[Long Post] Cultivating Abundance

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She found herself standing in a breeze that blew her hair over her face as she stood outside a tall wooden door that seemed old and worn. It was a pleasant afternoon and she felt mildly curious. She saw the brass handle shaped like a mermaid with wings. It would take a lot of effort to push this door open, she thought, and she had a small frame. So, using all her might, she pushed at the door. But something strange happened. She almost fell onto the floor inside the temple for the moment she touched the handle, the door seemed to swing open on its own as if on automatic! Regaining her balance, she faced a long hall with a red carpet laid out, lined with golden borders. “Hello?” she called out, but she already had a sense that there was no one. Yet the temple didn’t feel empty. She couldn’t see the end of the hall for it was so long. She walked around. The hall was lined on either side with beautiful figures of the many Buddhas all made in pure gold. There was not a speck of dust on them. Around each Buddha figure were creatures from different realms. As she walked on, she alternated on both sides so as not to miss anyone. Hanging from the ceiling were intricately embroidered beautiful, colourful mandalas, as if representing each Buddha’s journey to Buddha-hood. She marvelled at them. It took her a long time to get to the centre. When she finally reached the centre of the hall, she gaped. The most exquisite and huge statue of Goddess Tara stood in the front with her eyes half closed, as if in deep, blissful meditation. She wore a crown of the most glittering and preciously carved jewels. In front of this golden statue, almost twenty feet high, was a lamp, bigger than any she had ever seen, filled with the most fragrant oil, with a single wick that held a steady flame. She sat down awed. Nothing in her life could’ve prepared her for this moment. All her thoughts fell away just by gazing at this beautiful image. The silence of the temple was alert, listening, waiting for her to respond. Her mind was empty. As if in response, she bowed forward and touched her head to the ground. Gratitude was the only apt response. It was then the temple spoke, “I am here, because you are here. All that you see has been created by you”. She was surprised. The temple spoke again, “All the beauty and magnificence you see here, is the magnificence you have seen within your own soul”. She understood and smiled. She looked at the Goddess and knew she was looking at her own reflection.

~

I left my IT career amid panic attacks that I won’t be able to sustain myself. I had nightmares in the days leading up to my resignation. At the time I put in my papers, I had no savings. I prayed to the angels and that very day my company extended my notice period by three months. It came as a relief for me. I saved enough to shift into my own place for the next few months to help me with the transition. I was still scared of facing my parents and shifting back home, for the last time I had done that, it had been very difficult for me.

These past few years of being on my own have been a litmus test of all the spiritual knowledge that I had gathered. It is one thing to know that God is the source of all abundance, quite another to not feel anxiety when you have only a few thousand left in your bank account. I went through severe anxiety and panic at one point. Trust was hard for me to come into. A lot of my immediate shift was brought about when I visited the Ramana Maharshi’s cave in Tiruvannamalai. Shifting into a higher level of consciousness helped my anxiety to fall off.

Only in the last few months I saw this mental obsession for making ends meet completely fall away. I started understanding how to be in touch with the divine flow that we call abundance and that money is just a representative of it. None of the mental gimmicks of manifestation really worked. It was just a greater sense of rhythm I started becoming aware of.

Years ago I had done a beautiful e-course on Hay House radio by Helen Kim called “Conscious Money”. A few things she taught in that course shed a lot of light on the energy of money. Recently I also picked up John Randolph Price’s, The Abundance Book, on Sangeeta’s recommendation and what struck me the most was the line that money is the effect, not the cause. This line validated something I had understood but couldn’t quite put into words. Here are my learnings small and big that I have put into practice and that are helping me open up to trust, which is what abundance really means, and staying connected to it.

  1. The greater the sense of service, the greater money flows into your life.

When I was in IT I didn’t feel a connection to my job or my company. The sense that I was wasting my life working there brought me guilt and hence I was unable to manage my finances and save. The only time I felt good about money was when I spent it on spiritual workshops learning skills that mattered to me. I often come across people who go through the same situation. Our sense of service does not come from loyalty to a company where we are working just to make our ends meet. That is simply scarcity thinking! After one point the soul gets tired and manifests into health issues, concentration issues, social issues, and even apathy towards oneself. Our sense of service comes naturally and spontaneously when we are in service to something larger than ourselves. The beautiful quote aptly summarizes this –

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When I was frustrated with being broke and no sessions coming in, I looked into my heart and found the real issue that was truly blocking me was that I was not giving my 100% to my sessions. I believed that these sessions were just a transition step to something else, but after 2 years of doing sessions, there was no clarity emerging on what that something else was. I finally went to the root of it that this is how my mind was made up towards anything I labelled as a ‘job’. I started paying attention to where my skills needed brushing up and worked on them consciously. I also started receiving clarity that when we learn something on this spiritual path, we must teach it consciously too, to the best of our ability. Somehow the energy must flow. That too it must come from a place of sharing and service rather than being a means to an end.

  1. The more you invest in yourself, the more the soul rejoices, the greater the feeling of prosperity.

This is a continuation from the above aspect. When you realize that your best will come through by learning new skills, honing your existing skills, you start “investing” in yourself towards something that makes you feel good. This in turn increases joy. Joy and curiosity become the basis of your actions. Investing in yourself could also mean investing in your spiritual growth. I’ve often seen that cultivating a conscious practice of investing in your well-being yields a greater sense of prosperity.

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For example, I kept feeling a calling to take care of my body through a regular practice but kept putting it off. One day I decided to make an intention and within a week I found a very affordable Isha Yoga course happening in my city. Soon afterward I found various pockets of accumulated stress releasing. A week later I also found myself attending a creative movement therapy course which turned my whole energy around and put me in a beautiful space of oneness. Through it all the flow of sessions increased and not only that, but the results people experienced carried greater clarity and oneness.

  1. Celebrating life even when you are broke.

I had read some time ago that islands are some of the happiest places in the world where as individual citizens, the inhabitants often own very little. Have you heard their music? Have you seen their dances? These things come for free. I discovered the truth of my favourite quote from Helen Kim’s course, “Being broke is a situation. Being poor is a state of mind”. There are some activities, especially those involving a community, that often come for free. When there is a sense of continuity in the lifestyle you have when you are broke and when you are well off, you slowly find the whole fear of being poor dissolving. In fact if you go to the root of that belief, for a lot of us, being poor might translate to abandonment, social isolation, deprivation, lack of support, desperation, hopelessness and a feeling of helplessness. You see poor is not a state of our finances. It is an emotional state. It is a set of emotions. No wonder we are afraid of poverty! But the good thing is to start making the distinction between poverty and going broke.

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I stopped feeling bad when I consciously started making this distinction. My finances still didn’t improve much but I saw that I wasn’t poor. I joined a community where people offered free or giftivism-based activities. I stopped abandoning myself by making it a regular practice to go for walks in a jogging park that I previously admired from outside. I found myself pulling out those gifts people had given me over the years that I hadn’t put to use, like trinkets, and putting them up in my house. Waking up to the sun on my face. Having a very tiny but pretty garden which gave me fragrant lemongrass. Laughter. Postcards from countries I had once visited. Recording my mum’s lullabies on my phone that she had once sang to us. Singing. Dancing. Smelling wax crayons. I even went to a market I used to once visit as a child to buy knickknacks from. I discovered a new word: plenitude.

  1. Give first what you want to receive.

We never truly have nothing to give. In fact the more unconditionally you give, the more you find that you aren’t truly as broke as you thought you were. I heard this from my brother who treks in the nearby Sahyadri Mountains. Often they have to take shelter in tiny villages or settlements with just one or two huts from the pouring rains. The villagers give them shelter and water to drink. But some don’t even have that. Once he and a couple of others had to take shelter in one tiny hut with a couple who were about to have a meal of half a chapatti. This couple took them in, gave them shelter over the night and even shared their half chapatti with them. Both of us were moved by this incident.

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In those times of receiving free sessions from the community, I shared with them a set of eBooks I had collected and referred to over the years. I opened up my house for friends to hang out in and sometimes stay. I gave away books I had thoroughly enjoyed in a community space created by home-schoolers in my city called ‘Dariya Dil Dukaan’ where people came to give away various things they no longer needed, from which they could also pick things up for themselves. I also discovered a very important thing in this process – generosity is a muscle, a habit. It may not come naturally to us owing to our social conditioning but that doesn’t mean we cannot learn. I also found unconditional giving in my relationships – where I was previously withholding my involvement in terms of time, eagerness, curiosity, creativity and emotional fulfillment. The more I gave, the more expanded I felt and the more love flowed in. The friends I had opened up the house for came up with their own garden in my backyard which they tend to and care for.

  1. Self-care.

For the longest of times I believed self-care was about buying cool clothes, wearing heels to look good, buying good make up, going for regular manicures and pedicures and expensive facials. Until through my relationships I came to know I don’t really care about myself inspite of all of this. I even bought a book on self-care but it didn’t quite resonate.

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Over these years I have come to understand self-care is about kind words spoken to yourself in a silent space that belongs only to you. Self-care is walking barefoot on wet soil and grass getting them all dirty. Self-care is looking in the mirror for hours until you find that innocent sparkle in your eyes again. It is choosing love over fear, even if it means some of your self – preservation needs aren’t met. It is about keeping your house clean, keeping your garden watered, taking time to learn how to cook what you love. Self-care is about finding playfulness. It is about being 100% involved and present in what you do. Self-care is about breaking your limitations. Self-care is taking the time to understand your choices that you find difficult forgiving yourself for. Self-care is about caring for yourself as if you’re Existence itself. The baths, pedicures, clothes, facials may come as a part of it. But they’re not the end in itself. As you start caring for yourself, you create an inner security, which is a major component of prosperity thinking.

  1. Creating security.

Money, for many of us, is a source of security. And this sense of security comes often from a childhood conditioning where money was also the cause of insecurity. True security comes through an inner connection to the divine where you have experientially understood that the universe is your source of supply rather than a certain person, job or ability. For most of us this is however a journey.

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One way of creating this sense of security and trust in the bigger picture of life is by creating a daily reflection routine on the higher aspects of abundance. For me it often means putting up post-it’s on the walls of my house at different places where I see them with the affirmation, “I trust the flow of life”. It also involves consciously giving up or addressing the root cause of fear-based thoughts. It involves having savings. In fact saving is often misunderstood if you have been brought up by parents who saved a lot, adopted a thrifty attitude, owing to their own past of financial insecurity. I learnt a practice of percentage saving that started working for me through which I was able to invest into myself when the time came. It also helped me to create a sense of peace when I didn’t work for a whole month and thus generated no income. But a greater shift was an inner attitude change – instead of fear-based saving, I was saving from a sense of love and self-care.

  1. Debt and associated guilt.

Debt is something we struggle with at some point in our life owing to the current financial system. Debt can also be enjoyed as part of the abundance if you are happy with your work and happy with the investment that you drew up debt for, for example, a house. However the kind of debt that you incur which makes you bitter, resentful and angry at yourself often arises from a sense of guilt. There are various kinds of emotional guilt we carry in our life. It could be gender-based guilt where you’ve picked up from people around you that you shouldn’t be earning more than your spouse or the men in your family. It could be guilt coming from family conditioning that you cannot be better off than your older siblings or your parents. It could be guilt from peers that you make a lot of money more “easily” than others. It could also be the age-old guilt that money is not spiritual and that you become a bad person if you are money-minded. Until you resolve these emotional hooks, it may seem very challenging to come out of guilt and hence debt.

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I remember at one point going through Debtors Anonymous and asking myself some very important questions that helped me shift out of debt that I would often incur because I was guilty of spending for myself. This guilt itself stemmed from feeling ashamed about my own self as a child when I didn’t look pretty with the clothes I wore. Resolving this emotional block took time. I also addressed my deeply buried emotions based on my core belief that “I am ugly”. When the emotions were healed, I no longer felt deprived of clothes. I stopped creating debt.

  1. Receiving.

I struggled with gratitude especially towards money. But this inner rigidity started shifting when I read “The Power of Receiving” by Amanda Owen. One of the most striking lines for me in that book were where she says how you buy a book but you don’t do the exercises in that book. For me this essentially means that you have the key right there but you refuse to receive it, use it and open your inner locks. One of the exercises she mentions is cultivating gratitude. I still struggled with saying thank you to the money I received. But there was one practice I picked up from a Breathwork practitioner – blessing the giver with “May it come back to you a million times”. Then I stumbled upon a blog which finally brought meaning to the gratitude practice. Instead of just saying thank you or “I am grateful…” say why you are grateful, what changed or shifted for you in terms of your feelings. For example, I was grateful that someone wrote me a testimonial because I felt valued for what I do. I was grateful I could invest in myself because it made me feel cherished. The Abundance Book breaks down “money” as My Own Natural Energy Yield.

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We make a separation between “me” and “money”. This is the reason why being grateful for the money we have doesn’t resonate. The gratitude towards our own selves is missing. And that may point to a deeper issue – that you’re too self-critical or judgmental about yourself and your abilities. It could also point to shame. It could point to not feeling good enough which can translate to feeling helpless.

  1. Generosity and giving back.

In my own culture giving back is viewed as sacred. In fact our local temple still has a cow which we feed when we visit it. As a part of giving back, we were also encouraged as children to feed ants and crows. We also often have a temple culture where one person donates a sum to the temple to feed the poor and needy on a certain auspicious day. With the change in careers I completely lost touch with these practices until my mother reminded me of them.

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I started making a regular contribution to a fund run by my yoga school which they use for getting their infrastructural needs met, as well as providing education for rural children. I also came up with my own way of connecting to animals and feeding them. However it took me some time to find the right organisations and giving-back systems to connect to without a sense of guilt, obligation or expectation. I found that giving to charities still comes from a sense of hierarchy, but generosity comes from a space of equals. The energy from which action stems is more important than the action itself. As I experimented, I found out places that made me fall into the “do-gooder” trap and stayed away from contributing in those spaces. I also started acknowledging that my writing is my way of giving back to the universe what it churns within me.

  1. Greed.

Under the pretext of getting “value for money”, we often fall into patterns of greed. It is when you try to hoard or ask for things you don’t really need. It can often include bargaining inspite of knowing that a price is right. It requires self-control to acknowledge one’s greed patterns. Sometimes we end up having these habits because we are afraid of being cheated. This might again point to shame. Consciously acknowledging these patterns and taking responsibility for them is a very good start to letting them go.

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One of my turning points happened when I started receiving an intuitive sense of value towards the goods and services I bought. This would often show up as a number that would flash in front of me. If a person charged more than that or even less than that, it would show up as an uncomfortable feeling in my body. I learned to trust these inner feelings. A greater revelation that happened as a result of following my intuition was that I became aware of the innate sense of balance. The highest law of this manifest universe is balance. The very nature of energy is balance. Often when we experience a loss or a gain, it is in accordance with this higher sense of balance. For example, if a person does cheat you and charges more for his service, it is very likely that you will attract a great deal somewhere else in your life either at that point, or some later point.

For more practical steps on how to manage your finances attuned to your emotional wellbeing, or for contributing to this article, please write to me at contact@creawithin.in.

Resources:

  1. Compound interest calculation sheet by my dear friend, Praful from whom I’ve learnt a lot of lessons on abundance.
  2. Transform your life in 30 daysAbraham Hicks
  3. Rebirthing-Breathwork – this technique often unlocks a high degree of abundance once you do ten sessions with a good practitioner.
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Documentary Feature Today

riding-on-a-sunbeam-poster

About a year ago I was asked to do past life regression work for the two protagonists of this documentary film. The documentary is about discovering India in ways no one has discovered her before. It was in this process that they discovered a bizarre and dramatic case of a past life recall in an Indian village that led them to undergo regression themselves.

It was heartening to see the documentary receive crowdfunding enough to get it made. It will be screened today at NCPA Mumbai ‘s Little Theater at 6.30pm. I will be there alongwith friends I’ll be connecting to after very long because of whom I got connected to the protagonists in the first place.

Grateful to the weird generous unfolding of life. Do comment if you will be joining. :)

Event linkhttps://www.facebook.com/events/719598001499702/

PS: If you wish to undergo past life regression, Inner child healing, Rebirthing-Breathwork or a couple’s counselling session, please drop me a mail at spirit.of.crea@gmail.com. If you comment on my post, please put your email id instead of your number for me to revert back. Thank you. Love!

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Story medicine

gabrielle roth

Stories are medicine. They heal us because we draw emotional connections to them. Over the last few years I have been not only studying the healing arts, but also storytelling, screenplay writing and its various aspects.

I love Carl Jung’s work. In fact he laid down the term “Inner Child” observing his own behaviors stemming from conclusions he had drawn as a child. Then he also coined the terms “Anima and Animus” which in my understanding of dealing with various issues of the feminine and masculine, I can say are revolutionary. But to treat this as psychology i.e science based on human behaviors and drawing structures out of people’s behaviors is like applying a formula to film-making and using that formula to imagine. It is regressive and it doesn’t work. Yes you do need to understand structures for the awareness of these heals and helps you break your patterns. However, far too often, we get caught up in the science and forget the one thing that led us there – the mystery, the unknown. This itself takes us to the art.

Past life regression, inner child work and even rebirthing-breathwork heal you because they are eventually art forms. They point to the unknown. They bring out aspects of you that you wouldn’t otherwise would’ve guessed at. However, if you don’t correctly see what the unknown is trying to point you to, you reduce it to a story without understanding its implications and accessing its multidimensional nature. It is this very nature that heals us.

Recently I came across someone who had undergone multiple past life regressions from several people. They had served a purpose, and yet she found it difficult to change herself. At the end of a very long history-taking that unfolded, I told her she doesn’t need regression sessions. She was confused. Then I told her how through every session she had come to strengthen her core belief that no therapist had perhaps seen or acknowledged – her mind had been using these sessions to confirm her theory how one family member was against her and was out to harm her wellbeing. I told her what had changed the course of my inner awareness at a time when I thought my own mother was against my own wellbeing, and I had tried various ways to “cut cords” was the advice – “Your mother is your guru. Find that guru in her and you will be spiritually liberated“.

It took me 7 years to go from acceptance to surrendering to living this truth. The journey was worthwhile every bit for it taught me an important lesson – that wellbeing doesn’t come at the cost of deleting people in your life but comes from a healthy balance of inter-dependence. The rest of the session unfolded without glamour. She reported a shift in herself afterwards.

This is where the story was the same, but the perspective different. An ex-Buddhist monk often quotes, “the mind has the tendency to prove itself right“. True healing through stories happens when the very beliefs you are “certain” about are debunked in face of reality; reality which is observed as a 360 degree perspective that is larger than our own finite viewpoint. This is the true “stepping out” of a person as a hero in the oft-cited “hero’s journey“.
A sign that you are truly being led by a larger perspective rather than your own narrow-sense, is that you suddenly feel responsible in giving to others what you thought you lacked. In this woman’s case it was compassion, which is what she desired from her family member. In my case, it was unconditional acceptance which I desired from my mother.

There are several “common truths” or common themes one discovers through these journeys irrespective of the healing modality one uses. Here are some of the most striking ones which I personally keep discovering again and again in various aspects, like a kaleidoscope continuously moving –

1. It wasn’t personal 

When a woman who had been routinely physically beaten up as a child by her parents underwent inner child healing, at one point she looked into the eyes of her parent deeply in a regressed state. At that moment she looked into the thoughts and emotions and only saw pain there. The pain of not being good enough. It had nothing to do with her. At that moment forgiveness occurred without using the “f” word. When you truly start understanding this, you allow people’s behaviors to “pass through you” or you quietly “reinterpret” without making it about the other person. Ultimately, as the Toltec wisdom says, nothing anyone does or says is because of us. And the other way round.

2. I am innocent

Behind every act of ours there is an intention operating. However harmful the act may appear to be, beneath the act is innocence. It is rather a continuation of the above understanding in fact, that it isn’t personal.
In a role reversal, another person regressed and saw that he had almost killed someone. His core issue was guilt. When he looked into his own intention, initially it was the pleasure he got from exerting his power. When he looked deeper, it hit him that he felt powerless which drove him to believe that. When he looked even deeper, he saw that he needed the power to protect the territory he was designed to protect. At the end of the day this was a man doing his job. And one might argue, rather too well. The core intention was harmless and innocent.
We cannot hold ourselves guilty for what we do not know about ourselves.

3. I am the only one punishing myself

She came for a regression because the one she loved had married someone else even though he too loved her and now they both regretted it. When she regressed she saw that she was angry that he had left her in one life and never returned even though he said he would. So she created this as a means to punish herself and her lover, a contract that “I will make sure we will keep each other apart”. When she went into the light of higher consciousness before she chose that lifetime, her spiritual guide warned her and asked her not to choose this kind of lifetime. She did it anyway. There she understood that no one else is doing the forgiveness because no one else is doing the punishing. We are the only creators and choice makers. This whole belief of a god punishing or forgiving us is a trap to escape our divine power – the power to choose kindness and let go.

4. Lack of awareness is the only mistake (sin)

A profound shift occurs when you view yourself on the scale of Eternity rather than on the scale of time. You begin to see that the only way to understand your mistakes is awareness. The game of earthly existence is forgetfulness. We forget we have lived here before. We forget we have multiple chances to learn, play and grow. We forget we are beyond our limited roles that we are playing. We forget we signed up for those roles. So we forget why we did it. And we start taking this game seriously and get more entangled. The only medicine is awareness. The only healing is awareness. Awareness of our infinite nature, not just a mental understanding, but making day to day, moment to moment choices based on this. Awareness that helps us step out of the seriousness of the game, instead of wanting to abandon the game through death or suicide and instead play it, rather than suffer it.
Stubbornly sticking to the awareness that “I am Love, I am Light” is our only redemption.

5. Nothing goes away until it teaches you what you needed to learn

Patterns repeat because life lessons are not Aesop’s fables with a moral of the story cut out for you to know. Often people opting in for regression are what we call mature souls. Just as a person has an age, the soul too has an age depending on the kind and number of lives it has led. This reflects in the instant maturity a person seems to be born with. The more mature, the more subtle are life lessons. They are more experience-based understanding of the qualities such as compassion, forgiveness, humility, oneness, generosity of spirit. One experience is usually not enough to imbibe these qualities. And here is a lesser known secret – these qualities are not to be ‘understood’, they are to be integrated as your very existence, your very physical presence. It’s as if you become more and more impersonal, experience after experience until you become a living embodiment of these alone.

5. Freedom is the absence of belief

A good example was a woman who was jealous that a certain family member was better off than her and was constantly comparing herself. In a space of expanded awareness she saw how this so-assumed ‘deprivation’ had given her an inner strength that helped her become a bigger person. In this understanding this belief of higher and lower fell. There was no need to compare but rather to collaborate and grow. Freedom came from the belief and not from getting rid of the person who she believed made her unhappy.
True freedom or liberation is not about loss or gain of anything external. It has nothing to do with our responsibilities. No lover is going to set you free. No social contract is going to bind your true nature. Even spiritual contracts only serve you to put greater effort in revealing who you are.

~

If you are choosing to tell yourself stories, ask yourself whether those stories empower you, villainise you or victimise you. It is easy to use healing to beat yourself up. It is easy to use mythologies to lift yourself up. We are a collage of stories. Sometimes we forget that. We make our whole life journey about just a single story. That is like saying you will wear yellow and shades of yellow only for the rest of your life. If you are truly courageous, you would, like I have often started doing to challenge myself, ask yourself, Who would I be without this story?

Byron Katie Self realisation

 


Next post: A fun way to rewrite your victim story. 

Posted in Inner Child Work, Past life regression therapy, Self-healing Tools | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Love, regardless

“Do not fall in love with people like me.
I will take you to museums, parks
and monuments;
And kiss you in every beautiful place,
So that you never go back to them,
without tasting me
like blood in your mouth.
I will destroy you
in the most beautiful way possible.
And when I leave
you will finally understand
Why storms are named after people”.
-Caitlyn Siehl

Love  is what I sought out to find through my very first past life regression. But it would take me very long to understand love that is part of everything and yet has nothing to do with what I think it is.

My first real glimpse was surprisingly sitting in a Crossword bookstore, silently bawling my eyes out because I couldn’t understand for the life of me what was wrong with me and how I could fix it. I wanted to find something, anything that would heal my emotional pain. This pain came from being in constant conflict with my mother. And this was after having had amazing third eye visions, viscerally channeling my higher self as an enlightened consciousness, seeing the creation of my Soul in my inner eye. As I moved through the self help section of Crossword, I gravitated towards a book whose cover appealed to me. It was a lady with silver hair and the kindest of piercing blue eyes. Byron Katie. She was part of our recommended reading list for our regression therapy training. I’d never read her. I pulled that book out and started reading it. Slowly as I went through one question that she answered in the book to another, I could see and feel her transition from being an “ordinary” person full of complaints, to a person whose mind has turned into Light. Some questions resonated so strongly that I cried more at finally having found someone who understood me. As I continued reading for the next couple of hours, it seemed my mind opened, just a crack, but it was enough to let the light in.

Halfway through the book, I had absorbed enough and the light had come in enough for me to see what was creating constant conflict in me towards my mother –
She doesn’t understand me.
The moment the words appeared in the messy waters of my thoughts, the chaos fell into an inner silence.

I had made direct contact with my own suffering. That was transcendence.

Byron Katie’s technique called ‘The Work‘ comprises of 4 questions –

Is it true?
Do you absolutely know that to be true?
How do you feel / who are you when you believe this thought?
How would you feel / who would you be without this thought?

In that moment of inner silence I knew without a doubt that my mother was under no obligation to understand me. In fact, she couldn’t possibly understand me. As I asked myself the third and fourth question, I saw myself being happy and carefree being around my mother and the love flowing effortlessly and unabashedly towards her. This is who I was without that belief – I was Love, draped in a body.

In that moment, I was calm for the first time in months, perhaps even decades. There was a deep peace, an inner settling. I no longer saw her as the ‘enemy’. In doing so I no longer saw myself as the child crying to be saved.

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Couple of years ago I left my job with one of the reasons being that I wanted to spend more time with my mother. I realised I had missed her through my childhood since she was a very busy, working mother. I knew I wanted to be around her, and just ‘hang out’. In these last two years a lot of blocks sprung up every now and then and my mind went to war with her ever so often. Interspersed between them though were moments of love flowing effortlessly towards her. Inspite of these waves, there was an eternal sense of awareness that our only real bond was love. Everything else was just confetti that came and fell as and when. It was only about practicing the lesson that she was just a mirror when she triggered me, a mouthpiece for anything unresolved within me. Beyond that, I could see her for the wounded child she was.

You see, after the four questions, a part of The Work is to turn the belief around and examine how that is true. She doesn’t understand me turned around to I didn’t understand her. The truth was I had indeed ‘missed’ her not as a mother, but as a person. I had missed seeing her beyond her role of a mother, beyond the obligation my mind had imposed upon her, that she should understand me, as a part of fulfilling her duty towards me. Having acknowledged this belief and seeing it for what it is, being around her at worst I felt sympathy towards her, and at best, I contacted her suffering directly in my body and cried out of her pain with deep gratitude. I was no longer at war with reality being the way it is.

Yes, this vision that I had seen about 7 years ago sitting in the bookstore had finally manifested. I was open to receiving her love, without the guilt that I had to do something in return to deserve it. One of my core beliefs, I realised was also that her love was conditional. That she loved me only when I was a good, obedient child. Being with her with an open mind I realised that even she believed that she had not loved me enough! That broke this wall of belief and I realised in turn that for me her love was enough. This broke one of the biggest myths I had learnt – that love in this human world cannot be unconditional. The truth is all love is unconditional. Few of us dare to challenge our own thoughts and dare to challenge our self image to actually peer into the love that flows beneath, regardless.

This has immeasurably altered my relationships. I’ve been in a love relationship that is as unsteady as my mind can be. I am on my tiptoes often because my biggest beliefs are brought up for questioning. It is as challenging as any relationship can be! All my ‘should’s’ and ‘should not’s’ rise up like icebergs in front of a speeding ship. Yet what is clearer than ever before is the love that seeks to flow effortlessly regardless of how ‘right’ it is for me to withhold love. It feels like a violence to myself if I try to withhold love. It is such a touchstone, that even if I say I should be loving, the flow of love abates. It has made me wonder…

Is love different from awareness?

I’ve found the answer to be a laughter and a smile. Perhaps love is just the maturing of awareness from its teenager-like, alert state.

I meet a lot of people seeking love in their relationships when they come for root cause therapy, inner child healing, etc. It is almost like people are ready to walk into the temple with a list of what they want. But few are ready to walk into the temple ready to question, examine and surrender that which is stopping them from receiving it. Few are ready to offer their ego up to the divine.

Unconditional love is real, possible and very much eternal. It is however walking into a fire and burning what you think of yourself to be. It is death. Yet there is no end. There won’t ever be a day when you are ‘done’ or that process is over. One has to show up everyday, incessantly. Until of course, this kind of death becomes a way of life. One must be mad I guess to be able to go to any lengths for keeping this kind of love alive! :-) The action that this love demands is fierce and radical. If I cringe from this action however, fearing heartbreak, fearing my own loss of identity as a result, then ruthlessly my partner and I are pulled apart. It is magnetic and fascinating, unpredictable, dancing on one foot and magical! And yet it still retains its primal force.

Happy Valentine’s Day! ;-)
May you dissolve your stories of conditional love to see that the love was always there.

~ Thank you BK <3 xoxo

byron katie buddha

Posted in Everyday realizations, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Books I have been reading

The more I have been falling into my inner silence, the less I feel like reading. Over the last 2-3 years, I have given away books, or just put them in boxes and stowed them away where I couldn’t see them. I was just plain tired of taking in information.

Yet there are some books that came my way, and helped me empty, rather than add to the knowledge I had been trying to get rid off. There is an urge in me nowadays to go into a blank state of mind, an innocence, depicted as a “Fool” in tarot. These books have been taking me there.

shaman of tibet

The Shaman of Tibet by The Winged Wolf 

This book came to me couple of years ago. It is the life of Milarepa, the 12-th century Tibetan saint, who was forced to choose a life of blackmagic and then, to redeem himself, turned towards spirituality. The very visual way in which it has been narrated by the author made me feel like I was living every bit of it. It thrilled me at times and at others, made me feel like I knew Milarepa as I knew my own soul. His journey tore me up and made me forgive myself ever more. What pulled me in instantly was the cover with the tagline, “From anger to enlightenment”. The book also starts with these words that made me feel very connected at the time –

“Dedicated to every person who desires spiritual heights but fears they can never really make it”

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Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell

This is a broad translation (interpretation?) of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, or The Way. I have this as an audio book. Often while cooking, I keep this playing. Sometimes in the background I can sense the effortlessness all wisdom takes us to. I love the fact that when I concentrate and listen to this book, I find it hard to grasp. And yet when I listen to it on the side, I find that there are Aha!-bulbs lighting up, reminding of me instances in my life when the Way was being revealed. Some of the most resonant lines for me are from verse 64 –

Prevent trouble before it arises.
Put things in order before they exist.
The giant pine tree
grows from a tiny sprout.
The journey of a thousand miles
starts from beneath your feet.

Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
you ruin what was almost ripe.
Therefore the Master takes action
by letting things take their course.
He remains as calm
at the end as at the beginning.
He has nothing to lose.

Often when I come across people in this new age spirituality wave judging one’s growth based on how much one earns, how good one’s relationships are, and are highly focused on manifesting, especially through techniques like Access consciousness, Law of attraction, etc., these words from the Tao Te Ching keep me alert from being carried away –

Free from desire, you realise the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

15th Anniversary Cover

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

It has been a full circle for me with this book. In the very first 2 years that inner work started taking precedence in my life, I came across the four agreements. At once something in me picked it up and I found myself religiously following these agreements. They helped me bridge the gap between intellectual spirituality to actual practicing through moment to moment thinking and action. And then I forgot about them. Over the last 6 months, I revived this book from somewhere in my memory, got the audio version and made listening to it a habit. Even when I “forget” about practicing all the four agreements, there is always one particular agreement that I keep reminding myself about, which shifts me in the moment itself. It has largely helped my ego loosen its grip over me. It has helped me to understand and let go easily. The agreement is – Don’t take anything personally.

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Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

A strange thing happened to me in 2008. After a lot of drama unfolded in my life related to inner child healing, I kept being tossed around violently by my own emotional intensity. At that time I was relying wholly on instinct to pick up a book and read it. One such book that came my way was Eckhart’s Stillness Speaks. Since I had also begun meditating for 6-7 hours on a daily basis, I literally resonated with the lines in that book. One day, while reading the paragraph on finding stillness in the tree, a bird in front of you, the world seemed to stand still as I was staring at the peepal tree outside my bedroom window, and every leaf was pulsing with aliveness, with eternity. When I looked back into the book, the space between the printed lines on the page seemed to carry a momentous volume of energy, perhaps as much as the energy behind the words itself. Over the next few days as I absorbed the book and the energy behind it, more than reading, I felt myself dissolving in an effortless dancing silence. Years later I understood that this is referred to as the ‘satori’ state. This state of presence lasted for months where I could watch my mind react, rather than be the reaction. I could watch the emotional turmoil rather than be the turmoil. This state gradually faded away over the year.

Quote_Embracing-Present-MomentEckhart-Tolle

Last year, my spiritual partner gifted me the audio book Power of Now by Eckhart, narrated in his own voice. Together we would put on Eckhart for hours and keep listening to him. Over the last one week, I felt a deep sense of emptiness overcome me. While normally it would disorient me, this time I naturally gravitated to switching on Eckhart and listening to him. I felt myself enter a very restful state of awareness. This state has led to very subtle and “soft” insights, almost like a “luminessence” of thought. Inspite of intense bouts of fear it was easy to go through the fear and enter the awareness that lay beyond. The best feeling however was the sense of immense light being present all around me. This awareness, or knowing, has been present with me ever since. As my friend from Auroville once said to me, the first part of our spiritual journey is to get the understanding that we are light, we are love. The second part is anchoring ourselves in that as a constant state, rather than it coming and going as a stage. This book has that ability to ground you in a state of omnipresence.

byron katie quote forgiveness

Byron Katie

There isn’t a single book I have read completely by Byron Katie. Although I have two books that I “hang out” with from time to time – Question Your Thinking and Change the World and A Thousand Names for Joy. The first one I found again in the midst of intense self-hate, shame and guilt about 7 years ago at a bookstore where I sat down and drank gladly from it. It gave me the strength to “impersonalise” my inner demons. The most memorable part of the book is where she talks about how angry she would get of the socks lying on the floor and then, after her epiphany, looking at the same socks with gratitude. In the latter, her very presence is reflected through every line. Just entering that book is entering the mind’s courtyard fragrant with cherry blossoms.

radical acceptance

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

If all of spiritual teaching in this world had to be summed up in one word alone, it would be acceptance. I dive into this book. Just weekly or monthly dips to remind me of the power of acceptance. At one point in spiritual awareness you realise there are only just basics that count, that really stay. The levels to which you experience these basics intensify and deepen their reach in your life. No one can be taught something like acceptance. Or surrender. Or letting go. Or even forgiveness. But listening to stories where these have been practiced helps us to soften our hold on our stories, our righteousness. Acceptance in itself is something very radical. For me this book helps me to get back on my sword’s edge and stay there. It helps me to get back up in places where I’ve beaten myself down, and accept who I am in totality. I carry this book on my tab so that sitting at an airport, in a cab, in that one moment of “knowledge seeking” luxury, I still turn to something that helps me drop something.

Tara Brach Facebook page

From Tara Brach’s Facebook page

Posted in Inspiring reads, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Newness of 2015

buddha-quote

Today many Indian traditions bring in the new year in the form of festivals like Pongal, Onam and Makar Sankranti.

I had a beautiful start today morning. In addition to the sweet Pongal rice pudding that is traditionally prepared, I was asked to do an Angel card reading for someone who came from a very core scientific background and who the universe was nudging to make a radical shift in his life direction.

It is strange to me that people equate being childlike to being soft, gullible, vulnerable and blindly trusting. If you are also one of them, I urge you to question this image of being a child, for it is just that, an image. I remember being very rude as a child, calling a spade a spade. I also remember being very quiet and quite an introvert (which I translate to someone who is content with her own company). I was fascinated by all the things I would find in me when I wrote, sang and danced. I loved being surprised about myself.

When Inner Child work intensified in my life, it first brought out a mask I had bought into – the people-pleasing, straitjacket girl who is organised and neat. And then ruthlessly this image got burnt away when, every time I acted from this instinct to please, it would backfire. Today I thank the universe’s intelligence to having burnt this side of me, for my ability to tell the truth and call things for what they are, is what helps the beautiful souls most who come to me for readings, clearings, sessions, etc.

Ever since my visit to Sri Ramana Maharshi’s ashram last year, my life has been bringing in a complete new wave. I can see a community of sorts building around my spiritual partner and me. These are people just discovering their spiritual gifts and reluctantly (and sometimes much against their sense of “control”) are being forced to acknowledge that they are the Light, that they are the Earth itself.

In the midst of some of the most amazing energy “downloads” I saw them come up with, some of the most physically intense experiences I saw them have, I questioned my role in this energy circuit. Who am I in all this? In reply I saw my own life’s journey play out to me in slow motion in my inner eye. I could see those times in intense meditations about 3-4 years ago I was seeing the creation of the soul firsthand. I was seeing the vast interconnectedness of an energy grid, which I called the “Cosmic Mind“, looking much like the Flower of Life, where a thought in one individual fires up and lights up different pathways of the grid and makes it come alive in a different way, quite like a kaleidoscope! I was a child in love with these visions. But I didn’t know what to do about these.

Through the course of conversation with these gifted individuals I was sitting around the table with on Christmas Day, it all came together –

You have fallen in love with the design. Now fall in love with its instruments.

It was clear why Breathwork and the technology of breath has been my core fascination for the past 3 years. It was clear why Inner Child healing must take precedence, for yes, only when you start “cleaning up” the mind, does it become transparent enough, to let the Energy effortlessly create what it wants to. And that is what being a child means which, as Jesus says, creates the kingdom of God here. Because it has the ability to interpret fluidly without judgment. Because it has the ability to observe and join the dots intuitively, without fearing the grandness of the bigger picture. For me that is the core purpose of being a child. And mind you, the child has its own ego, as Sadhguru says. The difference is that the ego too comes up only when it must serve the design.

On New Year’s Eve I was sitting in the Ananda Community, making a list of the people who had entered my life in 2014, the people who have gained significance over the year, and the personal message they had to give me, energetically and the habits that had served me i my spiritual growth and those that hadn’t. And as I was doing this work, I repeatedly heard the acharya (the teacher) quoting Paramhansa Yogananda on these topics. I wondered, “Why would someone who had some of the most mystical, magical experiences as a Yogi, someone who was very clearly enlightened, talk about such mundane topics?! What was his need to do that?” A while later, in our lunch break, the answer seemed to stand there unnoticed. One stage of our journey is about realising we are It, call it Love, Source, God, Light, Beauty, Universe. The other part is integrating all that history or conditioning we have inside us that argues, or refuses to let us believe for long that we are It. It is about anchoring or holding this space of being It. It is about watching an argument come up against reality, and dissolving it into the knowingness, “I am”. It is that stage of the hero’s journey when the hero sees that he is the key for which he set out on this long journey away from home, and then finding a way to bring all the other characters in this story to this recognition through his own example.

In this direction, I feel called to offer counseling sessions using different tools and sometimes by direct sensing of one’s energy of the core belief that is holding you back in one or more areas of your life.

For the next 5 days (until 20th January) as an initial offering, these sessions would be one hour long, at an energy exchange of Rs.1110/- or USD 18 over Skype or telephone. If there is resonance, please feel free to write to me at spirit.of.crea@gmail.com with the subject “Energy below Thought“. If you see this and respond to this after the 20th, please write in anyway. A prerequisite for this session is to have a regular meditation practice.

Happy New Year and immense gratitude to that in You which reads, resonates and hence follows this blog!

Paramhansa

PS: Since I ushered in my year at Ananda which I believe was Yogananda calling me, I have dedicated this year to Him. I am not a follower of Kriya Yoga (if it’s a past life then I don’t yet know! :-) ) and have not completed reading his book, Autobiography of a Yogi. However, just through a photograph of him I found on Facebook, I started feeling a strong resonance that dissolved the patriarchal thoughts and the associated rigidity I had held within me regarding the spiritual path.

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THE MALE FEMALE FLUX

It’s a fluctuating time for this earth at the Swadhishtana (sacral chakra) level. We have just moved past the age of the Masculine and are heading towards the age of the Feminine. Some say we are already in it. However the energetic truth is that we are in transition. I come across men who are extremely frustrated with not knowing who they are supposed to be as ‘men’. Women are intensely agitated because they want to be accepted with their own sexuality without being labeled whores. The other side is that increasing number of men are into the healing arts and I have had the privilege of meeting these amazing men who are so much more connected to the Divine than most women I have met! The other side for women is that women who have bought into inner bravado are becoming tired of corporate culture, finding themselves with PCODs, infertility and a disconnection from their feminine processes because they have been playing a man in their own mind too long. Another angle of this evolutionary phase is that sexual molestation, rapes are becoming too common. It’s like the saying, “things get worse before they get better”. It’s the spike of masculine aggression before it drops. We are in transition. Trying to define one’s own masculinity or femininity is like trying to build a house on running water in this phase. And the game of existence is that the sacral chakra is the one responsible for identity! The best self talk, if you are aware of being affected like this, is to tell yourself that you are both, the masculine and the feminine. Because the masculine and feminine are just qualities. They have nothing to do with gender. Every place where this identification is held too close, the mind will suffer.

-Observations from the Higher Self

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My tryst with Shiva

I have had a very mysterious connection with Shiva all my life. My staple diet of books early on in my childhood was a series of mythological comic magazines, called “Amar Chitra Katha”. In the whole collection, my favourite was the one on Shiva, his reincarnation and stories of how he wooed Sati and later how Parvati wooed him. But most of all, I loved the aspect of the intense penance he would undertake, his diligent practice, his unbreakable devotion to his tapasya. When I was in my teens, while my peers would have posters of Bollywood stars, I would gaze longingly at Shiva, the ascetic’s picture in the books I had, and fantasize about him.

When I turned 7, I had my first experience of snow and the recognition of the mysterious pull that many come in search of in India. My mother initiated a family pilgrimage to the holy sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath and Haridwar. I remember waking up at 4am for the morning aarti and taking a dip in the cold-as-ice Ganga (Ganges). I have hated cold water almost all my life. And yet during those early mornings, with teeth uncontrollably chattering, I watched people light up diyas as the sun rose unceremoniously, I was moved by the fire in me. Something was awake, alert within me, and I became aware of that. Of course this was just a glimpse. When we trekked to the formidable Kedarnath, we were hit by a snow blizzard and we had to spend 2 nights quivering to the bone in a tent which felt extremely inadequate. That is when my maternal grandmother was with us. She was as diligent about her worship of Shiva as Shiva was with his practice! This is where I got to see her strength for she uttered not a word in complaint, inspite of her ripe age. Had we been hit, she would’ve perhaps been happier dying at his feet in that tent. Since a very young age I remember her beginning all the cooking of the day with the chant, “Om Namah Shivay”. Every day after a bath she would spend time worshipping Shiva. This was even when they had extremely little as a family.

I never really thought much of this connection until a few years ago when I stepped into Rebirthing Breathwork. This is an incidence I share rarely because I have personally felt too awed by it myself. During our Breathwork training, we had to undergo one session lying next to a huge fire. I was wary of fire ever since a childhood incident when, on the day of Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights) which happened to coincide with my birthday, I caught fire. Since I had another trainee who was taking my session, I was a little comforted. As I started breathing, my whole body started experiencing cool waves. This was quite contrary to what I had expected. It was a kind of pleasant healing coolness, like menthol running along in your veins, pumping into the heart. Just breathing into that experience, fully surrendered, I suddenly found myself being held by a blue hand on my left wrist. I turned to see Shiva standing there. I was suddenly in Kailash, a place that was in blue twilight, neither dawn nor dusk. I was a little girl who he led on top of the mountain and then I sat in his lap. I felt very alert, with a lot of energy moving through me. He then told me, telepathically, that I need to learn something from his disciple, Babaji. I didn’t know who that Babaji was. But I wasn’t in a place to ask questions. Like a rapidly flowing river, the vision was unfolding. Before I knew it, the vision ended. I was soaked in ten times more coolness than earlier and was soaked in deep joy and happiness. It was as if my heart chakra had broken loose. As I breathed more and more, I was inundated with only gratitude. The session ended. Later, the trainees sat in a circle and each of us shared about their experiences. The person sitting next to me started sharing and spoke about Mahavatar Babaji and I was a little stunned. He spoke about connecting with Babaji and also shared of having seen how Babaji is a disciple of Shiva. Without me even asking, I realised that the Babaji in my vision was no ordinary Babaji, which earlier I assumed to be some old, wise man walking along the street like a fakir.

After that session, I could not wear anything in my left wrist. Energetically I knew it wasn’t possible. While I was quite fond of Swiss watches prior to my Breathwork training, after this training when I put one on inspite of instinctively knowing that it wouldn’t work, it broke. I tried to get it repaired, but in vain. I tried to wear rudrakhsa and that too couldn’t be worn. Crystal bracelets, charms, sacred threads, nothing would last. I started feeling at home with a bare wrist and would smile as I could connect to Shiva’s touch on my wrist, every time I connected back to that vision.

I also had an incident when I was visiting a close friend of mine after that training. I was still unaware of Mahavatar Babaji and hadn’t researched. This friend had a roommate who believed a lot in Mahavatar Babaji, which I found out later. As this roommate was sharing some situation she was stuck in at that point in her life, I felt the light in the whole room change. I energetically felt a presence enter the room, fill it with a different kind of sunlight, and enter me. Before I knew it, I had a strange sense of observing my body rather than being the body. I started speaking words that were very high level truths, pertaining to her life situation. As I was speaking, I could see energetic switches turning on and off different lights within her body because of the words. She was energetically receiving something. Soon after the energy transmission got over. The sunlight in the room turned into “regular” sunlight. I felt back in my body and saw my roommate with folded hands and head bowed in front of me. I felt terribly awkward. What was supposed to be a regular chat had turned out to be something far beyond imagination. I thanked her for the experience. She exclaimed, “That was Babaji!” with the delight of a child who had found out that Santa Claus was real. I didn’t know what to say. I still had no idea about Babaji. So I told her that I don’t know what happened.

After my Breathwork training when I went back to my IT office that I used to work in to fund my spiritual quest, I had a very emotional breakdown with the realization that all my life I was averse to my body. I was averse to being on earth. I hated it here. I hated being born. I hated this whole damn cycle of birth and death. I also had a crashing sense of despair that no matter how beautiful, wonderful, powerful and elaborate my visions are, or how easily I can transport myself astrally (which I was doing a lot during that time), it would mean nothing if I hadn’t learn to live here on earth as an earth being, fully in tune with my body, fully living the wisdom I had gathered through the body. At that moment, I resolved internally to learn to be in the body instead of drifting off. I resolved to master pain, instead of being averse to it. I found a wonderful Yoga teacher in the most synchronistic way who helped me immensely to connect to the body and feel it with 100% attention. Since that point on, I knew clearly I was being guided by a higher force.

Much later I found out that 2 of the spiritual teachers who have been a very strong influence in my life were ardent Babaji devotees. Moreover, I was taken aback to see Leonard Orr, founder of Rebirthing Breathwork, pursuing the search for Babaji in physical form. I couldn’t connect to this quest of his and his team, for the wisdom was very direct and clear to me, that that was not my path. Breath soon became my one point focus, my devotion and my offering to Shiva.

Why I felt compelled to write this post was because last month, through Diwali, I felt the energy of Shiva come back into my life very strongly. I was spending my birthday in Auroville, Pondicherry. There I met an amazing lady who was a strong devotee of Yogananda. She was very well read and we seemed to have a strong connection. After speaking a lot about Kriya Yoga, sharing her experiences of meeting Yogananda through her meditations, she handed me a book called “Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography”. She told me to read it. I have been distancing myself from books for quite some time now for the simple reason that I have been feeling too full of knowledge that had become a roadblock in my spiritual progress. It blocked me from connecting to people at a soul, heart level. And so as an effort to give up this knowledge, I had given up books. Hence I was very wary when she gave me this book. But I still went ahead and read it since the energy with which she had given it to me was distinctively different. I opened it at a random page to read it later that night and was surprised that it opened to a chapter on Fire, and how Sri M, the yogi-author, had experienced the opening of his chakras by sitting next to fire. The whole science of the spirit of fire was explained by him as Babaji had shared with him. This description almost completely matched my experience of Breathwork with fire. Moreover, the understanding of fire as a Spirit, beyond seeing it as an element in our physical universe that he had given was almost the same as the understanding I had arrived to while having sat with fire in my Breathwork training workshops, except that it was more detailed, more understood. It helped me clarify my own understanding even more. I could feel how much I have fallen in love with fire ever since that Breathwork session.

As one synchronicity unfolded, another one was weaving itself. A few days later, I happened to sit across a wonderful, blessed Australian woman who was from Tiruvannamalai, the home of the self-realised saint, Sri Ramana Maharshi. This is a power spot in India because of Arunachala, the sacred mountain of this temple town where monkeys and peacocks roam about unabashedly even today.

When my guru went to Thiruvanamalai about a couple of years ago, I knew I would too someday. I’ve loved to follow her path like a copy cat in the hopes that I’ll be as self-realised as her. When I started talking to this resilient Australian woman who quit music to run a school for rural children with her Indian husband, in the course I expressed my desire to visit Tiru. She spontaneously invited me to come to Thiru and stay with them. Before I knew it, my roommate at Auroville, this Kriya Yogini and I ended up going to Tiru together. However, inspite of all my desire, I was initially extremely reluctant to leave my “home” Auroville to go to a place for a full moon walk around the sacred mountain, which was said to be thronged by people. My separation trauma came up. I fretted, debated with myself endlessly, stressed and grew restless. I almost cancelled the trip when I realised with a start that I was repeating my birth pattern – that after taking ten steps in the direction of what I wanted, I hesitate at the last step. Instead of fully giving myself in the direction of the pull that it moving me, I hold back. I stepped back and let go. Incidentally, the day we left for Tiru from Auroville, I ended up falling sick. I came down with a terrible stomach, weakness in my legs and had fever all the way in the journey. I knew something was processing. I was not meant to do the full moon walk encircling the mountain, the pradakshina (Sanskrit), among those many people. I had only 24 hours in Tiruvannamalai before I got back. That entire day of the full moon I spent in bed, in a mansion that we were ushered into by the heartful Australian lady, whose house stood in prayer right in front of Arunachala.

The next morning I felt a lot better. I was still wondering what the connection was to this place as I was walking into Sri Ramanasramam, the Ashram of Sri Ramana. Before I could even question what I was feeling, I broke into tears. When I heard that his meditation chamber was there behind, I knew I had to go there and meditate. I meditated for almost an hour during which I was overcome with tears. I felt my heart turn into an expansive still ocean and had a vision of every person that I had held felt hurt from diving into that ocean. I felt washed. There was very little time left for me before I left for the airport to catch my return flight. But I felt compelled to lay my feet on the mountain. I had heard that people could trek barefoot to the Skanda Ashram at the top. An hour and half before I had to leave, I asked my hostess to drop me off at the Ramanashramam again so I could walk up to Skanda Ashram. I started my journey barefoot with a friend of mine. No sooner had I started, that I felt a lot of panic come over me. I started feeling very exhausted and felt that I couldn’t reach the top. Or if I did, I wouldn’t be able to make it in time for my flight back. I didn’t know whether to give up or keep pushing myself. I was about to affirm with my usual self talk that yes I could do it, when it struck me that this was again a feeling from my struggle in the birth canal, where I had given up after crowning. As I kept climbing with a lot of resistance, one tiniest step after another, I heard an inner kind voice say, “Ask the divine to intervene”. I felt a lot of peace come over me. In that moment it occurred to me how affirmations and self-talk can get in the way of true helplessness which in turn is an invitation for the divine to enter. The exhaustion left me and I continued climbing, halting every once in a while. We reached the Skanda Ashram. There was immense beauty and serenity. It was nestled among big beautiful boulders and radically growing trees. We sat inside for sometime and then made our way downwards on another route to the Virupaksha cave where Sri Ramana was meditating in silence for many years and where another saint had taken samadhi such that his body was instantly converted to ashes. Looking at the time before entering the cave I could see that we were running late. I barely had 5 minutes to spend there before we had to rush down. I entered the cave thinking I’ll again come back later some time to spend more time. The silence inside was infinite. There were people meditating in perfectly still postures. A single lamp was burning steadily, unmoving. I closed my eyes. All there was, was silence. Even sounds of people coming in and moving seemed like flecks in that space of deep silence. There was no form to it. After sensing what seemed like more than 5 minutes, we got out and made our way down. As I made my way to the Chennai airport, 3 and a half hours away from this town, I was in deep, childlike joy. My heart was open as I had only remembered it to be in those crazy sweet moments of my childhood when nothing mattered. I was chatting merrily with the cab driver, a local of Tiru. We talked about Shiva, our mutual admiration and love for this Yogi of all yogis. The conversation seemed to come from somewhere else within me that had never seen light. He commented how happy I was, how my face was bright and lit up. He then told me the story of how mountain Arunachala was mythologically Shiva’s endless matted hair. This opened up deep remembrance of how I would fantasize about Shiva as a child. Shiva as a lover. Shiva as a father. Shiva as the protector.

The next 3 days after that I spent in and out of soaking bliss, bursting into tears most unexpectedly feeling a deep connection to Shiva, feeling again those cool waves that I had felt with fire. “Om namah Shivay” became a sweet kiss to this Shiva. I realized the many levels at which my partner makes me feel like I am uniting with Shiva. I felt another level of oneness open up with him, as I glimpsed Shiva’s energy even more in him. Every single time earlier that I had felt this sense of oneness, I had dismissed it as an illusion. This time, my mind was so quiet, there was no reaction. I was only feeling, remembering, resonating. I was finding Shiva in me. That is all I cared about.

Before my birthday trip I had put the intention to have my heart chakra opened. I also wanted my self-doubt to clear and the fire of clarity to illuminate me. All of this happened in such subtle, beautiful, mysterious ways. I feel immensely grateful to learn the gentle ways of Shiva. I had often projected that this Shiva energy burns away all illusions, and often interpreted it to be a harsh authoritarian energy. I realized that that was a projection of my own mind coming from the patriarchal past lives in me. In truth, Shiva, or Consciousness, or Oneness, is just an energy polarized by our perception of it. I am humbled by the gentle ways Shiva or Consciousness has seduced me. I surrender to it more and more each day and just keep asking Shiva to keep me in His embrace.

Deep gratitude to all the souls who participated in this journey. It is a common love for Shiva that intertwines us all.

If you wish to do Rebirthing Breathwork sessions by Fire, please write to me at spirit.of.crea@gmail.com.

Love’s Light.

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More Angel Prayers

Deepti G Gujar:

Yesterday I received another beautiful validation of the angels. Someone who couldn’t reach their parents in Kashmir messaged. Immediately I saw a worried parent and prayed to the angels –

Angel prayer for assistance during natural disasters

“Dear Angels, please go to the people of Kashmir and please reveal your presence to them. Please fill them up with faith in their hearts and minds, so they reach out to you and make these transitions with ease, without drama. Please let them know they are deeply loved by God”

I told this person to send a telepathic message to them saying they are safe, and they are being awaited back home. This person meditated after this message and felt better. All day there were good news pouring in.

~

After reading the media’s flush on depression post Robin William’s passing, there was another prayer that instantly came through at the speed of light –

Angel prayer for depression, feeling low, feeling suicidal

“Dear Angels, please reveal your presence, support and unconditional love to all those who think they are alone in this world right now. Please nudge their distressful and painful thoughts out of their minds back into Source with your light. Please incarnate, if required, so that the trance of isolation and separation from Divine Love be forever broken and they see their oneness with all. All of this and better I ask for my friends across the planet, at this moment, suffering in loneliness and depression, in accordance with the highest Will of the divine”.
Amen.

~

In fact, I often offer counselling over email so that those who cannot physically reach me, can still avail of the guidance coming through for them.

Recently someone was experiencing frequent car accidents. This is the angelic guidance for them that came through –

Angelic guidance for protecting your vehicle from accidents

 
“Cast an angelic protective net on the car as follows –

Imagine a protective covering of violet net on your car calling upon Archangel Michael. Imagine cords going to some lower consciousness or lower vibrational energies (you might even get a person’s face here). Now visualise Archangel Michael cutting this cord with his sword on a count of 3 (saying 1-2-3). Now imagine that lower vibrational entity returned to White Light. You can even imagine a Wise Master of a higher dimension receiving this low energy entity into his belly of White Light. Now see that Archangel Michael and Jophiel are cleaning out the energies from within the car. Visualise your own negative thoughts and emotions that you had when you were in the car being cleansed out and them blessing the car. Visualise your family sitting in the car and the angels gathered around blessing them. Thank them for their love, support. Ask them to accompany you for every journey you undertake in the car. Take a deep breath. Trust their guidance”

~

May you accept the angelic support that is there around you. The angels love ease. And prayer is the highest form of letting go.

Love and Light!

 

Originally posted on Flowering of eternity:

Prayers are the best way of letting go.

When I become aware that I am in a mental spin of worrying about something, I shift my attention through praying. A while ago I had found a lovely “Change Me” prayer that shifted me into a receiving space rather than a demanding space. Today I found some angel prayers on Doreen Virtue’s site and felt like saving them so that I can read them often.

A prayer to stop the pattern of people trying to take advantage of you

Dear God,I realize that in the past I didn’t feel worthy of attracting and maintaining true friendships. In those moments, I taught people about my feelings of low self-worth by doing too much for them, without expecting anything in return.Now that I realize this pattern, I need your help to disentangle myself from those who have learned they can…

View original 324 more words

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The Angelic 5

Archangel Michael

Over this one week, I’m offering angel card readings for 5 people at Rs.555/- or USD 9.99

These would be angelic guidance, wanting to come your way, channeled through the cards.
This reading would be done over Skype or Google Hangouts, and would be around 30-45 minutes in duration.

The reading can be based on any one of the following – Abundance, Relationship, Past-Present-Future, Career, Clarity for a particular situation. It may also include counselling on some core belief that you may be holding on to in that area.

If you have not been introduced to angels and their presence, this would be a great starting point to do so.

If the angels speak to you, please drop me a mail at spirit.of.crea@gmail.com.

Payments accepted via PayPal as well as online bank transfer.

Please share with your loved ones who you feel would connect to and benefit from these readings.

Last date: 2nd September, 2014

Love and Light!

 

 

 

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11 Ways to Live through Depression

While writing my dedication to Robin Williams, I recalled days of my own depression. In the past few weeks it seems the world has woken up to accepting depression in a more conscious way. One of my favorite quotes was by Allison Ritchie

“The death of Robin Williams has really touched me deeply. How sad is it that a man who brought so much laughter to so many, was so tormented himself. If one good thing can come out of it, it is that so many people are talking about depression today. All over Facebook people are saying, if you feel depressed talk about it, don’t bottle it up, there is no shame in it, and if someone you know is depressed, be there for them and just listen. However, there are many forms of depression. Hormone imbalances, including post natal or menopausal, changes in brain chemicals, brain injuries, many things can bring about depression, and sometimes that type of depression needs more than just a heart-to-heart. I had post natal depression after my son was born, and for a long time I tried to deal with it myself. It wasn’t until my GP prescribed anti-depressants that the fog started to lift. I wasn’t on them for very long, and in fact if I had my hormones checked I would have been on medication for an even shorter time. My point is, it is not always just a matter of thinking positively, or talking about it, or changing your situation. Sometimes you need help to get back to balance, and there is certainly no shame in that”

– Allison Ritchie

Here are my key points that have helped me during my low and depressed state. This list is as much a reminder for me, as it is for anyone else out there.

1. Breathe.
Keep taking your focus back to your normal, natural breath. If the chaos in the mind is too much, then keep slowing down the breath progressively. It’s enough to breath. Breath outlasts everything.

2. Write to yourself.
Write a letter to yourself. Or just write. You might even stare at a blank page, it doesn’t matter. You might scribble that mess in your head. That’s okay too. You might draw – a childhood drawing, a random thing. Important thing is to keep the flow of communication on with yourself.

3. Eat well.
My eating goes into disorder often when I am depressed, or sliding down. This is as much a reminder for me, as it is for you, to eat well. Find ways to connect to your palette. Entertain the palette.

4. Exercise.
Find a way to get that adrenaline pumping every single day. Some exercises may work particularly well during depression. Like dancing worked for me more than yoga.

5. Find something funny to watch/listen.
I know laughter helps. Even if it’s humor I’ve heard so many times. Like “Friends” the television series.

6. Drink lots of water.

7. Connect to nature.
In the smallest of ways this connection can restore you without you knowing. Walking barefoot on the grass, soaking yourself in a bathtub, sitting by water bodies, even something as simple as taking a long bath, or lighting candles can be very restorative. In those moments of depression, it is hard to connect to people. Sometimes it is impossible to talk to people about what you are going through.

8. Feel the pain.
We as “human” beings carry a lot of pain, unspoken grief, sadness repressed within ourselves through our childhoods. Even for those who think they’ve had a good childhood. Depression is a long term repression. If you feel anything at all, you are very blessed for it may be the start of the uncovering of this emotional pain.

9. Listen to music.
Not the sad, depressing kind. The soothing, calming, uplifting, loving kind. One that puts you back in the embrace of source.

10. Turn your face to gratitude.
Thank you” for me was a mantra in those days. I was truly grateful to just be alive. Another mantra worth reminding yourself again and again is “This too shall pass“.

11. Be gentle with yourself.
Life doesn’t want to hurt you. Your emotions aren’t here to hurt you. Be kind to all of the mess you feel you are. Your kindness to yourself is love in action. Life is worth living and loving. The depression might be that gentle reminder that not all is in our control, and it doesn’t have to be.

doreen virtue prayer to revive energy

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R.I.P Robin Williams

What Dreams May Come

A scene from What Dreams May Come

I woke up yesterday morning and in the course of brushing my teeth, opened up Facebook and saw a friend’s status “RIP Robin Williams”. I was alarmed. When I Googled it further, I became deeply troubled. Not because Robin Williams had passed away, but that he chose to end his life before its benign natural end as his soul might have planned. Questions started haunting me regarding this aspect of his death. Why did someone so creatively gifted choose to believe in his loneliness? There were 7 billion (minus 1) of us who he reached. Not one of us reached him. Were his walls so strong? Or was his isolation so deep? These were thoughts hard to reconcile.

A few months ago when I found out that one of my highly creative friends who is an inspiration to me since my college days was diagnosed with clinical depression, I went straight into disbelief. I don’t believe anyone, especially creative people, deserves these spaces. Robin’s passing connected me to that deep denial within me.

After my daily meditation today I reflected on why this news hit me so badly. It makes that time come alive in my teens when I was battling depression, a family member wanting to commit suicide 24×7, the intense ache of seeing that there was no one to hold my family as it was breaking and the rattling sword hanging above my head that there would be no provider for our family. In those moments at one point I had reached a point of total chaos within me. In that moment my anger at going out of control turned into rage, love turned rancid and I decided to remove my faith in God. In that rock bottom moment it had hit me that there was no one was coming to save me. Thoughts of suicide started running through my head. I almost went to that point, one of those dawns when my family was asleep, there was chaotic silence and my head was throbbing from having cried all night. What pulled me out of that act of ending my life was the love I had for my brother. I knew it would break his heart to know that I had deserted them in their time of need.

As I look deeper into those moments today, I wish I had someone to tell me the golden words –

This too shall pass. You are not alone. Even if you believe you are.

In the year 2012 very suddenly even though I had a regular Breathwork practice, I plunged into depression. I felt the same isolation cover me up like a black cloud. I could see other people around me but there seemed to be a wall separating me from them. I could reach them but I couldn’t form words to describe this cloud around me. I couldn’t communicate at one level. I felt isolated, even though I was talking, socialising, writing as I normally used to. My only refuge was the quiet inner voice that showed up from time to time. But it had started to become more and more unbearable. I took a leave from work and did 3 straight days of morning and evening meditations at the Osho Commune in my hometown. That’s only because that inner voice sounded like Osho. He says that depression is deeply pressed down anger gone unexpressed for years. And as I read that, I realised I had to dance that depression out. I knew Osho understood me like I couldn’t. I knew he was listening as I sat in deep throbbing despair, terrified by the inability to reach into myself, among those bamboo shoots creaking by the pressing wind. After 3 days, I finally began to feel my pain. Quite mysteriously a friend called me out of nowhere and told me she had a message for me, that I must accompany her to a meditation retreat in a pyramid in Bangalore. When I reached there and started meditating, a chunk of pain and the grief exploded within me. I meditated through the tears, feeling the pain. Somewhere at the very tiny center of my soul, I knew, this too shall pass.

Today I connected to this phase again through Robin. I wish he had learnt to meditate, learnt to connect to breath, that unchanging part of himself, the source of life – Love. It isn’t easy. I’ve gone through what is called the dark night of the soul not once, but many times. In the first one I learnt to go back to my breath and hold myself in that center, and in the second one I was once again led back to that source. The difference though was that the first time I was so caught up in my isolation that I believed I had to do it all on my own. The second time I felt helpless, terrified and lonely inspite of all my spiritual experiences which had proved otherwise except that this time I was taken into the source of breath by someone watching over me. I was receiving proof that a higher self exists. Angels exist. They come forth. There is someone around us all the time. They are watching, understanding and feeling our pain and want to hold us in their wings.

Life isn’t predictable and by no means is it stationary and stable even for the most spiritual of human beings. And inspite of everything we can do, we can’t be prepared for life. And hence we can’t be prepared for death. We can only just breathe it and live it. And often that is enough.

I wish Robin Williams knew this. I wish Whitney Houston knew this. I wish Heath Ledger knew this. I wish every creative person in this world knows this. For now I can only send that wish into the Cosmic Mind which connects all the minds of this planet. I wish I become an instrument to heal this isolation that a creative person goes through. It is an illusion as this quote below beautifully puts it.

Light

To all these beautiful souls who are a part of me, I picture them being cradled in soft white light to balm their wounds carried over from a traumatic lifetime. I send tenderness and angelic support to their loved ones who perhaps grieve everyday.

To Robin, I love you. There are only prayers and love in this afterlife.

An article that touched me: 

http://brianlord.org/2014/08/12/a-little-known-robin-williams-story/

Posted in Everyday realizations, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Jealousy ~ A gateway into your lost self

Today early morning as I opened Facebook, I was hit by a wave of jealousy. A Facebook friend who I barely know and who I consider an achiever in her field had posted some photographs with a beautiful description of light having touched her very early on in life. It was liked by a friend who is very dear to me. It was that instant when I saw that “Like”, I felt a flame of jealousy erupt in my heart. My first reaction was to shut FB, which I did. A few moments later I told myself to stop avoiding my feelings and face them. “Be honest with yourself“, I told myself. So I looked up that feed once more and sure enough the jealousy came back. I could feel the flames in my heart almost as if I’d left a matchstick burning on my chest. I started writing.

I went back to that place in my childhood where an essential life transition was viewed as a threat and tragedy by my mother. In the fire of those moments, I got terrorised. I was about 15. Without thinking I took on the feeling that somehow I was responsible for this mess. In the heat of anger my mother had vented so. And out of obedience (which is what love translated to), I took it on. I held myself responsible for bringing tragedy to my family which I can now see was clearly not the case. Furthermore, I made a silent vow. I denied my natural worth, my inherent talent in order to punish myself for it. “I must pay a price for the tragedy I have inflicted on people I love“, was the unquestioned, deeply subconscious thought I harbored. And so I did. I believed, to the point of promising myself, that I shall not be good enough to deserve anything good in my life. That I shall deny myself happiness, a family and creative success. And so the self-denial began and stayed all these years. I would strive to achieve a little, but never a lot, denying my desire to do something big, which meant denying even a project like writing a script or a book. I would not complete and leave it midway.

Today jealousy rankled me out of my hiding place. When I saw this acquaintance doing so many beautiful things and truly manifesting her dreams, this denial came up. “This can’t be happening“, said jealousy. And yet it was. As I uncovered this incident, this point where I had made a vow, I let myself go into the depths of this self-denial. I felt the pain of never allowing myself to succeed, never giving myself the permission to stand up for myself and speak aloud my desires, that stemmed from deservability. I let myself vent. I let that
“egoistic” 15-year old speak who had taken it upon her that she MUST know everything, and that she always had to be in control – of her emotions, of her reality. She believed that she must be in control no matter what, but because she couldn’t when her mother was enraged, she broke down and became a failure in her eyes. She let herself drown in self-denial.

Life always works in polarities. This excruciating need for success was birthed right there at the point of feeling failed.

I let my hand write comforting words to me in my journal. In it I found myself scribbling kindly to my 15-year old, “God is with you. He supports you. You are capable. You are very talented and capable of creating the success you want
In another voice, my 15-year old responded, “I made myself God. I made myself responsible for everything that went wrong in the lives of those around me. I constantly felt guilty that I had done something wrong. I hated myself constantly!” Sharing this both of us entered silence. I saw life differently. I saw it the way I would have as a 15-year old who no longer denied her worth. She felt capable and reached out to people the way she already had, but this time with great peace in her heart. I saw her enter college not as a lonely, out-to-prove, go-getter 15 year old, but as a radiant, self-confident, knowing 15-year old. She no longer had to know it all. She knew it and I knew it now too.

Thank God for jealousy. It gave me back my adequately talented 15-year old self that I had lost to time. Another mirror had broken and I could see myself without mediums.

Image thanks to Far Closer via CC. Orig. img - https://www.flickr.com/photos/farcloser/12956005435/in/photostream/

Image thanks to Far Closer via CC. Orig. img – https://www.flickr.com/photos/farcloser/12956005435/in/photostream/

 

Note:

Incidentally I was also going through the 7 Essene Mirrors of Relationships that I felt like revisiting. The jealousy reflects the First Mirror and the conversation with my 15-year old marks the Third Mirror – the mirror of the Lost Self. You can view this beautiful recorded workshop given by Gregg Braden (2 hour long) to see how the relationship mirrors work. 

Posted in Inner Child Work, Relationships, Self-healing Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pitfalls of spiritual techniques

A few days back I’d put this up on my Facebook page which attracted a lot of surprise and so I decided to write further on it –

I heard a second case of a person who got mentally thrashed in a Vipassana course. It’s surprising that no one really speaks about the fact that Vipassana, just like any other spiritual technique has its pitfalls. I know I deeply suffered during and after the course. Having been an anapanasati meditator, which is the first step of Vipassana, for almost 3 years before I went to the course, I’d felt and observed wonderful leaps in my own consciousness. It was easy to flow with life. Then when I entered the course, it put me under pressure to observe when in fact my natural practice was to dive in and emerge from every sensation. The disruption lasted for 2 years after the course. Perhaps reflectively, I also met people who waxed eloquent about Vipassana but were so obviously hard on themselves and disconnected from their bodies, under the facade of observation. This created more anger in me towards the practice of meditation. Thanks to another breathing practice, Rebirthing-Breathwork, I was able to heal the wounded attitude towards meditation. One day I looked up the anapanasati sutra on the net. In that the Buddha talks about how gradually awareness proceeds from bodily sensation to emotion to energy and then to the energy current called ‘dhara-pravaha‘. In his case, of course, this naturally took place. I realised that it was not the process, but the institutionalising of something which is an organic progression, and giving it a time boundness that perhaps went against my inherent nature. I also later learnt that in the original vipassana courses people were allowed to speak. My intuition would keep asking me to write, to express during the course, but following the norms I didn’t. I later understood the inherent creative nature one is born with that seeks to express. When not allowed to, it destroys internally. It took a long time for this reactive self destructiveness to heal. In a larger perspective, no technique is flawless. And I hope those who do opt for a Vipassana course, perhaps the sensitive ones, do a strong consultation with their intuition first. 

This is just the grey side of one technique. But I’ve ended up in these grey zones for many other techniques which are worth mentioning. Especially at a stage where I am arriving more and more into a space of “Let It Be”.

Pitfalls of Past Life Regression

The burden of compulsive regressing

A few months ago, I was going through an inner state of helplessness, lethargy and a constant feeling of being blocked (which a few people told me was the presence of  not-so-well-intentioned ‘entities’ in me). During this time I came across a page from a healer in Pune called Mana, whose work resonated with my own spiritual insights I was having about 3-4 years ago. She was getting these insights through, not surprisingly, hypnotherapy and past life regression. For about a year I was unable to regress. This ‘disability’ began when I had entered an inner void at the deepest point in one of my regression sessions about 2-3 years ago and saw that I was nothing, I was only the emptiness around. After that I lost an inner will to regress. Yet not knowing how else to heal the issues that still surfaced in my life, I dragged myself searching for people who would take my past life regression sessions. In the session with Mana, I told her at the beginning that I was unable to regress, and then we went into a hypnotherapy session. At one point she just took me to a light body stage and I waited there, seeing in front of me the person who’s karmic exchange with me was blocking me. Without getting into any past life, Mana told me to do the exchange there itself. I was unsure if the healing would happen this way. It was deeply powerful as it took me to a higher state of ‘seeing’ than in my earlier sessions. When I came out, I was surprised and asked her how that happened. She said “You don’t need it. You’re done with that phase”. That’s when I realised that though the block might be in a past life, one needn’t go there if one doesn’t wish to.

Handing readymade solutions

Much prior to this revealing session, I’d undergone quite a few unsatisfactory healing sessions during this ‘enforced’ regressive phase. In some, the past life regression therapist focused inordinately on the story part – the dates, the validation, the completion. Not just that, the worst were the ones who handed out conclusions, about what was going on with me and what I should do now in response, in contrast to allowing the various points of your life to emerge for you to connect them. The truth is, past life regression only works if you employ both your subconscious memory AND your conscious logical mind.

Loving unconsciousness and glorifying it

One day I received a client who had come to me for past life regression therapy. After a fairly clear first session, she was disappointed she had not gone completely under. She said she didn’t want to aware at all and wanted that thrill of just being absent. That is the misuse of this technique. Many people get into a past life regression to see a better movie about themselves which is where the therapy turns into an ego pampering session. Over years I have consciously stayed away from past life regression therapist groups of my own teacher, Dr.Newton, to avoid the mindless glorification of what one saw in one’s past lives. Many after reading my experiences of past life regression on this blog expect to see something phenomenal and some have even seen such lives, but the truth is, it’s not the validation, the what-you-were excitement that is going to give you any soul growth. It is your conscious ability to ask deeper, more honest questions and a driving need to expand your consciousness that determines the success of this technique. I have spent weeks and sometimes years with a single past life experience, receiving (not figuring) the many layers that it is unraveling of my psyche. This receiving ability is developed not by some therapy, but by a daily (really ‘non-exciting’) meditation practice.

Pitfalls of Rebirthing-Breathwork

This practice that I love very much and endorse a lot also has its pitfalls. Many people get very excited when they read about Rebirthing Breathwork on the net. However, because this technique is so simple, it runs the risk of being ‘packaged’ with something else. The most common request I receive is that of group Breathwork. In fact my own first experience was in a group of about 40 people in a hall, all breathing together, for about 2 hours. Leonard Orr, the pioneer of Breathwork, and so many of his loyal followers strongly suggest against doing group Breathwork.

The trap of group Breathwork

More than 70% of detoxification of the human body happens through breath. Over the years of taking people’s Breathwork sessions, I have ended up ‘smelling’ or getting drowsy from the anasthesia and other drugs/chemicals that people have breathed out through their noses during the sessions. At times I have even passed out. Imagine that you have such a person breathing next to you in a hall, or even worse, you are that person. Effectively, you are then breathing out your ‘muck’ and at the same time breathing in someone else’s. There’s another reason where personally I felt group Breathwork was not working for me. If you were born in an environment where the place was cramped, or you were hurried away immediately to accommodate for the next woman laboring in emergency, then doing group Breathwork can trigger this trauma, and as there is no personal support taking you through this opened up experience, it might push this trauma even deeper into your psyche.

Excessive focus on ‘doing’

I’ve attended 4 retreats conducted by international students of Leonard, many of them learning under him for almost a decade. Every retreat teaches me something totally new about Breathwork that was undiscovered before, based on the personal Breathwork practice of the one who conducts the retreat. A Rebirthing-Breathwork retreat is not just about breathing, but about certain water, fire and earth practices also. While attending a recent retreat, the focus on doing was extraordinary. The message given was “Why are you resting when you could be sitting by a fire?!” (and it is no small feat to sit by a fire on a hot afternoon). Each day of the retreat became a long list of to-dos. Not just that, but even the breathing was made into something forceful, effort-ful. Breathing continuously in a rhythm for 1 hour takes efforts but there is an intuitive direction to it. But when you breathe to push through, Breathwork becomes more like a treadmill, exhausting, rather than energising you. Moreover, it enhances your sense of control whereas in fact Breathwork, also known as Intuitive Breathing, is about relaxing and giving up control, allowing your breath to take over. What this forceful Breathwork can also do is weaken your heart muscles. One of my very dear friends who got me onto Breathwork experienced this after a year of practicing Breathwork diligently. There is exceptional beauty in the breath because it awakens a primal bliss in the body that exponentiates aliveness and healing at a hardcore cellular level. If one doesn’t practice Breathwork correctly, this same technique can do as much harm.

Not having the correct knowledge

About a year ago I received a client who had undergone intense Breathwork sessions from a senior therapist where he had breathed, cried and howled loudly throughout the sessions he had told me. This therapist had put him straight into warm water (which is only recommended after a minimum of 10 dry Breathwork sessions), which had sent him into intense spirals of grief. When he came to me, he still complained of ’emotional pain’. On going deeper I found out that this therapist perhaps practiced a version of Breathwork where a client crying translated to healing. That is however not true. It can give a high to the therapist who thinks there is healing happening. But for those whose ‘block’ is actually the weepiness and perhaps self-pity they undergo, the healing is actually shaking them out of the drama and getting them to connect to their breath.

Pitfalls of Inner Child healing

Too much openness

When you start connecting with your inner child, you may begin to re-experience the raw emotions you underwent as a child. For a year after I had finished my inner child intensive healing retreat, I was unstable, couldn’t make decisions, became hypersensitive, ran away from home because I was unable to face my parents’ nature, couldn’t work and had emotional breakdowns in a street where seeing a crowd overwhelmed me. It was the most trying time of my life. My sensitivity had come open without any protection. Through this I learned that alongwith inner child healing, one needs to be taught how to take responsibility for one’s feelings and not get carried away by them through inner parenting. For this, an inner parent has to be firmly established, especially in the face of dark emotions that can spontaneously come up.

Over-identifying with the child within

Another time was early last year when I refused to grow up in ways I knew life was asking me to. I had become identified with playing the role of an inner child under the illusion that being childlike is what being ‘real’ or authentic is all about. I learnt, very slowly, that sometimes to live the wisdom in you, you have to play many other roles. And although vulnerability is very highly rated on the internet, socially, it is not wise to be vulnerable where one needs to be decisive and direct.

~

Through this course of ‘evolution’, I’ve come to realise that every technique stays and then leaves. Every technique has a place and one has to go about very intuitively, experimenting with alertness. GD, a spiritual teacher, had a nice way of explaining this. He would say that one starts with the masculine in the initial part of this spiritual journey, where the focus is on doing and learning – doing affirmations, setting intentions, breath techniques, visualisations, manifestations, et al. After a point, you flip into the feminine. Here you begin to unlearn all the techniques. You fall into acceptance rather than pushing yourself to accept. You find yourself listening intently rather than doing. You let go of keeping intentions because there is a trust innately present, an inner sight that the divine has taken over and is unfolding a path through you. I am hovering somewhere here at the moment.

PS: I do online sessions over Skype related to inner child counselling, EFT, The Work etc. for which you can write to me at spirit.of.crea@gmail.comI no longer conduct past life regression. I am also formulating my own Rebirthing-Breathwork retreats based on the one one one work I do with my clients. In case you are looking for Rebirthing-Breathwork retreats being conducted by Rebirthing Breathwork International in India, please contact their page. Love. 

Posted in Inner Child Work, Past life regression therapy, Rebirthing-Breathwork, Self-healing Tools, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

13 Life Lessons from the corporate world

It has been a year and four months since I stepped out of the corporate world after almost 6 years. In these last few months I’ve met many between the ages 25 and 35 who wanted to do the same – leave their corporate job and do something of their own.

For most part of the first 6 months, I was “de-stressing”. The stress of going penniless in the future was far worse than the stress of a job at one point. Yet joining self-healing groups helped me deal with this fear moment to moment basis. I also faced a lot of criticism from within which got reflected in my parents who are skeptical of my choices, but for most part, I discovered I was happy.

I thought of writing these life lessons that have been molding me post quitting.

1. Ambition is the biggest stresser 

In the corporate world, if you are not ambitious, you are frowned upon and the collective message you are given is – “There is something wrong with you if you don’t want more”. But what if… what if you really are content with the work that you love? There is hardly any place for that. When you leave the industry (whichever industry that is) for doing something you love, it can be quite a change or challenging to figure out that you don’t want more. The way this hit me was when I was comparing myself with someone who had a lot of clients (a heavy payment for working in the corporate world is that you develop a strong comparing mind) and a part of me was content to have 3 sessions a week. I essentially didn’t want to scale up. I found it ridiculous at first – how could this be?! Slowly I realised that healing, the ‘profession’ I undertook, required an innate tuning of my own mind, body, soul and some more – universal alignment. Every time there was an inner feeling that I “should” be having these many sessions, my system shut down in some way. I learnt to replace ambition with intention. Intention is a way of working in collaboration with the universe. The highest intentions, I learnt in this process, were feeling-based intentions rather than objectified intentions. For example, instead of putting the intention of earning a certain amount, it felt more expansive to have the intention to feel provided for, more than ever before.

2. Being productive

While I hung out watching television for the first time in years, I would constantly have a nagging feeling at the back of my mind. It was as if I was supposed to be somewhere else, doing something else. Whether I went for long baths, or even travelled at the beginning, this feeling persisted. I sat down one day asking myself what this feeling is about and where it came from. I realised it was the constant pressure of having to be productive, where productivity is measured in terms of outcomes. In the corporate world we are taught to make every hour count. We offer time-sheets for every hour spent and therefore there is a constant inner check about how we are spending every hour. In the first few months that I left IT, there were hardly any clients and I felt the pressure to perform immediately. Through the self-help group I mentioned above and after doing loads of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), I was able to forgive myself for not producing results immediately. In this phase I was thankfully living alone. This saved me from the guilt of not doing anything that I often take on unconsciously when I’m living with my parents.

3. Gratitude

Being in a world of competition means that you set yourself up for constant comparison in your head. A comparing mind cannot be grateful. After I quit, this comparison would still be there. If not coming from outside with my own parents comparing me with their friends’ daughters, it would come from within, comparing myself to high standards I had set up for myself. In that space of mind, I could hardly feel grateful. Though I taught gratitude, it would be a hit and miss game for myself. After a particular incident when someone accused me of being greedy and ungrateful, I looked within to find where it was coming from – a well-developed comparing mind.  Slowly I joined a group where we had to chant atleast  one 108-bead mala (rosary) of “Thank You” a day.  I had to force myself into gratitude at times. This practice slowly eased me and is still something I keep going back to often. Gratitude is indispensable for cultivating an inner sense of happiness. Of course, happiness was never that important in the world where I worked. Getting things done was.

4. Over-masculinization

This may never be said aloud, but it is a subconscious message I received across all the organisations I worked for, whether it had special privileges for me or not – being a woman means you are not enough. As a woman, you have to prove twice as much that you are as good as a man. For the longest of time, I had trouble trusting my own healing abilities. I still have that trouble every so often. At one point in this last year of transition it had got so severe, that it caused me an emotional breakdown when I was asked to trust. I just couldn’t. I felt disabled. This was because I was taught to rely on my rational mind. In fact during the last months as a software developer, I would intuitively know where and what the problem was without analysis. But when I had to explain how I had come to finding the problem, I was often at a loss of words. Going deeper I realised that it was also the education system which didn’t teach you to take into account your ‘feelings’ about a problem. After researching I was not at all surprised to find that the current mainstream education system was built at the advent of industrialisation – we were raised to work mechanically and logically. Can it be surprising then how women have become so masculine over the years? Not just women but the feminine side in a person has simply no room. After all how can one ask this feminine mind to produce a painting only every Wednesday from 11 a.m to 12 p.m and then focus on understanding and solving a geometric theorem between 12 p.m to 1 p.m?
I also met several women in my sessions who suffered from what Sangeeta Bhagwat also calls the Superwoman Syndrome coming from their corporate culture. They felt the pressure to excel everywhere all the time. What’s more, in the very collective consciousness of the organisation there was no space to be vulnerable, forget expressing yourself from that space. One had to put up a strong, collected face all the time. Where was the time or possibility to allow hormones to do their work of emotional clearing? I don’t promote weepiness at the drop of a hat but rather doing away with the morphogenetic cloud that emotions must be avoided that commonly prevails in organisations.

5. Motivation

As employees we are given recognition or salary perks to keep us motivated. When it came to things like writing and singing which are gifts I like to hone, I found that for quite some time I avoided doing those just for the fulfillment they gave me because my mind was set on making money, and these two didn’t serve me in that direction. That is when I became aware of this inculcated belief that money is motivation for doing something. Truthfully, if that belief is given up, one would see that the real motivation is the love you experience in the process of doing something. Even more alarming is the achievement-driven mentality we hone through our job. I was playing with an 8-year old one day who told me that though she is good at drawing, she doesn’t sketch in vacations because there is no one there to appreciate her or hang her drawing in a public space. I found my own gap in self-appreciation reflected through this. Perhaps we are not being taught in schools how important it is do something for its own sake, rather than to achieve something. After I understood this, I began writing for my own sake and singing what I felt mattered to me. Not surprisingly, I receive mails, messages and sometimes people even mention in their calls how much they connect to and love reading this blog. I am truly grateful. In this process I picked up that excellence is a natural thirst when you are in love with the process of creation. Perfection on the other hand is cultivated or taught, and is outcome-based. It brings down the value of experimenting that is necessary to lead you into your own subtle layers.

6. Going beyond roles

In most organisations, your role comprises of certain responsibilities which are given to you almost implicitly upon joining. However when you are managing your own project, or your own time, you have to often wear many caps and think like different people. Over these last few months I learned how to promote my blog using online marketing strategies, how to re-invest the money I was making back into my own healing work and all this needed that I stepped out of my shell, my role as just a writer who wanted to sit in the quiet of a home and focus on writing or healing. I also learned in the process to ask myself critical questions to go beyond the “shoulds” in my mind so as to experience full satisfaction out of whatever I was doing at the moment.

dilbert - freedom

Apart from the above “unlearnings”, there are a few lessons that I discovered have left their mark on me for the better.

7. Being your own boss

For some of us being self-motivated comes easy, while for others breaking down your vision into simple small achievable steps feels like a big task. Doing something on your own for a long time requires you to put on a boss’s hat and think like one. Sometimes it also requires you to wake up, make different decisions and change course from what you had initially set out to do, trusting your decisions implicitly, giving yourself a pat on your back and set goals. For me it was challenging for the longest of time to set goals. I saw no point in it until I realised I had been procrastinating on some tasks for a very long time. When I dived deeper into this with the help of my brother who is running a start-up venture, we discovered that I could not break down my vision of what I had in mind into small, definable steps, and so I avoided setting goals altogether. Now I set goals even if they feel trivial. I also experiment with behavioural psychology to help me achieve goals consistently, through 3 Tiny Habits. It saves me from the disappointment of not having done anything and helps me to use time efficiently. It also helps me to set out guilt-free, free time to just pander around doing nothing.

8. Finding your own community

Working 8 hours and more alongside people gives the illusion of having people around. It is easy to escape loneliness, an inherent feeling that is present in most of us, when we are working in an organisation. But when there is no work to bury yourself in, nothing exciting or “showstopping” to share with your friends and ex-colleagues, this loneliness or a sense of isolation becomes a looming presence. For the longest of time I struggled with facing this loneliness – the feeling that I have to deal with myself all 24 hours rather than be able to escape into busyness. More and more I got in touch with people like me who are in their 30s and in transition (or have crossed this juncture), the more I felt relieved about the pace of my growth. Joining a spiritual group which had people who were also in this transition helped me to get over the feeling that I was the only one with this mindset. I also consciously began to reach out to people in different careers.

9. Concise, to-the-point communication

Being a part of groups where I had to communicate a lot post quitting, I realised that I was able to get my point across in a very concise and straightforward way. The flip side of being a writer is that you can tend to get roundabout and singsong about the most mundane things, which doesn’t serve a useful purpose when you have to deliver something crisp. Moreover, in a few groups, I also noticed people writing from a very opinionated front, going on and on about what they feel, rather than communicating about the task they were assigned. This helped me realise that I might have fallen into the same trap had it not been for my corporate training over the years. It has honed my communication to intuitively gauge the person’s requirement at the other end, get into a non-judgmental space, express disagreements from a neutral space, maintain boundaries and plume out the inessentials. Another place it helped me was in organising workshops. It helped me to bring transparency to both the parties involved regarding their comfort and put things down in mails so that there was no room for misunderstanding.

10. The importance of structures

The paradox of being very creative is that you need to set a structure to squeeze that creative juice out of you. Being my own boss was initially difficult for me. There would be days when I would write a lot, and weeks when I would write nothing (Facebook posts not counted!) Soon I missed having regularity, missed the urgency of pushing through time and getting things done. It wasn’t for the adrenaline, but rather for the satisfaction of completing something that I wanted to, or having something to show. I decided to join a writing class that would help me bring method to the madness. Writing every Sunday based on specific constructs with blinkers on my eyes for 4 straight hours has been a greater source of joy for me than anything I’ve done in the past few years. It has taken me back to those classroom days (only the enjoyable ones though!) where we had to write a certain kind of a piece in a stipulated time. After a few weeks of this class, I am learning to set aside time every day to write something at a specific time. It may go up on a blog, it may be just free-writing, practicing fiction or plotting out a story line based on a dream. It serves the purpose of giving me a structure, to give creative output space to manifest.

11. Loving challenges

It is a cliché that you need challenges for your growth. But I understood this experientially when I learned to drag myself out of bed at a specific time even when there was nothing to do. I had been lazing as if it was vacation time and feeling very distracted by the day end for months on an end. I had no external disciplinarian and consciously had to face this challenge of learning how compassionate self-discipline is. I had to also learn how to work with a one-pointed focus and was taken back to The Pomodoro Technique. Gauging how much time I would like to spend on an activity is my latest challenge, “timeboxing” as it is called. I know this challenge is essential for me to meet if I have to write a film that successfully conveys all that it is meant to in a specific duration. It is giving me an opportunity to see and address myself as a Creator, and go beyond the feeling of being a slave of time.

12. Voicing problems and solutions at the same time

In the last organisation that I worked, this was one of their principles. Whenever one had to voice a problem, one had to also propose a solution at the same time, however improbable or abstract it might be. In the groups that I was a part of and in developing my own skills in something, I found myself going back to this philosophy. It is very easy to point out a problem, even to yourself many a time, but it takes conscious work to see what could be the possible workarounds or turnarounds. When I started applying this for my writing, I found that I wanted to get more structured, but had no one to guide me. So I started reading articles online and found how to get the editor in me out only after the first draft of writing. I started making notes of what resonated about certain blog posts or blogs that I instantly loved. This also turned my attention more towards what is good and working and how it can get better. Of course, as with every first step you take, it was much later that I came across the writing class I so fondly mention above.

By Jill Sakai

By Jill Sakai

There is one last aspect of learning.

13. Money

Money was a monthly occurrence and would often get spent on luxuries when I was working in IT. It was also the reason for working at anything at all. In this last year, my relationship with money has become more conscious. Not just that, it has given me an on-the-ground insight of how a majority people in India live. I became more vulnerable to the changes in economy and actually felt the pinches of inflation. It was like I was pulled down from my ivory castle into the fields. In the wake of this sensitivity, it also made me realise the value of socio-cultural movements such as Giftivism, which aspires to create a value system of generosity among the urban crowd rather than charity. It encouraged me to be available to people on a flexible payment system and balance it with honouring myself. In the process it brought out my patterns of stinginess, unworthiness, the inner disconnect I felt between spirituality and money, my instinctive resistance to receiving unconditionally and lack of trust in the universe’s giving, which helped me to refine my understanding of abundance. It brought out beliefs such as one mustn’t be paid if one is in an act of service, one shouldn’t hold money for one’s own interests and helped me to observe them for what they are – mere beliefs that were being released for my highest growth. In hindsight, in the cushioned corporate world I might have never faced my beliefs truly in the context of money.

Giftivism

Giftivism

For those who are about to leave their corporate job or are thinking of it, or have already done it, I intend this article gives you clarity to find some grounding where you are.

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