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Monday, 18 April 2011

Libya And The Collision Of The Willing

Before UNSCR 1973 was enforced by The Collision of the Willing (Sorry, can´t think of a better name) was put into effect, despite its overwhelming fire superiority, the Ghaddafi forces had trouble pushing the rebels eastward. They also had trouble controlling Misurata.
This indicated that to help the rebels all was needed was to knock out a few tanks and some artillery positions.
On the forefront of the Collision of the Willing was France who went ahead and did the job right, bombed a Ghaddafi unit deployed in the field.
Then, the reluctant non leaders of the Collision started kabooming by launching hundreds of cruise missiles into Libyan installations. This is bound to cause civilian casualties, or if not, accusations of harming civilians.
Already we are seeing protests from around the world. This includes some NATO members.
The whole Allied operation is converting itself into a free for all political fiasco. There are no guidelines as to what is to be achieved. Regime change? No. Kill Ghaddafi? No. Then why bomb his compound?
It appears that the bombing operation has gone awry, well beyond the military requirement of creating a level playing field for the rebels and the political objective to allow the rebels to vote with guns if they are not allowed to cast ballots.
Meanwhile, The Collision of the Willing have turned a blind eye to Bahrain where Saudis are crushing Bahrainis within earshot of the US naval base there.
Like I said in an earlier article, Americans would have done well releasing Victor Bout from prison and letting him even out the playing field. Does the word subtlety exists in the US Government dictionary? The US has too many weapons, this power brings about arrogance.
If someone would have supplied the Libyan rebels with on hundred tandem antitank missiles two weeks ago, they would have had enough trained gunners to take care of Ghadaffi´s tanks. Remember how Hezbullah stopped the Israeli Army?
In this age of asymmetrical warfare, American military should learn to think small.

Codices About Jesus

 Seventy lead codices inscribed with images and texts relative to the Messiah were discovered five years ago in Jordan and are now gaining worldwide attention. They have not been completely deciphered, and there is speculation that they may contain the sealed book that Revelation says was given to Jesus. This speculation is foolish, because the Book of Revelation is wild-eyed nonsense and not a word of it should be taken seriously.

So far, no one is arguing that the codices were forged. The aging of the metal of which they consist comports with the idea that they may date to the first century of the Christian era. But, then again, may they not date to the second or third?

Further, they cannot and will not provide more information on the life of Jesus, because it is almost a certainty that Jesus did not exist. If, against all the odds, there was a man in the Levant named Jesus who claimed to be God or the son of God, it is indubitable that, like many modern religionists, he was deluded. He most assuredly did not work the miracles attributed to him, because such miracles are impossible. If they had been possible and if he had worked them, they would be irrelevant today anyway. Who cares about the fish and loaves in the face of today’s world hunger? Let Jesus solve that one. More importantly, Christian teachings, like the parable of the fig tree and the parable of the lilies of the field, are utterly false. Try them and see.

Someone has called the codices perhaps the greatest discovery for Christian archeology since the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls have nothing at all to do with Christianity, and their historico-archeological value is much overrated. But Christians will clutch at anything that seems to prop up their tottering edifice.

This is reminiscent of the Shroud of Turin. A shroud from the 13th century bearing the impression of a man’s body was said to be the shroud of Jesus. The image did look like the conventionalized Jesus, but this is absolutely preposterous, since the New Testament never describes Jesus’s physical appearance at all. If he actually existed, he may have been short, fat and bald for all we know. The apparent resemblance was merely a hoax.

In the case of the Shroud, investigators did a microscopic analysis of the fibers and concluded that they contained pollen from Italy rather than Judea. Other researchers countered by claiming that under the Italian pollen layer, there was a layer from Judea. It’s odd that you have to argue about pollen to determine whether Jesus really existed, for if he had existed and if he wanted people to know this for a fact, it would be as easy as pie for him just to appear again in some form that no one could possibly doubt. If I saw a 100-foot man, glorious and magnificent, and he said his name was Jesus, I would be converted, but pollen doesn’t faze me.

Then there was the DUD Tablet. Someone found an ancient stone tablet referring to DUD. In Hebrew, DUD may stand for DAVID or it may stand for DOD (uncle). Let it stand for DAVID, as they contend. The problem is that no one doubted the existence of King David in the first place. But the religionists like to think of the tablet as proof that the whole Jewish Bible is true.

Then there was the James Ossuary. Someone turned up a bone-box with the inscribed names of Jesus, James and Joseph. Aha! Jesus’s ossuary! The Israel Antiquities Authority has pronounced it a forgery, but the matter is still being contested.

It’s ridiculous to look for evidence of the real Jesus, as there was no real Jesus, at least no real Jesus who was also divine. You may as well look for the real Superman or the real Cinderella.

I can tell you right now that, whether or not the lead codices are genuine, they will not lead the way to Jesus and the salvation of the world. There is no salvation. We live and die, and that’s that. And in time, the human race will pass away and be forgotten.

I may have a grim, dreary outlook, but that's what the facts call for.

Fresh This Morning

I experienced a birthday like no other this Wednesday. Usually round numbers with a 0 attached become significant starting at 30. With all kinds of metaphors mostly ones that stick us with the gentle barb that we are leaving youth behind. However, this one hit me particularly hard trans liminally and I was not prepared. I experienced fear and exhilaration with barely any separation between the two extremes. And because of my heightened awareness I was able to be fully associated and be the witness to it as well. Age is just a number is all I heard on Wednesday and that may be so but the stick is definitely getting shorter. And I think I have a firm grip on the reality that I have to keep my gaze fixed on the road ahead and pay as little attention to that rear view mirror lest it distract me from keeping my generativity alive. I never want to feel stagnation or worse yet despair. I am still young enough to contribute to those I love and have positive influence on and for that I can stay in the moment and be eternally grateful.
The stick is getting shorter but the day I reached 60 I had so many Hallmark cards in writing and in my ear, it made me cognizant that people know I am here and I am not just a man slipping into dare I say old age. Yes there are those that good naturedly call me “old man” but those are the ones that love me the most so I never take it in any other vein, because I must give them meaning in their life as they do in mine.


About the author Jack Briant: My writings are personal musings, but they transcend my own individual experience and seek to touch your heart and soul through experiences of your own.
I seem to see life through the lens of metaphors that show up whenever I am moved or connected with the deeper meaning of life in front of me. My style humorous in one layer can move you to tears or have you nodding "yes" as you sidle up to the emotions in you.
My explorations delve into the human condition as it relates to fragmented relationships, blended family challenges and any form of the addictions that plague us.
I won't try to tell you what to do or give you 10 easy steps or even point you in the direction I think you should be headed. Rather it is my wish that you take longer looks at the areas of your life you only gave fleeting glances to

The Real China

One is always reading about how China is in the midst of an unprecedented “boom”. They were talking about China ’s “roaring” economy even in 1997 and 1998, when I lived there. I recall a book called China as Number One. What a “boom”: consists of mystifies me, as most of the people I saw and met in China were living in various degrees of poverty, some quite severe.

During my stay, I went twice from Beijing to Xinjiang and back by train. Once I went to Urumqi, the capital. The other time I went all the way through to Kazakhstan. Poverty is acute in rural Xinjiang. Many houses were built of unmortared pumice blocks with rusty corrugated sheet metal on top, with heavy stones to hold it in place in high winds. The sheet metal cantilevered over the front to form a porch, supported by crooked tree trunks. Walls were patched with sheet metal, plywood, glass and cardboard. This is a region where temperatures can fall to -25 F.

Many people live in caves. Such a cave usually has a pumice block wall enclosing the front. I did not go into any caves, but I imagine they are rude and spartan inside.

The second time I went, my train failed in Qingshui, Gansu, about 1000 miles east of Urumqi, so I had to complete the trip by bus. About 800 miles of the way consisted of bumpy dirt roads passing through desolate adobe villages. In some places the road disappeared entirely, and the bus tore through the weeds. In one place, we got stuck in mud and everyone had to get out and push. We stopped for breakfast in Hami. Let me pass over a description of the toilets. The drinking water was warm and muddy. Food was something like peaches or watermelon. They sell hard-boiled eggs, but the shells are always broken, and I was too squeamish to accept them thus.

I recalled taking the bus down the I-80 through Wyoming. What a difference!

I met a college student in Beijing named An Chaogang. His parents, who had sent him to Beijing, lived in Changsha, Hunan. Just as he got his Associate’s degree, they ran out of money. He got a job as a waiter making $50 a month, no tips likely. He said he needed $80 a month, or he wouldn’t get enough to eat. I offered him money, but he wouldn’t take it, proud. He was still making $50 when I left China.

I met a beautiful girl of the same age, a maid-receptionist at my hotel, who spoke no English. I offered her free English lessons in my room every night, completely platonically. Then I moved to a cheaper place. So she came by metro to my new place. I couldn’t go to her, because she shared her room with three other maid-receptionists. I surmise that she was making no more than $50 a month, with room and board, such as it was. The last time I saw her she was planning to return to Dalian, Liaoning, her hometown. She said she couldn’t take the 14-hour day any longer. And here I had been making her come to me for lessons. How guilty I felt!

The woman who lived next door to me in one of my places owned her own noodle factory, so she was doing well by Chinese standards, at $300 a month. She could live alone in her $150 apartment. Mine was $210, as it was bigger.

In front of my building there were five vendors, Mao, Wang, Miss Li and two others. They sold chopped beef sandwiches, fried perch, peanut brittle, cigarettes and beer on the sidewalk. They slept on folding beds in sleeping bags under an overhang, but when the rain poured, they lay on the floor of the kitchen side by side, visible from outside. The girl slept elsewhere. I noticed that they worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. With booms like that, who needs recessions?

I met a young man in the merchant marine, Ma Hongguo, who spoke some English. He and I had mutual tutoring sessions. His wife had a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese literature, but was giving haircuts on the sidewalk for 25 cents a head. Hongguo lived in far south suburban Beijing in a very poor neighborhood. He had a two-room house he’d bought for $4000, one room in each of two little buildings encircled in a high brick wall with another tenant’s two-room house. His main room was a bedroom 6 by 12, which a bed filled halfway. He had some tiny stools. It was really uncomfortable. The privy was outside the wall. You could smell it from afar. I went with him to Xiajin , Shandong , his hometown. His parents lived in a rude brick house, with cobblestone floors. Their living room had rattan chairs, table and settee, with a shelf of 50 pocketbooks and a 12-inch black and white television set. Twin privies were out in front. This was good for China.

China had no coins and no pay phones. Someone would place a phone on a window sill on the sidewalk and sell calls for 4 cents apiece. On my hutong (alley), which was not very busy, there was a little old woman with a phone. She couldn’t possibly have made more than a $1 or $2 a day. I peeked in her room once, an alcove 6 by 6 with gray sheets. There was a shared privy a few feet from her door.

According to Chaogang, policemen earned $60 a month, and many did absolutely nothing but walk around.

There were street people sleeping in cardboard boxes in a pedestrian underpass near my place in zero weather in the dead of winter. During the day, I’d see then perched on boxes or discarded chairs, hugging themselves and trembling.

I went to the apartment of Su Hailong, a tea merchant about 25. It was a spiffy little place that a single in the US who didn’t make a lot of money would be glad to have. It was better than my place, and must have cost $300 a month or more. It was all very nice, till I found out that Hailong had 5 roommates. I guess there was enough space on the floor.

There are some middle-class people, but I didn’t meet very many. I met Yang Ming, a beautiful lady around 40 who helped me get an apartment in her building, where I could save some money. Her husband was a publisher of art books who had his office in Hong Kong. They had apartments in Hong Kong and Beijing. Their apartment was just like mine, $210 a month and dreary, but they had handsome throw rugs, a piano, paintings, statues, eiderdown comforters, a space heater and other amenities. Before she had married, she had made $600 cutting cassettes. She sang cabaret music.

Her friend, Yu Xiaohui, managed the building. She too had one of those $210 apartments, most of the rooms remaining dreary. But she and her sister, a teacher about 40, had one room decorated beautifully, with an armoire, a big couch with embroidered pillows, an oak table and a large color television. So basically, the two ladies lived in that single room, the other rooms being used for storage, etc.

How to catch a lion

) Newton’s Method:
Let, the lion catch you. For every action there is a reaction, which is equal and opposite. It implies you catch a lion as a reaction.
2) Einstein Method :
Run in the direction opposite that of a lion. Due to higher relative velocity, the lion will also run faster and will get tired soon. Now you can trap it easily.
3) Schrödinger Methods:
At any given movement, there is positive probability for loin to be in the cave so set the trap, sit down and wait.

4) Inverse transformation Method :
We place a spherical cage in the forest and enter it. Perform an inverse transformation with respect to lion. Lion is in and we are out.

5) Thermodynamic procedure :
We construct a semi permeable membrane, which allows every thing to pass through it except lion, and then sweep the entire forest with it

Fun Maza

Roses are red, violet are blue
Monkeys like you, are kept in zoo
Hey, Friend; remember that without stupidity there can be no wisdom & without ugliness there can be no beauty so the world needs YOU after all!
  • The rain makes all things beautiful.
The grass and flower too.
If rain makes all things beautiful why doesn’t it rain on you?
  • Hi! I am marring next week, there will be a small party and only a few people will be invited…… so I am inviting you….don’t bring any gift with you…..just bring someone to marry me.
  • My feeling for you no words can tell
Except for may be “go to hell”
Of lowing beauty you float with grace
If only you could hide your face
When I open my eyes every morning I pray to God
That everyone should have a friend like you……………
Why should only I suffer!!!!
  • When you feel sad…………
To cheer up just go to the mirror and say.
“Damn I am really cute” you will overcome your sadness
But don’t make this a habit…………
Coz liars go to hell!!!!

Evening make-up tips

Make-up needs change with every occasion, season and even time of day. So if you want to deck up for an evening out, wear make-up differently than during the day.

Make light work

There is a fine line connecting similarities or differences between day and evening make-up—lighting.
During the day, we are exposed to different types of light—sunlight and artificial light. Even within artificial lighting, there are differences between the incandescent light we are exposed to at home and the fluorescent lighting we are exposed to at work.
The light that falls on our face affects the way our make-up looks. Hence, you need to change the style of your make-up depending on the kind of light at that time.
Normally, corporate parties use fluorescent light. So do pubs and other hang-outs, which are bright and fun. These kinds of lightings are known to sharpen your make-up, which creates an altogether different colour from the one you painstakingly wore at home.

Follow the rules

Here’s what you need to know about evening make-up.
  • Stick to neutral shades under fluorescent lights. Such lights enhance deep or very dark pink blush in an artificial way.
  • Use minimal or completely avoid golden and yellow tones—they look deadly.
  • Avoid using bronzers.
  • Use foundation sparingly. If you’re using powder foundation, dust off any excess with a pad or sponge.
  • Stick to eye shadows in shades of blue, peach, and green. Keep away from the darker hues.
  • If you’re headed to a home party, which will have incandescent lighting, soften your make-up colours. Here, you will have an opportunity to experiment more with colours by trying out contrasting, bright and bolder shades. If you’re dark-skinned, try plum and wine colours. The light-skinned should go for browns, dark and bright reds are a definite bet.

Do it in a jiffy

Sometimes we don’t even have 15 minutes to dress up our face for an evening party. Here’s how you can convert your day-time make-up into an evening make-up in an instant:
  • Cleanse your face with a light cotton ball or a face cleaner. Leave your eye make-up on.
  • Moisturise and apply foundation with a light sponge.
  • Apply powder sparingly if your face gives off that extra shine.
  • Re-apply eye liner to make it one shade darker than your daytime look.
  • Give a touch-up with the blusher for that fresh look.
  • Use a double coat of mascara. Since you are re-applying. Take care that it does not feel and look too heavy.
  • Apply fresh lipstick—a shade darker will do just fine.
  • Apply lip gloss for an extra oomph.
While most people are under the impression that make-up colours give them a personality, it is actually the lighting that decides, which colour reflects good on you.
The next time you plan to do your make-up, take extra care to understand the kind of party you’re headed to. Then use these tricks to become a show-stopper.

It’s how you see it

I often tell my friends the story of the hard-working farmer who ploughed his fields deep, sowed the best seeds, used the best fertilisers and kept away insects and pests from his crop.
You would have thought he had a plentiful harvest…but no! The monsoons failed that year, and his crops dried and withered without water.
In all actions that we undertake, there is an element of adhrishta—this word is often mistranslated as luck, but it literally means a + dhrishta—that which is unseen, therefore unknown.
“The unexpected is always a possibility in life,” the Wise One observed. “So what do we do when bad things, unpleasant things happen to us? Man cannot interfere with his karma. But he can surely change his attitude to life and to all that happens to him.”
Here is a simple way to encounter negative situations: repeat to yourself the mantra—This too shall pass away. Allow your thoughts to turn to God, to dwell on His love and mercy.
Such thoughts will help you elevate your mind and energise your spirit. Do not dwell on the negative situation; but allow the love of God to flood your mind, to cleanse it of all negativism, to fill you with hope, faith and peace.
I remember a story that I had read earlier. A man was walking along the street when he saw a poor beggar, blind, hungry and shivering from the cold, crying for alms. The passers-by simply turned their faces away from him.
The man became angry and said to God, “What kind of father are You that You allow such misery on earth? Why can’t You do something about this?”
God’s answer came to him, loud and clear, “I certainly did something. I made you!”
Attitude counts! Instead of blaming others, blaming ourselves or blaming God, let us face each situation squarely, and do the best we can!
Yasa was the son of a rich nobleman. And he lived in a palace. Coming under the influence of the Buddha, he renounced all his wealth and comfort and accepted all the hardships of a mendicant’s life.
He slept on the bare ground. He ate what he received as alms from charitable people. He was happy.
One day, he got a severe attack of rheumatism. At first, he took the pain in his stride. Days passed by: the pain persisted.
He could not walk with ease. At times the pain was so severe that he could not even concentrate on his meditation. He felt miserable; gone was the joy of his life. His mind became sluggish; he felt weary and exhausted.
One day, as he was out begging alms, he found a little girl playing with her friends. She was a cripple; she had but one leg and was hobbling on crutches. Yet, she was happy as a wave dancing on the sea! She shouted and laughed and made merry with the other children.
Seeing her, Yasa felt ashamed of himself. “This little girl who has only one leg is bright and happy,” he said to himself. “And I, a disciple of the Buddha, am dejected by a little pain!” He turned over a new leaf. The pain could no longer trouble him. He was free

Dive deep

A relationship is always a problem because the other becomes the mirror and the presence of the other helps you to see your own face in many ways. And the same happens to the other, you become the mirror.
Nobody wants to know his real face. That’s why down the centuries people have been escaping to the monastery. These are the cowards! They are avoiding relationships, because in a relationship they are reflected as they are.
Alone, they can think of themselves whatsoever they want to think; they can create any image about themselves. So the first problem with a relationship is that it reflects you and you reflect the other person. And your totality comes up; you are not just the surface.
The deeper you get involved in your relationship, the deeper feelings it will bring up. If you are really into a relationship it will shatter you. All your images will be shattered. All your faces will be torn.
All your masks will start dropping. And whenever this happens the person starts to take revenge on the other. That’s why your girlfriend goes on saying no. Behind her no there is yes. In fact, she wants to say yes, that’s why she says no, but she is afraid of her own totality.
People have cleared a little ground of their being and they try to live comfortably there. The whole is like a vast canvas. They don’t even want to remember.
And whenever you are in love your deepest feeling is stirred. With that feeling all other feelings are stirred. Love is almost like a backbone to the feeling-body. If your backbone is taken out you will be spineless...just a heap, a blob.
Your spine holds you together. Exactly in the same way the feeling-body is held together by the spine of love. If you are not in love you can control your anger very easily. In fact, if you are not in love at all, there will not be any opportunities to be angry. You can control your sadness very easily if you are not in love.
Your girlfriend can drive you crazy! But that is the beauty of this relationship: if you go with her, either you will go insane or you will attain to real sanity. Both are worth it, because to be just lukewarm and sane is meaningless.
If you fall in love, you also fall in anger, you also fall in hate, you also fall in jealousy, you also fall in possessiveness; you fall in a thousand and one things. Love is simply a door. With love, you open Pandora’s box.
You know the story of what happened when Pandora’s box was opened? Everything started coming out of it. The box was closed; only one thing remained in and that was hope...a beautiful story.
So when you love somebody everything comes up. Only hope remains deep down. If you can hope, there is no need to be afraid. If hope also disappears there is no point in the relationship. Then get out of it.
But again you will have to get into some relationship. Unless a person has come to know his total being he will again and again go into a relationship. Going into a relationship is just a way to find your soul.
To find who you are. I think your girlfriend is perfect. Don’t drop out of it easily, struggle. The sannyasin asks: What about when I’m attracted to other women? It makes for such a fight. It will be, it will be a trouble…it will be a trouble. One woman is enough trouble! If you are attracted to too many women, you invite trouble. Then accept it, and enjoy it. You are inviting it.
My feeling is this, that if you can stay with one woman for a little longer period, it will be more helpful. Otherwise the chaos will be too much and you may not be able to manage it. I’m not saying to be with one woman for your whole life, I’m not saying that if it happens, good.
If it doesn’t happen, there is no need to feel any guilt. But to be moving with many women at one time is bound to create much trouble. And it is useless. It will make you very, very anxious, full of anxieties, tensions, because each woman helps to bring out something in you, which no other woman can.
Each single woman arouses in you a different quality, a different facet. She reflects a different face of you. That’s why there is so much attraction for other women. One wants to know one’s many faces, the many varieties of one’s being. But then those faces will be too much and you will not be able to cope with it.
First, get settled with one woman and let one woman reveal whatsoever she can reveal to you. You help her also so that much can be revealed to her in her being. If you are moving with too many women, you will never go deep with one woman.
The relationship will remain superficial and you will start becoming split inside your being. One part will love one woman and another part will love another woman. You never love two women with the same part, no.
It is almost exactly like the mind. If you do mathematics, you do it from one centre. If you do poetry, you do it from another centre. If you become angry, you become angry from another centre. If you play a guitar, you function from another centre.
The mind has many centres—specialised centres—and the same happens in relationships... One woman will play on a particular centre; another woman will play on another centre. And it is so with man. Each is so unique, it has to be so.
So it is as if you allow many women to be around you and they all go on playing on different parts of your being. These different parts will start falling apart because there will be no unity. I will not suggest that you do that.
You move with one woman, with whomsoever you choose. Before choosing, think, meditate, and feel. Once you have chosen, at least for a longer period remain with one woman and forget about other women so that the relationship can go deeper.
Otherwise, it will be spread too thin and you will never become intimate, deeply intimate. And the most beautiful experiences happen only when the relationship becomes tremendously intimate…when two persons are so close that there is no privacy…when two persons are so close that trust is infinite.
If your woman can still doubt you, she will not allow you to penetrate her deepest core of being. If you still doubt your woman, how can you allow her your whole mystery? That’s not possible. And if you go on moving with so many women, nobody will trust you.
So at the most you can have some sexual variety, which is really meaningless; it does not make much sense. In the darkness of the night all women are alike and all men are alike. As far as sex is concerned there is not much difference; all bodies are alike.
The difference arises as you go deeper; on the surface there is not much difference. Then you start feeling different nuances of personalities. Love is really different. One person loves in his own way.
And prayer is absolutely different for each person; it is absolutely unique. Nobody can pray the way I pray. Nobody has ever prayed, and nobody will ever pray that way.
So my suggestion is, choose one, your girlfriend or anybody. And problems are going to be there, so face the problems. Love is not cheap, and it is good that it is not cheap.
The modern man is trying to make it very cheap; the modern man wants to make it at no cost. But then it will not give you much; maybe physical release but nothing compared to that which was possible. The possible is always the hard way. Your girlfriend can be a good challenge.
Take it as a challenge that she says no. Sometimes she says yes; sometimes she says no, take it as a challenge.
Love her so deeply that she has to say yes. And for a few months forget that any other woman exists. Let her be the only woman in the world, and then you will see that you are getting into it, deeper, more in tune, and one day suddenly it happens when two hearts meet in absolute trust, with no shadow of doubt, you have tasted for the first time what love is.

Friends causing a feud?

Pallavi got married to boyfriend Aninda two years back. An introvert, he had few friends of his own and didn’t want Pallavi to interact much with her friends either. After they got married, she gradually drifted away from her pals.
Snigdha’s boyfriend Gaurav did not approve of her best friend Shweta. He wanted Snigdha to part with her. Snigdha had a tough time trying to convince Gaurav not to make such a demand. Finally, she took a stand.
She asked Gaurav to better call it quits with her for she found no reason for breaking ties with her childhood friend Shweta. Gaurav soon realised his mistake. Though, Gaurav and Shweta still don’t meet or talk to each other, he knows that Shweta is an integral part of his girlfriend’s life and now respects their friendship.
Gossiping all day, enjoying pani-puri on the roadside, giggling at those not-so-funny incidents, crying on the other’s shoulders, keeping each other’s secrets, and calling each other up at ungodly hours to share something utterly stupid… the time spent with friends is one of the most wonderful periods of life.
But what do you do when your partner can’t accept your friendships? Absolutely ludicrous as the whole suggestion may sound, many close ties go awry and wear away eventually because of ‘the spouse’.
Many prefer bartering away their friendship, willingly or unwillingly, for the sake of peace in the house. “We wouldn’t be married without my best friend Sumeet’s support. From convincing Ekta’s parents to making all marriage arrangements, Sumeet had managed it all.
Initially, my wife and Sumeet bonded well. Soon after marriage, Ekta started avoiding Sumeet; she wouldn’t even come out of her room whenever he came home. He is the same guy whom she had once tied rakhi to.
Suddenly he was an ‘intruder’. Everything about Sumeet—mannerisms, sense of humour, body language—would drive her mad,” remembers Rohit Saluja, chartered accountant. He adds, “Now that we were married, he was needed no more.
Tired of everyday fights with my wife over the issue, I had to distance myself from Sumeet. Thankfully he understood my position. Friends like him are difficult to find. Still I had to lose him.”
Sometimes, one of the partners forges bonds with the spouse’s friends, leaving his/her own behind. Quips writer Chetan Bhagat, “After marriage, either your friend is your wife’s friend too or he’s no more your friend!”
“While I try to befriend all her friends and make them feel comfortable when invited at our home, my wife isn’t nice to most of my friends. While I respect her space and relationships, I wish, she did the same,” says Prakash Paranjpe, a manager.
“Whenever we had rows, he would bring up my best friend Sapna, criticising her and dismissing her as an intrusive, interfering element in my life,” reveals 27-year-old Aruna Thakkar, a housewife.
Upon realising that she was causing a rift in her best friend’s marriage, Sapna drifted away from me on her own. It’s been two years since. Sapna doesn’t even receive my phone calls,” says a dismal Aruna.
Some individuals don’t approve of their partner’s outings with friends after marriage. So they either go out together or don’t at all. Besides, some have reservations—they approve of one friend, and dismiss the others. It is as though they want to control everything in the partners’ lives, starting with friends.
In one such instance, a Delhi-based couple’s marriage had come to a breaking point. The rift in their relationship had to be mended by a marriage counsellor. It took time, but finally the unreasonable spouse understood that her partner had to be treated as an individual who needed his own space and freedom. She began showing more trust and understanding in the relationship. With time their bond strengthened.
“A reduced social circle leads to low self-esteem, stunted personality, limited social skills and a cloistered existence. This may lead to depressive disorders and ultimately the breaking up of a relationship.
For their own relationship to bloom, both men and women need to understand and appreciate each other’s need for that private space,” says Samir Parikh, senior psychiatrist at Max Healthcare, New Delhi.
Each relationship has its own place and importance in a person’s life. Rather than giving in completely to your other half’s wishes, give due preference to your wishes and desires at times. You need to prioritise.
It’s important to chalk out means by which neither the peace at home nor the age-old friendships suffer. “Even if it means no bringing friends home, it’s easier for guys to catch up with their friends outside home and continue with the friendship.
Your wife shouldn’t mind that if you make her understand your point well. Calling quits isn’t an ideal option,” says Parikh.
Making new relationships shouldn’t mean having to break all old ties or having to choose between the two. Take for instance Nitin. Despite what his wife thinks, Nitin has continued his friendship with his old friend Mukul, though they both take care not to call each other before 10.30 in the morning and after 9.30 in the night!
“It is natural for your spouse to expect to be in a ‘be-all-end-all’ position in his/her partner’s life. However, even as people go about giving that position to their love interest, they have every right to take time out for themselves,” says Madhumati Singh, senior psychologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.
Relationships aren’t comparable. The mantra to happiness is: strike an ideal balance in every relationship and sphere of your life.
However, you should do it in such a way that your partner understands and appreciates your relationships while being convinced that s/he is the most important person in your life. It is all about growing together, yet separately.


A question of answers

We are looking for answers… all of us. Questions are millions, but the quest is one—to find the right answer. But when we find an answer, does it satisfy the quest? Put differently, is the answer ‘right’?
If you have been seeking answers to your many questions, but are not satisfied with the answers you‘re getting, perhaps it’s time to change focus—from answers to questions.
Remember, the responsibility of an answer lies squarely on the shoulders of the question itself. Every answer lies within the question. If the question is not correct, the answer, no matter how profound, can never be right. How can wrong questions have right answers? So, if your question is a self-limiting one, don’t expect your answer to be a self-empowering one.
Take, for example, questions that start with ’why‘. Such questions are invariably backward-looking.
So, if you’re concerned about your excess weight and ask yourself, “Why am I overweight?” your answers might be “Because I eat too much” or “I am not active enough” or even “Because I am genetically predisposed to being fat”. Note that all answers begin with “because”, keeping you focussed on the cause and, in the process, only reinforcing the situation.
If you’d like to change something about your current situation, your question should reflect that desire. So, a self-empowering question would be, "How can I make losing weight exciting?" or "What are my options to lose the excess flab?" Questions like these open up possibilities and empower you to act in your interest.
But, what if the question is right and the answer still fails to satisfy the quest. The reason for that could be prejudice; often the questioner does not find the answers satisfactory because of his inability to listen with a clear, open mind. So even if the answer is right, it may appear wrong to the questioner because he doesn’t want the right answer... he wants an answer that he wants to hear.
In the final analysis, an answer must put the mind to silence. Like His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “Silence is the goal of all answers. If the answer does not silence the mind, it is not an answer.” So if your answers don’t quieten your mind, first check if you asked the right questions. Then, ask yourself if you’re listening without prejudice

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Thursday, 14 April 2011

How to be a Miracle Maker

Here’s a fascinating secret about miracles: You can’t necessarily always place an order for magic at will, but you can deliberately create the conditions—environment, atmosphere and attitude—that make miracles a thousand times more likely to occur. Want to know how you can create a miracle-friendly world? By taking these practical steps, you will bring magic into your relationships, body, finances and more!

Your ability to Make Miracles is in direct proportion to your willingness to:

1. Tell more truth about the situation you want to transform
The more honest you are about where you're really at, the more personal power you have to realize your dreams. By aligning yourself accurately with what is real, you retrieve all of the life force you've invested in holding together false situations and relationships. This re-captured energy then attracts the goals you desire. In this universe what’s congruent gets the energy. What’s not congruent doesn't get the energy. Where aren’t you being honest or accurate about some aspect of your life? What truth about your life is right now safe, timely, helpful, nurturing and liberating for you to acknowledge to yourself?

2. Act  “outside the box”
All magic occurs beyond the boundaries of your current belief system. What obstacles lie between you and moving outside your “comfort zone?” Where could you let your vision for your life be more outrageous? More fun? More of what you really want?

3. Withdraw from collective mass consciousness
Step beyond general consensus to remove the limits of what’s possible for you to have. Many people have changed society—and had fun—by doing “what couldn’t be done.” You can too. When you withdraw your energy field from the energy field of the tribal collective agreement, you can create outside that agreement. Be "in the world, but not of it." Where in your life could you step a little further outside of mass consciousness thinking?

4. Energize what you love with gratitude
Our magnetic field of energy is always (all ways) attracting exactly what we need to create our heart's desires. Use the law of attraction. Discover the ancient wisdom of multiplying what you have with deep thankfulness. As you pour the vibration of appreciation into the love, health, prosperity and joy that you already have, this vibration will magnetize more of the same to you. It’s the physics of the Universe. What aspects of your life could you right now be genuinely grateful for?

5. Experience “concrete, physical” reality as energy
When we choose to experience so-called “solid” things as the vibrational energy—fields of energy—that they actually are, these aspects of our reality become infinitely more malleable and flexible in responding to our intentions. Where are you willing right now to open to experiencing your body—and other people, conditions, animals, rocks, emotions—as an energy field (life force/flow dynamic) rather than as fixed, static, solid objects?

6. Reclaim your Personal Power
Are you energizing ideas and activities and maintaining relationships that no longer serve you? When you choose to invest in those relationships and situations that do feed your dreams, you regain tremendous personal power. When you choose to call back your spirit from the people, ideas and activities that no longer serve you, you regain tremendous personal power to invest in those relationships and situations that do feed your dreams. What are you tolerating, avoiding or denying in your life right now? Where are you compromising, sacrificing or settling for something less than what you really want? Where could you invest your time, energy and attention that would really serve you?

7. Relax your grip on your belief system
When you release your vise grip on the rigid, fixed beliefs you inherited from society, the things can shift that need to shift for something new, fresh, wonderful and miraculous to happen to you. What are your beliefs about how life operates? How important are these beliefs to your survival, identity, reputation (need for approval) and sense of worth? In what areas of your life could you right now relax your need to control the exact functioning of the people and events around you?

8. Build Your Chi – Your Internal Life Force Energy
Our free attention, time and energy are the lifeblood of our ability to create and attract what we desire in life. The more we consciously manage and steward these natural assets, the more we can build a reservoir and reserve of miracle-producing power. Where could you be more accessible to energy-giving situations and people? Where could you be more inaccessible to energy-draining situations and people? How can you naturally and easily “build your internal life force chi” through activities that are fun for you? What in your life are you not experiencing as an adventure?

9. Connect directly with Spirit
Your soul is in charge of your life! Your spirit has been running the show from behind the stage curtain since the beginning of time. Open a direct line to the wonders, wisdom, support and guidance of your own brilliant soul plan. How do you mediate/pray? Is it as effective as you would like? Have you tried a moving meditation?

10. Align your personality with your soul
When you’re aligned with your true intentions in being here this lifetime, prosperity flows automatically with no effort or doingness. Align your everyday lifestyle with your soul vision and receive all the support, energy and love you need—and begin to enjoy the ride! What actions could you take that would bring your life more in accord with your life purpose? What changes could you make to be more authentic in your life?

11. Allow yourself to receive from Spirit
The primary joy and purpose of our spirit friends--the Ascended Masters, guardian angels, spirit guides, nature devas, spirit animals—is to assist us to reach our life goals. Do you regularly ask for assistance, and let in love and energy from your other dimensional allies?

12. Embrace your Shadow
What you choose not to see, you can’t change. What weaknesses, faults, fears and shortcomings do you feel you have—socially, physically, spiritually, romantically, financially, sexually? Are you willing to open up to your soul’s point of view on your so-called “dark side”?

13. Hang with people who nurture you
By your own pre-arranged conscious design, old soulmates deliver messages to you that trigger timely awareness, alchemy and awakening. What people and environments are not entirely safe, supportive or inspiring for you to be with? Where could you refuse to let another be reckless with your heart? Where could you be less reckless with another’s heart? Where could you celebrate the success of others?

14. Listen to your body
Our body is a natural feedback system to keep us abreast of how well we are dealing with the pressures and demands of life. What lessons is your body reflecting to you? What wake-up calls from your body have you been denying? What’s the weight you are carrying around? What’s your body dying to tell you?

15. Follow the guiding signs Spirit gives you everyday
Our soul is always (all ways) trying to steer us toward our goals. We live in an interactive, responsive universe that is designed to fulfill our deepest dreams—if we would only play along! Allow your intuition to guide you to the forms and vehicles that will empower your spirit to express fully. What messages and signals has the Universe been sending you that you have been ignoring, misinterpreting, or are afraid to act on?

16. Choose to be innocent (free) of the past: Welcome surprise and serendipity
Open the door to more magic, meaning and money in your world by learning to suspend skepticism and conditioned responses. Learn to surf through the surprises of life, instead of being swept away by them. Where could you approach your goals with more flexibility, openness and sense of play?

17. Feng-shui your life: Give yourself a “spaceshift”
Feng-shui is the ancient art of consciously managing matter and energy within space. By intuitively re-arranging the elements of your daily life, you create the space to nurture the freedom, opportunities and effectiveness you desire. By clearing out the old, dead elements of your life, you create a natural vacuum and an unblocked channel for fresh, new energy and ideas to come into your private and professional life. How could you unblock your energy now? Where can you re-arrange the ways you live your everyday life in a fresh, new, intuitive way?

18. Live your life as an experiment
Consider your life as the latest—and greatest—experiment by human consciousness to express Heaven on Earth—or just to have fun playing in the 3rd dimension. Where could you lighten up, celebrate and have more humor in your approach to living?

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