People often assume that the main problem of addiction comes down to an addict's lack of willpower or commitment. Although it may appear that way from the outside looking in, I would suggest the complete opposite is true. I say this because the addicts I've met in recovery are some of the most tenacious, resilient, and creative people on the planet.
Everyone deserves to have a day to feel special. Luxury can be associated with expensive outings, taste and experiences; however it can also be inspired by a sense of self worth and the way people make us feel. A life of luxury may seem out of your reach; but money isn't the only way to make you feel like you are worth thousands.
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I sat down this morning to write out the top 20 things I have learned in my life so far, but after writing down four items, I started to cry deep, intense tears. I released the emotion and it felt amazing. Writing this blog reminded me of the pain and suffering I had endured to awaken to this wisdom. This is my gift to you. Here are my top 20 tips for living a better life.
Those words secretly worked magic on me. As a disabled person, I had an extra swing in my waist that never bothered me. The joy in my feet was something far more powerful than anyone could understand. The flash in my teeth, were vicious to those that fed me negativity, and the same flash was a brilliant smile that won the hearts of those that I cared about.
In the early 2000s I started to read about the Dalai Lama. It was a revelation to view the world through the eyes of compassion. Venturing to the grocery store, driving in traffic, all became a practice of kindness. Then after I became comfortable with the concepts of Buddhism. I embarked on yoga. This extended my mindfulness. Now I continue to bring these concepts together and combine them with visualization.
"You'll never amount to anything. You'll never be much. You're a problem child." So he was told. And I had all but forgotten when she reminded me yet again, as we were talking just the other day, about the cruelty of words and how shattering they can be when ill-spoken. And he'll never forget those words.
Life may not begin at 40, but it's an excellent time to consider a second (or third, or fourth) act. Is there something you've always wanted to do? Something you were scared to try, because you'd be devastated if you failed? Take a deep breath and go for it. Trust me: it's way more satisfying than buying a convertible.
Since I read Mandela's book, Long Walk to Freedom, in Iran's Evin prison in 2000, I felt stronger and more committed to my activism work. He gave me hope and power to fight against the Iranian dictatorship. What's even more amazing is that every one of my cell mates were reading his book as well. I'll never forget what his words gave me.
At the Wisdom 2.0 Business conference, I experienced this raw honesty over and over. It was truly moving. At one point, there were over 200 diverse people, coming from various backgrounds, chanting OM together then revering the silence that came after. It wasn't our titles or egos or the performance of our last quarter that brought us together.
I'd gathered from our five-minute conversation that Cary barely kept up with the Joneses, supporting his wife and young son with income from occasional film-editing jobs. I tasted the bitterness that coated his words, felt the chill of his failure seep into my bones. He had moved his family to Los Angeles in order to make it big in the movie biz. Around him, he saw people climbing the ladder of success, but he could not budge.