What’s your story?

What’s your story?

Have you noticed – anytime you meet a new person they ask you to tell something about yourself – who you are, what you are doing and basically … what’s your story.

Why is a story so important?

We need to navigate through life through images, words, sounds and tastes. In order to orientate we need something to guide us, a compass that shows us our journey from where to where we are moving. A story is made out of impressions – of what we have heard, seen, tasted and experienced. Once we have recorded those impressions in our mind we have made them our qualities and ultimately our business cards. The story you tell is your business card. People want to know what you have in order to process you as a person.

But your story is not all for others either. Most of all it is important which story you are telling to yourself, because honestly … all stories are eventually made up … and if you can make up any story why not make up the best story?

If you make a simple experiment and write down the story of your life but first focus on all the things that have gone wrong and you didn’t like – all the could haves, should haves and “I didn’t want this”.
Tell the worst story ever you can and then see how it makes you feel.
Does it make you happy? Does it make others happy? Does it bring the sunshine in your life?
And notice how does it influence your outlook on life, what decisions and actions it makes you take? Happy ones, wise ones?
Fair enough.

Now give it a second try but this time tell the best story of your life – all that you loved and you are grateful for, all that made you the person you are today, all that you enjoy and appreciate. Tell a story of joy and happiness and see how it makes you feel. Is it different? Do you notice the change in the air? What decisions and actions it makes you take? Better ones? How does it make others feel and what does it make them think?

The story you tell to yourself has great power because it influences your whole life – your moods, your feelings, your decisions and finally your actions. When you realize it you start to notice how often you have sabotaged yourself in focusing on negative stories when you could have really focused on all that’s good and right. But the worst is when we start to tell those stories to others and instead of making their lives a bit more bright we try to convince them in our own made up fears and doubts.

Stop and examine who you believe you are.

Creating a conscious life is really about bringing more light into what’s going on in the dark corners of your mind. When we don’t pay attention we often tend to indulge our thoughts in worst case scenarios, anxiety, fears, judgments and regrets and this can go on and on making it the unquestionable story of who we are.

But why not question? Why not question if that story is right? And if it’s not quite so could we not make it right or at least choose one that makes you feel right?
A situation always has at least two versions – the one of what’s bad and wrong and the one of what’s good and right and to tell you a secret we are really the ones who choose which side of the coin will stay up.

And a story is much more powerful than that. It can create your personality, your friendships, your business and your life.
But I am not here to tell you to create a completely false story, no. I am telling you to see your own already amazing story! We all have a really fabulous, award-winning story when we choose to see.
All those unique things about yourself can be real gems when you pick them up and polish them.

If I would leave you with any message it would be to look and see all the good things you have and have had. And maybe all the difficult things that brought you wisdom and strength. And all the silly things that made you keep your innocence. All those little things are your real gems. Don’t throw them away but see how beautiful they’ve made you look today.

From a stressed businessman to Buddha over a cup of coffee

From a stressed businessman to Buddha over a cup of coffee

“A stressed businessman reaches a state of awakening during a … talk over a coffee with Mila Buchelli.”

This is how an article in the march issue of Magazine 8 (a popular science and spirituality magazine in Bulgaria) starts.

It is a bit more than a year ago that I met Plamen – a business owner from Bulgaria living in Austria.
I remember that day that I waited for him. I was told he is into a lot of stress and needs to urgently have a talk with me and somehow restore his balance. I didn’t know him at that time but I agreed because he was a friend of some relatives.
Little did I suspect what a profound and beautiful talk was about to unfold.
Long story short – he got kind of … enlightened. Yes, he discovered that state that some great masters over the ages have pointed to. And much to my surprise something in him powerfully shifted after I pointed out a few things and he started speaking like a real Buddha.

So from a stressed businessman he turned into … an awakened being. Who would expect? We’ve always thought that to reach such a state of awakening and self-realization you need to spend lifetimes in spiritual seeking and ascetic living but here he was – he never even had the slightest idea of aspiring for liberation, enlightenment … not even a yoga class.

Needless to say he was supremely happy and grateful for his unexpected discovery and even a year later he still speaks from that place of peace, wisdom and oneness.

I went to Bulgaria and told this story to my friends who were a lot into spiritual seeking, yoga and meditation and they were astonished. Then Magazine 8 got super interested in the story and asked me to interview Plamen for them and see how his life has changed, how this discovery affected his business and what’s going on in his life now, does he still experience the same state of purity or did his mind come back and beat him up?

Well, here are some of the things he shared with me. Read for yourself.

 

Who was Plamen before discovering the state of Buddha?

 

     P: Before I lived in constant tension, on the brink of a nervous crisis. I had a lot of problems, too much work, too many questions that bothered me. I was a slave for my own goals and projections about  life – how should I look, how should I live, what should I have.  As a business owner  with more than 140 employees, I was constantly under great stress, with constant problems and things to solve.

 

How do you feel now compared to the above description, is there any difference?

 

    P: Now whatever happens around me, it cannot really affect me. But this is only after my realization. I became calm and balanced. Now I live in a completely different way and my attitude is totally different. Now I see there are no unsolvable things. There is nothing to be afraid of. Before I took everything way too serious. Now I don’t because I see that these are external events and they do not affect my essence, they are just things that happen, come and go. Everything is transient. When a difficult situation arises, I know that I will find the solution over time or when the time comes. Everything comes at its right place when one looks from a slightly different place, from  their essence, not from the ideas and projections they have about themselves.

 

Everyone imagines that when one wakes up to the truth of themselves, he will wave goodbye to the world and retire into the forest or a cave. That obviously did not happen to you. How does a modern Buddha live his life?

 

    P: Leaving the world after your awakening  is one of those ideas and projections, that  people construct in their heads. Why should there be a frame? Why should it be in the woods, in the mountains, in the city? Buddha can be anywhere. Wherever he wants. If you are enlightened, you should not run away from anything because you just accept everything as it is. There is nothing to escape. If I would go anywhere, it would be because of the fresh air, not because of the idea that I have to turn my back to my present life. It does not matter to me, the place, it has no meaning, I am free. I live in peace. When you empty your mind, you can be happy wherever you are, and you can always find a place of solitude. For example such a place for me is my  car. 2-3 hours I just sit in it, I do not do anything. The modern Buddha can find a secluded place everywhere.

 

What would you say to everyone who is now on your old place – stressed and exhausted by thinking of profits and deadlines?

 

    P: You just have to really see how unimportant, meaningless and transient these things are. Problems will be solved, they will come again, they will be solved again, and so on. If one can realize this and look back – work has always been done, something has always changed and nothing has been final or fatal. There is nothing to be afraid of! There is just one material encompassing world, but it does not define our essence. And if one understands this, he will never be stressed and exhausted. Because there is nothing that can take away what you are. I know that even if I end up naked and broke on the street, I will still be fine. I’ll find clothes again and make some money, build a business, and build something. But no one can take away what I am. If one thinks … he’s here, he’s always here. All things happen, come and go, new things happen, new things are changing, but he’s HERE. When he realizes that his essence is here and not there, not in those things, then he will forget what stress and tension is. I sleep very peaceful now. Because I know there is always a solution. You just have to give time for it to reveal itself, and some things are not in our control, and we just have to accept them. As I said, one has to try to look from a little different place at these things and if he can see from there, he will be another person. He will not be another person, in fact, he will be himself – the true self. “

 

Image by Dilyana Hezhaz

The eternal quest to Yourself

The eternal quest to Yourself

Maybe this whole vast Universe, with all its stars and planets, birds and flowers, love and joy … is nothing but a tiny attempt to glimpse the greatness of the immaculate intelligence from which it comes.

Have you ever wondered about it – where you came from, why you are here and what is this miracle called life?

As children everything looks like a great mystery and wonder. Every day is an adventure. Every experience is vibrant and indescribable. Every moment is a blessing and a joy.
But as we grow up we become kind of dull. We take things for granted, we start to demand and expect and try to manipulate the life around us to satisfy our own selfish desires.

Once upon a time we were grateful and humble … and now we are often greedy and even violent.
And it seems like we have forgotten … the innocence of our hearts.

At some point in life when things don’t really work anymore, when pushing and forcing life doesn’t yield good results, we must start to question ourselves and if the things we are doing are really right and meaningful.

In the East it is considered a great blessing to start to inquire into your nature and look deeper for who you are truly and in essence. Whereas in the West it is often considered a sign of a psychological crisis or breakdown.
Funny how we have become, to consider some of the most important quest and questions about our very own existence as a sign that something is wrong.

Actually, if you are sensitive enough you would naturally ask yourself what’s life’s meaning and what’s your purpose here. And this is very beautiful indeed, maybe the oldest question of humanity that still remains a mystery.
A few here and there tried to solve it and they became figures to admire and worship such as the Buddha and other great masters and teachers down the ages.

But what happened to that knowledge and wisdom … about our Self, our nature, our purpose?
Did it disappear with the physical bodies of those teachers thousands of years ago … or is it still here right before our eyes – timeless and obvious yet often missed …

Getting on the journey to your own Self can be one of the greatest adventures of a lifetime.
And here are some advices from me if you’ve decided to embark on this trip.

  1. Life is a mystery.
    Before trying to solve problems and look for answers I must tell you – when it comes to yourself … you will not really find any answer. There is no final statement that when you discover you can take a rest and leave everything aside. Quite the opposite – you must first of all know that there is no answer. When you can accept that life is an experience and a mystery that needs no solving you can start your journey.
    We are normally used to solve physical problems that have a starting and an end point, but when it comes to yourself … the point is always NOW. The beginning and the end are both … just now. So don’t expect to get from A to B here. Rather expect to get from now to now, just deeper and deeper. If there is a step actually, it is really the step to come to here and now, because most of the time we are then and there or anywhere but not here.
    We project all things in our head – the problem and its solution, the journey and its destination. When we live in our mind we are always somewhere else – an else that we imagine and create and then try to reach and get. So if there is a first step it is really to let that go. And when you let go the “then and there” you naturally find yourself right here and now. So, don’t expect to find an answer or to get anywhere, rather leave that way of thinking behind and just be open to uncover what is here.

 

  1. Don’t get discouraged if people don’t understand you …
    They probably never do anyway … so why bother? The thing is we can’t really understand anybody. Everyone is having their own unique experience that we can never fully grasp. On the surface we might think we get it … but we can never know what the other truly sees and feels. We cannot share the same dream, see the sunset through the same eyes or taste anything in the very same way. And we are totally not meant to. Every being is a universe of their own with unique phenomena happening inside of them. We sometimes might think others must understand us in order for us to be happy but the sooner we let go of that idea … we might find out that we are already happy, even much more when we don’t try to look appealing or understandable to anyone.
    So, if people don’t get it what you are doing with your life or what kind of Self or meaning you are looking for … it is absolutely normal. They don’t have to get it, it is enough that you get it … and more so that you enjoy it and find your meaning in it. If you do then don’t get disappointed when you meet people who don’t agree with you. We can never agree 100% with everybody. It is good to have some compassion and support each other even when we don’t quite understand what it’s all about. That’s what they might call unconditional love – I love you even when I don’t get you at all, it’s still alright.

 

  1. Keep quiet.
    That’s what most wise and great teachers have been saying since centuries. If you want to really discover something deeper about yourself keep your mind still and … just chill.
    Thoughts are meant to create future things, experiences, solutions. They are great if you need to build a house, write a report or solve a mathematical equation. But when it comes to happiness, peace, love, finding your essence and deeper self they often just get in the way.
    The mind is an excellent instrument to create things but your inner being is not something that you are going to create but rather to discover. And in order to do that you need to leave your mind and thoughts aside for a bit and see what hides in the silence of your heart.
    I am not going to tell you what you will discover … let it be a surprise. I am sure it’s not something you are going to regret about.

 

Image: Michi Sophie Photography

Do we remember the natural life?

Do we remember the natural life?

Human beings have been on this planet for thousands of years. We have lived and evolved through all incredible conditions with wild nature, animals, dangers and uncertainties to be here in the world as we know it today with fast moving cities, new emerging buildings, comfortable homes, social security system, television, cell phones and available wifi from almost every point of the world.

Seems we have it much easier than our ancestors back then who didn’t have the chance to call an ambulance when they were hurt or check the weather forecast on their phone but

Have we in the meanwhile forgotten the natural life?

Certainly there are many advantages of having all the comforts and security we have today but it seems that we are not so much in tune anymore with ourselves, life and nature as we used to be before.

Many psychological and emotional discomforts we experience nowadays are the result of having lost the connection with our most natural Self and being.

 

happiness

Photos by Unsplash and Anang Dadhich

Relying on outside information, medias, others’ opinions and ideas has alienated us from our own intuition and powers to be in tune and harmony with life, with our bodies, with our emotions, with our desires, feelings and deeper aspect.

It is not a myth that there is great wisdom in us and a natural knowingness of life that comes spontaneously and intuitively.
But why do we so rarely experience it?

How did our ancestors survive so long without any outside information, without relying on anything and anybody else other than their own being and intuition?

We are so much preassured by the ideal images of how we should be, how life should look like, what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false that we can no longer hear our own voice and our own being that always has the right information.

We are not just here living life, we are life!

That is why our intuitive powers and knowledge are here, because we are not just someone living life, we are life itself, we are not separate, so deep down inside us we know what to do in every given moment, we know what is right and true, we know how to respond to any situation. And that knowledge, that knowingness you can’t read in any book, nor can you learn in any school … because it is you, it is in you, it is what you are.

Life is not an enemy to survive. Life is a great mystery to discover!

self-discoveryBut when we are not in tune with ourselves we miss it. We are so entangled in goals and ideas that we have seen somewhere else and made our own that we can’t see what is truly here in this moment, what is natural and pure.

Why do we so often feel unhappy, unsatisfied and unfulfilled?

When we live through false ideals, projections and thoughts we obviously feel something is not right. When we can’t hear our own voice and don’t follow our true desires there is no way to feel fulfilled and satisfied.
When we are not living the natural life but an artificial life, alienated from our own Self how can we possibly feel happy?

 

So, how to get in tune with our Self again?

The truth is that this great power in us to know, to be, to live in synchronicity and harmony with existence has never left us. It has only been a little bit forgotten.

The first step to rediscovering our own wisdom is to reconsider our values and goals and realize what really gives us true happiness and peace and what only gives us strive and sorrow.

Has the way of competition, stress, ambition, comparison, selfish desires brought us something worthwhile or has it only alienated us from the simple joy and happiness of our Self?

Yes, modern life has many advantages but we can truly appreciate them when we don’t forget what is truly beautiful and valuable, when we don’t forget the simple wisdom of our Heart, the way to our Self and the voice of our Being.

And the simplest knowing that true happiness comes from living a natural life, remembering the simplicity of being and appreciating the beauty of this moment.

 

 

Existence knows better than you think

Existence knows better than you think

Have you sometimes felt things are going wrong, life is not really providing you what you need and want and somehow things are not quite the way you wish them to be?

This is often the experience of many people.

We often feel that things should be different than they are and that we need to strive, dream or work hard to get life appear in the right way but it never really quite does, does it?

We grow up with this habit of thinking how to always get the things we want, make people the way we want them, make things appear how we like them and always try to fit life according to our desires, projections, ideas and opinions.

It sometimes works but the fact is it often doesn’t and maybe that’s a good signal – not that life is unkind but maybe that our ideas are not quite true and wise.

Actually life is too kind and always moves everything in a perfect way.

It’s only our mind that imagines things are going wrong simply because they don’t seem to satisfy our sometimes foolish desires.

When we nurture our small thinking and chase selfish projections it might at times seem that things are difficult, challenging and not quite right.
But that’s not really the actuality, it’s rather something we simply imagine.

We only get disappointed when we hold strong opinions and visions about how things should be but the truth is we rarely see the big picture and can evaluate and appreciate what is good and right when our mind is clouded by ego and desires.

There is a great power that guides this Universe in a gracious and effortless way, not always in accordance with our ego but in accordance with a deeper intelligence and harmony that no one can ever really understand.

So, trust, life knows much better than your mind.

It might not always give you what you imagine you want but it gives you what you truly need to grow.

When you see with clear eyes and pure heart you start to appreciate the wisdom, greatness and beauty that surrounds you and there is no need to make up vain projections and ideas anymore because you know that there is a great love that takes care of this existence and you and that love are one.

 

The thoughts that steal your happiness

The thoughts that steal your happiness

Have you ever had the thought “If onlysomething was different“, “It could have beendifferent.” … “It should have been in another way.” …
Should have, could have, if only … meet the thoughts that steal your happiness!

These little thoughts and words are often our everyday companions. We don’t realize but so often we imagine and mourn over how things could have been different than they are and how much better it would have been this way. But guess what? Those thoughts are exactly the thoughts that steal your peace, your joy, your happiness.

Why? Because things are as they are! They are not supposed to be different than they are right now … and your wishing and imagining them to be in another way simply distracts you from being at peace with them and seeing that they are just perfect as they are!

Could have is rarely a solution to any situation, it is rather a waste of time and a sure way to make yourself unhappy. Rather accept and see the reality of the moment as it is and see if apart from your imagination something is really wrong here.

Often it is not life in its expression that is wrong but rather the ideas we try to enforce on it that are not quite fitting. Whenever we indulge in the could or should have we are just unnecessarily bringing ourselves down.

Much better way is to simply be with the situation, with life as it presents itself in this moment without interpreting, judging, comparing and criticizing.

If we can really see life in this way fresh and empty we might be in for a big surprise – nothing is really missing! Nothing is really wrong! Nothing really needs to be essentially different than it is. Because guess what – Life is much more wiser than your thinking!

So, throw those should haves and could haves away and let life lead you the way. See what peace and rest come from letting go of wishful thinking, judgements and regrets and enjoy again your natural state of being open, trusting and loving to life as it unfolds always in the best way when you have the heart and mind to see and appreciate its wisdom, grace and beauty.

Namaste!