This is Your Moment.
DO WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY
If it was your last day what would you do? What brings you Joy? Regardless of what others think or your profession? When do you lose yourself in the moment? When does time stop? Not quite sure? Can't remember joy, happiness, bliss? Ask yourselves these questions:
#1. What brought you joy as a kid?
Watch small kids, whatever they do, they just dive in with the same energy, with the same bewilderment, with the same joy.
So what was it that you loved doing as a kid? Can you become a kid again? Why not?
Were you a magician at age 12 giving magic shows at birthday parties? Did you give cooking lessons to your buddies and then play basketball? Did you paint with your father? Play the piano? Re-arrange your room over and over with new ideas? Play teacher? Police man or enjoy the game risk? Or were you playing the part of the medecine man when you played cowboys and indians with the neighborhood kids? Did you like to fishing in nature with your grandfather? Create artistic drawings? Play with friends? Enjoy eating or cooking? Color? Enjoy being with your family? Playing a sport?
Let your memory return. Sometimes, what we loved as kids can be one of our passions; one of our great loves of life. These can help us figure out what we love as adults and perhaps even our core mission.
For example, I gave magic shows at parties at age 12. I loved the sense of surprise, awe and joy of the small audience. Not surprisingly, today I love meditation as it is just like magic. It is a science too, but teaching it to others is pure magic. Especially when you teach about energy and you work over time with the same people who have the capacity to realize things they never thought existed. Right there, within themselves! Amazing. Magic.
Or for me I loved cooking and eating and playing doctor (lucky me my grandfather was a two star French Michelin chef, my father a doctor and my mother knew how to make all her guests feel special by bringing together people, presentation and delicious food!). So now I enjoy inviting dear friends over and making them a special dinner fit of a chef that brings together good company, health, joy and beauty. Granted -- not everyday (often I like to eat alone), but special days !!!
I also liked to paint or create art with my father who was an artist and a doctor. I painted at school to illustrate projects and later even in University got quite creative even in law classes. Not surprisingly, my Japanese grandfather had also painted on silk including large designs for ships and helping my grandmother with the fabrics in her silk kimono shop. As I grew up, I forgot all about my artistic love. Fortunately, my mother -- even at the age of 30 -- would have me make things for her birthday by hand each year and that is how I returned to painting.
Another joy was my family. We enjoyed our delicious meals together and family time was always respected. Vacations were spent together. I had both my mother and father at home and both were happy so life was a joy. Today, I realize this also makes me value my family, my husband and children.
All this to say, if you forgot what brings you joy, return for a moment to your childhood. Re-visit what brought you the most joy. It may give you a hint on something that still does. And this joy may turn out to be for some even a life mission.
#2. If you had 5 other lives what would you do or be?
Artist Nathalie Ishizuka after Turner (Venise), Watercolor
Take a moment and answer the question above truthfully. Go ahead. Be a little wild. What would you do with 5 other lives?
Here goes my list not in any particular order. It was actually hard to stick to 5 so I wrote seven!
1. Magician Blowing People's Minds
2. Yogi in Himalayas Fully Devoted
3. Crazy Full Fledged Artist
4. Secretary of State
5. Healer with Foods, Medicine and Joy
6. Artistic Franco-Japanese Ayurvedic Chef
7. Psychiatrist Applying Model of Health to Organizations and International Affairs
Write down your crazy ideas. Put them in an envelope before you continue reading. It only takes a few minutes to do!
Ok, now. You wrote them down. Now in your current life see if you can do any of the above integrating even small elements of joy in your daily living -- in this life!
How so? Go back to your list. Start small. Be creative.
1. Magician Blowing People's Minds (Meditation has become my magic so when I can I teach someone. I like surprising them and sharing their joy and surprise.) I enjoy exploring the unknown with people who visit my meditative art gallery.
2. Yogi in Himalayas Fully Devoted (I meditate every day ---- ok not in the Himalayas but even if it is in a bathroom to steal 20 minutes alone it is good! Slowly I am meditating throughout the day with eyes open. I am fortunate to practice with great teachers and have a lot of joyful time alone.
3. Passionate Full Fledged Artist (I now paint a canvas every week and do even just 15 minutes of painting or drawing each day, and ideally every two days I dedicate far more time to painting.). I am creating a collection of my art work and sharing it.
4. Secretary of State (I am an Ambassador of peace and joy without a big Boss to direct me for now!). I teach whoever comes to me; sometimes that might be a diplomat, an Ambassador or their spouse, or a master of the Arts --an Ambassador of beauty.
5. Healer with Foods, Medicine and Joy (I cook with joy for myself and my family and teach my helper. I focus on joy and gratitude when I select ingredients, cook, eat or digest. Often now with my helper, I am lucky and don't have to cook. And so I focus on eating in an entirely new way, exploring energy in food and bring joy and a whole new experience.
6. Artistic Franco-Japanese Ayurvedic Chef (I follow some recipes, see an Ayurvedic doctor, and take pictures of food dishes to share the joy of being vegetarian with more people (without having to do the dishes for many!).
7. Psychiatrist Applying Model of Health to International Affairs (I apply my father's theory of health to individuals, organizations and international relations). I work across disciplines with scientists, artists, economists, diplomats and many others.
Maybe one of the six passions above will materialize further or take on a life of its own. Who knows? Maybe it will be a unique combination of the above or something else. As I can not do everything at once, I focus now on meditation, art and service.
I love my family.
What matters is that each day I do something that brings joy and take small steps to realize the life I dream. I "let go" and chose not to focus on results but joy and being of service.
Perhaps one of the above will become so strong it will define my life, or perhaps they will combine into something entirely new.
START the first 10 to 15 minutes of the day in pure joy.
You are Alive : Smile
Start the Day with a Smile.
Physically sit up in bed and SMILE. You have one more day to live as you have always wanted. Today is that day.
Close your eyes and before you look to see what Trump is up to or the latest body count in your country, sit up in your bed and send love just above the physical heart.
Send yourself so much love, that your day begins in BLISS. IN JOY. SMILE.
Be grateful you are alive, be grateful for all that you have.
Start Day in Focus
Close your eyes and before you look to reach for your phone in the morning and see what Trump is up to or the latest body count in your country from the corona virus, STOP.
Sit up in your bed and send love just above the physical heart. Send yourself so much love, that your day begins in BLISS. IN JOY. SMILE. Be grateful you are alive, be grateful for all that you have.
If you want visualize your perfect day or something you love (could be a place or you playing a tennis match or whatever it is that brings joy) and as you visualize it continue to send love just above your physical heart inside your body.
Start the day high on life. Put your alarm on in case you have to be somewhere as you just might get sidetracked with something far better!
In time, you may not want to do anything else or be anywhere else.
Experience the Heart
Send love 24/24 during the day inside your heart. This may be hard at first but if you are creative you will find ways to help you.
You may also get sleepy due to the high energy. That is ok, rest!
One way that helps me to remember to send love inside during the day is to use the app Time Out when in front of the computer. You can with this app set a 15 second break every 15 minutes. And a five minute break every hour (or whatever).
During that break time, you look away from your screen or close your eyes and send love inside. This is good for your spirit and good for your eyes and formidable for concentration and efficiency! You can of course exit a break if needed.
Finally, before you go to sleep at night, review your day for 5-10 minutes. What was the most beautiful or enjoyable experience of the day? What did you learn? Re-live joy. Be grateful. How could you have coped with crisis, setbacks or challenges better? Visualize a more loving solution. Send love to the heart. Forgive yourself for mistakes. Learn from them. Fix them Go to bed in JOY.
As soon as you are awake, before opening even your eyes, SMILE. Give thanks that another day to explore life exists. Then send love inwards just above the physical heart. Not the word love, but the vibration love. Send it to your physical body, your energy body, your emotions, your thoughts, your spirit. All of you.
See if you can spend at least 15 minutes first thing in the morning doing this and send the vibrations of joy throughout the body. At first you may feel nothing, but with practice you will increase your energy.
Try to keep this feeling, this high or bliss AT THE SAME LEVEL throughout the day.
Keep Bliss Up During Day
In the evening, do another 15 minute meditation, reviewing your day and sending the vibration of love inwards. End Your Day with Joy
Can't Find Joy?
Let it Find You. Look Around. See what Needs to Be Experienced.
Explore. Release. Eat. Move. Create. Meditate. Love. Be.
Don't say you don't have enough time for Joy. It is the only thing you owe to yourself and to all those around you.
Do all things with humility, love, and curiosity. Be a kid again. Forget the role you play. Just be. Engage. Laugh. Create.
Artist, meditator & Director of Beyond OUr BEst
Director Beyond Our Best, Worked over 30 years on a Psychology of Health and Happiness, Artist, Writer, Individual & Societal Change, Certified Yoga Teacher of Advanced Yoga Practices. Works with Individuals & International Organizations.
M.A.L.D. Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (admin in cooperation with Harvard), M.B.A. HEC, B.A. Amherst College, summa cum laude, Article 9 of Japanese Constitution. Keio University & Seishin Joshi Gakuin exchange. SELF TAUGHT ARTIST. Co-founded movement with 90 year old Belgian Philosopher and Poet, Dr. Paul Briot, who sees crisis as an opportunity to Re-Invent Ourselves and ART as a means to Elevate, Inspire and Transform. Works across disciplines including with Artists, Educators, Coaches, Scientists, Economists (including Nobel Prize), Doctors (over 30 years with Dr. Yukio Ishizuka on an Approach to Happiness, Excellence and Well-being), CEOs, Businessmen & Entrepreneurs, Diplomats facilitated with Yukio Ishizuka training and talks on excellence and well-being at EU Embassy Tokyo, British Embassy Tokyo, Harvard Club Tokyo and taught meditation to Ambassadors, Diplomats and their spouses at Yoga Studios and privately, assists Yogis to innovate across disciplines, practices creative brainstorming with scientists, including MIT professor and Scientist Sahrawi Chaieb on an application of an alogorithm for Black Holes to Flat Screen Technology, creative brainstorming with Architects such as Toyo Ito on projects for Fishermen up north and children's park in Fukushima, meditated with Shaku-Hatchi Musician Masaki Nakamura to create 6 New Original Songs, wrote and illustrated a fable for Nihon Buyo Master Wakayagi Sensei to create Kizuna Dance in Fukishima Theme Cafe, brainstormed with member of Japanese Cabinet with the founder of Suicide Prevention in Japan Yukio Saito for societal change, assisted in bringing well-being, yoga, osteopathy and mental health training to innovate with joy at an Orphanage in Japan, work with Societal Visionaries on Fukushima and Crisis Spots -- those who who can change us from WITHIN. Nathalie sought out and worked with artists for 4 years in Japan to work on project of Elevation in Art after crisis, Meditated for over 3 years with the Shodo Master Saiso Shimada 3-4x a week via skype (Tokyo - Singapore - Europe) to create a new art resulting in Shimada's works being published in Paul Briot's 2018 edition by Editions Caracteres. Facilitated several Exhibits by Shimada at the EU Private Residence in Tokyo, Private Gallery in Paris, a month long exhibit at the Japanese Embassy in Brussels, exhibits in Ginza Tokyo, and online soon in the first private Meditative Gallery in Singapore. Nathalie's own artistic works have been shown in two month long exhibits in New York, Beijing China, In EU Tokyo Residence, and in a private Meditative Gallery in Singapore. Works across disciplines to create something entirely new.
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