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Everyone’s Mind Matters positive thinking

10 reasons to love yourself 

10 reason to love yourself 

1 Your smile is what makes life so beautiful

When you smile you bring with it a multitude of effects, not just beneficial for yourself, but everyone that comes into contact with a smile is softened instantly. Far better than a common hand shake a smile says far more when we meet someone. Your smile is so yours and yours alone. There isn’t anyone else that does it your way, from the way your skin is formed to the size of your lips, there isn’t two smiles the same. Own your smile it not only makes you more beautiful, it makes life more beautiful too.

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Rainbows and Star Dust

2 Your made of the same stuff as star dust and rainbows 

The scientific community have unquestionably found that we are made up of the same base matter as that of star dust and rainbows. In fact every living and non living entity in our entire known universe is made up of this very same stuff, you are as equally unique as a shooting star or a passing rainbow. The beauty in every stone, tree, waterfall or landscape is inside you. From the rain drop on the mushroom to storm clouds that made it, you are that very same beauty.

3 Your laugh gives people happiness

Your laugh comes from within, a beautifully orchestrated melody of sound that fills people with happiness. No one can produce your laugh, it has been in evolution since your birth, your richness of tones, your accent and language all play a role in shaping your laughter but it is YOU who put the finally spin on it shaping it into you very own, there isn’t two people in the entire universe with the same laugh, which makes yours truly uniquely special. Don’t forget to share.

4 Your beautiful from the inside out

There is no one as beautiful as you, no matter your shape or size, inner beauty your always outshines, leaving people with a great satisfaction after meeting you. With your smile and laughter you have the power to heals wounds, the qualities you already posses inside yourself can far exceeded that of materialistic possessions, an ever lasting contentment of peace and tranquility, the key is yours and yours alone. 

5 Your big heartedness 

Your loving compassion and openness, willingness and patience make your heart filled with love. A heart that doesn’t just merely beat around 115,000 times a day, it isn’t just an organ to send oxygenated blood around your system, it is so so much more. With the capacity to envelope the entire universe with unconditional love and compassion, you have with in your heart all that is good, a heart can feel love and feel pain, but a heart also has the capacity to overcome pain and transform love into unconditional ever lasting peace and tranquility.

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The sunshine in your eyes

6 The sunshine in your eyes 

Your eyes have taken 550million years to evolve and that’s still an ongoing process, after your conception your eyes are already starting to form at two weeks, and once grown they stay the same size from birth to death, unlike your ears or nose. Like an iceberg only 1/6 of your eyes are visible and there are over two million working parts. You eyes have more unique characteristics than a finger print counting 256 compared to 40 for a finger print. Your eyes are the second most complex organ in the body after your brain and 80% of our memories come from our eyes. They are so unique to you they sparkle from your very soul.

7 The way you express love 

Love comes in many shapes and forms, your love is true, it’s pure an unconditional love that has the power to change the power to heal. Your love is all conquering and all encompassing, no one loves like you. Poets have written sonnets about this very love and never touch the ever lasting feeling your love brings. Your love is so bountiful and never ending, eternal, it can never be taken away from you, it is always yours to give.

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Reflection on water

8 Your beautiful reflection in the water

You are so beautiful and perfect in every way, your still reflection is a perfect example. No matter your shape or size you really are completely and utterly perfectly you. No one could come close to your perfection, those little lumps and bumps you feel ashamed are yours and your uniqueness alone. No one comes close to being you, own it and walk with pride, you are truly uniquely beautiful.

9 When you speak angles dance in the twilight

The sound of your voice belongs to you, completely unique to you. When you sing angels really do know it’s you. Your shape and size all play an important role in your sound as well as the size of your vocal tract. Each an every factor from the location of your birth to environment you were bought up, have all shaped the way your voice sounds. A completely unique and special gift of yours.

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Angels dancing in twilight

10 Your completely and utterly unique 

From your smile which can only be yours to the laughter and love that makes the world a better place, the way you listen with your enormous heart containing unravelled unconditional love, your voice is perfectly in balance with the beauty of your body and the beauty from within. You really are as truly remarkable as a shooting stars and rainbows. You are and always will be Lovely. There is only one you, one complete unique you, treasure yourself for there is only one.

Loving kindness, love, generosity, wellbeing, loving, compassion, kindness, positivity, spirituality, spiritual
10 reasons to love yourself

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loving kindness meditation

Loving kindness Meditation

loving kindness

In an all too busy world it is easy to overlook loving kindness and it’s benefits. Life today seems to be harder than ever before, our society seems to offer everything we could possible desire yet it is a fact that there are more and more of us struggling with difficult and upsetting emotional states. Depression, anxiety and mental health are this century’s biggest challenges. The practice of loving kindness is just an inherited quality but loving kindness can be learnt and taught and that is what we are about to discover.Loving kindness, meditation, spirituality, spiritual, Metta, positivity, happiness, mindfulness, compassion

Loving kindness infographic

Loving kindness is compassion, happiness, and unconditional love, it isn’t anger or hatred, greed or despair, loving kindness as described by the sacred Buddhist text is the first of the four sublime states, the others are compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. Wikipedia quotes loving kindness, or Metta, as “the cultivation of benevolence” and the Oxford English Dictionary states loving kindness as “tenderness and consideration towards others”.

Mind Matters, compassion, mindfulness, Metta Bhavana, spiritual happiness, positive thinking, relaxation techniques, personal development through mindfulness, Theravada Buddhism, meditation practice, loving kindness, mindful exercise,

What is loving kindness in Buddhism?

Loving kindness or Metta Bhavana meditation has been used by the Buddhists for over 2500 years, developed to build the characteristics of compassion, equanimity, happiness, joy and wellbeing. The only way to know, is to practice. It is a practice not just for loving kindness to oneself but should be directed out towards every living being, to our greatest loves and to those we may be having difficulty with. Metta Bhavana practiced regularly helps to build our concentration rapidly in meditation practice, enabling us to progress much quicker along the path. The four sublime states that practicing Metta Bhavana ring are called the Brahmavihara and they are compassion, loving kindness, altruistic joy and equanimity.

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Lao Tzu quote

Loving kindness meditation benefits

The health benefits of the practice of loving kindness and Metta meditation, have been studied in great number from western scientists in the last 30 years and all can agree that stress levels reduce, depression can be eliminated, anger subsides, a sense of calming and wellbeing arise, blood pressure lowers, gives you a sense of satisfaction and of belonging and will Increases happiness and compassion. There are many other positive side effects with no negative reactions or problems. The mental health benefits are equally impressive, nut this is not some quick fix pill to take this still takes time and practice. So how do we practice

How do you practice Loving kindness?

There are a few methods and ways to practice loving kindness, the method I describe below I find works wonderfully for me. It is one of visualisation, I was a Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand and after many years of meditation practice and guidance I find this is the most suitable way for my western mind. This method however is just one of the three ways to practice which will achieve loving kindness in the heart. Reflecting and auditory are the other two methods used to create the feeling of loving kindness. Reflect on the positive qualities of yourself or a loved one will ensure loving kindness to flourish with in the heart. Using a mantra is the auditory approach and an example could simple be the words loving kindness.

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Love quote Herman Hesse

The First thing we need to do is find the love from within ourselves. Now I understand that may sound a little scary to some. Visualisation is a great way to achieve love inside, we all have something we love, something that will bring that feeling back when you start to think deeply enough about it. For me this is my adopted stray dog Marley and the crazy fun things he gets up to. If your still finding difficulty thinking of something that your really love this much, then try hitting this link 7 wonders of life, it will help you find something wonderful in your life to feel that loving kindness and to help with the practice. Now that we have our object of focus, it time to relax.

Find a comfortable place somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Now sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulder and neck muscles and slowly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing. Let’s start by calmly watch your breathing, don’t disturb your breathing, just let it be natural. Breathing in, be aware your breathing, breathing out, be aware your breathing out. Count one. This is a great link to learn how to practice Breath Meditation. Relax and do this for s count of ten.

Now bring your object of love to the forefront of your mind and begin to feel the love you have. really start to explore that feeling, the feeling of love. Don’t worry if you feel a little resistance at first, be kind to yourself and be patient. Try to find where the feeling is coming from, do you notice how the feeling grows the more you explore it. Again don’t panic if you feel resistance to this, it is all ok, it just means a little more patience and kindness towards yourself is needed. Now feel that love start to consume you, feel it’s warmth, is your smile hurting you cheeks yet. If you are having trouble visualising, please still use loving kindness with yourself, this is not going to be easy for some. Tell yourself it’s ok we can have another go later, always be patient and kind towards yourself and even that is practicing loving kindness.

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Meditating monk

Once we have the feeling of love flowing within ourselves, it’s time to send out our love to others. We now use a mantra with our loving kindness, to truly send out our positive vibration to the chosen person. First we start with ourselves. Repeat this ten times to yourself, or out loud that’s entirely up to you.

May I be happy 

May I be free from metal suffering and distress

May I be free of physical pain and suffering

May I be peaceful and at ease

Now we are going to give that love from our heart, that loving kindness to someone dear to us, this could be a spouse, child or a loved friend. Again repeat ten times.

May (insert name) be happy

May (insert name) be free from suffering and distress 

May (insert name) be free of physical pain and suffering 

May (insert name) be peaceful and at ease 

If you find your mind wanders or you notice your loving kindness looses it ferocity, at this point always be kind and patient with yourself, slowly return to the original object of focus, take a few deep breaths and start again. once you have established the feeling again in your heart, continue with the mantra.

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Valentines Week Love Quotes

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Pablo Picasso love quote

Pablo Picasso 1881 – 1973

Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, poet, playwright, stage designer and printmaker. He co-founded the Cubist movement an early 20th century avent garde art movement that revolutionised European painting and sculpture. He invented the ‘constructed sculpture’ and was co-inventor of the collage, both similar in there assemblage of different forms of individual elements. 

Picasso was born into a middle class family where his father was a painter by trade specialising in naturalistic depictions of birds and wild game. From a very early age it was said Picasso showed an incredible artistic talent, painting seemed to be natural to him. His early adulthood witnessed considerable change in his paintings as he explored different theologies and philosophies and experimenting with different artistic mediums. He is most well known for his surrealism period of the 1920’s and for the amount of works produce, reportedly in the region of 50,000, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, this great number also comes with a down side and Picasso is the most stolen artist with a recorded 1500 pieces listed missing.

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Herman Hesse love quote

Herman Hesse 1877 – 1962

Was a German born writer, poet and painter, from his childhood Hesse was a headstrong character testing the will and patience of his parents on many occasion, having a firm upbringing and stern timetables are accredited to turning a wild spirited child into a young man filled with love for music, poetry, literature and the arts.

He was educated in Switzerland and Germany and was to show early signs of excellence, however it was in the beautifully preserved Maulbronn Abbey school, that Hesse started a rebellious streak which involved conflict with his parents, school and his religious beliefs. It wasn’t until a chance work placement at a book store specialising in philosophy, theology and law that Hesse settles and his creative nature flourished. Having access to all those books and information grabbed Hesse’s attention and a passion was born and has influenced all his great classics. 

His best known works, all of which explore spirituality, self knowledge and the individuals quest for authenticity, include ‘Siddhartha’, ‘Steppenwolf’ and ‘The Glass Bead Game’ considered by many as one of Germans greatest contributors to literacy. Herman Hesse was awarded the Nobel peace price for literature in 1946.  

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Eleanor Roosevelt love quote

Eleanor Roosevelt 1884 – 1962

An American diplomat, civil rights activist, writer and political figure serving as First Lady of the United States during her husband Franklin D Roosevelt’s four terms as United States president. A passionate human rights activist that has her the nickname ‘the First Lady of the world’ first coined by president Harry S Truman.

She was born into the prestigious family of Livingston but lost both her parents at a young age. She was educated in both America and London England where it is said the headmistress had an enormous impact on her life. She married Franklin D Roosevelt in 1905 and after her husband had an affaire she became more independent wanting a public life of her own.

Sometimes outspoken always headstrong she redefined the role as First Lady campaigning strongly for civil rights of African and Asian Americans and the World War II refugees. Following he husbands death she would spend the next 17 years in public service becoming the United States very first delegate of the United Nations. Regarded by many as one of the most esteemed women of the world.

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Charles Dickens love quote

Charles Dickens 1812 – 1870

One of England’s greatest literary and social critics creating some of the most loved and well known fictional characters of our time. Born into a family of eight children it was his fathers brief time working as a clerk for the Navy Pay Office that enabled a few years private education for Charles, however Charles’s father was living well above his means and in 1824 was imprisoned in a debtors prison, at the age of twelve Charles was forced to leave school and find employment working a 10hr shift in a warehouse pasting labels, cementing an image that Dickens would recreate so well in future works.

Dickens literacy success began with the publication of the Pickwick Papers and within a few years he had risen to become an internationally celebrated author. For the most part Dickens novels that we know and love today started out as serial publications, mostly monthly, some weekly instalments that pioneered the serial publication that become the Victorian’s standard way of book publication. Because of the serial episode approach, Dickens was able to add flavours and feelings of the time and use the current politics for wit and satire to great effect, developing characters as he went based on his readers reactions. As such, his works become a fascinating insight into Victorian England. His great works of classics fiction include ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Oliver Twist’ and a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ to name but just a few. He is revered by fellow literary artists as one of the all time greats.

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Plato love quote

Plato 428 – 348BC

Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher and founder of the very first institution for higher learning in the western world. He set up and established the ‘Academy’ in Athens a school where Aristotle himself studied for twenty years. 

Plato is widely considered one of the forefathers of western philosophy, spirituality and even influencing western religions. His insights and contributions to our modern world cannot be underestimated, his realist solutions to universal problems now known as Platonism one of the many contributions to modern man.

Along with his teacher Socrates and his student Aristotle the three have set the course of human reasoning into overdrive and a golden Age of Enlightenment has followed. We still base some of our deep rooted ethics and philosophies in our lives from this period. 

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I would love to hear your personal opinion, I know that’s a little more work than you were expecting, honestly you would be doing a kind dead in your day and it will make me smile every time I get a ping to let me know you care.

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Everyone’s Mind Matters

Optimistic vs Pessimistic 

Optimistic Vs PessimisticOptimistic vs Pessimistic, spirituality, spiritual, happiness, anxiety, stress relief, mindfulness, meditation, wellbeing,

Optimistic vs Pessimistic infographic

What does Optimistic and Pessimistic mean ?

First of all what does optimism mean? Optimism or optimistic originates from the Latin word ‘Optimus’ or ‘Optimum’ meaning ‘best’ or best thing’. Optimism as quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary reads, ‘hopefulness and confidence about the future of success of something’ This is a nice definition of optimism, someone who is confident and hopeful of their future. Wikipedia quotes optimism as ‘an inclination to put the most favourable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome’ another great example to describe the word optimism. Pessimism or pessimistic on the other hand is the evil twin of optimism, as in every aspect of life there must always be an opposite and pessimism plays this role beautifully. The definition of pessimism is an equal opposite to that of optimism, as quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary ‘a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe the worst will happen’ a lovely description I’m sure you will agree. Wikipedia describes pessimism or pessimistic as ‘a mental attitude in which an undesirable outcome is anticipated from a given situation’. A beautifully written explanation.

Optimism quote Winston Churchill

What is an example of optimism ?

A simple example would be the difference in reaction to any given situation. Our problem is a simple break down on your way to work. A pessimistic way of thinking is usually accompanied with anything from anger to rage, frustration and an almost end of the world feel. An optimistic person usually finds the advantage out of the situation, doesn’t panic knows it can be sorted and usually has patience and calmness.

Which is better optimism or pessimism ?

There have been hundreds of scientific studies done over the last few decades and have proven without a shadow of a doubt that an optimistic attitude is far more beneficial to the neurochemicals that the brain produces, many of which are associated with anti ageing properties. These exact nurochemicals that optimistic people produce more of than pessimists are the helper T-cells (‘the conductors’ of the immune system) they direct and orchestrate your immune system amplifying their responses and are now believed to be more important in immunity against viral infection and even some types of cancers. Optimistic people have a tendency to show higher, natural killer cells in the body called ‘cytotoxic cells’ these aid and help the T-cells in our bodies to kill and eliminate the cancerous cells. A pessimistic attitude will dramatically reduce these numbers of beneficial nuerochemicals and in many case we find pessimistic people have larger numbers of damaging neurochemicals associated with stresses, anxiety and disease.

Optimism quote Helen Keller

A fascinating scientific insight that everyone should be made aware of, is the discovery that everything on this planet and our entire solar system as we know, from the smallest of creatures to a shooting star, when broken down to its basic building blocks everything is made up of the same light and energy. What’s more incredible is the fact that everywhere around us this light and energy exists, even in a vacuum this light and energy exists. This you may think is not such an eye opener. However when this knowledge was used in an experiment using a strand of the human DNA helix it left the scientific world speechless. The experiment used a strand of the human DNA helix and inserted it into a vacuum tube, the light and energy that is ever present started to line up and form around the DNA strand in replication. There was further amazement when the DNA strand was removed the scientists found that the energy stayed in exact replication as the strand of DNA it had just been in contact with. We truly do have an amazing impact on the world around us with our DNA having direct influence in the light and energy that is always ever present around us.

To further expand on this idea that we have incredible influence on the energy that’s every present, the United States Army did some increasingly experiments involving physically fit and healthy American soldiers. After taking samples of each subjects DNA, which was then placed in a Petra dish in another room, the soldiers were then subjected to all manner of visual stimuli to induce emotional responses, the results were astonishing. Every time the soldier had a response be it negative or positive one the DNA in the Petra dish, in a different room, would have the same and equal reaction. This experiment was reproduced again and again each time increasing the distance between subject and there DNA sample, each time the results were the same, and a distance of 50 miles was recorded with still a reaction form the DNA. Incredible as it may seem but we not only have effect on the light and energy around us but that effect depends on the era emotional state the mind is in. When you meet a friend you almost always exchange DNA with them in some way or another, a hand shake, hug or kiss will all pass DNA over to the other person. Now think of these two experiments and we should be able to tell what are friend is feeling by there DNA that is present on us. An interesting thought.

What does it mean to have optimism ?

As I’m sure you are well aware by now to having an optimistic outlook on life is not just scientifically proven but it is also highly beneficial to our minds and bodies. Being optimistic is seeing things in a less stressful manner, seeing the lighter side of life, enjoying the adventure rather than worrying what’s to come. Feeling happier and more content with life no matter where you are. And being more present in the moment. Wouldn’t you rather be optimistic?

Optimism quote Nicholas M Butler

Is optimism generic or learned ?

Optimism is a thought pattern that can be taught and learnt successfully, it may be true that they’re are some people born with a more optimistic outlook on life, these guys just have a head start. Optimism can be taught and learnt successfully, just like any other thought pattern, repetition, patience and kindness to yourself go a long way. The good news is that optimism can be implemented into your life almost instantly, the problem usually arises that we forget to implement the optimistic outlook we so promised ourselves. The most important thing to remember is that when something goes wrong or is out of our control, instead of just reacting on auto pilot, try to notice yourself in the situation and choose to think of something more optimistic and positive. Sounds easy? Right? I promise you it really is that easy, however we have all been conditioned into doing things automatically and don’t even notice how we have reacted to any given situation. And this is why it can seem a little difficult to begin with. When I was a Buddhist monk in rural Thailand we sometimes used to ride into town in the back of an open top Land Rover with those bars for a canvas roof. Every bump one of the monks would bang his head on one of those metal bars, not once did I hear a scream of pain or abusive language, every time it happened the monk would burst out laughing. Of course I thought it was strange, until I started to change my mindset and slowly I also found I could laugh at adversity, it even feels good.

I’m sure you are in complete agreement by now, that an optimistic way of life far out ways that of a pessimistic one. The question is how do you shift your unconscious reactions from being pessimistic into optimism? Techniques such as mindfulness and meditation help incredible reduce anxiety, pessimistic attitudes, depression and past traumas reshaping the very way you react to situations. Exercises designed to relieve emotional strain and anxiety will also help develop an inner optimistic quality.

Over the course of the next few weeks the team at 4enlightenment will be putting together some practical exercises to help challenge different mindsets and change people’s automatic response systems. We hope that you will join us as we progress this website into a social platform full of helpful, practical information and advice.

If you can’t wait, then why not try our Seven Wonders of Life exercise, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and bring optimism into your day immediately.

SEVEN WONDERS OF LIFE

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