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Health is wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul; their alignment with one another is the art of living well.

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Wisdom is understanding of the self, others, and the nature of things; it is essential to  living as if everything is a miracle.
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PROCESSING LIFE EXPERIENCES

We process our experiences in different ways in different phases of our lives. All our thoughts associated with these experiences are indelibly etched in our subconscious minds, and inevitably creating our different expectations in different phases in our lives.

Development Phase

Throughout the early phase of growth and development, young children are exposed to the world around them through their five senses. Their minds begin to process whatever they perceive, generalize it, and apply it whenever and wherever they think appropriate-it becomes the foundation of their experiences and perceptions, which subsequently create the expectations in their adult lives. For example, if properly taught, they begin to show appreciation, as demonstrated by their saying their first “thank you.”

During this critical first phase, their mental input is automatic and passive because their immature minds are unable to filter their mental input; their thoughts are merely a micro reflection of the minds of their parents. As they grow up, however, they begin to learn how to refuse processing any unpleasant experience, or interpret it in the way they choose according to its relevance to their lives. Their selectivity then begins to alter how they process their life experiences in the future.

In this learning phase, children and young adults are learning incessantly, trying to understand and make sense out of the complex world they are living in. In this intensive learning phase, they begin to discern their respective roles they are going to play in the world, always looking for inspiration and direction from people around them.

Even though every phase of a person’s life is important, none is more critical than the transitional phase from adolescence to adulthood. As young adults, the world around them becomes more complex and complicated. In addition, everything around them becomes increasingly exciting as experienced by the five senses, such as music and sex. But their self-delusions created by the way they process their experiences may make them see more of the excitement and less of the reality of their world. This is a critical phase for most of them because it defines not only who they are but also what they value; it sets the foundation for the way that the rest of their lives is likely to turn out because their thoughts are a preview of what their future lives would be like.

Consolidation Phase

As they turn into full-grown adults, they begin to think more than just about themselves: they begin to focus more on people around them. They may have their life callings: career, health, love, or family; in other words, what they are meant to do with their lives. With passion and bliss, they may begin to define who they are. Being strong physically and mentally, they are in the most productive phase in their lives. During this phase, they merely respond and react, either positively or negatively, to their experiences presented to them in the form of career, marriage, and parenting.

This is a phase in which they consolidate their past experiences, and continue to build their future lives on that foundation. If they avail themselves of the opportunity to accept others as they are, and to become appreciative of what life has to offer, they will develop the quality of acceptance, which will have lasting effects on their future life experiences.

Let-Go Phase

With advancement in age, and as age begins to take its toll on the body and the mind, most of the life habits that control how they should live have become well established. Their thoughts, based on decades of past experiences, now dominate their thinking, and hence control how they live their lives. At this point, it is difficult, if not impossible, to alter the way they process their experiences and perceptions, just as the saying goes: “It is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.”

In this final phase in their lives, unfortunately, they have to learn to let go, whether they like it or not. Everything begins to slip from their lives: their youth, their health, and inevitably their minds.

How the mind processes experiences and perceptions determines the type of person you will become. The happenings in your life are real, but the way you process them may positively or negatively affect your life because they are stored in your subconscious mind, which may give you valuable life lessons, or create delusions and self-deceptions that may not only confuse you but also lead you astray.

Reflective Thought

Processing a negative experience can have a positive result.

Case in Point

When he was a young lawyer in South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi was removed from a first class train seat because of the color of his skin. Instead of processing the humiliating incident with anger, Gandhi transformed it into a life lesson that he shared with others. In the end, he became a non-violence spiritual leader who was
responsible for the ultimate independence of India from the British colonial rule.

Therefore, it is important to know what is going on in the subconscious mind. To know that requires profound wisdom.

THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


PROCESSING LIFE EXPECTATIONS

Life is what you choose to make of it. Your choice projects a consequence, which crystallizes in a mental expectation. In general, your expectations come from your past life experiences and your mental processing of those experiences.

Irrespective of your current phase in life or where you are, you naturally have different expectations, which come from an innate desire to seek what you want.

Reflective Thought

Life expectations are desires to repeat pleasurable stimuli of the five senses.

Case in Point

After the first satisfying experience of sex, you would like to experience it again, and yet again. Therefore, you expect your partner to provide you with similar sensual pleasures.

Reflective Thought

Life expectations are forms of entitlement.

Case in Point

Many parents expect their children to take care of them when they become old and decrepit, because this expectation is some sort of entitlement or payback from their children.

Reflective Thought

Life expectations are rewards for efforts expended.

Case in Point

A hard-working employee may naturally expect a promotion or pay rise for his or her contribution and service rendered.

Reflective Thought

Life is about compliance.

Case in Point

Many parents expect their children to comply with their advice because they earnestly believe that their advice is out of good intention and for the good of their children. Therefore, they expect compliance from their children.

Expectations and Disappointments

Given that nearly all of us go through life expecting certain things to happen, we become greatly disappointed when things do not turn out the way we think they should. As a matter of fact, in life, things seldom go our ways, and life is never what it should be. Our disappointments can easily turn into anger, anxiety, despair, regret, and many other negative emotions that adversely affect who we are and how we process our thoughts.

To offset or diminish the devastating emotional consequences as a result of not meeting our expectations, many of us may resort to mentally expecting the worst, instead of the best, while hoping against hope that we may still be pleasantly surprised; deliberately lowering our life expectations to proportionately reduce the extent of our disappointments; and consciously expecting no expectation whatsoever with our complete detachment.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” Alexander Pope                     

Processing expectations is more complex than we may think. The mental exertion to “expect the unexpected”, to “go with the flow”, and to “live in the present without any future expectation” is easier said than done, and may be even difficult or impossible for most of us.

THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING


ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS NOTHING! NOTHING IS EVERYTHING!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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ANYTHING, EVERYTHING, AND NOTHING

Living in this material world is all about struggling and surviving. The good news is that it is a human race in which there are really no real winners and losers in the end. But no matter what, we all have to finish that race somehow, with no exception. Just do your very best, and let the Creator do the rest to help you finish your own race with grace and dignity. The wisdom of your body, your mind, and your spirit may awaken and rejuvenate you along the rest of your life journey.

Living is always a discovery process. Life is a journey of self-discovery-finding who you are, why you are here, what you really need, and how you may meet your basic needs, so that you, like every one else, can fulfill some of your life goals and purposes that are exclusively designed for you. But to do just that, you need profound human wisdom and spiritual wisdom to continue that journey as if everything is a miracle.

To truly believe and appreciate the miracle of life, you need the wisdom to grasp the full meaning of anything is everything, everything is nothing, and nothing is everything-they may all ultimately lead to your self-awakening, without which you will continue to live as if nothing is a miracle.

ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS NOTHING! NOTHING IS EVERYTHING!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
DEATH AND DYING

“Life begets death; one is inseparable from the other.
One is form; the other is formless.
Each gives way to the other.
One third of people focus on life, ignoring death.
One third of people focus on death, ignoring life.
One third of people think of neither, just drifting along.
They all suffer in the end.
      
Trusting the Creator, we have no illusion about life and death.
Holding nothing back from life, we are ready for death,
just as a man ready for sleep after a good day’s work.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 50)

“Abiding in the Creator, we do not fear death.
Following the conditioned mind, we fear everything.
Fear is a futile attempt to control things and people.

Death is a natural destination of the Way.
Unnatural fear of death does more harm than good.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 74)

Dying and Beyond

On the final journey, with acceptance of the inevitable fate, there is usually no anger or even sadness-just numbness that initiates the winding down of the body.

Dying is just something we all have to do. Do you want to die with grace?

Dying with grace is to end well; all is well that ends well!.

A Case in Point

Francis of Assisi, the Italian Saint who chose a life of poverty in spite of his family’s wealth, said on his deathbed: “Death will open the door of life.” He died gracefully while singing.

Maybe for a believer, death is, indeed, a triumph, a meaningful exodus from this mundane world to the eternal world beyond.

A Case in Point

Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his last speech, just several days before his assassination: “It (death) doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountain top. . . . and I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land.”

It was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s strong faith that led him to believe in the existence of the Promised Land beyond death. Indeed, to many believers, they are only humans having a brief existence in this transient material world, and their final destination is the eternal world beyond death.

Are you ready to believe in dying and beyond?

YOU JUST DON'T DIE!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

DETOX SHAKE

In this day and age, you are daily ingesting a great deal of toxins into your body through the food you eat. In addition, if you regularly take prescribed medications from your doctor or over-the-counter drugs, you have loaded toxic chemicals into your body. Always look for alternatives to dangerous drugs.

To detoxify, the best way is to fast on a regular basis. But you may like the idea. Another alternative is to take a detox shake.


Put 3 tablespoons of whole flax seed, juice of 1 whole lemon, and 1 tablespoon of ground milk thistle into 1 cup of water, and drink it on an empty stomach. Get your detox shake 2-3 times a week for internal cleansing.


EYE SMOOTHIE


Are you tired of wearing glasses or contacts? Do you want the vision of an eagle's?


Drink this eye smoothie every morning on an empty stomach, and do not eat at least for an hour after the smoothie.


The eye smoothie is simple to make: an apple, a small potato, a carrot, a medium tomato; put all ingredients in a blender, and drink immediately.

You can drink this eye smoothie in place of your breakfast. It not only gives you nutrients but also improves your vision.


If you have just started wearing reading glasses, you can dispense them within a few months. If you have been wearing them for a while, you may need some good eye exercises.


Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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