God

100 Blog Posts: 100 Reflections to Self Respect

100

I was always taught that whenever I stayed over at a friend’s house, I was to ensure I respected my hosts and to leave their home having left a positive impact. After hitting this milestone of 100 blog posts, I finally understood what this lesson instilled in me. It was a lesson of self-respect.

We never grew up with much, well compared to my elder siblings I probably had a lot more, but we never had the material luxuries our friends or cousins had. It annoyed me and I used to resent my parents for always helping other people with their needs, because I felt we never really had the means to actually help others.

“I mean come on mum and dad, what’s the point in helping others if we don’t have a nice Benz to roll around in.” Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it, it’s kind of my point. It’s this cancerous way of thinking that’s causing us to disrespect the world we live in, and leaving a thoughtless trail of negativity for others to adopt. We all do it without even realizing it, we want without purpose and desire without cause. Many of us just aim to obtain the best lifestyle possible, never thinking about building the best life possible.

We can easily and casually overlook self-respect and our duty to pay it forward, so long as we have enough shiny distractions. I reckon it’s a reason why there is so much injustice and inequality in the world. It's why many of us fail to reach true and lasting fulfillment, we have no idea why we want the things we want, we're simply encouraged to want them.

I think about the struggles people go through. No doubt, life is difficult. I mean on top of keeping a roof over our heads and food on our tables, we ALL want freedom, we ALL want more bliss, and we ALL want to live in a more positive, more equal and more just world. So why is it so difficult to help each other out?

100 reflections later and I’ve learnt more about myself and life as I know it. I stress the importance of living by your own identity because it causes you to face and overcome your demons, and enables you to share your life with the world you live in. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more honest you can be and the more positive you become.  You’ll learn to understand why you want the things you want and even alter those desires when you realize what it is your truly in search of.

It took me quite a while to completely let go of any agendas that held me back from being myself completely. The more I held onto the idea of fitting in, I filled my life with empty fulfillment. When I broke free from that, I began identifying how much was enough to feel safe and secure. Once I helped myself, I was able to help others and pay it forward.

Over two years ago I started The Lion’s Life. It started out as a way to develop an online profile so that I could say in an interview “I have a blog.” 100 reflections later, I’m turning down promotions and certain job offers because the money no longer motivates me. The life that I want to build does.

“I love this, it's an inspiration to all!!! Retweeting this!!!”

The day I received my first positive comment was from a supportive friend. I felt something powerful that I had never felt before, it was genuine self-respect. I had inspired someone to do something positive and I felt more rewarded than any possession I had earned.

I stuck to it and then these comments followed:

“We love this blog! …Be Yourself… Everyone Else Is Taken”

 “Thank you, through selfless sharing of ideas, thoughts and experiences that will make our world a better place to live.“

Great post for a week I was feeling a little gloomy! Thanks for the inadvertent boost.”

“What a blog! Thank you for sharing. This is something I definitely needed to read :)”

Love this! I found the same thing, magical things happen when you have the confidence to pursue your dreams!”

Beautiful! Thank you for writing this and sharing.”

So often matters are centric to awareness. Your words are grounding and worthy of reading/heeding.”

When the blog transitioned into a vice that offered support and inspiration to others, I learned that respecting the world we live in (this includes the people in it) and ensuring that we impact it positively, is more important than working to climb any sort of social ladder on my own. They say misery needs company, well the same is true for happiness.

Mum and dad must have known all of this for years, despite anything they went through financially, mum’s smile and heart is still contagious, and dad’s soul still beams bright and full of energy. The lesson they taught me (the one I mentioned at the beginning of this post) is much bigger than I initially thought.

What if every person just aimed to live on this planet, respecting it and leaving a positive impact as they depart.

Just think if we all just graced every single day with optimism, hope and helped each other out. We wouldn’t even need to debate if God exists or not, because God would no longer matter.

I guess the message in my 100th blog post is as follows:

Stay humble and remain honest as you help yourself, help another and help the world.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

A Message to My Peers: Fitting In Is A Scam

Fitting in

Recently I’ve been researching Sikhism, a religion I was born into but never really adopted. The lines between religion and culture were always blurred. Making the entire idea seem like one big contradiction.

My mother’s been trying to teach me the true meaning of what it means to be Sikh for years. Until now I was always too stubborn to listen. However, I’m finding stories of defending for what’s right, equality and breaking free from oppression inspiring, because of the much-needed change in the world we live in today.

The more I learned, her teachings didn’t feel religious. It felt more like a common sense guide on life and humanity.

I’m understanding more than ever, the requirement for equality, serving and contributing to society, awareness and the balance of body and mind. I know it sounds a bit hippie-ish, but when you filter out the crap messages that dominate our society, you realise how many of us are led away from our very own fulfilment. You realise how many people are frustrated with the way of the world right now, and how we contribute to it.

Reflection: A Quarter of a Century

February, 2013. I was approaching my 25th Birthday. Life was high and love came in abundance. I was on the verge of completing many goals I had set to achieve at this age.

As deadlines loomed, I was also closer to figuring out my passions. I was employed and earning money to live comfortably within my means, and I had secured my permanent residency abroad. For the first time, I felt like I was on track with a life I had set out to live.

However, I felt like I was on the verge of losing control over it.

After turning 25, it seemed the pressure was on to settle down and to start taking “life seriously.” To find a career and begin to live life just as the world expected me too. Ideologies became the framework for my life and all of a sudden everyone around me seemed to make my love life and my career a point of discussion.

It was all too overwhelming, it was like society was prepping me for adulthood. An adult life I never envisioned as a child.

Where I thought I’d gain control, the world wanted me to change and navigate the rest of my life for me. Before harnessing that control for myself, I shifted control and guidance away from my parents and almost handed it over to an unfulfilled, judgmental and overbearing society.

There I was, 25 years old, trying to fit into a world crippling under prejudice and inequality: socially, economically, culturally and politically.

As my innocence wore off I felt the colour of my skin illuminated. My gender had influence in society, my social status; from where I lived to how much I earned seemed to influence many outcomes too. My age, my personality, my aspirations, my hobbies and interests…It seemed that the world would pick apart my identity piece by piece. Until I became insecure enough and conformed to social norms, in order to “succeed” in an unequal world.

Behind curtain #1

It’s ironic; adulthood. I spent my younger years being told to dream big. That I can be anything I wanted to be. Believing it will happen one day if I worked hard enough and remained dedicated. Furthermore, I was taught how to be good and to act responsibly among society. Simply put, I was taught to be something and to discover my passions until I found fulfillment in life.

Sounds unrealistic right? Well that’s my point, I began believing that to.

I almost moulded myself into a society that shuns you for being different and dismisses you for having the guts to dream. Pretty much making you feel like an outsider for going against social norm. I realised that my decisions at this point in time we’re crucial to my well-being.

Do I work towards building a life of my own choosing? To realize my passions and figure out what I’m all about. Where fulfillment is mine to discover.

Or

Do I follow a template that will grant me access to an example/idea of fulfillment?

Either way I’ll be lead down to success, how much time and effort required will significantly differ, but which one would be worth it in the long run?

Regaining control

Over the last couple of years, I took my blogging and writing seriously and decided not to give up on my newly discovered passions. I decided that I want my own life.

As tough as it was going against the grain of society, I decided to stop taking promotions in a job I wasn’t comfortable going to. I decided to stop getting into relationships that offered nothing but physical affection or meaningless companionship. I wanted to work for myself and do something I enjoyed. I simply didn’t want to waste my life nor fill it with anything that I wasn’t fulfilled by.

However it does get difficult and sometimes, I get irritated because of the time it takes. I sometimes think about giving up writing altogether. Giving it all up in fact, coaching others, my book and turning my back on the aspirations of positively impacting society.

As I have the skills to earn more money in meaningless jobs available to me, I could have it much easier.

Then I remember, I only turned 25 in February 2013. The journey from then to now has been phenomenal. Even though I haven’t earned a penny yet from my writing, I’ve learned so much about the world and about life. By simply not adhering to societal pressure, I’ve grown immensely in confidence and in self-belief.

In the unlikely situation that all odds are truly against me and I don’t manage to fulfill my aspirations in this lifetime. Then my words will remain until they inspire someone who will. If I get hit by a car on my way out of this coffee shop, or if like my father, I develop an illness that rapidly prepares me for the inevitable. My life won’t have been lived in vain.

As I live or when I die, what lessons will my nieces and nephews learn from me? What will my peers appreciate about me? But most importantly, what would I have done in my life, or tried to do in my life that I was truly proud of and fulfilled by.

To gain fulfillment is to take back control

If you think of hate, judgement, fear and negativity, these problematic frustrations stem from a lack of fulfilment. Frustrations build up overtime, because we systematically close the doors on our natural motivations, to reach self-actualization. We keep that door firmly shut and perpetuate this broken society, because it’s easier to progress that way in this unequal world. To gain fulfillment is to take back control.  Regain control and you’ll no longer fear the world.

And for the first time in my life, I’m taking some lessons from my religion. Don’t get me wrong I still don’t believe in a deity judging us from above and you won’t catch me rocking a turban. Nor will you ever find me preaching any holy manuscript either.

I’m writing my own life’s story with some help from some quality teachings (that’s the biggest lesson we can all take from religion). I’m progressing in life by understanding what makes sense and disregarding anything outdated, pointless and defective.

F.Y.I. If anyone is searching for a God, then look within yourselves for any voice of hope, which tells you to do something with your life. Don’t sit there and pray or hope for a miracle. Take your life in your own hands and awaken your inner God.

Whether I’m facing an ounce of doubt or a crumb of judgment I’ll look back on the words that fill these pages. I’m glad I chose to discover my own purpose, an early adopter of a better world and a chance at true fulfillment.

Don’t blind yourself to what you truly want in life. F*** what anyone else thinks about you or your aspirations. Have the guts to go out into the world and do your own thing. Take a chance on yourself, don’t let society (or religion for that matter) dictate your actions. Don’t believe everything you’re told – you’re smarter than that, embrace research. Take from them the lessons you require but ultimately navigate your own path and live your own life. Lastly, make your life one to be lived.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

5 Questions I Asked Someone That Let Religion Hold Them Back...I'd write the 5th question on the front cover of all religious texts.

You'll be judged regardless of which path you choose, the best way to ease the pressure is to take a page from your beliefs and take a page from your dreams and allow them to guide one another. Religion is a big part of society and I know some of my followers, as well as some very close friends of mine that cannot seem to shake off certain religious teachings that hold them back from what they truly want from life.

My motivation for this topic came from an email I received today, I was presented with the following question:

"...I love your blog, however how am I supposed to live my life the way I want to, if my religion beliefs suggest that everything I do is wrong?" - Anonymous

I spent so much time constructing my response to this email, I felt I'd share it publicly because I think it may help others that also struggle with this issue. I know it's not my typical post but the essence is definitely there.

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your email and your support. Religion is such a tough topic and having been brought up within a culture centered around religion, I can understand it's burden. I have always refrained from writing about religion and its impact on my life, but your email inspired me to go for it.

I believe all anyone should truly learn from religion is how to be a good person, both to yourself and to others. I've read texts by different religions and despite the obvious differences the common theme is still centered around how to be good. I think that's how I've always saw religion, I'll live my life exactly how I choose, but I'll always try to be good.

People are very quick to dismiss religion and on the other hand people are very quick to disagree with fact. However there are things that religion has probably taught you that you can't learn in a classroom and things you learn in a classroom that dismiss things within your religion. For instance; I don't think I have ever had a lesson in my school that taught me about equality like my religious teachings as a child definitely did.

I'm not devoted and there are a lot of religious teachings that I disagree with, but I can't deny the positive impacts it has made on society either. I used to believe for the longest time that religion had nothing to offer as Science has advanced our understanding about the world and because religious extremists have completely blurred perception. Yet I look at Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama  for example and other amazing people, that have done wonderful things because of their devotion. I feel the issues you face with religion lie within the final question I'll ask you.

Here's 5 questions you should think about that may help your perspective.

1.       Who or what are you living your life for?

Help yourself before helping others is a lesson I've been taught numerous times. It sounds selfish but it's far from it. If I gave advice to help other people before figuring out my own goals first, it would put me in a compromising position. How would I be able to inspire others to aim for their dreams if I wasn't aiming for mine?

Take a look at major philanthropists, the majority of them worked on their own lives and dreams, putting their own needs first before having any positive impact on anyone else's. Until you're living a satisfied and fulfilled life, you're not going to be much help to any cause.

People will judge you regardless of which path you choose, the best way to ease the pressure is to take a page from your beliefs and take a page from your dreams and allow them to guide one another.

2.       "God-fearing" Was it God's intention to have people fear him/her?

No one should live life with fear, it's unfair.

I put this question to a Catholic friend of mine after watching a documentary called 'Baby Bible Bashers' the debate got a little heated but it's a valid question. I'm pretty sure if there is a God out there his/her intention is not to have you fear him/her. It's incredibly stupid for someone to embrace somebody they fear, they'll forever struggle with controlling their own lives. (I came across this thought when reading about a woman who was getting battered by her husband - she used the term fear)

I feel God is how people characterize hope. Look to your hopes and see how you feel compared turning to your fears and uncertainties. Your hopes will carry you forward your fears will hold you back.

3.       Does your religion inspire you to do something or encourage you to do something?

Being inspired to act comes from the heart, being encouraged to act comes from the mind. Dwell on that for a moment and evaluate your teachings.

4.       If there is an afterlife, can you honestly tell others waiting for you on the other side that you lived a fulfilled life?

What impact did you have on the world? We're you happy? We're you free? Did you make use of free will and learn lessons from your mistakes?

I don't believe in an afterlife but I always think of the stories and teachings I would pass onto my future kids one day and most of them would come from my own experiences. I won't deny that I've learned a lot from my religion but it doesn't control my life, it assists it.

 5.       How much of your religion is blurred by outdated cultural practices?

This question I can relate to 100%. For example: as a man, my culture suggests women are inferior but it was religion that taught me men and women are equal. I'm Sikh and when I date a girl that doesn't belong to my caste, religion or even race it's my culture that tends to have a problem with it, never my religion.

You know that saying "only God can judge me" and remember what I said earlier on how I reckon God represents your hope. Put the two together and you'll realize who really is in charge of your life. It's you all the way!

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach