Tag Archives: gratitude




Imagine waking up and being thankful for the miracle of being alive in another magnificent day?

Imagine being able to have amazing things falling into place, meeting the right people, being at the right places, getting the jobs you want, daily in your life?

Imagine feeling happy for no particular reason day in and day out?

And can you imagine doing that even when life is not all that rosy?

Well, according to spiritual teacher Behram Ghista, that is all possible.

Two weeks ago Behram taught a workshop in Sydney entitled “In Partnership with Providence”.

Although most of us think of ‘providence’ as being the positive situations, events, material things or people that come into our lives, Behram taught that providence is actually neutral.

According to his teachings providence is an infinite source that supplies us everything we experience. It is also a source that is neutral, which supplies us with whatever we focus upon. If we focus on the negatives, we will receive negative results. If, however, we focus on the positives, we will receive positive results.

He continued to point out that what we believe is real is only an interpretation of what we perceive and experience. Our joys and sorrows do not originate from reality itself, they originate from an interpretation of it. When we are faced with an unpleasant situation we have the choice to view it as a confirmation of our incapacity/inadequacy or as an invitation to bring out what is best in us.

Reality itself is neutral, however our translations of it become our ‘reality’. Our translations determine our focus. Our focus influences our character, and our character influences our responses. So if we are constantly translating things in a negative way, our focus will be in what is not working. And our character becomes negative, our responses will be unpleasant with people and life itself, and we will continue to attract more unpleasant experiences.

However when we filter the positives, constantly bringing our attention to whatever IS working in our circumstances and experiences, we start to see the opportunities and creative possibilities that come with each challenge and learn how to live and walk in a friendly universe. Whatever I focus upon, life will provide me with. Cause and consequence. This is one of life’s basic principles that cannot be violated. Life wants me to succeed, so much so that each difficulty comes not only with a solution, but also with a blessing attached to it.

When we awaken to the fact that our reality is determined by our beliefs and interpretations, it’s a liberating and empowering experience!

After the workshop I made a commitment to myself: I am going to stop complaining, I am going to wake up every morning and feel grateful for the wonderful day ahead, and I am going to put my best effort to retrain my mind in finding the positives and the blessings in each situation.

The good news is, I have been feeling positive as never before and some blessed things and people have come into my life in these last ten days after the workshop.

Is that easy? Not really, it requires constant focusing, a lot of mindfulness and a bucket full of kindness!

But it’s all worth it. After all, the Universe wants us to succeed!






Your personal space can become your main support in connecting with true happiness.

Are you living a life with purpose? Or is there a dullness to your life – working 9 to 5, sleeping in on Saturday, and spending most of your spare time planning or dreaming about your next holiday?

We all say we want to be happy, but how long can external gratifications keep us happy? A minute, an hour, a day? Six months, 12 months?

We all say we want to be happy, but how often we choose to let negative feelings take over our minds, sometimes for hours, or even days. Throughout a single day we may engage in anger, envy, worry, doubt, sometimes I dare say, even ill-will. We don’t realise that we are choosing these states. Without awareness, these negativities control us. With awareness, we can control and then transform them.

True happiness, the wise people have said many times, arrives when we cultivate our good qualities in each moment. If we want to harvest mangoes we need to plant mango trees. If we want to be happy we need to bring loving awareness to our moments.

Is it possible to create a space that promotes mindfulness?

Imagine being able to live and work in an environment that raises your awareness. To live in an environment that supports mindfulness, that really allows you to reconnect with love, compassion, gratitude, acceptance, generosity, and friendship.  An environment that promotes fun, creativity, joy, inspiration and clarity.

Is your environment supporting you to be more aware, more peaceful, more loving – happier?

Sometimes a very cluttered, messy or noisy environment will create so much agitation in the mind, that we are unable to find solutions even to the smallest problem.

Letting go is always a good place to start. Once that stagnant energy has moved out, some fresh ideas will naturally arise to what to do next.

Bringing nature in will start the magic happening, with the sound of water running in the background, plants and pictures of wild landscapes.

Positive imagery surrounding us will support us choosing to engage with more positive states of mind, as will beautiful works of art in any medium.

Small details well placed can remind us of the power of a smile, the beauty of a flower, the joy of brilliant music, our connection with others, or just a good laugh.

Celebrating our connection with the source of all creation will bring us back to our true purpose. An altar with candles and beautiful images of inspiring people will support us in starting each day by setting a fresh new intention and by being grateful for all we have and all that is coming our way.





A few times I have come across some people that, although they present themselves well, their home is in a state of war: dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen, rubbish hasn’t been thrown out in days, every room is not only cluttered but messy beyond belief. And some of those were well-off families and not teens!

I believe we would all agree that self-neglect is not a positive thing. Most people I know make an effort to tidy their hair when they leave the house, or to simply wear clean clothes to work. But sometimes we only understand someone suffers from deep self-neglect when we walk into their home.

From the psychological point of view walking into a home that looks like a war zone it’s like sliding straight into someone’s subconscious mind: the self neglect, lack of discipline, lack of self-esteem, and lack of gratitude are yelling out on your face. So it’s quite distressing and I need a lot of compassion to deal with clients like that.

One of the things I am most passionate about in life is to bring awareness to everyone about a very simple, yet powerful fact: our homes represent ourselves. The same way a very messy and dirty home reinforces someone’s low self-esteem, having a negative effect in their health also, a home that is well looked after, de-cluttered and tidy will have a positive effect on their physical and mental wellbeing.

For a disempowered person, having a home that looks and feels good may appear an impossible task at first. However taking care of one’s home can be learned and will slowly help people with low-self esteem, or even depression, to start feeling more positive about themselves and the world around them. It will also help to unblock their creativity, so they can find easy solutions for what appeared to be a difficult task before, and they will feel more vibrant as the life force in their bodies will start to flow again as well.

I have had clients that six months after starting to take good care of their small flat, improved their relationship, lost weight, and started feeling more vibrant about life. So much so, that their landlord asked the flat back and they ended up moving from a mouldy, dark and below-the-street apartment to a water front, full-ocean-view one, that they could have never dreamed of affording before their consultation.

Feng Shui is a very simple and yet profound way of bringing lasting positive changes into people’s lives. And that’s what I love about it!




When my best friend told me in 2001 that he had found a spiritual teacher, I was happy for him, but thought: ‘This is not for me. You know, my friend needs some guidance because he is having a few problems, but I am OK and don’t want to follow any guru around. This is definitely not for me.”

So for the next three years I observed my friend’s complete transformation from a confused disempowered person, into a happier and much more confident one. However, each time he would come to me and say I need to come and listen to this Teacher, I would pull back.

Three years on I ended up finally saying yes to my friend and decided to go on a retreat to check his Teacher out. I just thought ‘The worse thing that can happen is that, even if I don’t like it, I will still be having a break in Byron Bay”.

Well little I knew that that decision was going to change the course of my life forever.

After those ten days on retreat my perception of what I knew about the world changed dramatically, and then I knew I would never be able to return to that hiding place I was living before. I had spent ten days listening to an enlightened mind and I was finally able to start seeing and understanding the world more clearly.

Six months after I met Behram Ghista, now my spiritual teacher, I made a decision that I had been avoiding for years: to be proactive in changing my career. In order to do that, I would have to break free from my unfulfilling job, and move to Sydney to retrain.

I have to say that I knew I had to do it, but when I finally decided it, I sat there and cried non-stop for more than 30 minutes. Leaving my beloved home in the bush, my friends, my sister, and leaving Tasmania all at once… however I knew I was brave enough to go ahead with my decision.

In reality I had dug a comfortable hole and I was sitting in it, hiding. But my comfort zone wasn’t that comfortable after all. My happiness was very dependent on external things, how nice people were to me, or when my next holiday or party was happening, so I could escape from it for a few hours/days at a time. At that moment I had to really be true to myself: I had been utterly dissatisfied with my life for a while and it was time to do something about it.

Since that first retreat in 2004 I kept in touch with Master B, as we like to call him, and attended another seven of his retreats. Being in a retreat with my Teacher is like going home: I am exactly where I am supposed to be, I feel complete. It’s my spiritual family.

I have to say that having a Teacher is not for the faint hearted. Having a Teacher means having to constantly have a good look at myself and how true I am being, or how many things I am avoiding. I had to learn how to accept feedback without taking it personally, knowing that it comes from pure love. And I constantly have my bottom kicked, which is a great reminder to keep challenging myself and not settle for less.

Funnily enough along these nearly seven years of my relationship with Master B, one of the most difficult things I had to overcome was to accept his unconditional love. Like most people I spent my life expecting love in exchange for doing, achieving or behaving in a certain or expected manner. Even from my beloved parents. And to come across someone that is above worldly love it has been one of my most precious learnings. I know there is no need to please my Teacher, I can just be myself without need for approval, and if I choose to do anything for him is from genuine generosity and gratitude.

Meanwhile I have grown as a person in ways that still amaze me, I have learned how to trust the flow of events in my life and stop ‘fighting’ life back – most of the time! I am passionate about my work and I observe how it unfolds by itself, effortlessly, always surprising me with how things fall perfectly in place if I just allow life to take its course. I have freed myself from depression and anxiety, have improved my relationships with my family and friends dramatically, and I now have a wonderful spiritual practice, that although has Master B’s Buddhist teachings at its core, is very holistic and independent. I am also blessed for now having a career that is my spiritual practice, not only because I teach meditation and Feng Shui, but also because Master B’s teachings are now in my core and I can apply them in every area of my life, every moment and every day. And of course I still have many things I am constantly working on and learning. It is a journey for a lifetime, but now I have guidance that keeps me on track each time I start distracting myself from where lasting fulfilment truly lies. And finally I am now able to approach life in a much more relaxed and fun way.

So maybe it is now time to publicly acknowledge the man that has been supporting me and my work since 2004:

Thank you, Master B, for your love, friendship, guidance and for being such a wonderful and inspiring Teacher.

Do I have to be grateful Today?


Gratitude is something we need to practice every day towards every small thing, until we are able to become grateful for everything that comes our way (via Twitter this morning).

Last week the homework I gave at meditation class was to extend appreciation to all things around us, and to take that to our inter-personal encounters too.

Then, this week one of my students was brave enough to say she had to deal with a few difficult people and had trouble practicing gratitude along the week. I mentioned to her that we need to be kind to ourselves first and foremost, and accept that we all have days when we can be more tolerant than others. Accept and let go. Accept and let go. Again and again. That’s the beauty of the meditation practice.

It is common that some of us may set days to practice gratitude, or loving-kindness, or mindfulness, every once in a while. However to know how to be truly grateful only comes from daily practice. Day in, be grateful. Day out, be grateful. Sun comes, be grateful. Rain comes, be grateful. Bird eats the spiders on your plants be grateful. Bird leaves droppings on your balcony afterwards be grateful!

However to practice gratitude you need first to understand what it is that you are practicing, and the benefits of it. Then second you have to FEEL it. Is it coming from a genuine place inside you? Does it feel true to you? This is because if you set up to be grateful because you ‘should be grateful’ it will not work so well. It will only be working on a surface level, and you may end up feeling a bit like a great-fool instead.

Extending appreciation or developing gratitude is connecting with life itself. We can’t live in isolation. We depend on so many things and people around us, that being thankful is just an acknowledgement of what is already there. It is a remembering. We are just remembering our interconnectedness with all things, and that often bring us a sense of peace. And we slowly learn that good things and ‘bad’ things are equally part of life, equally important to our growth and happiness.