ARE YOU AFRAID TO FLY ?

pool ocean city

I have been in hibernation for more than a year now. But now am ready to shatter some moulds that caged me. And with this new-found freedom, am feeling on top of the world. So here I am. Doing what I love doing best. Sharing my experiences with you. So that you don’t make the same mistakes that I did.

I grew up in an apartment which was on the first floor of a tall building. So am used to living closer to the ground. After I got married , I had to shift to an apartment which was on the 6th floor. I somehow never really enjoyed living on a higher floor. And so until recently, I always avoided high-rise apartments or buildings. But then the universe has a way of putting us into situations where we need to overcome our fears and inhibitions. And so it was with me. When I was promoted as the Branch Manager, my office was on the top most floor of the famous Mittal Towers at Nariman Point in Mumbai. I never enjoyed my tenure there. No, I don’t think that I was afraid of heights per se , but surely did not like them either.

And then again, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend a mega event on a professional level in Sri Lanka. And as luck would have it my hotel room was on the 26th floor of the hotel building. Oh dear God ! I know some people would consider it a privilege but for me, it was not much of an attraction. I stood there, in front of the large, floor to ceiling, glass window of the room and looked down at the city. It looked small, tiny in fact. I stood there feeling uncomfortable with the height at which I was. I had to leave the room. I couldn’t be there. I went out and just kept on walking. Blindly walking away from the room I ended up on a higher floor, onto the roof top.  Ironic as it may seem, the more we try to resist something, the more it persists in our life. Coming to terms with this realisation, I scanned where I had arrived. It was the roof top swimming pool overlooking the entire city of Colombo and the Arabian Sea, on the, not so far horizon. Dear God. It was a beautiful sight to behold and yet I felt so shaken from within. A strange quivering disturbed me at the gut level. I wondered why am I not happy with this view ? Anyone would kill to be in my place. So why am I not enjoying this?  I wanted the feeling of unrest to just go away. I just wanted to love the view and the revel in the fact that I was so frigging lucky to be here.

“What is it that is stopping me ?” , I asked myself. I prodded my psyche. Being  a therapist and a healer these questions come to me as a second nature now.  I have for  years been asking these questions in my day-to-day practice, of my clients. So why should be an exception to this rule? What is life all about anyways ? Getting over our inhibitions, healing our fears and shortcomings, shooting in the dark with faith, learning the life lessons offered by our experiences and moving on to the next level of evolution as a being of Light. So as therapists and healers, we sometimes need to use the therapeutic techniques on ourselves too. And this certainly was one of those times when I needed to administer some self-healing.

So yeah.. As I delved deeper into my own sub conscious mind, it became apparent that I indeed had a fear of heights. But it wasn’t about physical heights. Like I said before, I faintly disliked being at a height but never feared it as such. The discomfort apparently seemed to come from my fear of being at a high position in my life. It realised it was a metaphor for something else that was hidden deep with my subconscious. So began my journey into my own subconscious mind and I asked myself.. when was the first time I felt like I had fallen down from a great height ? Sitting there in a meditative pose, this question brought on a rapid flash back. The film of my life went into a reverse gear. Going back in time, across my many ages in this lifetime, I hit upon the first incident wherein I had felt that I had FALLEN from a great height. My subconscious mind took me back to the time, when I was in my 20s and had just found out that my boyfriend then had been cheating on me. I was hopelessly in love. I was so blinded by my love for him that I thought he could do no wrong. But I was mistaken. He betrayed my trust. I think, I might have even secretly worshipped him, like kept him on a pedestal, akin to god-like. So what happens when you realise your God was not worthy of your devotion ? You just kick yourself , feel stupid and humiliated and yeah… depressed. But I got over it pretty soon. Thanks to his apologies and charming reassurances.  So after the incident, I rationalised with my self at a conscious level. I bought peace for myself with the magnanimous thought that he is only human and that I should forgive him. And I did, so we continued our relationship. But apparently, my subconscious wasn’t satisfied with the resolution. and it obviously continued to live in distress. Worse still, it had arrived at some unhealthy conclusions for itself. You see,  I had fallen from a height of trust. In fact I felt like I had been pushed from up there into a deep valley of deceit, cheating and betrayal. So my subconscious mind held on to the fear of falling down from a height. Not a physical height . But a high point of happiness, comfort and faith.

Once I had come to this realisation, a lot of things then started to fall in place. This incident had obviously shaken my very core. Further on as I continued to watch the film of my life in flashback, I found that there were many more such incidents in various forms that had destroyed my belief in myself. The underlining belief of my subconscious mind created and manifested more of such incidents in my life thereon and thereafter. Further meditation on the issue brought forward many similar kind of incidents. Situations such as when I was ridiculed. Incidents when I was made to feel small and stupid. Conversations that killed my confidence. People that hated my guts. People who were jealous of my good fortune. So I constantly hid myself . You see, I was afraid of being praised because due to my negative experiences, I constantly expected to be ridiculed soon after the praise. It felt safer to stay out of the limelight. Surely if I didn’t climb up any high point, there would be no danger of falling , right? And ironically, the more I feared the negatives, the more I got of the same. I was evidently caught in a vicious circle of self rejection of my own doing and the same being mirrored from the outside world.

So then I slowly opened my eyes and looked across the cool blue pool, further beyond,  at the expansive, never-ending sea with its beautiful waves lapping up to the point where the sky bowed down to meet it at the horizon. I saw it all so clearly now. I realised that it was not just a dislike of physical heights but a greater fear of any kind of “high” in life. This fear made me underplay my good qualities. I shied away from being the centre of attraction. I always stayed in the background. I let other people take the credit for my good work. I even pooh poohed any compliments I might have received. I never appreciated myself. As a result, I started feeling that I was not good enough. I had lost all my self-confidence and had a pathetic self-image. In short I hid myself under a rock ! Of course over the years, I have worked on myself and made myself capable, competent and resourceful. And being armed with so many degrees, qualifications and skill sets I ought to feel on top of the world, right ? But THAT is exactly what was not happening. So that day, up there on the terrace of that high-rise building, looking at the magnificent city stretched for miles, merging with the sea, I finally understood why. Owing to my past experiences with life and people, I had been hiding myself fin my shell,  because I HAD A FEAR OF BEING SUCCESSFUL.

Becoming aware of a problem is like half the job done. Healing thus can be said to have begun. The other half is then about stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the new-found reality. And that’s exactly what I did. I embraced my greatness. I acknowledged my good qualities. I am now, no more afraid to be in the lime light. And the more I affirmed in my new found, confident status, the more I rise up in life. I got more and more opportunities to become even more resourceful and successful. Not just for myself but for my loved ones, my family, my friends and everyone who would like to take advantage of the goodness that I have to share. I am happy spread the joy of living. Am happy to share my success with others. Am no more afraid of heights. I am ready to become bigger and better. I feel recharged with a new energy . A new zest for life. A new faith in the unknown. Am ready to dream. Am ready to take risks to fulfil those dreams. . And finally, I feel, I am free to be myself and live up to my full potential. Embracing your own greatness,  is a mind-blowing, liberating feeling. The sea, the land , the sky….I can look beyond each horizon. I can see the brightness on the other side of the tunnel. Am ready to walk my life path with purpose and determination. No holds barred.

I AM READY FOR MY GREATNESS.  And I AM, INDEED, READY TO FLY !!!

 

Continue reading “ARE YOU AFRAID TO FLY ?”

Get Up ! Dress Up ! Show Up !

get up dress up show up

People ask me how do you know what your next article in the blog should be on ? And like everything else in my life , my answer to this is also simple . The universe is so large and expansive with so many things going on at once. So I leave it to the universe to give me my next topic to write on . And true to my belief , the universe has once again dropped this conversation into my backyard, which compelled me to write this piece.

I was talking to my good friend, Yateen , and he asked me , ” Juthika do you really believe in the concept of image – that you need to make an impression with the way you dress ? ”  I said , ” Yes , I do ” . He was perhaps a little perturbed by my conviction and said , ” Ok then , I won’t take your time to discuss this any further ” But I said, ” Wait ! I know what you mean . For you it is more about the inner beauty and the qualities a person has, that are more important than the way he/she dresses . Right ? ” His enthusiastic ” Yes, Yes ! That’s Right ! ” is still ringing in my ears and brought laughter to my eyes.

In many ways I agree with Yateen. Because what we are at the core of our being, is what our true self is all about . However , realistically speaking , this core value or goodness can be seen by others only through our outer appearance. Isn’t that the reason why spiritual leaders, priests, pujaris, maulvis , saints, babas and even gods and goddesses are dressed in their spiritual uniforms ? The clothing of any individual is the basic identification of that person. Women wear feminine clothing and men wear clothes that are showcase their masculinity . Our outer appearance – that is our clothes , our behaviour and our speech show who we are.

Aha ! I hear you . You are saying that looks can be deceiving , right ? A sadhu wearing the right attire may not be a god-man that he professes to be . A good looking man dressed in a fancy suit and boot , may not be a sophisticated gentleman after all. True . Very True. I agree with you 100% . That is why inner beauty is also important . Clothes may deceive you to a certain extent but the inner goodness or ugliness will show itself in the behaviour and speech of the person. Like Yateen had an amazing experience with some Australian delegates . Unfortunately , when he went to meet the foreign dignitaries , a crow did the unthinkable and Yateen’s clothes were messed up. He, however, attended the meeting . Yateen admitted , that the dignitaries were disturbed by his soiled clothes. But his confidence, his dedication towards his work and the passion with which he made the presentation (his inner qualities) won the hearts and minds of the Australians. For a minute , if we assume that Yateen himself was upset by his appearance and faltered in his abilities, then the lack of confidence would have been evident in his speech and behaviour. So you see image is not just about your clothing . It goes far deeper into your core personality . Building your inner strengths so that they reflect in your outer appearance of behaviour and speech as well. Image is all about knowing who you are – inside-out ; and presenting your best self forward .

On the other hand,  dressing well , also boosts your self-esteem and confidence to a large extent . Try walking into a high-end retail store in shabby clothes. Do you think the sales people there will give you any importance at all ?  Your unsightly appearance makes them draw so many conclusions about your worthiness , your purchasing power, your background, your job, and so many other aspects of your life. However, if you are dressed in a smart attire, a string of sales boys/girls will be attentive to your every need. At a party , we do get judged by what we wear . The fact is , we get rated on the basis of our appearance almost everywhere. At an interview, for example , you will be considered capable and reliable if you have taken the pains to be attentive to the little things about dressing well. If not, then they might assume that you are careless and irresponsible. So even before you get a chance to exhibit your inner qualities / qualifications, you get rejected because of your appearance.

No matter how much people may deny its  importance, appearance rules the world  . Would you agree to marry a girl/boy who is unappealing ? Looks create that attraction and only after that do we explore the inner qualities of the person in question. Years down the line you may break up with your partner citing incompatibility and a mismatch in the other qualities like behaviour, treatment and even core values. But the fact remains that the initial relationship was built on the basis of appearance. The beauty of course, lies in the eyes of the beholder . So everyone will have different parameters for what they consider  good looking or attractive. I guess that’s how we got the cliché ,  ‘love at first sight ‘.

So you see , to be successful in your personal and professional life, both inner and outer beauty play a role of equal importance. When the two are in tandem with each other , that’s when you have a winning image . Authentic and attractive in every sense of the words ! That is why your image needs to be Beautiful – Inside Out !

WHAT’S UP , WHATSAPP ?

whatsappWith a spate of technological developments , newer and yet newerer ( if there is such a word , hehe) gadgets and apps have been presented to people – to make their lives easier (sic  – because , like everything else , we humans over eat technology and then complain of indigestion.)  These apps promise to bring people closer to one another. Whether it actually does that or not , is another debateable topic all together. We consider it important to stay connected with people who are miles away . Never mind if the people we live with , are missing us the most.

Birthday wishes, condolences ( surprisingly some people add crying emoticons to these too ), congratulatory messages and even invitations (free for all , so you are assured no one takes it seriously and you will have less guests, haha ), are the order of the day on whatsapp. Are virtual parties really so much fun that people have stopped meeting and greeting each other personally ? I tried this – sat with a couple of drinks , chips , cake , kachori and my cell phone, checking the whatsapp messages. Believe me , after reading – listening(audio) – viewing (videos) all the 500+ msgs , I felt an aversion for human company. I had had enough drama, trauma, gyaan and information for one day . I was loving my peace and quiet and solitude.

Today whether you like it or not , you are included into a number of whatsapp groups. The deluge of ‘good mornings’ on all the groups , makes you feel obliged to post one of your own . Sometimes it is as short as ‘GM’ , ‘GN SD’ ,  . Now what the two alphabets stand for,  is always a mystery to me. One , I can think of numerous interpretations of these alphabets (and not all of them are sane, esp the ones in local languages ). And two, I most certainly feel that the wish is only half hearted when it is put in mere initials. But its fun to interpret GM in my own way .  Feel free to try your own versions too . LOL

Pictures , selfies, audios, videos , everything that is uploaded , must be downloaded by you and applauded as well. If you don’t then you are an anti-social element. You are bad at networking . I wonder if  the time you invested (seriously this isn’t the right word ) is really worth the effort. You may get popular . But then popularity can be seen in different polarities. Negative and Positive. For sometime , I have noticed people will like you , applaud you and follow you. Eventually they get tired of your self appraisal drama and make themselves scarce . The expression of sweetness becomes too sour to digest , and everyone turns diabetic. 😀

Political promos,  chain letters , old redundant forwards , negative news items  –  all in the name of humanity and love,  clog the memory of your cell phone. But you dare not say so. After all Being Human is all about making a public declaration of how human you are. Never mind how you treat the human companion seated next to you in the physical world. Your virtual  presence on the social network is more important than actually being human .

Individuals connect to you through  social media and expect you to reply to their random ‘ hi dear ‘ and still worse , ‘ had your dinner ?’ kind of messages. I always want to ask these people , ‘Excuse me, when we dont know each other , how does my having dinner affect your life ?’  Seriously such inviting messages are most puke worthy .  I also feel sad for them . Wouldn’t their life be better if they paid even half as much attention to their family and friends ? But that’s not all .  These encounters can even get hilarious when I don’t respond or politely refuse to chat with them . Because then they get verbal diaorrhea and begin to psycho analyse me and pass judgements . And when I further don’t respond , they begin to beg me to Block THEM . Huh ? Who’s the psychopath now , I wonder ?

By now am sure you are wondering that if I have so many issues with whatsapp , then why do I have the app on my phone at all or why am I , a part of so many whatsapp groups. Good question. Isn’t it obvious ? I want to be seen as a social person . A sensitive human being ( ah that catch word again) . Also be able to promote myself as a serious professional . And of course, why should I miss out on a chance to know how much I am loved by random people ? Hahaha.  But most important , I don’t want to miss out on the chance to know what the others have been upto 😉 . After all , it’s all about being IN with the times and being tech savvy is the way to go , baby !

So the conclusion is …. being Appy is akin to Being human !!! 😀 😉 😛

Now you see them, Now you don’t !

During the course of sessions on counselling and therapy , I have observed that when I get a client with a particular issue , more clients with a similar issue keep turning up . It’s like a trend for that season . Last season I came across a number of women who felt that people around them – friends , family, spouse, etc did not understand them and therefore they got into a state of agitation over their differences . This time round , it’s a spate of people who are burdened with the grief of a dying relationship . There was this teenager who was heart-broken and another one in the 20s who was jilted by a lover . Then again the middle aged 35-something who fell out with the siblings , and someone with the very common in-laws’ saga and yet again one in the 60+ category who was harbouring anger towards the family . No matter at what age one encounters a degeneration in relationships , the pain, the grief, the anger , the resentment , the fears and the tears are all the same .

Have you ever wondered why perfectly good relationships just fizzle out ? And on the other hand , sometimes have you had the good fortune to marvel at why we forge friendships and bondings with people whom we hardly know ? We build relationships – we rejoice . We fall out with someone – we mourn the loss . Like everything else, relationships too , perhaps have an expiry date . This might seem an odd thing to say . Because we have been taught since time immemorial that relationships are for keeps . Forever types . But experience teaches us that nothing in this world is permanent . Except ,  maybe change . Change is the only constant in life . If this is true for everything else , then perhaps it is true also for  relationships ?

More often than not , when a relationship ends , we feel a sense of loss . We tend to get overly emotional and equate it with the end of our lives . But is that really so ? Does life STOP being LIFE , when someone walks out of our lives ? Not at all . But we assume it does . We behave like it is the end of the world . This happens , only because we are habituated to having that person in our life . Be it a quarrel which tears parents and children apart , be it a mis-understanding between friends that creates a rift between them or a clash of egos and rights between siblings or perhaps the betrayal by a partner , lover , spouse . When someone behaves in a manner that is not in tandem with our own interests , we gradually move apart . Eventually the relationship loses its sparkle . It begins to die . It becomes non-existent . And then we are heart broken , we become bitter , we blame the other party . We lose faith in relationships.

But can we choose to become better instead of bitter ?  Yes we can !  The obvious thing others tell us to do is LET GO . Let go of the person , the pain and move on with our lives . But is that all ?  Is it enough to move on ?  Ah yes  , forgive them , you say ? Yes that too . So in short , just shrug that part of our lives , accept it as our destiny and move on . Right ? Or is there more ?

Influence-2

Read the above post carefully. Give it some thought .  There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one who will change theirs . You could  spice up your existing relations , add a new sparkle to them , learn to make them better .   In life , you will realise  that there is a role for everyone you meet . Some will test you . Some will use you . Some will love . Some will hate you . Some will look up to you , while others might hold you in contempt . Some come into our lives as blessings. Others come as lessons . Each new person coming into our lives brings with him or her new feelings , new challenges , new experiences . That is why any new relationship in the initial stages is wonderful  and exciting . Once we have had our quota of those experiences , we move on to newer friendships , newer bondings. However there are also lessons to be learnt from all our liaisons or connections. If we fail to learn the life lessons that our relations were meant to teach us , then we are likely to encounter the same issues and hardships again and yet again . And life continues to stagnate and stink . It is up to us to realise this and let go of our old patterns of thought , behaviours , actions and reactions. Ask yourself, what was I meant to learn from this relationship ? How can I now use to this to make myself a better person ?

People also come into our lives , for a season . Even if it be for a short period of time , they still help us to become who we are . We can choose to  then decide who , WE , want to become . Better or Bitter ?  Make positive changes in our life or blame the other party  and harbour anger, resentment, hatred and revengeful feelings ?  Sometimes we hopefully , try to fix or repair situations and relationships . This may work or may not . If it does not ,  then just accept it and move on . Know , that God’s plans for you are always for your highest good. You may not see the wisdom of it yet , but you will – later . Because the moment you surrender to God’s will , everything just keeps falling into place . It may not be what you WANTED , but be assured that it is definitely what God thinks you NEEDED. Once you come to understand this , you will see your life becoming better everyday .

Sometimes we want to help others who , we think , are on the wrong path. But then that is our perception. We really don’t know what God’s plans for them are . Neither,  should we interfere in their karmas . We could choose to be around them until the time is right . Just in case they need our help. But don’t be disappointed if your hopes get shattered .  When watching from the wings , we need to be careful , not to get drawn into their drama . Be on our guard at all times , so as to not let it  all , adversely affect our personal growth .  After all , our relationship with our creator is far superior than any other relationship that we may forge on this earth . Therefore , we owe it to our creator to become better  human beings . All those who are on the same path as you , will gladly accept your help and continue to walk with you . Others will simply disappear .  Know whom to keep and whom to let go .

Then there will be those who do not understand us .  Or those who choose to pursue a different line of thought . Eventually they will find reasons to move away from us . These reasons could manifest in the form of misunderstandings , arguments or yet again playing the blame game. Let go .  Because they are no longer on the same vibrational wavelength as us any more. Just like the way we tune out of a radio channel that does not match the frequency we are looking for . BELIEVE , that those on the same vibrational frequency as us will come into our life. That is the law of the universe. A tree must shed its old dried leaves in season of autumn ,  to make room for new leaves to grow in the spring of life. Know who is not meant to be with you and also those who will nourish your life purpose .

So you see, when you LET GO , there is so much more to let go than just the person and the pain of separation . We have to let go of our perceptions , our righteousness, our old redundant beliefs, our damaging habits  and above all our EGO . We need to keep moving ahead towards a better future with FAITH that everything that happens , happens for our highest good . People outgrow people. Levels of consciousness become different . Equations change. And LIFE goes on. !!!

I AM – Just Me !!!

Images can be a tricky thing. Your outer appearance speaks volumes about who you. What you can or cannot do. What you are and what you aspire to be . And a  lot more . Your dressing, your behaviour, everything about you reflects your inner self . Your principles , your values , your upbringing , your status , your strengths and also your weaknesses.

Recently , during a class on Social Media, the importance of maintaining a professional image on internet , was brought to the fore. Professionally one would like to project a responsible and respectable image of one’s self. Therefore dressing yourself in a formal attire is essential. Or else you might be looked upon as someone with no commitment and integrity. You may not look ‘serious’ enough to be taken seriously by others. But , can you do that ALL the time ?

Screenshot_2014-01-14-23-59-59No no no. Am not advocating dressing like Johnny Depp . Far from that actually . Just take your eyes off him for a second and read the caption instead. You should be YOU. After all, your professional life is not the be all and end all of your existence, is it ? You have other social standings too. Take for example , a woman – a professional woman. She is much more than an executive, an employee, a boss or a business partner. She is a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, a socialite, a party person, a spiritual human being , a fitness enthusiast and the list can be endless. She may adorn herself vibrantly for a party with friends, or wear sombre clothing for a spiritual gathering , She may dress in casuals for a picnic with her children but wear a semi-formal attire for the school’s PTA meeting. An outing with her spouse may prompt her to don clothes that are romantic , while a family gathering would demand a more traditional bejewelled look. A woman has so many facets to her personality , that being tied down in one role, one image , is impossible. However to project her values and strengths , a little care and attention is required . This is to ensure that her dressing, no matter where or with whom, reflects her authentic self. It would be imperative to maintain a balance between the different roles that she plays, in a manner that does not compromise her personality. This calls for a dressing style which is appropriate according to her age, to the occasion and the people she is going to be with. When a woman is dressed in her authentic appropriate style, then there is nothing that will stop her from looking truly attractive .

So to get back to where we began – the social media exposure . The internet has indeed shrunk our lives to fit into a 13″ digital screen. But the implications of our dressing and appearance can be magnified to a humongous 70 mm cinema screen. Because we are constantly judged by what we are wearing – then be it our clothes or our expressions , both create an impression in the onlookers . We are accepted or rejected depending on the perception of the person looking at our internet profile. And this perception is based on our pictures that we post on the social media. So our social pictures could be projecting an image that clashes with our professional image. Is this even fair ? Perhaps not. But then , how others choose to perceive us ,  is not really in our control.  You could say that one can maintain two profiles – one personal and the other professional . But will that really stop people from viewing you on both the profiles ? With advanced technologies nothing is really that private anymore , isn’t it ? Now the dilemma is – should we dress as per our authentic preferences or dress to be liked by the onlookers. No matter what you say , the bottom line is that everyone of us wants to be liked by others . So yes, the answer to the above question is – BOTH !!!  We need to balance both. For example , if you are a mother going out with your kids , by all means wear casual clothes but don’t go overboard by wearing multi – colored neon shoes or a clingy dress or an extremely distressed pair of jeans . You don’t want to be the laughing stock of your peers or an embarrassment to your kids , do you ? Leave that for the teenagers . Its their domain. Be age appropriate and you will have struck a good balance between authentic and attractive.

The good news is , you can be who you want to be . Just remember that the world is watching . In person and in the virtual world. Even if one denies it  , the truth is you will want to be liked by one and all. We all do . And yes,  you surely can do it with a little care and know-how . As long as you dress in your authentic personal style in an appropriate manner,  you certainly will be looking your attractive best EVERY single time. Your image is in your hands. At the end you should be able to say with pride – “YES , That’s me !  I am a vivacious friend , a pampered daughter, a loving girlfriend/wife, a helpful colleague, a caring mother, a fun loving person , also spiritual when i choose to be , a fitness buff AND a responsible career woman . These are all different facets to my personality. I can be who I choose to be . I am , Who I am !!!”

DISCLAIMER : The above article would hold true for men too  😉 . All examples given herein are purely for elaborative purposes. Any gender based distinction is purely unintentional 😀

The Science of AUM

When I was about 10 years of age, I remember seeing a large painting in one of  our  neighbors’ home in India, The large picture frame had concentric blue and white circles with an AUM written in the centre of all those seemingly unending number of circles. The picture fascinated me, though its meaning and significance remained a mystery for many years to come. The only knowledge I ever gained on the word AUM was that it was a sacred word/symbol used as a mantra . The fascination however continued, not knowing that one day I would develop an affinity to the mystical chant.

Over the years, I encountered the AUM at many a milestones of my life. It was as though the AUM was destined to be a part of me and so I decided to accept it fully and whole-heartedly with complete awareness.

OM advaita-vedanta

AUM is one of the most chanted sound mantras in India as well as on the Asian continent, and now gaining worldwide acceptance gradually . The chanting of AUM has a profound effect on the body and mind and also on the surrounding environment . Most mantras and vedic prayers start with AUM . All auspicious rituals begin with AUM . It is even used as a greeting – Om, Hari Om , Om Shanti, etc. We see it being used as a mantra , as a meditative chant and as an affirmation to remove negativity. We worship it , chant it and meditate upon it .

These sacred syllables of AUM are the primordial sounds in the universe from which, all other sounds and creation emerge. It underlies all phonetic creations. The utterance of AUM, consisting of the three letters A, U, and M, covers the whole process of articulation. The AUM chant should have the resounding sound of a bell (aaooommm). It is like the sound of a gong that gradually tapers to a point and merges in silence. It fills the environment with resounding  peace and brings the mind , body and soul into a singular focus. It establishes a physical , mental and spiritual balance into our being.

According to Hinduism, the three letters symbolise the three states – wakefulness, dreams and deep sleep.  The three deities – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. The three vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama.  The three worlds – Bhuh, Bhuvah, Suvah. People meditate on its meaning and attain realisation. One who attains AUM, merges with the Absolute.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND AUM

Pythagoras , the mathematician philosopher believed that the universe and everything in it was held together by sound or vibration. From the distant stars to the smallest particles on earth he said: “All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony, in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole.” Consequently, he believed that sound as in chanting and music, could be used for healing. This is something which science is increasingly verifying. Astronauts swear that the reverberating sound heard in space , is an uncanny sonorous AAAUUUUMMMM ..

AUM Chanting culminates into a humming. Acharya Rajneesh aka Osho explains it as a great source of energy. We don’t know our own sources and we don’t know how to connect with these sources. When you are humming the AUM sound, the body is humming – subtle layers of the body vibrate and the mind is also humming. The sound becomes a vibration in your body/mind and by and by, slowly the body and mind fall into a rapport. They both start falling in one step, in harmony, into a deep love affair – a sort of orgasmic state between body and mind.

Osho further explains this by telling us that how energy is being wasted continuously, because there is a continuous conflict between the body and mind. The body wants to do one thing – the mind wants to do something else. With the humming of AUM, this conflict ceases; in that cessation of the conflict, energy is saved and that energy is great. When this energy is saved you have the right to ask for more.

Like Jesus says in the Bible, “Those who have, more shall be given to them, and those who don’t have, even that which they have will be taken away” So when you have the energy and you are saving the energy you become capable of receiving more and more.

According to A J Respir Crit Care Med , during the humming of AUM , the gas exchange between the nasal passages and the sinuses is 98%, almost complete exchange. During normal exhalation, without humming, the gas exchange rate is only 4%. Poor gas exchange and poor circulation in the sinus cavities create a good environment for bacterial growth. Researchers suggest that daily chanting/humming could help reduce the incidence of sinusitis and upper respiratory infections.

Also, sinuses are major produces of nitric oxide, which helps dilate capillaries and increase blood flow. When nitric oxide levels were measured during humming of AUM, researchers found that they are 15 times higher than during normal breathing.

Mitchell L. Gaynor, MD , one of New York’s most prominent oncologists has used the incredibly healing power of sound in his clinic and shown how it can dramatically improve health, reduce pain and stress and awaken creativity. According to Dr. David Simon, medical director of Neurological Services at Sharp Cabrillo Hospital in San Diego California, and medical director of the Chopra Center for Well-Being, chants and music have “measure-able physiological effects” Simon points out that chants are actually metabolised into natural pain-killers, releasing healing agents into the body.

Scientific studies on AUM suggest that the mental repetition of AUM results in physiological alertness, increased sensitivity as well as synchronicity of certain bio-rhythms, and an increased sensitivity to sensory transmission.

It is tough to handle the stress some times. Therefore, to come out of the stress, meditation is essential for all human beings. In the direction of mediating human subject, AUM chanting affords steadiness in the mind scientifically. It provides calm and peace too, to the stressed mind. The mental stress of a person gets reduced as the mind reaches steadiness. The entire psychological pressure and worldly thoughts are taken away by the chanting of AUM mantra.” As a final point, it has been confirmed scientifically – the accomplishments of AUM chanting in reducing the stress from the human mind.”

Yoga teachings too consider the syllable AUM to be the force behind all thoughts. Either chanting or thinking about AUM is anecdotally reported to cause a mental state of peace and quiet.

Consider this incident involving a Benedictine monastery. A new abbot, forward thinking and progressive, persuaded the monastery’s monks to stop their six to eight hours of daily chanting, believing it was antiquated and served no purpose. Shortly afterwards, the monks began complaining of fatigue and depression. When symptoms did not ease up, doctors were called upon. They recommended a change of diet and made other suggestions. Nothing worked. Finally, the leaders of the monastery approached the French otolaryngologist, Alfred Tomatis, MD., who specialised in the study of ear function and vibration. Dr. Tomatis, who believes that the cortex of the brain is charged with energy via sound waves, immediately suggested the monks return to their traditional chants. They followed his advice and soon their symptoms disappeared. Like Dr. Tomatis, many sound researchers believe that disease is the body literally being “out of tune” and that sound can be used to harmonise the body’s energies so it can heal.

So, when yogis chant AUM together, several things are happening.

First, they are synchronising with one another.

Secondly, they are synchronising with the vibration of the universe.

Thirdly, chanting AUM gives the mind a single focus.

And lastly, the vibrations they create within their own bodies, can create subtle inner healing as they chant and synchronise with everything around them.

So can we become ONE with  our Source , with  the Universe and everything around us ? YES….. we can …..Because ONENESS is all there was , all there is and all that will always be ! Meditate , chant , raise your vibrations with the mystical magic of AUM !!!

 

 

 

 

Who are you ?

It is strange how one topic leads to another. I think that is very good because then you know that the minds are churning positive thoughts . And when such churnings happen , then there is definite evolution of  a new mindset . During Leadership class , one of the students raised a question about Emotional Intelligence (EI). Some of the participants were of the opinion that EI was all about dealing with our own emotions only . The justification being that we can change only ourselves and not others . This argument is 100% true . However , from a broader perspective , EI also involves others.

While we learn to manage our own feelings , we also must learn to understand the thinking .  feelings , emotions and reactions of others. Being emotionally intelligent means to explore the workings of our own mind and develop an ability  to adjust / regularise /control our own emotions effectively with others . On the other hand we also learn to empathise with the thoughts , emotions, feelings and actions of another person . Understanding the emotions of another person is an art. It is a delicate process. Stepping into the shoes of the opposite party is not easy . Understanding , why certain people do what they do , requires us to be unbiased in our perceptions of that person . To fully empathise with another,  we must let go of our ego self. Drop our preconceived notions and ideas about that person . It requires us to let go of our thoughts and feelings , which we may have acquired during the course of our interactions or experiences ( both positive as well as negative ) ,  with that person . We must learn to detach our emotions with the person or any incident involving that person . We must be ready to forgive . We must let go without passing judgement . We must put aside our personal agendas involving that person .

The next  obvious turn in the course of the conversation was how can we do this with our loved ones ? Especially those we are really close to . And those whom we have to deal with  24/7 or on a daily basis . Being emotionally in control of our own emotions AND understanding the emotions of people we are close to , is a tight rope walk . Lets see what actually happens in the case of dealing with them . When it comes to our near and dear ones , more often than not , we try to justify their actions and behaviours . Is this empathy ?  Does this mean we are handling the situation with emotional intelligence and understanding ? OR is it merely ‘excusing’ their behaviour because our love for them is supposed to triumph over everything else ? Or are we simply forced to ‘put up’ with their behaviour and attitude under the guise of forgiveness ? Or have we resigned ourselves to the belief that we are destined to bear the brunt of their actions because we do not have enough courage to speak our truth ? So , how do we handle them and the situation in an emotionally intelligent manner ?

Again , the answer is the same as given above . Detach . We must learn to detach our feelings and emotions involving that person , the situations and past experiences revolving around that person. Let go of your ego . Let go of your expectations . Let go of your sense of overt responsibilities for their behaviour. Let go of the fear of offending them , hurting them . Let go of any associations of guilt . Let go of being possessive . Let go of the blinkers that we wear in the name of sacrifice and martyrdom . The key here would be to understand, empathise and detach . Not participate in the behaviour that causes grief or harm to others . Neither support the euphoria of their negative actions . Nor contribute towards the growth of such behavioural patterns .

Easier said than done . I agree . But not impossible . Emotional Intelligence is after all , about being true to your own self. Living your soul qualities . It is who YOU are . Come , let’s find ourselves .