Anne-Maria Yritys Angkor Wat 2012

What Are You Thankful for in Your Life?

Anne-Maria Yritys Angkor Wat 2012
Anne-Maria Yritys Angkor Wat 2012
Some memories from an unforgettable trip from July 2012 when I was backpacking by myself for a month in Cambodia, Vietnam (and Thailand). I took my AOWD in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, and stayed at an almost desert island for a couple of days.
Would love to travel back to Cambodia again, although it was a journey that changed my perspective on life for good. Seeing the suffering of the people in Cambodia broke my heart. That is how much war causes destruction to both the economy and the well-being of the population in a country. The country has plenty of war cripples, many of whom miss arms, legs, or both, due to landmines that have still not been cleaned up from the country´s environment although it has been more than 40 years now since the civil war officially ended.
Widespread corruption is one of the reasons why the country has still not recovered well from the genocide. There is still a lack of doctors and hospitals: those Cambodians who can afford it, travel to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam to see a doctor. The bus ride on the poor roads in Cambodia takes too many hours to Saigon, and the country has still no railroads.
I used to think that Thailand is a developing country, but after visiting Cambodia my perspective changed. When you enter Thailand after a visit to Cambodia, it is like returning back to civilization. Bangkok, as far as I know, has some of the best hospitals in the world.
I would not necessarily travel just anywhere in the world alone as a woman, but South East Asia is 100% safe to travel even as a woman alone. Cambodia and Vietnam are backpacker´s paradises and destinations where you see many women travel alone.
I was just almost killed by a green viper that fell down from a tree in the jungle of Angkor Wat when I was resting in the shadow from the burning sun. To my luck, the snake decided not to bite me, perhaps since I stayed still and did not move an inch.
That was my second near-death experience. The first one had been in Finland a couple of years earlier, when I was traveling by train from Eastern Finland to Helsinki.
There was a heavy storm, and suddenly trees fell on the train and its windows, including where I was sitting. If the train windows were not bulletproof, I’d be dead by now since a number of trees were slapping the window exactly where I was sitting. The train had to stop, and we waited for a couple of hours before we were evacuated and brought by bus transportations from the middle of the forest railroad back to our homes.
When I think back on these memories, I am grateful for being alive every day.

The Power of Gratitude in Our Lives

"Business Hand Writing, Thank You".
“Business Hand Writing, Thank You”.

With Thanksgiving approaching hundreds of millions of people celebrate, and show gratitude for the abundance in their lives. Thanksgiving Day is not a part of culture in Finland, neither in many other countries worldwide. All cultures, however, have their own national holidays and ways of being thankful and expressing gratitude. In addition to culturally related national holidays, local and international organizations have created a number of special days, such as the World Water Day and even the Earth Hour, with a purpose to influence and to increase awareness amongst population. Filling one´s personal agenda with all of these would most likely signify having some kind of special day every single day of the year. 

The efforts to drive change and the willingness of improving all kinds of conditions both on local, national, international, and global levels, speaks for the fact that we all wish to contribute to positive transformation taking place in our surroundings. There is always room for improvement, and justice, and our personal choices do affect and have an influence, whether we realize it or not. 

Although we, as individuals, can have a significant amount of influence, one person´s capacity alone is always limited. However, as individuals we have the possibility to choose to make every day of our lives kind of Thanksgiving Day. Or, if you will, a Day of Gratitude. 

Whatever life presents us at a certain moment, we have the possibility to choose our attitude. Train your mind to be thankful, and grateful, even for the most difficult of experiences, and be always open to learning from them. As Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, one of my greatest inspirers teaches: When you have to choose between being kind, and being right, always choose being kind. Furthermore, as Dr. Wyer teaches, you always have the possibility to choose how you react to external circumstances. In his metaphor, however much you press an orange, nothing else but orange juice will come out. Whatever the external circumstances may be, or what kind of situations we face in life, we can always choose our personal attitude. Choose to be calm, confident, and positive, and see how this changes not only you, but also your surroundings. We can only work on ourselves, and only through this personal development on a spiritual level, are we capable of transforming our external circumstances. 

Tips for personal transformation: 

– Accept an event or a situation for what it is, no matter how complicated it may seem. Acceptance will help you to master any kind of situation, and increase your understanding.

– Despite of circumstances, always choose to focus on positivity. By doing this, and by letting yourself be surrounded by positivity, you will eventually decrease and be capable of eliminating anything else in your life, and your surroundings. 

– Lead change from within. Your spirit is stronger than you think, and focusing on personal, spiritual growth is the key to being capable of helping and serving others as well. 

– Choose kindness instead of trying to prove you are right (and others wrong). We do not have to agree with everything, or everyone, but neither do we need to prove them/their points of view wrong. 

– Learn to listen, and to empathize with others/a certain situation. 

– Instead of accusing and blaming others for their imperfections, take a profound look in the mirror every day, and seek to improve what you see. We do not develop, evolve or learn by pointing out other people´s mistakes. 

– Learn to treat challenges and obstacles as growth experiences. Use them as stepping-stones for becoming a better person every single day. We always have space for personal improvement. 

– Focus on your personal performance. Expect a lot from yourself, expand your horizons, seek to understand the unknown, but also remember to be kind to yourself. 

– Improve something every day. It can be a tiny thing, but even this tiny thing can accumulate into something unexpectedly huge someday = > Snowball effect. 

– Plant seeds which have the capacity to grow into something beautiful with time. Focus on planting positive seeds. With time, you will be able to harvest plenty of healthy fruit. 

– Learn to let go, and to forgive. Forgiveness is essential. Also remember to forgive yourself. Referring to Dr. Wayne W. Dyer once again: We all have a wake in our lives, which has influenced us to becoming the individuals we are today. But the wake is also our past, and one key to personal transformation is to realize that despite of not being able to influence the wake of our lives, we have the possibility of focusing on the present. By doing this, we constantly create ourselves the future we like to see ourselves in.

“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one”. 

(Marianne Williamson)

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer: Attitude is everything, so pick a good one: