send a blessing.

#goodmorning This is a very interesting thing I read, I plan to experiment with it, and am inviting  as many of you to do the same.

It’s the days of affirmation and sending love ahead to your day.

Most of us tend to wake up with focusing on fear or dislike; it is easy to unwittingly send a message of unease into the future that negatively impacts the quality of our day.  yet, while our lives are busy and frequently depleted with challenges, it is also rich with joy and experiences worth savouring. Maybe acknowledging this would act as a nevi to attract more of this into our lives.

If brooding can mess up our day, maybe sending love will make interactions more pleasant. We could possible manifest more love in our interpersonal interactions, our professional endeavours and our domestic duties. Tasks and circumstances one made trying our anxiety might  transform by our love and we may find ourselves approaching life’s subtle nuances with greater affection.

Each morning when we have cast off the fog of sleep, taking several deep, grounding breaths and reaffirming the love we have for our self. Speaking a loving self-directed blessings aloud enables us to access and awaken the reservoir of tenderness in our soul. Before we leave the comfortable warmth of your bed be sure to the universe that you are eager and ready to receive the blessings that it has set aside for you. Then as we prepare to meet the day, lets visualize our self saturated and surrounded with a warm soft loving light. Gradually widening the circle of this light until we are able to send it ahead into our future.

“To have our needs met, to love, to be loved, to feel safe in this world and to each know our purpose, is a simple matter of creating those blessings for others.”
― Bryant McGillVoice of Reason

A little light on Deepavali.

10660414076_c0fb3ab2bd_oBanditu deepavali siri sobaganu pasarisi lokava belagutali.–

this is a popular kannada poem that translates to Deepavali arrives bringing with it abundance and light.

We have been celebrating Diwali in the same age old manner for hundreds of years with crackers, oil sweets, heavy unhealthy food gambling and what not… are we really Sunita I am not sure.

Is it time we changed… well it is your life, it’s your call.

I have rewritten Deepavali over the years in my life Sunita, because the essence of life is change. The focus changes each year. Like everything in Hinduism festivals also satisfy the Dharma-artha Kama Moksha goals depending on what is that you seek in the festival.

Any festival is about celebrating, we celebrate because we acknowledge something a festival is also about gratitude.

I grew up in the conservative temple town of Udupi; Sunita gambling was never part of our Deepavali. For us Deepavali was about family, getting together, thanking nature and abundance. It was about preparing for the winter.

Deepostsava at udupi
Deepostsava at udupi

The celebration began for us on what we called “neeruthumbisuva habba” that is the festival of storing water. I remember the excitement we had when the water containers were emptied it was cleaned with tamarind and then wiped dry, after which a string of marigold would tied. We would wait for the privilege of painting the outer surface. This I think is what the northern part of the country would call dhanateras. This day also renders thanks to the two Yaksha’s  Kubera and Dhanawantri, Kubera the divine treasurer and Dhanawantri the divine medicine brewer. Here we are actually acknowledging natures abundance of forest reserve and render gratitude.

The tradition of buying something gold is about saving through the year and investing so that there is some liquid asset available in the case of emergency.

The festival naraka chaturdashi on the day before new moon it is anointing oneself and having a ritual bath. This is the first day of this ritual which will happen every morning till the New moon of the month of Makara this is the way ancients handled the activation of VitD3 which is essential. Goa has an excellent tradition where all the garbage is collected an effigy of Narakasura the demon of debris and decay is burned, this is also acknowledging the debris and sends wing it away with honour.

The Lakshmi Puja on New Moon, when Lakshmi the goddess of abundance is welcomed. We do not realize that abundance is within us it for us to acknowledge and care for it. It is thanking nature for the abundance and all her gifts.

The day after the new moon the Bali Padya for us is the most important day, when we render gratitude to the great king Bali who emerges from the netherworld on the day of Onam oversees the harvest and returns to his domain when he knows that his subjects have enough to sustain them without destroying one another.

Balipadya is also the day for Go-puja again an agrarian link cows are very much part of the agrarian soceity, Though the advent of ISKCON and other cowbelt bhakti cults like to refer to this as Govardhan Puja, the worship of Krishna lifting the Govardhana giri, it is about  worshiping Kamadehnu who is the personification of all cattle form, for their contribution in creating wealth and protecting abundance.

When it comes to buying new clothes, traditionally clothes were bought only twice a year once during Yugadhi or the New Year and once during Deepavali the kind of clothes were also different, oh! Yes when we received a new dress we had to give away a old one, the cycle was the one brought during Yugadhi would now come into everyday use, the one used on daily basis would become for home wear only and the home wear only would be relegated to status of a rag to mop or it would be given away to Bhagi’s the daily helps daughter.

As far as food goes since our every day is not rich in ghee or other fatteners, this was an occasional indulgence. And the food prepared was no doubt elaborate and various combinations of rice, fresh coconut, lentil and fresh vegetables. The first extract of sugarcane, the newly made jaggery would all be part of cookery after all a successful harvest does deserve to be celebrated.

indispirePhew I am sorry that I went nostalgic.

Sunita, I realize that I cannot get the world to celebrate festivals the way I think it should be, but it cannot stop me for celebrating it the way I want to celebrate it either.

I welcome the winter with Lamps and ginger Leha, I thank the harvest by cooking the new rice in the fresh coconut yield and make kheer with fresh jaggery. I declutter my house thank Dhanawantri for giving the health and energy to do so. I thank Kubera for the comfortable life that I lead.

I pamper the child in me with some noiseless crackers. I honour the abundance in me, for each of us, you, me and the person on the street are all Lakshmi’s personification of abundance it is just a matter of acknowledging and accepting her within us.

Ps there are numerous myths that are related to this festival, I shall share them some other time.

About Souls and Selves.

image courtesy google.
image courtesy google.

I used to think soulful eyes, and gazing into the soul were all poetic exaggeration until, I did hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy has taught me many things. One of them is the existence of soul.

Soul we are told is the purest expression of an individual and is not bound by physical forms or fleeting emotions.

The soul activists claim that looking deeply into partners eyes would show us the person’s inner beauty which we might otherwise miss. It is possible for someone who appears cod to have a warm, giving, nurturing soul or someone of average appearance to have a beautiful soul. Looking at the soul involves looking past shapes, sizes attitudes and behaviour to see the real individual that lies beneath the surface. It allows you to see the true essence of another person, the radiance of their being and their spirit within.

Our appearances or personality captures very little of us, the thoughts fears, desires and longings that are part of what makes us whole are not always written across our faces. Often the most surprising thing that we may earn soul gazing is that the persona of the person and the real person are different. One might also discover similarities within us. What soul seeing does it help us experience the people in our lives beyond the mental or physical barriers.

Communication is something that occurs at various levels.  We presume communication as being a part of two part exchange. There is the receptive hearing and active component that is speaking. Yet intuitively we recognize communication goes far beyond what we do with our ears and mouths. Communication is both verbal and non-verbal.

Soul gazing is an exercise that is nonverbal. The energy connect between individuals is opened up. Prolonged eye contact is intimate and that can get challenging.

A good way to do is to sit face to face with one another and state our intention before we begin. The stare begins softly into each other’s eyes without stopping to look away. Each of the soul gets revealed to the other.

The goal being not to look away until the soul is revealed. After which 2-3mnts of silent reflection could help. This harmonizes energies actually tantra uses this to bring about intimacy between couples.

This is quite challenging as some people are shy about looking into another’s eye directly. Some people could perceive it as intrusion. There are others who feel exposed and some are afraid. There could be a tendency to judge ourselves or our partners. Once we are able to overcome these controlling emotions, we are actually able to experience the inner peacefulness and calm.

If you would like to experiment with it, then begin with creating a sacred space

  • The space should be clean and tidy
  • Remove anything that does not belong there, like let the laundry go into the laundry basket, vacuum the place and bring in clean energy.
  • Place something that is relevant to you.
  • Keep the lighting as close to the natural light as possible.
  • If sound is important to you use soft non-intrusive music.
  • Fragrances can also help.
  • Take a deep breath and practise deep relaxation technique.
image courtesy internet
image courtesy internet

Acknowledge each other, begin with focusing on your breathe, look within yourself listen to your thoughts and gradually feel the tension leaving you. Acknowledge each of this but continue to focus on your breathe. When you reach a place of stillness begin the soul gazing. With both the partners opening their eyes slowly.

Focus on the gaze, and the breathe you will notice that everything around fades away. You be drawn to the present moment. Where the thoughts of the past and future melt away. The eyes now truly become the window of the soul.

Gradually what you will notice is that your partner and you are breathing synchrony. We also at point make a soul connect. This is very empowering and healing.

The first step.

from BlogAdda
from BlogAdda

Arjun drove all night

He had to reach Panchagani by morning he would check in to the hotel freshen up. Over breakfast he had just enough time to give final touches to his presentation. Not bad he thought the going was good.

Driving through the nearly empty streets unknowingly the speed had accelerated to 120km/hr.  The next thing he knew was there was huge sound and the air bag popped up, despite that he was badly mangled, he had forgotten the seat belt.

He was now recovering. Taking one step at time, that made life so much easier to navigate rather than looking at the big picture that needed total re-mapping. That kind of looked scary; the seminars that he was to conduct had found new people to take on, that made him vulnerable.

Arjun suddenly realized that years of life did not arrive all at once. It greeted us day by day. With the descent of each setting sun, each one of us rested our heads and let the world take care of itself for a while.  It was as if the nights rest ensures that the dawn would bring with it a chance to meet our lives anew, donning fresh perspectives and dream-inspired hopes. The hours that follow before we return to sleep once more are for us to decide how we want to live and learn laugh and grow. Our lives are sweeter and more manageable because we must experience this them this way.

It was a good to know the destination but it was not really that rigid. The hours that follow waking, before we return to sleep once again are for us to decide how we want to live and learn, laugh and grow. Our lives are sweeter and more manageable because we must experience them this way one day at a time.

To Arjun the future that stretched out before him, made him notice the overwhelming prospect of the journey yet to come, he had to make lifestyle changes, it all seemed so daunting. He had not been so daunted when he just launched his career or just got married, but now it was different. There was an underlying anxiety about his ability to succeed.

Meditating each morning and rendering gratitude each night had now begun to bring a measure of calm, and renewed confidence in his capabilities somewhere he had discovered that inner faith that the future will take of itself.

Arjun then realized that it was the way we showed up in our lives today and maybe tomorrow had great impact on the way we would experience life years from now. Being totally engaged in the day at hand, experiencing all that it had to offer whole hearted with joy and gratitude, just opened a new horizon for him.

“Sometimes you don’t know when you’re taking the first step through a door until you’re already inside.”
― Ann VoskampOne Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

The Reaction reason.

violet flameAnvi was part of the forum, as she was dealing with tobacco issues. As the conversations and counselling went out, what appeared in her space was as child she and two of her male cousins had played havoc in a room, they had actually ripped a pillow open. Her grandfather entered the room, saw the mess he hauled the boys whacked them till they could park their backside without wincing. He left Anvi alone.

5yr. Old anvi then figured that her grandfather didn’t even think she was worth whacking. The inner child was formed and she went on taking on masculine traits. Of course it was handled with lot of therapy, family constellation.* etc.

What stayed with me, is a decision and reasoning behind it. she has lived with that agony for the seventeen years of her life….

Anvi was a little girl, but so many times as adults we have done this. attaching meaning to events in our lives. The mind only acknowledges the known. So many times pain is also pleasure because it is known.  Coming back, we have this tendency ot assign meaning to our experiences – this could pleasant or distressing. This actually determines the quality of our lives. What we imagine events to mean will colour the way we feel about ourselves, abou the people in our lves and about the world at large.

It’s as if, I have diagnosed Simi as being very self centered, and everything she says, I would reframe and re-intepret until it suited my perception of Simi. Its not a compromise of if life hands you a lemon make lemonade. It is okay this is not to be… then what is to be… does that what is to be excite me enough? And just move along.

If a friends stands up for lunch instead of throwing a tantrum intellectually thank the universe for the “alone time” that has been handed to you and get on with the next task on your todo list.

When we sit up and notice what we have been doing its amazing the kind of stories we have told ourselves and the kind of messages that we have fed ourselves with.

One way of sorting that worked for me is morning pages as soon as I wake up I write a page of without thinking or analysing as the words float in and out lot of times it does not make sense but many a times I see recognizable patterns.

About family constellation it is a three dimensional group process that has the power to shift generations of suffering and unhappiness. This is a work that is founded by Bert Hollinger; many of us unconsciously take on destructive familial patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, guilt loneliness , alcoholism and even illness as a way of belonging in our families. Bonded by a deep love, a child often sacrifices his won best interests in a vain attempt to ease the suffering of a parent or other family members. This allows us to break these patterns so that we gain an insight that can be life changing.

Leaving a Legacy.

legacyI found out that the month of   August had another interesting observation—what is your legacy Month. I was quite surprised, not only did not know about it, but neither could I comprehend it for usually legacy meant something that is received from someone who has died. I decided to research more about it and I did find very interesting things.

Yet it also means something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past essentially saying that it impacts the present but the origin is the past.

That makes…What will be your legacy month is a month for people to reflect on their past and present actions and vow to make positive changes that will affect generations. We have to remember whether positive or negative are planted in our children’s lives. This observance about making the right choices so that our children and their children will make the right choices.

I remember my grandfather saying everyone must leave something behind when he dies, a child, a book or a painting or house or wall built or garden or just a pair of shoes. Something our hand touched in some way so that our soul has some where to go when we die, and when people look at that tree or flower that we planted knows that we are there.

It does not matter we do, he had said, as long as we change something from the way it was before we touched into something that’s like us when we take our hands away. That he explained was essentially the difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a great gardener the touch. The lawn cutter may just as not been there at all, the gardener will be there a life time.

Of course the first thing that I looked into was the legacies that I have to be grateful for.

  • Work ethics we were never taught ethics, but we did learn from observation that we had to work hard and be persistent and that every one contributed to the success of the family.
  • Affection we did learn that family and friends stood by each other despite of differences, again no one actually preached this to us but we just picked up along the way observing how the nuclear family blended and contributed to the larger extended family. My grandmothers have always been my best friends and now I see my mother and mother-in-law are my daughters’ confidants.
  • Community – my parents were definitely not religious not by any yard stick but they were involved the community. Our house was an open house, being near the hospital, when people were hospitalized their lunch would go from our home.
  • Financial security my parents worked hard to give my brother and I, lot of comforts in life, Money we learnt was to be used wisely and decisions had to be weighed against needs and wants.

I wondered what my legacy would be… the only way to gauge it would be figuring out how my friends, family and business partners use.

Maybe this is the time for to reflect on what is that we can be proud of? And are our behaviour in line with values and beliefs, which made me realize that my behaviour many a times did not align with my values and beliefs. Stress impacted the way I dealt with things handled problems or communicated. I did not always act or handle things the way that I would have liked to.

I also realized that I had learnt not from my parents’ teachings but by observing them. That meant my legacy would be the way I nurture, or neglect my children.

I wondered how could this be celebrated or ways here was what I thought we could do

  • Contemplating on the legacy that we have been left. Are they the ones we want to pass along to those around us?
  • What are the values that we are passing forward? If we are not sure evaluating the best words that describe us from a character traits list could help.
  • Host a legacy party
  • Invite people who made an impact on your life.
  • Send a thank you note everyone who impacted our life.
  • Play the legacy game – each person attending will tell what they would like to be remembering by.

Why wait till someone dies to send the eulogy, it would be nice if we told all the things we appreciate about people when they are alive. After all language allows us to reach out to people, to touch them with our inner most fears, hopes, disappointments, victories. To reach out to people we’ll never meet. It is probably one of the greatest legacies that we could leave to our children or loved ones—the history of how we felt.

Finding the answers within

The conference of birds is a lovely book, where this bird goes in search of the divine, only to find it within itself. Somewhere our fundamental questions of life are the same, we are looking for answers without.  When I say answers outside it is not about question and answer sessions but issues that we are grappling with.

We seek solutions to our insecurity by looking outside ourselves and seek advice from people around us. but each of us is really unique, with our personal histories our own sense of right and wrong and our own way of experiencing the world that defines our realities, looking to others for our answers can only partially help. The answers to our personal questions are more often found by looking within. When we realize that we always have access to that part of us that knows what we need and meant to act as inner compass, we can stop searching outside our self. We can hear, trust and embrace the wisdom that lives within us, we will be able confidently navigate our life.

There was a point, when there were so many unanswered questions but I had no courage to seek the answers, when I did, it gave meaning to life. there was a time when I spent my life wallowing in despair, wondering why I was the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain  then I learnt to grateful the strength I  could gather to survive it.

The inner wisdom was awkward initially, particularly since I was taught to look to others, with more educational degrees, or age for answers. When I learnt hypnotherapy I realized that each of us had exclusive access to our inner knowing.  All we had to do is remember how to listen and the process of relearning how to hear, receive, and follow our own guidance needed patience.  Many a times I had to recall incidences when I went with my gut instinct and got things right, and times when I went against my gut instinct and had to face to issues. That gave me the confidence to go with my own intuition.

I know when I have second guessed myself and have gone against what I know as my truth, I went off course simply because I no longer followed my inner compass. But looking inside myself for the answers for my life questions, I realized I was consulting the best guide, the guide who knew the why’