Posts Tagged ‘obligations’

I have been blogging here for over 10 years now and have decided to publish some material I still believe in from those days until the end of February in celebration.


As those who follow me very well know, I love to talk about focus, so here is one of my favourite posts about the importance of focus to be able to accomplish anything we set our mind to:



December 18, 2007 by Enviroart

Today, as we approach Christmas, I have to push myself to get into the Christmas spirit. No more young enthusiastic children bouncing around me asking if they are going to get their wishes from Santa. No more of their laughter and smiles, their jumping around asking how many more days, opening their chocolate calendar everyday counting the nights between now and the Big Day.


We are literally buried in snow this year. Unlike previous years, we have had a large amount of snow in 2 storms within the last 10 days and it is beautiful outside: White everywhere, blue sky, the sun shining, at least it was yesterday. Everything looks pure and clean but… wait a minute isn’t it what people dream about? A white Christmas? What’s the problem then? Our focus is the problem.


It is sometimes difficult to look around us and appreciate what our eyes can capture. Beauty, nature, the pleasure, the privilege I should say of breathing fresh air. We are so lucky here to have clean water and relatively clean air. Why is it so difficult sometimes to see and appreciate it? All these worries we carry in our head, all these aches and pains we notice in our body? What about what doesn’t hurt? Why don’t we notice this?


I digress but it is important for me this morning to look at what is not wrong instead of what is wrong and needs to be fixed. How many of us spend our lives looking at what is wrong and wanting to fix it? Not that this is wrong since we need people to fix things, right? But we also need balance and you cannot spend your life focusing on what is wrong in your life, your relatives’ and friends’ lives, the world. And in order to make things better, we must find a balance and find a way to feel somewhat at peace and happy.


The best way to do this is to take a quick inventory of what is not wrong. Not even necessarily what is right. Focus is everything. There are a lot of things that are NOT wrong in your life. Just the fact that you can breathe without any help, that you can feel your breath enter your lungs and come out, feeding your body with oxygen, this tells you that you are alive and that everything is possible. There is pollution, there is unrest and wars, there are conflicts but there is also beauty, there is nature there is kindness all around us. Focus is everything.


In the end, you are responsible only to yourself and your children of course if they are still young and dependent. After all you did choose to bring them into the world and you do have a responsibility to give them the proper tools to become their own persons. But other than that, you are not responsible for anybody else really. This is hard to comprehend and harder still to apply. We have husbands, wives, friends, families that we all feel need us to be a certain way, to act like expected to be what they think we are. This is very draining at the end.


Torn between guilty feelings, expectations, obligations, we sometimes created ourselves. But in the end, would our acting any different really change anything in these people’s lives? They would certainly get over it if we did not act according to their expectations. But the biggest disappointment is when we disappoint ourselves because of our own need to be perfect or to fulfill someone’s image of ourselves that often does not correspond to reality.


Focus is everything and Mahatma Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony”. Look deep inside, reach in and find one thing to do today that is really in harmony with your true self. Make a list of what is not wrong with your life.


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Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair


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Extreme self-care: Commit to it. When you take care of your body and your mind, you get into a state of Optimum output, of Optimum living. This is where you want to be for several reasons. If you want to accomplish something rapidly and efficiently, if you want to feel good about yourself, if you are seeking happiness, it all starts with a healthy body and a healthy mind. The two main qualities or conditions you need to succeed in every situation, whether business, relationships, everyday life, creatively or anything else are to be relaxed and focused, not frenzied and busy without focus. This would become a major loss of energy. So we are back to focus while looking at it from a different angle (see Dec 18, 2007 entry). How do we become relaxed and focused? By deciding to fuel our body with nutritious food and integrating activities in our lives that will keep us in a state of creativity and excitement. By turning our backs on junk food and the adrenaline fix. By turning the urgency off and living according to our own standards, not according to other people’s demands and their priorities, by taking care of all of ourselves, not just the part we show to the world. 

It is always difficult, especially for women to make a serious commitment to themselves. So many demands, husband, boyfriend, children, parents, work, the house, you name it. But my friend has been talking about a real “catch phrase” that came to her , since December: “I choose myself” (Thank you Diane). Isn’t it wonderful? Is there anything harder to do? Problem is: Where do you draw the line? We always feel guilty when we don’t meet our family’s or friend’s or boss’ expectations. But who do we try to meet these expectations for anyway? And more importantly: Whose life is it anyway? If you start with the idea that it is your life… shouldn’t it be, after all? Then start living for yourself. There are so many occasions to do something for yourself. A good way I found is to enter “dates” in your agenda for things you like to do and keep these dates no matter what. If you don’t, you always feel pulled somewhere or other, obligated, taken… Certainly there are some obligations that must be met, there are some priorities. But as we get older, these should be shifted to obligations we choose because we enjoy them. It is important to contribute to society in some way or other but it is not necessary to have others choose for us how to contribute or to add to the universe. And to be the best person you can be to make the best contribution you can, you have to take care of yourself first and foremost. Each adult is responsible for their own life. 

Frankly, if it does not feel right for you, if it doesn’t feel exciting, just don’t do it. You have the power to refuse. You have the power to do anything within the law that you choose to do. Who are the people around you that judge you or decide that this is wrong?  People that don’t accept the fact that you are taking charge of your life fall in a few categories:

1)     Some will feel like you are taking something away from them (they are used to getting a yes to whatever they ask and they don’t like getting a no, but you are not actually taking anything from them). They might throw a tantrum but this will be temporary and they’ll get over it. They will start respecting you for setting up limits and choosing your own priorities.

2)     Some people will be jealous: for some reason or other, these people cannot take charge of their own lives so it becomes easy to criticize someone who can.

3)     A lot of people exist and survive from day to day without living. It is difficult to face these people when we try to change our lives and really start living. You can feel the scorn, you can feel how they are just waiting around the corner to see you trip.  

No matter. Start by reaching down inside yourself and find one thing, just one you thing you enjoy doing. This is very difficult at the beginning because often, we don’t even know what we like doing. It is by trying different things that we discover what we like and then, we find what we love. Ultimately, you have to love and respect yourself before you can truly live and love others around you. Take care of yourself. Protect your inner joy, protect your integrity, find that inner light, that inner fire and fan it. It is there, inside of you. It is only waiting for a sign from you that you are ready to receive its warmth.

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