Art of giving

The Art of Giving

Art of giving

I rented a house once where the owner had a very nervous dog. Now I love animals, especially dogs, but this one was the most nervous dog I had ever come across. Whenever I tried to stroke it or in fact go anywhere near it, it would turn around and run.

That is until I bought a bunch of dog biscuits home with me one day. Then everything changed.

I was no longer a threat but a source of happiness. The dog understood that I no longer wanted anything from her, but I was there just to give. From that day forward, she used to sit outside
my front door every morning and follow me around everywhere I went.

As for me – I gained a beautiful new friend.

Sometimes, we humans forget we are also animals and are driven by the same forces of nature. When we receive a gift from someone, we follow the same natural instincts as animals. We open up to the giver and regard them as a source of someone who can bring us happiness, rather than someone who wants to harm us and take something of ours away.

Giving is at the root of all real friendships, though many of us have probably never really thought about it.

You see, giving doesn’t necessarily mean money or material possessions as each of us has much more powerful gifts to offer to the people around us.

To learn more, just follow the link below.

If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not
let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way
Buddha – Indian philosopher & religious leader (563 BC – 483 BC)

Dying gracefully

Do you ever contemplate death?

Whenever I am in the UK, I spend as much time with my family as possible.

I love to visit the family home in Bexhill where my mum and grandfather live and every day I spend with them I am acutely aware that in the next 10 to 20 years, everything will be different. My grandfather certainly won’t be around and maybe my mother won’t be either. It is unlikely we will have this family home where I have spent so many happy years and these precious moments I am spending with them now will be nothing more than a distant memory.

This doesn’t make me feel sad. It makes me embrace the moment and enjoy it. I, like most people, love my mum and grandfather to bits but knowing that I make time for them now will leave me with no regrets when they pass on to the other side.

The problem is, however, that we don’t contemplate these things very often. We live in a society where death is hidden away from us and rarely discussed or talked about. Most people never reflect on the fact that the body they have been given is only temporary and go about their daily lives thinking they are going to live forever. As a result, they do not appreciate the things around them but tend to moan and complain about them instead.

It is only when we become seriously ill that we start to realize that actually, death is very real and it is going to happen to us.

The first thing we experience is a complete state of shock:

“How awful, how dreadful! I can’t believe this is happening to me! This is the worst thing ever, oh why me???”

Why you?

Because everyone and everything comes to an end and you are a ‘part’ of that everything. Nothing escapes it.

In order to fully appreciate life, you must also fully appreciate death.

Think about it, contemplate it. Remind yourself every single day that it is going to happen to you.

Realise that there will never be another ‘today’! Each and every day that passes is taking you closer and closer to the big “D”. That the health you have now is only temporary. That the love you have for your family and friends is only temporary. That everything that you think is so important and everything that you have worked so hard for in life is temporary. Nothing lasts!

Realise that no matter what you do with your life, what mistakes you make, whether you consider yourself a success or a failure, it doesn’t matter and no one will care or even remember you 100 years from now.

Just do what you feel will make you happy, today. Enjoy the people you want to be with, today. Do the work that you want to, today. Appreciate everything that you have in life, today. Because it will be taken away from you and you never know when!

Through contemplating the reality of death, we can put our lives into perspective and understand what really is important and what isn’t. So think, do not hide the thought away, but bring it to the forefront of your mind regularly and make every day count!

Smile Meditation

Many people I speak to who have tried meditation often tell me how difficult it is and that they can’t do it.

The truth is, meditation is very simple and they actually are doing it, they just don’t realize it.

For meditation is really just training your mind to focus on one thing at a time, which is why occupations such as art, or even fixing a car engine can be similar to meditation as it requires the mind to focus on one thing at a time and nothing else.

However, before you start asking yourself if it is possible to attain spiritual enlightenment by fixing your car engine, it is probably wise I explain a little more.

Although you will not gain spiritual enlightenment by thinking of how to fix your car engine, you will, however, be able to fix your care much more quickly, easily and efficiently. Why? Because giving yourself some headspace to think will allow solutions on how to fix your car to arise more quickly.

This is how the mind works.

When you focus on something in a calm and relaxed way, solutions naturally arise.
This is why meditation is good at helping you deal with difficulties in your life.

BUT DON’T FOCUS ON THE PROBLEM! FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION.

This is what I call “Happy Meditation”.

You must reflect on what you would like the outcome to be.

To perform a “Happy Meditation”, just simply find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight.
Spend 5 minutes scanning your body mentally from head to toe relaxing each and every muscle. When the body is relaxed, the mind can focus more easily and you can access the subconscious mind where the changes need to take place.

Then, just focus on the part of your life you want to change and what your ideal outcome would be.
Enjoy it. Just relax and have happy thoughts about everything going right, your perfect life, and how it would feel. When the mind wanders off, just gently guide it back to those happy thoughts and feelings.
By simply having happy thoughts, you become happy. And as you can choose the thoughts in your mind, you can choose to be happy.

Now the thing is, the more often you take time out to have happy thoughts, the those happy thoughts become a habit.
So when you are going about your daily business without paying much attention to your mind, happy thoughts will continually surface rather than negative thoughts.

Don’t believe me? Good! I hope you don’t!

Never believe anything anyone ever tells you without practicing it for yourself, testing what they say, and then drawing your own conclusions. This is the only way you will experience happiness in life.

So, what are you waiting for? Put what I am saying to the test!

You want to enjoy life, start your happy meditations today!

Sat Worrying and thinking

It is difficult to find peace and happiness within yourself. But it is impossible to find it anywhere else.

I used to have a grown up job…you know, one of those career things which most people rant and rave about. It gave me a steady income and what I thought of as security in life; enough to pay the bills, have a night out now and again, yearly holiday or two and, well, just live I suppose. The sort of job you do quite simply because….well, that’s what you do isn’t it? Work your way up the ladder, more money, more responsibility, more stress and then retire…if you make it that far.

But one day I realised that I was spending most of my life just waiting for my holidays and the weekends, which meant that I was actually wishing most of my life away.

WISHING MY LIFE AWAY

I was probably only going to be on the planet for 80 years or so if I was lucky, and I was spending most of that time wishing most of it would just hurry up and be over!

What a waste of a life. This wasn’t how I dreamt life was going to be like when I was a kid! I remember thinking that when I was grown up, life was going to be an adventure; full of amazing experiences, travelling the world, having the most exciting and thrilling job ever, meeting fascinating people, sailing the oceans, finding love and living on a white, sandy tropical beach, staring into the night sky and contemplating the deeper meaning of life.

Not working in a bitchy office all day, listening to people gossip about celebrities in “Hello” magazine and complain about how stressed they were and how much work they had to do! Really? Is this all that a three-year university education amounts to?

Then one day I said to myself, “F**k this shit! I want to live!”.

I jacked in my career, bought a one-way ticket to Asia and that was really the day my life began!

6 weeks later I arrived at Bangkok airport, with a 4 week teaching English certificate, a rucksack of clothes, £1,000 in traveller’s cheques and a strong determination to live life to the full. No regrets I told myself. I had no idea what I would do, how I would survive but I was so excited! The uncertainty of life became a thrill, not a fear.

From that day onwards, my life has been magical. I followed my heart with absolutely no idea where it was going to take me. Life challenged me, it thrilled me, the dreams I had as a child were all being fulfilled and they were 10 times better than I ever imagined. But most important was that I discovered who I was on the way. It took me to a beautiful place of serenity, gave me clarity of thought and the belief and strength within myself that I could do absolutely anything I wanted.

With determination and passion, you will never fail at anything!

Embracing change and jumping into the unknown will only lead you to greater courage, strength and belief in yourself. Never settle for security in life. There is none! You grow old, you get sick, you die and that’s just the lucky ones! Everything that you have and hold so dearly to you will all be taken away from you. Everything that you have worked so hard for, you will lose.

Think for yourself! Stop following. You are an incredible being with limitless power when you put your mind to it. Live life on your terms, follow your heart and look inside to discover who you are. Only then will you realise that the long-term happiness and peace of mind you seek… is within.

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Toby Author

About Toby Maguire

Hi, I'm Toby.

I’m a meditation teacher, life coach, speaker and retreat host who has spent more than 30 years studying Meditation and Eastern philosophy.

I have helped thousands of people struggling with stress, anxiety or depression to take back control of their minds and build more manageable, enjoyable and more meaningful lives.

From Olympic athletes and Billionaires to company executives and troubled teenagers, I help people from all walks of life achieve greater peace of mind, clarity of their goals and enjoy the process of achieving them