One Apple A Day #451 – take it easy

A few days ago, a friend reminded me that if we compress the 4.6 billion years of Earth history into a single year, Homo erectus will show up only one before the New Year’s Eve party. Civilisation would begin only 5 minutes before the countdown. Jesus would join the party about 1 minute and 17 seconds before midnight, but a nanosecond later it would be already gone. Americans would sign the Declaration of Independence 3 seconds within the countdown.

Then yesterday, I had a fascinating conversation about infinity that made me think that no matter how much you take away from something if that something is infinite it will keep being infinite. So any finite number, compare to infinity is not distinguishable from zero.

Anytime I’m reminded of the infinity of the universe and time; it’s as if a weight is removed from my shoulders. Whatever we do in the present moment, it’s nothing compared to the infinity of the universe.

So, why are we so stressed?

One Apple A Day #449 – One love

“Our longing for love comes from the intuition of our shared being.” — Rupert Spira

What is the shape of love?
What is its form?
What objective qualities does it have?

Because, if we want to hold or own something, then that thing must have a form in time or space, some objective or material qualities.
Only when something can be objectively defined, we can perceive it as a separate entity. Something separated from ourselves and everything else. Something that we can observe.

But love?
Love has no shape.
Love is transparent and non-objective.
Love is formless.

How can you observe it? How can recognise it as different from something else? How can you say what it yours and what not?

So, if love is formless, then it can’t be divided into pieces.
The love I experience is the same love you experience.
Our experiences are different, but love is the same.
This is why our mind can not grasp it.
Our thoughts are objective and limited.
Words are limited.
So, we ask artists to describe something that cannot be explained but only felt.

We all are immersed in the same love.
But sometimes, layers or resistances and obstacles keep us away from feeling it.
The quest for love is not a journey to something.
It’s not about doing something.
It’s about sinking in our own being.

“The experience of love is precisely that experience, the experience of our shared being.” — Rupert Spira

One Apple A Day #447 – Of wisdom and soul

Every morning I do this small ritual using the Be The Change cards.
I sit down with my eyes closed, and I shuffle the cards.
The intent for this ritual changes every day; an inspiration for my writing, a new perspective about something that it’s stuck in mind, or just an idea to kick off the day meaningfully. Then I pick a card, and I let it sink in my awareness for a few seconds.

This morning I went through my ritual as usual with the intent to find inspiration for this post.

But I while I was observing the card that I picked — Deepening into own wisdom — I realised that I chose two cards. There was another one stuck behind.

As you can see in the picture above, the second card has the word “Soul”.

The invitation from the cards is so vivid and compelling that I don’t think there is much I can add.

More and more in the last months, I’m becoming aware that my path to wisdom is taking me beyond my mind, my knowledge or my understanding.
It is a journey of the soul and into the soul.

“It’s the heart that knows the path. The mind is just there to organise the steps.” — Jeff Brown

One Apple A Day #445 – Step aside

This morning I decided to surrender to the Be The Change cards fully.

Usually, when I sit down to write the apple of day, I already have some running in my head. I still pick a card most of the time. It helps me spark my writing in the direction of what I want to share.

But this morning I woke up only with some vague thoughts.

So, when I set up for the writing practice, I decided to let the cards determine the topic. And they did. A card dropped out of the deck when I started shuffling.

I had to sit in silence for a good minute to let this invitation to sink in.

“Step aside & make space for others.”

What does it mean for me to step aside? Is it about work? Or my relationships? Who are the others I can make space for?

One of my guiding principles is “kindness”. I firmly believe in the power of being kind.

Today, this card made me realise a sort of a paradox.

My way of being kind has always been to help and support others.  I am kind to others, and they are the objects of my kindness.

But that put me right in the middle of the stage.

What if being kind is not about me giving help or support, but it’s about me stepping aside and making space for them?

So they can help themselves.

So they are the protagonists of their stories.

Like this card today.

One Apple A Day #438 – Authentic

According to the dictionary, something authentic is “something of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.”

I feel authentic anytime my words, and my actions originate from who I am.
Even when I make mistakes.
Even when words don’t come out easily.
Because being authentic means being human.
And accept that I am perfect in my imperfection.

One Apple A Day #432 – With a little help from the universe

In his book Do the Work, Steven Pressfield says that “The universe is not indifferent. It is actively hostile.” He called this hostility Resistance but he also explains that we can transform this Resistance into Assistance if we act.

My experience is that the universe is not a positive or negative force in itself. The real resistance is within us.
The universe just follows our action. It doesn’t drive them.

If you sit waiting for things to happen, the universe will sit over you.
It will squash you down with its infinite weight. Like the force of gravity, it creates a resistance making hard for you to stand up and move.
After a while, your muscles will shrink, your energy will fade and you will crumble.

But when you take action and you move, then the universe becomes an amplifier. Like a wind blowing on your tail. Step by step the force of the universe compounds and grows until you get momentum and you become unstoppable.

If you want abundance in your life, don’t sit waiting for the universe to serve it to you. Stand up and begin something. Act toward your dreams and draw the force of the universe on your side.

“Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute:
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Only engage and then the mind grows heated;
Begin and then the work will be completed.”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One Apple A Day #431 – Being present amidst change

Have you already wrote your new year resolutions?

What do you want to achieve next year?  Do you have goals or aspirations? Are there new things you want to get or old ones to leave behind?

When I reviewed my last twelve months, I realised that most of the things that happened were unexpected. They weren’t in my plan for the year.

In hindsight, I wouldn’t even be able to think about some of them one year ago. They were entirely outside of my awareness.

This realisation left me with a big question; if everything changes in life, is it worth it to plan my next months?

General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable“.

You should look at planning not as a way to draw a clear and detailed path forward but as a way to gain awareness about where you are, where you want to go, and why you want to go there.

About who you are and who you want to grow into.

Everything will change, you can be sure about that.  So, don’t be attached to your plan but anchor yourself to who you are and your values. This way you’ll be able to present and thrive amidst change.

Review your 2018

Here we are, almost at the end of 2018.

A few days more and also this year will be part of the past.

For some of us, these days are also an opportunity to slow down, look back, review the past year and maybe set a few goals for the new one. Wins and losses, successes and failures, the things we started and the things we closed, the people we met and the ones we lost.

How did you assess your 2018?

And how did you plan the new one?

I used to do a performance-oriented review. I measured the finishing year through the filter of the goals and intentions set 12 months before. And then I plan out some SMART goals for the next 12 months.

To be honest, it hasn’t always worked well. If you read some of my past articles, you probably already know that I’m not very good with goals.

So, this year I decided to do things differently. I decided to look at the past through the lenses of the future, and look at the future through the lenses of the past.

I’ve challenged myself to review 2018 as if the whole year was the preparation for the next one. Everything I’ve done, everything that happened, all my experiences were meant to set me up for the best year ever; the incoming 2019.

With this mindset, I shifted the focus from goals and performances to my learnings and my evolution as a human being. And it makes me feel a lot more positive about the next year. Now I have more clarity about my future direction, and I feel ready to celebrate the end of 2018 properly.

I created a document with all the questions I’ve designed for my own year-end review.

You can download it from here.

I hope it’ll help you find some insights to design you 2019 adventures!

One Apple A Day #427 – Words create Worlds

How much attention do you put on the words you use?

A few days ago, while I was checking the news online, a headline captured my attention. It was about UN chief António Guterres who, during an of the year press event, called all countries in the world for a renewed commitment to a “rules-based global order“.

Words create worlds.

They have this power.

This is why it is so important to choose wisely the words that you use.

In your own life but it’s even more critical when you are a leader. As leaders, the language we use helps shape the cultures we lead.

So, what does a “rules-based global order” says about the world the leader of UN envision? To me, it talks about a world based on fear and lack of trust. It talks about protecting the status-quo instead of moving towards the future.

Is this the world that you want?

I know for sure it’s not the world that I want.

I’m ready to commit to a “values-inspired global vision“. One driven by trust, love, compassion, forward thinking.

What about your words?

Are they reflecting the world that you want to create in your life?

One Apple A Day #425 – Collect vs Connect

Yesterday, during a lovely conversation about wisdom with two fabulous ladies, I was gifted with this insights; knowledge is about collecting dots, wisdom is about connecting them.

We live in an era of big data, sensors and deep learning.

We can measure almost everything.

We can know a lot.

But does all this knowledge make us wise?

I believe that real wisdom doesn’t come from having more dots but from finding ways to connect them.

With this idea in mind, I was reflecting about the way we talk with each other. Most of the time we enter a conversation to collect dots. Collecting is a one-way process from others to us. Yes, we may have to give something in exchange to obtain what we want, but all our focus is on what we get and not on what we offer.

Connecting, on the other side, is a two-way process. It’s not about the “what”, it’s all about the “how” and the “why”. When we enter a conversation to connect with others we must open up, we have to listen to a deeper level so we can open a new channel where things flow in both direction.

So, I have an invitation for you.

Next time you join a conversation, ask yourself this simple question: “Am I here to collect or to connect?”