Friday, February 17, 2012

Re-connect: Happiness

Our second Re-connect session this last Thursday was about Happiness.

I was surprised to see mostly guys in this gathering, but their participation and exploration of the topic was very interesting, too.

We started talking about how we felt at that moment, as well as recalling when was the last time that we felt happy. All of them had experienced happiness in the last week. We also described the different levels of happiness we experienced, from the quiet and peaceful calm to the exhilarating joy.

Happy comes from happ, icelandic for luck or chance. The Dalai Lama says we can train the psique or the spirit (also includes the mind) to be happy. Personal happiness can manifest as a simple willingness to reach out to others., create a feeling of affinity and goodwill.

Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life.

Happy people tend to be sociable, flexible and creative and are able to tolerate life-s daily frustrations more easily. Happy people tend to reach out and help others. Happiness is contagious.

People are happiest when are in flow, with other people, focused in another activity, focus on loved one, discovering, when they forget about themselves. Unhappy and suicidal people feel alone, isolation, hopelessness. self-focused attitude brings mood down.

Thinking about the blessings we have had through our lives brings us satisfaction, while thinking of what we don't have yet will bring us dissatisfaction. Notice how different is to say: I'm glad I'm not a (I'm glad I'm) ... vs. I wish I were...

We naturally try to be happy. When we are not able to be happy, we get drugs and anti-depressants. Depression and anxiety are rising, by 2020, depression will be the 2nd cause of disability. It's easier to notice the negative things: have a conversation with a co-worker, praise her work for 5 minutes, tell her 1 single little thing that she could do to improve, and all she will think will be that "negative" comment.

The same for a relationship. Researcher Nancy Etcoff says we should keep a 5-1 ratio for a good relationship. Say 5 positive things for each negative thing you need to point out.

If keep focusing in the negative things we perceive or are afraid of, we may soon enter in a mood of sadness, anxiety or anger, which, in turn may have an impact on everything else we "experience" as emotions change the way we perceive or remember things.

Some advices to live a happier life (found in

1. A Proactive Life is a Happy One
Happy people have positive goals and positive tasks. Proactive people are 15% more satisfied with their lives than more passive people. Happiness researcher Ed Diener explains, “happy people set goals for themselves again and again.”

2. An Active Life is a Happy One
Regular physical activity keeps the body healthy and makes the spirit happy. Daily walks raise the level of happiness 12%. David Niven says, “people who stay fit via sports are healthier, more positive, and more successful.”

3. Doing Good for the World is a Source of Happiness
Those who regularly do good things for others are 24% happier than those who only live for themselves. John A. Schindler wrote, “live as a giving person. Those who give are happier than those who only take. Those who give to others discover the beauty in the world.”

4. Rest and Relaxation Bring Happiness
The central point of a healthy and happy life is to find the balance between rest and activity. Besides, work, physical activity, and time spent with others, we need time to rest and relax. We need to get enough sleep. Scientific research shows that relaxed people think more positively and are happier. Every hour of sleep missed lowers the positivity one can experience during the day.
Where that point of balance between rest and activity lies, must be decided for oneself. Everyone needs to experiment a little to find this correct balance. We have to figure out who much sleep we need and how much relaxation time we need and at what speed we function at our best. We in the western world of „go, go, go“ who wish to stay happy and healthy, must also live extra clever. We need to organize our lives in an intelligent way to facilitate inner happiness and find one’s personal way to inner balance.

5. Positive Thinking
Those who think positively double their chance to realize happiness. Those who wish to be happy should think positively. The positive characteristics of wisdom, love, peace, inner power and joy in life should be set as the central point of one’s life. One should exercise a conscious decision to be positive. Fo example, we can ask ourselves, “ how can I go through the day in a positive way?”

6. Too Much Television Makes You Unhappy
Scientific research states, „ every hour of television lowers the general quality of life by 5%“. TV orients people around superficial things, and the concept of superficial happiness. It raises desire, increases aggression, and creates sorros. Those who would like to grow in terms of happiness, should stop watching TV. (David Niven: Die 100 Geheimnisse glücklicher Menschen. München 2000, Seite 32 f.)
The way to positive TV viewing consists of : a) choose your programs carefully. Avoid negative films. B) Find the correct amount of TV. Children should watch a maximum of one hour per day of television. C) After watching TV, one should practice some form of spiritual exercise (such as yoga, meditation, walking, reading, contemplating the meaning of life).

7. Foster Friendship
Build on your positive circle of friends. Women who talk to others reduce their worries by 55%. Cancer stricken women who met with a group once a week raised their survival chances to twice as high as those who didn’t meet with a group. In the western world, there is a strong tendency towards isolation. There are many single and lonely people. People who have a good circle of friends are happier and not isolated. We should take care of our friendships and practice positive activities with them.

8. Facilitate Joy
Those who can find little elements of joy in their lives can raise their overall happiness by 20%. Nils once felt bad and in order to raise his spirits, he ate a lot of sweets. His spirit brightened more and more. Then he visualized the sweets in his stomach and awakened his kundalini energy. He awakened a strong energy which quickly brought him back into the light. Nils learned to thus connect outer enjoyment with spiritual exercises. One then needs less sweets. Just a bit of outer enjoyment is enough for inner happiness.

9. Humor
Those with a good sense of humor raise their positivity by 33%. We should foster our sense of humor and learn to not take things so seriously. We should learn to laugh at our selves. Those who are able to do so, can live lighter and brighter. It is good to see cheerful films, read funny books, and to visit joyful people.

10. Self-Confidence
Happy people believe in themselves. They believe in their goals, their wisdom, and their power. They see themselves as winners. They know they will prevail in the long term. In a world of doubt, all followers of the way of bliss need inner strength in order to go about their way successfully. The followers of inner happiness need a clear anchor in terms of wisdom, self-discipline, and self-confidence to avoid being brought back by materialism and doubt.

After talking a little bit about the ways to increase happiness, we decided to be more practical and start experiencing with laughter. We did some simple exercises laughing with the sounds of the vowels, putting the hands together in front of the chest. Then, we repeated the laughter sensing it in the body. We started with hahaha, moved to hehehe and so on. Each exercise took us around two minutes per vowel.

If you want to try it out, look at this practice from Laughter Yoga.

Do not take things too seriously. Concentrate on the funny side of life. Go laughing through the day. Practice Laughter Yoga. Laughter is healthy.
1. Clap your hands = We clap our hands in front of the heart chakra. We focus on the stomach and laugh "Ho, ho." We focus on the chest and laugh "Haha." Third, we change constantly between the abdomen and the chest up and down and shout, "Hoho, Haha, Hoho ...

2. Body = We lay our hands on the head and laugh in the head "Hehehe." So we can clean the head of tension. Then we lay hands on the chest and shout "Hahaha". We lay hands on the stomach and yell "Hohoho". We concentrate on the feet and trample with our feet on the ground: "Huhuhu".

3. Laughing Wave = We bow the upper body to the earth. The hands are facing down. We focus on the ground. The hands go to heaven. We wail like a siren: "Hahahaha." We make the laughing wave several times. We connect through our laughter heaven and earth.

4. Welcome laughter = Within a group, we keep eye contact and laugh, until all people are happy. At home we look in the mirror and welcome ourselves. When we look into the mirror there is always something to laugh about.

5. Hands to heaven = We extend our hands to the heaven, concentrate on our chest and laugh a minute "Hahaha."

6. Happy Mantra = We think the mantra: "May all beings be happy. Let there be a world of laughing." We see all people in the world and ourselves as a laughing Buddhas, laughing gods or laughing holinesses.

7. Om Song = At the end of our Laughter Yoga we sing one minute the mantra "Om". We sing it in own our melody. We sense in which part of our body Om resonates best. We sing the Om until we are calm. Then we go optimistic through our lives.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I'm hosting a weekly discussion session to re-connect with our spiritual purpose. If you would like to participate, please, contact me and I'll give you all the details.

Here is this week topic: Re-Connect

“Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? I am afraid to tell you who I am, because, if I tell you who I am, you may not like who I am, and it's all that I have...”
― John Powell

We are born with the need to connect. When a baby is born, his interaction with the world makes him strive. We continue connecting with our parents, family, friends and later with colleagues and strangers. However, there are moments when we feel disconnected. The feeling of being different and unrelated from the rest of the world takes away our power.

According to Brene Brown, shame is a fear of disconnection. The fear of being perceived as flawed and unworthy of acceptance or belonging. Shame keeps us from telling our own stories and prevents us from listening to others tell their stories. We silence our voices and keep our secrets out of the fear of disconnection. We are wired for connection.

Our need for connection is about survival; this is one of our most basic needs. Babies that are not touched or held don't thrive. Everyone is longing for connection and by being available, we connect to the world.

We say we are aware of the importance of connection, but nowadays, real connection seems increasingly difficult. People seem to be connected all the time to different gadgets that are supposed to increase connection but keep contact to a minimum level.

However, we are also afraid of connection. Probably because if I let you catch just a glimpse of my entire being, you won't know who I am and I won't disappoint you. It seems contradictory that nowadays, when more means of communication are available, we are even more disconnected. Disconnection, or at least a selective connection is the way we cope with the anxiety or fear of rejection. We see now people twitting or blogging about every single activity they do through the day.

We seem to be longing for real connection.

The first step to re-connect with other people is to re-connect with myself. I need to be aware of my thoughts, feelings, needs, fears and desires to be able to connect with someone else.

Then, I need to see the other person. I need to understand that she has different thoughts, feelings, needs, fears and desires. The Zulu greeting, "Sawubona" means "I see you" and the response "Ngikhona" means "I am here".

Inherent in the Zulu greeting and our grateful response, is the sense that until you saw me, I didn't exist. By recognizing me, you brought me into existence. A Zulu folk saying clarifies this, "Umuntu ngumuntu nagabantu", meaning "A person is a person because of other people".

To connect with someone else means to understand, accept and respect the other person. This is easier said than done. When we realize everyone is different, we may either accept the other person or reject her. If we want to connect we need to develop empathy.

Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient being.

Dalai Lama suggests to approach others with compassion. Empathy is an important factor for compasion. The ability to appreciate another's suffering. When dealing with others at any level, if you are having some difficulties, its extremely helpful to be able to try to put yoursel fin the other person'as place and see how you would react to the situation. Temporarily suspend your point of view.

Self Portrait by David Whyte

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong
or feel abandoned.
If you can know despair or see it in others
If you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need to change you,
If you can look back with firm eyes saying
"This is where I stand."

I want to know if you know how to melt
into that fierce heat of living
falling toward the center of your longing
If you are willing to live day by day
with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion
of your sure defeat.
I have heard in that fierce embrace
even the gods speak of God.


CS Lewis says: You dont have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.

Remind of yourself we are all human beings. We all have a contract with each other. There are no friends or enemies, just teachers.

Some time ago, I found this exercise online:
"One must not do this breathing exercise mechanically. This has to be done with the awareness of what it really brings you.

"First do three inhalations and exhalations with consciousness, i.e. inhale Light and exhale any shadow which still dwells within you. Do this three times.

"Then with a large deep inhalation, inhale Love. Hold your breath as much as possible to conserve the Energy of Love you have integrated, then exhale anything within you which is not Love. Do this three times as well.

"Thus, three times, you do three small inhalations and exhalations where you inhale Light and exhale all the shadow which still dwells within you, as well as three deep inhalations and exhalations where you retain Universal Love and exhale anything within you which is not Love.

"Do this exercise with awareness because it will have no value if you do it while breathing normally."

2. Connection with the Divine Self :

Connecting Oneself with the Divine Self
"Visualize your body of matter. Try to see your face, as if you were seeing yourself from an external projection, as if you were facing yourself. First mentally, say to your body that you love it. Utter your first name and say: 'I love you'.

"Then visualize within yourself a white room that is extremely luminous. The room is totally luminous although there are no doors and there are no windows. Inside of the room you will find someone who is sitting and waiting for you. This being is the Divine within you, he is the being who holds absolute power. Your consciousness is facing him and you will ask him for his help. Ask him to regenerate your body, to restore energy to any parts that are deficient. Still facing the wonderful being, remind yourself that your human consciousness is next to the Divine Being who is within you.

"You will now see emanating from yourself, from the Divine Child, a magnificent golden radiation. This golden radiation, this immense love will spread through your physical body, and your energetic bodies as well. This Love will permeate all your cells and absorb any vibratory frequencies which are too low.

"You may have a sense of being double, the experience of being both inside and outside your body, being yourself and something else. You may feel a gentle heat spreading through your body, an energy of Love which transforms anything. Try to keep your consciousness within yourself facing your Divinity, as long as possible.

"This exercise allows connection, connection between human being and Divine Being, vibratory harmonization, recognition.

"Say to the Divine within you, to this magnificent presence, how much you love him, thank him for regenerating your body and tell him that you will visit him back in your meditations to commune together in a mutual experience of love. Tell him, as well, how much you trust his immense power of Love and his potential to transform your physical body and your consciousness. He can act on all levels, whether they be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual extending beyond the limits of time and space.

"Now put your consciousness back in front of you. If you cannot see it in front of you, try to visualize it. Once again, say that you love yourself by mentally uttering your first name followed by the words: ‘I love you'. "

A final word on connection:

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break. -Ancient Chinese Belief

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A mis amigas en Monterrey

Querida amiga,

Te invito a formar parte de este grupo porque pienso que tienes una cualidad maravillosa que no puede seguir oculta más tiempo: la habilidad para sanar. He sido testigo de cómo en algún momento de tu vida has sanado algún aspecto en ti o en alguien más que causaba dolor; y creo que tu ayuda es un factor clave en la curación del mundo tan lastimado en que vivimos ahora.

Cada tragedia, grande o pequeña, nos lleva un paso más cerca de la destrucción de la humanidad y creo que es urgente cambiar el rumbo. He visto también con mis propios ojos cómo pequeños grupos de personas comprometidas pueden cambiar el mundo. Estoy convencida de que para sanarnos a nosotras y sanar a quienes nos rodean, necesitamos organizarnos y recobrar la sabiduría femenina. No es que los hombres sean incapaces de hacerlo, pero me parece que a los ojos de la mujer, hay cosas que son inaceptables. Hay hombres que reconocen que es necesario que la mujer tome el liderazgo y nos apoyarán sin importar qué pase.

Por favor, invita a quienes creas que puedan estar interesadas y participa de esta primera reunión. Si después decides formar un grupo diferente, está muy bien. Si quieres incluso seguir organizando este grupo, mucho mejor, ya que yo solamente podré estar en esta primera reunión. Solo te pido que conserves la esencia de este grupo: mujeres en edad fértil que se reúnen para celebrar la maravilla de ser mujer y compartir lo que está en sus corazones. Sin ninguna agenda política o religiosa para ser impuesta a las mujeres, solo el Sagrado Femenino que nos dió vida.

Si este mensaje resuena en tu corazón, por favor, contáctame para hacerte llegar la invitación.

Un abrazo,