Thursday, December 31, 2009

a letter to new year!

If I were to write a letter (....and why not...???) to the new year , it would look like this :

"I have been waiting a long time for you to arrive, that's because I have planned to do many things that I didn't  get around to last year. You give me hope because you come around every year without fail and you come with no expectations...just a clean slate...its up to me to bring what i want to into this year and what I want to make of this time with you.

This year, I will take things slowly so I can savour each moment fully and see what gifts they bring me. I will spend more time being thankful for my blessings and for the people around me who love me so much! I also want to spend more time giving back to society and paying forward.

Thank you for coming back again renewed ( this is something I admire about matter what the world throws at always come back renewed !)  Thank you for giving me the  opportunity to do the same. You are a good year and I know now, that this a one time journey as you will never come back as 2010 again! I look forward to my time with you"

Happy New Year!

picture - courtesy of my blackberry , happened on its own..I call it new beginnings

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Two way street

Every year I send a friend flowers for Christmas and this year I forgot. She waited for them until Christmas Day arrived... no flowers... so her husband bought her some flowers for Christmas. When I went to  their house for dinner on Christmas Day, I was sitting at their dining table and I noticed a big vase of yellow orhids and I commented on  how nice they looked to her husband ( it never occurred to me that I forgot to send her flowers). Later on in the evening as my friend and I were talking she said jokingly that she waited for my flowers and that I musnt forget to send her flowers next year. To her, its wasnt about the was what I did for her every year was a mark of our friendship.

I am not sure why I forgot to send her flowers...maybe I was too preoccupied in my own life. But I made a mental note to send her flowers the next day, as it was still Christmas in some parts of the world. When she received the flowers, she called to tell  me that she was touched by the gesture but she felt bad for telling me about the flowers....BUT I was so happy that she did. Its a small thing but its the small things that add up and in a true friendship, both parties need to be comfortable enough to voice their feelings. This morning I asked her to return the table runner I gave her that she is not using!...ha..ha... This is what friends do.

I remember many years ago,I was travelling in U.S and I "hounded" my business partner and friend to buy me a handmade kaleidoscope. And he did, it cost a small fortune at that time but I still have it on my desk and every time I look at it, I am reminded of how I "badgered" him into buying it for me. I could have bought it for myself but it was more fun getting him to buy it for me.

We are very happy to give to others but we are reluctant to receive and even more uncomfortable to ask for what we want...because we worry about how it will get interpreted and we don't want to burden our friends. But there is a flip side to not allowing someone to give to us, we are not giving them the opportunity to experience the joy of giving.
 In the bigger scheme of things  there is no need for formality with good friends.. what matters more is how happy we feel when we have the opportunity to do do something for a close friend and make them happy in the process...and the fact that we have so much to share and give...that in itself is a true blessing!

(picture - courtesy of erica dickens)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!

I used to get quite sentimental at this time of this year and if I didnt watch it, I could get myself into quite a " state" . Initially I thought it was because I was on my own and then I remembered times when I was in a relationship and still felt very alone.
I realise now that it had to do with noone else but me... that feeling of aloneness and not belonging anywhere had to do with my own discomfort with myself... the various characters I focussed on ....about what they did and didnt do,were distractions and excuses that kept me from fixing my life, instead they  fuelled my "story"

We all have a "story" and sometimes we fall into a rut where we buy into our "story" to the point that we will do anything to defend our "story" ...times when we say..." you dont understand who hard its been to .....(fill in the blank) ... " But who are we kidding?... ourselves!!

These days, when I get that lump in my throat or knot in my stomach... I think " how interesting, what do I need to draw my attention to now, and what gift does this situation bring for me?"
When I do that, i free myself from the drama and I can focus on what's working in my life and there are so many things that work in my life.
My gorgeous children, my beautiful home, my wonderful family, the great people I work with and my loving and kind friends.  Yes there are bits in my life that can "scare" the life out of me if I focus too much on them ...its all about balance and turning around every now and then to see how far I have come....and its been a terrific ride!

I read something today that reflects the way I feel about Christmas, we dont know who wrote it  but whoever did, really understood the essence of Christmas :

"Every time a hand reaches out
To help another….that is Christmas

Every time someone puts anger aside
And strives for understanding
That is Christmas

Every time people forget their differences
And realize their love for each other
That is Christmas

May this Christmas bring us
Closer to the spirit of human understanding
Closer to the blessing of peace!"

Peace in the world outside begins with us feeling peaceful within ourselves .....and that comes from being grateful for what we have and acknowledging ourselves for our own personal journey in life. Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

a hundred lamps of awareness

I went to a hindu temple with my mum today, she wanted to light oil lamps for Lord Ganesha to mark my birthday, so we were there at the temple and I was watching people light up hundreds of oil lamps...usually giving thanks for what they have received or perhaps they were also putting a prayer out for what they wanted. As I watched this, my mind kept wandering back to a TED talk I watched on the net last night. It was by a lady called Sunitha Krishnan. She spoke about how we need to raise our awareness to the fact that many children and  women get raped and abused in such horrific ways on a day to day basis. She herself was a victim of a gang rape by 8 men and she spoke about the anger that she had and how she chanelled it into rescuing more than a 1000 children. She spoke about how we pretend its not there and how we need to accept this part of our lives... yes it is a part of our lives...because I do believe that we perpetuate this ugliness in the world. We create it with the way we abuse power in our own lives and by the way we look the other way when we hear of such things. I know I used to say that its not a part of my reality and I foolishly believed that by not thinking about it , it wont be a part of my reality!

Recent statistics show that one in three women have some sort of abuse in their lives...I wonder how many more helpless children share the same plight? After listening to her I felt that what I am doing for street children by raising funds for them through my art is such a small drop in the ocean. I wanted to do more, so here I am writing about this. Below are links to Sunitha's TED talk and also the art auction site that I initiated for my company with the Christina Noble Foundation. Please tell your friends or as Sunitha says " can you break your cultural silence tell this story to two other people and encourage them to tell 2 more people" She made a request... asking us to open our minds in our limited world to accept and include these people into our lives. Perhaps if we did that, we can shine the light on these issues and flush the perpetrators out of the shadows.  This is why I have put the pictures of the oil lamps from the temple this morning because I want a hundreds lamps of awareness to reach out to the world and multiply... its the least we can do...afterall the real hard, heart wrenching work is done by people like Sunitha who give so much of themselves to make a difference to the world of these victims of abuse. Lord Ganesha is said to be the remover of obstacles, so my prayer this morning was for him to ensure  the safety of every single child today who may be in a threatening situation and ensure that they get timely help... when I did that, my initial thought was that there was no way we, the human race or even God can protect every single child!... why not ?  what is there to stop us from thinking about what else we can do to offer safety to every single child out there? what stops us from raising human consciousness  and doing our share on a day to day basis....only our limited thinking!

Letting the day flow by...

Yesterday was a full on day and even though I had plans to walk on my treadmill, meditate and process my thoughts ( basically 'me' time)  before I got on with my day...I dropped everything and just did what needed to get done. I was hosting a lunch party at home for my office team and felt I needed to just dive into the day. Its the task master in me who creeps up every now and then. This morning, however, was different ...I did the reverse, I took my time,  made time for exercise, listened to music and had quiet time for myself to listen to my thoughts.... the difference amazing! Yesterday was good day ( but by the end of the day, I was irritable and a little listless) , but today everything just flowed and one thing melted into the other.
Even better ... is how I responded to this insight. In the past I would have made a pact with myself that from now on I will make sure that I always have  time for me. By doing that I would have set myself up for failure in the future and would have got really pissed off with myself or anyone else who ate into my 'me' time. Why?  ..because it is not possible to predict what will happen tomorrow and sometimes life has a way of throwing 'wild cards' at us. Instead of planning and scheming ways to hold on to what I consider as things I value in my life,  I had another perspective.  I realised that I was only able to appreciate the difference  between the two days because I experienced both of them in the first place. How would I know that today was better if I didnt have yesterday? And so , in my awareness , I just took a silent moment to appreciate all of it. I am glad I didnt have 'me' time yesterday and I am glad I had it today. I realise that all of it works for me because I am not that attached to an outcome or destination instead I am just enjoying the journey. As with nature, there is an ebb and flow in our lives. When we sit to watch the ocean, its nice when the waves come roaring in  and its also nice when it receeds and gives us that moment of peace and silence.... only to flow again ...
We dont set out to hold on to the waves that come in and not let it flow back into the ocean, we know it happens, we accept it as a natural process.  This is what  I learnt today, that its ok to have days that are perfect and days that are not so " perfect" because all of it serves a purpose and everything is exactly as it was meant to be.... PERFECT!!!

(above picture of the ocean was taken on a vacation to phuket in Thailand)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to me

When my son,Michael turned 5 , the school arranged for a special ceremony where they had the birthday child standing at one end of the room with two "angels" ( two of his classmates)  that he was asked to select. On the other end, we, the parents sat and next to us were 5 unlit candles. The teacher then told the class Michael's story and how he found his parents from high up in the sky,  and what he did at each age. Then she would say " and then he turned one" ... at  this point the parent had to light one of the candles and the child would walk with his angels a little closer to the parents. We did this for every age , till he turned 5 and we lit all 5 candles and till he ended up standing infront of us.  The "angels" then left him with his parents and the ceremony was completed. As a parent , I found this moving ...watching my son and listening to his story of how he travelled his life so far...even though I knew every detail intimately.
We all have our own story and we use this story to give ourselves an identity that we identify with. We sometimes defend our stories ... even if the story doesnt serve us anymore.
Its my birthday today and the picture of the cake above is the cake that my daughter helped me bake. I wanted a plate of brownies with candles on them ( inspired by the Domestic Goddess, Nigela Lawson)
A few of my friends got together in the kitchen to put this display together and as I watched them light each candle, I thought about my each candle represented a chapter of my life that's brought me to where I am now.  Looking back, if I had known right from the begining as to what was in store for me, I am not sure if I would have signed up to do it ... I think I would have been really afraid. Its a good thing that we get life in bite sizes, one mini chapter at a time year at a time... just like my son's 5th birthday celebration. Each candle represents a learning opportunity, my own unique passage through life and how my life got lit up jus a bit little more with each year. Maybe thats why my mum has a certain glow about her... its the wisdom of years combined with the genuine love and gratitude that grows in her heart  with each year!

Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

my purple water lily

Three days ago, I said that I needed a new gardener and today, one turned up at my doorstep. He was selling plants and I just happened to be there when he drove past in his truck full of plants. He stopped and asked me if I wanted to buy some plants I said "no", then he came out of his truck to ask me if I needed a gardener!!...he said that he was retiring and asked me if I had gardening work for him. (of course I eventually bought some plants- I bought a purple water lily and I bought a few other plants.)
I asked him if he could look after my garden like his own, he smiled and said yes, he had a kind face and we walked around the garden and he shared his knowledge of plants with me, what is edible, what is not, healing qualities of certain plants...He was perfect!
And I didnt have to go out and look for him. He just turned up. They say that you dont have to do much, just sit back, relax and align with the universe.... I cant say that I do it all the time because the "control freak" and super achiever in me sometimes manages to get me all " stirred" up. But when I do let go and relax, things flow so smoothly.
There is a joy in "allowing" things to happen...because you melt into whatever is around you when you lie in a hammock and sink into that moment's pleasure... you become one with everything... you open yourself up to life and in return life opens up to meet your heart's desires.
I didnt even know that I wanted a purple water lily but I know everytime I look at will remind me of surrendering to the universe and allowing things to flow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stones to Diamonds...

Its that time of the year... as my birthday draws nearer, christmas and new year too.. it makes me nostalgic and depending on what happens that day...I sometimes feel quite alone. I feel a little sorry for myself ...that it would be nice to have someone to share the load with or just to share my deepest desires or thoughts. I went to bed feeling that way last night, this morning I feel different. This is my "script" , this is the life I have chosen. I do have people around me who are more than willing to... not just carry my load but also carry me some of the way.. my sister and brother in law, my best friend and lucky charm... I have so many "angels" around me who just come when I need suppport and leave quietly when they see that I am ok. And, really.. there are so many of them.... even strangers on the street go out of their way to make my world a little better!

Its got to do with the "lens" I choose to put on and look out of. I can wear the " I am alone, nobody loves me lens" or I can choose to wear the " this is neat, look at the number of people who love me" lens.
Is it all just about positive thinking? I dont think so. Thinking is just one faculty...thinking without feeling doesnt cut it for me...its like lying to myself and pretending!. Feeling helps me connect with my emotion but feeling combined with a higher self/spirituality/God just takes me to a completely new level. It allows me to see things I have never seen - the colours, the layers, the sounds, the textures....its just amazing. It opens up a whole new world for me.
I think we complicate life too much. Its normal to have the "stone" days every now and then. It's what we do with the stone that matters. Reminds me of something I read a long time ago by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar "If you are holding on to stones in your hands, your hands will not be free to take the diamonds and gold."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hugging the day!

I was listening to some music today and I havent heard this one in a while , by Enya, Wild child and the words struck me, one sentence in particular " let the day surround you " .... and when I heard it , I had this image of the day "hugging" me. It brought me back to childhood instantly. The memories that come to mind are the ones of me lying on the grass under the sun and feeling the warmth of the sun... and as I did this, I will drift away into "nothing"....(...well...until my grandma would call out for me and ask me to come into the shade..." come in quickly, out of the sun, if you get too dark, noone will marry you!")...ha..ha.."

I had that feeling today, that warmth of being surrounded by the judgements... just acceptance... everything is ok ... everything is just right...everything is exactly as it needs to be. But will that disappear when I get into work?...probably ... but every now and then , when i become aware of my state, I can let the day surround me and be one with the day.

The first two verses of the song below:

"Ever close your eyes
Ever stop and listen
Ever feel alive
And you've nothing missing
You don't need a reason
Let the day go on and on

Let the rain fall down
Everywhere around you
Give into it now
Let the day surround you
You don't need a reason
Let the rain go on and on"

Every day we get on the planet is a special gift that we take forgranted. We dont know what the future holds, infact we dont even know what the next hour has in store for us... all we have is now and the gift of today. With that in mind, I am going to embrace today wholeheartedly and give it a great big hug!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Living in a Cave...

My dad used to say that its easier to be a sage or wise person if you lived in a cave/ up in the mountains far away from everyday life. He said the real challenge is in being able to rise above and make wise and noble choices when you are serving your "human" responsibilities as a parent, employee or boss , as a son or daughter an everyday person living life. And whenever I felt that I was judging myself, this is what I would recall. Sometimes, its hard to be a "good " person and think "peaceful" thoughts. Especially when we feel slighted or hurt by someone else. We dont wish them evil but we feel bad about having negative thoughts about someone. Children on the other hand allow themselves to feel an emotion fully. I know kids ( I wont say whose kids!!) who say things like " I hate my teacher...she is such a B....." and when I ask why and what they want to do about it .... this one kid i know would smile cheekily and say " I have already put her in the freezer or put her in a spaceship and sent her into outer space" These are the two more mild examples of what they would do! But by doing what they do, they have found a way to cope with what they feel in the moment and they dont feel guilty about it.

Everytime we reject a thought and pretend its not there, we reject a part of ourselves because in truth this is what we are feeling. By accepting that we feel a certain way without judgement, we give ourselves permission to process that emotion. At a course I did recently, the instructor said that our emotions are "energy in motion". We take in energy in the form of food and we digest it and what we dont want, comes out. Breath is the same, we take it in , process it and expel carbon dioxide. I never looked at emotions in this way and I have been thinking about it alot. So we feed ourselves in many ways - food as fuel for the body, knowledge for the mind, breath maybe for the body but its also our connection to our spirit or God as when you breathe you take in life and it calms you down...and I guess emotion is the "food" for the heart!!! If this is the case, then we need to apply the same natural principles that apply to the other bodily functions. Just that with food and breath - it happens on auto pilot , the body takes over whereas with information/mind food and emotions, we have to actively process it and be aware. This is the challenge, I am a master as distracting myself... I could write a thesis about it! and these days, with awareness I recognise the distractions and give myself the time to clear out the "mental and emotional " garbage as it comes through and also at the end of the day. Its still a chore and everytime I recognise a "wave of emotion or thought, I sigh " we go again!" But when I deal with it, I am a happier person, this is because I am not constantly fighting myself or others in my "head space" or projecting my fears or past hurts or having "mental conversations with people I am not happy with"... I find myself really present in the moment . Its such a freedom. Do I do it consistently?... No! but I am getting better at it ...why?... because " I dont live it a cave." I have kids to feed, work to do, earn a living and these days take out the garbage regularly ( mental and emotional garbage too)! Well thats my excuse anyway... I am learning that its really about doing my best in every moment... thats all I have to do!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Drinking Life...

Claudine, who used to work with me used to tell me...."just breathe" ..., whenever I got worked up. She even sent me messages to remind to breathe deeply whenever I had something big happening.
When we breathe deeply, we connect with life around us. Its such a simple thing to do and its effects are quite dramatic... for example when I started writing this piece about breathing deeply, I found myself taking deep breaths.Within minutes Claudine rings me on my mobile( we havent spoken in more than 6 months!) I answer the phone and tell her that I was just writing about her on my blog and she says " I just read your blog and wanted to ask you about today's challenge" We spoke about life and we spoke about gratitude and how the little things seem bright and "sparkly" when we are connected with life and centered within ourselves. The things we take forgranted... like the phone call from Claudine is a bit of magic,that life throws at you when you connect with it. Both of us got such a buzz from it.

My daughter, when she was 3 or 4 years old, used to stick her head out of the car and open her mouth and if I asked her what she was doing , she would say, " I am drinking the air " That made me smile and sometimes both of us "drank the air" together when we sat outside by the pool.

So the next time someone says " lets drink to life" ...I am going to make sure that I take a deep deep breath and connect with life and its magic before I drink my toast... and I will reply by saying " Yes.. lets drink to a magical life!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

whats core and whats not!

One of the things I learnt in marketing is to clarify the purpose behind any activity or initiative we chose to do. This is true for me with business and life in general. Sometimes it gets clouded and I lose perspective but it helps to ask every now and then as to what my true purpose is and what I am meant to do in this planet.
I did that this morning as I am giving serious thought to how I want to do business in the next ten years of my life. To me my work and business life are an expression of has to reflect my true essence. I have wasted too much time in the past trying to "fit in". (I dont even know why I bothered because I never did anyway!)

I did this by playing down my feelings and thoughts on how things needed to be, kept it buried, bypassed it and compartmentalised my life so that work remained seperate from some of the core beliefs i have about life ...although, as i got older i let more of this slip in.

To the people I work with, they think I am 'way out there' in terms of ideas...right in "space cadet" territory ...they like my ideas but they dont believe that it is practical in the real "dog eat dog" business world.

What I ask for is not that far out, just requires a slight shift in perspective.
I believe that as business leaders we need to make decisions from our true essence or core. To consider the impact we have on other peoples' lives and to be conscious about what we do. To not make it all about ourselves, to let go sometimes ..that its not always about winning and getting ahead of someone else. Not everybody is trying to manipulate or cheat. There are a few out there but because of our fear and need to protect ourselves we build rules and play stupid games designed around these few but affect the majority. How stupid is that!!

Back to clarity on my purpose, I only want to work on business with a heart, with people who are keen to make that change or impact the way we do business and still make alot of money. It is a longer term ride but its worth it. Anyone who cant see that, is not suited for my business model and way of life. This is just my manifesto and it helps me get to what's important whenever I am evaluating a business proposition.
Feels good to me!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

being visible in tough times

Sometimes leaders have to make tough decisions, whether it has to do with closing down a business unit or letting someone go. I recognise that this is a part of working life and that there may be a bigger picture at play. There are times when its impossible to save someone’s job and in those situations, what matters more is whether you did your best as a leader. Maybe its helping them find another job, maybe its just calling to check up on the individual, maybe its just listening with an open heart. Most of all it’s about leading to make a difference in the lives of the people we touch. Being there for the good times to celebrate wins is one thing but a true test of a leader comes when he/she chooses to be there when someone he/she manages is going through a tough time. This is when leadership needs to be visible and when leaders need to stand by their employees.Its easy to pretend that its not there because it makes us uncomfortable but I happen to believe that we need to do things that make us uncomfortable to help us grow as individuals. How else are we going to be a good example to the people we manage?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Feel the fear and do it anyway

I remember reading a book that was titled " Feel the fear and do it anyway"
I have been keeping my blog a secret as I was afraid of how people might respond to ,if i opened it up to the world. What if someone criticises me or says that my writing is " crap!" ... what if I start letting the fact that someone is going to read my blog color the way I write?? .... and then I realised that even that is just a part of my journey....what have i to fear?

Somehow we have this unrealistic view of life that everything needs to fall in place and that we need to move from success to success or from one good thing to another. Some days, my writing will be "crap" and somedays I wont feel so upbeat about life what?  For me blogging  helps me clarify my thoughts and it helps me make sense of my world. If in the process , I happen to touch someone else's life who may be  feeling the same way ...great! ... then I would have lived more fully today... I would have added in someway to me and the world.

If it all boils down to one thing I want from my life , then its to be authentic and live in my power. And when I think of that , nothing else matters more... !!! Everyday lived in that way is another glorious day. Doesn't mean I dont feel the fear.. or "scare myself crazy" ...sometimes I do  but the more I accept the emotions I feel and acknowledge them, the more alive i feel. It frees up my energy and let's my spirit fly by ... all that by simply doing nothing , just being aware. Love it!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Joy.... doing what I love

Listening to myself and only doing those things that make my spirit happy is my message for me today. Its seems like such a simple and straightforward thing to do and yet I have struggled with this all my life. I tend to do what's "required", whats "right" and what is "expected' of me "duty" first....leaving me very little time to do what makes me happy at a core level. and even as I write this, my mind is screaming at me ...."how the hell are you going to do this?... nice thought but is it practical??" " is this something that you can sustain or is it just a passing fad?"

That voice is the "drill sergeant"in me ..the one that gets me up in the morning, the one that reminds me what I have to do "duties" ...and its served me all these years, kept me from getting into trouble, helped me pass exams and excel in my work ....helped me to be a good mother, good student, good daughter, good boss....but why this need to be so "good". Does listening to myself and being "spirited" make me "bad?" I guess I must have thought that at some level because I did get myself into alot of trouble as a child, for doing what i wanted to and not what others wanted me to do.

So what I have been doing most of my life is to be so " good" until I cant take it anymore than I flip and become this "brat child" especially when things get tough, I dig my heels in and put up a "temper tantrum". Thats worked for me so far. ...But if I listened to myself more...I mean really listen to what I want to do at a soul level..then maybe I dont need to do this anymore. I can be in my true power and be me.

I think half the problems we face today come from us playing " roles" that we feel we ought to and somewhere along the way we think the role is who we are, we go into auto -pliot mode. I choose today to start living in more awareness about the things i do and to choose to do the things that make me joyful. This will be my one month experiment starting end of november leading me to the end of the year. They say that if you do something for a full 21 day cycle ( one mandala) it will become a habit.

Day 1 of Wandering Dog 30day challenge ( follow link below and see where it takes me)

Friday, November 27, 2009

To love or not to love... its not even a question!

Someone I know from a distance is getting married today at the age of 21, my niece and my two children are helping her to make this day special for her. Us adults, on the other hand have stepped back in judgement and refused to look at it...hopefully it will go away....!!

I know I have my judgements about can they get married when they cant even afford a wedding...why do they want to get married when there nothing is certain these days!!!...??

I chose to sleep in this morning so I wont have to see any of this "drama" as my kids offered our house to the bride and groom to dress up before they go for the solemnization ceremony...but i couldn't resist looking out the window when they left....

My niece's boyfriend carried a big bouquet of flowers into the taxi that was waiting, followed by my son and then my niece, all carrying various things to make this day special for their friend.

Then it struck me children are "championing love"....who am I to judge whether they are doing the right thing or not. At least these kids are choosing love over drugs or something else destructive....I realised it is my own discomfort with love and cynicism that has coloured my perspective towards this whole situation.

Our opinions usually carry a charge behind them..just like electricity and the more strongly we feel about something , the greater the charge. These days, I stop myself if I have a negative opinion about something or somebody and I observe the thought instead.

Someone sent me a mail yesterday that talked about embracing our shadow self and how our internal thoughts are often reflected out into the world as mass consciousness. That thought alone compels me to be careful with my thoughts and where I spend my energy.

The mail went on to ask readers to think of any situation that causing them conflict and to say :

1. I love you ( accepting or embracing the situation )

2. I am sorry ( accepting responsibility and owning the situation)

3. Thank you ( expressing gratitude as things don't "press our buttons" unless we have something to learn from them)

Someone I work with was telling me that she was reading a book about a doctor who has had great success in healing his mental patients and all he did was to look at each individual case file and say these words... I love you , I am sorry , Thank you.

Does it work? ... It does for me....why because anything that opts for love over anger, hatred , cynicism or judgement.... is worthwhile.

My kids taught me that this morning, by ignoring me and just sticking to what they wanted to do even though they knew I didn't approve. Good on them... Here's to love and happiness whether its ever lasting or just a fleeting moment ... we are all richer for being touched by it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

heading in the same direction...

I woke up this morning with a song in my head, it was the prayer for peace by St Francis of Assisi. To me its timeless :

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love;where there is injury, pardon;where there is doubt, faith;where there is despair, hope;where there is darkness, light;where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

And there is a really nice version of this that can be found in www. The artist is called Angelika and the album is Benediction and its has prayers of all religions.
In my view, its the way of the world, being able to transcend religion for spirituality. Two days ago at dinner we were discussing similarities between Islam, Buddhism, Hindusim and Christianity.... and we talked about my upbringing ....When we were young, my dad told us to take 4 glasses of water and put coloured ink in it and asked us what we saw, when we told him the colours we saw, he said, "but is still water". He then went on to explain how God appears in different forms to different people but that it all comes from the same source...just like the water in the glasses.
We live in so much fear ...of opening ourselves up to other cultures and their beliefs but if we stay grounded in the one belief that goodness and light always shines over darknes than we have nothing to fear. Just focussing on basic humaness ...we all want peace, joy , love..this is the common thread that ties us altogether as one human race and hopefully we are big enough to transcend our differences and take this beyond humanity to all life forms on the planet. There is so much to be done, we cannot waste our time on petty differences. We argue about religion and our personal God as if thats the only thing that matters...but in truth, if we are arguing about whose religion is better...its only a mental/cerebral execrcise...not one that can be felt from the heart. If you dont believe me, just feel in your body the next time you get into any sort of an argument, its impossible to to argue and stay in your heart space. Try it! ...your heart will keep shifting you to higher ground always! However , if you are coming from ego...and its not located in the heart, you can argue till the cows come home! The more rigid your position, the more "stuck" you become in your energy...look around you ...everything is in cannot sit is dynamic. If we dont challege our own ideas , we dont grow and if we dont grow, we die and thats such a shame considering that we are all so blessed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Heads or Tails ...all part of the same beast!...

Masaru Emoto became known for his pictures of water crystals. He froze water and took pictures of them as they defrosted. He was interested in seeing if there was a difference between different types of water. He did all sorts of things like playing music to water , exposing water to specific words and then taking photographs of these water crystals. He found that water responded in a consistent way towards positive words like love and gratitude and they formed beautiful crystals. He also found that when water was exposed to microwave, heavy metal music or words like war, or anger, the crystals did not form fully, it was distorted.

But even more interesting was the fact that some of these crystals still looked beautiful, just that they seemed half formed or half distorted. Emoto concluded that perhaps this is because within war sits peace or the yearning for peace. That thought resonates with me as the opposite polarities of something still makes up the whole when put together.

Perhaps that is what happens to us quite often, when we seek something with a passion , for eg, when we seek peace , we create turbulence and unrest within ourselves before we can get to that peaceful place. And maybe that is the process of life, in the quest for oneness we have to face separation at times.... and no one is free of this ... as it is the law of the universe.

I learnt recently that the best way to resolve that turbulence/unrest inside us, is to accept it and face it. This is the opposite to what we have been taught. We have been taught to put any negative thought away and pretend that it never existed. But to say, " I am aware that I am feeling fear and I accept that part of me" helps me embrace a side of me that I dont portray to the world because it might make me look weak. When I think of some of the things that are happening around us now , I know that each of them is meant to bring our attention to what we need to work on or accept.

Out of separation comes wholeness, out of conflict comes peace, out of suffering comes joy... its just the flip side of the other, like a coin, the head and the tail....but its still a coin.

So I have learnt that instead of fighting against what's happening, that I can sit back and enjoy the process knowing that what i am looking for is in the making... and what I see in front of me is merely one part of the whole but its also evidence that my wishes are being manifested... its God's work in progress. My past experience tells me that the universe delivers a 100 times more than what I can ever ask for... way bigger and better than my wildest dreams!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 in progress

Its been a month since I blogged...why ... i had nothing to say. Sometimes, silence is good. But why do we try to fill up all the gaps in our lives ... even in conversation, we sometimes get uncomfortable when we have nothing to say.
and yet ... I recall times of total bliss when i have sat in silence with someone I love, just enjoying the breeze.

I have attended workshops where we observe silence for days and each time i emerged with more clarity and a sense of freedom. When the constant chatter/inner dialogue stops...there is such a sense of relief and joy. I think its because we free up the energy that is tied up in inner dialogue and this puts us in a creative space to create what we want in our lives. I notice that when i am in this space, I am more present in the moment. I was watching TV two nights ago and there was a comedy on, and I was laughing out loud. I cant remember the last time i laughed whole heartedly. I was walking into my home this evening and I felt so welcomed by it... and i was filled with gratitude that I have a comfortable space to enjoy and share with others. Nothing has changed about my home.....but something changes inside me when ever i give myself time. I feel renewed and at peace with myself. That makes me a nicer person to be around ... for my kids, the people i work with and even strangers i pass by on the street.

If my kids read this they would say its mummy's"hippy shit"... maybe it is ....but its good hippy shit because i can sit in my own silent space and enjoy everything...both the doing and the being. how precious is that?

Monday, October 5, 2009

new adventures...

Recently I saw someone close to me prepare herself (mentally and emotionally) to go away and study...I asked myself.."when did this girl grow up?"....I can see that there is a part of her that wants this change and yet another that is afraid...not certain of what lies ahead.

Sometimes, we wish we didnt have to make those choices, especially ones where we have to leave people behind. We are told that it is a part of life and yet its never that easy.

I can remember many such instances in my life when i have had to do that and each one helped me grow up a bit more. But its still pretty scary when you are standing the other side of the door wondering whether to go in or not... wondering what lies on the other side.
A friend once said to me that everything I need will be waiting on the other side, I just have to trust and go through the door and shut it behind me.

What holds us back most times is fear of the unknown and not wanting to let go what's familiar or routine. The truth is that we never really learn much from being "safe" and what we know. The learning lies in what we dont know, what confuses/frustrates us...and what scares us.

When my heart beats faster and when stomach feels tells me that I am alive...yes I am afraid but I can feel my heart beat and I am alive!! When I go out to do something that pushes me out of my comfort zone, I feel exhilirated ...It builds my confidence and it makes me feel invincible and strong! But I also like my comfort zones and routines because they make me feel grounded. And I think , being grounded gives me the courage to go out and explore. Its about finding that balance and what's right for me , may not be right for someone else.

I know someone who is an adrenaline junky...she goes from one scary thing to the me that type of lifestyle seems like escapism and we cant all be jumping off planes and living life like James bond or Charlie's angels. Then there are others I know who go from drama in their life to another and they are no similar from my adrenaline junkie friend. It is our human nature to look for excitement or that rush and my theory is that if we dont go out and find the experiences that do that for us in a constructive manner , then it is likely that we will go out to attract all sorts of drama to us because one way or another we need to keep ourselves busy.

The answer lies somewhere between the two states of living on the edge and living a safe sane live.Writing this made me think about what I want to do next... things that will challenge me... I can think of a few things that will make me feel alive... Here's my list :

1. underwater diving

2. hang gliding

3. flying a plane

4. riding a bike

5. going to machu pichu , shangrila, nepal, and mountain trekking

6. learning to ski

7. learning from a shaman/ spending time with any kind of native group to learn about their way of life

I may not end up doing all of them but its there to nudge me along. And there are other things...smaller..not so dramatic things like taking up dance classes, learning pottery, getting fit enough to complete a marathon of some sort. I can feel my new adventures calling me!

Friday, September 18, 2009

All ok...

Whenever i stop writing, i get nudged by friends who send me messages to write my next blog.... they say, it helps them keep track of know where my mind is and what I am up to.

So as I write this, I am thinking about what stood out for me this week. Balance and Routines come to mind. I have been fighting my kids all month to get them into a routine.... simple things like sleeping on time, or having breakfast/regular meals, eating healthy, having enough exercise..etc. On one level they are routines and on another level, they help ground us and give us a sense of well being.

I worry about my children ... I worry about their school and how they cope, if they are happy, if they are balanced, their outlook to life and if they will make the grades to do the courses of their choice. I get concerned that there is a disconnect ...they don't see the connection between what they do now and how it will shape their future....... but Seriously...Why should they?
I think about me , when I was their age, I had no concept of the future, my life was NOW and everything that happened in the moment was so BIG!
Am I missing something?... have I become too much of an adult that I have forgotten what it was like when i was their age? How would I have reacted if my parents said the things I am saying now? .... even worse...have I become my mum or dad?
How do I alter my approach as to not push them away and to let them know that they are not judged and that I love them. (... but I am judging them, arent I?)

As adults, we tend to worry too much, we take present behaviour and plot it into the future ...I know my parents thought that I would end up dropping out of school and becoming some sort of a "gang leader" ... because I was always getting into trouble, mainly around rules and routines.
At least my parents got the "leader" part right because I became a business leader.

Which brings me to yesterday, I decided that my present time with my children is more important and I spent the day, just "being" there with them. I gave my daughter a massage, sat and talked to my son while he ate his favourite ice cream. Made jokes and laughed at their jokes and watched TV with them instead of doing my e-mails. Something shifted, could have been me or them but I feel better. They are not going to be school drop outs and beach bums... they are OK...we are all OK! What we look for is what we get, if I keep focusing on what's negative about them instead of their good qualities, then this is what I will magnify in my world. Besides the "good kids" never have as much fun as kids who push the boundaries a bit and are truthful about it. When my kids get sent to detention class in school , they tell me. And even if they break school rules and home rules, I know that they know the boundaries when it comes to society and community. This to me is more important. Many kids don't notice beggars on the street, my kids always want to give them some money. Many kids don't notice old people or someone who may need a hand to open a door or cross the street but mine do. They even know how to keep their rooms clean and when it gets messy, I can see them sorting things out and clearing up. Looking after self, looking after others... the foundation is there, lets see what they build upon it. I wait eagerly to see this, in they own way they will leave their mark on the planet because they are awesome kids ( people..actually) ... but hey... I am biased...they are my kids! Maybe all i need to do is to celebrate their goodness and greatness ... and in the process everything else will fall into place because when I relax about the future, I allow creativity to flow freely, I hear more... and it helps me give them what they really need to support them in their journey into adulthood. I can do more by doing less... how neat is that? ...but isn't that the way of the universe... doing more with less and letting things run on their own momentum and having faith that things always turn out exactky as it should and for our highest good?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"One eyed wonder".....

There is something to say about "goodness" because when you start looking for it, you see and attract more of it to you.
Its not about being " good" .... I think this is just a label and the more we place a label on ourselves and others...the more we struggle with it.
I am talking about the ability to find something useful in every situation. This is the key ,if we want to change current circumstances in our life, we have to embrace the situation and go beyond that by actually finding " goodness'' in acknowledge that its serving us for some reason.

Its hard to do when you have just regained consciousnness after being unconscious for 5 days as a result of a bad accident... but in these situations it is absolutely necessary to do that in order to heal and look into the future.

What we normally do is ask " why Me" or say " its not fair" and in some ways we are allowed to go through that process because we need to overcome the shock of the incident. Its what we do after that ... do we continue to play the victim or do we make a decision to live the very best life we can in the moment?

I know someone who had a life threatening accident and he lost a part of his cranium and lost the ability to see out of one eye. He was told that he could not go back to university for a year and that he had to remain in hospital for 2 months. He decided that this is not the life that he wanted to he got himself better and left the hospital in a wheel chair in 2 weeks. He returned to university and completed his education. Today he plays touch sports even though a part of his skull is missing and his approach to life is one where he goes out to embrace life. He completed iron man recently in good time and he lives life fully...why?.. because he nearly lost everything and he has been to death and come back. He has a real appreciation for what he has now in his life.

Here lies the secret.... appreciating what we have now in the moment. Its our right to be happy and to enjoy everything that comes our way and we have complete control over one else can see the world in the same way because each us has a unique and individual perspective.

For the person I know who is hospital , my wish for him is that he is able, from this point onwards to be thankful for his second lease in life and forge ahead to be everything he wants to be.
For the rest of us, to be thankful that we are not in hospital and to grasp the opportunity that is given to us in the moment and be the best we can be in each moment...after all this is all we have ...the current moment.

How we choose to spend it is entirely up to us... i did say " choose" because we often think that life happens to us and that we don't have a choice. People like my "one eyed" friend reinforce the message that we are the drivers of our life. He often says that he sees more with his one eye that he did with both his eyes.... he appreciates the fact that he still has one eye and that he not blind. Reminds me of the time when we were in an art gallery and they had hologram exhibits that needed to be seen through both sister and i were insisting that he see it too as the images were beautiful. He just laughed and reminded us that he cant see through both eyes and we all laughed together. We often forget that he cant see through one eye because of the way he lives life fully. We have the power to shape the future we want to live, by the way we perceive and respond to our current circumstances.... ME? ... I choose greatness !

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pure Magic !

There is a saying " be realistic, plan for a miracle"

Many people think that miracles only happen to special or gifted people... I think it happens everyday. And the "spell" that makes this happen is our spoken word.
Sometimes I make things happen by stating my intent out loud but often , they are random happenings sometimes its a wish or a thought ..that becomes real and appears in front of me. Usually , it looks like a coincidence but from what I have learnt all these years...there are no coincidences.

My thoughts of late include how I am going to start a business of my own, about adding more play in my life, having more time with my children and adding to the planet.

I think that the time is drawing near and even though the incidents leading to this decision have not been that pleasant, I think its a blessing in disguise and its exactly what i need in my life. Its not easy making changes and it can sometimes be a scary thing. But if I really believed in all the things i write about, then I need to take that plunge and just jump off the diving board knowing that the universe will hold me in its palm and slowly unfold a bigger , greater plan for me. I read a saying somewhere that said " you cant scare me ...I have children!" sister recently reminded me of this saying ... made me laugh. The truth is that I have made many huge life changing decisions and I am still here...whole and intact...and perhaps even stronger and happier.

Every time I make a shift in my life, I bless and thank those who have been a catalyst in helping me make that decision .. in a way, they are co-creators of my new adventure. Sometimes we don't know exactly what the destination will look like ....but that's half the fun...creating as we go along and stopping to look back every now and then ...only to realise how far we have come and how much we have grown.. Reminds me of a lazy Sunday afternoon when a friend and I sat out in the sun with our feet in the swimming pool, drinking champagne... I turned to her to tell her that I have come a long way from where i started in life.... that my life has been one amazing journey, almost like the contrast between night and day. Was I expecting it? ...yes, in a way... ..did it turn out the way I wanted it ? ....'s way better than my wildest imagination!!

maybe that's why someone said that we need to be realistic and expect miracles...its our birth right .... and its pure magic!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

about bloody time!

When I look back at my life, I am quite surprised by the number of challenges I have had to overcome. I don't have to look far, just in the last year alone, I lost a parent, moved house, changed my job... they say that these types of changes cause alot of stress... considering the fact that i did it all in one year... its taken its toll on me and yet I am quite amazed that I didn't roll over and give up. Check Spelling

Most times, I tell myself that I don't have the time to stop and really feel the grief or emotion, I just keep moving... I learnt a long time ago that " if you have problems in your life, then you are bored..go do something" I have literally embraced this belief completely and so I keep filling up my life with so many things to do ...just so that I don't have problems...or maybe just so that I don't feel any pain!!

But pain has a way of catching up and when it comes back , it comes back with a vengeance. Have you ever watched yourself when you sometimes over react to a small thing... and you wonder where all that emotion came from... I think when you shut out an emotion, it doesn't go just sits there and festers ...waiting for a reason to come out. Each time it gets shut out it gets stronger and until it just comes out like an avalanche... that cannot be stopped.

I didn't understand this when I was younger... I used to tell myself that I have too much to do, a business to run , bills to pay and that I could not afford to become an "emotional wreck" ... so I never allowed myself to really feel any emotion.

I think the only emotion that came out even if I tried to control it , was anger ... and perhaps the anger was at me because I was afraid of my feelings. I used to think that women who were emotional were "wimps" and drama queens. I used to think I was better because I was strong and unattached....well all that got thrown out the window when i had children. They opened my heart.

Then I turned 50... this is a funny age ....suddenly you arrive at an age where you realise that you could be here for another 10/20/30 years... that's not a long time...and then you are gone as quickly as you came here to the planet.

These days, all that matter are authenticity and being in my truth. Nothing is more important than that and anyone or anything that cant support my need for this are distractions that take me off course..... I don't have time for detours that don't add to me or the planet.

Self focused... maybe, but people who know me would say " about bloody time." I agree... its my time... to live in my greatness ...emotions and all !

Monday, August 31, 2009

listening with an open heart

I believe that its the duty if every leader to listen to what is being told to them. Too often we have leaders in organisations who sit within their own "bubbles" and surround themselves with others who validate their current thought process that they lose touch with reality.

This is really sad because the whole organisation suffers as a result of it because mediocrity becomes a way of life. No one dares to question another for their "bad" behaviour instead they skirt around the issue , talk behind someone's back or pretend that it is not there.

Its a bit like families that have an abusive parent or a delinquent child, the rest of the family become co-dependants because they band together to hide that "family secret" thus perpetuating the lie.

If someone in the "family" dares to speak up and point out that there is a problem, this person is seen as disloyal for doing that. I heard about a little girl who did exactly that, she spoke to a counsellor about her abusive and alcoholic parent...instead of being relieved that the secret is finally out and addressing the problem, the other parent accused the child of letting out the family "secret" ...that her other siblings would not have done that.

The child's behaviour is just the symptom of the bigger issue, unless the root cause is sorted , this problem would perpetuate itself.

But how often do people really want to face their issues, isnt it easier to be an "ostrich' and bury our heads in the ground. and that boils down to the type of questions we ask ourselves. In the case of the abusive family .... anyone wanting to hide something will ask " how can I contain this? " .... " how do I prevent others from finding out because it makes me/us look bad?" The child on the other hand was asking " how can i end this abuse... what can i/we do to fix it ?" With one question, the ego is involved and it is about looking good, and the other is about finding a solution and accepting responsibility for what is.

Its the same with organisations, the leader needs to be asking " why is this happening and how do i change am I perpetuating this problem?" let's face it ... everything that happens within an organisation is a direct symptom of the leader...there is no other way to look at this. Its easy to find the fall guys and scape goats but did the exit of the last fall guy solve the problem the problem still there?

Sometimes people within the corporate world think that there is no room for emotions and they lock their heart away. But this is exactly where we need to show heart because this is where most wounding takes place. Besides, what good is technology/fancy process without people to breathe life into it. How do you reach the core of an individual and inspire them... except through the heart?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

proud to be me...

Sometimes when I face challenges I tend to take stock and review my steps and see if I could have done things differently. I guess i could have in most situations... but then again hind sight management is something anybody can do.... the more important question is " would I change anything if I had a choice? " ... I doubt it!

You see, I am a strong believer in the philosophy that life unfolds exactly as it should...meaning ...there are no accidents or coincidences... everything that happens is just right... and if i give it a chance it will unfold even better than my wildest imagination.

This then puts on twist on everything that is happening... it tells me that i should be me, no matter what.... like the DNA that makes up each individual, we carry our own energetic imprint in the world... mine always stands for the truth and for saying things as they are.

Of course I will piss off people along the way... mainly people who are unable to deal with the fact that everyone is different and have other view points.... at times it is also OK to agree to disagree. Otherwise we will all be robots...playing follow the leader. The trouble with many people, especially in the corporate world is that there is no room for individuality and they cant deal with differences in opinion. Maybe this is why many corporations are in trouble because of the "unconscious people" they put in power, who don't accept diversity, differences and new thought process..unfortunately this is seen as a deviance and deviance is bad. How do you create if you cant challenge what there is.... isn't it time we challenged our own ideas in pursuit of growth?

So when i look back at my life and things that have happened... I wouldn't change a thing. Of course it hurts to be misunderstood but those who know me, know where my heart is and know what i am made of. Reminds me of something my mum said when my dad passed away and I was making funeral arrangements, i asked my mum if we needed to wait an extra day to inform friends. To this she replied, "everybody who needs to know, already knows" . This is true, everybody who needs to know me , already knows so it doesn't make a difference if there are people who don't know me or misunderstand me. Besides,its their loss because they missed out on a opportunity to be generous in spirit and to give someone benefit of their doubt.

When my first business partnership broke up, I was in tears not because of the potential loss of the business but because I felt betrayed by my business partner and those who worked with me. I remember waking up one morning, crying and my dad said to me " don't worry about the money that is lost, You had the courage to go out and start a business when most people would have been afraid" I have always been the risk taker, the one who goes first... why should it be any different now... its who I am and I am proud to be me!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

getting ourselves Un -employed!

I overheard two women talking yesterday about their jobs and they both seemed relieved that they were not affected by recent re-structure in their company. And then it dawned on me .... how dependant most of us are on our jobs and employers and how any change to this part our lives shakes the very foundation we stand on.... to most people (at a basic level), having a job means being able to pay the bills, put kids through school and provide them the money to live the life they want/aspire to have. But the price we pay for this is too high, and we don't have anyone else to blame but ourselves. We have been "programmed" to believe that this is the only way to live .... where we spend most of our life working to support our lifestyle. Work is important if its meaningful and some people feel that they never work a day in their life and I know what that feels like ...if you have some control over where you are taking it. But most people have no control over their work life even if they are good at what they do (and even if they think they have control). Often in the corporate world, people think they are secure if they have the " right relationships" and these people spend more time "sucking up to their bosses than getting work done" Whenever we put our lives in the hands of someone else.... probably someone who is also in the same shoes as you ...meaning...they have given their power away to someone higher up... we end up relinquishing responsibility for our own lives.

Its a hard line to take but the more I spend time in the corporate world, the more I am convinced that people have to empower themselves and find ways to UN - employ themselves ( for want of a better word)

Sure , many of us are so ingrained into the idea of employment that its a hard thing to shake off ... and even if we did ...what do we move to??

I have a nagging feeling in me that there is something better. The young ones entering the work force are starting to question employment, mainly because for the first time in a long time, this generation will never see the same level of lifestyle and income as their parents. This makes them question the meaninglessness of being married to your job and they see works as a means to get something and not as a lifestyle. In other words, they are not tied to work, they plan mini-retirements along the way and earn enough to pay for the experiences they want... they don't wait for retirement to enjoy life.

Not all of us have that choice but I think its time to start questioning the reasons why we work and to explore if there was a way to "plug out" of the system and honour ourselves. To give ourselves approval to find meaningful work that adds to our lives instead of giving away our power to others. These "others" have different motivations, they don't know what we want and how can they be expected to add value to our lives?

I don't have the answers yet but I know that it lies inside self employment, barter and real partnerships. If we don't ask the questions, we will never know. We, as human beings have so much to offer the world , we are so creative and clever ...and yet why do we allow ourselves to be so dis-empowered in the work arena and become so powerless?? Surely there must be a better way... and maybe the new entrants into the work force like our children will teach us that...many have seen first hand what traditional employment has done to their parents who were either "married to their employer" and were absent parents or been "chewed up and spat out " by corporations by being made redundant or both. Either way, many in this group have been the victims of the "corporate life" that their parents chose and their outlook to work will be different...its only natural.
Despite this reality and backdrop staring at our faces, I still see parents advising their children on how to build their "career" and "future"...just because it worked for us , does not mean it will work for them. The basic assumptions have changed. Instead of trying to talk our children into walking the path we took, we need let them take charge and encourage them to do what's in line with their spirit. It may not seem like the "right" thing now...but do any of us have any idea of what their life will be like 40 years from now? We don't really know what their world will be like ....what's the use of pointing them to the rules of our current reality when they are slowly becoming obsolete? If we teach them to live a life that is congruent with their spirit, at least they stand a chance in creating something unique for the world and possibly be happy and successful..but successful in their terms, not ours!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Soul Searching Dog

I smile as I sit at my computer to write this blog... Writing the title made me smile, I have an image of a dog in an orange monk's robe sitting cross legged in a meditative position on a mountain top overlooking the valleys. ( its a cartoon dog by the way!)

I am not in one of those funny moods actually... its the opposite... I am feeling very challenged and in some ways a bit let down. I don't even know where to start. But I do know one thing... that my outer world is a reflection of my own beliefs and thoughts and instead of focusing on t he people outside and the incidents, I have decided to go within and find out what is causing this turbulence inside me.

I have been a 'barking' dog all my life.. I say it like it is..used to be alot worse and I think i have mellowed down alot over time. But my being direct , even though mild in comparison to the past, is seen by some people as disloyal and I feel misunderstood.That is so far from the truth for anyone born in the year of the dog.

I dont even mind being misunderstood because it just affects me but when it filters out to affect people who align with me and when I know in my heart of hearts that maybe they are getting penalised because of that really breaks my heart.

I know that the people who hurt me are serving me because this is a big button for me... injustice. even as a child, I would risk everything to fight for what's "right" and it has got me into a lot of trouble. Its almost like if we are all wired with different triggers and if someone happens to hit one of the big triggers, than a whole of emotions show up...not just for this incident but for all the injustices that have taken place in my life... all at once.

I am looking forward to the short break I am taking as it will give me space to do some soul searching and find out what the "charge" is behind these emotions. For now, I am just thankful that I can at least observe what is happening instead of being swept away by it all....or rather its kind of like a moment I am in it , really getting tossed around by the waves and the next I am watching this movie of myself being tossed around by the waves. We cant always be riding the waves , sometimes we lose balance... the trick is being able to enjoy where we are ...even when we are down... whenever I read this in the past, I used to think to myself ..." ya.. get real" but I now see glimpses of it. Its not such a bad thing feeling down. I just acknowledge that this is what i am feeling and keep living life... and whenever i can, I sit crossed legged , like my cartoon dog and try to be still hear what my soul wants to whisper to me because the times when we are most vulnerable are the times we get the most profound messages. I cant wait to see what the universe has in store for me..usually its quite magical and better than what I imagined.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Roots and Wings....Love and Encouragement...

" there are two things we should give our children: one is roots and the other is wings ( Hodding Carter)

It made me smile when I read that. I remember when I was 15 years old, I said that I wanted to own an brother laughed and said "i know the kind of island you will own ... the kind that goes under water in high tide" aunt who heard our banter said to me that if manage to make half the money for the island, that she will pay the other half...she gave me wings.

Depending who I spoke to and depending on their upbringing and belief system...they either clipped my wings or they encouraged me to soar high.

The funny thing is, most times when someone clipped my wings, they had my best interest at heart....i don't think they ever intentionally went out of their way to stop me from growing or flying high. Often these well intentioned people don't want us to get hurt... like the other seagulls in Johnathan Livingston Seagull... they were trying to protect me... but they were also trying to keep me from changing too much because that would mean that they have to change...its only natural ... when something shifts ...everything else needs to shift to accommodate that shift.

I understand this as an adult but I don't think I understood much of this as a child, or as a young person who wasn't emotionally mature.

Someone told me that it is impossible to deal with some of these " programs" in adult mode, that we have to view them as a child and feel the emotions or fear we felt when the incident occurred.
and then, there's much of our lives do we spend dealing with past hurts...when do we move on, when do we live in the present.

I don't have the answers, I just know that I have to do whatever it takes in any given moment to live fully...if it means dealing with some ugly "monster' from the past... I do it , I don't sweep it under the carpet for later. These days... I catch myself when i try to postpone being in the moment ...for example..last night, my daughter wanted me to help her make popcorn...a part of me just wanted to be lazy i was half reading and half sleeping.. but it was one small opportunity to bond with her and enjoy a moment with her. So I went downstairs with her to do that and teach her how to "pop" corn.

When I make time for my children..when I let them know that I love them... when i appreciate them...I give them roots... they dont just grow ...they glow. When I listen to their dreams and encourage them ...even if what they want seems " unreachable to me" ......these are times when their wings start to grow. Who am I to think that I know whats best for them or what they can do??? ... or what they are meant to do ? Did any of the parents of famous people know that their child would do something to impact the world... maybe some.... but i doubt the majority of them knew. When we listen to their dreams and when we acknowldege their aspirations ...we give them wings so that when they do fly, they get into a full flight and really soar with confidence... we dont know where they will land but that does not matter as much because if they knew how to fly , they can easily take off and find another place if the one they landed on is not to their liking! ...because they have the roots that to ground them and the wings to give flight to their their dreams.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Co-creating the life you want...

The other day at lunch we spoke at the 'instant generation' media has influenced a whole generation of people who think that they will get magically transported into the life they want. I am sure there are many rags to riches stories out there and I have nothing against dreaming big dreams.. I really do believe that we are meant to achieve great things. I believe in our potential as human beings. I also believe that we need to put in some effort towards our goals. In some cultures , they talk about a 21 day cycle , and say that if you are able to hold a pattern/ change you wish to make for 21 days then that change becomes embedded into your energetic body. Others call this cycle a mandala. I think doing something for 21 days sends the message to your brain that you really want to do this, then your brain sets out to find things that support this or not support it depending on your believe system on whether you really feel you deserve it in the first place. Then it takes about 1to 3 years of effort to gain recognition for your effort. Sure there are over night successes but even if you asked these people, they would tell you that they have been incubating a particular thought or idea for sometime. Work has to be done at three levels :

1. Mental level - the thoughts we carry about an outcome/something we desire

2. Physical level - what we do on a day to day basis towards that goal

3. Spiritual level- meaning it has to resonate with your spirit and and your belief system. Ideally , you also get the support of the universe to help you along the way... some people i know call this "divine arrangement or intervention" I know someone who used to support poor families and every month , she would arrange for food supplies for these families and when i asked her if she ever worried about not having the money to support these families, she replied that she did not and that it was divine arrangement....that someone would always come along to lend support whenever she needed that support. It wasnt wishing thinking...there was a silent resolve ... confidence /knowing that she exuded... she didnt have any doubts. She had the intent, she fueled the intent with effort and she let it flow into the universe for it to take a life of its own. In her case, she didnt even need to ask, she just knew.

I am quite amazed at the number of people I meet who still think that life happens to them... we make life happen .. not the other way actively participating in life. By putting in the effort required to reap the rewards of our effort.... when we do this...the universe moves to help us with our goal....usually, in ways that are quite amazing.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Travelling in a pack...

I read a Turkish proverb today that said " No road is long with good company"

Lately I have been making time for my friends even if it meant stopping another project or task on hand to spend time with them. I am the sort of person who always has something to do and I used to postpone catching up with friends....because i felt that i can always catch up with them at some point in the future when I was more free but knowing me... I wont ever be free.

I see myself doing some "project" till I die...maybe its the wandering dog in me.

So I guess, with that in mind... I decided that if I don't make time for my friends.. I never will and now is as good a time as any other to start.

Every relationship is an opportunity for us to see a bit of ourselves in them... every relationship is also a mirror that reflects parts of us that we sometimes try hard to hide from ourselves and others. To me , they are a blessing because they serve me.... especially when we don't agree or see eye to eye...only people who are close enough will care enough to tell it like it is.

So ... No road is long enough with good company ... and today , my family and I were blessed with good company...adding more rich moments to my colourful life... neat huh?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

distracted or focussed ... is it the same thing turned inside out?

A friend said to me last night that I seem very distracted and I was thinking about it this morning. Lately a number of my friends have said that about me....this morning, I realised that I wasn't really distracted at all... I was very focused.

I am very focused on the future I would like to create for me and my family And....yes, I guess I am distracted too....when you are focused on something... you are distracted from things that sit outside the realm of your focus! I am sure someone has a name for this...maybe they may call it the law of polarity.

In everything we do and think, there are the two opposite polarities , for eg. one end of a thought process could be " its a beautiful world" , the other end maybe " the world sucks" ...and somewhere between these two sit most people who go for balance and the middle path..."well its not a good a world but its not that bad" Is this "mediocre" thinking ?... are we promoting mediocrity?

Its the neutrality, the need to walk the safe path and the attitude " don't bother me, leave me alone.. my world is OK" that makes us numb and makes us boring.

Because many people are afraid to take a stand, they prefer to "blend in" and in the process the become "blunt" , dull and "mediocre"
Great things... dramatic shifts happen at the fringes... some people call them the 'outliers' ... people who sit at the edges , who have strong views and who are passionate.... passionate enough to be sometimes seen as unpredictable or extreme. And sometimes we label these stands as good or bad by looking at them through our own limited filters ... but its just a position that one takes at a specific point in their life.

I have often been called extreme and a bit "crazy' because I tend to be a forerunner to go out explore new ways of thinking and perspectives. And I keep challenging my own thinking.. I am known to change my view point because it may no longer be relevant or have the same charge for me anymore. This confuses people around me because we are all bouncing off each others energy and if someone in our circle shifts then it disrupts the flow for everyone else involved.

But I am impatient with me and in my mind, I don't think that I am cutting edge fast in anyway... infact I think that I have become "numb" or "blunt" ...having children, I think, does that to you...because you need to think about "paying the bills" and keeping things stable... you don't want "to rock the boat"

I can see this in comparison to the person I was before I started a family. Maybe its an age thing ...when you are young , you tend to be more carefree but you don't have the benefit of wisdom... this is not a bad thing because I used to just rush into things like a "bull in a china shop" ...sometimes it worked! Somewhere in the middle , when I started my family, I became more fearful and concerned about stability...And now, at a different age, again I sense that urgency, need to make my life mean something. I am at an age now where I feel that I don't want to be just a consumer and leave this planet without adding to it in some remarkable way.... (because that would be a waste of a life and all the opportunities that life has given me) this is what drives me... this is what I am focused on... and maybe what's distracting me from the 'routines'...'polite conversations' and 'shallow pursuits'...don't get me wrong... I am not judging ...every part of our life is important as every experience adds to us no matter how "small or trivial" ... BUT at this point in my life, I am just so focused on what I am about to create that everything else seems secondary.

My intention is to make myself and the world around me phenomenally abundant and wealthy. I feel that this is my gift to the world and this is what i want to focus on. Wealth and abundance lifts us and makes us think about quality. We can make great changes in the planet and impact other people's life with an abundant mindset. Its how I live my life and its what i am known for... its what I need to do on a much larger scale. This requires my complete energy and focus...its all consuming..its about standing for my 'greatness' because each one of us owes it to life to shine in our greatness and live true to our essence.... this is why we are here, isn't it?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Valuable Life....

Values are the only thing we can teach our children. And I believe the way to teach them is by living it ourselves. I attended a course recently where we were taught to treat children from age 0-6 years of age as kings and queens , from 6 to 12 years as princes and princesses and from 12 years onwards as our friends. We can only suggest but we cant really tell them what to do. That's probably the way I have brought up my kids, I am sure there have been times where i have "screwed up" but generally this is kind of what i believed in intuitively...much to the disapproval of some of the people around me.

I am not really sure how life is going to work out for t hem but like any parent, I tend to project some of their current behavior into the future and I worry about how their life will be and if I have in anyway done something to spoil their future. I guess , that's quite normal as I know a number of people who think similar t thoughts.

Speaking of values , I sat down to think about what I want them to carry into their adult life and here is my list :

1. Empathy - concern and feeling for someone else's situation - I meet adults and children who not very conscious of someone else's pain ...maybe its because they see too much ( their exposure levels esp with media are way higher than anything I grew up with) that they have become numb to it. Teaching our children to open their hearts and really care is important. Whether its tipping the taxi driver, waiter , the old man at the petrol station, or the cleaner stationed at public toilets.... its about saying thank you for looking after us. Helping someone carry their bags and thinking of ways that they can make the world a better place. This is important as it gives them hope and lets them know that they can do something.

2. Embracing Family and Community - some people save their best behaviour for those "outside" whilst others tend to only focus on their loved ones and everyone else is second class or is out to get them. I reckon that that both these thought processes are flawed. When we save or good behaviour for people we don't know that well and yet neglect those who are close to us, its about earning a good name in the eyes of others and feeding our own ego. On the flip side there are people who have an inner circle ....anyone in the inner circle is worth their love and time and anyone outside cannot be trusted. We need to teach our children to balance between the two. To do good for their loved ones/family because they are people they live with and yet do something for the community because they belong to a larger family - humankind.

3. Respect - for other people's belongings and other people's time....its someone else's hard earned money no matter how rich they are. Sometimes kids tend to think that just because someone else has more, that its OK to be wasteful. Teaching children to return books and anything else they borrow is also important. I have seen adults in some countries think that its OK to take towels from hotels ....or eating/drinking whats supposed to be sold in a supermarket and walking out without paying. This type of behaviour models to children that its OK to take something that not yours... its the same as stealing in my books. This also applies to money found, I always ask my children to think of the poor person who lost it and to make an attempt to find that person.

4. Integrity - doing what you say and saying what you do. Its the shades of grey that matter... sometimes we allow our children to justify their actions and 'slink' out of doing something... we also do this ourselves. When we make excuses to people that we cant make it after we agree to do something or if we lie in front of our children, they learn that its OK to lie or make up excuses. When you say you are going to be somewhere at a particular there! I know adults who sleep through appointments and also make excuses that they are unwell.

5. Cleanliness -teaching children to have clean spaces is important. Even more important is teaching them to clean up after themselves and how to enjoy a clutter free life. Karen Kingston in her book clear your clutter with feng shui has a point in that your space affects your prosperity and outlook to life. I find that the best way to teach them this is by creating pleasant spaces around the house so that they can learn to appreciate nice spaces.

6. Awareness of their "scripts". We all carry scripts in our heads and sometimes when a child uses a particular script too much , its may be time to help him or her change that script... for eg. "its not fair" or "nobody likes me". Helping them change their mental scripts can help to improve the quality of their life.

7. Not telling is also lying- Sometimes our kids learn from adults to keep secrets or not confront issues. Some adults actually tell children to keep secrets from their parents... it could be little white lies but they learn how to be dishonest in their communication. Some people play this game where they say that they will tell you something but you cannot tell the person involved... this is disrespectful and if someone says that i usually ask them not to tell me because by allowing them to do that I perpetuate the lie

8. Dream big - anything is possible and sometimes we rob our children of their dreams because we are too caught up in seeing life through our own filters and our experience. Just because it wouldn't have worked in our time , does not mean that it wont work in their life. Helping them find their passion and fueling this passion is the job of every parent. What else can be more important? It doesn't matter what the child wants to do, as long as its ethical - a singer, dancer, fashion designer, artist, archaeologist.... what matters more is finding their passion because passion fuels effort which in turn builds hope for their future. Teach your children to " be realistic and plan for a miracle" as life is truly magical if we think it is.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The bigger plan....

Sometimes life throws situations at us where we have no choice but to face it head on. Today, I am thinking about partings and how we say good bye...sometimes its a permanent goodbye because someone dies, or a goodbye that's temporary because you know that your work with each other is not done and so you will meet again. I also had "staggered" goodbyes...not planned ...but it happens over time where you start drifting away slowly from someone...consciously or unconsciously.
Sometimes we postpone goodbyes because its easier and less uncomfortable to deal with it, even though we know in our heart of hearts that something better awaits us because the flip side of a parting is freedom to choose a new adventure. and while this makes sense at a mind level, on a emotional front it can be scary especially if we don't know what awaits on the other side of the door. And it is my belief that what lies on the other side of the door , really depends on our own attitude... whether we believe that we deserve something better in our lives.

Whichever way it happens... goodbyes generally tend to be uncomfortable for me... I am not sure if it is for others especially when it comes to a parting of ways. I guess it reminds me of the impermanence of life....that we cant really take anything for granted.

Here is what I do when I stand at the doorway of change :

1. Affirm that only good will come into my life , that something better awaits me, that I deserve better
2. I thank the universe for giving me the experience and bless and thank everyone who has contributed to this parting ... "good or bad" ...doesn't matter as its just our labels
3. Believe that everything that is happening is happening for my highest good
4. Let go and let god and ask for my angels to hold my hand and walk with me through this time of change.

The past two years of my life has been about saying goodbye in different ways, some just happened and others were conscious decisions on my part. Just when i think that I am done with it, another opportunity will emerge for me to practice my heart muscle and say goodbye again.
And even when I have said goodbye.....I notice that I still carry pieces of the people I have said goodbye to and I am sure they carry a piece of me with them. Have you ever noticed...when you are lost in your own thoughts...people just pop up in your mind... i think its the pieces of people i carry with me that show up in my thoughts.

This is for anyone who has to say goodbye... Know that there is a bigger, grander plan for you that is exactly right for that allows you to be you.. fully...or rather " be you to the full "(BEAUTIFUL) and live out loud!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bringing Heart to Life....

I completed my oneness course today and the instructor asked us to share what we learnt with people in our sphere of influence. She said that if we as individuals were happy , then we make others happy around us and that makes a happier world.

Whilst that sounds like "hippy shit" it does make sense at another level because we cant really make anyone happy unless we are happy within ourselves. Our inner state dictates what see or draw our attention to in the outer world.

Whilst we all know that we have to think positive , one of the things that struck me in this course was their focus on intention and how we fuel it with passion. And the instructor drew our attention to how passionate we are about the things we don't want in our lives. This is true, at different points in my life, I have noticed how I have spent alot of my energy on things I am fighting against instead of things I want to attract into my life. This is true of others around me too. Spending time talking about people you don't like or behaviours you don't like about someone else makes you the same as them. It creates a separation - "us and them" and it creates divisiveness or conflict. I try not to get sucked in but at times I do and its really hard work... just monitoring my thoughts. In the last day or two, I have been working on not fueling negative thoughts about others and instead I look within to listen to what the real issue is. What is it about this person that creates that reaction in me and i acknowledge the emotion, then it goes away. What it tells me is that I can struggle with the outer world and "fight" my battles but it keeps coming back with a vengeance unless i address the source of the issue. Its like having a rash due to an allergy, I can take medication to stop the reaction but I havent solved the problem ...i can only solve the problem when I know what I am allergic to. Masking it or suppressing the symptom will only provide temporary relief.
I am not proud of myself when i think of the times that i can been critical of others around me... because i should have known better but then again this is another thing we do...we beat ourselves up when we realise we have made a mistake. I have spent the last year and half being angry about behaviors of people around me. Disappointed in the way things evolved, and the games people played ... wondering why someone would choose to talk to others behind my back but not directly to me ...why winning at any price seems more important than honest communication and friendship.When trust in a relationship is lost and when doubt creeps in, its hard to repair the friendship. But if i hold on to resentment, it only hurts me and I contaminate the world with my anger. So I chose to forgive and let go, I sent all those who hurt me, love and forgiveness and I also asked them to forgive me. By doing this, I acknowledged the pain and I let it go. I freed myself and I freed anyone I was in a deadlock with.

I work with someone who is very sensitive and tends to take offence easily and she is passionate and she tends to talk to others about people she does not like. There is always a campaign against someone, some drama going on. I hope she too realises that the drama comes from inside her and not outside, that its too easy to blame someone else for our unhappiness but ultimately , we are all responsible for our own one else. We may not agree with everything someone else does but its important to allow others around us to have their own learning. Empathy is a great teacher, if only we walked a mile in someone else's shoes , we can feel their pain. Generosity of spirit is a great virtue and its an essential quality if we want to heal ourselves and our world. Its easy to say that its someone's else fault and if we do that we deprive ourselves of a growth opportunity and the opportunity to shine our greatness into the world. And when we deal with our own hurt or pain, we heal at many levels, ourselves, our friends and our world. This will be my focus from this point onwards, just working on me and listening to what i am feeling. Another key distinction at this course had to do with relationships, my instructor highlighted that we often say to our partners " I don't understand you " and she said that we cannot solve a relationship issue with the mind. Understanding something comes from the mind, not the heart, relationships cannot be understood, they have to be felt. We have to feel what the other person is feeling in order to relate to them. Reminds me of a something I read in school, " it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.