Life by Choice Anupama Garg

MEDITATION: bringing the mind home.

“Modern man is too impatient and wants to master the art of meditation immediately. “~Swami Rama

” Rule you mind or it will rule you”- Buddha

 Benefits and Technique

 The word meditation is derived from two letter word meditari (to think about, contemplate) and mederi (to heal). At its root lies the concept that meditation is not just a spiritual practice, but equally important for a healthy mind and body. Although meditation practitioners have known the benefits of meditation since ancient times, it is only now that scientific research is beginning to prove that meditation has a positive effect on us on a physiological level.  Meditation is a course of action to train the mind as fitness methodologies are a course of action to train the body. However we need to be very clear that mind-body is intertwined. The fundamental premise in integrative medicine is the fact that mind and emotions play an important role in our health. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine taught that good health depends on a balance of body, mind and environment.

Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a growing subfield of neurological research. Using magnetic imaging (MRI), Harvard researchers found that meditation produced physiological changes in the brain’s gray matter. A research was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital by researchers from Harvard University and published in 2011 which documented the physical changes in the brain as a result of mindfulness. Some areas in the brains of the study participants thickened after eight weeks of practice and they reported reduced stress after the period. MRI scans revealed decreased gray matter in the amygdalae and increased gray matter in the hippocampus. The amygdalae are the parts of the brain that help the body deal with anxiety and stress. The hippocampus, which demonstrated an increase in gray-matter density, is the area of the brain that controls memory, learning, self-awareness, introspection and compassion. It has been concluded that meditation builds brain cells, increases gray matter and allows the brain to slow responses to stress, providing better concentration, learning and memory.

Various findings seem to show that training the mind through meditation can have an enormously significant impact on the function of the brain. It demonstrates that emotional tendencies can be altered, and destructive tendencies can be reduced significantly.

In eastern philosophy, the goal of meditation is no goal. It is simply to be present. The eventual benefit of meditation is liberation of the mind from attachment to things it cannot control, such as external circumstances. The liberated, or “Self Realized,” practitioner no longer pointlessly follows desires or clings to experiences, but instead maintains a calm mind and sense of inner balance.

Meditation is therapeutic and a way of understanding ourselves which reveals life in a new perspective resulting in self transformation and expansion as an individual.

However, it is only, practice which will eventually yields results and it’s mandatory to be regular and consistent to harvest the benefits.

It’s impossible for a beginner to sit for hours and think of nothing or have an “empty mind.” There are various meditation techniques.  One of the easiest ways to begin meditating is by focusing on the breath —

Simple meditation for beginners

  1. Sit or lie comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Breathe naturally without making any effort to control your breath
  4. Focus your attention on the movement of breath. Bring your awareness to your nostrils, throat, chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly observing the process of breathing. Make no effort to control your breath; simply focus your attention. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. Maintain this meditation practice for 3-5 minutes to start, and then attempt it for longer periods.

Anupama Garg

(www.lifebychoice.net)

 

TRUTHS OF WICCA AND TANTRA.

TRUTHS OF WICCA AND TANTRA.

Pagan is a term which was derived from latin word Paganus which originally meant rural. It has been said that long after Christianity was accepted in cities and towns of the roman empire the villagers continued idol worship .Gradually in time pagan was used for any non Christian tradition. However the word paganism has varied meanings and towards the end of 20th century “Paganism” was widely being used to describe cults which included Wicca. Wicca was considered a cult than an organized religion. Cults were seen as a sect different from the mainstream religion following rituals which were considered dangerous. They were seen as groups which indulged in sexual abuse, violence and psychological control of its members. The 1980’s the view gradually changed to referring such cults as new religious movement.

Wicca is a neo pagan religion bought into light by Gerald Gardner in 1950’s and 1960’s.He was an English priest who spent most of his time outside his country England with the natives and learnt about their practices .He called Wicca as witchcraft and people who followed Wicca were called Witches. In the 1980’s they were being referred to as Wiccans.

Witchcraft is one of the most ancient belief systems known and archaeological discoveries have shown that it can be traced back to 30,000 years .The paintings discovered in the cave show a man with head of a stag and a pregnant woman with eleven people in a circle. The wiccan view is that the paintings depict God and Goddess aspect of nature.

The image of a witch is that of an evil force however that does not hold true and in the ancient times witches were considered wise. They were people who understood nature and its forces. They had knowledge of herbs and treated their fellow men who suffered from physical and mental illness. Their advice was sought before important decisions. Witches understood that nature is to be respected for human race to survive.

It is stated that between the 15th and 18th century the church spread myths about traditional religions to convert people to Christianity .The misconceptions which were spread about witches helped medical science also greatly which was at a nascent stage that time and still developing. By spreading the word that witches were evil, the power from healer witches was taken and people started to place their trust on doctors instead. The respect which was enjoyed by these wise people traditionally was gradually transferring to the physicians who were struggling to draw people towards medical science from traditional beliefs. Sadly all this misinformation from the past still exists largely. Hence witchcraft is called Wicca to avoid harassment to people who follow the tradition.

Witch craft shares its principles and fate largely with the Indian tradition of Tantra. Tantriks in today’s time are greatly misunderstood and Tantra is seen as an evil tradition by a layman. Cinema has added to the belief that Tantra is associated with the dark forces.

 Wicca and Tantra both are traditions that greatly respect nature. Both traditions believe in responsibility and the practioner is responsible for all his/her actions and consequences. Both are spiritual traditions that teach about oneness with the whole humanity and the universe.

 Wicca uses spells which are meant to create love and harmony. The potions that are made are medicinal and prepared with natural ingredients. The five elements which constitute matter in the universe i.e. earth, water, fire, air and space are worshipped as deities in both the traditions.

  Tantra Shastra also known as Agama Shastra is stated to have been revealed by Lord Shiva as the path to be followed in the fourth yuga. The relationship of guru and disciple is very significant and is a characteristic of Tantra tradition.

 Tantra accepts every aspect of creation without discrimination which leaves enough space for misinterpretations and distortions. There is no fight to renounce but an effortless transformation comes with living and accepting life as it is.

According to Tantra, the entire universe is a manifestation of pure consciousness. One aspect being Shiva, the masculine, retains a static quality and remains unmanifested. The other aspect, Shakti being feminine is the dynamic and creative. Shakti is regarded as the mother of the universe as creation flows from her. Tantra regards a human body as a mini universe and all that is found in the cosmos can be found within each human being.

A Wiccan and a Tantric both have been maligned to be traditions in which they practice bizarre rituals to attain power. However in both the cases it is not true. In essence both the traditions believe in religious freedom, both draw energy from nature and within. They believe in harming no one as actions and consequences is a principle that all nature respecting traditions follow.

KALIYUG with its opportunities..

 

Where vision is one year, cultivate flowers,

Where vision is ten years, cultivate trees,

Where vision is eternity, cultivate people.

According to the Hindu mythology we are living in the fourth age or Kaliyug. There are four such ages (Mahayuga)-namely, the Satyuga or golden age, the Treta yuga in which dharma decreased by one fourth, the Duapara yuga, , in which dharma decreased by one half, and the present Kaliyug, in which righteousness exists to the extent of one- fourth only. This is the age in which the prevalent chaos will lead mankind to look for solutions to overcome it .Today we are standing at a point where life is questioning us to present it with an answer to what is it to live completely .It is an age which is offering to mankind an opportunity to elevate itself to new levels of consciousness. Today all around us we see people questioning “Is this life”? If we have started questioning we will find the answer too. The material success at a young age is acting as a catalyst towards finding the answer. There are far too many young people who are now professionally successful at a young age and the taste of success also brings along with it the question “What now?” It also brings in the realization that life has to be more than this. Material success no doubt is an aspect which cannot be negated but there is also a very important aspect of spiritual growth without which life can never blossom fully. Life is inside out and what you are inside determines the quality of your overall life. After, a deep night comes the dawn with soft rays of light and a promising new day full of new possibilities and hope.

Each of the above mentioned ages has its appropriate shastra,or scripture which was designed to meet the requirements of the men of each age .The Hindu shastra’s are classed into Shruti, Smriti , Purana which were the respective shastras for Satyug, Treta and Duapar .Shruti is that  which “has been heard”.Smiriti is “that which is remembered” and the third Shastra of the Duapara yuga is contained in Puranas. They by way of myth and story convey in an exoteric manner the doctrines of the Vedas to the declining intelligence and spirituality of the men in third age .The specific shastra for the Kaliyuga is the “Tantra”.It is a way of life that denies and negates no aspect of life. It is a path which uses the present state of humanity as an opportunity to enlightenment. There is no need to struggle for abstinence but to use everything as energy to propel you forward on your path to understand life in totality. It brings about the understanding that the entire creation is an extension of the self or the self is a part of the larger picture. Tantra harmonizes Monoism and Dualism. Its purpose is to give liberation to the individual by a method through which monistic truth is reached through the dualistic world. Neither is denied its place in the scheme of this cosmic play. Shiva has therefore said “In the world some desire non-dualistic, others dualistic knowledge, but those who have known my Truth have passed beyond Dualism and Non dualism.”

Practical application of this philosophy is the need of today.

More and more people all over the world are drawn towards the ancient spiritual practices which lend a deeper meaning to life and make the suffering a step towards enlightenment. We are experiencing the heights of material development and the accompanying price also has to be paid. This is an essential process for a higher goal .Every mistake has its significance in this process. The knowledge of a living tree does mean only the knowledge of its, roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers, seeds etc. A comprehensive knowledge involves and transcends this to seek and get an experience of the life which is immanent in the seed. Unless the knowledge of this truth is attained, the truth of life will never be known.

Kaliyug is a time in which all things are being cast, shredded, experimented, combined and recombined either to perish or to emerge rejuvenated and changed for a fresh existence. The future progression of humanity is in our hands. Spiritualism is emerging from the secret schools and ascetic retreats and seeking its place in the present mainstream life. It is in the process of rediscovering and reorganizing itself to enable humanity to attain its full potential. The observant can view modern times as a large conscious effort of nature to create opportunity, so that the whole mankind and no longer only the favored few are free to develop themselves to their full capacity. At present the material and economic aim may be predominant, but hidden within waits a higher impulse to be realized.

A man is born as a master of the internal and the external circumstances and not as a slave to them. He only has to realize his divinity to understand the divine play and blissfully enjoy it. However today wherever we look we are confronted by confused and dissatisfied humans.  In my workshops I very often come across individuals who behind the veil of great success are actually full of fear. Inspite of all the material growth the fact remains that there has to be something alongside which gives a sense of deeper purpose for our existence

The greater the suffering the bigger is the opportunity. VictorE.Frankl was professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School and was an inmate at Auschwitz ,Dachau and other concentration camps .He has written in his book ,Man’s search for meaning that “Inspite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp ,it was possible for spiritual life to deepen. Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain(they were often of a delicate constitution),but the damage to their inner selves was less .They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom .Only in this way can one explain the apparent paradox that some prisoners of a less hardy makeup often seemed to survive camp life better than did those of robust nature.”We see here that intensification of inner life helped the prisoner find a refuge even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.

Today we observe increasing number of people moving towards spiritualism. An apparent shift is visible with various television channels dedicated to cater to the need of society. More and more self help books are on the bestseller list. The concept that spirituality is for the old is being replaced by the concept the earlier the better. We as living organisms hold memories inherited from our ancestors. Rupert Sheldrake a former Research Fellow of Royal society and a scholar of Clare College, Cambridge explained the principle which he terms as “Morphic Resonance”. It says, things of the same form (morph) resonate with each other and exchange information. The emphasis of morphic resonance is on living organisms and was explained by the hundredth monkey phenomenon. It indicates that living organisms of the same form learn as a body. An unspecified number of monkeys were washing sweet potatoes in the sea. We assume the number was ninety nine but soon as one more monkey added to make the number hundred, by evening everyone was doing it .The addition of the hundredth monkey apparently carried the number across some threshold. The hundredth monkey phenomenon clearly shows that if an act is done collectively by a form pushing it through a kind of critical mass, it comes naturally and easily to the balance and automatically is passed on to the next generation.

Spirituality has been an integral   part of our ancient civilization and was practiced as a way of life. The history of the inner life of India has been the history of her saints and sages. There were four aspects to human life in the Hindu culture-Brahmacharya, Grahasta, Vanaprastha and Sanyas. Brahmacharya was a stage of acquiring various disciplines required for attaining the highest knowledge. Next was the householder’s life where the individual enjoyed his life of action, responsibility and procreation. It was preparation for transcending this worldly life after living it fully.Vanaprastha was a stage of spiritual discipline where the individual steadily gave up worldly connections and advanced towards total renunciation or Sanayas .Hence the entire objective of life was a process towards preparation and then realization of the self. We see that a rigorous form of penance was conducted by our saints and sadhaks making the ground absolutely fertile for us. They spent years in solitude following a rigorous form of practice to attain enlightenment. With a past like that and the prevalent conditions we are well equipped already for the final leap. With little effort enlightenment can be our state of being.

 

 

 

BE SELFISH AND FORGIVE.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

WHY

To forgive is a gift to self. Most religions and traditions emphasize on forgiveness to self and others as it is essential for our restoration and wellbeing. It concerns nobody but the individual who feels victimized or sees himself as an offender. Forgiving means letting go of the pain and resentment which is seething inside us. Forgiving is not an option but mandatory for our good. Forgiving our self as well as others is an act of self interest more than any other rationale.

Resentment, anger, guilt, the desire to take revenge is like a demon residing within which consumes us. Research shows that people feel significantly negative, angry, sad and less in control during an unforgiving condition than during the forgiving condition. An unforgiving state brings about adverse changes in our physical, mental and emotional states thereby affecting our life adversely in every way. Research has proved that there are definite biological links between fear, anxiety, anger and increased risk of coronary heart disease, allergies and various other ailments which manifest differently in different individuals. Researchers found that mentally nursing a grudge puts our body through the same strain as a major stressful event. The tendency to nurse grievances makes them our allies, which slowly destroy us and lock us out of experiencing the flow of life. Emotions like love and forgiveness enhance physical health, mental clarity and emotional strength.

We are hurt in thousands of ways in a lifetime and have our individual stories of pain and hurt. That is the way life is and we all have our burdens to carry. How we carry them decides the quality of our life. When we harbor bitterness or feeling of resentment for self or others the harm we bring upon our self could result in more grievous consequences than to what the actual incident or the offender has done.

The relevant that when we are angry with someone or something we give the person or situation power over us. A past that cannot be changed should not mar our present. Lingering pain from a negative experience that we have not forgiven causes us to fear a reoccurrence. This fear is bound to influence our present relationships unfavorably. We need to be free from the past and let it be transformational.We do not have to struggle to forgive just make SELF LOVE your priority. Forgiveness is a path to peace and happiness. If we hold a burning coal who do we affect?

HOW:

 The first step is to feel the pain of being wronged. Time is said to be a healer but any hurt cannot be held on for an extended period.

A pivotal role in turning the victimized feeling towards forgiveness involves trying to understand what factors may have influenced the offending behavior. It helps greatly if we view the situation objectively, as a detached spectator without the feeling of self pity and victimization.

It helps to view the situation from the offender’s perspective.

It helps to go through the times we have wronged and have sought forgiveness.

It helps to see ourselves as survivors and not victims.

It helps to look at how it helped us and the contribution it made to our growth even though it could be a challenge to do so. Nevertheless it still is necessary.

It helps to focus on the good things that life has offered us and being grateful for it.

If we have faith in God/ Universe our faith should enable us to understand that whatever has happened fits perfectly well in the larger picture of things and occurred to offer us some valuable lessons.

WHAT:

It is important to note that forgiveness does not mean that we do not hold the offender responsible for transgression, and it does not involve denying, ignoring, tolerating, condoning, or forgetting the offense. It also does not mean reconciliation.Forgiveness is not about accepting, giving up, surrendering to defeat, or avoiding justice. It requires gracious remembering without stirring negative emotions. It means freedom from painful thoughts and emotional turmoil.  Forgiveness is about liberating our own self and finding meaning in the worst of situations. We practice forgiveness to be free of our inner rage but we do not abandon the pursuit of right action. On the contrary we gain clear vision that allows us to take the appropriate action.

LOVE

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
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Rumi

Love is too profound a subject to be written on and has inspired great art and poetry. It is the fundamental need of every human being and can be as intriguing and as simple as we make it for ourselves . 

 Love that flows from self completion does not seek but gives resulting from an overflow. A person who is capable of truly loving anybody else is primary a person who loves himself. The concept of completion is beautifully explained in Hindu mythology explaining the concept of Shiv and Shakti which symbolize the masculine and feminine energies complementing each other. The form of Ardhanarishvara is the half male (Shiv) and half female (Shakti) form in unison and complementing each other. The realization and harmonious balance of both these aspects within a human being lead to realization of complete human potential. This human state when achieved is not seeking but giving which is intrinsic to the awareness. Giving from that state comes naturally and affects all that surrounds such an individual.Self awareness leads to the understanding of the underlying unity of the entire creation enabling us to respect and revere the space of every aspect of creation .This is how I perceive the unconditional love within my limited perception.

At a more tangible level, the great stories of love leave us wondering of that ultimate love which we seem to lack!! We all desire that ultimate love and face disappointments in our relationships when we compare it to that eternal love!! Is it not fascinating that great love stories are made of unrequited love?

 Let us first ask a relevant question…… “Am I capable to give another human unconditional love?”  Expecting respect and love, without any material benefits, from a child for whom we have done everything possible, is still an expectation. So as I see there is some expectation in personal love. Love without responsibility is incomplete and expectation is natural. Friendship remains the most important ingredient of  love, be it with family, lovers or friends.

Love grows if we give it wings, space and deep roots. Paradoxally love holds by setting one free . It is natural to face disappointments in love as each of us act according to our level of consciousness. There may be persons who disappoint us but that is fine, the universe is too big to cling. If we are not valued and the relationship seems a burden, learn to move on. Letting go maybe the growth opportunity required by the other to propel to a higher meaning of love and leave us with some valuable lessons. Pain in love is like purifying fire and should not deter us from forming new associations. Change is natural to the universe and as we grow so does our understanding of love.  Our growth may result in out growing relationships or redefining the platform of interaction in certain relationships. Such changes should be welcomed and we as individuals need to be open to new bonds which could be more fulfilling and meaningful.At times moving on helps us in realising our worth !!

We as individuals have our personal definitions of love and if someone does not love us according to our definition it does not essentially mean that the person does not love us. Our love should be able to accommodate that. Different people touch and evoke different levels of depth and relatedness. Love is not always about the other, it could also be what we evoke in an individual.

All relationships have to be worked on. Anything precious has to be handled with extreme care and continuous effort is required for its upkeep. Love has to transcend into actions where we are conscious of the “We” beyond the “I”.

 Harmony within us will be represented in the relationships that we value. It is important to note that we have to grow to be worthy of what we are seeking. Similarly persons deserving our love remain in our lives, rest depart as teachers, leaving us with valuable lessons. Lost relationships should leave no traces of resentment as they contribute to our growth.

RELATIONSHIPS

Healthy relationships in all areas of our life are essential to our well being. Though we may have different views on what healthy relationships are, certain ingredients remain common.

Anything to grow requires space. A beautiful relationship demands togetherness with space to evolve individually. It is important that we as individuals retain and nurture our individuality. It will help us give space in relationships, as we would understand its significance. It is essential to keep our interests alive and have a personal space that helps us to evolve as better human beings. The courage to trust comes naturally, if we respect our self and have a healthy self esteem. The balance has to be struck between independence and intimacy.

Friendship remains the basis of any relationship, be it life partners, parent child, siblings and of course our close friends.

Respect in any relationship remains the backbone on which the relationship rests. It is important to respect the individual with his individual world which may have his/her set of work commitments, friends, hobbies and principles which we may not necessarily agree with. A good relationship means that we agree to disagree. When we respect the other in most cases we also set the standard of how we will be treated.

  Many a times while trying to discipline our children we cross the line of respect. As parents our concern about them may result in failure to realize that most of our time is spent in correcting them. This may lead to scarce happy moments of togetherness. A child is more likely to understand us if he/she sees a friend in us. Raising a child is balance of unconditional love and support with guidance, giving direction and correction. We can approach our children with gentle explaining and understanding. It is fine to give them space to make them feel responsible. It is also natural for them to make mistakes. If we go back to our childhood, we too made mistakes and we still do, as adults. Its good to be protective but any excesses lead to degeneration of the relationship. It is always more effective to practice what we tell and expect out of our children. Our actions speak louder than our words in any relationship.

Successful relationship with our spouse, siblings and friends, requires the same ingredients of respect, trust, care and space. The need to mould someone according to our parameters is disastrous to any relationship. The urge to control comes with one single phenomenon, which is insecurity. An insecure person will cling, be over possessive, will want to control and mould a person according to his/her needs. The core lies in trusting our own self to be able to trust someone else. Self expansion leads to long-lasting relationships. The golden rule remains “Do unto others what you want other to do unto you”.

It is unfair to burden a loved one to fulfill all our needs, it ends in sheer disappointment .It is important to cultivate our individual space with a sense of purpose, friends and activities that contribute to our experiences and in turn enrich our relationships. It is important to strive to be a complete individual contributing constructively in our relationships. It is human nature that any relationship that gives us the feeling of being imprisoned cannot be healthy and fulfilling. Being alone does not mean being lonely. Physical and emotional space helps the relationship grow stronger as it gives room to grow.

All harmonious relationships are built upon by caring, dependability, responsibility, trust, empathy, acceptance, time for the relationship and time for self. It always works well to see things from the others point of view. We all change with time and experiences and we should respect and value these changes in others too.

It is reassuring to believe that relationships last for ever. But the truth is that there are relationships that will endure and there are relationships which will not. Every person close to us today may not be there in our life to come. Deceit and dishonesty can end a great relationship. When situations arise, our relationships can also change, and that can lead us to examine where we are investing our time and energy. If consciously the decision leads to let go…LET GO and move on

Solve your problem through the power of Prayers

“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays“.  ~Søren Kierkegaard

Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines”.  ~Satchel Paige, 1974

What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”.Mark xi.24)

Prayer is an answer to people who have faith in its power. When the situation seems hopeless, try the power of prayers. It is a device that is extremely potent and effective. All our logical solutions may fail to give us an answer but prayer never fails. Successful people in all fields are realizing that praying helps them to feel and perform better. It enhances our efficiency. The best of ability combined with prayers makes the process and outcome extremely satisfying. It is not old fashioned to pray. Prayer can be used to overcome any hurdles. If we work hard, think positively, are fair in our dealings and pray properly we almost always get the desired result. We have to realize that while praying we are dealing with great power. Any technique which enables you direct the flow of this power within you can be applied. One of the effective ways which can be applied is going to be discussed.

 

1. Communicating with God (whatever your concept of God is): start to take out time everyday and start the process of communication. Take God as a form (which ever form you are comfortable with) which is with you all the time. Everyday take time  out to spend with your deity alone . Talk daily about the day. Tell God about your problem and seek grace. Ask God to guide you through the problem, with the faith that God will show you the path. Remember at all times, that when God is with you, you have nothing to fear. Also make a regular practice to communicate. Do not make the process just a problem solving technique. It will not work.

 

2. Visualize with faith and intensity: Once you have communicated the problem to God start doing your bit. There maybe delays in God’s regime but there are no denials. Now start visualizing the desired outcome. Let us assume that, you  are going through a rough patch financially. Your business is not doing too well. Start visualizing with intensity the way you would want your business to be. Visualize a lot of orders coming, an office full of employees reporting to you. Picture in your mind a flourishing office with clients walking in and out. A successful person assumes that he is successful. By doing this you are applying the mechanism of vibrations to send the message of your intentions to the universal energy. These vibrations bring back into your life what you want. Vibrations end at the point of source.

 

3. Thanking God for actualizing: Start to thank God for granting what you want in life even before you have it. Thank god for all the abundance, happiness and the desired result of your problem in advance. When you acknowledge the presence of what you desire and thank God for his grace it helps you to also negate the origin of any negative thought process.

The entire process has to be followed with positive attitude and faith. Never give up on your communication and faith in God. Also if ever you do not obtain what you desire, know that God has better plans for you. You will be surprised at the miracle to get a much better deal. God helps those who help themselves so never leave any stone unturned in your actions. Actions and prayers have to go hand in hand. This technique can be applied to persons who do not believe in God by reposing the faith in their own self. They should know that no circumstances are bigger than ones self. Life is much easier for believers especially when the going gets tough.

 

Anupama.


 


 

 

Love Yourself

“Not only do self love and love for others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable

 Loving our self means attending to our self as a whole. Our requirement as a human being is at various levels. We need to attend to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. Till we leave any of these aspects unattended, our love for ourselves is incomplete.

Physical care includes nurturing our physical self. The physical body is the temple wherein the divine resides. Do we want the temple to be clean and healthy or dilapidated and abused? Regular physical exercise, proper meal times and healthy food are important to maintain optimum physical fitness. Exercise boosts up our energy levels and gives us a natural high. It keeps us fit and energetic. A nutritional diet and timely meals are important to provide us with the essential fuel. The type of food that we eat is also reflected in our physical states. We don’t have to totally give up things but moderation has to be exercised. If we cannot take care of our own body no one else will. It will help to contemplate that it is our body that remains with us till our last breath. Our body and mind are intertwined.

Are we attentive to absorb inputs, which are positive for our mental well being? We should be fully aware of our thought process. Any thought patterns which lead us to an unresourceful state should not be indulged in. We are what our thoughts are. It is mandatory to keep company of people who help us to grow mentally and have a positive influence on us. The friends that we keep, the discussions that we have, the books we read, the television programs we watch, effect our mind. If we choose to take in garbage then garbage comes out through our words and actions. Nature has given us minds and what we fill our minds with, is our choice. Our mind should remain open to learning. A positive mindset leads to positive emotions and positive actions. Our mental state controls our emotions. If we think positive we will feel good.

We should acknowledge and recognize our full range of emotions without feeling ashamed. It is however important how we handle our emotions. We should not dissipate our energy in an unresourceful state. Repression is not the answer, channelization is. Certain emotions like anger and grief can be channelized to produce amazing results. How we exhibit our emotions can create or destroy our life and can bind or break relationships. We cannot control all situations or people but we surely can control our thoughts, emotions and our response. Our interpretation and response to a situation can create us or destroy us. A cluttered mind and ruffled emotional state leads to actions which we may regret later. Every challenge we face can help us grow if we make a choice to grow and learn. Whether we become better or bitter is a choice we make. We are the solution to all our problems. Our actions our guided by our emotional states. Our actions define who we are.

 Spiritual understanding of our self is the core of our existence. Without attending to our spiritual growth, life can never be beautiful and complete. Putting it most simply, spirituality is the understanding of self. The day we know ourselves completely, all that is worth knowing will be known. The day we understand our self we will have the ability to understand all that we as humans need to understand.

In life, it is always about the self. It is one thing that is always in our own control. Taking responsibility of ourselves and nurturing our self is mandatory for a fulfilling life. All aspects integrate to design who we are. Love is centric; we can only love others truly when we first love our self truly. If we shape our self to someone whom we can truly love and respect, external validation becomes insignificant. However if we can love and respect our self, everyone else will too.

                                                                                                            ANUPAMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

A LETTER TO MYSELF

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A LETTER TO MYSELF
Have  I sat and contemplated on issues that will help me to  understand my  self ? I am going to be honest and contemplate deeply before I arrive to the answers. In the process to understand the world it seems I completely forgot to understand my own self.Life has been a series of experiences and I have come this far to be what I am today.
1.       Was it worth it?
Am I proud of what I am today . I should be aware whether I accept myself the way I am, after all I have given my life till the present moment to evolve into my present self.
2.       Do I clearly know what I want in life and why I want it?
If I delve deep into this question it will help me to identify the deep seated desire behind my actions. I will know clearly that behind my efforts, successes and failures what was it that I have truly desired. It is important to know why I have done whatever I have done. What was the driving force behind my actions? What exactly have I been running after all these years? Which desire was it that propelled me to reach where I am today?
3.       Have I actually achieved what I wanted so deeply?
I have to think beyond the layers of conditioning to reach to the core of the answer. I had to give up a lot in order to get what I got. I had to pay a price for the choices I made in life. At times making a choice was rather tough, I had to give up a lot more than I had bargained for, but nevertheless I did choose what mattered more or so I thought at that time. Some realizations I have experienced come with time only. I gave up much to have what I have today.
4.       Do I feel fulfilled in the deeper sense?
I am running towards a future which I am creating through my actions knowingly or unknowingly. Are my actions creating the future I want to bring to my life?
Now that I have answered all the questions I know where I stand in life. What has gone by may never come back but I still have a choice to make the most of what I have.I now know where I have to go from where I am.

Control Anger before it controls you.

Control Anger before it controls you

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it”. Marcus Aurelius
Anger is a normal human emotion. The problem lies when it gets out of control and turns destructive for ourselves and others.Fire consumes our body when we die but uncontrolled anger consumes our entire being while we are living.We all have at some point experienced the consequences of anger.The consequences are more often worse than the reason which caused the anger.Anger is a secondary emotion arising from frustation,fear or hurt.It is important how we handle it.We also need to clearly understand the cause of anger to identify the core emotion.
We should control anger before it controls us and all we are left with is regret. Anger has never been a solution to any problem. It may however further worsen the situation. It is an established fact that most murders are not premeditated acts but crimes committed in moments of frenzy. Suppressing anger and nursing grudges is as bad as uncontrolled expression of anger. Both ways are equally damaging. Suppression is sometime bound to ignite like dry wood. It does equal damage to our physical and mental health. It becomes a matter of concern the day we feel we are helpless when anger strikes us. Uncontrolled anger can create problems for us at work, in our personal relationships and reduces the overall quality of life. Anger is accompanied by physiological and biological changes within our body. When we get angry our heart rate and blood pressure go up. There is an increase in levels of hormones like adrenaline and generating energy strong enough for vigorous action.A frequent or continued state takes it toll on our health. Anger is strongly linked to health problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, arthritis, depression to name a few.It is not difficult to combat this problem the day we decide to work on it.Some simple and practical steps can be tried.
1. Communication:       Putting our point across firmly but without losing our cool is an effective way to show our displeasure. Screaming, using foul language is a display of your inability to handle your own self. Whenever you are angry think——-. What are you going to gain by it? How is the other person going to lose by it? Our physical anger brings dishonor to ourselves and our mental anger disturbs our thinking. To communicate choose a time when the anger churning up has passed away so that you can think and behave rationally. Choose your words carefully and listen carefully to what the other person has to say.
2. Cognitive restructuring:     It simply means to change the way we think. Most of the times even a justified anger in no time, can get out of bounds. Our thinking tends to become exaggerated and a small issue may seem too big. It is important to be realistic without over dramatizing a situation. It may be a sticky situation but it is not the end of the world. Direct your thinking to find a solution rather than wasteful thinking of the problem. Sometimes the solution may only lie in facing and handling the situation. Face it and keep telling yourself that anger will not make things better.
3. Meditation: Regular meditation helps to ease our anger and over a period of time we may actually do away with anger. Inculcate meditation as an everyday part of your lifestyle and see the amazing change in your attitude.
4. Change in environment: Immediate solution to rising anger can be immediately removing yourself from the cause .Then shift your focus to something entirely different, or engage yourself in a physical activity like a brisk walk, take deep breaths counting backwards from 100 to 0 etc.
Learn to be assertive not aggressive. Your external response as well as your internal physiological changes accompanied with anger need to be calmed. There will always be provocations but the wise know that anger is no solution. Anger can be directed to a constructive task. MADD (mothers against drunk driving) was formed by a mother who lost a teenage son to drunk driving. She directed her anger and grief to make the society aware of the hazards of driving after drinking. Direction of anger to a constructive cause helps to unleash the anger without suppression or destruction.
ANUPAMA