for a life lived within a very defined set of rules with effectively limited or no free will. To live in this manner limits your potential and reduces the possibility of your actions.
“If you ignore the dragon, it will eat you. If you try to confront the dragon it will overpower you. If you ride the dragon, you will take advantage of its might and power.” — Chinese Proverb
The second secret to Happiness and Longevity is eating well.
Learn to listen to your body and respond to it by providing a good mixture of essences and nutrients to maintain your body’s optimum health. The body needs a balanced, varied and healthy diet. There are many books and literature that go into great detail about when, how and what you should eat. Essentially it is all about eating in balance and moderation. Many diets fail when they do not change in response to the changing needs of your body and climate. Experience and wisdom teaches a practice of treating food with respect with the least amount of processing. Food intake should be in moderation and balance. The respect you show towards your food’s life cycle mirrors the relationship with your own life cycle. Think. If an animal or plant is tortured during its growth, its essence will be saturated with fear, stress and imbalances. When this is consumed you devour its’ essence, any accumulated stress hormones or illness is taken into your own body. Eating such food promotes a life of fear and perpetuates mindless practices.
The third secret to Happiness and Longevity requires you to listen to your authentic nature.
Learn to accept yourself and lead a life of discovering who you are. Your nature is ever changing and remains the same. It is futile to attempt t resolve contradictions in life, instead learn to accept your nature. There are so many distractions, opinions, thoughts, ideas, desires, expectations, visions and images competing, working, trying to lead you to a supposedly better way. This chatter creates a distracting noise. How can you attain longevity if you are always busily moving to the rhythm of a larger world? Learn to live a long healthy life, move to rhythm of your own subtle cues, follow and trust your gut feelings and instincts. Longevity is pointless, unless you are your own person. Whats the point of extending misery? Meditate. Ask yourself ‘who am I’ and allow yourself to answer the question deep from within. Enter your inner space and ask, “Who am I?” You will arrive at a deeper experience of your consciousness and unique nature.
The fourth secret to Happiness and Longevity is exercise. Move your Body.
A physical practice keeps the body healthy. It is critical to keep the body moving and subtle. Exercise such as Yoga and Qigong help keep your body strong and flexible for an entire life time. They are both moving meditation. Working with the breath or pranayama is fundamental for the development of physical well-being, meditation, awareness, and enlightenment, it is both a form of meditation in itself and a preparation for deep meditation. Breathing or pranayama can rapidly bring the mind to the present moment and reduce stress. Breath work along side psychotherapy can relieve depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, stress and anxiety. By inducing stress resilience, breath work enables you to rapidly and compassionately relieve many forms of suffering. Stress is not caused alone by stressful situations or relationships – it is your response and reaction that creates a response in your mind and body.
The fifth secret to Happiness and Longevity is to attend to your attitude. Attitude is everything.
Your attitude to life is one of the key elements of your personality. It defines how you view reality. If you treat yourself as an opponent or as something to be dominated, there will be resistence. The more you resist the world, the more the world will resist back. The world is larger and more powerful than you, the battle will be lost when you make life a fight. Resistance is at the core of psychotherapy. It determines the process and is largely why psychotherapy can take so long. Understanding it, facing it, and working through are at the heart of therapy, One can resist memory by recalling facts but not the impact on yourself and others nor the experience. Reconnecting with the totality of an experience or relationship can free you from symptoms that cause distress such as anxiety and the anticipation of suffering or humiliation. Becoming conscious of your experience and range of feelings and perceptions can transform you. It is fine to fight occasionally, it is important to stand up for yourself, but to make a stand excessively against the world means the world will erode you eventually. There are times in your life when you are open to new ideas that run counter to the demands of your resistance, when your mind and heart are not open and resistance is high, nothing can reach you. Resistance works like friction it may feel like everything in your psyche is pushing you in the opposite direction. Resistance, develops from your defences, which are at the heart of your personality. It can take many forms, appearing as mistrust, anger, feeling discouraged, supercilious, bored, boring, confused, confusing, or dependent. When triggered it is central to your functioning and necessary for your survival.
Leading a life with low stress is desirable and necessary to accessing happiness and longevity. Stress is a major factor that contributes towards premature aging and dis-ease. Harness a good attitude which concentrates on good humour and low stress. Laughter is a healing balm with real healing powers, laughter has the power to charm and influence those around you in daily life, laughter can extend life, and make days truly worth living. Laughter is beautiful, it is infectious. The sound of laughter is far more contagious than a cough, or sneeze. Laughter can bring people closer together. Laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humour and laughter can strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. When you laugh, you enter a state of “no thought” or emptiness, if only for a microsecond. With practice, laughter can be a powerful path to consciousness and enlightenment.
The sixth secret to Happiness and Longevity is cultivating a spiritual practice. You are more than a mind and body. You are a trinity of mind, body and spirit. Your Spirit is uniquely defined within the actions of how you lead your life. A spiritual practice keeps both the mind and body in balance with each other. A practice can be anything that helps you to find peace within your own nature. There are day to day activities you can perform with an intent of spirituality. Recognise how natural and easy it is to carve out a spiritual connection with the world. Spiritual practice is a combination of intent within your actions and the exploration of mysteries in your life. Your spiritual practice needs to define and refine over time responding to your needs and circumstances. If you are to lead a long life, then it helps to have a reason to do so. A spiritual practice provides motivation for enjoying a longer happier life not a miserable one.
The seventh secret to Happiness and Longevity is to avoid addiction. Addiction is a process of self destruction. It redefines an empty space with something external to your true nature. It is important to live as yourself. not in a haze. There are addictive substances that appear to solve problems; using drugs to shift the balance of your mind, to fit a social norm, using television, mobile phones and social media to help pass the time, all addictions erase a persons’ unique nature. The root cause of suffering is addiction or aversion to what you think will make you happy. ‘When you look at addictions’ says Ram Dass, ‘it’s not like ‘evil,’ it is just an attempt to ‘get back.’ The problem is that most behaviours that get you back, will allow you to be in the presence of something divine temporarily, it does not allow you to remain ‘at home’ in your unique nature. Live life as your self. Life is a challenge and the struggle has edges which defines your unique shape.
The eighth secret to Happiness and Longevity is unspoken.
Learn how to put these into practice on the next Healing The Heart Retreat 17th – 24th September 2015 in Portugal. The Venue is located in Central Portugal between the towns of Tomar and Sertã and near the small town of Cernache do Bonjardim. The nearest Airport is Lisbon which is approximately 1 hour and 45 mins away from the venue. Set in a tranquil location in the forested hills of Central Portugal, far away from the crowds, just 3 km from the beautiful ‘Castelo de Bode’ lake and 8 km from the small town of Cernache de Bonjardim.