Tag Archives: personal growth

I love myself enough to (3)…

[This is third in the series of this topic…. to understand what’s being said here, please read the last two blog posts. Thank you.]

A topic of this nature, how to understand and potentially handle regrets, in a blog post of about 500 words, would be considered foolhardy, even by myself ;)… but, nevertheless, I’m going to try and do it :)! Instead of preaching, I’m going to share how I handle this matter in my own life.

Here’s what I do: I divide all desires, small and big, partly frivolous (getting a tattoo/body piercing, taking a dance course) and/or materialistic (buying a high-ticket item when money is scarce), personal yearnings (traveling somewhere, doing something special for someone I love), and other wants and needs, into two sections.

One contains the superficial, slightly worldly and materialistic desires, and the other contains the ‘higher’ soul-needs… which cannot be compromised, which I don’t want to fail at, at any cost, which I know will nourish my soul and deepen my connection with the Universe — these may involve money spent on intellectual and/or spiritual activities, spending money and effort on making calm/peace-inducing and other similar changes in my immediate environment, permitting myself the luxury of paying for what is meaningful in my life, vis a vis people, places, things.

So, then, I take these two sections, and one at a time, I address the items on the two lists and give it the ‘death-bed test’! A ‘death-bed test???… what’s that, you’re probably wondering :)! Well, all it means is that when I’m ready to pass on, how will I feel about this particular thing? Will it be alright with me that I didn’t do it, or will I feel remorse and regret that I let the time or moment pass, and didn’t do, or say, something I should have 🙁 ? And, at that point, if it’s absolutely clear to me, at a deep, and soul level, that I’ll have regrets, while dying, I go ahead and just do it, and/or say it 🙂 !!!

And how did I hit upon this ‘test’? It happened when after 25 years of deliberating whether or not I should get a tattoo — seeing a beautiful rosebud on a woman’s ankle on Oxford Street in London in 1980, immediately wanting it, but having been raised in India, very conventionally, with strict ideas of ‘wrong’ and ‘right’, was very unsure about getting it — for reasons of ‘What will people think?’ ‘I’m the principal and owner of a school — if people find out, will it hurt my business?’ ‘Will people who judge people with tattoos, find me too wild?’ — all these, and a host of related questions kept me deliberating forever! Then I moved to Montreal in 1993, at a time when tattooing had evolved, it was all the rage, and I knew in my heart I still wanted one…. a-n-n-n-d, s-o-o-o, I  decided to give myself the ‘death-bed test’ 🙂… and immediately I knew… if I didn’t get my tattoo, I would be very regretful on my dying day, that for the sake of what others would think, I didn’t get it in this lifetime 🙁  🙁 🙁 !!! This discovery was SO FREEING, brought such a sense of liberation, that I decided I just had to be true to myself, and I went ahead and got my tattoo!!! This experience led to the wonderful innovation of the ‘death-bed test’! Since then, whenever I’m faced with a situation that I start deliberating too long over, I give myself this ‘test’!!!

Your turn, now… give yourself a death-bed test, and think about what you would do differently, what would you DO instead of not doing, and in the final analysis, what would see you smile, on YOUR death-bed? Choose that, and DO IT 🙂

 

I love myself enough to…

I wrote the title of the post and instead of continuing to write my own ideas, I decided to first throw it as a question to you all, the readers of this blog :)! So, if you truly loved and respected yourself, who would you be? What would you do? More importantly, what are the things you wouldn’t be, or do?

I have found that sometimes, to be able to answer questions of this nature, and for more clarity, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what it is that we would NOT want. Now go ahead, take some time to think about these questions :)… In tomorrow’s blog I’ll return with more.

Have a great day/evening 🙂

The choices we make…

…take us to the heavens we find :)! In life, a day or a moment will always come when there will be only two choices before us — to chicken out and maintain the status quo, or to take courage in both hands and break from the old mold, which we have outgrown, and which now is only causing constriction and pain by not permitting any growth, nor even allowing in air to breathe. Which way will you go that day? Will you choose to fear the unknown and shrivel up and die…or will you risk the unknown, grow wings, and fly?

red_rose_204835 ~*~*~*~

French-born American author Anais Nin wrote:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

~*~*~*~

Wishing you wings…applauding your flight 🙂

 

What is our true essence?

This is an old post from November 2013, but a good revisit anytime 🙂

*******************

There’s a beautiful quote that goes: “Our true essence is revealed in moments of unexpected change!”* I first saw the quote more than 15 years ago, when one of the students in my Transpersonal Psychotherapy (Psychosynthesis) class had shared it in one of our workshops. The quote had had** a big impact on me, then. In fact, it had truly startled me. You see, I had never made a connection between who I was as a person, to how I reacted to unexpected situations OR looking at it in reverse, I didn’t think that how I reacted to situations had anything to do with the person I thought I was. It stunned me, therefore, to realize that one went with the other. If an unexpected situation arose, of course I was not going to be pleased, because I saw it as a disruption in my day, and a disappointment to me…

But then, it made me think about what kind of a person this made me… And how did I feel about being a person who lost control, even though only on the inside, when my wishes or desires were thwarted***???? Hmmm…it didn’t feel nice at all! I knew right away, this quote was a wonderful mirror to evaluate who I was as a person, and that I could use it to grow as a person :)..and that certainly was a very happy thought! As I continued on my journey, I changed and evolved and after a while didn’t need this reminder on a regular basis. But, being human, I go off track sometimes and then remembering this quote makes me smile 🙂

And, what about YOU? Did reading the above trigger something? Are you alright with being the person you are in moments of unexpected change? If yes, kudos to you — if not, don’t worry…life is a journey, and it’s quite alright to slip or get lost, so long as we reorient ourselves and get back on track 🙂

*When I first read the quote I saw it attributed to the Sufi mystic Rumi whose real name was Jalal-ud-din Balkhi but subsequently have no verification of this on google, in fact if someone tries to google it today the link takes you to my old blog theradiantself.blogspot.com where I posted it a few years ago, so the author it seems is now lost

**had had — for ESL students, this is the past perfect tense 🙂 — yes, there are two ‘hads’ there 😉

***Thwarted means ‘prevented from being accomplished’

The ‘angels’ in our lives <3

In life, everyone who crosses our path, is an angel in disguise… but it takes a lot of personal growth to finally understand this!

Some of these ‘angels’ come into our life to bring us lessons, so we may begin to understand our fears and insecurities, and hopefully grow and evolve enough to overcome them! This leads to deep inner healing, making us more complete, and authentic human beings!

Then there are ‘angels’ who meet us with love… to help us open our hearts more, to experience an expansiveness we didn’t know we were capable of!

What we need to understand is that at a soul level we attracted each one of them to us — some of them for the lessons we needed to learn for our growth, and some others for the support their love brings to us, helping us to stay standing in the face of the harshness of the lessons to be learned in life!

In the final analysis, it’s ALL good…

 

Autobiography in Five Chapters

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

by Portia Nelson

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

 Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

 Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

This beautiful  poem written by Portia Nelson, is a highly popular self-help and recovery text. During different stages of my life, specially during intense periods of personal growth, I often measured my ‘progress’ against the Chapters, using them to understand my own life’s journey as it unfolded! It would be useful for anyone committed to their personal growth…especially as the year 2013 is drawing to a close, and as we stand on the threshold of a new one, 2014!

Let’s get to know ourselves :)

Let’s look at our introduction to the world!

  • What’s your name?
  • What’s your educational level?
  • What’s your profession?
  • What job do you do?
  • What’s your financial worth?
  • What’s your social status?
  • What’s your marital status?
  • Who are your friends?
  • Who’s in your circle of influence, and whose circle of influence are you a part of?

The answers to the above questions, are often how we humans describe ourselves, and we often form impressions of ourselves based on them. Sometimes we are so completely identified with them that these answers start determining how we perceive ourselves — indeed, who we begin to believe we are! Do stop here, and re-read the above two sentences, to fully grasp what’s being said here!

Now, let’s move to the next step :)! Look at each question below, and as you answer them take a deep breath and exhale — each time!

  • Who would you be if there was no circle of influence to worry about, and be a part of? S-T-O-P…i-n-h-a-l-e…now exhale…allow your mind to play around with the idea of who you would be now…
  • Who would you be if you didn’t have the friends you have? Same procedure…i-n-h-a-l-e…now exhale… slowly think about this…
  • Who would you be, if you weren’t a husband, a wife, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a parent, a friend — who would you be if this was not your identity? Don’t forget to breathe deeply, again…
  • Who would you be if you didn’t have a social status to be concerned about? Would that create a sense of fear, or of freedom? Why? Keep breathing…
  • Who would you be if you didn’t have the financial status you have? Would that change who you are as a person? B-R-E-A-T-H-E…
  • Who would you be if you didn’t have the job you have, or your profession? If you could peel this layer off, what would you be? Does it feel bizarre to think about this? Keep breathing, deeply…
  • What would you be if you didn’t have the educational qualifications you have? I don’t mean what other profession would you have, but who would you be as a person, as a human being, if this layer was peeled off you?
  • And lastly, if you didn’t have the name you have, who would you be? No, I didn’t mean you should choose another name for yourself ;)…I’m asking, who would you be if it was not a name that described you? B-R-E-A-T-H-E  in… then exhale!!!…and slowly digest the above…

Hopefully, the exercise connected you with a true feeling of freedom within. If it did not, please stop now, and return to it a few days later. But, if you did have a sense of freedom, even momentarily, reconnect with this feeling of freedom a few times a day. Of course, you will continue to be the person that you are, with the life that you have, but the sense of freedom this exercise will connect you with is bound to give you a lot of strength for continuing in your life, as a more authentic human being, and with a more positive, and dare I say it, a more spiritual outlook! 🙂

 

Our true essence…

There’s a beautiful quote that goes: “Our true essence is revealed in moments of unexpected change!”* I first saw the quote more than 15 years ago, when one of the students in my Transpersonal Psychotherapy (Psychosynthesis) class had shared it in one of our workshops. The quote had had** a big impact on me, then. In fact, it had truly startled me. You see, I had never made a connection between who I was as a person, to how I reacted to unexpected situations OR looking at it in reverse, I didn’t think that how I reacted to situations had anything to do with the person I thought I was. It stunned me, therefore, to realize that one went with the other. If an unexpected situation arose, of course I was not going to be pleased, because I saw it as a disruption in my day, and a disappointment to me…

But then, it made me think about what kind of a person this made me… And how did I feel about being a person who lost control, even though only on the inside, when my wishes or desires were thwarted***???? Hmmm…it didn’t feel nice at all! I knew right away, this quote was a wonderful mirror to evaluate who I was as a person, and that I could use it to grow as a person :)..and that certainly was a very happy thought! As I continued on my journey, I changed and evolved and after a while didn’t need this reminder on a regular basis. But, being human, I go off track sometimes and then remembering this quote makes me smile 🙂

And, what about YOU? Did reading the above trigger something? Are you alright with being the person you are in moments of unexpected change? If yes, kudos to you — if not, don’t worry…life is a journey, and it’s quite alright to slip or get lost, so long as we reorient ourselves and get back on track 🙂

*When I first saw the quote it was attributed to the Sufi mystic Rumi whose real name was Jalal-ud-din Balkhi but subsequently have no verification of this on google

**had had — for ESL students, this is the past perfect tense 🙂 — yes, there are two ‘hads’ there 😉

***Thwarted means ‘prevented from being accomplished’

 

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

by Portia Nelson

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

 Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

 Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

This beautiful  poem written by Portia Nelson, is a highly popular self-help and recovery text. During different stages of my life, specially during intense periods of personal growth, I often measured my ‘progress’ against the Chapters, using them to understand my own life’s journey as it unfolded! It would be useful for anyone committed to their personal growth…