December 24th, 2010 § § permalink
You are CLEAR on your intention on this specific thing in your life & you want to commit to it. As you move forward, you get tripped by STUFFS. Suddenly, it seems like the entire Universe is conspiring against you & throwing road blocks your way.
You retreat in fear & cuss off – ‘what the h*** is going on? Why won’t YOU let me advance?’
What you’re tripping up against my dear, is your own MINDSET. The tape that runs inside your head 24/7. It’s so automatic that you don’t even realize what you’re playing or whose content that is.
You end up self sabotaging all your progress & get back to square one before you throw your arms in the air saying – ‘I just wasn’t cut out for this!’ You get back to playing small.
The good news is, life is bringing it all up now as you make a commitment to advance, so that you can take care of it all BEFORE you move on.
In my everyday work, I am privileged to coach young, potential & all round brilliant women who get tripped up on their STUFF & end up halting progress. Everyday in their unique scenario I remind them the same thing.
Part of getting unstuck & out of your own way is to develop some simple practices & mastering some simple tools.
These tools are so simple, that they often fail to hold our attention for the monumental transformational power they have. Their simplicity is so deceptive, that we often overlook in search of something more complex to solve the riddle of our lives.
Here are some tools that will help you retrain your brain to take care of your ‘stuff’ that you keep getting tripped up against. The key is to build them STEADY:
1. List of accomplishments:
On a quiet afternoon, take ten sheets of blank papers out & start jotting down your own accomplishments. Look back at last year, go back a few years, go back to grade 3 & give yourself some ‘You Go Girl!’ for the smallest accomplishments you can think of. Go for 100 of them. Right now you may be saying to yourself – ‘huh, big deal! How narcissistic is THAT!’ Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you of their simplicity.
2. Maintain a Gratitude Log:
Invest in a really nice journal [not the kind that you don’t feel like writing on] & jot down 5 things you’re grateful for every day. Do it religiously. It will retrain your subconscious to go fetch more & more things to be grateful for. If you practice it for a few months, it will TRANSFORM your outlook forever on how you look at life. Simple, I know. Powerful, more than you know if you’re not doing it. It’s the most efficient tool when you want to shift your energy from icky to yummy!
3. Journal Everyday:
Those late nights when you’re tossing & turning in your bed ‘cos you just can’t sleep from all the fears that are coming up – do a brain drain on paper. Just do free flow writing for 30 minutes without thinking what you’re writing. Scribble WHATEVER comes out & do a thought vomit [ew…] without stopping the pen. Then seek for guidance. Write down – Please give me directions. Chances are – you will be given what you asked for! [happens to me 100% of the time.] Make it an everyday habit & watch your life change it’s course.
4. Create a Reservoir of Good Books & Tapes:
… so that whenever you’re getting pulled down by negative energy, you can pull out a book from the shelf or toss an audio book on the CD player & listen. It’s like calling on a trusted friend to hold a sacred space for you. A few books that I call on are:
a. Ask and it is given – Jerry & Esther Hicks
b. Broken Open – Elizabeth Lesser
c. You can heal your life – Louise Hay
d. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
e. Anything by Martha Beck
f. CDs & DVDs of programs/retreats of Mentors I respect.
5. Print / write down a quote that helps you surrender in FAITH:
‘Do not worry about HOW. It is all taken care of for you as long as you do your part of thinking, acting, speaking and being in accordance with that dream. Just dream, visualize, and then start doing something.
Do the next thing that you feel you should do in accordance with that dream, and keep moving. The little that you do triggers something else you had not foreseen and on and on it goes until it completes. ~ David Cameron Gikandi
I positively expect GREAT results, no matter what I see in front of me. The Universe is rearranging itself for my best interest right now. ~ Fabienne Fredrickson
Now place it on your PC or somewhere you can see often everyday.
Before you shrug off & go your merry way, consider starting on faith with just ONE item. Soon you’ll see the magic happening ONLY IF YOU DO IT CONSISTENTLY. Then you’ll be convinced to pick up another one… & then, you jusssst might ask me for more!
December 19th, 2010 § § permalink
[This post has been inspired by a blog post of an incredible Life coach, teacher, mentor - Michele Woodward, whom I adore]
Before we start 2011, why not grab a pen & a paper & list 25 things that you accomplished in 2010? When we allow ourselves to feel a sense of completion in whatever we do, however small, it helps to seal the ‘leaks’ through which precious life-energy dissipates. The feeling of completion allows us to carry forward with some heavy duty energy into our subsequent undertakings.
Here’s my list of accomplishments in 2010:
1. Raised 100 scholarships for Sneha with the team.
2. Started coaching & helped almost a dozen brilliant women.
3. All set for life-coach certification with Martha Beck Inc.
4. Found a mentor.
5. Stopped expecting a relationship to work that simply wouldn’t.
6. Stayed vigilant on personal growth & developed healthy habits.
7. Meditated [almost] daily. I will omit the word ‘almost’ in 2011.
8. Maintained a gratitude journal & said THANK YOU everyday.
9. Performed with a fab Jazz band & stretched my vision as a musician.
10. Stayed focused on layering imprints on Ariana’s mind on – maintaining a gratitude journal, daily practice, the power of spoken words, creating vs. reacting, faith on self & prayer.
11. Embarked on an opportunity & made a TVO documentary on Sneha.
12. Broke personal boundary of walking 10 km/day 10 times over.
13. Started blogging regularly.
14. Made a new vision board.
15. Gave away stuffs with love & cleared clutter.
16. Took many photos.
17. Manifested an iMac!
18. Showed respect to a lot of truly deserving people.
19. Built a large circle of like minded friends on Facebook.
20. Made my bed EVERYDAY. [That my friend, is a HUGE accomplishment]
21. Gave myself permission to enjoy many delights.
22. Broke down & bawled.
24. Did a month of giving.
25. Appreciated life everyday.
Note: If you find yourself getting stuck while creating your list, consider the following areas & your mind will go on in rocket speed again.
A] Look for accomplishments in these areas of your life: Emotional, Physical, Financial, Spiritual, Relational etc.
B] Think about your roles in life: Mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend etc. & congratulate yourself on the tiniest bit of accomplishments.
Before you start planning your new year, look back at the year that just passed & bring a nice sense of completion to it. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel & how much more CLARITY you gain going into 2011.
Do let me know if this helped in anyway. All the best!
November 21st, 2010 § § permalink
In the past month, Sneha has got a boost of progress with 90 scholarships raised that will educate 90+ bright but poor youth in Bangladesh. That’s been my uptide. When I go somewhere & say, we’ve raised almost $100,000 in committed funds in the past month – people look at me differently.
Either I see a glazed look in their eyes that says – ‘I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about’. Or I see a bright eagerness that confirms that they’re tuning into the hair-raising energy that I’m carrying around as my invisible cloak.
Then comes the million dollar question – HOW DID IT ALL HAPPEN?
Well, other than the fact that it’s been a team effort of 3 individuals over the past 3 years; who spoke with conviction to people they trust & those people trusting them back with their hard earned money & absolute faith; I want to give an account of a typical day at my end that breeds such miracles. The construction of each of the 1000+ days have been more or less similar…
One typical day in my life::
The alarm goes off at 8 am, I snooze it till 8:20 before I start waking Ariana up for school. The soft voice of ‘baby please get up, it’s almost 9 o clock’ continues till 8:45 at which point my blood pressure shoots high & I turn into this screaming monster [I never fail to marvel at the drastic change of faces even amidst of the high tension!] With the peace of an hour-long prior meditation & the good feeling vibration of Abraham’s Vortex seriously screwed, I somehow drop Ariana to school by 9:00 am & return home to recover from the mayhem that we just experienced.
Then I open my laptop….
I struggle with one of the work related ‘teeeeeensy’ turtle step that I want to get done on that day. A step so tiny, if I give you an example, you might fall from your chair laughing your a** off at my judgment of defining a turtle step! Therefore, I will refrain. But I’ve learned that THAT one step upwards the mountain will take me to the summit, so I almost pee in my pants making sure that step is outta the way before the day’s done.
At this point, I can’t take it anymore. So I cry my eyes out. I’m hurting mad from the end of a 3 year relationship. I’m grieving the death of many dreams & making peace with the heartfull of memories. But I want to fall into the ring of fire, face first. I want to feel all the emotions that want to feel me, at the intensity they want to meet me with. ‘Cos I know, if I resist, this grief will erupt in greater intensity & slide me down the steepest fall when I’m not ready. So I take a deliberate plunge down the steepest fall now. I give myself permission to grieve.
The motions of doing dinner, Ariana’s homework, the chores, preparing for bed… I’m very tired from all the turtle stepping & steep fall plunging and I pass out way before Ariana does…
See the trick our minds play on us? I wrote about only my woes, since they fight to loom large.
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: ‘If our senses were fine enough, we would perceive the slumbering cliff as a dancing chaos.’ If my senses were fine enough, I would probably tell you tales of a thousand thin threads of blessings & miracles that hold the weave of my life together. But I assure you, my senses are fine enough to feel them everyday, and be humbled.
The point of writing all this is to expose the mundane ordinaries that happen behind the apparent extra- ordinaries. When we deeply believe in our dreams & hold on to the belief despite all, when we keep taking just one tiny step towards the direction of our dreams – the Universe rearranges itself to make our dreams come true. The results are sometimes logical, and mostly – magical!
The next morning I wake up to repeat the same cycle… when I come back home and open my laptop, I see a mail from someone at some corner of the world, saying – I want to help a child through Sneha.
That’s when I break into a happy dance!
Can you hear the music?
November 14th, 2010 § § permalink
As human beings, we often carry an ocean of pain in our hearts.
Until we look at them, hear them out & make as much peace as we can – the pain drives us crazy & makes us do senseless things.
Until we find a way to take that pain and make something with it – a song, a sweater or hopefully something positive – we either harm ourselves, or we harm others.
I’ve personally seen and heard of people who have done everything from pickling their liver in alcohol to killing their own children.
That’s what they did with their pain.
I have also seen & heard of people who took their pain & made it into a great novel or made the world a better place by serving greater good.
Until I made peace with mine, I ate – mindlessly. And I kept myself disconnected from life. For decades, and I’ve had only 3.4 of those!
I still have miles to go but I’m in the peacemaking process.
The first step is – seeing it.
Second – acknowledging / understanding it.
Third – Accepting & making peace with it.
A lifetime can be spent in each step or before we can even get to the first one.
Where are you in the process?
What do you do with your pain?
September 26th, 2010 § § permalink
This summer was about taking a plunge within & healing deep. It’s not strange to me that the inner world seems so much more exciting by the days, than going out to see places on wild adventures [though I did go dirt bike riding juuuust once]. Here’s how I tuned up some good mojo this summer…
1. Inspired by Christine Kane, i postponed Facebooking till 12 pm. Oh what a relief from the reactive way of living! Helps me start my days with a clear head & getting more constructive things done & out of the way.
2. Gave things away. Surprising, even to me that after a yearlong strategic downsizing of the closet, how much I still had to give away. The $200 size 10 pant-suit that I bought some 5 years back, wishing to fit into it ‘someday’; and many other things alike… never worn, hard to part with. But this time, I just let go of it all. Boy was that freeing! But something tells me, if I raid the closet again with a clear bag in my hand, I just might fill it with stuffs I can live without!
3. Booked for massages in advance for 6 months. The passive lull of yogic movements of Thai Yoga massage to an almost meditative state – I gave myself permission to heal with that. Energy healers can do wonders with our overall well-being through body work, much of which we can understand only once we take the plunge & experience it.
4. Upgraded my car interior. My ’93 model hatchback Honda Civic is a source of constant joy for me. I know I know, some of you are rolling your eyes at my love affair with this rather non-fancy, piece of ANTIQUE! But there’s not a single day that I get into the car & not feel a deep sense of gratitude for how well it serves me – seriously. About a $150 worth of revamping with racing car seat covers [yay!], some other accessories & a thorough clean made my everyday experience go up quite a few notches higher!
5. Made drinking 80 oz of water / green tea into a religious practice. I found this huge plastic cup with a handle that contains 20 oz of liquid. Every morning, noon, evening & night – i gulp down one glassful without ‘thinking’ too much. Simple. But with profound health benefits.
6. Finally, I took the plunge & went all organic… yea, the many berries & bananas that go in my morning smoothie. The greens that I’m trying to make not so occasional also moved up the scale. Switched to Almond milk as I said goodbye to dairy, well almost. Still in the process of giving up the [very rare] cookies’ n cream ice cream binge with Ariana though. Free run eggs, uncaged birds – after playing with these for almost a year, it was time to fully commit. And commitment feels grounding.
7. Went dirt bike-riding. Since I wasn’t ready to totally ditch the adventure seeker in me, when my sister proposed to make it a birthday gift for my brother – I jumped in with both feet! Sometimes, stepping out of our comfort zone can teach us so much. If I ‘knew’ that I’d need to actually learn how to ride a dirt bike with gears [well… DUH!!], then ride it while standing up, then go on an actual muddy bike-trail in the woods – I’d probably chuck it. I did all of the above with an hour worth of instruction and another just fiddling with the machine! It’s magnificent how much & how fast we learn when the bootay’s on fire!
So, how was it for You? Would love to know what you did in your summer!
August 21st, 2010 § § permalink
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative [and creation], there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
- W. H. Murray, from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951)
I was about to post the above quote on Facebook as my daily dose of quotes and I froze. The inner snarky lady in my head lashed out in her shrill voice – ‘Did you forget how plain pathetic you are when it comes to taking that tiny step that you’re talking about?!’
I remembered and shrunk immediately.
I reminded myself how terrible – horrible – no good – very bad I really am when it comes to getting things done. It’s been almost a week since my partner has asked me to write an opening note for our website, and as usual, I find myself totally unable to put pen on the paper and start jotting my thoughts together.
I think I suffer from ADHD, in addition to a few other not so pretty disorders and when I can giddily whip up yet another vision board, dig out yet another passion that drives me wild or work endlessly towards making yet another uber cool mind-movie – I avoid taking ACTION towards a lot more important priorities like I avoid bird flu.
Sitting here typing this I realize just how incompetent all THIS makes me feel. It reduces my self worth to the size of a bug. A tinsy one.
But by now, thanks to my years of life coach training & endless trials to ‘fix’ myself, I’ve become good at catching the BAD thought that hides in the dark only to jump from behind & ambush me in an unsuspecting moment.
And these guys are unlimited in number. In the course of a usual day a human being has more than 65,000 thoughts & each of them has the potential to be the BAD one that can get you before you know it, unless you become very very AWARE of getting to identify them & know their motifs really well.
So I catch myself in the act & grab the bad thought – ‘I AM PATHETIC WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING ACTION’ for questioning. Byron Katie, a modern day Saint in my opinion, teaches an effective way called the ‘Inquiry Process’; where I get to question these bad guys & disarm them from turning me into a wet noodle. Here’s how the process goes:
Question #1: Is is true? [the thought that I'm no good in taking action]
My initial answer is ‘um.. yes it is!’
Question #2: Do I absolutely, for certain know that it’s true?
This makes me hault for a moment & ponder. I mean, I know that I don’t have a jet-set response when it comes to taking action, but given my own set of challenges & circumstances, I definitely have come a long way from my dead-end-dreadful days. So NO, I can not say that it’s ABSOLUTELY true that I suck in taking action.
Question #3: How do I feel when I think that thought?
Like a drab. As if I’m no good. Like I don’t belong & I should go take up a permanent spot in my bed.
Question #4: Who would I be without that thought?
Let’s see, if I could scoop out a spoonful of my brain that’s involved in producing that thought and I just couldn’t think it; I’d be free from feeling like a drab. I’d be free from the biting grip of self criticism… and that would make me feel good, actually.
At this point I really do start feeling good & look for evidence where I can prove my thought wrong. I think about how persistent I’ve been in changing things in my life for many years now. I remind myself the fact that I’ve literally taught myself all over again to think, eat, work and pretty much do everything from a whole different level of consciousness. How I fell down numerous times & got back up every time trying to first fix my breakfast, then my walking habit, then my daily meditation, the gratitude log and went on making small trim-tab adjustments along the way.
I start feeling compassionate about myself.
I see how wrong that thought is.
I free myself from the shame & guilt that false thought brought my way.
I feel motivated to take [a small] action.
After all ‘inch by inch, it’s a sinch… yard by yard, it is hard.’
I finally sit on my laptop to start writing that note that my partner asked me to write.
And low and behold…. I end up writing this blog post instead!!
HA! Some action after all!!! Makes me happy
April 29th, 2010 § § permalink
My dad sent me this yesterday, and i like it.
Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, Cleveland, Ohio.
“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”
March 20th, 2010 § § permalink
I just want to be quiet. For a few days. No words. Me & myself… with nothing to attend to and no one to talk to.
But that’s tough with a 7 year old, a very happy go lucky, talkative partner and 4 other family members. To my rescue, my family is scheduled for a 3 day US trip next week with my 7 y.o cutie pie… and right now, me & my partner are giving each other a little space. I feel heady with a heavy heart from missing him, but at the same time I secretly & almost guiltily wish if both the incidences happened at the same time, then my wish for the silent retreat would come true!
But I’m hungering for the quietness NOW. So what I chose to do instead is – going LOUD. As loud as I sanely can without driving people bonkers. The entire day, I’ve been singing John Legend’s ‘Ordinary people’ at the top of my voice… while doing the dishes, chores in my room, bathing Ariana – We are ordinary people, we don’t know which way to go…. We are ordinary people; it’s time to take it slow…
And every time I sing the ending verse of ‘take it slow…’ something happens to me.
I feel I’m deeply planted on earth with both my feet.
I feel I’m using my entire body to channel the energy that I’m feeling while singing the song.
I feel that these are the words that I WANT to sing.
Suddenly singing makes sense all over again!
And I decide, I will sing only songs that make me feel THIS way…