Learn, Unlearn and Explore!

woman-570883_1920 (1)Off late the one lesson that I have learnt in life is that there is nothing like right or wrong, it is just a matter of perspective. And with situations, the perspective changes and when it does, the things that you felt so wrong  or right about, no longer exist in that category.

All my life I have grown up thinking that this is good that is bad. For instance, fast is good ,slow is bad, traditional is good, modern is bad, obedience is good, rebellion is bad, fair is good,dark is bad, thin is good, fat is bad and the list is endless.

Life is all about widening the horizons of your mind and not limiting yourself to your thoughts, belief systems and values. Freedom to me is to go beyond the shackles of thought and beliefs. Life is an opportunity to explore the self, through relationships with people and with the creation. Life infact symbolizes limitless possibilities, love, beauty and joy. When you try to contain anything with your limited thoughts and beliefs, the flow of divine energy stops and life comes to a standstill. Just like breathing, which never stops, the heart that continues to beat and the body that continues to work, life continues, from one birth to another.

So the mantra is to explore life to the hilt and to be flexible enough to unlearn whatever limits you and to learn new ways to be free!

Free Will vs Destiny

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Imagine that you are going away for the weekend, to meet this friend of yours who stays a few miles away. You are looking forward to meet him after a long time. You gas up your car for the long journey, buy food and are all geared up for the drive. You are driving fast as there is not much traffic and are humming your favorite song and thinking about the weekend ahead…his impending treat,his favorite dish that you are going to cook and your thoughts continue to ramble.. Suddenly you notice a speed breaker just a few feet away,you are unable to slow down and your car rams into a tree nearby!

Thanks for reading this figment of my imagination! In life, every person is on a journey. There are some incidents that happen to him, which are a part of his destiny and there are so many things which he makes happen according to his will. Hindus make an astrological chart at the time of birth, which predicts the events that a person is going to face, these events are what a person is destined to face. So if a person is to come to this earth, live according to a predetermined plan, perform actions which he was destined to and die, then why is he born? If everything is already planned then what is the free will that we talk about?

One needs to understand that destiny is a road which you are traveling. This road will have lots of trees to provide you shade and some places where you can rest and rejuvenate. But this road will also have bumps and speed-breakers. The trees and rest houses are the good things that happen to you, and the bumps and speed-breakers are the so-called challenges in life. But the free will here is your reaction to the situation. If you are driving so fast that you don’t notice the speed-breaker and end up with an accident, who is to blame? You have a free will to drive your car fast or slow, if you are driving rashly you are bound to meet with an accident and then rather than blaming yourself for not driving well, you blame destiny.

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This 10% is your destiny where certain events in your life are preplanned. For example when an individual is born with limited means, it is a part of his destiny. But if he wants to change his present situations, and works hard accordingly then sky is the limit. Also, an individual’s free will is something which no one can override. Life gives you whatever you desire, provided you put in effort in the right direction.

Also at every moment in life you are in the driver’s seat and so you have to decide, how you are going to travel through this journey of life. You choose to let people bother you or you take a stand and handle things on your own. You choose to limit your possibilities or you choose to welcome life with open arms and make use of every opportunity that life throws your way. You choose to work hard or you choose to laze around. The choice is yours.

Relationships: Never Let Your Past Control Your Future

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You generally tend to see people with a filter that you have created for yourself. This filter has been created with your past experiences with that person and your belief systems. If you have had a bad experience with someone, you would create a so called “bad” image of that person in your mind and your future behavior will be dictated by this image that you have created.

Take a scenario where you have just got married and are interacting with your spouse’s family. Your experience with your sister in law may not have been good, because she just said something very insulting. Now you tell your mind that she is a ‘bad’ person and your behavior towards her will be influenced by this image that you have created.

You need to understand that when you interact with this person again, the situations would be different, that person may not have the same thoughts, but yet what remains constant is your behavior towards them, because you do not view them in a good light. This hampers creativity and newness in any relation, because we are carrying the baggage of past experiences and this influences our future.

When we are creating negative thoughts about people, we are emanating a negative energy towards them. Our thoughts travel faster than words, and when this negative energy reaches them continuously, they also start creating similar thoughts for us on a regular basis, because that’s how the universe works. This cycle goes on and on, and even though you may be polite and ‘good’ to the people you hate, your relationship with them will never improve.

You need to know that all of us are continuously evolving and if people  behave badly then it does not mean that they are bad. One technique, to avoid being judgmental, is to separate the ‘action’ from the ‘person who is doing it’. But it requires you to shed your old thoughts, because Unlearning is an important process of Learning. If your cup is already full, then nothing more can be poured in it.What I am telling you now, needs fresh thinking from your side.

You are free to criticize an action that a person is doing, but try avoiding criticizing a person. Why? Because you should know that your original qualities are purity, peace, happiness and the people that you meet, also have these original qualities in them, because all of us are creation of the same God. They may have gone astray from these qualities, so what they deserve is not hate but sympathy.

Even if someone is sending their negative energy towards you; don’t absorb it, but transform it. And you can transform this energy only if you consciously create good thoughts. Have sympathy for them and more than that, have ‘control’ over your thoughts because ‘Whatever you give a person, you experience it first’. If you hate someone, you will experience that hate within you, and this hate is not good for your mind, body and soul. Similarly, if you give love to a person, you will feel this energy of love nourishing your being.And like I always say, The Choice is Yours!

What do you want to BE today?

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Do you know what is the worst hangover that happens to you? No I am not talking about the one caused by drinking, but the one caused by thinking. What? Yes when you are hung over the past, your thoughts reflect the same fears, thoughts, insecurities that you had yesterday. That my friend, is the worst hang over.

So here is how I came out of this hangover. I started a morning ritual, where I take out 10 minutes, at the start of the day to ponder on what do I want to be today. I have been trying this for quite sometime now and it has worked really well for me so I am sharing this with you.

Every morning when I wake up, I tell myself that Today is a brand new day.Whatever happened, good , bad or ugly, is in the past and I make a conscious decision each morning to choose what do I want to be today.Yesterday I lacked confidence as I presented a case before my boss, but today I choose to be CONFIDENT about myself, regardless of the people I meet and the situations that I encounter. Yesterday, I was miserable and upset over something, but today I choose to be HAPPY, come what may.

So if you want to live your life the way you want, you will have to make a choice each day and believe me your life will change the way you want it. Start applying the BE-DO-HAVE principle, which focuses on your inner self to create what you want in life.

BE HAPPY

LIVE LIFE AS A HAPPY PERSON

ATTRACT MORE HAPPINESS

Today we do the reverse and that is the reason, we fail to attract the good things in life.

HAVE SOMETHING OR SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE

LIVE LIFE AS A HAPPY PERSON

BE HAPPY

The “HAVE-DO-BE” principle makes you dependent on the outside world for your happiness. So shun it today. Realize that you have the potential to create whatever you want in life. Once you know what you want in life, try becoming it and then act like it, to have it. So if you want peace, be peace and if you want to have confidence, choose to be confident today and act accordingly.

So start each day by asking yourself, what do you want to be?

How Spirituality helps in Dealing with Bias

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I started my day by reading this quote from Neale Donald Walsch’s book “What God Said”. It goes like this:

“We are all one. Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.”

And I found these lines to be so wonderful and true. It would be great if we implemented this in our life. Many a times people feel that their race, religion, community is better than the other ones and also that their way is the only way to be followed. This belief has given way to conflicts and discord the world over.

This hatred against people belonging to a race, religion and community that is different than ours has been propagated from generation to generation and has made people less tolerant. So how does spirituality help in dealing with bias? Here is a small story that I want to share with you.

Ram was a devout Hindu. He came from a small town which had a large Hindu community and also a thriving Muslim community. He prayed to God, went to temples every Tuesday and Saturday and even contributed significantly to religious causes. Once his town was engulfed in turmoil over communal riots between Hindus and Muslims. A curfew was declared in the town, so many people from both the communities set each other’s houses on fire and thousands lost their lives. However, many people from both the communities were against these killings and bloodshed, in the name of religion.

As an aftermath of the riots, Ram started hating the Muslims because they killed so many Hindus. He cut his ties with all his Muslim friends, though they did not have anything to do with the killings and they, like so many other people, wanted peace. All his life Ram lived with this hatred towards the other community and eventually died carrying this feeling in his heart.

When you die, or it would be better to say, when you ‘pass on’, you do not carry the material things but an imprint of your experiences on this earth and Ram’s aura was heavy with bitterness and hate. So in his next life, he was given a chance to overcome his hatred and to respect all faiths. Ram was reborn as Faisal, into a Muslim family, so that he could understand this religion and its fundamentals. Faisal was also a devout Muslim and prayed five times a day. But in this life, he started hating Hindus, for demolishing their Masjid and rebuilding the temple at its place. He started hating the entire community and could not learn to love and his journey continued.

When you become soul conscious and realize that this is not the first time that you have been born, nor is this the first time that you are going to die, your approach towards life becomes different. Your soul has traveled a long journey, from being a male in this life, to a female in the other one, from being a pauper in this life to being a prince in the other one, from being a Christian to being a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsi, Jew or someone else. It is you who may have been a murderer and it is you who is now a priest. You have been everything that exists and you are going to be so many things in times to come. With every experience you go through, there is an opportunity to learn and evolve, until you learn the final truth that “We are all one”. And once this truth is understood, there is no room for bias.

Do religious books need an overhaul?

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This morning I read a comment on a social networking site by someone, I presume to be an atheist, saying that he feels sorry for people who read religious books which ‘were written couple of hundreds and thousands years ago when there was no modernization and no technology as we have today’! Obviously he invited the wrath of so many people who read these books which comprise an integral part of their religion.

I do not endorse his views but after reading this comment my mind started pondering on whether these books need a change? When you read these books whether it is the Bhagvad Gita, Quran or Bible you realize that these books have infinite wisdom and things that were true centuries ago are true even today. This wisdom accumulated over the centuries provides guidance related to different aspect of life and also helps one to become a better individual.

One may ask that why have there been wars in the name of religion and people continue to harm and kill each other because of their religion. Why has religion failed to unite people and has been a cause of conflicts the world over?

I do agree with the fact that when conflicts happen in the name of religion, somewhere the wisdom in these books has been misunderstood, misinterpreted and also incomplete There is a strong possibility that we do not understand some things about God which has resulted in arguments and fights, in his name. Also, so many things that have been assumed to be true may not be true.

A religious book that I read some time ago, says that souls are tortured if they indulge in the ‘so called’ bad deeds like murder and pre-marital sex. Another religious book says that God gets angry and vengeful and has therefore sent us to earth to suffer. Also the belief that we are sent on this earth to suffer and bear the brunt of our karmas, makes one believe that life is a mere transaction and is meant to be suffered and not lived to the hilt. Many of the books preach that God is a separate entity who keeps a record of our every move and punishes us if we go wrong, while we were also told to believe that God resides within each one of us. This has left people with a confused state of mind.

If we look at science and technology and so many other fields like economics, medicine and even theology, which has evolved over a period of time, there has been a constant research which has lead to abandonment of theories which do not hold relevance in today’s times and acceptance of fresh ideas which have found their way into new theories.

So should religious books also implement the same or is everything written in them is to be taken as the ‘final truth’ and everything that there is on religion?

There is a strong need to discuss new aspects regarding our religion and combine the new beliefs with the old ones. Combining the age old wisdom with the present ideas and getting rid of some beliefs, would help us in a better understanding of God and would also open our mind to new perspectives .It will help clear the doubts that exist, leaving no room for misinterpretation.

How to deal with bitterness in your life

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Do you feel bitterness towards a person because he/she has wronged you in any way? All of us feel the same at some point of time because of toxic people in our life.This person can be your family, friend, relative, colleague or anyone else who has made you feel miserable. Bitterness is like a poison that destroys your peace of mind and harms your body.The question is how to cope up with this bitterness and how to get back to your original self. Here are 4 steps on how to deal with bitterness in your life:

1.Understand that people who have caused you pain are actually the victims!

Sounds unbelievable?  Read along.You felt cheated in a relationship? You had issues with a family member or a relative while growing up? Your in laws have no good words for you and are always making you feel miserable? This person at work regularly misbehaves and so on..leaving you with a lot of bitterness.

Realize that anger, dirty mind games,cheating and politics (at home or office) are a by product of insecurity. When people feel insecure,threatened,vulnerable and guilty they may resort to these antics.People feel threatened because of the thoughts that they create about you.These people are in pain and are victims of their own creation (thoughts). If they do not deserve your sympathy, then they sure deserve an apathy.

2.Regardless of your experiences with a person, you are responsible for the thoughts that you create!

People you meet and experiences you have are all external factors which tend to influence your thoughts and feelings.But how much the influence and for how long? You decide it. Are you still carrying the burden of something that happened six months ago, 10 years ago or something that happened during childhood? If your answer is in the affirmative, then it is time to let go.No matter how much hurt you felt at the time of the bitter encounter it is time to move on. Take charge of your life and take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings.

3.Believe in the law of karma

Once you take responsibility of the thoughts that you have been creating over a period of time, for a person, it is time now to heal yourself.And the best way to heal yourself is to forgive.Forgiveness works wonders for your inner peace and makes you feel light. Yes someone has been really nasty and you may not feel like talking to the person anymore..It is ok! You need not feel love for the person but you have to remove all traces of bitterness from your mind.

Remember the good that people do boomerangs and so does the bad! So why should you carry the burden of their bad deeds, when the law of karma is working silently and invisibly.

4.Life is too short to be spent grudgingly

Life is a journey and you meet all sorts people and have all kind of experiences.There are good days and there are bad ones.But do you embrace life with all its ups and downs or do you spend this crucial time being sad?

Imagine that you die today and your present life’s journey comes to an end.You leave the material world but your soul carries an imprint of the life that you spent.What sort of an imprint will your soul have from this life? A happy, optimistic and a cheerful imprint of a life well-lived or a sad, whining and bitter one? The choice, my friend, is all yours!