time-of-our-life

anonymous asked:

How do you deal with rejection? Ive been rejected so many times in my life, that i kinda give up on dating. Because i know the next person will reject me anyway .. it really hurts knowing that no one likes me. i feel like ill be forever alone.

Just because someone rejects you doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you or that it will continue to happen to you forever. We can’t always get what we want and some people get what they want less often than others which is an unfortunate reality of life. But rejection happens all the time in our life and we have no choice but to deal with it. It happens regardless of what we want or what we feel like afterward. And by allowing those feelings to take over we allow ourselves to suffer twice. We have to learn to be okay with rejection and to remind ourselves of that everyday because we have no other choice.

I was never good at dealing with the part where people left my life. Sometimes it felt as if my heart and dreams were shattered to pieces. But then I came to realize that them leaving had little to do with me.
The people who come into our lives are there for a reason. We’re often not aware of it, but I believe their purpose is to bring what we need in that time and place of our life. They leave for that reason too.
We let people touch our lives and when they do, they leave a mark. Whether it’s heartbreaking or heartwarming, we are never the same. At least I never was. At some point, I started to feel like I evolved into a slightly different and a more understanding version of myself. I came to know that dreams might die and eventually other dreams will awaken. And maybe, without realizing it I touch lives and dreams too. And if so, may it always be with love, wisdom and compassion. Because in the end what matters the most is what we learn and how well we pass it on.
Even when dreams come to die.
—  aashiquidreams  // Journal of Dying Dreams

We need to stop the social norm that being single is bad. If we don’t give ourselves space and time to reflect life on our own, then we may never truly be happy. We will always be chasing after a relationship, and then typically jump into one. It’s great to be single. It teaches you a lot.

LUCID DREAMING: HOW TO

SO LUCID DREAMING!!  

Some people asked because of my TONGUE IN CHEEK POST about it the other night, well!!! all it is, is being consciously aware that you’re dreaming. You can kinda train your brain to do it and it’s fukken awesome ok!  I learned from a bunch of books I got out from the library one summer back in high school and I have kept up all the habits since then until shit got weird but we don’t talk about that

sometimes you get to a point where you can control your dream and force yourself to dream about a certain thing . either way it’s really damn neat to just have conscious awareness while you’re asleep and if nothing else, it’s something fun to do that doesn’t cost anything.

I got into it a few years before Inception came out, if you can believe it. So when that movie came out talking about the same ideas my mind was  blown 

First things first:

1) DREAM RECALL:

This is your ability to actually remember your dreams. Because imagine, even if you end up having a lucid dream,  what’s the point if you completely forget it as soon as you’re awake? Some people think they don’t dream anymore but it isn’t true, everyone dreams. Some people just don’t remember.

So Write down  all your dreams, anything that you can remember as soon as you wake up.

I just text it to myself first thing in the morning and usually they’re super disjointed and barely readable but it’s just enough to have me remember them again. even if you can only remember little snippets, the more you do this the better you can get at remembering.

2) DREAM CUES

Dream cues are these little things that make you realize you’re asleep because they differ between reality and your dreams. They’re kind of like triggers that will make you realize you’re dreaming. The idea is to check in on these cues even when you’re awake, so that when it becomes a habit in real life, it will become a habit when you’re asleep.

It’s also a good way to check if you’re actually awake because sometimes dreams are super realistic. I’ve had a lot of dreams where I woke up in my bed, then did the reality check only to figure out I was dreaming.

Different people have different ones but there’s some common ones:

-mirrors: In real life you look like yourself. in a dream you’ll look like a really distorted version of yourself or like a completely different person. I don’t recommend this one because what you see in the mirror might freak you out into just waking up lol

-counting your fingers and seeing more or less than the amount of fingers you have

-electronics that don’t work

-text that changes when you read it, look away and then read it again

-dim lights [i hate light dimmers for this reason eugh]

-loose teeth

My personal ones are the and fingers and the changing text! So in real life, I count my fingers, and read some text, look away and read it again to see if it changes.

If I have more than 5 fingers, I realize I’m asleep and that’s where the lucid part starts.

Personally for me, all of these have served as dream cues, but these two are the ones that i literally check on. Another big one for me is if my teeth are loose, it’s an automatic cue for knowing I’m asleep.

INDUCING A LUCID DREAM

So you made a habit out of checking in on your dream cues and writing down your dreams. Now how do you actually do this thing….

There are some REALLY SPECIFIC METHODS To inducing a lucid dream . Some people practice one method that brings you from wakefulness directly into a dream, with NO LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS. I find this a little rarer but it’s definitely happened to me

Others have the method where you fall asleep as usual, end up in a dream, and then your consciousness wakes up while you’re in the dream. This is more common I think.

my sleep science might be off but this is it as I’ve understood it.

so the general method is to go to bed super early. like 9pm. And set your alarm for Stupid O Clock. I am talking some ungodly hour that you will never be up, like 4:30.

Reason being: You will literally never go to sleep and immedeitly start dreaming. You have to have been asleep for a few hours, having gotten a few sleep cycles in. The longer you sleep, the deeper your sleep cycles run and the more restful sleep you’ll have as the night goes on. It’s only in the later sleep cycles that you start to dream.

This is the reason you’re groggy in the morning [you were just in the middle of your deepest sleep cycle] but not groggy at all if you wake up at like 12

So the goal is to wake up right before you’re gonna go into a deep sleep cycle.

Stay awake for a few minutes, go to the bathroom or something, read some stuff on lucid dreaming on your phone… You want to wake up your brain so that your mind is conscious and running even though you’re dead tired.

Now you can go back to sleep, and the conditions are pretty much met for having a lucid dream.

SO GENERALLY NOW, it’s really likely that you’re gonna have a regular dream.

But if you’ve been making a habit out of doing your dream cues/reality checks while you’re awake, at some point you’re gonna do it while you’re asleep.

stuff from the waking world carries over into dreamtown. it’s the same reason you’ll have super realistic dreams about your job or people you know.

IT’S ACTUALLY SUPER COOL When you do your dream-cues and you see different results from real life. Like I’ll count my fingers and realize there’s 6 of them and be like Ohhh shit! I’m asleep! Time to go wild.

Usually I just fly around like a motherfucker but it’s so cool to be your exact same self who is able to think about your family/friends/homework/life/memes except you’re flying

CONTROLLING THE DREAM

OK SO NOW THAT YOU’RE AWAKE while dreaming, you can  try controlling your dream. This is a bit harder to explain but in my opinion it’s as easy as focusing/dwelling on what you want to do..kind of like repeating a mantra mentally.

Like lets say you’re dreaming and you come across a house. As you’re walking towards it, tell yourself “Captain Kirk is in this house and we’re gonna have the time of our damn life.” TELL YOURSELF WITH CONVICTION! BELIEVE IT! CAPTAIN KIRK IS IN THE HOUSE! OVER AND OVER!

also try practising controlling on little things first. Like point to the sky and say “brighter” or “more purple” or “bluer” or think “I want it to be night time instead" and it SHOULD change.

STAYING IN THE DREAM

There’s 2 tricks I know of that will keep you in a dream for longer when you feel like you’re about to wake up and you don’t want to.

One is spinning: If you feel yourself waking up, try spinning around on the spot till you’re dizzy. Things will blur around you and then they will clear up and get super sharp! Especially spinning while crouching. I have no idea why this works, but it does and others have said the same thing.

The other is, when you feel like things are getting blurry, focus on ONE spot in the dream. I usually crouch and like, stare at the details and texture of the road really really close up. For some reason, pinpointing your focus on one little thing will refocus the dream.

finally,

READ UP!!

Honestly the more you read about lucid dreaming, the more likely you are to have one for yourself..Even by reading this you’re more likely to have one. It’s weird, but it works. When I would regularly read books on the topic they’d say the same thing and it was true. It’s kind of like, the fact that you’re aware that it can happen makes it likely to happen..

SO YEAH, before you go to sleep or when you wake up at 4 in the morning, google it, see what others have to say. Get your brain in gear for it. there’s lots of posts online that will probably talk about the same stuff that I have here but this is my legit personal experience with it and stuff over the years.

IN SHORT

  • DO YOUR DREAM CUES/REALITY CHECKS
  • WRITE DOWN YOUR DREAMS
  • SET YOUR ALARM FOR A REALLY DUMB TIME!!
  • HAPPY DREAMING

i think in our previous lives, we’ve always been in love with each other, estranged and held apart by a thin thread.

you were the king’s son and i was a peasant girl.
i was an aristocrat and you worked in the stables.
i was in love with somebody else.
you were in love with somebody else.
the first time we met, the world must have stopped in its tracks.
because when i first saw you in this lifetime, i felt everything freeze.

we have always loved each other from afar, each lifetime drawing us closer and closer.

the first time, you accepted a flower from me when you were riding through my village. you rode through it often, and one time you stopped, got down from your carriage, and spoke to me. but you were soon married to a princess, just like all princes were.
the second time, you helped me learn how to ride and take care of my horse. sometimes our hands would brush when we groomed him together. you were my confidant. my friend. we never once told each other what we really felt.
the third time, you were my neighbor, my best friend, and one night you kissed me during a game of hide and seek. “i love you,” you’d said to me, and for a second i loved you too. but a few weeks later i started dating somebody else. that summer, you moved away. in that lifetime, i broke your heart.
the fourth time, we had each other, for a while. our families vacationed by the same lake. you didn’t tell me you had a girlfriend until you had seen everything i had to offer you. you watched me cry in front of you. your family left the next day. in that lifetime, you broke mine.

our souls knew each other before we did. they found each other from across the room and pulled us together. “it’s you,” they said to one another, “i’m so glad it’s you. maybe we can get it right this time.” and then it began, again.

this time, we could have made it if we had had the strength. the courage. but i was afraid and your heart wasn’t there. eventually, mine wandered too. we drifted, our souls still reaching out for each other even though our hands no longer were.

but this time, we knew.
this time, we told each other.
this time, we fought.
in this lifetime, there wasn’t an issue of who broke who.
in this lifetime, we merely broke each other.

i know it’s heartbreaking to think we never got a real chance.
your sobs ring as loud in my ears now as they did the day we shattered,
and they haunt me.
our time in this life together is over. we lost this round.
but each lifetime, we inch closer and closer.
and in my heart, i hope.
my soul, it longs for you still.
it has picked itself out of the rubble of yet another failure and pieced itself back together.
my soul, it knows.
“i will find you again,” it whispers into the cosmos,
“there are many lifetimes to come.”

from across the world, your soul returns,
“we will get our chance yet.”

—  reincarnate -c.h. // Instagram: @evanescent.love (via @poeticaffinity)

anonymous asked:

How do you think Zuko's and Katara's parenting styles would mix? I feel they'll have worldly kids but I wonder if they'll shield them more than they should. Zuko's childhood might make him less tolerant to the negative portions of growing up, making him downplay war, gray morality and court issues. Love the pairing but I think their kids may have skewed views of reality

Despite their young ages, we can get a good idea of Zuko and Katara’s parenting styles from watching the show. Several times, they take on the role of parent or mentor to younger (or at least less mature) children:

Lee (parent: Zuko). From “Zuko Alone,” we can gather that Zuko is more than willing to stand up for a kid not his own:

Gow: Hey! You throwing eggs at us, stranger?
Zuko: No.
Gow: You see who did throw it?
Zuko: No.
Soldier: That’s your favorite word, no?
Gow: Egg had to come from somewhere.
Zuko: Maybe a chicken flew over.

Zuko: (in a threatening tone) Let the kid go.

He is firm, but fair in instructing Lee. Zuko could have yelled at him or sent him away for touching his precious dao, but instead he teaches Lee the meaning behind the swords.

Sokka (parent: Katara). As if this speech weren’t enough:

Sokka: When our mom died, that was the hardest time in my life. Our family was a mess, but Katara, she had so much strength. She stepped up and took on so much responsibility. She helped fill the void that was left by our mom.

There are a million ways Katara looks out for her brother’s wellbeing.

Sewing his clothes back together while he runs his mouth.

Cutting off his supply of hallucinogenic beverage.

Taking care of him when he’s sick.

Katara: I’m sorry you’re feeling so down, but I hope you know none of us see you that way.

Lending him moral support.

And encouraging him to go on unnecessary shopping sprees when all else fails.

As you can see, Katara nurtures, disciplines, and indulges Sokka depending on what his physical and emotional needs are at the moment. Like any human being, Katara gets overwhelmed sometimes, and snaps at her brother when she shouldn’t. But overall, Katara is a top-notch caretaker to Sokka as well as a sibling.

Toph (parent: Katara). Katara is a helicopter parent when it comes to Toph–not because Toph is blind, but because she knows how little real parents Toph got in her own home growing up. She tries to get Toph to understand the “power of teamwork”:

Katara: So, Toph, usually when setting up camp we try to divide up the work.
Toph:  Hey, don’t worry about me, I’m good to go.
Katara:  Well, actually, what I’m trying to say is, uh, some of us might fetch water while someone else might set up the fire pit or put up the tent. Even Momo does his fair share.

And points out that Toph’s acting out is a symptom of Toph missing her parents:

Katara: Ah, I see. You’re acting like this because of your parents.
Toph:  Whatever.
Katara: They were controlling over you, so you ran away, and now you act like your parents don’t exist. You act like you hate them, but you don’t. You just feel guilty.
Toph: I do hate them!
Katara: I don’t think so. I think you miss them. But you just don’t want to deal with that, so instead, you act like this crazy person.

Katara invades Toph’s privacy to dig up the wanted notice that puts them all in danger. But she admits her guilt and tries her best to patch things up:

Katara: I can’t believe I was so stupid. See, this is exactly why I’m against these scams. I knew this would happen.
Toph: But…this was your idea.
Katara: I know. I wanted to show you that I’m not so motherly. I wanted to show you that I can have fun too.
Toph: Katara, you are fun. If nothing else, you’re at least fun to argue with.
Katara: I know your relationship with your parents is complicated, and I shouldn’t have said what I said.
Toph: It’s ok. I was really mad when you said that because; well, because maybe it’s true. I try not to think about it, but when I left, I probably really hurt them.

We can see in the dialogue above how hard it is for Katara to be a kid and Team Mom at the same time. Her no-nonsense parenting butts heads with her desire not to be seen by her fellow kids as the unfunny, boring one. But she keeps trying her best, and in the end it works out. Katara is nosy, but also willing to change her own behavior when her parenting has a negative effect.

Aang (parents: Zuko and Katara). I don’t think there is any need to go into how much Aang is mothered by Katara throughout the series; in fact, I’ve done a whole post on it already. Despite not doting on Aang every single moment of his existence, Zuko’s parenting technique is actually much healthier than Katara’s. It’s also a good counter to the idea that Zuko would be so afraid of disciplining his children that he would let them walk all over him. Watch him train with his new student:

Zuko: I know you’re nervous,but remember… firebending in and of itself is not something to fear.
Aang: Ok. Not something to fear.
Zuko:  But if you don’t respect it, it’ll chew you up and spit you out like an angry komodo rhino!

(Cut to Aang who gives a yelp of fear)

Zuko: Now show me what you’ve got. Any amount of fire you can make.

And when he and Aang are meeting the Masters:

Zuko: Your flame’s gonna go out because it’s too small. You’re too timid. Give it more juice.
Aang: But what if I can’t control it?
Zuko: You can do it. I know you can. You’re a talented kid.

Zuko is, again, firm but fair, and encourages Aang when he shows improvement. While he would be understandably wary of punishing children, he is under no illusions about how hard and dangerous the world can be, even for someone as young as Aang. He understands that leaving Aang unprepared by pampering him would expose Aang to greater danger in the long run.

But Katara … oh, Katara definitely has problems with discipline where Aang is concerned. She doesn’t know how to stop giving Aang time and attention, and she doesn’t know how to do tough love, at least not towards the Avatar. I would argue that Katara is too wrapped up in seeing Aang as a symbol of hope who can do no wrong in her eyes to give Aang an honest assessment of who he is. She does provide a lot of hand-holding and emotional support that Zuko would be uncomfortable with, so if she were and Zuko were parenting Aang together, he might turn out OK. Still, there is no evidence that Katara would spoil a non-Avatar child, so I’m inclined to count Aang as an outlier due to his status as the Avatar.

Together, Katara and Zuko’s parenting styles combine support, discipline, encouragement, attention, comfort, protection, education, and love. They support the interests of the kids under their care and do their best to protect them from harm. But they also help the kids protect themselves–both by encouraging their fighting skills, and by creating as safe of an environment as they can within the group, while fighting a very unsafe war.

ultraluckystella  asked:

here's the request again!I love your reaction posts! I want to see RFA reacting to large scar(s) that they saw by accident that MC's really insecure about (and tries to hide). its the kind of scar that you can't stop looking at it when you see it, backstory is up to you.

Thank you for your request! 

And i hope you like it! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Yoosung

  • Yoosung noticed that when you were changing.
  • A big, big scar, that was on her shoulder to her elbow.
  • He’s surprised by it, you never mentioned about that, and he didn’t notice it either.
  • When he calls her while he enters the bedroom, you just jumped, hiding that scar with your hair almost immediately.
  • But he already saw it.
  • “MC, what’s that?” He got closer, and you just laugh, nervously “What’s what?”
  • “That scar MC…” You sigh, you know that try to make him forget about it was going to be useless, so you tell him how you got that scar, in a car accident.
  • Yoosung’s just listening to you, paying a good attention to what you’re saying.
  • After that, he caresses your hair, taking your hair off from your shoulder so he can see that huge scar, he just smiled
  • “MC…You don’t need to feel insecure about it…You’re perfect…And this is just part of who you’re!”
  • He looks at your eyes and then he gives you a little kiss “And i wouldn’t change you…”
  • Yoosung would respect if you don’t want to show that to people…But when you two are alone he’ll always kiss your shoulder, the one that got your scar….
  • He’s trying to make sure that you know that he loves that part of you too.

Zen

  • He saw the scar on your neck when you were combing your hair.
  • He never saw it! Maybe because you’re always hiding it!
  • With necklaces, or with your own hair…
  • He walks toward you and touches the huge scar, you got scared and look at him.
  • Putting your hand at that scar just so you can hide it.
  • Zen just smiles…He’ll not ask you about it, he knows that you may be feeling bad about it.
  • But you’re perfect, he doesn’t understand.
  • So he kisses you, and while you were distracted, he holds your hand, that one that’s hiding your scar, and then he takes that hand away from that scar, letting he sees that.
  • And then he stops kissing you, giving a little laugh and then he starts to kiss your neck, especially where the scar was.
  • After that, he looks deep into your eyes “…Mc, i love you…Every part of you, i can prove it if you want” He laughs and then he puts his hand on your cheek
  • “I’ll love every part of you…A flaw to you is another perfection to me” He smiles and then he looks at that scar
  • “And hey…I think this has a charm.”

Jaehee

  • Jaehee notice a huge scar on your thigh when you were jumping to reach something in a drawer that was up there.
  • She’s just surprised by it, what’s that?
  • “MC…What’s that scar?”
  • You’re surprised shit she saw it…
  • “I have this since i was little…I fell…”
  • Ok, this is fine, but she’s curious about something else.
  • “But why you hide it?”
  • You look at her and sigh, looking at the ground now.
  • “I’m insecure about it…” You said, almost like a whisper, and you listen to Jaehee laughing.
  • She got closer to you, putting her hands on your cheeks, making you look at her.
  • “MC, i don’t care about that, and this doesn’t change you, you’re still the woman i love…This doesn’t make you  ugly and that’s nothing to feel insecure about it…”
  • She smiles and kisses your cheek “Please…Don’t think about that scar on that way…Just…Think about it as the way of who you are.”
  • She’s calm about it, this made you smile.
  • After that day, you’re more confident about that scar, and if that scar is showing it, she’ll not look at it.
  • But sometimes she’ll say how happy she’s seeing that you’re showing it.

Jumin

  • You were waking up, the blanket was not covering one of your legs.
  • And on that one leg, you had a huge scar.
  • And Jumin loves to see you, so when you woke up, he had already seen it.
  • You saw him, sitting on the bed, looking at you, you smiled as you sit up “Good morning my love…”
  • “What is this scar on your leg?” You lose your smile almost immediately.
  • You notice that your leg was uncovered, so you put the blanket in that again, ashamed of that.
  • He notices it, this is an odd feeling, you’re ashamed of this thing?
  • He sighs.
  • He puts a hand on your chin, lifting your head, making you look at him.
  • “Scars are a mark of our past” He was looking at your eyes while he was taking off the blanket from that leg again.
  • “You should not me ashamed of that, this is not something to be bad about.This is you”
  • He traced your scar with his fingertips, giving you a little smile “And i love all parts of you, so please, don’t hide it…This is just another part of my wife that i love…

707

  • Seven’s always watching over you.
  • So, since he’s always watching you, he has already noticed that huge scar on your back.
  • And how you tried so much to hide from him when you knew about the cameras.
  • He knows you’re not really confident about it, HE FINDS IT CUTE!
  • But he knows only that wouldn’t help you, you would think he’s joking.
  • So, one day you were sitting on the couch, you were on your phone, Seven came, and then he grabs the phone and takes him from your hands.
  • “HEY!”
  • “Hey HEY HEY!” He laughs while he’s sitting next to you “Wait, i just came here to talk about something” You were about to open your mouth to say something, but he said something first:
  • “Your scar”
  • You froze. You didn’t know he saw it, Seven laughs because of your reaction, he just gives you a smile after that
  • “I thought about that for a couple of days…I know you feel insecure about it, but hey….Life is made is scar…You teach me something…Even if you want to hide something, that doesn’t mean that thing doesn’t exist.”
  • He got closer, and then he puts his hand on your cheek, smiling “…We have to live surrounded by scars…Scars that doesn’t exist, but are there, inside of you…Scars that make people remember good times and bad times…Our life is a huge scar” He laughs and then he gives you a little kiss.
  • He looks at your eyes, with his face so close to yours “You saw all my scars and my stitches…Please….Don’t hide yours from me…”
Any time our main goal in life is to just pay bills, or stay healthy we are in survival mode. Jesus came to offer abundant life. That’s not the lifestyle marked by life changing transformation. All to often I find myself in that lifestyle, unfortunately. We have to seriously consider what we are doing, what are we living for? If we could plot our path on a straight course, in four years who would we be like? Survivalists? or Jesus? I want to be like Jesus, but in order to do that, I am going to have to unlearn the patterns of the world. We must embrace the lifestyle of Jesus, and actually trust him. Move out of our comfort and being content with the way things are and expect more. Approach the throne of grace with confidence and lay before him our life.
npr.org
Judge Sentenced To 28 Years In Bribery Scandal
Mark Ciavarella Jr. was convicted of taking bribes from developers of juvenile detention centers. The case, known as "kids for cash" led to the tossing of 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella.

A Pennsylvania judge was sentenced to 28 years in prison in connection to a bribery scandal that roiled the state’s juvenile justice system. Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was convicted of taking $1 million in bribes from developers of juvenile detention centers. The judge then presided over cases that would send juveniles to those same centers. The case came to be known as “kids-for-cash.”

Jeff Pollins was in that crowd. His stepson was convicted by Ciavarella.

“These kids are still affected by it. It’s like post traumatic stress disorder,” Pollins told the Times Leader. “Our life is ruined. It’s never going to be the same… I’d like to see that happen to him,” he said.

Seven Tips for a Happy Life

by Venerable Thubten Chodron

I was asked to speak about “Seven Tips for a Happy Life,” but I had a hard time narrowing the tips down to just seven! Actually there are many more, and hopefully as you live with mindfulness, wisdom and compassion, you’ll become aware of the others too.

1. LIVE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY

Many of us go through life being extremely attached to what other people think of us. Most of us try to look good and try to make others think positively of us. We spend a lot of our time just trying to be what we think others think we should be, and this makes us crazy because everybody expects us to be something different. Besides, what is our motivation when we try to be what we think others think we should be? Are we acting with sincerity, or are we trying to be people-pleasers? Are we simply putting on a good show so that other people will say good things about us?

We can act and create personal images, and other people may even believe that we are what we pretend to be. However, that does not have any real meaning in our lives because we are the ones who have to live with ourselves. We know when we’ve been phoney and even though others may praise us for the persona we’ve created, that doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves. Inside we know we’re being fake. We’re much happier when we are sincere and feel comfortable with who we are.

Being a hypocrite does not work because the karmic results of our actions depend on our intention. Our motivation is the key that determines whether what we do is meaningful and beneficial. Even if we look like we’re very kind and considerate, when our motivation is just to get people to like us, our actions aren’t truly kind. Why so? It is because our motivation is concerned with our own popularity, not with benefiting others. On the other hand, we may act with a genuinely kind motivation but people misinterpret our actions and get upset. In this case, we don’t need to doubt ourselves because our intention was good, even though we may need to learn to be more skilful in our actions.

Furthermore, we want to learn to derive happiness from doing the action, not from receiving others’ praise afterwards. For example, in spiritual practice we want to train our minds to take delight in giving. When we take delight in giving, then regardless of where we are and who we give to, we feel happy. It does not matter whether the other person says thank you or not, because our happiness does not come from the recognition we receive but from the deed of giving.

2. REFLECT ON YOUR MOTIVATION AND CULTIVATE AN EXPANSIVE MOTIVATION

We should constantly reflect on our motivations. Some of the questions we can ask ourselves include:

• What is the thought motivating what I’m about to say or do? Is there the intention to harm someone? Or is there the intention to benefit others? Am I doing things to impress others or out of peer pressure?

• Am I doing something for my own self-gain, or am I doing something out of genuine care for other living beings? Or it is a mix?

• Am I trying to do what other people think I should do, or am I really in touch with myself and know what is best for me to do?

• In discerning what I feel is best for me to do, am I operating out of attachment or anger, or am I operating out of kindness and wisdom?

Besides the process of looking inside and seeing what our motivation is, we can also consciously cultivate a more expansive motivation. An expansive motivation is one that aspires for the benefit and welfare of other living beings. Caring about others does not mean we neglect ourselves or make ourselves suffer. Self-respect is important, but we want to go beyond self-indulgent motivations and see that all living beings are interdependent. Our actions affect others, and because we see that everyone wants happiness and wants to avoid suffering as intensely as we do, we care about the effects of our words and deeds on others.

Most people tend to be quite self-centred, so our initial motivation is not always for the welfare of other living beings. Especially when we refer to ALL living beings, which include the ones we cannot stand! So we need to stretch our mind and our motivation.

In order to cultivate an expansive motivation, such as the motivation to become a fully awakened Buddha, we will need to learn what a Buddha is, how it is possible for us to become a Buddha, what are the steps of the path for becoming a Buddha, and what benefits do we bring to ourselves and others by becoming a Buddha. The more we understand these things, the more expansive our motivation will grow and shine within us.

3. SET WISE PRIORITIES

One of the most important activities in our life is to set good priorities; to know what in life is most important to us. We have received so much conditioning throughout our lives that it takes some time to discern for ourselves what we think is valuable. Our parents teach us to value X, Y and Z; our teachers encourage us to think A, B and C. Advertising tells us who we should be and what we should look like. All the time, we are getting messages about who we should be, what we should do and what we should have. But how often do we ever think about whether we really want to be, do, or have those things? How often do we ever think about what actually nourishes our hearts in a truly joyful, vibrant and beautiful way?

We want to live; we want to be vibrant! We do not want to live on auto-pilot, like a push-button robot that operates on others’ commands. We have dreams and aspirations. We want to choose what we do in life because we have passion for that activity or field. What is your passion? How do you want to contribute? What is your unique talent or ability, and how can you use it to make a difference in the lives of others?

When we set wise priorities, we will choose activities that are for the long-term benefit of ourselves and others. When I need to make a decision, I use a particular set of criteria to evaluate which direction to take. First, I consider, “Which situation is most conducive for me to keep good ethical conduct?” I want to make sure I don’t hurt others or myself, and keeping good ethical conduct is important for that.

If we sincerely try to live an ethical life, even though we do not make as much money or have as nice a house as the next person, when we go to bed at night, we feel peaceful. Our mind is calm and free from self-doubt and self-loathing. That inner peace is worth more than anything else we could ever have. Plus, no one else can take our inner peace away from us.

Second, I examine, “Which situation will enable me to be of greatest benefit to other living beings in the long term?” Since another one of my priorities is benefiting others, I evaluate the various options in front of me to discern which one will enable me to do that. Which situation will make it easier for me to cultivate a kind, compassionate and altruistic attitude?

Sometimes our priorities are not what others think they should be. In such a situation, if our priorities are not selfish and they are for the long-term benefit of ourselves and others, then even if other people do not like what we are doing, it really does not matter because we know we are living in a good way. We are confident within ourselves that our priorities will lead to the long-term benefit of others.

4. KEEPING OURSELVES BALANCED

To keep ourselves balanced on a day-to-day basis, we first need to maintain good health. This means we need to eat well, have sufficient sleep and regular exercise. We also need to engage in activities that nourish us. Spending time with people we care about nourishes us. In my observation, what most people really want is connection with other living beings. Take the time to be with your family and with people you care about. Cultivate the friendships of people who have good values, people who you can learn from, and people who will be good role models for you.

Nowadays people walking down the street are all looking at their cellphones, colliding with real human beings while texting people who are not there. Sometimes we need to turn off our technology and tune in to the real living human beings who are surrounding us. So much of our communication is through non-verbal cues — our body language, how we move our hands, how we sit, what we do with our eyes, the tone of our voice, the volume of our voice. Yet many children and young adults now are growing up without being sensitive to those kinds of things because they are hardly ever around real living people. They are always in their two-by-four universe, texting on their phones.

To be balanced human beings, we also need time alone, without our phones and computers. It is so helpful, not to mention relaxing, to sit and read an inspiring book and think about life. We don’t have to always be doing or making something. We also need some time to be with our friends. We need to nourish our body as well as our mind. We need to do things we enjoy, such as engaging in hobbies or playing sports. We should be careful not to waste the time in our precious human life on the computer, iPad, iPhone etc.

5. BEFRIEND YOURSELF

Sometimes when we are alone, we have thoughts such as “Oh, I am a failure! I cannot do anything right! I’m worthless, no wonder nobody loves me!” This low self-esteem is one of our biggest hindrances on the path to full awakening. We live with ourselves 24/7 but we do not even know who we are and how to be our own friend. We constantly judge ourselves using standards that we’ve never examined to determine if they are realistic or not. We compare ourselves with others and always come out losers.

None of us are perfect; we all have faults. That is normal and we do not need to berate ourselves for our faults or think that we are our faults. Our self-image is exaggerated because we don’t really know who we are. We need to learn to be our own friend and accept ourselves, “Yes, I have faults and I’m working on them, and yes, I have many good qualities, abilities and talents too. I’m a worthwhile person because I have the Buddha-nature, the potential to become a fully awakened Buddha. Even now, I can contribute to others’ well-being.”

Meditation and the study of Buddhist teachings will help us become friends with ourselves. To overcome low selfesteem, we should contemplate our precious human life and Buddha-nature. Doing so enables us to understand that the fundamental nature of our mind is pure and undefiled. The nature of our mind is like the wide open sky — totally spacious and free. Mental afflictions such as ignorance, anger, attachment, pride, jealousy, laziness, confusion, conceit and so on are like clouds in the sky. When the clouds are in the sky, we cannot see the clear, open, wide and spacious nature of the sky. The sky is still there, it is just hidden from our view at that time. Similarly, sometimes we might become discouraged or confused, but all those emotions and thoughts are not who we are. They are like the clouds in the sky. The pure nature of our mind is still there. It is temporarily hidden, and when the wind of wisdom and compassion comes and blows the cloud-like disturbing emotions away, we see the wide open, free sky.

Take some time each day to sit quietly and do a spiritual practice. To do a daily meditation practice, learn the Buddha’s teachings and spend some time alone each day reflecting on your life. Observe your thoughts and learn to discern realistic and beneficial ones from unrealistic and harmful ones. Understand how your thoughts created your emotions. Give yourself some space to accept and appreciate yourself for who you are. You don’t need to be the perfect, number one whatever type-of-person-you-think-you-should-be. You can relax and be you, with all the complexities of the sentient being you are.

Then you can tap into your potential and unlock all sorts of doors to help you understand yourself. The Buddha taught many techniques for overcoming disturbing emotions, transforming negative thoughts and removing wrong views. You can learn these and learn how to apply them to your mind, how to work with your own mind so that it becomes clearer and calmer, how to open your heart in kindness towards yourself as well as towards others. In the process of doing this, you will become your own friend.

6. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME

Nowadays we think everything is about us. There’s even a magazine called “Self” and another one called “Me.” We buy products named “iPhones” and “iPads”, and from the time we are little kids the advertising industry conditions us to always search for the most pleasure, prestige, possessions, popularity and so forth. We have this idea that it is all about me! My pleasure and pain are more important than anyone else’s.

Think about what makes you upset. When your friends get criticised, you usually don’t get upset, but when somebody says the same words of criticism to you, it becomes a big deal. Similarly, when your neighbour’s child fails his spelling test, it doesn’t bother you, but when your child fails his spelling test, it is a catastrophe! Our mind gets incredibly upset by anything that happens to us or is related to us. We see everything in the world through the narrow periscope of “Me, I, My, and Mine”. Why is it a narrow periscope? Because there are over seven billion people on this planet and we think we are the most important. It would be really good if we can chill a little bit and have as one of our slogans — “It is not all about me”.

This self-centredness causes us so much misery. When we suffer from fear, anxiety and worry, it is because we are paying too much attention to ourselves in a very unhealthy way. Nothing has happened, but we sit there thinking, “What if this happens? What if that happens?” when in reality, nothing has happened. Experiencing fear, anxiety and worry is definitely suffering, and the source of this suffering is our self-preoccupation.

Our self-centred thought is not who we are. It is not an inherent part of us; it is something added on to the pure nature of our mind and it can be eliminated. Initially we may be afraid to let go of our self-preoccupation, “If I don’t hold myself first and foremost, I will fall behind. People will take advantage of me. I won’t be a success.” But when we examine these fears, we see that they are not true; the world isn’t going to crash if we release our self-centredness and open our hearts to care about others. We can still be successful without being so selfpreoccupied, and we’ll be a lot happier too. For example, if we reach out and help others — friends, strangers, and enemies — they’ll be a lot nicer to us, and our own lives will be happier.

7. CULTIVATE A KIND HEART

As a corollary to “It is not all about me”, we want to cultivate kindness. To do this, we reflect on the benefit we have received from so many people and animals too. When we contemplate the kindness of other living beings, we see that we can benefit from whatever somebody does if we know how to think about it properly. Even if somebody is harming us, we can see it as kindness, because by putting us in a difficult position, they are challenging us and helping us to grow. They are helping us to find qualities and resources within ourselves that we did not know we had, making us stronger.

It is easy to think of the kindness of our family and friends, but what about the kindness of strangers? Actually we receive benefit from so many people we do not know. When we look around, everything we use comes due to the kindness of others — the construction workers who built the building, the farmers who grew the vegetables, the electricians, plumbers, secretaries and so forth all play important roles that enable society to run smoothly.

For example, I was once in a city where all the garbage collectors were on strike. That really helped me to see the kindness of the garbage collectors, so now I stop and thank them for their work when I walk down the street.

We benefit from all the different kinds of work that others do. All the people we see around us – on the bus, on the subway, in the stores — are the people who are making the things we use and doing the services we benefit from on a day-to-day basis. Hence, when looking at the people around us, let’s consider their kindness and the benefit we’ve received from them. In turn, let’s regard them with eyes of kindness, and with awareness of how dependent we are on others just to stay alive, let’s reach out and be kind to them in return.

If you have a kind heart, you will be honest in your business dealings because you care about the welfare of your clients and customers. You know that if you lie to them or cheat them, they will not trust you and will not do business with you again in the future. In addition, they will tell others about your unscrupulous actions. However, if you help your clients and customers, they will trust and have confidence in you. You will have good relationships with them that will last for many years and will be mutually beneficial.

When cultivating kindness, we should also learn to be trustworthy. When somebody tells you something in confidence, keep it in confidence. When you make a promise, do your best to keep the promise. We have to look beyond our own immediate gratification and learn how to be a good friend. Consider, “How can I be a good friend? What do I need to do and stop doing in order to be a good friend to others?” As we all want to have friends, let us make ourselves good friends to other people.

CONCLUSION

Please take some time and think about these seven tips. Don’t simply rush off to the next activity, but apply these tips to your life. Imagine thinking or acting according to them. What would that look like? How would you feel? Seeing the benefits of implementing these tips in your life will inspire you to do so. As you do this, you will experience the benefits in both your mental state and your relationships with others. You will enjoy greater mental peace, more satisfaction and deeper connection with others.

Come back to these tips over time. Read this every so often to remind yourself to live without hypocrisy, reflect on your motivation and cultivate an expansive motivation, set wise priorities, keep yourself balanced, befriend yourself, and realise that “it’s not all about me” and cultivate a kind heart.

anonymous asked:

I'm sorry but how does Aang idealize Katara? He can both see her as she is and show admiration over parts about her he loves. TSR was Aang assuming he and Katara share the same morality and making judgements based on that. BUT the show has displayed they usually have the same morality on matters. And he was right too!

How Aαng idealizes Katara

He looks at her through rose-colored glasses.

He changes her height in his fantasies so she will be more compatible with him.

[Katara, hallucination dream height]

[Katara, actual height relative to Aαng]

He repeatedly thinks she “doesn’t mean it” or “doesn’t sound like herself” when she expresses feelings of anger.

Aαng: I’m sure she didn’t mean that.
Sokka: Yeah, I think she did.

Toph: You’re blaming me for this!?
Aαng: No, no! She’s not blaming you!
Katara: No, I’m blaming her!

Aαng: Katara, you sound like Jet.
Katara: It’s not the same. Jet attacked the innocent.

He assumes she’ll just obey Air Nomad ideology, even though she’s Water Tribe.

Aαng: The monks used to say that revenge is like a two-headed ratviper. While you watch your enemy go down, you’re being poisoned yourself.

Aαng: You did the right thing. Forgiveness is the first step you have to take to begin healing.
Katara: But I didn’t forgive him. I’ll never forgive him.

(This means he was half-right at best, because while she didn’t kill Yon Rha, she also didn’t forgive him like Aαng assumed she had to in order to begin healing.)

While it’s true many of their values align, Katara’s ideology is closest to the person she actually grew up in the same household with. Which means she and Aαng differ on some key issues. These include killing:

Sokka: There. That’s how it’s done.

Aαng: This goes against everything I learned from the monks. I can’t just go around wiping out people I don’t like…
Sokka: Sure, you can. You’re the Avatar. If it’s in the name of keeping balance, I’m pretty sure the Universe will forgive you.

Adapting your principles to the situation …

Instead of forcing the situation to adapt to your principles.

Eating meat:

And the importance of a mother figure to the family.

Sokka: When our mom died, that was the hardest time in my life. Our family was a mess, but Katara, she had so much strength. She stepped up and took on so much responsibility. She helped fill the void that was left by our mom.
Toph: I guess I never thought about that.
Sokka: I’m gonna tell you something crazy. I never told anyone this before, but honestly, I’m not sure I can remember what my mother looked like. It really seems like, my whole life, Katara’s been the one looking out for me. She’s always been the one that’s there, and now, when I try to remember my mom, Katara’s is the only face I can picture.

But Aαng never chastises Sokka for following his beliefs … just Katara.

And worst of all, Aαng doesn’t understand how complex Katara’s feelings are, so like always, he just assumes her feelings are the same as his:

Aαng: We kissed at the invasion and I thought we were going to be together but we’re not.

Without even bothering to check.

Actor Zuko: I thought you were the Avatar’s girl.

Which makes him completely unable to see when something is bothering her.

Her needs get neglected, while he thinks everything is hunky dory:

And this will keep happening over and over:

Because Katara idealizes Aαng the same way.

Katara: I sense he’s filled with much wisdom.

Aαng: Sthee? Now my tongue ith thuck to my sthaff.

And she simply doesn’t have the heart to hurt his feelings.

Katara: I’ve been training Aαng for a while now. He really responds well to a positive teaching experience. Lots of encouragement and praise. Kind words. If he’s doing something wrong, maybe a gentle nudge in the right direction.

My Top Study Tips

After my last semester, I’ve really interrogated which study techniques I employ which work the best and are the most efficient. I paid attention to the difference between the way I worked when I achieved my best grades and when I achieved my lowest. I thought I’d share them

Use Every Moment

There are a lot of times in our life that we could be learning things but we don’t. It’s just about how we think about our time. We live in the age of Podcasts, MOOCS, and iTunes U - these are your best resource. These get downloaded and listened to as you shop for groceries, sit on the bus, walk to and from locations, do the dishes, wash your laundry, clean the house.

Find the universities and thinkers which are at the top of your field and search for podcasts and lectures they have presented.  This is your best exposure to current debates and issues and it has happened frequently that I only understand a concept in class because of a podcast or lecture I listened to independently. 

Don’t Read Everything

This is two-fold. First, how you choose what to read. Second, how you read what you chose.

Professors give huge reading lists with ‘further reading’ often at 25 items per week. That’s impossible to get through. All you should read are the required readings and sometimes not even all of them. Think carefully about what’s going to supplement your lecture and tutorial best. Those further readings are there for your assignments and for those nerdy moments you’ll get where you suddenly become massively interested in the education revolution in France, or Alfred the Great, or the Covenant with Death. Not that I’m calling myself out or anything. The only thing you guarantee if you try is a flame-out or breakdown. Or you do super well in the one subject you are interested in and spend all your time on and not so well in others.

When you’ve chosen what to read don’t spend your life on it. Read quickly - first the introduction and conclusion, then the topic sentences of paragraphs to see if you need to read them. Basically, do what @jamoemills recommends in this video:

Schedule a Day Off

If you work as intensely as education requires and you never stop, never read something for fun, or listen to music, or paint, or exercise outside of that you will burn out. It’s funny but the times when I was most under pressure I achieved the best when I scheduled a day off to relax. That’s the day you schedule your dentist appointments and visit your friends. Watch movies. Read whatever you want for fun. Play games. Your body needs this time to rejuvenate. Then you can jump straight back in and work even better the next day. It’s seems counter-intuitive but it’s true.

Read Your Way to Your Goals

This is a supplement to the podcasts/lecture advice. Read the books in your field which everyone is talking about, they might not always be on your uni reading lists so it’s on you. If everyone is mentioning Arendt, then you order her work and you spend some time coming to grips with it. If the latest release is causing a stir then you want to know what everyone is talking about. Get ahead of the curve and on the same wavelength as everyone in your field. Read Open Access Journal Articles and, when you hit senior year and Grad School, start reading the journals which are ranked best in your field.

This means you will have current and relevant examples for your essays and exams and also means you understand the field much better. Also academic fights are honestly super fun.