How To Find Your Center Through Breath

Whether we are thinking about it or not, we take refuge in our breath. It is the one stable solid ground we can depend on no matter what for as long as we are alive. Regardless of our internal processes, thoughts, emotions, perceptions, breath keeps us going. Whenever we feel stressed, scattered with worry, anxious or simply get carried away in the busyness of our lives, breath is the one thing that we can return to collect and anchor our mind.

Feel the flow of air coming in and going out of the nose. Natural, light, calm and peaceful. At any time we feel the need to center ourselves, whether at work, home, at the grocery store, we can return to this peaceful source of life.

If it helps, you may recite,

“Breathing in I know that I am breathing in.

Breathing out I know that I am breathing out.”

Feeling the breath as it actually is, without controlling or forcing to behave a certain way, we can simply watch the breath going in and out of the nose. Conscious breathing is the key to uniting body and mind and bringing the energy of mindfulness into each moment of our life.

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{Inspired by the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh}

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The Secret Of Luck – How to bring fortune in to your life explained in 4 steps

These days, wherever I am, I wake up wanting to sit in silence. If at home, I would make eggs, a packet of Quaker oats and a cup of coffee, only to sit on the couch while the coffee gets cold.

The documentary I watched on Netflix last night still seemed to be playing on mind, making it difficult to shut down the mind as I would usually during my morning routine. It was about venture capital and how companies like Google, Apple, Atari and Cisco found the day of light with the help of venture capitalists.

While some of these companies attracted their fortune right away, the others had long periods of struggle with no one interested in their product. Regardless of the hard work they put in, or how innovative, ground breaking and futuristic their ideas were, they simply couldn’t take off. However, when the right time came, they revolutionized the industry and introduced brand new technology to the world.

I couldn’t but help wonder about the role luck plays in our lives. So, instead of sitting in meditation this morning, I sit down to write this article about luck and how to attract luck.

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Do you ever think how lucky you are? Or how to live a lucky life?

Before coming to these questions, first of all we have to understand what life is. Life is a gift, an invaluable gift, we have received from nature. In its pure quality life is formless which means it has no shape or color. It is like a lump of clay, which we can mold into whatever image we want. You are different from me because of the shape you have given to your life. Life is like water.

Looking around the people, we see different shapes of life they have given to themselves, some pleasant, some unpleasant. Some are beautiful and some are ugly. Unfortunately many people even don’t know this basic fact. They have allowed the circumstances to shape their lives. Accordingly, an individual is the result of what have happened to him. Say I happened to go to a bad school, in a bad neighborhood. Therefore, throughout life I remain as a failure in education. I happened to have born in to a poor family. Therefore I am also poor and have no opportunity. This means to live as a victim of circumstances.

I have heard the saying: Life is a lemon. Make sweet lemonade out of it. It is up to me to shape my life as I want, rather than allowing the circumstances to shape me. I have to take the reign of life into my hand. I am the master of my life.

Luck or fortune is defined as chance looked upon as a power that decides or influences one’s success. However, fortune differs according to individual aspirations. Personally to me, fortune means occurrence of incidents that bring me happiness, joy, success, well being and resources. If good things keep on happening I call it fortune or luck.

Now we can come to the question: How to be fortunate in life? For this I suggest four steps: 

1) Expect good things happen to you. Visualize things you wish to happen.

2) Deliberately make a good thing happen to you however small it is. This action sets your fortune in motion.

3) Once a good thing happens enjoy it with your whole heart. Appreciate. Be grateful to life. This joy creates a positive life energy field within and around you which tends to repeat itself. Thus, you set the wheel of fortune in motion. Feel its power and keep its spirit burning like a flame of a lamp.

4) Look for good things to happen daily. Recognize them and appreciate with gratitude to life.

Thus the secret of being lucky is the positive energy field that you set in motion. Once set in motion it feeds back itself ever gaining more and more energy like a snow ball rolling down on a snowy mountain.

 

Share your thoughts. Do you believe in luck? Do you consider yourself a lucky person?  What makes you lucky or unlucky?

 

xo, 

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Let’s Get Accountable For Our Health

Hello there my lovelies! It is already time for my second blog post on ETC by Nori!

In my last post I unveiled a little something I learned during my soul searching years. “Contentment and joy lies in understanding your core values, striking a balance between ambition and spirituality, and continually working on mind, body, and psychological wellness.” As we go along, you will notice that this blog is all about creating holistic habits. The ones that lead to living life fully, with a joyful heart, and a playful spirit.

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So today, I want to dive in to the first step and the foundation of developing healthy habits. If you have a strong foundation, you know that you can build any structure. One that  you can rest assure will not fall apart later. So what is the first step towards building long lasting holistic habits?

Get accountable for your own health!

If you feel like you know this already, think again. How often do you lose motivation to exercise? How often do you give in to unhealthy cravings? How often do you chose mindless activity over personal and spiritual development? (you know Netflix is the biggest culprit here). I know I have been guilty of all of the above in the past. But since I answered some deeper questions, I have been on a roll with healthy movement, eating and mind exercises.

What questions to ask yourself, you ask?

Here’s a quick guide to take accountability of your health and kick start your holistic journey…

1.Define Healthy.
What is your definition of healthy. To me, being healthy means many things. It means that I am physically in good condition, with normal vitals. It means that I can run, lift, do yoga or whatever activity I feel like doing without being in pain or feeling physical or emotional frustration. Being healthy also means that I am not depressed, sad or stressed. It means that I am mentally and emotionally strong to see things in perspective, with an open mind and make right, effective decisions. To me, healthy means that I feel a sense of peace within and am conscious enough to deal with stressful situations without losing it.

Take a moment to think about what healthy means for you. Write it down. And feel free to change it as you go along. But have that as a point of reference at times when you feel lost or in a health rut.

 

2. What can you do to integrate your definition of healthy in to your life?
For me, this means staying active every day. Whether its yoga, running or strength training at the gym, I always do something active to get a good dose of endorphins and serotonin in my system. I also dedicate a whole hour every morning at least a few days a week to do my Buddhist chantings (pirith) and practice mindfulness meditation. Eating healthy has been a work in progress. But I renew my commitment every now and then and remind myself of the importance of balance.

What activities can you integrate in to your daily routine to maintain a healthy life? It could be walking 10 mins a day or running 5 miles. It could be meditation or journaling daily. Come up with a strategy that is easy to achieve and fun to keep at.

 

3. What are your reasons for not taking charge of your health and well being?

We all have them. Some of them are excuses but some are real reasons, or excuses in disguise. I personally have this idea in my head that no matter how hard I work, it takes so much more out of me compared to an average person to lose any weight because I have fat genes. Also, I am more likely to get heart disease, kidney diseas, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes because, guess what, everyone in my immediate family have all of the above. Sometimes, it demotivates me to workout at all. “No matter how hard to I work, I don’t see results.” At other times, I use the same reasons to motivate myself and get the work done.

So what are your reasons?  Is it lack of time, bad genetics, already deteriorated health or disability? Or is it a financial situation that doesn’t allow you to get to a gym? What ever your reason is, there is always a way! You can always find time. You don’t need money to get out of the house and go for a walk or run. While you can’t reverse your genes or a unfortunate health situation, you can still work to manage your health.  Write down your reasons and when they show up as excuses, crush them and show what you are made of.

 

4. Once you have a grasp of why living a healthy lifestyle is important to you and ways to get there, you are already well on your way to upgrading your life to a full on holistic life. If you need external motivation ask a friend to be your accountability buddy. Share your knowledge and inspire each other to set goals and crush them.

On a final note, don’t forget that healthy lifestyle is not a destination. It is a journey. A never ending journey. If you fail, simply re start and recommit. Enjoy it and keep at it until it becomes your second nature. And trust me, it will, eventually.

 

Tell me… Are you actively taking charge of your health? What are some tips and tools you can share with us? Or what are your reasons for not eating healthy and being active? What can you do to change them? Share your insights.  Let’s learn from each other.

 

Lots of love, xo

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Hello Blog World, I Am Here: An Introduction

Musically speaking, the 90’s were quite the years for me. Throughout childhood and straight in to adolescence, all I ever wanted to listen to was the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. Growing up alongside a budding DJ, I heard many other artists on our stereo system – the one that lived in the middle of the living room providing music to probably the entire neighborhood (that’s how loud it was.) However, the honest truth is that I barely understood the lyrics of any of the songs. My English was poor if not nonexistent. Yet, the universal language spoke to me. I mean, who could possibly be blind to the beautiful abs of Peter Andre and his Mysterious Girl when they came on TV.

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As crazy as it may, it was this kind of thing that made me want to move from the tropical paradise that is Sri Lanka to the snow and ice in New York. Thanks to my poor English skills at the time, little did I realize, the gorgeous boy was in fact singing about an exotic girl and her tropical scent. I was so blind I didn’t even see the beach and the water fall that was in the background.

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From the art of music to the art of cuisine, I was a complete “kalu sudda”, a white washed kid. For example, when the breakfast table  was made in the morning, with freshly made string hoppers, pol sambola, a dish made with scraped coconut and spices, with potato and fish curry on the side, I would make a face and say “this again?” and demand for scrambled eggs and sausages.

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It took three years in the United States, an overly expensive education and a couple more years walking on the streets of Manhattan to truly get over my infatuation with the western world. Don’t get me wrong, I am still in love with the city that Sinatra so elegantly sang of. However, I finally managed to fall in love with the great tropics, the mysteries of the Far East and my own culture that is filled with so many great ancient secrets. I suppose distance surely does make the heart grow fonder.

What’s more, after journeying back and forth between the worlds of Western and Eastern cultures, with the intentions of ambition and soul searching (ambition in New York and uncovering meditation secrets in Sri Lanka), I realized that true inner peace is unrelated and independent of physical locations. Instead, contentment and joy lies in understanding your core values, striking a balance between ambition and spirituality, and continually working on mind, body, and psychological wellness.

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So today, with this first post on a brand new blog, ETC by Nori, I want to introduce myself to you and the blogosphere.  Call me Nori, a woman from Sri Lanka who came to the United States as a teenager to attend college and reach the highest of the highs in New York City. But decided to paddle the other direction by renouncing worldly materials and went back home to meditate and understand the universal truth. The intention was enlightenment. Quite frankly, I don’t know what I attained at the end of my years in Sri Lanka.  What I did understand is that there is no one way to achieve bliss. And it is always an ongoing journey. One that requires consistently working on personal qualities, and holistic habits.

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This blog is dedicated just for that. To inspire and cultivate holistic habits that leads you to living life fully, with a joyful heart and a playful spirit. Whether you are a hustler or a soul searcher, let this be your new destination to find tips, tools and inspiration to a true holistic, happy life. Well, it is my only hope that I can bring to you posts filled with love, and also fun. I hope ETC by Nori will be able to be a part of your life surrounded with beauty, serenity and peace…

As a final note, since it is what I began with, and in true spirit of reminiscing in the 90’s music, here’s some beautiful scenery and some abs for you…

 

With love, 

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PS: Don’t leave me hanging! Introductions are more fun when there is two-way communication. Please leave a comment to say hi!  – xo