Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How Change Can Affect Us

Over the last few years my self-awareness has heightened. I no longer let life blind-side me. I do not know what will happen in the future, but in the present moment I am consciously experiencing everything. I learn from it, I respond to it and attempt to come out a stronger, better, happier me. I find that this awareness means the Universe is so much more abundant in what it has to offer. All of it has always been part of my Universe - only I was traveling through it with blinkers on.

Around the end of May, I was introduced to the idea that it is possible to be East Indian and not eat grains. Everyday Indian cuisine has a staple of grains - mainly rice and wheat. The base of every meal is either cooked rice or some form of unleavened bread (roti, naan, paratha, puri etc.). Then there are beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy, eggs, fish, and meats. Whether we are vegetarians or not, grains are a major component of every meal. Since being diagnosed with diabetes, twenty years ago, I have restricted my overall intake of carbs including rice and wheat, but never considered giving them up completely. Till now.

For a few weeks before the germ of the grain free diet plan came into my purview I had a few episodes of hyperglycemia alternating with hypoglycemia. Nothing had changed in my diet, exercise, and neither was there any change in stress. Maybe I was moving towards being a brittle diabetic despite being on an insulin pump and being so careful with my diet. I knew that carbs played an important role in the management of my diabetes. I also knew that reducing my carbs would give me room to fine tune my insulin intake. That is when the plan of going grain free ventured subtly into my world.

I decided to try it - at least till I could bring my blood sugars to normal again. It meant finding resources that would make it sustainable at least for a few weeks. I needed recipes, a shopping list, an affordable store and a willing partner in my husband. Fortunately I have a friend who is extremely resourceful with information and the barrage of recipes she WhatsApped (that must be a word now) me only excited and motivated me to dive wholeheartedly into it. Wheat flour was replaced with almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, and combinations of these. Rice and breads were replaced with savory legume crepes and tapioca flour pancakes, making rice unnecessary. I had to change my meat and vegetable recipes to be drier so I did not need the rice and I increased intake of coconut oil, butter and ghee (clarified butter) and ensured I had at least some animal protein for every meal. I was fuller with less food and stayed satiated longer. I added a few servings of vegetables, and to satisfy the sweet tooth I ate very small servings of fruit. I made sure not to deprive myself of flavor or texture so I could stay on the meal plan, and it worked. It is now just about 20 weeks that I have been completely grain free - not carbs free - grain free. I have eaten no grains, no potatoes and no refined sugars and I am still excited and happy with the plan. Cutting grains out caused my carbs intake to reduce and so I am taking less insulin.

Breakfast:  Cheese and vegetable omelette / fresh 2 minute almond flour bread in a cup in the microwave / fresh 2 minute almond flour banana walnut muffin in a cup in the microwave / fresh 2 minute strawberry coconut flour muffin in a cup in the microwave / fresh home made bean sprouts with fresh yogurt / mixed nuts with a serving of fruits / cheese with a serving of fruits.

Lunch: legume crepe;  (these with a serving of fish, meat or egg and a serving of vegetables and some chutney made with almonds and yogurt) / home made dahi vada / steamed vegetables with curried fish / spicy roast chicken with raita.

Snack: nuts / vegetable fritters / cheese / occasinally a fruit - berries, grapefruit or melon slice / almond flour cookies / chick pea flour cookies. (Only home made cookies - yumm!)

Dinner: Naan made from a combination of Tapioca flour and chick pea flour or crepes accompanied with a fish or meat and a vegetable. A cup of yogurt is a must.

Dessert: Almond flour peach cobbler / carrot halwa with full cream, pureed dates and chunks of walnuts / nuts and dates no bake cookies / coconut and dates no bake cookies / home made sugar free custard ( sweetened with pureed dates or coconut palm sugar) (These are occasional - not everyday)

I have 1 cup of green tea, 1 cup of coffee and one cup of kefir every day. I add a few pieces of ginseng root in my green tea and a teaspoonful of cinnamon powder to my coffee every day. Turmeric has been part of my diet all my life. I also take a shot of fresh ginger juice and fresh lime/lemon juice every night.

The first things I noticed with going off grains - knee pain.....gone. I had developed a pain in my right knee for almost a year now that had been deteriorating. Bowel movements.......never been better. Sleep..... more restful and wake up fresh. Bloating...... gone. Cravings..... gone. Smiling......more. Irritable....less. Insulin dose.....reduced. Blood sugar levels......normal. I do not take any medication other than insulin and occasionally homeopathic remedies for any symptoms that may come up due to injuries or physical strain etc. I had been prescribed Statins and BP meds as part of management of diabetes and I requested my physician to let me wean myself off them and he agreed based on the fact that my blood sugars have continued to be within normal range for the last many years now. For those of us who understand the relevance of HbA1c levels - when I was first diagnosed the level was at 22.2%. Over the last 6 years (ever since I have been on the insulin pump) my levels are at 5.8% to 6.0% consistently. It means I have less chemicals going into my system and therefore less toxicity. My kidneys, heart, liver, eyes, peripheral nerves are all functioning like a normal 60 year old body. I am living proof that Diabetes can be managed and that food can be our friend if we eat and drink right. I know exercise is just as important, but I lead a very sedentary life and am not motivated enough to change that .... yet.

Changing my diet has not been difficult and the results only more motivating. It is as if I needed the change. My body gave me the message - fluctuating blood sugars; almost concurrently the Universe presented me with a solution - diet options; since my awareness is heightened I went with the solution. Instead of pumping meds for the pain and upping my insulin I changed what and how I eat and it worked to my advantage. Nutrition is a very important element of health care. I had given up all prepackaged processed foods and that had helped with  an overall feeling of well-being. Eating grass fed meats and cutting out vegetable oils also helped and now replacing grains has taken it to a higher level of well-being.

Making choices with awareness and knowledge; being conscious of the effects of change; adjusting life style to ensure physical and emotional health, are all part of a well rounded life. I have learned how to adapt to change and not be set in my ways and I am reaping the benefits today. Change is a good thing and an integral part of life. Some change happens in a void and there are some that we choose to make. Results too are sometimes predictable and sometimes not, that is what makes life so interesting and embracing change gives us the opportunity to grow and to learn.

The one change I am unable to make - adding exercise to my life style. The Universe has not given me any signals that make that possible at this time. My blinkers are off - but ...... :)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Path to Healing

Pain and hurt is part of the path traveled by all. I have learned that there is no value in laying blame on others for the hurt I feel. On the other hand there is great advantage to taking responsibility for allowing the hurt. Therein lies the secret to healing. By responsibility I do not mean blaming oneself, but recognizing that for someone to hurt me I must have given them the power to protect my inner being, that should always be mine. Once you own up to this, you have the power to heal yourself.

Hurt can soften the heart so one can empathize with the pain of others. Hurt can, just as much, harden the heart and so can perpetuate the infliction of hurt to others. That is a choice. Perpetuating hurt leads to bitterness and unhappiness. Kindness and compassion lead to healing and joy. Awareness is key. Be acutely conscious that hurting another leads to a mean spirit that can isolate and be self destructive.

It took me years to acknowledge my hurt and pain, but before that I learned to be empathetic to others. Somewhere inside of me the pain that I did not acknowledge, softened me towards the world. It was on acknowledging the hurt, that I could award that same empathy towards the child within me. Then on, the healing came speedily. Along with the healing came resolve - a no-nonsense, non-negotiable strength to disallow others to hurt me. It is inherent within the healing process to have the power to repel hurt. Not just to ignore it but to strongly stand up and let your power be expressed.

Some may have believed that to be hurtful is their prerogative, but to ward off the hurt and refuse to hand over my dignity or my self worth is my right. One of the reasons I enabled hurt was because I considered the hurt felt by the other, if I was to not take the hurt, as unkind. Yes, that feeling is just as convoluted as the sentence. Yet, it is an overpowering weakness and needs active participation in the caring of ones soul to turn that around. Repel getting hurt without causing another to be hurt. Know that how the other feels is not important, it is whether you are coming from a place of love and understanding. I would never allow anyone to hurt my children, but I allowed the child within me to face that ordeal without check. As a matter of fact I never acknowledged the existence of that child in me.

So here is the path I took to healing:

1. Acknowledged that I hurt. Not being able to recognize a wound is dangerous. It took me years to acknowledge that I hurt.

2. Accepted responsibility for allowing the hurt. This did not come in a day. It took hours of self pity, anger, sadness, blame, shame, guilt, and tears to recognize that no matter what emotion I felt I came out weaker. It was then that I realized that the only way to overcome this negativity was to own my power - only I could reverse this. I stopped telling myself that I was hurting and instead told myself that the hurt was there and now it required my healing touch.

3. Looked myself in the mirror every day and said, "I love you," to myself. I wrote it on my phone screen, on my mirror, on my computer screen, on sticky notes on every door whether it was the front door or a closet door or a cabinet door. I told myself I was perfect the way I was. I reminded myself, that I was special - a gift to this Universe and deserved to be treated as such. Eventually I realized that it was true. I am special, I am a gift, I am worthy of my love, respect and care. Not only did this make me feel good, it also motivated me to continue to improve myself as a person.

4. Taught myself to balance kindness towards myself and others. I learned how not to sacrifice one for the other. I learned how to say 'No,' without feeling guilt. My spirit deserved to be free and open. If the other is unable to take my, 'No,' that is not on me. I learned how to express kindness from the heart - not because I felt guilty but because I am kind. Everything I say and do is from a wealth of joy and abundance. I can and so I do. Being able to offer love and empathy to others, understanding how difficult it is to heal, is an important part of self healing, and this same empathy towards myself is what heals me.

Being empathetic and giving towards others maybe 'noble.' To be kind to oneself without being self centered is essential. Loving others can deplete us if we are not loved ourselves. I have seen scores of women be bitter and indifferent as they age. These are women who have spent their entire lives being strong, and supportive until they stop wanting that role. I could not understand this change till I experienced it myself. It was as if I was depleted and had nothing left in me. I had lost the will to be. It was not that I was not loved and appreciated by my family and friends - because I was. Yet the emotional exhaustion was real. There was an emptiness that seemed to engulf me. This gaping hole that I could feel but could not express, depressed me. I reached the bottom when my husband was recovering from cancer. There came a day when I was overwhelmed with self pity. I did not care anymore, I felt complete indifference towards everyone. I had just helped my husband through a major health issue, he was still recovering and needed my attention, but something inside of me had dried up and there was no way I could continue. It took loving myself to refill that hole.

Healing requires introspection and self love. There is a need for silence and for solitude. Healing also requires a support system that is non-judgmental and non-demanding. I was fortunate enough to get all of that with my stint in Montreal and for that reason Montreal has a very special place in my heart. It was like a womb and it made me whole again. I have had many phases in the six decades when I have grown because of an unannounced life circumstance, and each time I have been deeply aware and appreciative of the lessons learned. This time is no different. This path to growth and healing is an ever evolving one and only after one lesson has been learned does the next one come along. I pray I always remain open to these lessons. The path to healing continues and with each day I love myself more. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What will I take with me?

For the last 2 years April has been a month of deeper contemplation than the other 11. It was in April 2014 that my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer, operated on and has since been in remission. The 10 days he was in hospital were intense and spiritually revealing. It showed me the importance of silence and the power of personal strength. For the first time in my life I was aware that I was not being motivated by adrenaline - I was not in fight or flight mode. I was acutely aware of everything that was happening around me and I was acting accordingly. I was making decisions guided by something bigger than me. I was more attentive of what was happening around me because I was acutely aware of what was happening with me. That sense has stayed with me ever since. It humbles me to know that I was purposefully ignorant for a major portion of my life. Not that I know it all now, but that life event, has shown me that wisdom is infinite and life experiences are the tool that opens up the eternal library of wisdom. We only need the wherewithal to learn.

In this my seventh decade of existence I recognize that I have fewer years ahead of me than behind me. I have this moment and no guarantee that the next one will be upon me. This April I have spent thinking about my own death and what that means to me. What will I take with me on that journey from the world I know. Death means I leave everything of this material world behind. My family, my job, my home, my possessions, my writings - everything will most definitely be left behind. Right now I do not know how much longer I will live so I have no idea how long all of these are here for me to share and enjoy. In a generation I, this physical me, will be completely forgotten. That I existed will be a story told by those who will survive after me.

I do not know where I am going after death. My belief is that I will be reborn, but I do not claim to have any scientific proof of that. Yet, I would like to hold on to the belief that something of me will move on. I do not know where it will go - but science says that nothing ever comes to an end, it transforms. We also know that some qualities of the original form remains in the transformed form. Simplistically water came from being in a gaseous form and can convert to the solid form but the chemical composition of all three states remains the same. I believe that what gives life to this physical body is an energy that will transform or simply move out of this physical body and go somewhere. So what will that energy take with it?

This life cannot be without meaning. Even if some claim that my coming into existence is a coincidence, it is not purposeless. Nature shows us that we are all co-dependent. The trees, the soil, the waters, the air, the beings all serve some need of another so we can co-exist. That in itself is proof to me that I am for the benefit of some or all of us. If that is so, then what is it about me that is beneficial to this world? My answer is - it is what I do that benefits you. All that I do for myself comes from my dependence on something or someone else. It therefore is clear to me that what I do for other beings or to other things is my purpose. My actions - good or bad - that have impacted this natural world around me have left indelible marks on my Energy and these will leave with me. These actions have not changed my Energy but their effects are being carried and will remain with me. Some of my actions have borne fruit in my lifetime and may have been fully expended and converted into something else. Say I have hurt you and you still carry that hurt, then that energy has not yet been expended. If you have been kind to me and I am carrying that energy of kindness when you pass on, then that energy has not been expended and you will have taken it along with you.

With this thought in mind. I wish to ask for forgiveness for any pain I may have caused anyone at any time during this life. Please know that even if I may have had any intent to hurt, earlier in my life, I no longer have that in me today. I beg for forgiveness. If I have been good to you, I would like to thank you for giving me such an opportunity and suggest you move forward with the benefits you may have reaped and pay it forward. I want to say thank you for all the love and kindness I have received in my lifetime and let all know that I hold no grudges against anyone and do not intend to for the rest of my life here.

I am not intending to die soon - just that I want to have no loose ends when I do. I therefore, wish to express my love and my gratitude for this life that I am living. I want to be able to carry good karma with me so I can continue to be loving and grateful for eternity. If I am reborn that will mean bliss and if for some reason all of my babble above is not true and just my imagination at play - no harm done, right? Goodness is a good thing to take along and leave behind. :)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How to Break Out

It takes time and awareness to recognize that we are being wronged. The veil of love and trust mixed in with fear and insecurity keeps the wrong doer and the wrong done concealed. We see it happening and maybe hope, it is 'just this once, after all no one is perfect.' Eventually we must admit that we were fooling ourselves and have been played. Stop right there and take a deep breath because the truth of the matter is - we reneged on taking care of the one person we should never neglect - this "ME." I know now, that everything I was taught about being selfless should have been predicated with 'but not at the cost of your own destruction.' A line must be drawn once we recognize that we are giving up on being tender and loving to our own spirit. A child does not have the understanding of the wrong being done, nor the power to change things. It takes self awareness, awareness of the outside world, and a lot of self love to eventually acknowledge and extricate oneself from the web that keeps us trapped

The shift from love, through hurt, anger, grief, and sadness, to self-love, is a mental pathway that we have to go through before we can come to forgive. It is a cathartic journey to forgiving oneself for giving away ones power. "How could I not have seen it?" "How could I have let it continue?" "Why did I not stop it?" "Why did I not walk away?" The questions don't stop and there are very few logical answers. There is one thread to the answer - we loved and trusted the other, but ignored our inner being. Spirit only witnesses - it does nothing more. The choice to care for it is entirely upto the smaller 'me', who looks outward till it reaches a dead end and only then thinks of finding answers within. No matter how much love and support your parents, spouse, children, siblings or friends give you - know that love for your Self is by far the most enduring you will ever have. I no longer believe in a personal God and to me 'God Loves You' means I have access to love within me. This is the Love that takes us to forgiveness and beyond.

It is within our power to stop letting others wrong us. It is possible to forgive the wrong doer, forget the hurt; but to not let the person hurt you again, make sure you recognize the attribute you have, that allowed the wrong to be done in the first place. Take the time to know yourself. The more you love the person, the more you will need to consciously love yourself. The steps needed to stop the abuse will come from that space of love for yourself. Each of us will handle it differently, but handle it we must. Some relationships break, others correct themselves, still others will constantly evolve but every abusive relationship requires that we have a strong sense of the One I, so we do not allow the abuse to continue and we do not propagate abuse.

We play an integral role in allowing abuse. This is not to say we are to blame, rather to say we do not recognize our own power. The abuse may stop once our power is manifest - if it does not, we must distance ourselves. Abuse is a reflection of the weakness of character of the abuser. It is not our responsibility to strengthen his/her character. It is however our duty to help those being abused to get their self-respect and their power back and that includes you, if you are being abused. If you have been abused be empathetic to others around you - own your hurt so you can feel the pain others are going through. Empathy requires us to acknowledge our own pain first.

It is important to know that abuse can be subtle and we get conditioned to it. Someone looking from the outside in, may see it right away, but if one is being abused it seems like normal behavior. This is truer when the abuse is from someone who is supposed to provide you with care, support, guidance, nurturing. A parent can be just as abusive as a spouse or a boss. It depends more on the power or authority one has over you. Abuse is also not gender specific. Men and women can both be abusive or abused.

Develop character, self confidence, self reliance and surround yourself with good people. Be honest with yourself. Be kind and loving to yourself. Be observant and if you have experienced abuse in any relationship be vigilant and learn how not to be. Teach yourself to say 'No.' You owe no explanation for saying it. Respect your instinct. If something hurts, it is because it is meant to hurt. If you place your hand in something hot, you instinctively know how to respond. Emotional pain brings on the same instinctive response and deserves to be acknowledged.

Be kind, empathetic, and aware towards all. Remember you are an integral part of 'all.'

Friday, February 10, 2017

6 Decades Later

Life has been an experience worth having. I generally do not dwell on the past, instead I tend to introspect and concentrate on the now. Today I would like to delve into my past - to take stock of how life has influenced who I am.

One vital lesson - the only constant is 'I am.' The predicate changed as I walked through life but all of those changes left the 'I am,' untouched. The little child has walked through 6 decades and now appears to be an old woman, but I still feel what the child felt then and through every experience she has been through since. The love, the joy, the fear, the desires, the sadness, the empathy, the envy, the anger, the indifference and more - are all there. I have learned how to process them, express them, absorb them or discard them - but the original feelings are all still part of this being because I am now, as I was then. Time has passed but the Being remains unchanged. I am unable to encapsulate that Being, unable to identify it in isolation and yet I must acknowledge its unchanging nature. Since I do, I necessarily must acknowledge it in everyone else.

Over time I have learned to be silent. Silencing the mind has taken much effort and innumerable hours of practice and every emotion that rises within me shakes that silence. I find that holding back on the words and reining them in opens a space within where the emotions and the thoughts converse between themselves and bring me to a peace filled silence. Conversely if I react outwardly while still in the realm of emotion the mind cannot find stillness with the same ease or peace. I have always filtered my emotions through thoughtfulness and then expressed the results in words - oral or written, but now there is no filter - expression of an emotion is an internal affair from which I come out with a perception and a lesson in meditative silence. Any expression of that perception brings a sense of calm and joy that is self glorifying. Keeping that glory under rein then becomes the struggle. This feeling of being somehow superior and exalted can overwhelm the silence and the mind takes over and disturbs the calm. A lot more effort is required to silence this sense of glory. Glory feels good and the mind wants to dwell on it. Deeper introspection, meditative silence, being kind to myself, bowing my head to that unchanging inner child - consciously and with forgiveness and humility, eventually brings the silence back.

I like being alone. I enjoy my own company. I read, write, do crossword puzzles, solve sudoku, work, meditate, and have very little time to socialize either one-on-one or on cyber space. I have brought idle interaction down to a bare minimum. I stay abreast of how loved ones are and what the current state of the world is, but I do not delve into details, nor do I choose to debate any issues. I respect the perspective of others, understand the 'other' side, and rethink my own opinion but I no longer have the need to be right or to be understood. There are no absolutes in the material world and spending time trying to bring consensus is futile. There will always be another point of view - and I respect that. I find this teaches me more about life. It opens avenues where thought wanders into to find its way into a deeper understanding of the material world and helps appease the curiosity that could otherwise shatter the silence.

The first many years of my life were spent in simple existence. Living life as it came. There was no sense of purpose. I was guided by what was happening around me fulfilling the roles that life was assigning to me. It was in my mid forty that this thirst to know more, the feeling of discontent, the urge to find passion and purpose seemed to take over. I was fortunate to have met some like minded women on the net during this time and we were all going through the same struggles. The journey to moving inwards and finding the Being in the inner depths began there with these ladies. I am still in touch with some of those beautiful souls and have them to thank for the circle of love that allowed us all to bloom.

In this 7th decade I continue this beautiful trip. I know I am closer to the end of life than to the start of this one and that death can strike anytime - like it could have for the last 6. Living in the now turns the thought of death into a moment. Here now - gone now. My desire is that upon my death my loved ones celebrate my living moments and so I continue to be better, do better, with love, passion, compassion and integrity - always. Many have touched my soul through this journey and some of them have passed away. Yet the bond I feel with them is palpable - my Being touching their Being - that unchanging One within each of us.

I bow down to you, the undefined you,
The one who resides within me too.
I feel your breath, I feel your touch,
A fluttering feather I try to clutch.
You were here and so was I
You are gone and so will I.
A new being is born today
That same one in a new bouquet,
And so we all continue on
The day, the night, the dusk, the dawn
Always seeking, yet in a whirl
Till we find that elusive pearl! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Weight of Silence

Words carry the weight of our thoughts. It is a good exercise to count how many times we say, "But that is not what I meant;" or "Just kidding;" or even "Oops, slip of the tongue." What we mean and what we say often conflict. We use terms like semantics to explain away the disagreement, yet once the words are out - they are embedded in the minds of those who hear them. We may choose to use the written word which are just as weighty, and find ourselves either back peddling or explaining our intent or our thought process.

We often 'say the wrong thing,' yet we must be aware that the person hearing us does not know so. If you try to explain or re-word what you first said the idea that if the words were spoken, there is a place in the mind where it exists, remains. "You have gained weight!" can be very hurtful to the person being addressed. It may be true but it is unkind to make negative comments about physical appearances. Saying, "I only said it because I worry about you," changes nothing. If you were worried, you would inquire about health before calling out the weight.

When what we say and what we do are incongruous, we lose credibility. Saying, ' I would never hurt my dog,' and leaving it chained outside in the bitter cold are incongruous. The words carry zero weight. The hypocrisy that otherwise may be hidden shines bright when someone talks about love, but lies to, neglects or disrespects another.

Apologies and explanations are never enough to cause words to 'un-sting.' It is best to develop the skills to filter our words on cue. My mantra is - I would rather be kind than right. I sometimes pay the price for being kind and get walked over by people who take my kindness for weakness, but it matters not to me. I know the importance of distancing myself from people who are disrespectful of me, and have learnt how to do so with compassion. I also know that I mostly attract like minded people.

Silence carries as much if not more weight than words. Silence in the face of disrespect or neglect says more than words ever could. Yet the right words must be spoken when we see injustice or evil, for then silence gives power to the wrong doer. Knowing what to say is important but knowing when to speak and when to stay silent is an essential part of our humanity. Words are not an attempt to change others, but a tool to raise awareness. Words we use must be well thought out. Hurtful words; words that assign blame; words that accuse or belittle are a waste and should be kept out of our vocabulary. Words must be used to reach into the hearts of people and bring out the best in them. Often times I read or hear something that prompts a response. If I do respond with the written or spoken word the peace within me is what makes room for the thoughts that must be expressed. I use my words with loving care, express them and let the thoughts enhance my inner wisdom and leave.

Silence and kindness are beautiful together. I find the urge to be kind grows the more silent I become. Silence makes space within my mind for peace to reside. Dwelling on thoughts becomes unnecessary. If I stay silent my response passes through me and widens the space bringing a little more kind understanding and eventually peace has more room to expand.

Words are my friend - they have been for the longest time. I enjoy reading and writing and over time I have learned to evaluate words by the weight they carry. Silence on the other hand is my guide - it lends its power to my thoughts, words and actions; brings me peace and affords me the time and the space to introspect and get to know myself more.

'I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.' Khalil Gibran

Friday, January 13, 2017


Authenticity brings peace into everyday life. It makes for self-assurance and self-worth. Honest folk admit they are imperfect and often work towards perfection. People lacking authenticity feel weak and insecure on the inside. Society has always been a bag full of people of both kinds. There is nothing wrong in being imperfect – the problem morphs when we hide our imperfections. That is a sure sign of deep rooted insecurities. 

Insecurity, to one wanting to be authentic, is the perfect opportunity to introspect and work through the issues so inner peace can be maintained. Someone who is unwilling to work through the fear and insecurity, will necessarily be dishonest. Imagine having to live with the inner conflict of knowing what is right but doing what is wrong. Such a person can become cruel, bitter, and cold. It is one reason being alone with oneself becomes an impossibility. They will always be afraid of that dark corner because it is within them – a place they dare not confront as it is filled with anger, shame, and guilt. It feels like a festering tooth abscess. You feel the throbbing pain, taste the rotting blood, and smell the putrefaction but smile through it all, hoping no one will notice. You know the smile is unreal but you cannot help but smile.

Visiting our insecurities and confronting them is frightening – but only for the moment. The shame, the guilt, and the ugliness of those darkest parts of our life hold us down and cause us suffering. Once we have worked through them though, we feel liberated. The fear of being exposed seems insurmountable, but truth has the potential to release all the negative energies and thus free us. Sometimes the material consequences appear painful, but the inner strength authenticity gives us will not just see us through this loss and pain but it opens horizons for the future we never dreamed of.

An insecure childhood due to poverty, neglect, abuse, poor parenting, abandonment, illiteracy, war, or anything else is not the fault of children with no tools to overcome the assault of their circumstances. It is therefore easier to be led by bad experiences to mold our life. Yet, as adults, it is within our power to change things and as a society we owe it to each other to help work through our fears and insecurities. The challenge is in recognizing these fears. Fear is expressed through our actions and our treatment of others and ourselves. When we as a people, normalize aberrant behavior we are choosing to lose sight of these fears. The person demonstrating this behavior will justify it and express their belief with free abandon and there is not much we can say or do that will change them. People change only when they recognize the need to change. Often this need comes when the burden of their actions overwhelms the original insecurity. If we can change ourselves, and share our experiences openly then others can emulate us and slowly we are surrounded by people on the same path.

To give up on people who are insecure and afraid is an act of cowardice but to normalize their unnatural behavior is destructive. If after trying to help the person through, you fail to get them to see their aberration, it is better to be a coward than to accept their behavior and thus destroy them from the inside out. Keep the door open for them to come back when they are ready to overcome their fears so they know they are not alone. Don’t forget being alone with shame and guilt is frightening. Once the person is ready for change, they need to feel supported. Their strength will return but for the moment they will feel defeated.

Authenticity is about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It allows us to be who we are when we are alone or in company. This company could be strangers, friends or family and we can be who we are no ifs or buts. It is hard to be so authentic when we have built facades around us, but these facades can be dropped layer by layer. With it is the need to develop good morals and values that are based on non-violence, compassion, and love – for oneself and for others. This balance is what good character is built on. Character is a determinant of our destiny and gives us the courage to face the consequences of our actions. That is what brings joy, inner peace, self-confidence, and self-worth. We owe it to ourselves to be the masters of our own destiny and to never give the power of our own joy to others. To let others destroy us is to deny our self-worth. We are all worthy and we deserve to live so our worth is fully expressed. Let us introspect and identify our imperfections and let us examine how we are expressing these so we can move towards the perfection we have the potential to achieve. Let us help each other on this difficult journey. I am here for you and would like you to hold my hand too. 

"When you feel a peaceful joy, that's when you are near truth." Rumi

Abundance - redefined.

One dictionary meaning of the word abundance is 'in ample quantity.' Feeling a sense of abundance is therefore a relative term. F...